Politics and Culture

Episode 68: Black Skin/White Fear

 

Amy Nickerson joins me for this Conversation on Race to talk about how racism traumatizes Black families.

Amy is an educational consultant who focuses on race and race relations. She is the author of the book, “HOW DO YOU SEE US?: Our Lived Realities of Being Viewed As a Threat.

This book details and analyzes what she and her family have seen and experienced as it relates to issues of law enforcement. This is not Black vs. Blue. This isn’t about sides – the black side or the blue side. This is not an attack on the overall institution of law enforcement. Nor is this a scathing rebuke of every white law enforcement officer. As Amy states in her book, “This is about my perspective, my innermost feelings about how I am viewed as a Black person in America, why I feel vulnerable around police officers, and how it got this way.” Amy Nickerson recounts numerous encounters with police officers as well as ordinary white citizens insistent on policing black people.

Amy shares her experience with race and racism as a Black woman, mother of three children including Hardy Nickerson Jr. a linebacker in the NFL and as the wife of former NFL player and now a coach, Hardy Nickerson.

 

Key topics:

  • No matter who you are, or how much money you have, if you are Black in the US your position and money will not protect you from racism, discrimination and being targeted by law enforcement and white racists.
  • Her first experience with racism in elementary school.
  • White policing of Black people by white people.
  • All too frequent experiences of the Nickerson family being accused of stealing the cars they drive, or not belonging in their own neighborhood.
  • Why white people often resent Black people being successful, or living their own lives, and how they try to sabotage Black success.
  • Justified fear that Black women have every time their children leave the house.
  • Challenges of being Black on vacation, having to tell her son, he couldn’t wear the clothes he liked because it could be dangerous.
  • How many white people view Black skin as a threat and justify racist actions.
  • Solutions to white policing of Black people everyday.

 

Bio for Amy Nickerson

Amy Nickerson is an author, speaker, educational consultant, and antiracism & social justice advocate. Her book How Do You See Us?, an Amazon bestselling new release, details her family’s harrowing accounts of encounters with police and the racism they often experience. Using their stories, Amy unpacks the long reach of racism in America, exploring how and why tensions continue to escalate. She addresses audiences ranging from local schools to the FBI National Academy, guiding conversations about race and social justice.

Married 31 years to husband Hardy, former NFL All-Pro linebacker and NFL/College coach, and having raised three student-athletes, Amy also possesses extensive knowledge and understanding of sports at the professional, college and high school levels. She is experienced in curriculum development and college instruction specializing in student-athletes’ experiences and the impact of structural forces and systemic racism on their lives. Amy holds two degrees from UC Berkeley – BA (Afro-American Studies/Social Sciences) and MA (Education – Cultural Studies of Sport in Education), and is a Board member and chair of the Education Committee for the Freedom Football League (FFL), a newly formed professional football league.

 

Contact info:

Book: How Do You See Us? Our Lived Realities of Being Viewed As a Threat

Email

LinkedIn

Facebook

Instagram

HowDoYouSeeUs.com

AmyNickerson.net

Episode 67: How Racism is a Health Hazard

In this conversation on race, I’m joined by Dr. Elwood Watson, a Professor of History and African American Studies at East Tennessee State University. His areas of specialty are in 20th Century Post World War II U.S. History, African American History, African American Studies, Gender Studies, Popular Culture, and ethnographic studies.

Elwood is an author. His most recent book is “Keeping it Real,” essays on race and racism, white supremacy, and contemporary issue in the Black community.

 

Key topics:

  • First experience with racism at his first job
  • Donald Trump and white supremacy, antisemitism, homophobia
  • Violence against Black bodies
  • Self-hatred and internalized oppression in the Black community
  • Thoughts on Bill Maher and racism
  • The candidacy of Hillary Clinton and why she lost
  • How racism is a health hazard
  • The candidacy of Joe Biden
  • Sexuality in popular culture
  • Living, driving, jogging while Black

 

 

Dr. Elwood Watson

Dr. Elwood Watson is a professor of history, African American Studies, and Gender Studies at East Tennessee State University. He is the author of several books and articles. His latest work Performing American Masculinities: The 21st Century Man in Popular Culture published by Indiana University Press.

 

 

 

Links for Dr. Elwood Watson

LinkedIn

Book interview

Breonna Taylor

Ethnic Studies in Higher Ed

My book review

Episode 66: White Privilege Conference/Black Leadership

Dr. Eddie Moore and Dr. Joe-Joe McManus join me on Everyday Conversations on Race to talk about white privilege, Black people and other people of color working with white people, and racial justice.

Dr. Moore founded the White Privilege Conference in 1999. Dr. McManus is a well-known award-winning educator and leader in the anti-racist, social justice movement in higher education for over twenty years.

 

Key Topics in this episode:

  • Eddie’s experience and challenges as a Black person leading and recruiting people for the White Privilege Conference
  • How he helps white people grow and better understand racism
  • The need for white anti-racists to support and follow Black leadership and learn from Black excellence/Black genius
  • How Joe-Joe a white Jewish/Irish man and Eddie an African American man started working together and build a strong friendship and working relationship based on trust and love.
  • Why many White people have a hard time hearing about race, racism and white privilege from BIPOC and listen better to white people
  • When white people and BIPOC people need to be in their own affinity groups to talk amongst themselves and when they need to come together and work in coalition and engage with each other
  • How the most successful social justice movements were people working across race and other differences in coalition and partnership
  • Ensuring that everyone has skin in the game, not just Black people
  • How to have more conversations on race

 

Dr. Joe-Joe McManus has established himself over more than 25 years as a leader at the intersections of leadership development, antiracism education, and inclusive excellence. He has held faculty, staff, and executive roles, including Chief Diversity Officer. He has served at an HBCU, an international university, an Ivy League institution, a religious based university, and at the public university system level.

Dr. Joe-Joe, as he is known, also has extensive public speaking, consulting, coaching, and advising experience across sectors.

Contact Information

Joe-Joe McManus, Ph.D.
phone: 508.982.3745

Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., is recognized as one of the nation’s top motivational speakers and educators, especially for his work with students K–16. Eddie is the Founder/Program Director for the White Privilege Conference, and under his direction and inclusive relationship model, the conference has become one of the top national and international conferences for participants who want to move beyond dialogue and into action around issues of diversity, power, privilege, and leadership.

 

Contact information:
Twitter: @eddieknowsmoore
Instagram: eddiemoorejr
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/eddiemoorejr

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.

 

 

 

Skip to toolbar