179: Cicero

179: Cicero

Mar 16, 2001
The story in a way of a town that time forgot, or more accurately, a town that tried to forget the times. A special broadcast co-hosted by award-winning journalist Alex Kotlowitz, author of the books There Are No Children Here and The Other Side of the River.
It's the story of what at one time was one of most notoriously racist and corrupt suburbs in America. In the 1920s, Cicero was reputedly run by Al Capone, and federal indictments against organized crime there continued steadily all the way through the 1990s. In the 1960s, Cicero residents reacted so violently to threats of integration that officials told Martin Luther King, Jr.'s supporters that marching there would be a suicide mission. Today, two-thirds of the population is Mexican-American, but the political machine from decades past still holds power. A parable of racial politics in America, of white Americans not wanting change, not wanting to let in the outside world, and what happens when they have no choice.
  • We hear from Father Jim Kastigar, who got on the wrong side of Town Hall and suffered the kinds of consequences people in Cicero suffer. His parish was denied a permit to hold an outdoor religious ceremony they'd held peacefully for seven years, the youth group's tamale fundraiser was shut down by city inspectors and the parking lot near the church was deemed unfit for Sunday parking. (7 minutes) GovernmentPoliceReligion

    Embed

    Copy and paste the HTML below to embed this story into your web page or blog.

    pixels

Photo

Embed

Copy and paste the HTML below to embed this episode into your web page or blog.

pixels