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Us and Them

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United States

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English

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Episodes

The Church Lady

8/1/2018
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Are America’s schools hostile to religion? There’s been a tussle over this issue since the early 60s, when the Supreme Court ruled that prayer and school-sponsored Bible reading were unconstitutional. Since then, evangelical Christians have claimed that God and religion have all but been driven out of education and secular Americans, concerned about blurring the wall between church and state, have been vigilant over any erosion of that separation. The fact is religion has been a part of...

Duration:00:31:05

Gentrification (or that Kumbaya moment)

7/18/2018
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Things have changed in the old neighborhood. There are cool little restaurants and cafes, funky little shops and a vibrant art and music scene. On one side, you have the newcomers— people who came here to open new businesses and live in this trendy neighborhood. On the other side you have the old guard — the people who grew up here, before it was trendy, and have been watching the place they call home rapidly dissolve all around them. For this episode of the Us & Them, we look at the...

Duration:00:37:45

The Elephant in the Classroom

7/4/2018
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Hey, it’s Independence Day - the official birth of our nation! Watching fireworks on July 4th may be as close as some of us get to expressing a shared love of country with fellow citizens. As you very well know, there is a great deal of polarization in our nation. To work through many of our differences, we have to do more than just stand next to each other on patriotic holidays. In the spirit of celebrating our country’s founding and with the hope of encouraging the bridging of some of...

Duration:00:34:48

Housing in Paradise

6/20/2018
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Places like Lake Tahoe, Nantucket and Colorado ski country are playgrounds for the wealthy. To make the playground run smoothly, there’s a dire need for people to cook food, bus tables, clean rooms, mow lawns, manicure golf courses and operate ski lifts. It all works well until those same workers don’t have a place to lay their heads at night. For this episode, Trey speaks with a few journalists across the country, who’ve been reporting about a shortage of affordable living accommodations...

Duration:00:33:12

Revisiting the Grand Palace

6/6/2018
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Trey Kay has observed how things have changed significantly for LGBTQ people where he lives in New York. But he’s not sure if anything’s changed in a more conservative place like West Virginia, where he grew up. A recent Pew survey shows that more than half of West Virginians believe the Bible is the literal word of God. An even higher percentage of Mountain State residents think homosexuality should be discouraged. Trey went back home to visit some old friends, and to see what it’s like...

Duration:00:39:33

Love, the Ayatollah, and Revolution

5/23/2018
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America and Iran used to be close allies, but since the Iranian Revolution began in 1979, the relationship has been akin to a bad divorce. After President Trump’s announcement to pull the U.S. out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, cable news has been abuzz with political pundits and foreign policy scholars reacting to the latest chapter of the tortured relationship. But there are Iranian and American love stories that have worked out. Trey’s friend Essi Zahedi risked life and limb to flee his...

Duration:00:28:51

Touching the Third Rail with Katharine Hayhoe

5/9/2018
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In today’s culturally polarized society, discussing whether the planet is warming and if humans have an impact on the climate is a topic that’s often avoided. Why? Because speaking about it can be akin to touching the “third rail” of religion and politics. Us & Them’s Trey Kay speaks with a person whose professional and personal lives revolve around the highly charged topic of climate change. Katharine Hayhoe is a respected climate scientist, as well as a devoted evangelical Christian –...

Duration:00:37:11

Heroin: N'ganga Dimitri

4/25/2018
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As the United States works through what the American Medical Association describes as “the worst drug addiction epidemic in its history,” we revisit the story of Dimitri. This former junkie was delivered from a 27-year heroin addiction by a controversial treatment that seems to work miracles for people addicted to opioids. Since kicking the habit, he’s been an evangelist to other junkies, spreading the good news about the wondrous drug that instantly cured him.

Duration:00:35:27

Under the Microscope: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

4/11/2018
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Back in 2015, we aired an episode called “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is” that didn’t go over so well with a bunch of our listeners. We received messages saying that Trey mishandled a conversation between a physicist who defends climate science and a former public school teacher who’s an evolution skeptic. With the hope of finding a better way around the culture war aspects of science debates, we’re putting that episode (and ourselves) under the microscope.

Duration:00:33:48

EXTRA CUTS: My Friend From Camp

4/5/2018
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As promised, we are posting some additional segments from our last episode, My Friend From Camp that we just couldn’t fit in. If you haven’t heard that episode yet, by all means, head over to your Us and Them feed and have a listen to that one first. These segments will make a whole lot more sense once you’ve heard the full episode. Former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg about the meaning of the term jihad. Former Guantanamo MP Albert Melise explains why he wanted to re-enlist and go...

Duration:00:15:12

My Friend From Camp

3/29/2018
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Moazzam Begg, a British citizen of Pakistani heritage, and Albert Melise, a former housing police officer in the Boston area, were unlikely to have their life stories intersect and become friends; but then September 11 happened. After the Bush Administration launched the War on Terror, Begg was detained and held at the U.S. Detention Camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Melise was a Gitmo guard. You can’t get much more Us & Them than that.

Duration:00:55:52

A Suburb of Hell

3/15/2018
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For a little more than a century, there’s been at least one concentration camp somewhere on earth. The fact that camps still exist and that humans can justify forcing other humans into such inhumane living conditions is the “us and them” dynamic taken to the most vile extreme. For this episode, Trey interviews journalist Andrea Pitzer, author of One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps. She says that the legacy of camps started in Cuba and continues there to this day.

Duration:00:31:42

The Black Talk

2/28/2018
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How old were you when you first learned that police may think of you as a threat? You’ve never been told that? Chances are you’re not African American. In this episode, Trey Kay examines “The Black Talk,” which is the sober conversation that many black families have with their teenage kids – particularly teenage boys – about how they should conduct themselves when stopped by the police. Spoiler alert: Black parents, like any parent, want their kids to come home alive.

Duration:00:40:01

The "Talk"

2/14/2018
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Despite all the fuss about sex education in America, students get precious little of it. Jonathan Zimmerman, an education historian, tells Trey how Americans spend more time arguing about what kids should learn about human sexuality in schools than they actually do teaching anything about it.

Duration:00:45:05

Trapped on the Turnpike

1/31/2018
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On Friday, January 22nd, 2016, I was in New York City preparing to head to West Virginia. So was a blizzard called Jonas. The blizzard that took the East Coast by storm hadn’t hit by the time I rolled into in Harrisburg, PA. I was assured by meteorologists that I shouldn’t try driving down I-79 to Charleston, but that I could make it to Pittsburgh without encountering snow. This podcast tracks my experience on the Pennsylvania Turnpike between the Bedford and Somerset exits, and the...

Duration:00:31:49

Panhandlers: To Give Or Not to Give?

1/17/2018
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What do you do when a panhandler hits you up for some money? Whatever your answer is, what experiences or facts inform your policy for giving or not giving? People have strong opinions on this. With this episode we try to separate the facts, suppositions and ideology.

Duration:00:32:28

A New Year, A Reprise, Amazing Grace

1/3/2018
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Everyone knows the song "Amazing Grace." People who don’t even consider themselves spiritual or religious find it meaningful. And while John Newton penned the hymn to connect with Christians, it has transcended religion and become a folk song and an anthem for civil rights. But the origins of the song are just a bit more complicated...

Duration:00:27:57

Feminism Is The Word

12/20/2017
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Merriam-Webster declared that the word for 2017 is 'feminism.' The term was the most-looked-up on their online dictionary, and there were 70% more searches for the word this year than in 2016. Trey feels this couldn’t be more timely because this year, he’s seen women effecting a change in the balance of power in ways that he’s never experienced before. In a way, he sees the whole thing like an earthquake that’s been a long time in coming. He’s trying to wrap his mind around what the New...

Duration:00:37:03

His Name's DJ

12/6/2017
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We revisit the story of “Steve,” a young New Hampshire man that we met back in the spring of 2016. In our episode called “The Changing Face of Heroin,” we followed him and his father as he reported for the last visit of a court ordered drug rehab program. As you can imagine, kicking a powerful opioid habit isn’t easy, but in many ways our guy remained committed to the program. Sometimes, it was nearly impossible and during those times the strain on his family and loved ones was immense....

Duration:00:35:50

Killing James Means

11/20/2017
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On November 21, 2016, William Pulliam, a 62-year-old white man, shot James Means, a 15-year-old African-American boy, after the two had an argument outside of a Dollar General Store in Charleston, WV. The shooting conjured memories of the death of Trayvon Martin after it was reported that in his confession, Pulliam told police, “The way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off of the street.” In this episode, Us & Them host Trey Kay works to understand who are Means and Pulliam, but...

Duration:00:27:08