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The Exchange 11.16.22: New county supervisor Dan Bittinger on the law enforcement center and homelessness; Ending white supremacy with author Steve Philips; A new exhibition at the SC Art Center

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Siouxland Proud
District 2 Woodbury County Supervisor-elect Dan Bittinger

You are listening to The Exchange on Siouxland Public Media; I’m Mary Hartnett. Today on the program, we will talk with Dan Bittinger, a newly-elected member of the Woodbury County Supervisors, about his goals for the county for the next few years. Also, we talk with muralist and mixed-media artist Larassa Kabel about her new exhibition opening this week at the Sioux City Art Center.

And in the aftermath of a still-unfolding mid-term election last week, we talk with author Steve Phillips about his new book that details the role of race in a democracy and with author Andrew Seidel about his book that looks at how the Supreme Court is Weaponizing Religious freedom in the United States. And we with talk with Professor Mathew Delmount about the challenges black soldiers faced at home and abroad during World War II.

Local elections, much like national ones, yielded some changes last Tuesday. In Siouxland, Republican Dan Bittinger won the District 2 seat on the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors, defeating Jeremy Dumkreiger. Dumkrieger, who is the chair of the county Democratic party. Bittinger's win means that Republicans have retained control of all five seats on the board. Bittinger will replace Republican Justin Wright, who did not seek re-election.

I spoke with Bittinger this week about his priorities when he joins the board for the first time in January.

The Supreme Court has been front and center this past year, from the overturning of Roe Vs. Wade, which opened the floodgates to a wide range of abortion restrictions around the country, to the lawsuits that asked the court to abolish affirmative action on college campuses in America. Best-selling author Andrew Seidel takes an in-depth look at the court in his book American Crusade: How the Supreme Court is Weaponizing Religious Freedom. I asked Seidel about the power of the court, the possibility of adding judges to the court, and the likelihood that the justices would rule against affirmative action.

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Andrew Seidel, author of American Crusade: How the Supreme Court is Weaponizing Religious Freedom

In the past few years, the January 6th Insurrection at the U.S. Captiol building has been the subject of several hearings, and many who took part went to jail. Some have compared it to the upheaval that occurred that sparked the American Civil war more than 150 years ago. New York Times best-selling author Steve Phillips delves further into the intersection of race, upheaval, and war in his new book, How We Won the Civil War: Securing a Multi-Racial Democracy and Ending White Supremacy for Good. Phillips says Donald Trump used race to secure his place in the Republican party.

Steve Phillips, author of How We Win the Civil War: Securing a Multicultural Democracy and Ending White Supremecy for Good

Last Friday was Veterans Day, and many families commemorated the lives and service of relatives who have served in the armed services. Black veterans sometimes have not been celebrated in the same way that White veterans have been. And for a generation of black servicemen who went overseas in World War Two and came home to the same racism they had left behind, those memories were painful.

Distinguished professor of history at Dartmouth College Mathew DelMount tells the story of these men in his new book, Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad. Delmont says the title comes from a letter that a black serviceman, James Thompson, wrote to the Pittsburgh Courier, one of the foremost African American Newspaper in America, just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Dec. 1941.

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Professor Mathew Delmount, author of Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad

Larassa Kabel brings her artistry to the Sioux City Art Center this week. Kabel is an interdisciplinary artist who uses drawing, painting, sculpture, performance, and photography to explore mortality, nature, connection, and community. Sojourn will be her largest solo exhibition to date and will feature her most recent work, including an exciting series of prints that continue her investigation of human and animal connections.

Throughout her career, she has scrutinized how death and loss are universally shared but not easily acknowledged feelings. Because grief often makes people feel isolated, this exhibition is a way to share stories and build a community for people who have experienced loss.

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Larassa Kabel

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