In August, India suspended the autonomy of the state of Kashmir, putting soldiers in its streets and banning foreign journalists from entering. Dexter Filkins, who was working on a story about Narendra Modi, would not be deterred from going. To evade the ban, he sought the help of an Indian journalist, Rana Ayyub. Ayyub had once gone undercover to reveal the ruling party’s ties to sectarian and extrajudicial violence against the Muslim minority. In a conversation recorded last week, Filkins and Ayyub tell the story of how they got into Kashmir and describe the repression and signs of torture that they observed there. Ayyub’s book “ ,” about a massacre of Muslims in Gujarat, has made her a target of Hindu nationalists; one of the book’s translators was killed not long ago. She spoke frankly with Filkins about the emotional toll of living in fear of assassination.
What Can Progressive Voters Do to Help Fix Our Broken Political System?
For decades, conservative organizations have poured time, attention, and money into state politics, and today, Republicans control the governorships and state legislatures of twenty-one states. But in recent years, grassroots progressive movements have begun to close the gap. Democrats have seen victories in formerly Republican districts in Mississippi, Virginia, North Carolina, and Maine. In two election cycles, Future Now, an organization that supports progressive candidates in state-level races, has helped flip three legislatures. Its co-founder and executive director, Daniel Squadron, joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss how progressive voters can make their voices heard on the issues they care most about.
Samantha’s Journey into the Alt-Right, and Back
Since 2016, dove into Samantha’s story to understand how and why a “normal” person abandoned her values, her friends, and her family for an ideology of racial segregation and eugenics—and then came out again. They found her to be a cautionary tale for a time when facts and truth are under daily attack. “I thought I knew it all,” she told them. “I think it's extremely naive and foolish to think that you are impervious to it. No one is impervious to this.”
Samantha appears in Andrew Marantz’s new book, “Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation.”
On and Off the Debate Stage, Democrats Contend with Race
This week, ten of the seventeen candidates still running for the Democratic nomination met on a debate stage in Atlanta. The setting was , and how voter suppression efforts may play a role in the 2020 election.
Lena Waithe on Police Violence and “Queen & Slim”
Lena Waithe is the screenwriter and creator of the Showtime series “The Chi,” about the South Side of Chicago, but she tells , “Getting your own TV show is like getting beaten to death by your own dream.” Her first script for a feature film is “Queen & Slim,” directed by Melina Matsoukas. It’s about a man and woman who are on a not-great first date, during which they unintentionally kill a police officer at a traffic stop that escalates. “I just wanted to write something about us. But unfortunately, if I’m writing about us, how can I ignore the fact that we’re being hunted?” The film arrives in the aftermath two notorious police killings of black people—Botham Jean in Dallas and Atatiana Jefferson in Fort Worth—only the latest in a long line of similar tragedies. “I do not want that kind of publicity for my film,” Waithe says. “I am like every other black person. . . . Every time these stories hit our phones, a piece of us dies, because we know that we could be next.”