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Ken Scott Baron
6 minutes | Jan 11, 2019
War on Immigration
The administration believes that there is a crisis at the border, despite the lack of proof. Indeed, the rate of influx at the border is down compared to previous years.
6 minutes | Jan 9, 2019
Episode 10 Angela Davis
My birthday is on January 26th, the same day as Angela Davis. When I was a student at University of California Berkeley, I remember Angela Davis as a prominent counterculture activist in the 1960s during the civil rights movement. The famous “People’s Park” demonstration cemented her reputation as a firebrand activist. Later, she and others took over the Marin County courtroom during which four people were killed. She was prosecuted for three capital felonies, including conspiracy to murder, but was acquitted of the charges. Now, Davis is a professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and conducts research interests are feminism, African-American studies, and the history of punishment and prisons. She co-founded Critical Resistance, an organization working to abolish the prison–industrial complex. Her recent publication titled “Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement” shows the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world. She highlights the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today’s struggles. She also talks of the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today’s struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine. From all of this, she reminds us that ”Freedom is a Constant Struggle” Professor Davis, born in Birmingham, was granted the The Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award is supposed to honor the civil rights leader’s legacy and raise funds for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. However, after some members in the city’s Jewish community objected to giving the award. Now, the award presentation is canceled because Davis’ statements and public record do not “meet all of the criteria on which the award is based.” On her Facebook page, she said “I was stunned to learn that the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Board of Directors had reversed their previous decision to award me the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award. Although the BCRI refused my requests to reveal the substantive reasons for this action, I later learned that my long-term support of justice for Palestine was at issue”. She reminded every one that “.. my own freedom was secured – and indeed my life was saved – by a vast international movement. And I have devoted much of my own activism to international solidarity and, specifically, to linking struggles in other parts of the world to U.S. grassroots campaigns against police violence, the prison industrial complex, and racism more broadly”. This is a sad action against Davis, who although controversial, sets a good example of how to affect social justice change.
13 minutes | Jan 4, 2019
Episode : Queers, Intimacy and Movies
Ken Scott Baron Podcast" Many years ago, I remember the movie "The Breakfast Club" and the antics of the teens as they shown their coming out stories. The characters rebelled against authority, as many of you have done. Though they did this they ultimately decided they need to get ready for adulthood. The queer teen has seen a resurgence of movies, and the recent one, "Love Simon" shows homosexuality as no big deal for well off folks in affluent areas. But that is not as simple in less tolerant communities as depicted in "Boy Erased". And the same goes for "Moonlight" and "Call me by your Name". Queer teens now seem to face a future that is uncertain, sexually and financially. This drift into adulthood may be different and , perhaps frightening. This gay teen apprehension is such that they may wish to keep gayness a secret during high school. But with the notions and actions and portrayal of gays, it is easier to be "outed" way before the choice is made in doing so. Then there are the conversion therapy movies that harness the US puritanical and religious bent to suppress and dam the victims. In "Boy Erased" the hero has a religious family and he suppresses his sexuality. He is outed and reminds us that coming out is a change which brings out concepts of erasing homosexuality before it gets worse, and can lead to hack therapies that do not work, or harm the "patient". And yet, after graduation, these incidents can follow us. Thus beatings and bullying at school and in the communities goes on and there are few tender moments as in "Moonlight". So, gay teens may or may not morph into a new sexual self and may leave scars. These movies paint a veneer of gloss on teen life to make them acceptable to a wider audience. We are not in a harsh and true spotlight yet! And then there are the current, real concerns about these young people that are launching their sex lives later, having sex less frequently than previous generations. I have blogged on this issue of intimacy previously. So what does this mean for us? Consider this: "We hook up because we have no social skills. We have no social skills because we hook up". A great concept considering the availability of dating apps and sex in the movies. But teens are having less sex! The CDC says high school rate of sex dropped from 54 to 40% from 1991 to 2017. Teen pregnancy has also dropped. As a baby boomer, apparently, I had more sex than teens today, That's amazing. Then I read that more young people are living with their parents, and that people living with a romantic partner have more sex. This adds to the puzzle of why less sex. Is it this "sex recession" because of electronic devices, economic anxiety, low testosterone or sexual identity getting stronger. As a gay man, I have witnessed the huge change in what is sanctioned on not, much of it to the good, but does this suggest that gay men don't need to reinforce their "right" to sex? Interestingly, declines in intercourse frequency, seem to occur with rising rates of masturbation. This "sex for one" is a trend. Japan seems to be a harbinger of this in as much there is as a generation that found the imperfect or just unexpected demands of real-world relationships with women less enticing than the lure of the virtual libido online. Japan is among the world’s top producers and consumers of porn. Many younger people see porn as just one more online activity, relieving stress. It is related to their sex life (or lack thereof) in much the same way social media and binge-watching TV are. Meanwhile, A survey of more than 20,000 college students that was conducted from 2005 to 2011, which found the median number of hookups over a four-year college career to be five—a third of which involved only kissing and touching. The majority of students surveyed said they wished they had more opportunities to find a long-term boyfriend or girlfriend.
4 minutes | Jan 1, 2019
Episode 9: The public interest
A Podcast from Ken on Public Interest versus Free Enterprise: While I am not against the free enterprise system, the primary goal of companies is to serve the shareholders. they may not to always serve the public interest. I can remember how America had the largest and best public colleges and universities in the world and public schools, libraries and research. The public works that I knew, starting in 1970, gave way to privatization of these for profit to gain efficiency and reduce taxes. However, this can often only boosts corporate bottom lines. When proposals such as infrastructure depend on private developers, they can produce substandard, expensive effects and they maybe are not where they’re most needed. We need services to bring us together and strengthen and connect us across class and race. Our NA mission statement is to fight against isolation or marginalization. We have a public post office serving everyone and thats why we value public education and need to be careful of charter schools that can divide our children and our communities rather than pulling them together. Another example is our health system that avoids sick people. In contrast, the administrative costs of Medicare are a fraction of the costs of for-profit medical insurance – and why Medicare for all is appealing for now. In addition, the prison industrial complex can tread on the constitutional rights of prisoners, and build detention centers for refugee children at the border which pose such grave risks. In summary, when the primary goal is to serve the public, rather than shareholders, we need to be careful not to sacrifice the public interest to private profits. This work is inspired by Robert Reich, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
12 minutes | Dec 30, 2018
Episode 8: A podcast on Immigration
A review of the facts and history of immigration in the United States
13 minutes | Dec 30, 2018
Episode 5: Interview on the NA name change
A podcast interview with Doug Noble on the history of the name of NABWMT. Over the years, the NA and it's chapters have wrestled with their names. Typically the need for more inclusivity has driven this.
7 minutes | Dec 30, 2018
Episode 4: Multicultural, Multiracial
The NABWMT and a immigration update on a scholarship linking our values. It talks of black views on immigrants and immigration policy. This depends on age and history. But as MLK said; Injustice for one is injustice for all.
5 minutes | Dec 18, 2018
Episode 2 Friendship
An archived podcast where Ken discusses friendship, in particular with folks of a different race.
10 minutes | Dec 14, 2018
This is an archived podcast with NAWMT Co Chair Gavin Morrow Hall about health and HIV
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