Politics and Culture

Episode 33 : What is behind the cancel-culture movement?



Joel Brown talks about the need to allow people to grow, and the problems that arise when they are not given a chance to change. Racism doesn’t get eliminated by attacking people who want to stop racism but may say the wrong thing. That’s different than someone who is a racist, supports racism and takes actions to perpetuate racism.

Everyone is going to make mistakes. What is the point of having conversations if we can’t do that? Joel says it’s making him tired. While some of these issues are valid, they don’t call for canceling people out. We need to be savvier.

When do we allow benevolence to be a good thing? When the billionaire keynote speaker at Morehouse said he would pay off everyone’s school loans, someone asked on social media “why didn’t they do that for Spelman?”
People are angry, not being heard, and want to be heard. Other people are cosigning because they don’t want the other person to be in pain.

There is a hypersensitivity to issues that have not been addressed. At the same time, there needs to be room for conversation.
The USA has not dealt with its history of racism and slavery. We need to figure it out, or nothing will change. By calling out every single thing someone says, and putting so much energy in shutting people down, we end up not dealing with systemic racism.
It’s easier to deflect from our own issues by making someone else “the enemy” when they are on our side. If we want to eliminate racism, we need more dialogue, conversation and education.

Conversations on race can only happen when people are open to listening, learning and talking.
If we want change, we have to look at manifestations of racism. Ex. At a high school white kids had “thug day,” and dressed up as their stereotype of Black rappers. The white woman who exposed it was getting death threats. More attention needs to be on those issues and why this is going on.

Different issues need to have different consequences. We need to address how egregious is it? What were the intentions? How willing is the person to listen, learn and change?

Joel also says that it’s essential for people of color to learn about each other, that Black people need to learn about Asian people, Asian people need to learn about LatinX people, etc.  Just because people consider themselves a person of color doesn’t mean they understand or have any contact with people from other groups and may have biases about other groups.

There is too much conversation and too many people saying that Democratic candidates for president are not “gay enough” “Black enough” or made a comment 20 years ago. If we want to defeat Trump, we will need to get behind whoever is running. Change and progress don’t happen under repression. Racism, loss of rights, gender inequality only gets worse. Hate crimes go up.

People can create change under a liberal government. It’s up to the people to take power together. Even under Obama, changes like gay marriage happened as a result of people putting pressure.

Increase in tribalism makes it easier for people to be co-opted, particularly white people who are alienated, many of whom are being targeted and recruited by white supremacists.

Solutions
Look at ourselves
What part do we play, what do we need to change about ourselves?
How do I heal myself?
Hold politicians accountable, even those that look like us
Everyone needs to vote- think of the most vulnerable
Have the conversation
Have more conversations on race, real conversations beyond social media
We need to be in the same spaces and think about things differently
See the “other side.” We need to listen and hear the basis for other people’s thinking
People who are privileged have to look at what part they play and look at imbalance
We all have privilege and power in some level and need to share
Recognize when someone is making a good faith effort and be patient and educate
This is different than someone who is an active racist?

Episode 32 : Former Black Panther discusses current political climate



Elmer Dixon was one of the early leaders of the Black Panther Party in Seattle, Washington  and in Oakland, CA. In this episode of Every Day Conversations on Race, Elmer talks about the history and legacy of the Black Panther Party.

The Black Panthers were created some of the first Food Banks, were responsible for hot breakfasts for school children that are now provided in many public schools.

Topics in this episode:

  • The lack of adequate health care for working class and lower income people
  • How he lives his values today of equity and equality while working with CEOs and other C-suite leaders and making sure that our communities and families survive
  • The increase in progressive people who are now CEOs who have the well-being of their customers and employee as priorities
  • Working with Steve Reinemund, former CEO of Pepsico and then his successor Indra Nooyi, as well as other rich people who are looking to give back
  • The importance of continuing to have conversations on race between white people and people of color different levels
  • Speaking to young white kids in Finland and around the world who are well-schooled on the history of the Panthers and want to organize against racism
  • The need to stood up against bullies and how the Black Panther Party stood up to bullies
  • White elementary school kids are interested in learning more about the Black Panthers and applying it to make the country and world a better place
  • What it’s like to work with police today and why it’s important to develop good relationships with good cops
  • The work that Elmer does in training police to understand issues in the Black community, and for police and the community to know each other
  • If police live in the communities they serve, there will be less police shootings of unarmed people

Throughout the episode Elmer recounts stories of the Panthers and we all can work together to combat racism

Elmer Dixon

edixon@executivediversity.com

Episode 31 : Can a person of color exclude race and culture from their art?



Every Day Conversation On Race with guests Svea Vikander and Tramaine de Senna

Svea Vikander, artist, therapist and host of radio show Art Crush brings Tramaine de Senna to the show. As a white woman, raised in Canada and from a Swedish background, Svea look at was she can eliminate hate and stop racism, with a particular interest in using art to do that.

Tramaine de Senna –in conversation on race talks about being African-American, Chinese, Native American and European and ways in which it impacts her art

While a mixture of different backgrounds, Tramaine is also light skinned and sometimes mistaken for White. Not knowing her background there have been times when people have made racist comments about people of color to her, thinking that she would agree with them.

She has been influenced by the work of Adrian Piper who is also mixed-race and uses that in her art.

Tramaine shares how different forms and types of art are a result of history and people expressing their own history and culture in their art.

Other topics include:

  • Cultural Appropriation in art- what it is and what it isn’t
  • Cultural Appropriation used as a form of power
  • How race and being mixed race impacted her in the beginning – she didn’t think she could be an artist because she was mixed race
  • Do artists have to be poor?
  • The intersection of race and class
  • Being a person of color and an expatriate in Belgium
  • Role of white people in talking about race, not getting defensive, and not making everything
  • How to create connections across differences

www.Svea Vikander

www.SveaVikander.com

Tramaine de Senna

www.TramainedeSenna.com

Episode 28 : How To Create A White Ally Toolkit



David Campt, dialogue thought leader has created the White Ally Toolkit, for white people who want to end racism.

His family was one of three Black families in his neighborhood in Detroit. He talks about class differences amongst Black people and how it impacted him.

He says “instead of being shocked about racial divisions, we need to start changing that.” Most white people he’s spoken with have very little meaningful interactions with Black people.

In this conversation on race, David calls me on my bias and asks about my awareness and transformation. Listen in if you want to know more.

David offers tips on how to talk about race with people who are different. There are three dimensions to think about when having a conversation on race.

1- Cultural Difference

2- Unconscious bias and the science behind it

3- Impact of history

Some people think unconscious bias exists and history matters. Other people think bias doesn’t exist and history matters.

What are the ways we look at each other, and how do we deal with conscious bias too.

We have to talk to people who don’t agree with us, don’t understand racism and don’t see it as a problem. Only talking to people who agree with us on race and racism doesn’t bring about the change. White people who are conscious have to get to know and talk to other white people who don’t believe that way.

Instead of seeing all white people who voted for Trump as a group, we need to each talk to one person and open their minds.