Freakonomics Radio

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A New Film Celebrates the Life & Legacy of Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier died earlier this year at the age of 94. In the new Apple TV film SIDNEY, he is remembered as a beloved actor, filmmaker and so much more by those that knew him best. We hear from producer Derik Murray about the film.

Congresswoman-elect Sydney Kamlager on New Beginnings

Congresswoman-Elect Sydney Kamlager joins us to discuss her win for the 37th Congressional District seat in California. The seat was vacated by former Congresswoman Karen Bass who is now the first Black Woman elected to serve as the mayor of Los Angeles. Kamlager discusses what it’s like to be a new kid on the block in Congress and her hopes and visions for her tenure in the U.S. Congress.

The Takeaway's 2022 Music Wrap Up

Spotify Wrapped and Apple Music Replays are out, which means the music that dominated 2022 is on everybody’s minds. From Harry Styles to Beyonce to Bad Bunny, this year was massive for pop music in particular. We decided to take a quick look at these wrap ups with Reanna Cruz, producer for Vulture’s Switched on Pop podcast.

Didn't We Do This Already? Same-Sex Marriage.

On Tuesday, in a rare bipartisan vote, the US Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act. But you might be wondering... I thought same-sex marriage and interracial marriage were already a thing? Our host, Melissa Harris-Perry, speaks with Human Rights Campaign Kelley Robinson about Congress' swift action to have meaningful bi-partisan cooperation on same-sex marriage.

Brittney Griner is Being Held in the 'Land of Prison'

In February, one week before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, American Basketball star Britney Griner was arrested after Russian customs officials said they found vape cartridges that contained a small amount of cannabis oil in her luggage. Now, the WNBA star and Olympic Gold Medalist is in one of Russia's IK-2 penal colonies, a labor camp that has been described as inhumane, where people are forced to work 16-hour days and beaten regularly. The specifics of Griner’s conditions are still unknown.   Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation and author of The Kaepernick Effect, spoke with us about why we can't forget Brittney Griner's arrest and Russia's hostage diplomacy.

Florida's Trans Care Ban is Rooted in Disinformation

This month, the Florida Board of Medicine voted to ban gender-affirming care for many transgender youth. The ban prevents minors who were not already receiving care from beginning treatment such as hormones or puberty blockers. It’s the first such rule from a state medical board, but it may not be the last. The rule flies in the face of scientifically-backed guidelines established over years by The World Professional Association for Transgender Health and recommendations from accredited medical groups such as the American Medical Association. Physicians who study or provide gender-affirming healthcare have noted the ban is based on flawed research and misinterpretation, and influenced by disinformation narratives pushed by the right-wing. And this disinformation has seeped into all facets of the public discourse about transgender care and identity. We speak with Dr. Meredithe McNamara, an adolescent medicine physician and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine, who testified against the Florida ban at a recent public meeting; and Alberto Cairo, the Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the University of Miami in Florida, and whose son has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

Tuvalu is Uploading Itself to The Metaverse––Here's Why

Tuvalu is facing the climate crisis in a brand-new way. Their government has accepted that the island’s land mass is in a critical state due to climate change and rising sea levels and are making plans for the future. In order to protect the cultural memory and legacy of Tuvalu, their government has announced that they will be digitizing the island in the Metaverse as a means of maintaining their sovereignty, even if the physical land of the island becomes uninhabitable. To understand the reasons behind this move, Minister Simon Kofe, Tuvalu’s Minister for Justice, Communication & Foreign Affairs, joins The Takeaway.

Allyship in the Wake of the Club Q Shooting

A little more than a week ago a gunman entered Club Q- an LGBTQ  nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He opened fire, killing five people and injuring almost two dozen others. The shock, grief, and horror from this violence extended far beyond the city. Across the nation, local communities organized vigils of remembrance for the lives taken too soon. Hundreds gathered in distant Palm Springs to say the names of those murdered in Club Q. For so many, the attack on Club Q recalls the brutal mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where a gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 50 others. More than 6 years later, the shock, the confusion and loss is still almost unfathomable. In this country, LGBTQ people are nearly four times more likely to experience violence than non-LGBTQ people. And 2021 was the deadliest year for transgender and gender nonconforming people since the Human Rights Campaign began keeping count in 2013. And then there is the legislative violence. An NPR analysis shows that over the past two years, “state lawmakers introduced at least 306 bills targeting trans people –  more than in any previous period.”  But for all the grief and vulnerability, there is something else: a discernible shift in openness and a public landscape that looks and feels different in ways that are tangible.   In 1973, when an arsonist set a deadly fire set to the staircase of the Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans, 32 people who were trapped inside were killed. At the time It was the largest massacre of queer people in U.S. history. Media did not respond with outrage. The community did not respond with public vigils. No one was ever charged in the attack. Churches refused to bury the victims’ bodies. And some victim’s bodies went unclaimed by families who were too ashamed to be associated with their gay loved ones. This time, when a gunman stormed into ClubQ, he was ultimately taken down by patrons in the club, including cis-gender male veteran Richard Fierro. Richard was enjoying a drag show with his wife, his daughter and friends. He and others put themselves in harm's way to protect those in Club Q. For decades Colorado Springs has been the unofficial seat of Christian conservatives in America; home to the influential Focus on the Family, major megachurches, and a center for evangelical Christians. These are some of the groups that have targeted the LGBTQ community with policies of exclusion.  Now as the yet another queer community faces violence, it is not faced alone, as many stand in open embrace, solidarity and willingly shared vulnerability. For more on this we spoke with Nadine Bridges, executive director of One Colorado, a Colorado-based LGBTQ advocacy organization.