Coming up on Connections: Tuesday, December 27th

Dec 26, 2016

Credit NPR

First hour: Teaching redlining in schools

Second hour: Star Wars and the controversies over race and politics

When you were in school, did you learn about redlining? Did you learn about our American history of housing discrimination, and how deeply it hurt people and families of color? Many schools still don't teach this. A local teacher recently wrote to Connections, saying, "Frankly I don't think people know the history of segregation in Rochester from redlining, to zoning codes, to housing covenants, to the (1975 U.S. Supreme Court’s 5 – 4 decision) in favor of Penfield's blatantly discriminatory housing policies in Warth v Seldin."  And so this teacher decided to create a unit for his students to explain it. We'll sit down with Shane Wiegand, a Rush-Henrietta teacher, about how he teaches this subject, and how his students of all backgrounds react to it.

In our second hour: Another Star Wars film, another protest, another round of allegations from white supremacists that the film is anti-white. What's the evidence? Why, the film's heroes include an empowered white woman, alongside men of color. And the film's villains are primarily white men. On top of that, some viewers detect political overtones. Well, here's one point that's not debatable: Hollywood has disproportionately featured white men for years. Star Wars happens to prize diversity and female leads. What does it say about us that there is a boycott movement, or that the boycott movement is largely a failure? Our guests, all of them Stars Wars super fans, will discuss all of that and more:

  • Tiffany Starpoli, broadcast producer and director, and Star Wars fan since 1980
  • Eric Stevens, pop culture writer, Star Wars fan, and host of a Comic Con panel called “Stop Taking My Hand: The Role of Women in Nerd Media”
  • Willis Brooks, PR rep at Entercom, aspiring actor, and Star Wars fan