DCentric » WAMU http://dcentric.wamu.org Race, Class, The District. Wed, 16 May 2012 20:20:35 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 Copyright © WAMU America’s Widening Wealth Gap: Your Take http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/07/americas-widening-wealth-gap-your-take/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/07/americas-widening-wealth-gap-your-take/#comments Thu, 28 Jul 2011 20:15:51 +0000 Anna http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=9160 Continue reading ]]>

Zeal Harris/Flickr

"Grace" Mixed Media on Wood, by Zeal Harris

Earlier today, The Diane Rehm show discussed how the widening wealth gap in America is marginalizing African American and Hispanic families:

That’s the finding of a new study by the Pew Research Center. The median wealth of whites is now 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households. And though the recession cut across all races and ethnicities, Hispanics were especially hard hit. Hispanic families accounted for the largest single decline in wealth in the last few years.

Some listeners took the time to comment on the show’s official site. Commenter
had a request:

Please include in this discussion how the role out of wedlock births and the exploding number of single parent households figure into these wealth gap figures. Single parent households, black 70%, hispanic 50%, white 30%.

The effect of government welfare subsidies that in reality destroy the work ethic of minority groups. Also the cultural disrespect of education.

This Black Voices article from 2010 corroborates those numbers for single-parent households; “Compared to the 72 percent in our communities, 17 percent of Asians, 29 percent of whites, 53 percent of Hispanics and 66 percent of Native Americans were born to unwed mothers in 2008″.

Another commenter who uses the handle “b23erlin” took issue with Monte:

Monte is unfortunately missing the point. It is true that social problems such as single parent households reduce the overall wealth of the society. But the urgent issue at the moment is not that. Rather it is the explosion of ultra-high incomes which came about as a result of the great capital expansion of the 1980′s…Add to that the near disappearance of the skilled worker class and you have a dangerous erosion of the very foundations of society. No society which has impoverished its people and neglected its core values has thrived over a long period. The self-serving attitudes of our rich are helping push us downwards.

Listener Emilio‘s comment was a reminder that many Americans thought they’d invest in and reap financial rewards from owning their own homes:

The minorities paid for it, but what will happen to the predators(loan and mortgage company? Do they get to keep the money or they will pay for it? And how come Financial Education is not obligatory in schools, just like math?

Robert Cox
posed an interesting question:

Is this at all an after-effect of post-war wealth? The (very white) generation that made a lot of money after WWII is beginning to die, leaving their wealth to their kids and grandkids?

…as did Tom from Grand:

Isn’t comparing wealth or income averages across such large and disparate groups (such as all whites/all blacks/all Hispanics), a crude approach to understanding the growing wealth and income gap in the U.S.? Aren’t there about 3 times more poor whites than poor blacks? It seems low income whites often get neglected in these race/ethnicity-based discussions. All low-income folks of all races are losing, and all upper-income folks of all races are gaining.

My colleague Elahe Izadi sat down with a guest from the show, Roderick Harrison, senior research fellow at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies to find out how the wealth gap is affecting local residents; her post is here.

http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/07/americas-widening-wealth-gap-your-take/feed/ 0
Funding Diversity Through NPR http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/03/funding-diversity-through-npr/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/03/funding-diversity-through-npr/#comments Wed, 16 Mar 2011 20:55:28 +0000 Anna http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=4775 Continue reading ]]>

Flickr: NC in DC

The mothership, on Mass Ave. WAMU is up in Tenleytown, if you were wondering.

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on H.R. 1076, which would take federal funding away from NPR and prohibit local stations from using such money to acquire ANY programming. While reading this message on WAMU’s website, something else struck me about this issue– how it will impact diversity:

This issue affects a much larger population than only WAMU 88.5 and our Washington community. If H.R. 1076 becomes law, many local public radio stations, particularly those in rural areas, would have difficulty continuing to provide the news and public affairs programs that millions of Americans rely on every day.

Diverse voices are also at stake. This bill would affect the ability of stations to access Native Voice 1, the Native American Radio Service. It would impact the work of the Latino Public Radio Consortium and the African American Public Radio Consortium, which create and distribute programs that showcase those diverse perspectives that mainstream public radio wants and needs to hear.

When I was at Public Media Camp last year, I heard a speaker mention that in some rural areas, public radio is the only source of culturally-diverse or international news and programming. At a time when newspapers around the country are shrinking, if not closing, that’s a sobering thought. If H.R. 1076 passes, who will be silenced? And how would that impact all of us?

http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/03/funding-diversity-through-npr/feed/ 0
Salvadoran Women in D.C. via Metro Connection http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/03/salvadoran-women-in-d-c-via-metro-connection/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/03/salvadoran-women-in-d-c-via-metro-connection/#comments Mon, 07 Mar 2011 21:59:53 +0000 Anna http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=4589 Continue reading ]]>

Metro Connection: Kate Sheehy

In case you missed it– last Friday’s Metro Connection had a “Visitors” theme and examined everything from D.C.’s Most-Missed Monuments to Temporiums or “pop-up shops”. One story got my attention and might be of interest to DCentric readers: “A New Life: Salvadoran Women in D.C.“.

The D.C. region has the second-largest Salvadoran population in the United States. For the past 30 years, primarily men have been coming over, and sending money to family members back home. That money has helped pay for the education of a number of young women. But these women often have difficulty finding a job in their home country, so many head north, with plans of sticking around long enough to save up and go home. But Kate Sheehy introduces us to women who have come here and stayed, in hopes of improving their lives.

Second-largest! I thought we’d have the largest population in the country. It turns out that distinction belongs to Southern California.

http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/03/salvadoran-women-in-d-c-via-metro-connection/feed/ 0
Are you a fan of DCentric? http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/02/are-you-a-fan-of-dcentric/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/02/are-you-a-fan-of-dcentric/#comments Wed, 23 Feb 2011 17:45:13 +0000 Anna http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=4399 Continue reading ]]>


Let us know, by liking us on Facebook. We crave approval. And wall posts. Story ideas. Thoughtful discussions. You get the idea. Special shout-out to DCentric-loyalist Nastassia, who will be extra happy to learn of this news. Natassia was one of DCentric’s first readers, and she rightfully pointed out that not everyone who would like to receive updates from this blog uses or likes Twitter. Well, fret no more, you Facebook-fiends…we’re on the social network!

http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/02/are-you-a-fan-of-dcentric/feed/ 1
Tomorrow on Kojo: African American Success Stories http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/02/tomorrow-on-kojo-african-american-success-stories/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/02/tomorrow-on-kojo-african-american-success-stories/#comments Tue, 22 Feb 2011 22:31:15 +0000 Anna http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=4353 Continue reading ]]>

Flickr: National Organization for Women

Julianne Malveaux

Friends and readers of DCentric may want to tune into The Kojo Nnamdi show tomorrow at 12:30 pm:

Whether the American economic system discriminates against minorities is a matter for debate in some circles. What is clear is that one-in-four African Americans currently lives in poverty, compared to only one-in-ten white Americans. We explore how learning about African American economic successes may help non-white Americans more successfully navigate today’s economic landscape.

Kojo’s guest will be Julianne Malveaux, whom Dr. Cornel West once called “the most iconoclastic public intellectual in the country.”

http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/02/tomorrow-on-kojo-african-american-success-stories/feed/ 0
Yesterday’s Kojo Show was so DCentric http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/02/yesterdays-kojo-show-was-so-dcentric/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/02/yesterdays-kojo-show-was-so-dcentric/#comments Thu, 17 Feb 2011 17:33:50 +0000 Anna http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=4270 Continue reading ]]> In case you missed it– yesterday, Kojo Nnamdi spent an hour talking to Robert Puentes of The Brookings Institution and John McIlwain of the Urban Land Institute about “Growth and Change in Greater Washington”:

Census data are confirming what Washingtonians already know: Our region is booming, with the suburbs becoming more urban and the city luring residents who once fled the metropolis. We’ll explore the trends behind the data and how we should be responding to maintain a high quality of life in both the city and the suburbs.

The thoughtful trio discussed issues that would be of extreme interest to DCentric readers, including:

- Diversity without integration

- How D.C.’s height limit limits D.C. (taller buildings accommodate more people, increase tax base)

- Complaints from the ‘burbs about Hispanic immigrants who are renters, with multiple people in one home

- How the 30-year, fixed mortgage built the suburbs

- Whether Generation Y will be able to afford homes– could it lead to a major shift in home ownership nationally?

Interesting, right? Go here, to listen at your leisure.

http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/02/yesterdays-kojo-show-was-so-dcentric/feed/ 0
Tomorrow on Kojo: Organic Food http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/02/tomorrow-on-kojo-organic-food/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/02/tomorrow-on-kojo-organic-food/#comments Tue, 01 Feb 2011 22:55:25 +0000 Anna http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=3878 Continue reading ]]>


Organic Onions at Whole Foods. Not to be confused with Organic Funyuns.

For those of you who are passionate about Organic food or examining issues like privilege, access and health– make sure you listen to tomorrow’s edition of The Kojo Nnamdi Show, which will “explore where chains like Walmart and Whole Foods fit into the healthy food movement and how their strategies compare with government efforts”.

The first hour of the show is devoted to “The Walmart Diet”; panelists include WaPo Reporter Lyndsey Layton and Corby Kummer, a Senior editor at The Atlantic.

After writing two posts about how Organic Food is often out of reach for many Americans, I’m looking forward to Kojo’s thoughtful take on the politics of buying pesticide-free food.

If you are outside of the D.C. area or you can’t tune in to hear the discussion live at Noon, look for the “Listen” link here, and enjoy it whenever.

http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/02/tomorrow-on-kojo-organic-food/feed/ 0
One Station, Many Voices http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/01/one-station-many-voices/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/01/one-station-many-voices/#comments Fri, 21 Jan 2011 15:51:11 +0000 Anna http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=3568 Continue reading ]]>


Today’s WAMU commentary is from Joel Carela, who is part of WAMU’s Youth Voices program in partnership with Youth Radio and D.C’s Latin American Youth Center.

I’ve always been put off by TV shows and movies that glorify casual sex. Like the “American Pie” movies, whose main characters are always in search of a quick and easy hook-up. They make the guys who can separate sex and emotions seem normal and emasculate the ones who develop feelings beyond the mattress.

As an emotional person, I never liked that message — but I guess somehow it seeped into my brain.

Last fall, I started college and moved into a dorm with more than 100 other hormonal teenagers. Suddenly, we had easy access to all sorts of things that were out of reach back home: alcohol, drugs and each other.

It wasn’t long before I started to connect really well with a guy in my international politics class, who also happened to live across the hall. We shared an affinity for baroque-era choral music and an interest in the British monarchy.

You can listen to it, here.

One of the DCentric-related possibilities that delighted me when I started this job– at a station I have loved and listened to for twelve years–was the idea that like our @FrontDeskAmy on Twitter, I could occasionally give you a little glimpse in to what it’s like to be here.

Many of my friends who are journalists of color lament that their workplaces aren’t very diverse– I don’t feel that way at WAMU, where my boss is African-American, the reporter who sat behind me was South Asian and our General Manager is a woman of color, too. Some may scoff at a word like “diversity”– why should it matter, right? The news is news, reporters and commentators should just do their jobs and do them well. That is true, but so is this– our identities shape who we are, and sometimes, they shape our stories, adding an element or detail with which some of us can identify.

http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/01/one-station-many-voices/feed/ 1
Kojo on Tucson, Guns and Volatile Political Discourse http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/01/kojo-on-tucson-guns-and-volatile-political-discourse/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/01/kojo-on-tucson-guns-and-volatile-political-discourse/#comments Mon, 10 Jan 2011 18:39:40 +0000 Anna http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=3290 Continue reading ]]>

WAMU 88.5

Kojo Nnamdi

I was lucky enough to see WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi when I was at the station this morning; I asked him what he thought of the tragic shooting this weekend in Tucson. His take:

It seems to me that there are two political battles we are trying to fight: one is whether or not we can lower the volatility of our political discourse and the other is whether we can limit access to handguns and weapons of deadly force.

I don’t have a great deal of optimism that either battle can be won. In the short term, the battle to lower the decibel levels of our political discourse may seem to succeed, but in the final analysis, talk radio is a for-profit business and volatility seems to drive the profitability.

In the second instance, gun manufacturers and the NRA seem to have congress in a headlock, to mix metaphors. Hence my lack of optimism.

http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/01/kojo-on-tucson-guns-and-volatile-political-discourse/feed/ 1
Oh, we’re unique all right… http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/01/oh-were-unique-all-right/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/01/oh-were-unique-all-right/#comments Mon, 03 Jan 2011 17:45:41 +0000 Anna http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=3082 Continue reading ]]>


If you were loitering outside the studio and around @FrontDeskAmy, you'd see this picture of Kojo!

I’m listening to snippets of The Kojo Nnamdi show right now. The theme? “The D.C. Area’s Unique (?) Cultural Identity“. Panelists include WaPo’s Tim Carman and Blake Gopnik, TBD Editor Sommer Mathis and Lynn C. French (who was once a Senior Adviser to Mayor Anthony A. Williams). Despite the inevitable comparisons to New York that such a show must engage in (comparing D.C. to NYC is a pet peeve of mine– the two are different. Period.), it’s an extra-interesting show, on many levels. I’m sad I was in a meeting for the beginning of it. I’m definitely going to listen to the whole thing later, because either I heard a comparison between bricks and kente cloth or I hallucinated it. Other snippets:

“I think the transients (Ed note: transients = people who live here for two years and leave) may be coming to an end…”

“I have had a hard time embracing the sports teams here…”

“A lot of our ethnic neighborhoods are more vibrant in the suburbs”

See? Even better Kojo-show than usual!

http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/01/oh-were-unique-all-right/feed/ 0