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The Futuro Media Group presents a new political podcast from the perspective of a changing America. Hosted by award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa, IN THE THICK will follow the election season and present new voices and points of view.




#79: Anti-Semitism Is the Core of White Nationalism

It's not just Charlottesville. Public acts of anti-Semitism are on the rise across the country, and they're directly linked to the rise in white nationalism. In order to understand the threat posed by white nationalism, we need to examine its anti-Semitic roots. Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion with Eric Ward, Executive Director of the Western State Center, and Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Executive Director of T’ruah, The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. Plus, a quick...

Duration: 00:28:30

#78: It's Not Activism, It's Journalism

Joy Reid, the host of AM Joy on MSNBC, has been called biased or even activist, but in the age of Trump, what do terms like that really mean? And do journalists of color have unique responsibilities to stand up right now? Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion with Joy Reid. Plus, a conversation about what's been missing in the coverage of Hurricane Irma.

Duration: 00:32:06

#77: The End of DACA

On Tuesday morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. No new DACA applications will be accepted, current DACA holders have one month to renew (under certain circumstances), and over the next 6 months, DACA will start to be phased out. Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela bring on comedian and actress Cristela Alonzo to process this news, and to think about how to possibly start moving forward.

Duration: 00:22:55

#76: Margaret Cho Solves Racism

Last week, the Arizona GOP used a picture of Margaret Cho and the cast from her 90’s TV show “All-American Girl” on its website, with the caption, “Asian Americans.” Let’s just say Cho wasn’t exactly happy about it, saying of the GOP, “They deserve a dodgeball to the face.” On this special end-of-summer episode of In The Thick, Cho joins Maria and Julio to talk about the current political climate, her new tour, her upcoming show on TNT, and how Asian-Americans fit into the racial dynamic...

Duration: 00:21:37

#75: White Supremacy Is an American Value

After Charlottesville, many have said something along the lines of, "This is un-American," or "This isn't what this country is all about." But White Supremacy isn't just a fringe movement. It's a founding principle of the U.S. Host Julio Ricardo Varela leads a discussion with Jamilah King, race and justice reporter at Mother Jones, and Chenjerai Kumanyika, professor at the Rutgers department of journalism and media studies. For more episodes, go to

Duration: 00:28:14

#41: Undercover With White Supremacists

After this weekend's violence at a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, In The Thick takes a look back at an episode we originally published in December, 2016. In this episode, hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela talk with Mike German, a former FBI agent who infiltrated the white supremacist movement. German talks about his experiences undercover, and how the media is missing the real story about white supremacy.

Duration: 00:39:39

#74: The Inner Workings of MS-13

MS-13, the Los Angeles-founded international gang, is all over the news. But why is President Trump drawing attention to MS-13 now? And what is it really like on the inside? Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion with former MS-13 member and current director of Homies Unidos Denver, Gerardo Lopez. Plus, a check-in with columnist Ruben Navarrette on the RAISE Act and affirmative action.

Duration: 00:30:30

#73: The Naivete of Hope

In this chaotic political moment, where does hope fit in? Should we be optimistic about our country’s possibilities for improvement? And does how you view the country depend on whether you're POC? Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion on this and more with journalist Jamil Smith, and Matthew Dowd, Chief Political Analyst for ABC News.

Duration: 00:23:23

#72: Will the Real Democrats Please Stand Up?

Under the Trump presidency, the Democrats have found themselves in a moment of truth. Will they embrace the populist wing led by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren? Or will they finally begin to represent their true, core base—communities of color? Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion on this and more with journalist Jane Coaston, and Vanessa Williams, staff writer for The Washington Post.

Duration: 00:27:39

#71: The Venezuelephant in the Room

Almost 100 people have died in near-daily protests against the Venezuelan government over the last few months. Still, in the U.S. we're only hearing a trickle of news, and when we do, the narratives are often overly simplistic. Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion about this complicated, long simmering conflict with Mariana Atencio, national correspondent for NBC News, and Juan Forero, South America Bureau Chief at the Wall Street Journal.

Duration: 00:27:01

#70: Nobody Puts Donald in a Corner

With his first major appearance alongside the most powerful world leaders at the G-20, how did President Trump do? How do other countries see the U.S. now that Trump is the president? And does "America First," really just mean "whiteness first?" Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion on this and more with Terrell Starr, senior reporter at Foxtrot Alpha, and Tarini Parti, Capitol Hill reporter for BuzzFeed News.

Duration: 00:25:02

#69: ITT Live: Immigrants, Crime, and the Culture War

How did immigration become about national security when the facts don’t back up this connection? And how do you respond to these accusations when the conversation isn’t about what’s true? When it’s about something deeper? In this live recording of In The Thick at the Aspen Ideas Festival, hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a conversation with Wajahat Ali, writer, video essayist, and contributor to the New York Times, and Jose Antonio Vargas, journalist, immigrant rights...

Duration: 00:38:28

#68: Fear Itself

Based on President Trump’s rhetoric with the wall and the Muslim ban, you would think that terrorism is a huge safety issue for the U.S. But how much of a danger does it really pose? Americans are much more scared of terrorism than they should be, and 24 hour cable news is a major reason why. Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion about this and more with Carlos Maza, video journalist for

Duration: 00:24:51

#67: Suspect Is a White Male

After the Virginia shooting, the media was quick to humanize the shooter, who was a white, male, Bernie supporter. Obviously, this isn’t how it always goes down. So, when is violence just about the action, and when is it about the identity of the perpetrator? And how much should identity and politics matter when it comes to violence? Host Julio Ricardo Varela leads a discussion on this and more with Farah Stockman, reporter for the New York Times and Marcela Garcia, editorial writer for...

Duration: 00:30:12

#67: Can Puerto Rico Beat the System?

#67: Can Puerto Rico Beat the System? Puerto Rico voted overwhelmingly for Statehood on Sunday, but with only 23% turnout. Many Puerto Ricans boycotted the vote because they continue to be overlooked by the U.S. government. So, what’s the best way forward? Working within the system? Or breaking it? Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion with Sandra Lilley, Managing Editor of NBC Latino, and Frances Robles, reporter for the New York Times.

Duration: 00:28:11

ITT FYI: The Comey Hearing

Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday morning, and we couldn't wait until our normal Tuesday drop date. For this In The Thick FYI, Maria and Julio called up Tarini Parti, Capitol Hill reporter for Buzzfeed News to get an update on the unfolding situation in DC.

Duration: 00:08:15

#65: Environmental Racism

The decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement has major implications for the entire world, but President Trump’s choice reflects a deeper, largely unseen problem -- how environmental issues disproportionately affect communities of color in the U.S. Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion on this and more with Terrell Starr, senior reporter at Foxtrot Alpha and Tara Houska, National Campaigns Director for Honor the Earth.

Duration: 00:29:53

#64: Texas Immigration Battle Goes National

Demonstrators filled the Texas House of Representatives on Monday to protest Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB4), which Governor Abbott signed into law earlier this month. The law bans sanctuary cities in Texas, and it gives police officers broad authority to question people’s immigration status. The protest escalated to the point that two state representatives each claimed their lives were threatened by the other. What does this law actually allow police to do, why is it provoking such outrage...

Duration: 00:21:02

#63: Intelligence Failures

News about the FBI has been accelerating over the last week, but there’s still so much we don’t know. Who is responsible for the intelligence failures, the Trump administration, the FBI, or someone else entirely? And how should we judge the last few weeks stand when considering the history of the FBI? Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion with former FBI agent Mike German. Plus, a check-in with Wajahat Ali about the terror attack in Manchester and President...

Duration: 00:30:30

BONUS: ITT Live - Latino, Chicano, Tejano, Who Decides?

Leading up to the 2016 election, we heard so much about the "sleeping giant" of the Latino vote. So, did the giant wake up? And, more broadly, what does the term Latino mean today to a community that is so diverse? Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion on this and more with Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, professor at the University of Texas and Ray Salazar, teacher and journalist based in Chicago.

Duration: 00:20:56

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