Politics and Culture

Episode 65 : The War In Portland Oregon

 

In this conversation on race, I’m joined by Kathleen Saadat veteran civil rights activist in Portland, Oregon.

Kathleen shares her observations on the demonstrations in Portland, the federal troop presence, tear gassing of demonstrators and controversies surrounding the Moms and the Dad with Leaf blowers.

Key Topics:

• The fact that there have been large numbers of Black people in Portland, Black clubs, and soul food restaurants in North and Northeast neighborhoods

• Sundown laws in Oregon but there were still Black people living there

• Protests in Portland, tear gas and attacks against protests

• Moms marching and dads coming with leaf blowers to stop the tear gas

• People who were committing violence were in the minority and mainly provocateurs

• Most protestors were peaceful

• The violence against Black people and minimization of the value of Black values

• The problem that agent provocateurs are seen as representing protestors

• How young people have been great at bringing people together for Black Lives Matter and social justice from different backgrounds and world views

• Importance of having a vision

• Why she hates cancel culture because people have been raised a certain way and we need to educate them

• Black people are a small number of people in the US and need to build coalitions • Kathleen Saadat’s vision for long-term change

• How to address the need for people to understand history and how government is supposed to work

• The need for a truth and reconciliation program in every state

• How we can bring people into the equality community

• Why self-righteousness is another form of violence

• Why we need conversations instead of just canceling people

• The danger of cancel culture

• Why we have to allow people to change

• Why the Ten Point Program of the Black Panther Party is still relevant



Bio for Kathleen Saadat

Kathleen Saadat has served Oregon’s LGBTQ community as a mentor and confidant for nearly 40 years. In 1976, she and six others organized Portland’s first gay rights march. Later, she worked with a team of city employees to craft the Portland’s civil rights ordinance, which prohibited discrimination against gay and lesbian people and discrimination based on legal source of income. In 1992, she served on the steering committee for the campaign against Ballot Measure 9, which, had it passed, would have rendered GLBTQ people second class citizens.

An activist and advocate for African American rights and the rights of other people of color, for women’s rights, and for economic justice for all, Kathleen was a planner and participant in Portland’s International Women’s Day Celebration..

Kathleen Saadat  has received lifetime achievement awards from in recognition of her contributions to the efforts to “Keep Living the Dream” of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She has been listed as one of “100 Who Lead in Oregon” by Oregon Business magazine.

She is a former member of the Oregon State University’s board of visitors for minority affairs.

Contact info for Kathleen Saadat

BanLon@msn.com

Episode 64 : AJ Cartas on Race and Social Media

In this episode I’m joined by AJ Cartas, a social influencer and founder of “Our Damn Time.”

Our Damn Time is a political organization whose mission is to promote the well-being of people of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community by providing resources to empower, educate, and mobilize to enact deep, structural change.

 

Key Topics:

  • AJ shares his experience immigrating to the US from the Philippines a month before 9/11
  • How he gathered one million followers on his social media accounts his first year in 2015
  • Launching campaigns for progressive candidates who understand racial and social inequality and can uplift under-represented communities
  • Working with people under 30 who are new to politics
  • Colorism in the Filipino community
  • Experiencing racism towards Asian in elementary school
  • How racists use social media to recruit young white kids
  • How AJ responds to racist attacks in his social media, who he calls out and who he ignores
  • Racism towards Asians in the LGBTQ community
  • Being in a relationship with a white man and the racist comments by other white men
  • Reaching out to Black friends after the murder of George Floyd and understanding his own privilege
  • Stereotypes in the white LGBTQ community about people of color
  • Helping to get progressive candidates elected and why it’s so urgent this election
  • Using social media influencing to build equality and stop injustice

 

AJ Cartas is a social media influencer, entrepreneur, author, speaker, and mentor. He previously had over 1 million followers total on.his social media and have worked at Director-level positions at companies like ByteDance and Calm. He published his book, Startups & Downs, where he writes about his vulnerabilities and challenges when he dropped out of college to move to Silicon Valley. He is currently the CEO & Founder of a social media agency, Syzygy Social, and has a non-profit, Our Damn Time, that advocates for equality by supporting political candidates with progressive policies.

 

AJ Cartas

Founder & CEO

415-818-9710 (text)

Check out our Instagram for free social media growth hacks!

 

 

 

Episode 63: Janet Hamada/Japanese/Jewish Trauma

Janet Hamada- Japanese/Jewish Trauma

 

In this conversation on race, I’m joined by Janet Hamada, who shares her life as a biracial (Japanese and white Jewish) woman. Janet is the Executive Director of The Next Door, a social services organization in Hood River, Oregon that provides a wide range of support to families who need it.

 

Key topics:

  • How her father’s family, fourth generation Japanese were taken from their home and incarcerated into a Japanese internment camp during World War Two. Because the US was a war with Japan, all Japanese people were rounded up from their homes, jobs and businesses and forced into these camps. It didn’t matter how long they had been in the US, what they did for a living, how much they loved the US, they were viewed as potential threats. They were imprisoned for three years and then set free with only $25.00. Many of them lost everything.
  • Her mother’s family were Jewish and originally from Eastern Europe. They left before the holocaust. Janet’s husband is also Jewish and lost many relatives in the Nazi concentration camps.
  • Why Janet Hamada sees the last four years as history repeating itself and her fear that the US is going in the directions of Nazi Germany.
  • How her bi-racial identity, the experiences of her family and inherited trauma have impacted her personally and the work she does at The Next Door.
  • Janet’s work at the border, and what she witnessed with refugees being denied entry and kids separated from parents.
  • Because of her last name and how she looks, people who didn’t know she was Jewish would often say antisemitic remarks. She talks about how she speaks up.
  • Racism of who is allowed in the US and who is not
  • Racism, antisemitism and hate
  • How her organization, The Next Door has made a big difference in strengthening all types of families

Janet Hamada, M.S.W

For nearly three decades, Janet has dedicated her efforts to improve the lives of her neighbors. A native of Chicago’s South Side neighborhood, she brings to Meyer a long history of work in the nonprofit sector, particularly in the areas of administration, refugee resettlement, employment, community organizing, economic development, health promotion and services for youth. Her current professional and community activities include serving as executive director of The Next Door, Inc., a social service organization that strengthens children and families and improves communities in seven counties in the mid-Columbia region.

Janet serves as the current president of the Oregon Alliance of Children’s Programs’ board of directors, and as a member of the boards of directors of the Meyer Memorial Trust, Hood River Rotary Foundation and Four Rivers Early Learning Hub. In addition, she serves on the Building Bridges: Columbia Gorge Education and Workforce Collaborative and as a community advisory council member for Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital.

Janet earned her Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from Wesleyan University and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington.

 

 

Episode 62: Reflections on Race and Racism with a Black Ex-Police Officer

 

Reflections on Race  and Racism with a Black Ex-Police Officer

Anthony Sturkey, a Black ex-officer from the Long Beach Police Department joins me on this Conversation on race to offer a realistic perspective on what’s happening today in the US regarding race, racism and law enforcement.

 

Key Topics:

  • The fact that we now have cameras that document police brutality means that people see brutalization of Black people at the hands of law enforcement
  • Racism in the police department is not new, is embedded in the system and is systemic
  • The necessity and importance of Black Police Associations
  • Anthony’s experience having to work alongside of another officer who was a KKK member
  • Why he believes that it’s a fallacy that police departments don’t know about “bad cops” and racists
  • His observations and opinion that that there are three types of Black police officers and what they do to survive
  • How Anthony survived for ten years as a law enforcement officer until it was time for him to leave
  • His thoughts on how the police academy programs new officers to just stand by and not intercede when they see brutality, and that people who would intercede are filtered out

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 60: White people activists

 

In this conversation on race, LeRon Barton asks.  “Why are white people interested in helping out now? Where were you ten/  twenty years ago?”

We wonder  what is making white folks come out now? Is it because they saw the very public  murder of George Floyd?  Did they understand the systemic racism and murder of other Black people by white racists in law enforcement and white supremacists?

Key Points in this episode of Everyday Conversations on Race

1-  Black people are tired but still have to be active and not let up. White people and other non-Black people need to follow the lead and participate.

2- This is the same systemic racism that puts young kids in ICE camps, separates families and treats immigrants as less than human

3- LeRon talks about his partner Michelle who is LatinX and says that what impact her as a Latina impacts him, and that we have to all take the position that what impacts our friends and families impacts us (if we we have friends and family from different races and cultures.) We have to know what impacts the people in our lives and the people we care about about.

4- The importance of thinking outside of ourselves. This is particularly important for white people, many who are just beginning to think outside of themselves.

5- The time to act is now, we will need to tell future generations what we did  during this time. Be on the right side of history.

6- Inaction is action-it’s choosing to ride with the other side.

7- When people just stand by and do nothing- they help deny Black and Brown people voting rights,  and they help normalize confederate flags

8- Black people going to Robert E. Lee High School can compare to a Jewish person going to Adolph Hitler Higher School. Think about that!

9- The murder of the Rosenbergs and prosecution by Roy Cohen and J. Edgar Hoover

10- LeRon talks about how he used to laugh or get irritated when white people saw documentaries like “When They See Us,” and would get emotional. He says that he realizes it was wrong and that people have a right to feel.  “I will never ridicule anyone again like that,” say LeRon. “I realize we need everyone.

11- Why LeRon doesn’t trust white allies but sees their importance and wants them to continue being allies and stepping up.

 

 

Episode 59: Race, Reconciliation and Transformation

My guests on “Everyday Conversations on Race” are Wanda Whitaker, Peter Rubin and Gaylon Logan from Village Connect. This episode is “Race, Reconciliation and Transformation.”

 

Wanda Whitaker is African-American, a humanitarian, spiritual healer and visionary who brings people together to find their highest potential.

 

Peter Rubin is white, Jewish, 35 years old and an anti-racist facilitator. He was raised in a multi-cultural anti-racist environment but didn’t become aware of this white privilege until a few years ago which is when he was trained in anti-racist facilitation.

 

Gaylon Logan is African-American, a father, grandfather and founder of Village Connect a 501C3 who is a leader of CBTC- Culture Based Transformative Coaching. His mission and the mission of Village Connect  is to build the capacity of people to be self-aware, self-directed and be empowered to have the life they want.

 

All three share their stories of how they came to be aware of race, racism and the need for racial reconciliation.

 

Key topics:

  • Why we need to be human beings as opposed to human doings, and human “havings.”

 

  • The trauma of racism, growing up in the south under segregation, and seeing the humiliation of Black people by racist, disgusting white people

 

  • What Black people had to do in order to survive racism and the total impact of those survival tactics

 

  • How Village Connect works with school age children to raise their self-esteem, and give kids the sense of self that so many lack in how they are raised

 

  • Information alone doesn’t change people’s lives. You need to reach their hearts, engage with them and help them transform
  • The impact and harm of being taught at an early age that it’s not ok for men to show feelings or cry in front of people

 

  • Village Connect is a direct response to loss of humanity and brings people back to humanity

 

  • How Wanda, and Peter are working with Gaylon on the Village Connect program, Race and Reconciliation, how to heal yourself from racism,” for white people
  • Focusing on humanity as we work on race and reconciliation is one of the keys to transformation for all people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 58: Black Trans Lives

Kairo Jamal Evans joins me for this Conversation on Race to talk about his experience as a 25-year-old Black Trans Man. He’s an entrepreneur who makes tee-shirts to spread the word of self-awareness. Listen in to hear about his transition, his tee-shirt business Kuriosity focuses on self-awareness through self-research.

 

Key Points:

  • Growing up Black in Oakland and not being aware of racism until he was a little older.
  • Having a white grandmother and the fact that his mother had to deal with racism.
  • Transphobia in the LGBTQ community
  • The murders of Black trans women in the US and Black trans men
  • Male privilege as a trans man but also potentially targeted as a Black man because of racism and higher chances of being stopped by police or white racists
  • Kairo shares his experience of being stopped by police while driving
  • He has to always act calm with police no matter what
  • Kairo has a YouTube channel and he’s noticed that YouTubers who are white get more attention and support than YouTubers who are people of color
  • Racism in the LGBTQ community
  • Dealing with being Black in the LGBTQ community
  • Trans man are sometimes targeted by lesbians who can be antagonistic
  • Surprising to me it’s mostly younger lesbians who are the most harsh
  • He accepts that he’s in a different mindset
  • How his family came to accept and support him
  • Why aren’t more people taking up the cry for Black Trans people
  • How heartbreaking it was after the murder of Tony McCabe that he was misgendered
  • The dangers of being trans and being Black trans
  • It takes a whole village to grow the community

 

Bio of Kairo Jamal Evans in his own words:

 

My name is Kairo Jamal Evans. I am a female to male trans man, born and raised in Oakland, CA. I graduated from Oakland Technical High School in 2013 and continued a collegiate education for 3 years at the California State University, Northridge. (GO MATADORS!) My focus in school was on film, which is a career I still plan to pursue. I began my medical transition in the Fall of 2016, which even though was a difficult process, in the beginning, has grown to become the best decision I’ve ever made. I now have started a small t-shirt line [Kuriosity Clothing Co.] with personal designs, and one day plan on opening a studio for kids to come to create, and learn more about the arts! Since becoming me, I have developed an astonishing amount of confidence. I am now ready to take on the world as my true self.

 

 

 

Episode 57: Living While Black

On this Episode of Everyday Conversations on Race, I’m joined by my very close friend and colleague, Dr. Joel Brown. Joel is an international known organizational and leadership development consultant. He is a spoken word poet, and a thought leader in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. The president and founder of Pneumos, Joel is known as the cultivator.

Key Topics:

  • Messages he received as a young Black man growing up in Milwaukee
  • Avoid the police who would shoot first and ask questions later
  • How to talk to the police if he ever go stopped so he wouldn’t be shot or put in jail
  • Be grateful that to go to a school with white kids
  • Because of racism, he would have to work twice as hard as white people
  • These warnings and lessons have stayed with him all of these years
  • What it was like to have to have relatives in law enforcement and the difficulties they had to endure
  • How Joel learned about the racism and toxic masculinity of “blue culture” from his relatives in law enforcement
  • The many times and different cities he has been stopped by police just living or driving while black
  • The real problem with the phrase “all lives matter”
  • The fact that Black people are traumatized, hurting and exhausted but he is encouraged by the fact that so many white and other non-Black people of color are outraged, marching and speaking out
  • Why he thinks that the phrase “Defund the Police” should be changed to “Reallocate funds” and that it would be more effective in getting the same results
  • And what’s up with Antifa

Contact info for Joel Brown:

Joel@Pneumos.com

www.souletry.com

www.Pneumos.com

Twitter: JoelBrown7

IG: JoelABrown

 

 

Episode 56: Police Bias and Black Panthers

In this Everyday Conversation on Race, I’m joined by white ex-police officer Charles Hayes, author of the book “Blue Bias,” and Elmer Dixon founder and former leader of the Seattle Black Panthers.  They share their personal histories, their work around race and their perspectives on fighting against racism in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and ensuing world-wide protests.

In 1968, Elmer Dixon and his brother Aaron came to Oakland to hear Bobby Seale the chairman of the Black Panther Party speak. Right after, they decided to form a chapter of the Black Panther Party in Seattle. It was the first chapter outside of California, and lasted until 1982, making it the longest running Black Panther chapter. The medical clinic they started is still operating.

Today, Elmer still works to eliminate racism, injustice and inequities in the US, as president of the Executive Diversity Services an organizational development consulting firm.

Charles Hayes grew up in Oklahoma and Texas in the 1940s and 1950s. He  joined the Marines at 17,  and four years later became a police officer in Dallas. He says that that the area and the department were racist to the core.

Charles burnt out after several years due to constant calls to break up situations of domestic violence. He didn’t  have the maturity to understand the deeper issues affecting people in these situations.

After leaving the police department he began learning about life and reading in order to educate himself. His life changed when he read a  “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” by Martin Luther King. That’s when he decided to work on unraveling the racist education he got.

As a consultant, Elmer had the opportunity to work with police. After leading successful programs for police in Chicago, he went on work with police in Washington,  Ireland and other cities. As a member of the Black Panther Party, which was named the Number One threat to US Security by the FBI, working with the police was a major shift in perspective for him.

Key topics in this episode:

• The origin, and manifestations of  police bias

• The role of neuroscience, external stimuli and stressors in the development of unconscious bias amongst cops

• How the police department attracts people with authoritarian personality

• Deaths of unarmed Black and Brown people at the hands of police

• The murders of George Floyd. Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, along with the confluence of people sheltering in place, not working, struggling financially has put us at a tipping point in this country and the world

• How some Black police officers internalize bias and brutalize people in the Black community

• Solutions to end racist police practices

• Lessons learned from the Black Panther Party for today’s fight against racism, police brutality and injustice

• Why a coherent vision and plan is necessary to sustain momentum and create systemic change, and what that might look like.

Links:

email Charles Hayes     autpress@alaska.net

email Elmer Dixon     EDixon@ExecutiveDiversity.com

 

 

Episode 55: Karen Controversy

The term “Karen” to describe certain white women who exhibit extreme privileged entitled behavior  began on social media and is quickly becoming part of today’s lexicon. As my guests in this episode of “Everyday Conversations on Race” explain, the archetype of a “Karen” would be a  white woman who goes to Starbucks, usually dressed a certain way and expects to be treated like the only customer. When the barista spells her name wrong, she demands to see the manager and must have a new cup.

However, a group of white women complain that the term is “racist towards white women, ageist and classist. They are demanding the end of this term.

In this Conversation on Race, I’m joined by two women named Karen, who share their perspective on calling certain white women “Karens” for their white privilege behavior.

Karen Fleshman is a white woman, who  founded the organization “Racy Conversations,” an anti-racist group. She has written about the term and why she agrees with it. In this conversation on race, this Karen shares her background and how she came to be an active, outspoken anti-racist.

Commissioner Karen Clopton is an African-American woman who grew up in South Central Los Angeles. It was segregated by race but had a mix of professionals and working-class people. She is a member of the SF Civil Rights Commission. She shares her experience as a young Black  woman in a family that taught her early on about what it meant to be Black growing up in the USA.

Key Topics:

  • Is it racist against white people, sexist against white women or ageist against white women to use the descriptor “Karen” to describe entitled behavior by certain white women.
  • How to talk about racism to white people
  • Why not talking about race and racism to children is racist
  • The way racism has been institutionalized since the founding of the US
  • How white people by default are beneficiaries of racism and have privilege as a result
  • Why white supremacists think they are shielded from COVID
  • Bringing the controversy to light of the “Karen” phenomena
  • What the term “Karen” means when it refers to actions of some white women
  • Why the two Karens don’t take offense at the term and why they think it’s justified
  • What “peak Karen” looks like
  • If you would like to see a “Karen” in action, look for the video of Amy Cooper, a white woman walking her unleashed dog in Central Park in an area that clearly stated dogs must be leashed because it was a habitat for birds. When an African-American man who was there to study birds asked her to leash her dog, she threatened him and called the police saying she was afraid for her life of an African-American man harassing  her.

Guest Bios:

An award-winning trailblazer, Karen Valentia Clopton brings deep knowledge, demonstrated operational expertise, and non-partisan insight into the political and regulatory arenas. She has served in top leadership, board, and executive roles in both governmental and non-governmental organizations across many regulated industries. General Counsel and Vice President of Access and Inclusion for Incendio International, Inc. and a nationally recognized civil rights advocate, she also serves as a San Francisco Human Rights Commissioner.

 

Karen Fleshman is the founder of Racy Conversations and is a racial equity trainer and government accountability activist striving to build and support a community of people committed to love, learning, accountability, and action on race in America. She is the author of the book  White Women, We Need to Talk: Doing Our Part to End Racism

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