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In The Thick

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Journalists tell you what you’re missing from the mainstream news. Co-hosted by award-winning journalists Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela, IN THE THICK has the conversations about race, identity and politics few people are discussing or want to discuss.
Journalists tell you what you’re missing from the mainstream news. Co-hosted by award-winning journalists Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela, IN THE THICK has the conversations about race, identity and politics few people are discussing or want to discuss. << Show Less
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ITT Sound Off: Dystopian Adventure Julio and guest co-host Jamilah King, deputy inequality editor at BuzzFeed News, discuss the Brooklyn subway shooting and the calls for more policing in response. They also get into the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s purchase of a six million dollar mansion in California. And, they unpack the latest on COVID-19.

ITT Staff Picks:


Nick Pinto writes about the failure of aggressive policing to prevent potential tragedies like the Brooklyn subway shooting in this piece for The Intercept.
In this piece for NY Mag, journalist Sean Campbell dives deep into the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s purchase of a $6 million mansion in California.
For The Atlantic, Ed Yong documents the prolonged grief of those who’ve lost loved ones to COVID-19: “Every news story twisted the knife. Every surge salted the wound. Two years later, she is still inundated by her grief. ‘And now people are saying we can get back to normal,’ she told me. ‘What’s normal?’”


Photo credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File
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Highlight Clip of In The Thick Free the Vote In this clip, hosts Maria and Julio discuss giving Floria residents the right to vote again after committing a federal crime and serving time. The executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Desmond Meade joins them.
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ITT Sound Off: Dystopian Adventure Julio and guest co-host Jamilah King, deputy inequality editor at BuzzFeed News, discuss the Brooklyn subway shooting and the calls for more policing in response. They also get into the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s purchase of a six million dollar mansion in California. And, they unpack the latest on COVID-19.

ITT Staff Picks:


Nick Pinto writes about the failure of aggressive policing to prevent potential tragedies like the Brooklyn subway shooting in this piece for The Intercept.
In this piece for NY Mag, journalist Sean Campbell dives deep into the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s purchase of a $6 million mansion in California.
For The Atlantic, Ed Yong documents the prolonged grief of those who’ve lost loved ones to COVID-19: “Every news story twisted the knife. Every surge salted the wound. Two years later, she is still inundated by her grief. ‘And now people are saying we can get back to normal,’ she told me. ‘What’s normal?’”


Photo credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File
The Great Labor Injustice Maria and Julio are joined by Ai-jen Poo, co-founder and executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Pablo Alvarado, co-executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, to discuss labor organizing for essential workers. They get into the pandemic’s impact on informal economies, on-the-ground movements to protect low-wage workers, and what meaningful labor reforms would look like.

ITT Staff Picks:


Due to the caregiving crisis, Juanita Sharpe writes about having to choose between her career and caring for her aging mother in this column for Fortune.
For The American Prospect, Jon Hiatt lays out how organizations like the AFL-CIO can transform the Staten Island Amazon worker’s union success into a broader movement.
On worker dissatisfaction, Timothy Noah writes for The New Republic that “nothing much will be done to relieve this misery until unions become powerful enough to reshape the industries in which they reside.”


Photo credit: AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File
ITT Sound Off: An American Moment Maria and Julio talk about Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. They also get into the Oklahoma state legislature’s anti-abortion bill, and the dangerous repercussions of media language and framing around immigration.

ITT Staff Picks:


For The New York Times, reporter Linda Qiu spoke with Black women of the Harvard Black Law Students Association about what Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court means to them. 
Oklahoma’s abortion ban will have ripple effects throughout the country, with little hope that the Supreme Court will uphold Roe vs. Wade, reports Susan Rinkunas for Jezebel. 
“The vow to treat asylum-seekers with “dignity” was a broken campaign promise from Biden,” writes Julio in his latest piece for MSNBC. 


Photo credit: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
Two Years of COVID-19 Maria and Julio reflect on the last two years of the coronavirus pandemic with guests Umair Irfan, staff writer at Vox covering Covid-19 and climate change, and Kiera Butler, senior editor and public health reporter at Mother Jones. They discuss government response to the health crisis, the disproportionate impact on Black and brown communities and what we can expect next.

ITT Staff Picks:


For Vox, Umair Irfan dives into what is needed at a scientific research and policy level in order to spot the next pandemic virus.
Kiera Butler writes about what it means for the coronavirus to become an “endemic” disease in this piece for Mother Jones.
“The truth is that America’s battle with covid-19 has been more damaging than we like to think. And it is still ongoing,” writes Dhruv Khullar in this piece for The New Yorker.


Photo credit: AP Photo/Brittainy Newman, File
ITT Sound Off: Hoodwinked and Bamboozled Maria and Julio discuss the news of the Biden administration finally putting an end to Title 42, a Trump-era public health order. They also unpack the media’s coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the latest on the January 6 attempted coup.

ITT Staff Picks:


In this piece for Al Jazeera, Jihan Abdalla reports on how immigrant rights groups are reacting to the Biden administration’s indications that it will revoke Title 42 in the coming months.
“National security coverage largely relies on official and military sources that, like a man with a hammer who always sees a nail, are likely to favor intervention,” writes Mark Hannah, senior fellow at the Eurasia Group Foundation, for Foreign Policy.
Legal analyst Lisa Rubin explains how the January 6 committee ought to respond to a major gap in Donald Trump’s call logs in this piece for MSNBC.


Photo credit: AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib
Tough Guy Talk Maria and Julio are joined by Aisha Mills, political strategist and former host of “Amplified with Aisha” on the Black News Channel, and Dr. Jason Johnson, professor at the School of Global Journalism & Communication at Morgan State University and political contributor at MSNBC. They react to the 94th annual Academy Awards, including the controversy over Will Smith slapping Chris Rock. They also discuss the latest on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the state of independent journalism made by and for people of color.

ITT Staff Picks:


“There’s definitely nuance here, and something to be said about the use of physical force to defend Pinkett Smith and the inherent toxic masculinity in the act, but Smith’s actions do feel like solidarity,” writes Ineye Komonibo for Refinery29.
For Mother Jones, reporter Fernanda Echavarri dives into President Biden’s off-script remarks during his trip to Poland, and the reactions since.
Non-white students who have fled the war in Ukraine are being detained in closed facilities by EU border authorities, May Bulman and Nadine White report for The Independent.


Photo credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello
ITT Sound Off: Saving the Supreme Court Maria and Julio discuss the uncovered text messages between Mark Meadows and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife Ginni Thomas, revealing new efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. They also get into the latest news out of the war in Ukraine, and President Biden’s meeting abroad with world leaders. And, they unpack Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings.

ITT Staff Picks:


MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan makes the case for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, on violating ethics and being subject to conflicts of interest, in this opinion piece.
For The Atlantic, Tom McTague unpacks the NATO alliance, asking what they ultimately stand for and against, as President Biden travels to Europe to discuss the war in Ukraine.
On Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings, Elie Mystal writes in The Nation: “It was emotionally affecting to watch Jackson, a ridiculously accomplished Black woman, be forced to dance to the tune of these mediocre white senators who were trying to reduce her to a caricature.”


Photo credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Lights, Camera… ¡Acción! A Latino Take on the Oscars In The Thick presents an episode from our sister podcast, Latino USA. In this episode, Maria talks with Latino and Latina film critics Clayton Davis, Cristina Escobar, and Jack Rico about Latinos in film this past year. Ahead of Hollywood’s biggest night, they discuss the honors (and snubs) for Latino-led films this awards season. They also talk about the importance of diversity in criticism, and push the conversation past the topic of “representation” to envision a more inclusive future for Latinos in Hollywood and the film industry as a whole.

Subscribe to Latino USA for more episodes.

Photo Credit: Collage by Luis Luna (Photo credits: Walt Disney Pictures/Disney Animation Studios, Macall Polay/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP, 20th Century Studios, Amazon Studios)
ITT Sound Off: War Has No Logic Julio and Maria discuss Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to Congress, and the recent granting of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Afghan refugees. They also dive into the lack of accountability in the police shootings of Adam Toledo and Anthony Alvarez. And, they unpack the latest government spending bill, which cut funding for COVID-19 relief and prevention.

ITT Staff Picks:


Months after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Biden administration extended eligibility for temporary protected status to over 70,000 Afghan refugees in the country, reports Hamed Aleaziz for Buzzfeed News.
For Latino Rebels, senior editor Hector Luis Alamo writes about the announcement that no charges would be filed in the Chicago police killings of 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez.
“Older, disabled, poor, Black, or brown Americans, whose excess deaths were tolerated long before COVID, have borne the brunt of the pandemic, while privileged people have had the swiftest access to medical interventions—and have been quickest to declare the crisis over,” writes Ed Yong for The Atlantic.


Photo Credit: AP Photo/Felipe Dana
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