July 5 - A Call to Turn Independence Day into Inter-Dependence Day; U.S. Presidents Today Have More Power than George III Did in 1776; How Free Do African Americans Feel Today?

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Full Program


Part 1

Today on this 4th of July holiday weekend we assess where we stand as a national in terms of our freedom and our ability to pursue happiness in the land of the free and the home of the brave. We begin with Rabbi Michael Lerner, the rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in San Francisco, editor of Tikkun magazine and author with Cornel West of “Jews and Blacks: Let the Healing Begin”. We discuss his article at The Huffington Post “Turn Independence Day July 4 into Inter-Dependence Day”. Instead of celebrating “bombs bursting in air” Rabbi Lerner calls for us to “transform the July 3-5 holiday to celebrate our interdependence with all human beings on this planet and our interdependence with the Earth, our badly abused planet.”


Part 2

Then we examine where we stand today in terms of the freedoms proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Bruce Fein, a constitutional lawyer who was formerly a Deputy Associate Attorney General in the Reagan Administration and is the author of “American Empire: Before the Fall”, joins us to discuss whether U.S. presidents today have more power over us than King George the Third had over the American colonies, a tyranny that led to the American revolution and the Declaration of Independence in 1776.  


Part 3

Then finally we speak with Bernard Powers, a Professor of History at the College of Charleston who has published numerous works on African American social and cultural evolution. We discuss the extent to which African Americans feel free today to pursue happiness, especially in South Carolina the scene of a recent massacre at the historic AME church and across the South where a number of African American churches have been recently burned down.