Tag Archives: urban communities

Podcast – Local Edge Radio with Greg Dworkin and Vonciel

Sadly, Blake Butler has left Local Edge Radio. Vonciel is holding down the fort. She asked me to co-host. I invited a couple of my friends to call in. I’m ecstatic that Greg Dworkin, pediatrician and Newtown, Connecticut resident, called in. We talked about gun violence. We talked about how gun violence is different in rural communities, where the violence is mainly suicides, versus urban communities, which suffer from homicide gun violence. One of the things that Greg stressed was that we need to begin to seriously address the problems with registration of guns. He mentioned that even cars are registered. Even if you buy a car from a private person, that car is registered by the state. Why can’t we do the same for guns? This is the question of gun control. We need to have a thoughtful, intelligent conversation that respects the rights of hunters and gun owners, yet recognizes that we have a problem. We need to write our senators. We need to keep the pressure on.

I would like to thank Greg Dworkin, MD for coming on Local Edge Radio on such short notice.

Michelle Obama, Mom-in-Chief

michelle_obama_inauguralNo one could tell this story better than Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a mother and associate professor at Princeton. Michelle Obama’s greatness (yes, I said greatness) lies in her ability not to outshine her husband, Barack. She is easily as bright, if not brighter, than Barack is. Yet she has held back. Think of the uproar that would occur if Michelle Obama began to take the lead on any issue. The Right would go nuts.

From The Nation:

With Mother’s Day approaching I want think about Michelle Obama’s assertion that her primary role as First Lady is “Mom-in-Chief.”

Many progressive feminists were distressed with Michelle’s assertion of motherhood as her primary role. They hoped she would seek a more aggressive policy agenda. After all Michelle Obama is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. She spent her career as an effective advocate for urban communities in their fraught relationship with powerful institutions. She is smart, capable, and independent. She maintained her own career and ambitions throughout Barack’s early political career and even during his election to the U.S. Senate.

Truth is, some of us who were in the orbit of the Obamas ten years ago believed Michelle, not Barack, was the real star of the couple. So while I don’t think anyone expected her to commute to a 9-to-5 job in D.C; many hoped that she would take on an independent political role in the Obama administration.

Instead, Michelle has crafted a more traditional role for herself. She is highly visible, but she has taken on relatively safe issues like childhood literacy, advocacy for women and girls, and support of military families. Even her White House garden is framed more as an initiative for healthy eating and quality family meals than as a statement of commitment to local foods as an effort against global climate change. (more… )