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Code Switch

Author: NPR

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Ever find yourself in a conversation about race and identity where you just get...stuck? Code Switch can help. We're all journalists of color, and this isn't just the work we do. It's the lives we lead. Sometimes, we'll make you laugh. Other times, you'll get uncomfortable. But we'll always be unflinchingly honest and empathetic. Come mix it up with us.
194 Episodes
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Death Of A Blood Sport

Death Of A Blood Sport

2019-12-0400:34:243

Later this month, a Congressional ban will make cockfighting illegal in U.S. territories. Animal rights activists argue that the sport is cruel and inhumane. But in Puerto Rico, many people plan to defy the ban. They say cockfighting has been ingrained in the culture for centuries, and that the ban is an attempt to wipe out an integral part of Puerto Rican identity.
It's Thanksgiving week, so we wanted to give y'all a question to fight about: How much context should you have to give when talking about race and culture? Is it better to explain every reference, or let people go along for the ride? Comedian Hari Kondabolu joins us to hash it out.
Sex, Lies And Audio Tape

Sex, Lies And Audio Tape

2019-11-2000:56:157

Sometimes, in order to understand yourself, you fumble through a tough conversation with your mom. Other times, you roll up to a sex club with your best friend. In his new fiction podcast "Moonface," producer James Kim explores all the messy, scandalous, cringe-worthy ways that different parts of our identities collide.
Status Update

Status Update

2019-11-1300:27:053

Nearly 9 million people in the U.S. are part of a "mixed-status" family: some may be U.S. citizens; some may have green cards; others may face the constant specter of deportation. As the Supreme Court gets ready to decide the fate of DACA — a program that protects some undocumented people from being removed from the country — we check in with three siblings who all have different statuses, and whose fates may hinge on the outcome of this case.
In 1965, a white minister and civil rights organizer, James Reeb, was killed by a group of white men in Selma, Ala. Reeb's death drew national outrage, but no one was ever held accountable. We spoke to two reporters — white Southerners of a younger generation — about the lies that kept this murder from being solved.
It's Halloween, and people are leaning into all things scary. But sometimes those celebrations of the macabre hit a little too close to home, brushing up against our country's very dark past. So how do you navigate fake-horror in the midst of so much that's actually terrifying?
A Strange And Bitter Crop

A Strange And Bitter Crop

2019-10-2300:26:3714

Eighty-five years ago, a crowd of several thousand white people gathered in Jackson County, Florida, to participate in the lynching of a man named Claude Neal. The poet L. Lamar Wilson grew up there, but didn't learn about Claude Neal until he was working on a research paper in high school. When he heard the story, he knew he had to do something.
The President's Twitter feed has become the White House's primary mechanism for communicating with the world. Ayesha Rascoe of NPR Politics took a deep dive into Trump's combative social media universe and found that he does not go after all of the objects of his ire in the same way.
On this episode, we look closer at hit songs that have taken on broader resonances: from a wistful ode to Puerto Rico to a disco classic about outlasting and thriving to an enduring bop about pushy, unfortunate men — i.e., scrubs.
Political Prisoners?

Political Prisoners?

2019-10-0200:30:086

In "Prison City" Wisconsin, white elected officials are representing voting districts made up mostly of prisoners. Those prisoners are disproportionately black and brown. Oh, and they can't actually vote.
The Original Blexit

The Original Blexit

2019-09-2500:36:1214

How is it that the party of Lincoln became anathema to black voters? It's a messy story, exemplified in the doomed friendship between Richard Nixon and his fellow Republican, Jackie Robinson.
Black Republicans are basically unicorns — they might just be the biggest outliers in American two-party politics. So who are these folks who've found a home in the GOP's lily-white big tent? And what can they teach us about the ways we all cast our ballots?
A Tale Of Two School Districts

A Tale Of Two School Districts

2019-09-1100:30:1211

In many parts of the U.S., public school districts are just minutes apart, but have vastly different racial demographics — and receive vastly different funding. That's in part due to Milliken v. Bradley, a 1974 Supreme Court case that limited a powerful tool for school integration.
Searching For Punks

Searching For Punks

2019-09-0400:25:267

Once upon a time, Kai Wright saw a movie called "Punks." A romantic comedy about black gay men, it was like nothing he'd ever seen before. But then it disappeared.
'20 And Odd. Negroes'

'20 And Odd. Negroes'

2019-08-2800:36:358

In August of 1619, a British ship landed near Jamestown, Virginia with dozens of enslaved Africans — the first black people in the colonies that would be come the United States. Four hundred years later, some African Americans are still looking to Jamestown in search of home and a lost history.
It's a widely accepted truth: reading Shakespeare is good for you. But what should we do with all of the bigoted themes in his work? We talk to a group of high schoolers who put on the Merchant Of Venice as a way to interrogate anti-Semitism, and then we ask an expert if that's a good idea.
Dora's Lasting Magic

Dora's Lasting Magic

2019-08-1400:38:536

Nickelodeon's Dora The Explorer helped usher in a wave of multicultural children's programming in the U.S. Our friends at Latino USA tell the story of how the show pushed back against anti-immigrant rhetoric — and why Dora's character still matters.
After The Cameras Leave

After The Cameras Leave

2019-08-0700:28:197

Five years ago, the death of an unarmed black teenager brought the town of Ferguson, Mo. to the center of a national conversation about policing in black communities. Since then, what's changed, if anything, in Ferguson?
Puerto Ricans Stand Up

Puerto Ricans Stand Up

2019-07-3100:26:037

It took less than two weeks for Puerto Ricans to topple their governor following the publication of unsavory private text messages. We tell the story of how small protests evolved into a political uprising unlike anything the island had ever seen.
Chicago's Red Summer

Chicago's Red Summer

2019-07-2400:20:0010

Almost exactly 100 years ago, race riots broke out all across the United States. The Red Summer, as it came to be known, occurred in more than two dozen cities across the nation, including Chicago, where black soldiers returning home from World War I refused to be treated as second class citizens.
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Comments (59)

Susan Kllimchuk

Wow. As a white woman from Canada, you really lost me on this one. I find it frustrating, the us and them mentality, that the show has become. So if you're white, you don't understand anyone else's experience but as a person of colour, you understand EVERYONE else's experience?? That does not make sense. I began listening to this podcast because I was under the understanding that you were writing it to bring people together, to share understanding. Instead you make me feel bad for being white and clearly too stupid to get anyone else. I'm not, but you're trying.

Nov 28th
Reply (1)

sirenasd

OMG I LOVE this show! I learned so much! 1. The Latinx version of Uncle Tom is the anti-immigrant Latinx. And 2. Mia's parents explain their existence IMHO. 3. Latinx Uncle Tom's (like my mom) are the Diamond and Silk "race blind" Republicans for Trump. Damn, unreal (and sound eerily like my mom), and all poc in Trump's Republican party. Even Mia straddles the race conscious and blind. My mom (and the Latinx Trumper) is solidly blind.

Nov 4th
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sirenasd

This should be required in American History curriculum in high school. Code Switch does it again!

Nov 3rd
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ABR

I've never heard anyone pronounce Waupun that way, including folks from Waupun. I wonder if they're trying to change it as part of thw "rebranding" effort. Wouldn't be the first small town to do so.

Oct 6th
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Carly Lynch

I just cried my eyes out on my way into work. Not a good look.

Oct 4th
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JMF

Damn good episode. Keep up the solid work!

Sep 18th
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John BIBBS

we have to have more black cops from those neighborhoods so this doesnt happen change the narrative and encourage black people to join the police force

Aug 9th
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dok dicer

What about Native American representation? Not one single mention. Seems you can be (ostensibly) anti-racist and colonialist at the same time, as evidenced in this show, where the minoritized parts of American settler colonialist society talk about representation of racialized groups while omitting the colonized.

Jul 24th
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sirenasd

This is such an amazing piece of history that is so relevant today and so few people know. Thank you for your work.

Jul 23rd
Reply (1)

sirenasd

Thank you for this story and investigating

Jul 23rd
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Conner

the fact that there's so much hand wringing here is absolutely ridiculous. People have known this man was a racist FOR DECADES. And these men sound like they are doing more not to offend people that are not under attack. It's absolutely insane. The president has said so many racist things and this is no different. When someone says something racist, identify it as such.

Jul 19th
Reply (1)

dok dicer

It's really easy, isn't it? Call racist language racist language and call racists racists. The US are founded and built around racism and white supremacy. That is just a historically proven fact, no matter Ben Shapiro's feelings. There is lots and lots of scholarship on the matter. If there is to be any hope of ever changing that, it needs to be addressed frankly and without fear of a racist backlash. Pussyfooting around it is just cowardess. Everybody has to make the decision whether they are on the side of the racists or of the people whose life they are threatening. That being said: Thanks for giving insight in the deliberations behind the policy.

Jul 17th
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dok dicer

Code Switch might be the most interesting show in my podcatcher. I would never have expected that from a NPR show. Wow.

Jul 10th
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Sharon Hornbeck

So fabulous to finally hear a show about the Hawaiian natives!!!!

Jun 13th
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Amy Roe

no

Jun 11th
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Amy Roe

I heard that you two were talking about this subject

May 9th
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Doofan Tor

Really the word tribe???? I'm African and I use that. Please explain how is that offensive??? it's just a way to explain a social group.

May 8th
Reply (2)

Mo U.

I feel this episode to the core of my being. I definitely feel like I have to work so much harder to "prove my worth". It hurts whenever I see yet another black man has been shot by police. People on the internet are so full of vitriol. It's all too much. It's finally started effecting my health. I still don't know what to do to mitigate that

Apr 24th
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Ernest L. Phillips

I eat my lunch in my car while at work. It drives me nuts, some of the lingering smells from the Asian, Mexican or African food we cook at home. It does bother me at work to smell food in general. it's distracting.

Mar 27th
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Rick Arden

Only reporters of color? Just curious here, but I wonder what people would say of a podcast advertised as having only white reporters? Pretty sure everyone would lose their damn minds and demand it be taken off all platforms. But, that is the state of this country today, a few lunatics on the far left have hijacked everything from rational thinking Americans.

Feb 21st
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