black community

“Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly”

How did one of the worst predators of young black women on the south and west sides of Chicago get away with it for so many years? Did the music community not want to believe R. Kelly was capable of this unthinkable behavior? How many more victims are still out there? Reporter, Jim DeRogatis joins Dan and Amy to discuss his new book, "Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly.”

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More Taxes And A Legislative Salary Bump

How were lawmakers able to raise taxes on ordinary Illinoisans and give themselves a salary bump? How are the neighborhoods on the west side of Chicago going to benefit from the legalization of marijuana and the capital bill that doubled the gas tax? Why would legislators remove health and safety standards at abortion clinics on the premise of protecting women? State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) joins Dan and Amy to discuss the end of the legislative session in Springfield.

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White Liberal Guilt

Is the reparations debate amongst the 2020 presidential election hopefuls directed to gain the black vote or gain the favor of white liberals? Where is the outrage on the left for the disportionate amount of black babies aborted? Why are men competing against women in sports and disenfranchising female athletes? NFL great and author, Burgess Owens joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Recovering Democrats: Diamond And Silk

As former Democrats, what made Diamond and Silk switch parties? What is the idea that every politician has to pander to the black community with the stereotypes that they’re all poor and need the government’s help? Diamond and Silk join Dan and Amy to discuss.

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The Pathway To Economic Opportunity

Is school choice the pathway to opportunity for those in underprivileged communities? Is the educational establishment the worst enemy of black people? Is there plenty of money out there but in the wrong hands as Mayor De Blasio claims? Professor of economics at George Mason University, Walter Williams joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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LaShawn Ford On The Illinois Democrat Party And The Future Of Illinois and Chicago

Democrats have run the city of Chicago for the last 100 years, and the state of Illinois for most of the last 50. But the results for taxpayers aren't there. Will anyone in the state Democratic Party ranks be willing to break away from the party bosses and the machine, and call for more reform-minded policies? On this edition of Against the Current, Dan Proft asks that question to state Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, who genuinely wants to see the city's impoverished neighbors turned around, but with what policy initiatives? Proft and Ford discuss and debate property taxes, entrepreneurship and education, among a range of other topics for how to improve both the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois as a whole.  


Funds And Guns

“The best thing they can do is to find a way to get out.” 80% of the victims of the violence in Chicago have been black men, but has it always been this way? How do you teach someone to value someone else’s life when they don’t even value their own? George Mason University Economics Professor, Walter Williams joins Dan and Shaun Thompson to discuss Chicago's street violence.

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Solutions For America’s Mass-Shooting Capital

What measures are going to be effective in reducing violence in Chicago? When will Madigan and the Chicago Democrat power structure be called out for their takeover of black neighborhoods and inability to stop the violence in Chicago? Is demanding safer neighborhoods and calling for a de-escalation of police intrinsically contrary? Reverend Greg Livingston joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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The Politics of Homeownership

Homeownership and property taxes are two of the most urgent issues facing Chicago's South Suburban Communities. What are families and businesses experiencing? What role has Illinois' political culture played in this crisis? Former ABC7 political reporter and WVON morning drive host Charles Thomas, barber college owner Kenny Williams and former Riverdale Mayor Deyon Dean join host Jeff Coleman to discuss. 


“Black Guns Matter”

Should nonviolent felons be able to obtain a gun? Is gun control racist? Hip Hop artist and founder of "Black Guns Matter," Maj Toure joins Dan and Amy to discuss these topics and his seminars that educate black communities on gun rights and safety. One of his big events is coming up in Chicago, June 16, check it out here.

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Black Lives Matter Discredited Their Legitimacy

Main problems with the Black Lives Matter movement: shut down conversation at universities and failed to address black on black crime, while alienating police officers in the black community. Is Black Lives Matter any different than other cultural Marxists groups? DePaul Philosophy Professor, Dr. Jason Hill joins Dan and Amy to discuss his new book “We Have Overcome,” which he describes as a love letter to the American people.

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Super Bowl Champ Burgess Owens On Challenging Leftist Orthodoxy

Burgess Owens was an elite defensive back during his 10 seasons in the NFL, appearing in a Pro Bowl and winning the 1980 Super Bowl with the Oakland Raiders. Now – after a successful career in football – Owens is tackling a new opponent: the left. On this edition of Against the Current, Dan Proft talks to Owens about how the left has failed black Americans and how the country should push back against Marxism permeating in our culture. Owens also gives his thoughts on the current state of affairs in the NFL, a league which has been losing viewers and caught up in political controversy in recent years.

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MLK: Man Of Peace And Civil Discourse

“The civil rights struggle for black Americans is over and has been won.” Although the constitutional rights’ battle has been won, what strategies are there to overcome the problems that are still relevant today in the black community? Do those who lived through times of true discrimination appreciate the progress that has been made more than younger generations who try to equate it with the hardships they face today? Professor of Economics at George Mason University and syndicated columnist, Walter Williams joins Dan and Amy to discuss race relations nearly 50 years after Martin Luther King’s assassination.

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Proft: Dan and Amy...of course memorializing Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday today, this 2018, a couple of months away from the 50th anniversary of his assassination, April 4th, 1968. And so, I can't play some of these clips enough. They're just so great, who talks like this anymore? I wish people did...Martin Luther King, in one of my favorite speeches, the Streetsweeper Speech, he gave here in Chicago at New Covenant Church about...almost exactly a year before his assassination. King (from tape): What I'm saying to you today, my friends, even if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go on out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. If you can't be a pine at the top of the hill, be a scrub in the valley. Be be the best little scrub on the side of the hill. Be a bush if you can't be a tree. If you can't be a highway, just be a trail. If you can't be the sun, be a star. For it isn't by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are. Proft: I mean that...HE writes poetry like Shakespeare. In addition to that, just this other clip, because I think it's relevant to our discussion today. This is the speech he gave at the Mason Temple in Memphis the night before he was assassinated. Rather prophetic speech, this is the "On the Mountaintop" speech...not gonna play that part. The part in the beginning, where he essentially holds America's stated values up against...up for display, and says are we living up...are people living up to these values, as enshrined in our founding documents. Of course the answer was no, but can we do that today? Can we honestly do the mirror test that Martin Luther King put to us in 1968? King (from tape): All we say to America is, "Be true to what you said on paper." If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand some of these illegal injunctions. Maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn't committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right. Proft: Now we're pleased to be joined by somebody who was there, generally speaking, during that period. He is another great, the great Walter Williams. His Eminence of Economics at George Mason University, Professor Williams, thanks again for joining us, appreciate it. Williams: Hey, good morning! Proft: Good morning. And so, some of your contemporaries opined today, on the occasion of Martin Luther King's birthday. One of them is Shelby Steele, who had a piece in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend, and he said this; "The oppression of black people is over with. It's politically incorrect news, but it's true nonetheless. We blacks are today a free people. It's as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise." He goes on to say "We can say that past oppression left us unprepared for freedom, this is certainly true, but this is no consolation. Freedom is just freedom. It's a condition, not an agent of change. It doesn't develop or uplift people who win it, freedom holds us accountable no matter the disadvantages we inherit from the past." Is Shelby Steele right about that? Williams: I think he's absolutely right, and that's something I've said for years, that the civil rights struggle for black Americans in our country is over, and it has been won. That is, at one time black Americans did not have the Constitutional guarantees of others in our country. Today, we do. Now, because the civil rights struggle is over and won, that does not mean there are not MAJOR problems confronting the black community, such as education, crime, and family breakdown. These are major problems, but these are not civil rights problems. That is, they will not be solved by using civil rights strategies. That is...you can sing "We Shall Overcome" all you want, but if blacks are murdering each other, as they are doing in great numbers, in your country...in your city, and getting a fraudulent education, a grossly fraudulent education where the average black 12th grader, he can read and write at the level of the average white 6th or 7th or 8th grader. Now, that's a MAJOR problem...but it's a not a civil rights problem! That is...you take the city of Baltimore, that's a city that's run...that blacks have been mayors, Chief of Police, Superintendent of Schools, most of the members of the City Council, and but yet, this fraudulent education goes on! And that's true in many cities, but it's not civil rights problems. Let me...it doesn't have anything to do with racial discrimination. And so I think that Dr. King's legacy, his battle that he fought, is over and won, but we still have major problems that remain. Jacobson: What do you think Martin Luther King Jr. would think of the "Black Lives Matter" movement and of Antifa? Williams: Well I think that he would look at it with a great disgust, he was a man of peace, he was against the advocation of violence. As a matter of fact, during his life he had an ongoing battle with the Black Muslims, because they were more for using violence and confrontation. So yes, I think he would be against this Antifa and the "Black Lives Matter". Proft: And Bob Woodson, another contemporary, writing in The Hill about how to truly honor the legacy of Dr. King, says among other things; "The noble struggle for equal rights has morphed into a race-grievance industry." I think that's a little bit what you're speaking of. And the sad thing to me is that it afflicts even some of what are actually heroes of the civil right movement, like Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, who has bought into the race grievance industry as Bob Woodson describes it. Williams: That is absolutely right, and if we continue to look at it as racial discrimination problems, the problems are going to remain forever. That is...the fact that 75% of black births are births out of wedlock, which is devastating to the black family structure and black welfare, and if you want to consider that a civil rights problem, then the problem's going to exist forever. You're gonna...the black people in Chicago and many other cities, they're not putting bars in their windows, huddled in their homes at night. They're not afraid of the Ku Klux Klan riding through! And so...but they're afraid of other black people. And if you say "Well gee, we have to do something about the Ku Klux Klan!", well, black people are gonna be in danger forever! Jacobson: Well we all aspire for racial harmony, but when President Trump makes the comments about people coming from "blank-hole countries", does that take us a step back, or where does that leave us? Williams: Well that's...if I were the President, I wouldn't use such language. But the point that he's making about, if you ask the question about people coming to our country illegally...I mean just ask yourself the question...how many Norwegians are coming to our country illegally and crowding up our jails? How many people from Finland? How many people from New Zealand? That's...those people coming to our country are not our problem. People coming from South America and Latin America and Africa and the Middle East, those people are the problems! Now, the President could have used different language, but he surely could have...he was right on the spot when he's talking about the kind of people who we're admitting into our country who are causing us major problems. Now it's not politically correct to talk the way I am, but it's factual, that is I've asked you, how many...and I gave the case of Norwegians, Finns, and New Zealanders, and others, how many of them causing problems, burning our welfare system? Proft: And the point you're getting to, and I think President Trump was trying to get to, is the point about a merit-based immigration system. It's not that we should exclude people from Haiti, or San Salvador, or Sub-Saharan Africa or anywhere else, but the question is what's the standard by which we're admitting people, regardless of their country of origin? And the standard should be merit-based, that they're going to contribute to this country, as opposed to being a detriment to this country in some material way, right? Williams: That is absolutely right. And the problem is made even worse by politicians in our country setting up Sanctuary Cities for people who are in our country illegally. If you ask them, I mean I think someone should ask the mayor of Chicago, would he set up a Sanctuary City for shoplifters, Sanctuary City for car thieves? And somebody's, if they stole a car or they shoplift, you just pay some kind of fine and they be on their way, and we'll take care of them anyway. Proft: Is it your experience, since you've lived through some terrible periods in our country's history in a way that I certainly haven't, is it your experience that once you get beyond the politicians demagoguing identity politics, whether it's based on race or gender, that in terms of the interaction between human beings on a daily basis, things are actually pretty good, racial harmony-wise, but not that you don't have some bad actors, some racists, of course you do, you always will, but things are generally pretty good, much different than they were 50 years ago and there should be some recognition of that, and that people shouldn't be falling for the siren song of, you know, political demagogues who want to score points for themselves by fanning these flames? Williams: Yeah, I think you're absolutely right. My next birthday, which will be in March, I'll be 82 years old. And I have lived through...and when I was in the Army I was sent down to Georgia, I lived through a lot of the discrimination. But one of the things that we Americans do not appreciate is that...the great progress that black Americans have made. Now for example, if you just added up the income that black Americans make each year, and just thought of us as an independent country with our own GDP, black Americans would constitute the 16th or 17th richest country on the face of this Earth. There are some black people who make a lot of money, millionaires, many blacks are some of the world's most famous personalities. And it was a black, in the name of Colin Powell, that headed the world's mightiest military. Now, the significance of all this is that in 1865, neither a slave nor a slave owner would have believed that this kind of progress would be possible in a mere one hundred years...or so. And as such, it speaks to the intestinal fortitude of the people, but just as importantly, it speaks to the greatness of a nation. That is, that those kind of achievements that black Americans have made could not have been achieved anywhere else on the face of this Earth. Now, what...now the problem that remains is how can we get the 30 or 35% of black Americans for whom these gains have been elusive, how can we bring them into the mainstream American society? That's the big question, and we won't get at it, we won't reach a solution, by looking at racial discrimination. Proft: He is Walter Williams, a great professor of Economics at George Mason University, also nationally syndicated columnist. The website, again, for your musings, Professor Williams, is? Williams: It's WalterEWilliams.com, WalterEWilliams.com. Proft: Professor Williams, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it. Williams: And thank you for inviting me. Goodbye.

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Burgess Owens: “The Dark Underbelly Of The Left Is Now Showing Up On The Sidelines”

“When the left teaches our young people not to man up, to be whiners, weenies, and wimps, a man will look himself in the mirror at some point, recognize he’s not doing what he’s supposed to be doing and he’s going to be angry and his anger cannot be turned on himself so he turns on everyone else.” 

Why isn’t the anger turned on those who subjugate the black community through incentivized dependency instead of symbols of liberty and freedom? Former NFL player and author of “LIBERALISM: Or How To Turn Good Men Into Whiners, Weenies, and Wimps,” Burgess Owens joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Charles Thomas & Maze Jackson: Politics And The Black Community

Illinois politicians often claim to stand up for disadvantaged and minority communities. But what have been the actual policy results, in particular for black Illinoisans? On this edition of Against the Current, Dan Proft talks to Charles Thomas and Maze Jackson, the morning show hosts on WVON radio in Chicago, about the political, economic and educational challenges facing the black community in Chicago and Illinois. Thomas and Jackson discuss the record of the Democratic Party – in the city of Chicago, statewide and nationally – as it pertains to improving opportunities for the black community. They also discuss how black voters can get more engaged and hold Illinois politicians accountable, especially when those politicians ignore their concerns. All this and more in a wide-ranging discussion on Against the Current.


This Project Scares The Living Heck Out Of Them

Former ABC-7 political reporter Charles Thomas joined Dan & Amy to discuss his new project, The Chicago Drum, focused on elevating new voices in Chicago's Black community. Does the Chicago Democrat Party serve the interests of the Black community? How will the Chicago Drum help hold black elected leaders accountable? Can we change the narrative by changing the voices that are heard? Why are white liberals so resistant to give the black community a voice?



Is Chicago Ready for a New Political Paradigm? ATC with ABC-7 Political Reporter Charles Thomas

For black families, is the civil rights struggle over and the economic struggle taking center stage? Will such a transition bring new leaders to the fore? On this week's Against The Current (ATC), venerable ABC-7 Political Reporter Charles Thomas argues that conversations are happening in Chicago's black neighborhoods that haven't been had in a long time which opens up the possibility for substantial political changes.

Why is President Obama returning to Springfield? What is he likely to say? What will be the implications of his visit?

Thomas and Proft cover this ground and more on this week's ATC.

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Dan Proft & Maze Jackson

On this edition of Against The Current, Dan Proft sits down with Chicago Defender Political Editor and WVON Radio political commentator Maze Jackson to discuss race and politics and racial politics in Chicago and on college campuses. The two review the Laquan McDonald case in the context of the Chicago political power structure (that extends to Springfield). Which heads should roll? What should be done? Who is/is not representing the black community at present? Should Dan Proft be a creative consultant to #BlackLivesMatter? And might Maze Jackson be the first entrant into the 2019 mayoral race? Get all the answers on this installment of ATC.

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