Us & Them

Podcast

Us & Them is a new podcast exploring all sides of the cultural issues that too often divide us.

Peabody Award-winner Trey Kay brings us stories that may make you rethink your opinions on cultural issues.

Us & Them is a joint project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, PRX and Trey Kay Productions.

This project has been made possible through a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

You can subscribe to Us & Them on iTunes and Stitcher, and listen on the podcast's website

Kenneth King Collection, West Virginia State Archives

The "Us & Them" podcast is about seeing the same story two ways… and nothing calls out for that treatment more than coal in West Virginia.

Joni Deutsch

In most schools, you're likely to find yourself labeled as a jock, theater geek, stoner or even a loner.

But at my alma mater in West Virginia, we had a unique "Us & Them" sorting classification: you were either a “hiller” or a “creeker.”

Scott Threlkeld/AP

The tragedy in Charlottesville, VA makes us wonder if it’s possible to reconcile different versions of history. This episode features two American foreign correspondents of color who’ve sought to answer this quandary, flying from Kenya to Louisiana to report on protests over the dismantling of Confederate monuments.

When conservatives and liberals fight about school curriculum, the disagreements aren’t just about science and history. Even math has been a battleground in the culture wars. 

Sunday dinner is a big deal in Deanna McKinney’s family. Deanna’s a de facto mom to her three sisters and two brothers -- when she moved to West Virginia from New York City, they came too.  These Sunday dinners are to remind the siblings that someone’s always got their back.

Deanna’s told the story of her son’s murder so many times, that she can recount it to me -- a relative stranger with a microphone -- while she picks out cornbread mix at the grocery store. His name was Tymel and his senseless death is an experience that has defined her life and informed who she is.

Us & Them: Amazing Grace

Jul 13, 2017

Everyone knows the song "Amazing Grace." People who don’t even consider themselves spiritual or religious find it meaningful. And while John Newton penned the hymn to connect with Christians, it has transcended that and become a folk song and an anthem for civil rights. But the origins of the song are just a bit more complicated...

Us & Them

Not that long ago, you could get locked up for being gay. 

Us & Them

We’re at the end of graduation season. Over the past few weeks, young grads donned in hard-earned caps and gowns, have gathered on college greens to pose for an endless number of photos with proud family members, fellow co-eds … and professors.

Us & Them, Gentrification
Us & Them

I’m standing at 3rd Avenue and 8th Street in Brooklyn, NY. Some would call this neighborhood Park Slope, but it’s really a hike from the beautiful Prospect Park, and it’s where things don’t really “slope” anymore. The neighborhood is actually called Gowanus and it’s very close to the infamous Gowanus Canal, which is recognized as one of the most polluted bodies of water in America. I lived here for a long time in the '80s and '90s.

Empathy. It’s a word we’ve heard a lot in the past year. Whether woven in the closing arguments before a jury, or from elected leaders’ appealing to the better angels within us, somebody, somewhere, is calling for empathy. Even President Barack Obama, in his first public appearance since the inauguration of Donald Trump, shared his experience of practicing empathy while running for the US Senate.

Us & Them

North Carolina repealed its notorious bathroom law, but not necessarily for the better. Transsexuals remain outside NC’s equal protection laws—whether in the bathroom or in the workplace. All of this has got me thinking about my friend Anne Kelly.

Us & Them

"In the beginning of the so-called revolution, there was no talk of overthrowing the regime. When it started, there was some political oppression by the government, the shah. But socially, there were a lot of freedom, people could do anything, even you could criticize the government, but not the shah himself."

Us & Them

 

"I know there’s a risk. There are people who are going to hear this and they are going to change the way they feel about me. They are going to make assumptions about me. They’re going to automatically label me with certain words, the common narratives about Donald Trump [like he] hates women, hates immigrants, and so on. And they are going to assume that I am the same in that regard... and that’s a danger."

Reporting from America’s cultural divide, this is the Us & Them podcast from West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Over the past few years, we’ve noticed that some Americans take offense when people say “Happy Holidays” as opposed to “Merry Christmas.” A here’s a clip from an episode we call “War On Christmas… Really?”

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting, this is “Us and Them,” the podcast where we tell stories from America’s cultural divides.

Us & Them

"I think the only way to have useful conversations across these intense differences is to be able to just tolerate the other person’s position, but not have an agenda about changing them."

Taking an Ass Whoopin'

Nov 16, 2016

The 2016 presidential campaign was one of the most brutal in America’s history. Trey was stunned by the outcome and is trying understand what the whole thing means. Are truth and bitter reality the new Us? Have our news sources become Them?

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting, this is "Us & Them" the podcast where we tell stories from America's cultural divides.

Hello Mary Lou!

May 21, 2016

Mary Lou Bruner, who made headlines with her wild accusations about President Obama is running for Texas State Board of Education. If elected, she’ll be responsible for guiding the nation’s second largest public school system. Could she influence the content in textbooks used across the nation?

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting, this is "Us & Them" the podcast where we tell stories from America's cultural divides.

Something has shifted in the way our society thinks about heroin addicts these days. Could it be that smack users are seeming more like “us” and less like “them?”

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting, this is "Us & Them" the podcast where we tell stories from America's cultural divides.

In this episode, I reconnect with Dimitri Mugianis, a friend that I met nearly a quarter century ago when we were both playing in the New York City music scene. He was the front man of a fantastic band called “Leisure Class.”  Dimitri was a dynamic performer, charismatic, poetically eloquent and brimming with the energy of a possessed mad man.  He also had a pernicious heroin addiction.

Us & Them: Femme Voice

Feb 29, 2016

  Back in the fall of 2014, I read an article in the Gazette about, Anne Kelly Skinner, a Charleston lawyer -- formerly Greg Skinner -- who was transitioning from male to female.  The story piqued my interest because having grown up as a son, nephew, brother and friend of many of Charleston’s attorneys, I knew with almost absolute certainty that this was new territory for many in that Kanawha Valley legal community.  I expected that I’d produce a story that would be about the tension of transitioning in a conservative “old boy” community, but we didn’t end up talking about any of that stuff. What we ended up talking about… was the way Anne talks.

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