Leaked: The Internet must go!

Hey! Are you on the internet right now? Of course you are! Then you should definitely check out this amazing video about what the internet companies are planning. This move could hurt both consumers and content creators--but of course would be a huge windfall for internet providers.

How weathly are Americans?

The disparity in wealth between the richest one percent of Americans and the bottom 80 percent has grown exponentially over the last thirty years — but the video, posted by user politizane and relying on data from a popular Mother Jones post, focuses on the difference between the ideal disparity that Americans would like to see and the reality.

Tax the Rich

So long! It's been fun.

Dear listeners,

In July 2011 I started a new job teaching Italian at Kansas State University. In some ways this was a return to my roots, as I taught English as a Foreign Language for 17 years in Italy. Now I am teaching English speakers Italian. I've come full circle.

This coming full circle also means the end of an attempt on my part to start a new career in my 50s. Sadly, as much as I tried to bring community radio to Manhattan, I was not successful. So I have decided to dedicate my energy and time to my first love, being an educator.

The archive of my shows will remain active - there's a lot of great content in the shows. So I hope you continue to listen and enjoy them.

Once again thank you for your support and encouragement over the five years the show was on the air. I know many feel that my program needs to be on the air and I agree with you that a diversity of voices is sorely lacking in the local media. But alas, it is not I who will bring that diversity. It will have to be someone else.

Christopher E. Renner

16 October 2007

The 1987 March on Washington Twenty Years Later

by Christopher E. Renner

20 years ago today (11 October) I stood on the corner of Pennsylvania and 15th Streets in Washington directing the human traffic that flowed by for three and a half hours. Over 300,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people and their allies march passed me during the course of those hours. My role was to be a peace keeper - to keep the marchers moving and standing between any counter-protesters that might show up. Only one did - yelling that we “were wrong,” he threw himself into the marchers pushing me to the ground. He brought the march to a stop - he looked at thousands of people looking back at him. Dumbfounded, he turned and walked away. That was the only reported event of violence against the marchers along the route the entire day.

Many of the marchers, like myself, were angry over the government's slow and inadequate response to the AIDS crisis - President Reagan had refused to even say the word in public - as well as the Supreme Court's 1986 decision to uphold sodomy laws in Bowers v. Hardwick. A decision the court would overturn 14 years later in Lawrence v. Texas.

As the last marchers came by, we peace keepers joined the rear of the march and when we arrived on the National Mall we were greet by over 500,000 people. Today researchers put the number at closer to 650,000 people, even if the New York Times had repeatedly reported that only 200,000 people had shown up. Today the 1987 March is considered the largest civil rights march in the history of the US.

In a foreshadowing of more recent protests, the day before the March, an estimated 2,000 Gay and Lesbian couples exchanged marriage vows in front of the Internal Revenue Service. On the Monday after the March, more than 600 protesters were arrested at the US Supreme Court protesting the 1986 Hardwick Decision, making it the largest act of civil disobedience since the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations.

1987 had been a watershed for me. I had spent the summer attending graduated school and traveling North American with Italian friends the months of August and September. Landing in Washington a week before the march, I walked into the March’s offices and said: “I here, put me to work.” People were just amazed that someone would come from Italy to work on the March. In the next few days, more and more of us showed up at the office door. We were there to create change.

The 1987 March was the first time the NAMES Project quilt was displayed. It succeeded in bringing national attention to the impact of AIDS on gay communities. In the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, and a president who pretended that as long as gay people, and people from Haiti and hemophiliacs were dying, it was okay; a tapestry of nearly two thousand fabric panels offered a powerful tribute to the lives of some of those who had been lost in the pandemic.

I had lost my first friends in 1986 to AIDS. The first to died was Jack Jacknick, who died on my 30th birthday. By the time the march took place I had lost ten friends. I was angry, extremely angry. In my backpack were three quit panels I had made while I was at my childhood home in Beattie before the March. I had heard about this effort to make a quilt to memorialize people who had died, since so many had died alone, as we, the most industrialized, richest nation on earth, reacted with fear and ignorance to the health crisis unfolding before our eyes.

I listened to Jessie Jackson make an impassioned speech on the need for human rights and medical care for the poor. Looked for friends, who I never found -- how do you find anyone in 500,000 people? Toward the late afternoon, I began working towards the west end of the Mall, to the place the Name Project Quilt was displayed.

Entering the display was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. It was too personal; too filled with pain; too emotionally wrenching for me to describe it words. As I looked at the panels, sadness filled me; then tears filled my eyes. I looked at memorials made by friends, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, life partners and teachers. They gave the crisis a human face, a face that haunts me to this day. How could so many Americans died what was a truly horrific death and our government pretend they didn’t exist?

As I walked though the NAMES Project display, it brought to my mind the memories of a holocaust survivor I had read in his memoir: The Men with the Pink Triangle. No single book has had more of an effect on my life than that book. It forever changed how I see the world and government. As I looked at the quite crowd walking through the display, I saw survivors of a new holocaust.

Twenty years later the AIDS crisis has killed all but three of the gay friends I had alive in 1987. As a nation, we still fail to publicly hold our government accountable for the disinformation and inaction of the Reagan and Bush administrations. Moreover, young people are more at risk of contracting HIV today than they were in 1987. We have failed to provide comprehensive health education to those who need it the most. Young people walk into their early 20s without the knowledge they need to save their own lives.

Twenty years later, much has changed and much has not. AIDS no longer is the emotional issue it was in 1987. The human rights movement for LGBT equality has been high-jacked by those pushing the assimilationist agenda of “married respectability” while issues of racism, classism and ablism go unchecked in most of the LGBT community. Yes sodomy is no longer a crime, but in Kansas the statute is still on the law books and gay males are still harassed by the police. Lesbian women and their relationships are belittled by the mainstream media as nothing more than sexual fantasies for heterosexual males. Since after all, male heterosexuals are what it’s all about, right?

So twenty years later I am still waiting for the most basic of rights: freedom from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations, which is why I marched twenty years ago and why I continue to fight.

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