September 22, 2012

This weekend, tune in to Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast State of Belief to learn the truth about white working-class voters; to find out what the Sikh Coalition is doing to get law enforcement agencies to gather hate crimes statistics; and to get an update on the state of Louisiana’s controversial school voucher program.

Hearing on Hate Crimes
On Capitol Hill this week, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois convened a hearing on behalf of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights to look into domestic extremism and hate crimes. The hearing included survivors of the Oak Creek Temple shooting. Joining Welton this week is Amardeep Singh, co-founder and director of programs for the Sikh Coalition, to share what the coalition is doing to finally get hate crime statistics gathered – and addressed. Click here for extended interview video and transcript.

The Truth about White Working-Class America
This week, comments made by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a fundraiser have received lots of attention. Some commentators pounced, accusing Romney of dismissing nearly half the country. Others insisted Romney merely articulated a sad truth and that then-candidate Obama’s controversial comments describing some voters as “clinging to guns and religion” were equally damning. But a survey from Public Religion Research Institute released this week offers new insights into a frequently-stereotyped population, white working-class America (making up about 36% of us), finding some things that just might surprise you. Dr. Robert P. Jones, co-founder and CEO of Public Religion Research Institute, joins Welton to share the highlights of the new report: “Beyond Guns and God: Understanding the Complexities of the White Working Class in America.” Click here for extended interview video and transcript.

Vouching for Jindal in Louisiana’s Schools
On State of Belief, we’ve talked a lot about the unprecedented dismantling of Louisiana’s public education system through Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s broad school voucher program. But the effort in Louisiana, which funnels large amounts of tax dollars to overtly religious schools with little or no oversight, is widely seen as a national model for education reform. Zack Kopplin, a sophomore at Rice University in Houston, TX, and graduate of Louisiana public schools, is on the air with Welton this week to give us an update on Jindal’s folly – and offer some concrete strategies for pushing back. Click here for extended interview and transcript.

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