Citizenship | WAMC

Citizenship

Book Cover for "Voting in Native Country" - repeated thrice
University of Pennsylvania Press / University of Pennsylvania Press

Among the American public, there is a collective amnesia about the U.S. government's shameful policies toward the continent's original inhabitants and their descendants. Only rarely, such as during the Wounded Knee standoff in the 1970s and the recent Dakota Access Pipeline protests, do Native issues reach the public consciousness.

But even during those times, there is little understanding of historical context—of the history of promises made and broken over seven generations—that shape current events. Voting in Indian Country uses conflicts over voting rights as a lens for understanding the centuries-long fight for Native self-determination. Weaving together history, politics, and law, Jean Reith Schroedel provides a view of this often-ignored struggle for social justice from the ground up in her book "Voting In Indian Country: The View from the Trenches."

JoAnne Myers is Associate Professor of Political Science and Former Chair of the Political Science department at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

As an applied political philosopher her research interrogates the relationship between citizen and non-citizen in the modern liberal state focusing on human rights. Her new book is "The Good Citizen: The Markers of Privilege in America."

For more than a decade, Daniel Connolly has reported on Mexican immigration to the U.S. South for news organizations including The Associated Press in Little Rock, and The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal. The winner of numerous journalism prizes, he has received grants and fellowships from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the International Center for Journalists and the Fulbright program.

In his new book, The Book of Isaias: A Child of Hispanic Immigrants Seeks His Own America 18-year-old high school senior Isaias Ramos plays in a punk rock group called Los Psychosis and likes to sing along to songs by Björk and her old band, the Sugarcubes. He’s so bright that when his school’s quiz bowl goes on local TV, he acts as captain. The counselors at school want him to apply to Harvard. But Isaias isn’t so sure. He's thinking about going to work painting houses with his parents, who crossed the Arizona desert illegally from Mexico.

Several dozen people will be sworn in as new citizens of the United States during naturalization ceremonies being held on the Fourth of July at three upstate New York locations.

Recently there has been increased talk about the importance of teaching citizenship in schools.

We’ve had a conversation or two about it right here. But can citizenship education survive in an atmosphere of standardized testing and common core homogenization? Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to a professor of democracy and education about teaching students to be good citizens in a democratic society.

We’ll also spend an academic minute celebrating the birthday of one of the building blocks of democratic society.