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In The Thick

Journalists of color tell you what you’re missing from the mainstream news. Co-hosted by award-winning journalists Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela, IN THE THICK has the conversations about race, identity and politics few people are discussing or want to discuss.
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In The Thick
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Sep 21, 2016

After last weekend's attack in New York City, the country is once again intensely focused on immigration. Much of this debate stems from fear, but for such an emotional issue, how much can facts really do to change people’s minds? And with Donald Trump facing so much criticism on his immigration policy, do Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the Democrats really deserve a pass?

Julio Ricardo Varela leads a conversation with Liz Llorente, Politics Editor for Fox News Latino, and Kai Wright, Features Editor of The Nation and host of the upcoming podcast, The United States of Anxiety.

Sep 14, 2016

Hillary Clinton faced a storm of criticism about her health this week, but how much of this is due to sexism? And Donald Trump continues to push the limits of what he can say, but are people even noticing?

Julio Ricardo Varela leads a conversation with Daniella Leger, Senior Vice President for Communications and Strategy at the Center for American Progress, and Jessica Byrd, founder of Three Point Strategies, a consulting firm focused on electing people of color.

Sep 7, 2016

Last week, Donald Trump visited Mexico and an African-American church in Detroit, but was he really addressing people of color, or were these speeches simply dog whistles designed to show white voters that he that he connects with communities of color? Also, quarterback Colin Kaepernick continues to silently protest the National Anthem. We ask: “What does the American flag really mean?”

Maria Hinojosa leads a discussion with Jamil Smith, Senior National Correspondent at MTV News, Jamilah King, Senior Staff Writer at Mic, and Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor at the Futuro Media Group.

Aug 24, 2016

We’re off next week, so we decided to look back at some of our favorite In The Thick moments over the last few months. Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela break down their favorite clips, and--now with hindsight--they also discuss how these moments fit with the current political climate.

We’ll see you again on Wednesday, September 7!

Aug 17, 2016

This week, tennis player Monica Puig won Puerto Rico’s first ever gold medal—which has led many to wonder, why does Puerto Rico have its own Olympians, if it’s part of the US?

In short: it’s complicated. 

Maria Hinojosa leads a discussion about the almost unbelievably complex relationship between Puerto Rico and the US with guests Sandra Lilley, Managing Editor of NBC Latino, Natascha Otero, a leader of South Florida’s chapter of the National Puerto Rican Agenda, and Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor for the Futuro Media Group.

Aug 10, 2016

Building a wall to stop immigration. Police killing black men. A politician banning Muslims. As America erupts over race and ethnicity, many reporters of color feel it’s their obligation to lead the conversation dividing the country. Maria Hinojosa leads a discussion with New York Times reporter Yamiche Alcindor, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery, and Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor at the Futuro Media Group.

Aug 3, 2016

While Democrats are patting themselves on the back after Khizr Khan’s speech, does their embrace actually go deeper than the surface? Is the Democratic Party actually doing as good a job with communities of color as prominent Democrats claim? And has Donald Trump finally gone over the line? Maria Hinojosa leads a discussion with Linda Sarsour, prominent civil rights activist, Terrell J. Starr, National Political Correspondent for Fusion, and Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor for the Futuro Media Group.

Jul 28, 2016

We recorded so much great material in our week at the DNC that we decided to make a bonus DNC episode. Maria Hinojosa talks with four prominent politicians, advisors, and activists of color: Bill Richardson, former US Energy Secretary and New Mexico Governor; Dolores Huerta, civil rights leader and co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association; Bill Velazquez, National Director for Latino outreach for Bernie Sanders’ campaign; and Jose Antonio Vargas, journalist and immigration rights leader. 

Jul 27, 2016

Weeks ago, no one could have predicted such intrigue at the Democratic National Convention. But beyond Wikileaks and the strident support for Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton faces a skeptical public whose enthusiasm for her is in question. Maria Hinojosa takes the show to the DNC in Philadelphia for a lively conversation with Jamil Smith, Senior National Correspondent at MTV News, Michele Jawando, Vice President for Legal Progress at the Center for American Progress, and Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor with the Futuro Media Group.

Jul 20, 2016

This week, In The Thick is in Cleveland covering the 2016 Republican National Convention. How do prominent conservative Latinos feel about Trump as their nominee? What can Trump do to gain their full support? And what does the future hold for the GOP's relationship with communities of color? Maria Hinojosa speaks with Daniel Garza, Executive Director of the Libre Initiative, Bettina Inclán, a Republican consultant and the former Director for Hispanic Outreach at the Republican National Committee, Jamil Smith, Senior National Correspondent at MTV News, and Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor for the Futuro Media Group.

Jul 13, 2016

With the recent tragedies in Baton Rogue, Falcon Heights, and Dallas, the topic of race and policing has dominated the national dialogue. Are we asking too much of police? Can we move forward to create more trust between police and communities of color? And will Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of Hillary Clinton impact progress on police reform? Maria Hinojosa leads a discussion with Tracey Meares, Professor at Yale Law School and former member of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Terrell Jermaine Starr, National Political Correspondent for Fusion, and Zak Cheney Rice, Senior Staff Writer at Mic.

Jul 6, 2016

 

With a nod to punk rockers The Clash, the question of 'who should stay and who should go' was at the heart of two decisions at the end of the U.S. Supreme Court session. Who should stay in the America and who should go to college were behind rulings on immigration and affirmative action. Maria Hinojosa leads a discussion with Debo Adegbile, lawyer and former Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, professor at the University of Texas Center for Mexican American and Latino Studies, and Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor for the Futuro Media Group.

Jun 29, 2016

 

Politicians often talk about race when it serves their agendas. Recently the racial spotlight has been on police departments, especially in Baltimore and Oakland, where events have damaged trust in both forces. Maria Hinojosa leads a discussion from the Aspen Ideas Festival with former Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor and DeRay Mckesson, activist, co-creator of Campaign Zero and a prominent member of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Jun 22, 2016

This election renews the question of what it means to be an American. How should we define fundamental American values in light of the Orlando murders, the debate over gun rights, and politicians stoking our worst fears? Maria Hinojosa leads a discussion with Wajahat Ali, attorney, playwright and commentator, Verónica Bayetti Flores, freelance writer, and co-host of Radio Menea, and Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor for the Futuro Media Group.

Jun 15, 2016

Many were Latinos, Latinas, and members of the LGBTQ community. But in the initial days after the Orlando terror attack, more attention was given to the potential tie to ISIS than to the victims' intersectional identities. Maria Hinojosa leads a discussion with Verónica Bayetti Flores, freelance writer and co-host of Radio Menea, Shadi Hamid, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor with the Futuro Media Group.

Jun 8, 2016

This week Hillary Clinton crosses a finish line that not all Democrats feel she’s reached, while Donald Trump crosses a different line that is challenging Republican support. Maria Hinojosa leads a discussion with Jason Johnson, Politics Editor for The Root and Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor with the Futuro Media Group.

Jun 1, 2016

Latino support for Republicans Presidential candidates has been steadily falling, slipping from 40% support in 2004 to 27% in 2012. But could conservative Latinos stop this decline and help Donald Trump win? Maria Hinojosa leads a discussion with Daniel Garza, Executive Director of the Libre Initiative, Angela Maria Kelley, Executive Director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor with the Futuro Media Group.

May 25, 2016

In 1992, George Bush won the Asian-American vote by 24%, but in 2008, Barack Obama won it by 47%. With the potential to help both parties, why are these voters largely being ignored this election year? Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor with the Futuro Media Group, leads a discussion with Boston City Council President Michelle Wu, and Jeff Yang, featured contributor at CNN.

May 18, 2016

Bernie Sanders’s surprising string of success raises questions of Hillary Clinton’s vulnerability now and in November. Listen in as Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor with the Futuro Media Group, leads a discussion with Daniella Gibbs Léger, Senior Vice President for Communications and Strategy at the Center for American Progress and Tarini Parti, Capitol Hill Reporter for BuzzFeed News.

May 11, 2016

The passion behind each Presidential campaign ranges from the revolution of Bernie Sanders to the populism of Donald Trump to the prospect of the first woman President in Hillary Clinton. But is there a way for one campaign to break through? Maria Hinojosa leads a discussion with Tara Houska, Native American Advisor to the Bernie Sanders campaign, Jason Johnson, Politics Editor for The Root, and Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor with the Futuro Media Group.

May 4, 2016

A funny thing happened on the road to the nomination for President: Donald Trump became the new brand of the Republican Party. Maria Hinojosa leads a discussion with independent journalist Wajahat Ali, Amanda Terkel, Senior Political Reporter for the Huffington Post, and Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor with the Futuro Media Group. 

Apr 27, 2016

Personality has always played a role in politics, but this year the frontrunners have two distinct character traits. Donald Trump has connected with voters through his passion while Hillary Clinton has succeeded through her pragmatism. Maria Hinojosa leads a discussion with Liz Llorente, Politics Editor/Senior Reporter for Fox News Latino; Darren Sands, Political Reporter for BuzzFeed News; and Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor with the Futuro Media Group.

Apr 20, 2016

The New York presidential primary resulted in lopsided victories for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But questions remain over disenfranchised voters and rules that prevented millions from casting a ballot. Join Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor with the Futuro Media Group, as he dissects the election with Basil Smikle, Executive Director of the New York State Democratic Party and Hadas Gold, Media Reporter for Politico.

Apr 15, 2016

Surprise! We’ve got a special post-debate mini-episode for you. We sent our producer Noam Hassenfeld to the Democratic debate at the Brooklyn Navy Yards, and he’s here to tell us about his experience. Noam and guest host Julio Ricardo Varela recap the debate, highlighting several important moments, including Clinton’s reliance on Obama, the candidates’ foreign policies, and the lack of discussion of communities of color.

Apr 13, 2016

Bernie Sanders has won 7 of the last 8 contests. So on the eve of the New York primary, has the media been slow in changing its narrative that Hillary Clinton has the nomination all wrapped up? Maria Hinojosa leads a discussion with Adrian Carrasquillo, Political Reporter and Editor of Latino coverage for BuzzFeed News; Jane Coaston, Political Reporter for MTV News; and Julio Ricardo Varela, Political Editor with the Futuro Media Group.

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