On Second Thought For Monday, April 2, 2018

Apr 2, 2018

Georgia leads most of the nation in average student loan debt. Nearly 1.5 million Georgians owe an average of $30,000 in federal student debt. Defaulting on student loans hurts more than your credit score; it can also result in losing your professional license. In more than a dozen states, including Georgia, your license can be seized if you don't keep up with your loan payments. 

We talked with Debra Curry, a college graduate and Georgia registered nurse who nearly lost her ability to practice because of this law. We were also joined by Stacy Cowley, a finance reporter for The New York Times. 

Between 1956 and 1961, "To Kill a Mockingbird" author Harper Lee wrote a series of personal letters, now available to the public at Emory University's Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library. The letters, written during the same period as Lee wrote "Mockingbird" and "Go Set a Watchman," sheds light on the relationships of a renowned writer who was legendarily private. The correspondence also provides a new look into the civil rights movement-era South in which Lee wrote her novels. We talked with Emory University history professor Joe Crespino about these letters. His latest book, "Atticus Finch: The Biography," focuses on the influences that shaped Lee's writing.

Ex-Atlanta Hawks employee Margo Kline is suing the team for racial discrimination. Kline, who is white, says she experienced racial discrimination from her manager, who is African-American. “Our case is not a platform for what some call 'reverse racism. It is an attempt to obtain redress for a hard-working, loyal individual who lost her job because of the color of her skin and her complaints to management and HR about the mistreatment she experienced," said Amanda Thompson, Kline's attorney. While not said to be a case about "reverse racism," nevertheless the lawsuit raises the question: Does "reverse racism" exist? We explored the answer to that question with Kenyette Tisha Barnes, policy director for the Georgia Alliance for Social Justice. We also dove into the history of the term with La Salle University sociology professor Charles Gallagher. 

April 4 marks 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr was killed in Memphis, Tennessee, and all this week we're paying tribute to King and his legacy. King's mission and sense of purpose are manifest in more recent mass protests, such as the 2017 Women's March and the anti-gun violence March for Our Lives. We looked at the effect of today’s marches and the future of activism with Coco Papy, a community organizer in Savannah, freelance writer Anjali Enjeti and civil rights historian Deric Gilliard.