Sunday, March 30, 2008

March 30th Installment of Forward Forum

by: Harry Waisbren

Both John and I are very excited for tonight's show, which we hope will be a thoughtful, mature and authentic panel discussion about the role that race, gender and religion are playing in the presidential campaign.

We'll be seeking common ground and placing into historical context recent events in ways that seek to recapture the excitement that so many have felt about the current campaign, despite recent events that seem to have left us mired in divisiveness and politics-as-usual. We believe, as do our panelists, that we can transcend these dynamics, and realize the potential of the politics of a new movement sweeping this country. However, before we can do that, we need to move beyond denial and demagoguery to an authentic national discussion about these issues that are central to our lives.

Our guests include:

  • The Rev. Gregory Armstrong, pastor at S.S. Morris African American Episcopal Church, and president of the Madison Urban Ministry;
  • UW-Madison Graduate Student Amy Tully, now in her third year pursuing a doctorate in Communications Arts, with an emphasis in Rhetoric;
  • The Rev. Phil Haslanger, recently ordained minister, serving at Fitchburg's Memorial United Church of Christ, who has a 30 plus year history as a contributing editor to the Capital Times; and
  • Community Leader Abha Thakkar, longtime Madison community organizer and cultural competency trainer, director of the internationally-based Books of Hope project, and 2006 recipient of the Wisconsin Community Fund's Social Justice Visionary Award.

On this week's show, we try to move beyond the hype, and to lower the volume, as we examine the sermons of Rev. Wright in the context of the historical and rhetorical traditions of the Black pulpit, and by letting you the listener hear for yourselves the almost-never-reported full context of his messages, beyond the soundbytes. And we look at how decades-old tactics by her far right wing critics to make Hillary Clinton into a polarizing figure have been uncritically perpetuated by the mainstream media--and how this reflects America's remaining ambivalent and impossible-to-satisfy expectations for women in positions in power.

No comments: