BlackBox Radio

February 6, 2006

BlackBox Radio for Feb 7th, 2006

Filed under: Weekly Show — blackboxradio @ 11:33 pm

Listen to the show: lower quality | high quality

On this week’s show: Andrea Smith, author of Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide, discusses the efforts of Native American boarding school survivors to find justice, as well organizing strategies for women and people of color. And a piece produced by Active Voices Radio: an interview with historian James Loewen about the existence of all-white ‘Sundown Towns’ in the United States. Plus, the following local, national, and international headlines:

Local Headlines:
African American Students File Complaint Against U-M
Ann Arbor City Council Proposal to Protect Public Breastfeeding
Ballot Iniative Seeks to Eliminate Michigan Senate

National and International Headlines:
Scientist’s Research on Climate Change Censored by NASA
Bush Threatens Iran in State of Union Address
More Flu Strains Resistant to Medication


Local Headlines

A group of 13 African-American students, known as the Coalition for Action Against Racism and Discrimination, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of civil Rights. They claim that the University of Michigan demoralizes and abuses its
black graduate students by telling them they are not PhD bound and recommending that they leave after achieving their master’s. The Coalition also claims that undergraduates are misguided, segregated and alienated within the University, which accepts black students solely to raise enrollment statistics and does not give the financial or academic support needed to graduate. University officials have contacted the Coalition, claiming that they are addressing their concerns.


Last week, BlackBox reported on the ‘nurse-in’ protest against the YMCA’s policy on breastfeeding. Currently, the Ann Arbor Y does not allow women to breastfeed their infants in the pool area, and this policy has drawn heated opposition from local mothers
and community members. YMCA Executive Director Cathi Duchon has said the YMCA will not be pressured into changing its policy.

The debate is now headed to the floor of the Ann Arbor city council. Last week, Council Member Joan Lowenstein introduced resolutions stating that women should be able to breastfeed anywhere in public.

According to the Ann Arbor News, Lowenstein said a city ordinance on breastfeeding is necessary because state law on this issue is unclear. She said passing the resolution would make it clear to police that breastfeeding can’t be considered indecent exposure even if a complaint is made.

Lowenstein has also proposed a second resolution that would amend the city’s non-discrimination ordinance to include breastfeeding mothers.


Unicameral Michigan—an initiative formed in Hastings, Michigan, started its signature collecting campaign for its ballot proposal to abolish the state’s bicameral legislature. The organization claims that a one-chamber Legislature would save taxpayers money, make it more efficient, and lead to more open proceedings. Switching to a unicameral system means eradicating the Michigan Senate, which Unicameral Michigan claims is a clone of the Michigan house, having the same responsibilities.
The organization estimates that the state would save over $50 million if the ballot initiative passes in this coming election, making Michigan the second state to adopt a Unicameral system like Nebraska’s. Bipartisan opposition to the initiative claim that doing away with the Senate would do away with the system of checks and balances and have a detrimental effect of the democratic process. Unicameral Michigan needs 317,000 legitimate signatures in order to have the proposal on the November ballot.


National and International Headlines:

A leading authority on global climate change claims that he is being censored by NASA officials due to remarks made regarding America’s ability to curtail greenhouse gas emissions.
On December 6, James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, gave a speech in which he called for policy makers to recognize that current technology is sufficient to lessen the amount of greenhouse gasses being put into the atmosphere and that action needs to be taken immediately. Hansen claims, in a January 30th New York Times column that NASA officials have begun keeping members of the media from interviewing him and reviewing all of his pending published material.
The censorship of Dr. Hansen and other NASA scientists is raising concerns that the space agency is engaged in an active campaign to censor scientific research with political implications.


In last Tuesday’s State of the Union address, George W. Bush verbally attacked Iran, saying that it was “now held hostage by a small clerical elite.” He warned that unless Iran’s government cooperated with demands set out by certain Western
governments, most prominently the United States, regarding their nuclear power program, America would deal with what Mr. Bush called “these threats”. Iranian officials maintain that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful in nature and is not breaking Non-Proliferation
Treaty regulations.
Mr. Bush also took time to address Hamas, the leading political party in Palestine’s recently elected parliament, saying that it needs to “recognize Israel, disarm, reject terrorism, and work for lasting peace”. On January 30th Secretary of State Condoleeza
Rice declared that the Hamas-led Palestian Authority will likely not receive aid from the United States based on its political stance.


Researchers have documented a dramatic increase in flu strains resistant to popularly prescribed drugs. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows a nine percent jump since 2004 in strains that show signs of resistance to at least one of the two most regularly prescribed flu medications.
These findings have caused alarm in the medical community and the researchers have called for a moratorium on the prescription of these drugs. Unnecessary prescriptions and misuse are being blamed for this increase in the virus’s resistance.



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