April 19, 2019

This week on To The Contrary with Bonnie Erbe, our panelists discuss the accusations against Alan Dershowitz, the controversy surrounding the Southern Poverty Law Center, and HIV in Africa.

On the panel this week joining host Bonnie Erbe is: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC); Anushay Hossain, Founder, Anushay’s Point; Rina Shah, Republican Strategist; and Tiana Lowe, Commentary Writer, Washington Examiner.

Click read more to see what they had to say!

Dershowitz Accusations

Lawyer Alan Dershowitz is being sued for defamation

  • Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton: ”The #MeToo movement has done a very good job, but I fear that most of the mighty who should fall have yet to fall.” (2:23)

  • Tiana Lowe: “Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein were obviously very closely linked. Trump faces a number of sexual misconduct allegations. Another friend of Epstein’s [...] was Bill Clinton. He was astoundingly close to going back to the White House just two years ago.” (2:55)

  • Rina Shah: “Having watched [Alan Dershowitz] and not being acquainted with his past, I can just say it’s who he is. This is how he comes out fighting and punching back. It’s just unfortunate. I’m just not really surprised to see the allegation. I would like to see it all hashed out in a court of law, of course. Not in the court of public opinion.” (6:08)

  • Anushay Hossain: “It’s about power. And also sexual assault and sexual crimes like this, a lot  of these were underage child rapes that we’re talking about. They’re not partisan issues. You don’t have to be a Democrat or a Republican, Clinton or Trump.” (3:36)

  • Bonnie Erbe:

SPLC Controversy

The Southern Poverty Law Center is awash in accusations of having a “toxic culture”

  • Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton: “These people were double dealing. That is to say they were going after people for sexual harassment, for racial discrimination. They were doing the very same thing in-house. It’s a terrible story because it shows he hypocrisy.” (13:42)

  • Tiana Lowe: “The people the SPLC has maligned over the last few years have been people of color. They deemed Maajiid Nawaz an anti-Muslim extremist. They accused Ben Carson of being a symbol of hate.” (12:30)

  • Rina Shah: “It’s a moment where technology has shed light on a great many things and people feel empowered to come out, whether it’s movements like #MeToo that have led women, and particularly women of color, to feel safer and believed. ” (14:50)

  • Anushay Hossain: “I just believe this was awful leadership all around. And the way in which they’re going about it now, they’re tripping over their own two feet which is a shame. For fifteen years, I’ve looked at them as sort of a beacon of light.” (15:05)

  • Bonnie Erbe:

HIV in Africa

How the Global Gag Rule affects efforts to combat the disease.

  • Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton: ”We’ve got to look at this as an important element of foreign policy. At a time when we virtually are to the point where we may have a cure for HIV/AIDS. And these people are so far behind that the money that is cut off here is particularly shameful because it could bring us back so much.” (24:29)

  • Tiana Lowe: “If Trump really wants to focus on the idea of American taxpayers not funding abortions, his efforts would be a lot better spent redirecting Title X funding towards non-abortion providers and then expanding it. Because Title X is an extremely effective program. For every 1 dollar taxpayers spend, we get back seven, because we’re helping women make better choices before conception.” (23:20)

  • Tiana Lowe: “The most important thing, if you’re looking at the long-term budget projections, are social security, Medicare, Medicaid. That’s without a doubt. If you look at defense spending, it plateaus. If you look at our foreign aid, it plateaus. Social security, Medicare, Medicaid are going to explode in the next few decades. Social security becomes insolvent in the next fifteen years. ” (22:46)

  • Rina Shah: “We really need to help and get creative. Helping change the cultural norms. That’s what these women are advocating for. I really do wish this administration would take a serious look and go back to George W. Bush’s policy [on fighting HIV in Africa.]” (24:55)

  • Anushay Hossain: “The Global Gag Rule, which is also known as the Mexico City Policy, is really an excellent example of a policy that would be completely unconstitutional in America, but which is implemented of course overseas. And it was so ironic during the course of this, a panel which I actually moderated, that anytime the young women were asked specific questions about the policy, they actually couldn’t say anything because they would risk themselves from losing not only US financial assistance but also technical assistance like computers and sonogram machines. So it was so powerful because when you’re living in America, Americans will always be like, ‘Why do we have to give this much foreign aid?’ It’s one percent of a trillion dollar budget. And we’re stuck in Washington where a lot of these policies are made right here in Capitol Hill but implemented and affect the rights of women and girls around the world. ” (21:12)

  • Bonnie Erbe: “This is not about abortion and yet he’s cutting 1% of the budget. You want to cut something?, cut U.S. social services, cut defence spending, which of course he is doubling or tripling it. You want to have an impact on something?, cut something big.”


Be sure to tune in this week for more discussion! Click here to check your local listings.