After this weekend's violence at a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, In The Thick takes a look back at an episode we originally published in December, 2016. In this episode, hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela talk with Mike German, a former FBI agent who infiltrated the white supremacist movement. German talks about his experiences undercover, and how the media is missing the real story about white supremacy.
MS-13, the Los Angeles-founded international gang, is all over the news. But why is President Trump drawing attention to MS-13 now? And what is it really like on the inside?
Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion with former MS-13 member and current director of Homies Unidos Denver, Gerardo Lopez. Plus, a check-in with columnist Ruben Navarrette on the RAISE Act and affirmative action.
In this chaotic political moment, where does hope fit in? Should we be optimistic about our country’s possibilities for improvement? And does how you view the country depend on whether you're POC?
Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion on this and more with journalist Jamil Smith, and Matthew Dowd, Chief Political Analyst for ABC News.
Under the Trump presidency, the Democrats have found themselves in a moment of truth. Will they embrace the populist wing led by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren? Or will they finally begin to represent their true, core base—communities of color?
Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion on this and more with journalist Jane Coaston, and Vanessa Williams, staff writer for The Washington Post.
With his first major appearance alongside the most powerful world leaders at the G-20, how did President Trump do? How do other countries see the U.S. now that Trump is the president? And does "America First," really just mean "whiteness first?"
Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion on this and more with Terrell Starr, senior reporter at Foxtrot Alpha, and Tarini Parti, Capitol Hill reporter for BuzzFeed News.
How did immigration become about national security when the facts don’t back up this connection? And how do you respond to these accusations when the conversation isn’t about what’s true? When it’s about something deeper?
In this live recording of In The Thick at the Aspen Ideas Festival, hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a conversation with Wajahat Ali, writer, video essayist, and contributor to the New York Times, and Jose Antonio Vargas, journalist, immigrant rights activist and founder of Define American.
Based on President Trump’s rhetoric with the wall and the Muslim ban, you would think that terrorism is a huge safety issue for the U.S. But how much of a danger does it really pose? Americans are much more scared of terrorism than they should be, and 24 hour cable news is a major reason why.
Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion about this and more with Carlos Maza, video journalist for Vox.com.
After the Virginia shooting, the media was quick to humanize the shooter, who was a white, male, Bernie supporter. Obviously, this isn’t how it always goes down.
So, when is violence just about the action, and when is it about the identity of the perpetrator? And how much should identity and politics matter when it comes to violence?
Host Julio Ricardo Varela leads a discussion on this and more with Farah Stockman, reporter for the New York Times and Marcela Garcia, editorial writer for the Boston Globe and co-host of the new weekend edition of WGBH’s Boston Public Radio.
Puerto Rico voted overwhelmingly for Statehood on Sunday, but with only 23% turnout. Many Puerto Ricans boycotted the vote because they continue to be overlooked by the U.S. government. So, what’s the best way forward? Working within the system? Or breaking it?
Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion with Sandra Lilley, Managing Editor of NBC Latino, and Frances Robles, reporter for the New York Times.
Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday morning, and we couldn't wait until our normal Tuesday drop date. For this In The Thick FYI, Maria and Julio called up Tarini Parti, Capitol Hill reporter for Buzzfeed News to get an update on the unfolding situation in DC.
The decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement has major implications for the entire world, but President Trump’s choice reflects a deeper, largely unseen problem -- how environmental issues disproportionately affect communities of color in the U.S.
Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion on this and more with Terrell Starr, senior reporter at Foxtrot Alpha and Tara Houska, National Campaigns Director for Honor the Earth.
Demonstrators filled the Texas House of Representatives on Monday to protest Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB4), which Governor Abbott signed into law earlier this month. The law bans sanctuary cities in Texas, and it gives police officers broad authority to question people’s immigration status. The protest escalated to the point that two state representatives each claimed their lives were threatened by the other.
What does this law actually allow police to do, why is it provoking such outrage now, and what does it mean for the future of Texas — and the rest of the country?
Host Julio Ricardo Varela leads a discussion with Delia Garza, Austin City Council Member for District 2, and Roque Planas, National Reporter for The Huffington Post.
News about the FBI has been accelerating over the last week, but there’s still so much we don’t know. Who is responsible for the intelligence failures, the Trump administration, the FBI, or someone else entirely? And how should we judge the last few weeks stand when considering the history of the FBI? Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion with former FBI agent Mike German.
Plus, a check-in with Wajahat Ali about the terror attack in Manchester and President Trump’s Middle East trip.
Leading up to the 2016 election, we heard so much about the "sleeping giant" of the Latino vote. So, did the giant wake up? And, more broadly, what does the term Latino mean today to a community that is so diverse?
Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion on this and more with Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, professor at the University of Texas and Ray Salazar, teacher and journalist based in Chicago.
The media often portrays Donald Trump and Steve Bannon as explicitly anti-Latino and anti-POC. But does this reflect what they really believe? Does it matter? Or should we simply judge Trump and Bannon on their actions and policies alone?
In this first ever live recording of In The Thick, hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion with Steve Cortes, contributor to Fox News and an informal advisor to President Trump, and Esther Cepeda, featured opinion columnist at the Washington Post.
Plus, Julio and Maria call up Ed O’Keefe of the Washington Post to go over the latest on Donald Trump, James Comey, and Russia.
In the last few weeks, protests have been turning violent across the country. But who is starting the violence? Those on the far-left, far-right, or both? And what does the police response tell us about what the U.S. might become?
Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion on this and more with Farah Stockman, reporter for the New York Times, and Mike German, former FBI agent, who worked as an undercover agent among white supremacists.
NPR’s recently released diversity numbers showed little improvement in 2016, and many other outlets have declined to even release their numbers. So why is it so hard to create a diverse newsroom? Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion with reporter Farai Chideya and writer Jeff Yang on what newsrooms miss when they aren’t diverse, and why diversity in newsrooms is more crucial now than ever.
Donald Trump promised early on to “drain the swamp,” but what is the swamp actually like? What kind of power do lobbyists have, and who is actually a part of those backroom conversations?
Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion on the secret power of Washington DC with Jimmy Williams, former lobbyist and host of the political podcast, DecodeDC.
Donald Trump campaigned on “America First,” but by attacking Syria, he has shown himself to be a president very much involved on the world stage. What is the message he is sending by reversing his promises so dramatically? And has war simply become normalized in the Arab World?
Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion on this and more with Zeeshan Aleem, foreign affairs staff writer for Vox.com, and Malak Chabkoun, independent Middle East researcher and writer.
Under Donald Trump, political comedy has often been more hard hitting than straight news. And it’s not just big-name late night hosts carrying the torch. Comedians across the country are rethinking what comedy means during a Trump administration. Is it still just about being funny? Or is it about resistance?
Host Julio Ricardo Varela leads a discussion on this and more with comics Lalo Alcaraz and Elsa Waithe.
Judge Neil Gorsuch is facing a likely Democratic filibuster on his way to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch is strong in his belief that the Constitution should be read as it was originally intended – but is it fair to the women and communities of color that were ignored or disenfranchised in the 230-year-old document? And will the filibuster work?
Host Julio Ricardo Varela leads a discussion on this and more with Christina Greer, associate professor of political science at Fordham University, and Cristian Farías, Legal Affairs Reporter for The Huffington Post.
After the failure of the health care bill, the Trump administration immediately shifted the focus back to immigration, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions outlining federal sanctions to sanctuary cities at a White House press briefing. Is this new focus about creating real reform, or is it just a distraction?
Hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela bust some of the most crucial myths on immigration with help from Alex Nowrasteh, Immigration Policy Analyst from the Cato Institute, and Erika Andiola, former Press Secretary for Bernie Sanders, and current Political Director for Our Revolution.
After the first hearing on the Russia allegations, we look at some of the unseen implications of the hacking scandal. Would Americans care more if we had been hacked by Mexico? By Iran? Is Russia getting off easy because of its whiteness?
Julio Ricardo Varela leads a discussion on this and more with Terrell Starr, senior reporter at Foxtrot Alpha, and Tarini Parti, Capitol Hill reporter for BuzzFeed News.
Lost in the current debate over health care are the consistent health disparities between communities of color and white communities. What are the disparities under the ACA, and how might they be made worse under the new health bill, the AHCA?
Host Julio Ricardo Varela leads a discussion with Callie Crossley, the host of Under the Radar on WGBH Radio, and Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, Director of Health Equity at Families USA, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health advocacy organization.