3320 – DARE & The School-Police Nexus; NHS Cass Review Explained w/ Max Felker-Kantor, Erin Reed

It’s an EmMajority Report Thursday! She speaks with Max Felker-Kantor, associate professor of history at Ball State University, to discuss his recent book DARE to Say No: Policing and the War on Drugs in Schools. Then, she speaks with journalist Erin Reed, author of the Erin In The Morning newsletter on SubStack, to discuss the recent gender identity review by the National Health Services (NHS) in the United Kingdom. First, Emma runs through updates on Israel’s ongoing assault on Rafah, ongoing institutional support for Israel’s genocide among the US government and major corporations, US sanctions against Iran, the White House’s climate stance, Boeing hearings, Disneyland unionization, Biden’s polling numbers, Mike Johnson’s failing speakership, and the Senate’s rejection of the Mayorkas impeachment sham, before parsing a little deeper through the recent report on the horrendous abuse and torture of Palestinian hostages in Israel and the ongoing showdown between Columbia University’s anti-zionist student body, and hyper-zionist institutional leadership. Professor Max Felker-Kantor then joins, diving right into the evolution of DARE’s prevalence in US schools and society, and how it got its start with the LAPD. First, Professor Felker-Kantor walks Emma through the precursor to DARE, with LA Chief of Police Darrel Gates’ strategy throughout the 1970s to send undercover officers into schools to bust drug dealers – a project that had been failing as the War on Drugs kicked into full swing by the end of the decade – and his subsequent attempt to shift from cracking down on the supply end of the War on Drugs, to cracking down on the demand. Expanding on this, Felker-Kantor explores the creation of DARE as a joint venture between the LAPD and local schools, with officers essentially becoming ingrained the education environment and classrooms, even going as far as to pitch themselves as friends and mentors to the students, and quickly taking off across the US over the 1980s, before walking through the slow collapse of the program as more and more evidence came out about the strategy’s failure in preventing drug addiction or exposure. Wrapping up, Max walks Emma through the extensive funding network of the DARE program, beginning with internal LAPD funding before quickly expanding to state and federal grants over the 1980s and start of the ‘90s, and why its particular ability to cling to its non-profit status has allowed it to remain, in some capacity, as a global organization today. Erin Reed and Emma then jump right into the background for the UK’s recent Cass Report on transgender care, stepping back to briefly cover the rise of transphobic activism in the UK at the end of the 2010s, and the major policy impacts it had despite fringe following, including the NHS-sponsored ‘independent’ and ‘unbiased’ review by Hillary Cass. After giving some background on the evidently not-so-unbiased Cass herself, Reed parses through the clear failure of the report itself to live up to these supposed standards, actively excluding both trans voices and experts on trans care from the report, relying on outdated and fraudulent statistics (compiled by notorious homophobes nonetheless), and repeatedly requiring absurdly high standards for trans care – standards not met by the vast majority of both adult and pediatric care – while rarely substantiating any of the claims about the supposed dangers.

And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Brandon Sutton and Matt Binder as they talk with Colin from Missouri about sports team owners extorting taxpayers, address the absurdity of “woke” segregation, and watch Professor Ruha Benjamin absolutely nail her acceptance speech for a Spelman College honorary degree by calling out institutional support for genocide and white supremacy. They also dive into the ongoing suppression of student activist voices on college campuses right now, with a particular focus on Columbia University’s ongoing campus activism and the administrative backlash, before talking with Genevieve from Tucson about Operation Olive Branch’s work helping Palestinians in Gaza. After touching on the mass manufacturing errors facing Tesla’s Cybertrucks, they talk with Erin from Atlanta about Cobb County State candidate Gabriel Sanchez, and watch Matt Walsh pretend like nobody cares about women’s sports, after months of obsessing about women’s sports, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Max’s book here: https://uncpress.org/book/9781469679044/dare-to-say-no/

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