BTS 3/10/08: Tanking Economy; Black/Latino Divide; The Great Debaters

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On tonight’s BTS we look at the tanking economy with Nomi Prins, who says that even Friday's House hearing to review the outrageous CEO compensation garnered in the lead-up to the subprime/credit crisis is just the tip of a big, protected iceberg with much more to be discovered.

Then we talk to Earl Ofari Hutchinson about the electoral divide between Latinos and African Americans AND the exploding gang violence in Los Angeles.

Finally, in studio, writer Robert Eisele and actor Nate Parker, from the film The Great Debaters join us to talk about the impact and importance of this film, which tells the inspirational story of an award-winning team of debaters from the small, historically black Wiley College in West Texas. In the 1930s the debate team, coached by poet and activist Melvin Tolson, surpassed nearly every other team in the country in contests against universities as far-flung as the University of Southern California and Oxford. The Wiley team was never officially accorded championship status because the national debate society did not formally recognize black participation. One of the winning debaters was the young James Farmer Jr., who founded the Congress of Racial Equality.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Nomi Prins is a journalist and Senior Fellow at Demos. She writes about politics, money and relationships. Nomi is the author of Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America (The New Press, October 2004);Jacked: How "Conservatives" are Picking your Pocket (whether you voted for them or not) (Polipoint Press, Sept. 2006)

2. Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst and syndicated columnist. His new book is The Ethnic Presidency: How Race Decides the Race to the White House (Middle Passage Press, February 2008). He has published nine books on race, politics, and social issues. His numerous published articles appear in newspapers and magazines across the country.

3. Robert Eisele is the screenwriter for the film The Great Debaters, directed by Denzel Washington and starring Academy Award winners Denzel Washington and Forest Whittaker. He also executive produced the Showtime series Resurrection Blvd. in 2000 and 2001, which won the ALMA award for best series in 2001. He has also received 3 WGA nominations as well as a Humanitas award.