On Second Thought For Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Apr 11, 2017

A special election is coming up in a week to fill Tom Price’s vacated seat in Georgia’s 6th Congressional district. The race is both contentious and expensive, by-products of the modern democratic process. We talked about our democracy and its health.

Centuries ago, Plato predicted that democracy is always doomed to fail. Was he right? We asked two political science experts: Robert Pirro of Georgia Southern University and Michael Evans of Georgia State University.

The Voting Rights Act has been law for half a century. Former Atlanta mayor and UN Ambassador Andrew Young was there from the beginning, and helped Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. draft the bill. Young speaks Tuesday, April 11, at the Hope Global Forum in Atlanta. We talked to him about the challenges minorities faced at the polls before the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

Another important figure in the struggle for civil rights was Alice Dunnigan. When Dunnigan started work as a journalist, the White House Press Corps was an exclusive club of all-male, mostly white reporters. Dunnigan was not only an African-American woman, but also determined to make politicians go on the record about civil rights. We talked with Carol Booker, who edited a reissued version of  Dunnigan’s autobiography for the University of Georgia Press.

According to the U.S. Census, Hispanics are the largest minority group in the country – and their numbers are growing. Nearly one out of every five people in America have Hispanic roots. Or, is it Latino roots? We looked into the differences between “Latino” and “Hispanic.” We then turned to Hector Fernandez, a professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Georgia State University. He explained the linguistic and cultural differences among America’s Latino and Hispanic populations.