Race

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.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

The Racial Impacts of COVID-19

Teri Yuan and Carole Copeland Thomas join me for this conversation on race to talk about race, racism and the COVID 19 pandemic. Teri talks about her experience as a Chinese-American and her perspective on the escalation of racist attacks against Asians who are being blamed by some for Covid-19. Carole shares her history, information and her perspective on the high death rate of African Americans

Key Topics in this Episode

  • The lack of race consciousness of many Asian people
  • What it means to be white adjacent
  • What Asian-Americans can do to be more aware of race and the history of racism in the United States
  • How people from targeted groups can be allies and support each other against racist attack
  • Racial health disparities that result in the high infection and death rate of African-Americans
  • The lack of PPE for essential workers, many of whom are people of color
  • How gender issues have resulted in women bearing the brunt of the pandemic
  • How white supremacy fuels the escalation of racism and blame of specific groups

Guest Bios:

Teri Yuan is a survivor, a feminist business consultant, and founder of the Engendered Collective, a platform for survivors, practitioners, and allies to connect in community, learning, and advocacy through the radical inquiry of patriarchy.  As part of the Collective’s work, Teri manages the Kanduit QNA social service community and hosts the weekly podcast, en(gender)ed, which explores the systems, practices and policies that enable gender-based violence and oppression and offers solutions to end it.  En(gender)ed uses gender as a lens to better understand power and oppression and its impact in the private realm, so as to better recognize and confront it in the public sphere. Teri believes that by developing a cultural literacy around power and abuse of power, we can reclaim how we define liberty in relationships and in civic life and solve many of our most urgent social (justice) challenges.

 

Carole Copeland Thomas  As an award-winning TEDx speaker, trainer, and global thought leader, since 1987, Carole Copeland Thomas moderates the discussions of critical issues affecting the marketplace, including global diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism. She has her pulse on the issues affecting working professionals and regularly consults with industry leaders. She has spent 33 years of cultivating relationships and partnerships with local, national, and international clients and sponsors, including Walmart, Amtrak, and Emirates Airlines. Carole served as an adjunct faculty member at Bentley University for ten years. She has spoken in nearly every state in the US and seven other countries. Carole is the past president of The National Speakers Association-New England Chapter and served on the leadership team of Black NSA. She has been featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Black Enterprise, ABC Radio, and CBS News. Carole is a blogger and social media enthusiast using various technology platforms to enhance her business development activities.

Racist ZoomBombing: Racism or Just a Prank? with Laura Cathcart Robbins – Conversations on Race

Racist ZoomBombing: Racism, or Just a Prank ? with Laura Cathcart Robbins

Racist ZoomBombing has brought fear, disruption and even trauma to people who need the Zoom p platform for community, connection and their work.

Zoom has been a sanity saver for many of us during this Covid-19 pandemic. But there is an underside to the Zoom platform, one  of racism, sexism and white supremacy. In this episode of Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People, Laura Cathcart Robbins joins me to talk about her experience with racist ZoomBombing. While attending a Zoom meeting for women who are recovering alcoholics, her meeting was taking over by white supremacists yelling racist slogans and exposing themselves. Everyone was angry and upset, but as the only Black woman in the meeting, this attack had a deeper impact. She thought this was a place where she could feel safe and share part of herself. Despite what some people say ZoomBombing is not a childish prank. It is an assault and constitutes terrorism.

Laura Cathcart Robbins experienced ZoomBombing more than once while attending meetings that were meant to support her recovery from alcohol and the recovery or millions of other people from alcoholism, drug addiction and other issues. During the first incident the person had a picture of a lynching, started shouting KKK, slogans against Black and LGBT people. This happened again and again when she attended other 12 Step meetings.

As a result, Zoom had to start requiring a password to get into a meeting. This is really difficult for new people looking for help to get clean and sober or recover from other issues. If they are just seeking help they  have no access to the password unless they know someone.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Trying to get sober during a quarantine but not being able to get the password.
  • The challenge for a person of color, particularly a Black person to get sober, who attends a meeting where racists attack the platform. It’s terrifying and could stop someone from coming back.
  • What it’s like to be the only Black woman in certain places.
  • People claiming that racist Zoombombing is just a prank by young kids.
  • Racist Zoombombing is not a prank. It’s an assault and not “kids being kids.” It’s terrorism.
  • Do not tell someone who has been victimized by these racist, sexist, antisemitic attacks to not take it personally or that they are overly sensitive.
  • This is racist terrorism and has left her and other people attending recovery 12 Step meetings scared and afraid to participate.
  • This is a time when people with alcohol, drug or any other kind of addiction issues needs these meetings.
  • Zoom has responded and added security which helps deal with the attacks but also is an obstacle to people trying to get sober and clean from drugs.
  • It’s not up to someone who is not from a targeted group to tell people from any of those groups how to feel. It’s extremely offensive.
  • If you care and say you are against racism, homophobia, antisemitism then you need to demonstrate it by speaking up when you see it happen. Don’t expect that the person from the targeted group should be able to handle it or be the one to speak up.

Bio of Laura Cathcart Robbins

Laura Cathcart Robbins is a freelance writer, podcast host, and storyteller, living in Studio City, California with her son, Justin and her boyfriend, Scott Slaughter.  She has been active for many years as a speaker and school trustee and is credited for creating The Buckley School’s nationally recognized committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Her recent articles in the Huffington Post on the subjects of race, recovery, and divorce have garnered her worldwide acclaim. She is a 2018 LA Moth StorySlam winner and host of the popular podcast, The Only One In The Room, which is available on all podcast platforms.  Laura currently sits on the advisory board for the San Diego Writer’s Festival and is also a founding member of Moving Forewords, the first national memoirist collective of its kind.

You can find her on Facebook @lauracathcartrobbins, on Instagram @official_cathcartrobbins and follow her on Twitter @LauraCRobbins.

Laura Cathcart Robbins

https://theonlyonepod.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 50: Everyday Conversations on Race with Damona Hoffman

On this episode of Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People,  we talk about racism in Hollywood with  Damona Hoffman. Damona is a dating coach & media personality who starred in two A+E Networks’ TV series: #BlackLove and A Question of Love. She’s a contributor for The Washington Post, CNN Headline News (HLN), Match.com, BET.com, and more. Previously, Damona held creative executive & diversity positions at CBS, Paramount, and NBC Universal. Now, she hosts and produces two podcasts, I Make a Living (by FreshBooks) and Dates & Mates with Damona Hoffman.

Damona talks with me about what it was like growing up Black and Jewish with an African American mother and white Jewish father.

photo of Damona Hoffman, a Black, Jewish woman/ talks racism

Damona Hoffman, Black/Jewish/Biracial woman

Her first awareness and experience with direct racism and hate. was when she was 16 years old. “My friend took me to a party where I was the only Black person. A white guy holding a hockey stick kept pointing at people and asking them their name. When he pointed the stick at me, she said, “N……, Bitch that what we call all of you.”

She felt f threatened- scared, and shocked. When she jumped up and told her friend they had to go, the friend said she was over reacting.

For Damona Hoffman, this was the moment for her that every person of experiences when they know that things will never be the same.  And this is another reason why conversations on race are so crucial because too often, people who are not Black or not people of color do not understand how serious racism is.

Key learning

Those of us who are white need to understand that racism doesn’t go away on its own. If you’re in a situation where you hear a racist statement, see a racist action or witness a person of color being targeted, we have to speak up. We have to intervene. If we claim to be against racism or anti-racist, we need to back up our words with action. If we don’t, we are colluding, and if we say nothing, we are colluding. Silence equals consent. Do not leave it up to the person of color to have to be a lone voice. In those cases, you are either part of the solution you are the problem.

It might be dangerous for a person of color to say something

Damona was lucky she got out, but she wanted the friend to speak out and instead her friend made her feel more unsafe.

Being Black, Jewish, and bi-racial helps her connect with people on many levels. There are also times when she gets excluded.

Listen to the rest of the podcast to hear more from Damona Hoffman

 

  • When she feels included and when she thinks people look at her like she’s an enemy.
  • Issues of colorism in the Black community and how she worked through it
  • Thoughts on internalized racism and oppression
  • How she launched talent diversity programs at NBC and CBS
  • Experience and speaking out against microaggressions in Hollywood
  • About her starring role in “Black Love” on A&E

 

 

 

Episode 49: A Different Kind of Conversation on Race and Racism

 

In this conversation on race,  “Julian on the Radio” talks to me about his experiences and thoughts on race, diversity and being the child of Chinese immigrants. We talk Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the need to continuously build a diverse community.

Julian grew up in the Washington DC  area  amongst people from different cultures, races and ethnicities. His parents were originally from Shanghai and came to the US when they were young. Julian says that most people want to spend time with people who are most like them, but he has thrived by being around diversity of people from different races and cultures.

Although he wasn’t focused on race growing up there were times when he felt different from the other kids in high school. He wanted to be accepted but there times when he was left  out, and felt “less than.” There were times when he just wanted to “fit in,” and asks “doesn’t everyone?” As we go deeper, he talks about the seemingly subtle racism he dealt with, and maybe he was even mad at his family for being from China.  He’s gotten more comfortable with himself, and no longer feels that way. Racism is all around us and Julian talks about how he lives his life.

We continue to talk and the conversation on race gets more introspective.

Julian barely graduated from high school and went on to have a successful career in radio.

Key takeaways:

  • Travel outside the US to open perspectives
  • Julian appreciates being raised in a multi-cultural environment and can’t imagine only being around one culture.
  • No group is a monolith and we all have more than one culture
  • Julian on the Radio offers some advice for young people who are having a hard time accepting who they are, who may be different and feel excluded, and who hear negative messages about their groups
  • Befriend, pick people who will be your real friends
  • Look for people who will support you
  • Listen and absorb podcasts that talk about self-acceptance
  • Have good people around you

We want to show that not everyone from the same culture is the same. We all have multiple identities, that make up our co-cultures. Diversity helps us understand the world around us.

If you like the show and want to hear more conversations on race, go to www.raceconvo.com .  And if you want help us grow, please share it with at least one other person.

To join the race conversation and support Everyday Conversations on Race, go to  www.patreon/raceconvo

 

 

 

 

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