Black Lives Matter

Yasmin Khan / KUNM

Let’s Talk New Mexico 8/19 8am: This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Chicano-led rebellion against police brutality and racism that began in Albuquerque’s Roosevelt Park. The rebellion is a key, but often overlooked, moment in New Mexico’s Chicano history.  Fifty years later, it serves as a reminder of the long record of police violence, resistance, and collaboration by people of color in our state, and remains especially relevant in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter uprising. 

Nash Jones / KUNM

Let’s Talk New Mexico, Thursday, 2/25, 8a: February is Black History Month, and after a year that centered criticism of America’s racist past and present, many New Mexicans are paying attention to the role of race in our everyday lives. 

On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll be discussing the 10th anniversary of the New Mexico Black History Festival, and also examining the American race narrative. And we want to hear from you! How did this summer's Black Lives Matter demonstrations change your view of race in the United States? What stories of Black History in New Mexico do you want to share? And how can we use the lessons of our history to make a more equitable state, country and world? Email us at LetsTalk@KUNM.org, or call in live during the show.

This is the third story in the Mountain West News Bureau series "Elevated Risk," a project powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

A windswept valley cuts through the heart of Lethbridge, Alberta, about an hour north of the border. That wind is what the small prairie city has long been known for. The local hockey team is called the Hurricanes.

But these days Lethbridge is known for something else too – crime. The city of 100,000 tops Canada's Crime Severity Index. And as the crime rate has risen, so has the police's use of force.

This is the second story in the Mountain West News Bureau series "Elevated Risk," a project powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Cole Stump was a Montanan, through and through. The 29-year-old citizen of the Chippewa-Cree Tribe was raised on the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation in the north-central part of the state and had family ties to the Fort Peck Reservation in the northeast corner. He was a loving father of five and a skilled ranch hand.

This is the first story in the Mountain West News Bureau series "Elevated Risk," a project powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Last summer, parks and streets across the country filled with the sound of violins. They were played by people protesting the death of 23-year-old violinist Elijah McClain. The young black man was walking home from a convenience store in Aurora, Colo. when he was stopped by the police after someone called saying he looked "sketchy."

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Air Force veteran Barbara Jordan led the Black New Mexico Movement in Rio Rancho in the summer, organizing for equality and justice for Black and Brown people. Demonstrators there encountered angry pushback  from hundreds of residents at some events, but she pressed on. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona reached out to Jordan to get her views on what she saw take place at the nation's Capitol last week, where a mob of people attempted an insurrection of the United States government—with notably less reaction from law enforcement than at BLM protests in 2020.  

Amid America’s racial reckoning spurred by the killing of George Floyd, a number of controversial historical monuments were torn down by protesters or removed by authorities this year, including some in the Mountain West.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Clifton White and Selinda Guerrero organized Free Them All Fridays for months, speaking out against conditions and abuses in New Mexico prisons. White had spent years behind the walls, with Guerrero on the outside calling for prisoners’ rights. After the couple pulled together the first Black Lives Matter protest of 2020 in Albuquerque in late May, White was arrested on an administrative parole violation, which Guerrero says was retaliation for their protests. She and other demonstrators called for his release all summer long. He was returned to his family late last week. KUNM talked with the couple Monday, Nov. 2, in a park, with everyone wearing masks, which you might hear in the interview.

No More Normal: We Need A Plan

Nov 1, 2020
Eric J. Garcia / El Machete Illustrated

The final presidential debate of 2020 got passing marks because the candidates managed to take turns. But rarely did they roll out the kind of action plans the moderator was looking for. She kept asking: If elected, what will you do about this big problem we are facing? Still, candidates did not venture into specifics. We think that was by design. The strategy was, make debate No. 1 so bad that by the time debate No. 2 comes around, expectations are so low, everyone will just be grateful it’s not incoherent shouting and call it good. But in a time with multiple crises pressing down on us, specific plans can pull people together, provide direction and alleviate anxiety. So that’s what this episode is all about. What do you want to hear candidates talking about? What kinds of plans and policies do you wish they were outlining before the public?

Lonnie Anderson

For months, demonstrators fighting police violence and racism have been calling for the state to release Albuquerque protest organizer Clifton White from prison. His wife, Selinda Guerrero, said she was surprised by a call from Santa Rosa prison staff on Thursday saying she should come pick him up. 

No More Normal: The Real Crime

Oct 18, 2020
Lonnie Anderson

Attack ads and contemporary political rhetoric about crime have a disturbing campaign ancestor: The Willie Horton ad that may have cost Michael Dukakis the presidential election in 1988. It relied on racism for its efficacy, and it ushered in an era of so-called "tough-on-crime" laws and posturing that nearly broke criminal legal systems, like the one in Albuquerque. Executive Producer and longtime criminal justice reporter Marisa Demarco navigates in Episode 13 how racist, fear-based electioneering warped the country's approach to crime. That continues to this day, favoring quick vengeance over long-term solutions that might have a real impact on crime rates. It's an addictive cycle: These methods, in fact, might be a big part of creating the problem candidates are promising to solve with them when they're counting on fear to salvage their flagging campaigns. 

Yasmin Khan / KUNM

 

Protesters in Albuquerque were out multiple nights in a row after the verdict in the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor was announced September 23. A Kentucky grand jury declined to bring charges directly related to Taylor’s death after Louisville officers shot and killed her during a late-night raid on her apartment in March. On Thursday evening, the second night of protests in Albuquerque, about 50 people gathered in front of the University of New Mexico bookstore.

Elliotte Cook

Albuquerque lost an influential anti-racism activist and educator this summer. Bahati Myhelatu Ansari died from lymphocytic leukemia at 72 years old on June 27, 2020. She was the founder of the “Racism Free Zone” program for schools, which she started in Oregon about 30 years ago after her sons experienced racist attacks in junior high school. KUNM's Yasmin Khan met up with Ansari’s son Elliotte Cook at his mother’s favorite spot in Albuquerque, Tingley Beach, to talk about his mother and her legacy.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

The Black New Mexico Movement held a rally on Saturday, Sept. 12, in Rio Rancho, the more conservative, smaller city that neighbors Albuquerque. Fifty or 60 people gathered to speak out against racism, marking the 24th anniversary of Tupac Shakur’s death and continuing the hip-hop artist’s activism against police brutality and racial injustice. A larger crowd of opposing demonstrators showed up and antagonized the group. 

No More Normal: Mental Wellness

Sep 6, 2020
Adri De La Cruz


 As the summer season transitions into fall, it is important to note that September, the ninth month of the year, isn’t just for football and the start of school. It is also a month to raise awareness of suicide prevention and recovery. Both are already long-standing issues in our society—especially here in New Mexico. Coupled with the pandemics of COVID-19 and racism, hard feelings and thoughts can balloon. Left unattended or unnoticed, these issues lead to tragedy. But can we stop those tragedies before they happen? Talking things out and finding resources are two key solutions, and Episode 8 is full of options. This week we talk with counselors, therapists and people looking to help with an open ear, willing to hear about your problems and help you work through them. Because the world as it is today demands flexibility, but it’s tough to adjust to what you can’t see. 

 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

State Republicans had planned on featuring the New Mexico Civil Guard as special guests at a rally in Clovis on Aug. 22, before the militia group pulled out, citing racist remarks by one of the invited speakers. The Civil Guard, whose members have showed up heavily armed at several protests in Albuquerque this summer, also had their Facebook page removed this week as the platform culled hundreds of pages it says are tied to violence. 

No More Normal: The Struggle Continues

Aug 9, 2020
Blvck Astroknot

Sometimes history repeats itself. When host Khalil Ekulona talks to his African American friends who are parents, he says they express joy and sadness: Joy in watching their kids grow and discover the wonders of life. Sadness in having to repeat conversations with their children about growing up Black in America—the same conversations their parents had with them decades ago. Episode 4 is all about the journey to racial equality, and some of the factors to consider as we travel along the road.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Demonstrations against racism and police violence continue around the United States and here in New Mexico. KUNM’s team has been to nearly all of them in Albuquerque and reports that protesters are pretty much always peaceful. On Thursday, Aug. 6, organizers with the Black New Mexico Movement gathered Downtown to speak out against what they said is biased news coverage about them and an inadequate police response to militia threats.

Nash Jones / KUNM

Rallies and marches for racial justice have drawn thousands to the streets of New Mexico’s largest city this summer, but protest looked different for one 67-year-old Black resident of an Albuquerque suburb. Every weekday for a month, Elizabeth Ward stood ­­– and sometimes sat – with a Black Lives Matter sign on a dusty street corner in Rio Rancho. The sprawling city’s population is whiter and more conservative than Albuquerque’s, with an all-Republican governing body. 

Michael Kappel via Flickr / Creative Commons . https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Let’s Talk New Mexico 7/30, 8a: The Trump administration announced last week that it’s sending 35 federal agents to Albuquerque, saying they’ll fight violent crime as part of Operation Legend. But exactly what that means is unclear, and many people fear the agents will crack down on protestors, or target immigrants or low-income, largely Brown and Black communities that have borne the brunt of some past police operations. This week on Let’s Talk New Mexico we’ll talk with elected officials and community organizers about this deployment of federal agents, and we want to hear from you.

No More Normal: Disappearing Acts

Jul 27, 2020
Leslie Granda-Hill / 2020

This week, we get into what has disappeared from our lives—good or bad—during the pandemic. Episode 2 is all about what’s going, going, gone, maybe for good. We learn of attempts to erase people from the Census. We talk to Sen. Martin Heinrich about the erosion of our civil liberties. We reflect on what’s fading from our relationships and mental wellness. We hear from a COVID-19 survivor, so the realities of the virus don’t slip away. We examine the consciousness of community and the loss of a collective future with an international futurist. We reflect on a disappearing chicken and what life was like pre-pandemic. And we try to see and hear a vanishing Rio Grande.

No More Normal: Lessons Of Endurance

Jul 20, 2020
Zack Freeman

 

No More Normal is a new show brought to you by the same crew behind YNMG. On episode 1, we’re talking endurance. In the last few months, how many times have you heard someone say, “We’re in this for the long haul”? It’s going to take all kinds of gritty willpower to keep each other alive and to make it through the changes in our world. This week we learn from younger folks. We get lessons, advice and stories from civil rights activists. We talk about the endurance of people who’ve been fighting racist mascots and imagery for decades. And we tag along for a long run in the brutal heat.

Hannah Colton

University Showcase 7/17 8a: On this episode we talk with Associate Professor Finnie Coleman about the origins and the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement and how Afrofuturism can inform the creation of a more just society. 

pexels.com via CC


Let’s Talk New Mexico 7/16, 8a: Journalism is changing. All reporters are both living in the pandemic and reporting on it. Local student journalists are calling on newsrooms to acknowledge the racism hidden in how objectivity plays out in newsrooms. On this week's Let's Talk New Mexico, we’re discussing decision-making in news and reckoning with a history of racism in media.

And we want to hear from you!  How do you decide whether you can trust a New Mexican news source? What might make you lose that trust? Join the conversation by emailing letstalk@kunm.org or calling in on the day of the show.

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

As Black Lives Matter rallies continue across the country, some counter protesters and militia members are giving new life to an old racist myth – that white Irish people were enslaved in the Americas just like Africans and Indigenous people.

 


Protests are unfolding across the country over the death of Elijah McClain at the hands of police in Aurora, Colo. Now, frustration is also building over local law enforcement’s use of force this past weekend at a vigil in Aurora honoring him — frustration that was visible at a city council meeting Tuesday night dedicated to the response. 

Nash Jones / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 7/2, 8a: Across the nation, people are calling for the removal of monuments and place names that glorify leaders who brutalized Brown and Black people. On Let’s Talk New Mexico this week, we’ll discuss the long history of resistance to Albuquerque’s Juan de Onate statue, the Santa Fe plaza obelisk, a White-centric mural at the University of New Mexico, and more. What do these monuments mean to you? How do they uphold narratives that contribute to the continued oppression of Native Americans and other people of color? What should be the role of public art in telling the whole truth about complex colonial histories? Join the conversation: email letstalk@kunm.org, use the hashtag #LetsTalkNM on Twitter, or call (505) 277-5866 during the show.

YNMG & COVID: How Are You Doing?

Jun 26, 2020
pxhere via CC


In episode 82, we discuss how the question “How are you?” is part of documenting changing people and a changing globe. The answer reveals a lot about us. Are we good? We hear from a high school athlete who is worried about going back to a crowded campus, a woman who lost her mother to COVID-19, an anti-police brutality activist who sees focused protesters demanding positive local change, a community organizer whose family was torn apart after their activism, and an advocate who networks community groups to pay people to make masks. We know everyone out there is working hard in one way or another. So, how are you?  


Protesting racism and police brutality is nothing new. But large, sustained turnouts, especially in small, mostly white towns, is something we've not seen before. For many of these protesters, it's their first time demonstrating - ever.

Yasmin Khan / KUNM

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 when enslaved people in Texas learned they were free, almost two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had officially outlawed slavery. Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate Juneteenth in Albuquerque this weekend, filling Roosevelt Park with music, dancing and barbeque. 

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