'Here & Now' Highlights: Reiko Ramos, Dant'e Cottingham, McCoshen & Ross

Here's what guests on the June 14, 2024 episode said about connections between legislation and threats against LGBTQ communities, what the Waupun prison arrests mean to activists who decry mass incarceration, and the politics of holding the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

By Zac Schultz | Here & Now

June 17, 2024

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Zac Schultz sits at a desk on the Here & Now set and faces a video monitor showing an image of Reiko Ramos.

Zac Schultz and Reiko Ramos (Credit: PBS Wisconsin)

Persistent threats of violence toward LGBTQ communities stand out particularly during Pride Month, and Reiko Ramos of Diverse & Resilient described how they affect the people who are targeted. Dant’e Cottingham is with the Stop the Torture Coalition, and discussed its renewed calls to shut down two of Wisconsin’s oldest prisons. Bill McCoshen and Scot Ross preview the 2024 Republican National Convention in Milwaukee as former President Donald Trump’s comments about the city take center stage.

Reiko Ramos
Anti-violence program director, Diverse & Resilient

  • The amount of legislation around the nation that targets transgender people has surged in recent years .Ramos said that threats of violence against the LGBTQ community are increasing as well, and show no sign of slowing down during an election year.
  • Ramos: “It certainly has a mental health impact, and particularly on trans youth. We know that affirming someone’s gender, using the correct pronouns and creating safe spaces where people belong has a positive impact on LGBTQ mental health and well-being. We also have the evidence that shows that the effects of stigma and discrimination on LGBTQ people has lasting effects on our well-being as well.”


Dant’e Cottingham
Organizer, Stop the Torture Coalition

  • After the warden of Waupun Correctional Institution and multiple other corrections officers were charged in connection to the deaths of multiple inmates, calls to close the facility were renewed and the politics of prisons and their funding took on new prominence. A former inmate at Green Bay Correctional Institution, Cottingham said he was surprised that action was taken.
  • Cottingham: “To be honest with you, first and foremost, I was shocked. And I was shocked primarily because the conditions that led to these arrests and to the death of those men are conditions that’s been common practice for a very long time.”


Bill McCoshen and Scot Ross
Republican and Democratic political analysts

  • Here & Now political panelists Bill McCoshen and Scot Ross responded to reports former President Donald Trump called Milwaukee a “horrible” city during a recent meeting with congressional Republicans.
  • McCoshen: “My advice to the Trump campaign would be very precise in your language from this point forward. He’s never going to get the benefit of the doubt. We know that sometimes his words are taken out of context. The congressmen who were in there from Wisconsin all said that isn’t what he said. So I’ll take him at his word that he did not say that. But I think he’s going to love Milwaukee when he gets here.”
    Ross: “We saw yesterday the chaos that results from Donald Trump owning the Republican Party. And you saw, I think, seven different stories from the six Republican members of Congress as to why they all, you know, why they all think Milwaukee is a horrible city. And I think it’s just going to play terribly. I think it’s a sign of what’s going to happen because as we get closer to the election — Donald Trump’s tour of revenge, retribution and doing whatever he can to stay out of prison is going to involve more of these incidents.”


Watch new episodes of Here & Now at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays.

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