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Rank #26 in Documentary category

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Documentary

The United States of Anxiety

Updated 10 days ago

Rank #26 in Documentary category

Society & Culture
News
Politics
Documentary
Read more

The United States of Anxiety: The United States of Anxiety is a show about the unfinished business of our history and its grip on our future. Many of the political and social arguments we’re having now started in the aftermath of the Civil War, when Americans set out to do something no one had tried before: build the world’s first multiracial democracy. The podcast gives voters the context to understand what’s at stake in this election. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other great podcasts including Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, and On the Media.

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The United States of Anxiety: The United States of Anxiety is a show about the unfinished business of our history and its grip on our future. Many of the political and social arguments we’re having now started in the aftermath of the Civil War, when Americans set out to do something no one had tried before: build the world’s first multiracial democracy. The podcast gives voters the context to understand what’s at stake in this election. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other great podcasts including Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, and On the Media.

iTunes Ratings

373 Ratings
Average Ratings
305
35
11
5
17

It’s back, finally!

By jspeyton - Sep 26 2018
Read more
It’s just as good as always.

More Please

By Chris near Canada - Jun 09 2018
Read more
Keep telling the People’s Stories! I really liked how the second season evolved

iTunes Ratings

373 Ratings
Average Ratings
305
35
11
5
17

It’s back, finally!

By jspeyton - Sep 26 2018
Read more
It’s just as good as always.

More Please

By Chris near Canada - Jun 09 2018
Read more
Keep telling the People’s Stories! I really liked how the second season evolved
Cover image of The United States of Anxiety

The United States of Anxiety

Latest release on Jan 16, 2020

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The United States of Anxiety: The United States of Anxiety is a show about the unfinished business of our history and its grip on our future. Many of the political and social arguments we’re having now started in the aftermath of the Civil War, when Americans set out to do something no one had tried before: build the world’s first multiracial democracy. The podcast gives voters the context to understand what’s at stake in this election. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other great podcasts including Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, and On the Media.

Rank #1: Episode 3: This Land Is My Land, That Land Is Your Land

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Tom McCarthy, a retired NYPD detective and lifelong Long Island resident, has spent much of his adult life straddling two very different worlds. Each day he would leave the calm of his suburban community to patrol the notorious Queensbridge housing projects. This was in 1989, at the height of the crack epidemic, and what Tom saw in New York's public housing felt worlds away from his suburban Eden.

But now, the line that once separated Tom’s home from his work feels like it's dissipating. It's exemplified by leafy Suffolk County leading all of New York state in heroin overdose deaths last year.

What's brought about this change in the suburbs? For many, the problems seem to stem not from within, but from the outside, coming over our southern border. Donald Trump has repeatedly bemoaned the crime and drugs that he says Mexican immigrants who are here illegally are bringing into the United States. He has said he'll deport this population and send them to "the back of the line."

But of all the controversial things the Republican nominee has said, sending immigrants here illegally to the back of the line is actually quite mainstream. In fact, it's been advocated by both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The idea projects order, fairness and a sense of fairness. There's only one problem, according to Celinda Lake, a Democratic strategist who helped to workshop "the back of the line" phrase in the early-2000's: the line doesn't exist, leaving the country's immigration process a hopeless hall of mirrors for people trying to do the right thing and enter the country legally.

Episode Contributors:

Arun Venugopal

Julianne Hing

About the show:

In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle.

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Oct 06 2016

31mins

Play

Rank #2: Episode 5: White Like Me

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Once again, race has become a central issue in a presidential campaign. But this time, it's not all about people of color. It's also about white Americans, and what their place is in 21st century America.

This week, WNYC Studios and The Nation examine the history of what it means and has meant to be white in the United States of America.

WNYC’s Jim O’Grady accompanies journalist Chris Arnade to Long Island. What they find is that as the economy has transitioned away from manual labor, it's struck at the very heart of the way many working-class Americans define masculinity, and, in turn, themselves.

Plus, The Nation’s Kai Wright explores this notion with a group of Italian Americans who document their families' journey from immigrant scapegoats to full-fledged "whiteness."

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Jim O'Grady

Karen Frillmann

Joseph Capriglione

About the show:

In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle.

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Oct 20 2016

33mins

Play

Rank #3: Episode 9: Where Are We Now?

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So, here we are. The race is over and Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States.

WNYC Studios and The Nation take the temperature of the country following the unprecedented election of a consummate political outsider.

WNYC’s Arun Venugopal checks-in with Trump supporter Patty Dwyer and gauges her reaction on a come-from-behind political victory that shook the world. The Nation's Julianne Hing reports from Arizona, where the defeat of long-standing anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio is nonetheless tempered by the elevation of Donald Trump.

Plus, Matt Katz and Chris Arnade return to the white working-class voters who propelled Trump to the White House. And Stephen Nessesn returns us to Patchogue to find out how a community that was nearly torn apart by anti-immigrant violence learned to heal and what they're bracing for in Donald Trump's America.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Arun Venugopal

Stephen Nessen

Julianne Hing

Matt Katz

Karen Frillmann

Joseph Capriglione

About the show:

In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle.

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nationhttp://apple.co/1V85l3I

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Nov 10 2016

47mins

Play

Rank #4: Whose Kansas Is it Anyway?

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The city of Olathe, Kansas, has been shaken since February when a man gunned down two Indian immigrants in a bar there. Witnesses say the shooter yelled,  “Go back to your country!” It was the first hate-crime killing after the 2016 presidential election.

WNYC’s Arun Venugopal traveled to Kansas to speak with members of the Indian community about how they’re dealing with the deaths, and with their changing status in America. We hear from Professor Raj Bhala, a specialist in international law who is half-Indian and half-Scottish, along with his wife Kara, a Chinese-American woman from Malaysia.

The couple is dreading July 1, when a law allowing the concealed carry of weapons on college campuses goes into effect. Kara Tan Bhala even wrote her U.S. Senators and congresswoman about concerns for her husband's safety. The congresswoman, the only one to reply, sent a defense of the Second Amendment. “It just made me feel as if my voice wasn't being heard in a very conservative state and that perhaps it was time to just take a break from the country and come back when things get better," Tan Bhala said. "I know things go in cycles so the pendulum has swung really one way to quite an extreme. We're waiting for it to swing slowly back.”

But for the first time since the couple arrived in 2003, they are seriously considering leaving the state — and the country. 

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Arun Venugopal

Karen Frillmann

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

May 09 2017

33mins

Play

Rank #5: The Birth of Climate Denial

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Starting with the 1925 Scopes Trial — also known as the "trial of the century" — we look at one of the most controversial topics in our time: the debate over evolution versus a Fundamentalist understanding of the Bible.

It started with a substitute teacher in Tennessee who believed that evolution should be taught in the classroom. What followed was a fiery debate that rocketed around the world.

The Scopes Trial reminds us that science has often upset the establishment. Kai Wright explores how the powerful have tried to convince us that science gets it wrong.

Then Amanda Aronczyk looks at just when we began to doubt the whole idea of climate change. She’ll take us back to that day in 1988 when NASA scientist James Hansen warned the United States Congress that climate change was real. And she reminds us that Republican President George H.W. Bush touted himself as being pro-environment.

“I’m an environmentalist... And I always will be," he said. "And that is not inconsistent with being a businessman. Nor is it with being a conservative.” She then brings us to to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, when action on climate change led to a political divide within the Republican party.

Today, President Trump considers climate change a "hoax" and is considering withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. It's a radical change in 25 years. We'll tell you how we got there.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Amanda Aronczyk

Jillian Weinberger

Karen Frillmann

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

May 11 2017

37mins

Play

Rank #6: Episode 6: The Kids Are Not Alright

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Gang violence and a drug epidemic might not be the first things one thinks about when they picture the American suburbs, but they have become prominent facts of life for many residents in Suffolk County, Long Island. In fact, the leafy New York suburb led the Empire State in heroin and opioid overdose deaths in 2014. 

WNYC Studios and The Nation set out to understand how these problems emerged in the first place.

WNYC’s Arun Venugopal sits down with Anthony, a former-drug user who recounts how he became addicted while growing up in the leafy environs of Long Island's South Shore.

To better understand why record numbers of people are dying of drug overdoses in the suburbs we talk to two individuals on the front lines of treatment to gain their insight into what has caused the uptick in drug use, and how Donald Trump figures into the conversation.

Then, The Nation’s Julianne Hing goes to Brentwood, NY, a Long Island town dealing with gang violence, where the remains of five murdered teenagers have been discovered in the past six weeks.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Arun Venugopal

Julianne Hing

Karen Frillmann

Joseph Capriglione

About the show:

In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle.

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Oct 27 2016

40mins

Play

Rank #7: America's Allergy to Intellect — Why It Keeps Flaring Up

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During the last election, when asked his opinion about experts and intellectuals, Trump supporter Fiore Napolitano voiced a fairly common sentiment from his cohort, "I've got more brains in my little thumb." That made us wonder whether hostility to intellect is an underestimated feature of American politics, which prompted us to formulate some questions.

What's up, America? Why the qualms about erudition and expertise? Where does this wariness spring from, and what role did it play in the rise of Donald Trump — who was opposed by just about every intellectual associated with either party but whose supporters simply did not care about that issue?

We talk to the learned and those who loathe them, including writers and commentators, a neuroscientist, and a gun shop owner in a red-voting part of upstate New York. We quote a fiery pamphlet penned by a yeoman farmer from the Revolutionary Era, and we delve into the 1963 book that describes and frames this issue better and more enduringly than any other.

Jim O’Grady walks us through the centuries-long debate about intellectualism, elitism, and our reverence for the common man.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Jim O'Grady

Karen Frillmann

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

May 16 2017

27mins

Play

Rank #8: How Ivanka Trump And Donald Trump, Jr., Avoided a Criminal Indictment

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We've got a story from the WNYC newsroom that we really want to share with you. Our WNYC colleagues, Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz, in partnership with ProPublica and The New Yorker investigate how President Trump's two eldest children avoided criminal charges in a probe related to the Trump SoHo. 

Oct 10 2017

18mins

Play

Rank #9: Episode 7: This Is Your Brain on Politics

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Stress is a part of everyday life. But in this election filled with bombast, 24-hour news coverage, and October Surprises emerging at nearly every turn, the road to November 8th often appears overwhelming.

Join WNYC Studios and The Nation as we explore the burgeoning field of biopolitics and uncover how our bodies respond to 2016’s political circus.

WNYC’s Amanda Aronczyk sits down with neuroscientist Jeffrey French and political scientist Kevin Smith, as we perform an unusual test to find out just what in this election is causing voters’ stress.

Plus, learn how our bodies’ natural response systems can indicate where we locate ourselves along the political spectrum.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Amanda Aronczyk

Karen Frillmann

Joseph Capriglione

About the show:

In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle.

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Nov 03 2016

41mins

Play

Rank #10: The Dream Was Not Mine

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Jennifer Willoughby was in an abusive marriage. Saily Avelenda was unhappy with her congressman, who'd held office for over two decades without facing a serious contender. They didn’t know they were about to topple two political giants. Plus, want to know the real reason the 2018 midterms could make history? It has to do with a number political scientists call the "gender gap."

Note: WNYC made several attempts to reach Rob Porter for comment. He did not respond before this episode was released. 

The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

Sep 17 2018

36mins

Play

Rank #11: The New, Old White Supremacist Movement

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At the height of the election season last September, Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables.”  The comments spread like wildfire, and the next day, Clinton walked them back. 

Yet the sentiment that a new movement of white nationalists was growing is true.

Kai Wright takes a look at the so-called “basket of deplorables” and the alt-right movement that has emerged in recent years, from neo-Nazis to people fighting in the so-called “war on men.” He also chats with Note to Self's Manoush Zomorodi and Kat Aaron about how white supremacists are arming themselves online.

“The goal is just chaos. The goal is to shut down civic discourse to make spaces where people are discussing important topics just so toxic that most people shut down,” said Aaron.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Jessica Miller

Karen Frillmann

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp


WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Jun 06 2017

37mins

Play

Rank #12: How Politics Turns Violent

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The culture wars of the Boomer generation still shape our politics today. In this episode we look at those culture wars from another vantage point. Instead of focusing on the debates themselves, we ask the question: How do people move from radical politics to political violence?

On June 7, 1970 the group of young radical leftists known as the Weathermen, accidentally detonated bombs in a Greenwich Village townhouse. Their goal was to bomb an officers' event at the Army Base Fort Dix in New Jersey to protest the Vietnam war, but instead the bombs exploded in the basement and killed three of the five activists. Two fled. One was Cathy Wilkerson.  

WNYC producer Paige Cowett talks to Wilkerson 47 years later about what caused her to believe that bombing soldiers was justified. “The sad thing is I don't think we did think about it very much," said Wilkerson. “You think about the political impact. I think that's the way it is with warfare. You don't think about the life of the people that you're hurting or killing.”

Cowett also speaks with historian Micheal Kazin, a radical leftist who did not resort to violent tactics, as well as Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist and terrorism expert, who discusses the psychology of political radicalization. 

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Paige Cowett

Karen Frillmann

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more. 

May 30 2017

37mins

Play

Rank #13: America's Fourth: Beyond Pie and BBQs

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This fourth of July, one year after the podcast began, we look back at a culture that’s made us so anxious, but also what holds us together, and where we’re going as a nation. Since nothing seems to bind Americans more together than food, we’re starting off with a key marker of American culture--pie. Kai Wright and Karen Frillmann spend some time partaking in a key American tradition-baking a cherry pie.They’ll talk pie-making with food writer Kathy Gunst, coming together in the kitchen and what gets passed down along with a recipe. 

Kai Wright and Karen Frillmann bake a pie.
(Cayce Means)

Then we’ll turn to Nancy Solomon, who's having a BBQ on a very diverse block in New Jersey where everyone from Donald Trump supporters to liberal lesbians live. We’ll hear about their anxieties, and see just what they’re doing to alleviate any potential tensions as the state gears up for a gubernatorial election later this year. Jim O’Grady delves into what exactly the Declaration of Independence means today. Finally, we’ll be listening in to you, and your thoughts and fears, about the cultural wars in America.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Jim O’Grady

Arun Venugopal

Nancy Solomon

Karen Frillmann

Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.

Sources:

Professor Andrew Shankman, Rutgers University, author of Original Intents

Professor Andrew Schocket, Bowling Green State University, author of Fighting over the Founders

The New York Public Library and it's original copy of The Declaration of Independence in Thomas Jefferson's hand

Jul 04 2017

56mins

Play

Rank #14: The Counter-Jihad Movement & the Making of a President

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President George W. Bush, speaking at a mosque on Sept. 17, 2001: "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace."

Donald Trump, campaigning for president on March 9, 2016: "I think Islam hates us."

David Yerushalmi was living in an Israeli settlement near Jerusalem speaking on the phone with his father when the planes hit the towers on Sept. 11, 2001. "We got it wrong," Yerushalmi remembers telling his father. Before Sept. 11th, Yerushalmi thought terrorism was about nationalism, a fight over land. Afterward, he decided terrorism committed by Muslim extremists was driven by Islam itself -- and underpinned by Islamic Shariah law.  

Pamela Geller and David Yerulshami(Pamela Geller)

So he packed up his family and moved to New York to become part of a fledgling community of conservatives who would come to be known as counter-jihadists. They had an uphill battle to fight: In the aftermath of Sept. 11, President Bush and most Americans, according to polls, did not equate Islam with terrorism. 

But 16 years later, even though there hasn't been another large-scale terrorist attack on American soil committed by a Muslim, America's perspective on Islam has changed -- evidenced most notably by the election of a president who believes the religion itself hates the country.

Yerushalmi is a big reason for this change of heart. He's a behind-the-scenes leader of the so-called "counter-Jihad" movement, filing lawsuits pushing back against the encroachment of Islam in the public sphere and crafting a series of anti-Sharia laws that Muslims and civil rights groups decry as Islamophobic.

"Do I think that the United States is weak enough to collapse either from a kinetic Jihad, meaning war, or even a civilizational Jihad that the Muslim Brotherhood talks about? No. At least not in my lifetime. But do I think it's an existential threat that allows for sleeper cells and the Internet-grown Jihadist that we see day in and day out wreaking so much havoc here and in Europe? Yes. Do I see it as a threat to our freedoms and liberties incrementally through their so-called civilizational Jihad where they use our laws and our freedoms to undermine our laws and our freedoms? Absolutely."

Matt Katz speaks to Yerulshami about what he thinks is the creeping threat of Sharia law.

Episode Contributors

Kai Wright

Matt Katz

Karen Frillmann

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Sep 11 2017

32mins

Play

Rank #15: Music, McCarthy, and the Sound of Americana

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In the 1920s, composer Aaron Copland took off for Paris. His search for a uniquely American classical music resulted in some of the most familiar and patriotic music of the 20th Century — including his famous piece, "Fanfare for the Common Man."

WNYC's Sara Fishko ("Fishko Files") follows Copland’s story through the 1930s and '40s in America, when the Great Depression, the rise of Fascism and the unprecedented collective effort during World War II united Americans against a common enemy. Copland's music was transformed during that "Popular Front" period — with a simplified, accessible approach.

Fishko sits down with the distinguished contemporary composer John Corigliano ("The Red Violin") to deconstruct the sound of the "Americana style." The departure from European traditions created a new and remarkable connection between music and the American politics of the time.

But Copland's activism and creative output — and that of many artists and intellectuals — would be threatened and dramatically altered by the swing to the right in American politics in the 1950s.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Sara Fishko

Karen Frillmann

Olivia Briley

Bill Moss

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

May 23 2017

34mins

Play

Rank #16: The 'Indoor Man' and His Playmates

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Playboy was never just about the pictures or the articles. The magazine helped create a men's liberation movement, founded on the notion that men could have anything they wanted. From Donald Trump to Harvey Weinstein, Hugh Hefner's concept of the "indoor man" has had a lasting influence.

The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

Oct 02 2018

31mins

Play

Rank #17: The Drug War

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As the opioid epidemic continues to increase, we take a look back at the Sixties when the War on Drugs, a federal effort to decrease illegal drug use, was beginning to take shape. It was a decade of intense change in America as political assassinations took place, the Black power movement rose, and the Vietnam War intensified. It was also a time that conservatives, scared about the future of their country, were beginning to fight back. No one understood this more than Richard M. Nixon during his second run for president in 1968. Nixon knew that many people, especially southern whites, were afraid of the social progress that the country was making at the time. He also knew that drug use and crime were going up and that tapping into the fears and anxieties, while tying them to race, may have been just the strategy he needed to win. “The wave of crime is not going to be the wave of the future in the United States of America,” Nixon said in 1968 as he accepted the Republican nomination, becoming the law and order candidate.It worked, and when he was elected he decided to make good on his promise, focusing not only on crime, which is often a state issue, but drugs. Drugs were a federal issue that was gaining traction among the public and in the political realm, as heroin use spread among both Americans at home and US soldiers in Vietnam.Christopher Johnson looks at the beginning of the War on Drugs in America, from it’s roots with the Southern Strategy, to the strange support for methadone treatment centers, to the so-calledRockefeller Drug Laws in New York. “America’s public enemy number 1 in the US is drug abuse,"declared Nixon in 1971 as he launched the War on Drugs. “In order to defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.” Though he didn’t utter the phrase, Nixon's "War On Drugs" was a costly offensive whose long-lasting impact on drug policy, law enforcement and American culture continues today.Episode Contributors:Kai WrightChristopher JohnsonKaren FrillmannThe United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios<https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/wnyc/id127981066?mt=2>.Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpWNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Jul 03 2017

35mins

Play

Rank #18: We've Been Here Before

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When Barbara Mikulski arrived in the Senate, all the podiums were built for men… and so was Washington's power structure. So she changed it. In this episode, Mikulski and three of her female Senate colleagues look back at Anita Hill's testimony and the 1992 elections that followed it, the last “Year of the Woman.”

The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson CollectiveThe New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

Sep 18 2018

18mins

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Rank #19: In Jesus' Name... We Legislate

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There’s been much progress for the LGBTQ community over the past decade: the legal debate over same-sex marriage has been resolved, popular culture has largely embraced gay and lesbian people, and transgender people are gaining legal recognition. But as LGBTQ people make these strides, other groups have begun to claim that their religious rights are threatened by these cultural and political shifts. Now, these religious groups are asking for protections too. This year alone, dozens of bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country, aiming to restore or protect the freedom of religion clause of the First Amendment. There have been fights over a bakeries refusing to bake a cakes for same-sex wedding ceremonies, doctors who wish to refuse services to transgender folks because of religious beliefs, and more.

In this episode, we travel to the state of Mississippi, where a bitter fight against a religious freedom bill called HB 1523 is being waged between the state and a group of people who say the bill violates their civil liberties -- even their religious freedom itself. The bill, aimed to protect people of faith from “government discrimination,” defines marriage as a heterosexual union, says that sex belongs only within a marriage between a man and a woman, and calls gender a fixed trait at birth. Mississippi governor Phil Bryant said HB 1523's goals do not include discrimination or harm, but said of its opponents, “If they’re interested in protecting people’s rights and also understand that people of faith have rights.” 

One of those opponents is Brandiilynne Mangum-Dear, a lesbian pastor who ministers to an LGBT welcoming church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She, her wife, Susan Mangum, and her church, Joshua Generation MCC, have joined in a class action lawsuit against Gov. Bryant and the state. She feels that when most people hear about a piece of legislation claiming to protect religious freedom, they're all for it. The problem is, she adds, most people don't fully understand what it does. “It is discrimination in a pretty little religious box," she says. "We're good at putting things in religious boxes here in the south.” 

Pastor Brandiilynne Mangum-Dear(Reniqua Allen)

In many ways, this battle between religious freedom and civil liberties isn't anything new. We'll speak with Rims Barber, a minister and veteran civil rights activist in Jackson, Mississippi, and the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against HB 1523. He says that the culture wars we're witnessing today mirror those of the Civil Rights Movement. Barber officiated the first interracial marriage in the state of Mississippi, and helped desegregate its schools, all while other citizens said they shouldn't have to comply because of their religious liberties. Then, Dartmouth religion professor Randall Balmer will show us how those fights helped galvanize a powerful political force in America: the religious right. And, we'll hear the origin story of religious freedom bills like HB 1523.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Jessica Miller

Karen Frillmann

Jillian Weinberger

Reniqua Allen

Matt Boynton

Bill Moss

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp


WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Jun 13 2017

33mins

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Rank #20: Call-In Special: Across the Aisle

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With The United States of Anxiety, WNYC Studios and The Nation brought forth the ideas and concerns that made up part of the coalition bringing President-elect Donald Trump from his midtown Manhattan

But with Hillary Clinton besting the President-elect in the popular vote by over one million votes to date, and protests of "Not My President" erupting across the country, it remains a question if the tides of discontent will ever pacify in the country.

In the midst of this turmoil Anna Sale, host of WNYC's Death, Sex & Money, questions the perceived differences that so many voters feel after this divisive election cycle.

But this is the fourth time the popular vote has diverged from the Electoral College's ultimate choice of President of the United States and "Not My President" signs previously emerged in 2001 at the Inauguration of similarly-elected George W. Bush and then again in 2005.

Therefore, we explore the notion of what keeps this country united following elections leaving us only feeling divided.

About the show:

In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle.

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nationhttp://apple.co/1V85l3I

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Nov 22 2016

58mins

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Can We Finally Build a Multiracial Democracy in 2020?

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When the Civil War ended, America set out to do something no other country had tried before: to build the world's first multiracial democracy. More than 150 years later, we’re still trying to pull it off. Will the 2020 election bring us closer to that goal?

Follow Kai Wright on Twitter @Kai_Wright.

Jan 16 2020

2mins

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Welcome to 'The Stakes'

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From host Kai Wright and the team that brought you The United States of Anxiety, a new show about what's not working about our society, how we can do better and why we have to. In episode one, we investigate one of the longest-running public health epidemics in American history and the ongoing fight for accountability. 

Subscribe to The Stakes here. Follow Kai on Twitter at @kai_wright.

Support for WNYC reporting on lead is provided by the New York State Health Foundation, improving the health of all New Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable. Learn more at www.nyshealth.org. Additional support for WNYC’s health coverage is provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Apr 23 2019

29mins

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Kirsten Gillibrand's Path to Power

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The junior senator from New York has quickly developed a reputation as a political firebrand - one who's willing to challenge men who abuse their power, even when they're among her closest allies. Think Al Franken and Bill Clinton. Over the past decade, she went from being a newly-elected U.S. Representative appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat to become one of the Democratic Party's most-likely contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination. What does Kirsten Gillibrand's rise tell us about the relationship between gender and power in American politics?

Nov 15 2018

24mins

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¡Sí Se Puede!

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Before “Yes we can!”, there was “¡Sí se puede!” – the workers’ rallying cry coined by lifelong activist Dolores Huerta. In this episode, Huerta (now 88) is interviewed by her daughter Juana about the role gender played in her work and family life. Plus, what the midterm results mean going forward.

This episode was produced in partnership with Latino USA, a weekly Latino news and culture program from NPR and the Futuro Media Group. Check out their version of this story here.

The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

This report is produced with support from Chasing the Dream, a public media initiative from WNET reporting on poverty, jobs, and economic opportunity in America.

Nov 09 2018

25mins

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What Does the Right Kind of Woman Sound Like?

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Shrill, strident, bossy. These are the misogynistic slurs women often face when they run for elected office. In this episode, we meet Rena Cook, a voice coach in Oklahoma who’s training progressive, female candidates on how to subvert our inbuilt biases about women’s voices. Plus, we look back on what the 1977 National Women’s Conference did (and didn’t) do for feminism.

The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

Nov 05 2018

29mins

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The Right Kind of Woman

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Women running for office are often forced to play by different rules. We look at two candidates: Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Mikie Sherrill in suburban New Jersey. Both are Democrats fighting their way into Republican territory, but in very different ways. Plus, Michigan’s first female governor weighs in on all the “don’ts” for women politicians.

This episode is a collaboration with Death, Sex, and Money, another WNYC Studios podcast. Check out their full episode on Jennifer Granholm, former Governor of Michigan. 

The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

This report is produced with support from Chasing the Dream, a public media initiative from WNET reporting on poverty, jobs, and economic opportunity in America.

Oct 31 2018

34mins

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The Women of Texas's Secret Resistance

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Rural Texas has a reputation as solid Republican territory, but hidden within those large swathes of red are small, individual flecks of blue. In this episode, we bring you the story of a group of progressive, Texan women who are organizing — in secret — out of fear of retaliation from their neighbors.

The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

Special thanks to Professor Shannon McGregor in the Department of Communication at The University of Utah and to Caroline Covington for her reporting in Burnet, Texas.

Additional thanks to Emily Van Duyn, whose full study "Hidden Democracy: Political Dissent in Rural America" is available in the Journal of Communication, a publication of the International Communication Association.

Oct 25 2018

22mins

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Ida B. Wells

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Journalist and activist Ida B. Wells is in some ways a forgotten figure, overlooked even in black civil rights history. But her reporting on lynchings across the South was unwavering in its mission: calling America out on racial injustice. And, why black women are no longer willing to play the role of “Magical Negro” in U.S. politics.

The United States of Anxiety recently recorded a live episode remembering the life and work of Ida B. Wells at The Greene Space. Watch the whole event here.

The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White. 

This report is produced with support from Chasing the Dream, a public media initiative from WNET reporting on poverty, jobs, and economic opportunity in America.

Oct 18 2018

27mins

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The Original Nasty Woman

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Jeannette Rankin had a belief: That women were essential to the health of our democracy. She became the first woman elected to Congress over a century ago. Now, Kathleen Williams is vying to follow in her footsteps. Plus, what if we filled all 435 seats in the House with women? Would it make a difference?

The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

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Oct 10 2018

32mins

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The 'Indoor Man' and His Playmates

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Playboy was never just about the pictures or the articles. The magazine helped create a men's liberation movement, founded on the notion that men could have anything they wanted. From Donald Trump to Harvey Weinstein, Hugh Hefner's concept of the "indoor man" has had a lasting influence.

The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

Oct 02 2018

31mins

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The Pedestal

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Paula Casey is on a mission. She wants to erect a statue in Memphis dedicated to those who fought for a woman’s right to vote more than a century ago. The problem: There’s a Confederate monument in the way. And… meet the woman who vowed to shut down women’s suffrage forever.

The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

Sep 25 2018

27mins

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We've Been Here Before

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When Barbara Mikulski arrived in the Senate, all the podiums were built for men… and so was Washington's power structure. So she changed it. In this episode, Mikulski and three of her female Senate colleagues look back at Anita Hill's testimony and the 1992 elections that followed it, the last “Year of the Woman.”

The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson CollectiveThe New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

Sep 18 2018

18mins

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The Dream Was Not Mine

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Jennifer Willoughby was in an abusive marriage. Saily Avelenda was unhappy with her congressman, who'd held office for over two decades without facing a serious contender. They didn’t know they were about to topple two political giants. Plus, want to know the real reason the 2018 midterms could make history? It has to do with a number political scientists call the "gender gap."

Note: WNYC made several attempts to reach Rob Porter for comment. He did not respond before this episode was released. 

The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

Sep 17 2018

36mins

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The United States of Anxiety Season Three: There's an Election Coming

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Women gained the right to vote nearly a century ago. Yet, power is still concentrated in the hands of men. In a year that’s seen a surge of female candidates, the question at the heart of the 2018 midterms is: Who is our democracy for?

Sep 14 2018

3mins

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The US of Anxiety Wants to Hear from You

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A record number of women are running for office this primary season, which means there's a groundswell of energy around targeting female voters with campaign ads.

For our next season of the United States of Anxiety, we’re focusing on power and gender, and we’ve partnered with ProPublica to look at how political advertising targets people of different genders differently on Facebook.

Unlike broadcast television ads, which are heavily regulated, we have no idea how individual voters are micro-targeted on Facebook. It’s still the Wild West. Nor do we know about potentially unethical or misleading advertising that may be happening.

We do know from the Cambridge Analytica scandal that much of the misinformation spread in 2016 targeted people based on their race and gender. And we know that this is an election in which gender is expected to be a decisive factor.

What can you do?


    Download the ProPublica Ad Tracker Extension - You can download the Facebook Political Ad Collector from the Chrome Web Store or the Mozilla Add-ons Store. NOTE: ProPublica is NOT collecting any private information from you. The plugin simply copies the ads you are seeing in your unique feed. You can read more about how ProPublica is protecting your privacy here.
    See the ads that other people are seeing - take a look through ProPublica’s database of political ads
    Send us tips - Have you seen any political ads that appear to target you by your gender? Or target you by your race? Have you seen any political ads that appear to celebrate women? Or any ads that seem misogynistic? Take a screenshot and email us at narrative@wnyc.org to tell us what you’re seeing. 

By doing this, you'll be part of groundbreaking research — remember this is the first election cycle since Facebook changed its policies. And you'll also be helping WNYC and ProPublica bring you reporting and analysis about these campaign ads.

To get started, visit propublica.org/facebook.

Aug 09 2018

4mins

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Introducing ‘Caught’: Our New Podcast

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America incarcerates more people than any country in the world. It starts with kids. On any given night, roughly 53,000 young people are in some form of lockup. Nearly 60 percent are black or Latino. We all make dumb mistakes in our youth. But for these kids, those same destructive choices have a lasting impact. Mass incarceration starts young.

From the team that brought you The United States of Anxiety, Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice tells the stories of young lives forever changed by collisions with law and order. In this episode, meet Z, a kid who had his first encounters with law enforcement when he was just 12 years old. Now, at 16, he’s sitting in detention on an armed robbery charge. Z's story introduces the questions: What happens once we decide a child is a criminal? What does society owe those children, beyond punishment? And what are the human consequences of the expansion and hardening of criminal justice policies that began in the 1990s – consequences disproportionately experienced by black and brown youth?

Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice is supported, in part, by the Anne Levy Fund, Margaret Neubart Foundation, the John and Gwen Smart Family Foundation, and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Subscribe on iTunes.

Mar 20 2018

29mins

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How Ivanka Trump And Donald Trump, Jr., Avoided a Criminal Indictment

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We've got a story from the WNYC newsroom that we really want to share with you. Our WNYC colleagues, Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz, in partnership with ProPublica and The New Yorker investigate how President Trump's two eldest children avoided criminal charges in a probe related to the Trump SoHo. 

Oct 10 2017

18mins

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The Counter-Jihad Movement & the Making of a President

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President George W. Bush, speaking at a mosque on Sept. 17, 2001: "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace."

Donald Trump, campaigning for president on March 9, 2016: "I think Islam hates us."

David Yerushalmi was living in an Israeli settlement near Jerusalem speaking on the phone with his father when the planes hit the towers on Sept. 11, 2001. "We got it wrong," Yerushalmi remembers telling his father. Before Sept. 11th, Yerushalmi thought terrorism was about nationalism, a fight over land. Afterward, he decided terrorism committed by Muslim extremists was driven by Islam itself -- and underpinned by Islamic Shariah law.  

Pamela Geller and David Yerulshami(Pamela Geller)

So he packed up his family and moved to New York to become part of a fledgling community of conservatives who would come to be known as counter-jihadists. They had an uphill battle to fight: In the aftermath of Sept. 11, President Bush and most Americans, according to polls, did not equate Islam with terrorism. 

But 16 years later, even though there hasn't been another large-scale terrorist attack on American soil committed by a Muslim, America's perspective on Islam has changed -- evidenced most notably by the election of a president who believes the religion itself hates the country.

Yerushalmi is a big reason for this change of heart. He's a behind-the-scenes leader of the so-called "counter-Jihad" movement, filing lawsuits pushing back against the encroachment of Islam in the public sphere and crafting a series of anti-Sharia laws that Muslims and civil rights groups decry as Islamophobic.

"Do I think that the United States is weak enough to collapse either from a kinetic Jihad, meaning war, or even a civilizational Jihad that the Muslim Brotherhood talks about? No. At least not in my lifetime. But do I think it's an existential threat that allows for sleeper cells and the Internet-grown Jihadist that we see day in and day out wreaking so much havoc here and in Europe? Yes. Do I see it as a threat to our freedoms and liberties incrementally through their so-called civilizational Jihad where they use our laws and our freedoms to undermine our laws and our freedoms? Absolutely."

Matt Katz speaks to Yerulshami about what he thinks is the creeping threat of Sharia law.

Episode Contributors

Kai Wright

Matt Katz

Karen Frillmann

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Sep 11 2017

32mins

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Video: Living in Between Worlds

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One Brooklyn woman's complicated relationship with the hijab and the experience of living in between worlds.

Sep 11 2017

Play

Help Us Map the Confederate Flag

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In the wake of the recent violence in Charlottesville, where a protester was killed by a white supremacist, dozens of monuments to the Confederacy are being taken down.

It's an extraordinary moment in American history, and in this episode, we stop to ask: When did the Confederate flag start showing up in the North?

The story brings together segregationists like Strom Thurmond with Southern rock icons Lynyrd Skynyrd and TV's The Dukes of Hazzard. All of them helped bring the flag to a national audience in the 20th century, as white Americans struggled to make sense of the civil rights movement, and in many cases, pushed back.

Additionally, WNYC is mapping the locations of Confederate flags in New York state. If you've spotted one, please let us know here!

A Confederate flag in Delaware County, NY
(Christina Hunt Wood)

Aug 23 2017

13mins

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iTunes Ratings

373 Ratings
Average Ratings
305
35
11
5
17

It’s back, finally!

By jspeyton - Sep 26 2018
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It’s just as good as always.

More Please

By Chris near Canada - Jun 09 2018
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Keep telling the People’s Stories! I really liked how the second season evolved