Race

Episode 75: White Supremacists, the Military & the Capitol Riots

In this Conversation on Race, I’m joined by Greg Jenkin, a white man who spent over 28 years in the military. We talk about white supremacy in the military, and the riots at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Greg, is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion leader who  continues to coach and mentor veterans who are transitioning out of the service.

This show is a little different in that Greg and Simma are both white. Stephon Williams who is African- American had to cancel at the last minute. We decided to do this episode anyway because of the topic.

Greg shares his perspective on the white riots/insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021, where there seemed to be a disproportionate amount of people who had been in the military.

Key topics:

  • The numbers of people who had been in the military who participated in the white riot.
  • Although there were a few Jewish, Black and Latinx people at the riot, a great majority were there representing white supremacy.
  • Greg’s reason for going into the military;  not out of patriotism but because of the recession when he joined
  • How Greg found a deep patriotism once he was in the military
  • How some people come into the military who are already indoctrinated in white supremacy and other people let go of many of their biases as a result of being around people who are different
  • The military itself does not support white supremacy and impresses on people the importance of supporting freedom and the constitution for everybody
  • Consequences when someone in the military is discovered to be a white supremacist
  • The military also provides opportunities for people to engage and interact with people who are different
  • Greg talks about why he thinks it’s difficult for white supremacists to get into the military
  • How Greg learned about racism and sexism and self-awareness from being in the military. It was a place of self-discovery and growth around diversity for him
  • The responsibility that military leaders have to educate, and create environments where people can learn about each other to serve everyone in the country
  • What makes a good leader in the military

 

About Greg Jenkins

Greg Jenkins is a dedicated and passionate consultant, practitioner and life-long learner of Diversity & Inclusion, Equal Opportunity and Leadership. He recently completed a successful US Army career that ranged from overseas duties in Germany, South Korea and combat duty in Iraq to include a number of stateside assignments culminating in Washington D.C. His performance in Military Equal Opportunity efforts resulted in developing a model program for other Army Equal Opportunity and human relations efforts. He served as the senior commander’s liaison with state and local organizations, along with educational and community leaders resulting in improved civic relationships. He was hand-selected by the Director of the Army’s Diversity Task Force to help establish the Army’s Diversity program, policy and products. He was instrumental in the planning and execution the Army’s Diversity marketing campaign achieving world-wide coverage for the Army’s 1.4M Soldiers, Civilians, and their family members. He’s an experienced instructor who has provided training, facilitation and oversight for thousands of personnel ensuring quality and relevant Military Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Leadership training and education for mid, senior and executive level managers and leaders. Most recently, he was appointed as; Chair or Board, Diversity Certification Institute, Global Diversity & Inclusion Foundation. He volunteers for the Missouri committee of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. He’s a published author and graduate of Webster University, where recently attained my Master’s degree in Human Resources Development. He enjoys helping people, spending time with my friends, family and staying physically fit while volunteering for organizations within my community.

 

Contact Info

LinkedIn
Twitter
Facebook

Episode 74: A Real Conversation on Black/Asian Unity with Lee Mun Wah and Dr. Joel Davis Brown


In this conversation on race, Lee Mun Wah, a Chinese-American man, and Dr. Joel Davis Brown, an African-American man, talk about racism against Black and Asian people.

 

Key topics:

  • Stereotypes, and their root causes between African-Americans and  Asians.
  • Lee Mun Wah recounts issues amongst men from different races and ethnicities when he produced the groundbreaking film on race, “Color of Fear”.
  • Mun Wah shares the stereotypes he heard about Black people when he grew up
  • Joel shares stereotypes he heard about Asians growing up from the people around him
  • The problems with Asians being considered “model minority” by white people.
  • Joel and Mun Wah talk agree that communities of color are missing the opportunity to talk to each other.
  •  How white supremacists create, perpetuate and benefit from conflict and misunderstandings between Asian and Black people.
  • Why it’s important for Black and Asian people to not just focus on white people, but spend time becoming better allies against racism.
  • Early movements of third-world unity including Black people, Asians from different ethnicities, Native Americans, and LatinX people, as well as working in a coalition with progressive white people.
  • Racist, stereotypical messages immigrants get about other groups before they come to the US and how those messages cause stress, conflict, and racism.
  • The dangers of Black people being stereotyped as “model activists”.
  • What African-Americans and Asians can do to create unity, learn from each other, and show support to end racism

 

 

Lee Mun Wah is an internationally renowned Chinese American documentary filmmaker, author, poet, Asian folk teller, educator, community therapist, and master diversity trainer. He is the Executive Director of StirFry Seminars & Consulting, a diversity training company that provides educational tools and workshops on cross-cultural communication and awareness, mindful facilitation, and conflict mediation techniques. His first documentary film, Stolen Ground, about the experience of Asian Americans, won honorable mention at the San Francisco International Film Festival. His most famous film about racism, The Color of Fear, won the Gold Medal for Best Social Studies Documentary and in 1995, Oprah Winfrey did a one-hour special on Lee Mun Wah’s life and work that was seen by many.  His latest film, If These Halls Could Talk, was just released.  The film’s focus is on college students and their experience with racism and other diversity issues in higher education.  Thousands of people from government and social service agencies, corporations and educational institutions have taken Lee Mun Wah’s workshops and partnered with Stirfry Seminars & Consulting on their diversity initiatives.

 

 

Dr. Joel A. Davis Brown is the Chief Visionary Officer of Pneumos LLC, a management consulting and coaching company based in San Francisco, USA, specializing in cultural intelligence, leadership, change management, and strategic storytelling. As a change agent, Joel works strategically with organizational leaders to cultivate innovative, creative, and adaptive environments where the cultural genius of everyone can be harnessed and leveraged successfully. In particular, Joel works with organizational clients to foster psychological safety, healing, belonging, and transformation. His work spans five continents and his mission is to facilitate liberation for every global citizen.

Best known for his critical analysis, creativity, humor, and an ability to build consensus, Joel has partnered with Fortune 500 Companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to help them achieve sustained growth and organizational breakthroughs. His clients have ranged from LinkedIn to the United Nations, and his “sweet spots” have included men’s leadership, LGBT inclusion, interpersonal dialogue, and intercultural communication.

 

Contact information:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Pneumos
Twitter: @joelabrown7
Website: www.pneumos.com
LinkedIn: www.linkedn.com/in/joelanthonybrown

Episode 73: From Drug Addiction to Revolutionary Fitness, a Black Women’s Journey

In this Conversation on Race, I’m joined by Pam Grimm, who talks about her experiences as a  a Black woman in the fitness world. She’s 62 years old, has been teaching fitness since she was in her 50’s and says it’s never too late to get in shape. In this episode, she shares why getting shape is so important for everyone, and especially women of color.

 

Pam has been in recovery from drug addiction since 1993. In 2013, she decided to focus on fitness. And I’m telling you, this woman is fit.  She is the author of two books,  “#empowered: 90 Days of Enlightenment” which offers encouragement and spiritual inspiration, and #empowered: A Gratitude and Affirmations Journal

She is a certified personal trainer with the International Sports Sciences Association, a certified Group X Instructor, and a certified lifestyle wellness coach.

Key topics:

  • Her story of recovering from drug addiction
  • Her journey from drug addiction to fitness instructor
  • Women and fitness
  • How to get fit in the virtual world
  • Her motto “Don’t let your head tell you what you can’t do”
  • How to get your body to move
  • Her thoughts on being a Black woman in her 60’s teaching fitness
  • Black women and body image
  • Why getting in shape is revolutionary for women, especially women of color
  • Health care disparities and medical myths about Black people
  • How self-care is a weapon against racist medical policies
  • How to get started now even during Covid

 

About Pam Grimm

Pam Grimm is a corporate fitness instructor and currently teaches classes for corporations and individuals.

She is  also a personal trainer and a health & wellness coach. Her training focuses on strength, flexibility and balance in order for her clients to become the best version of themselves.

 

 

 

Contacts

www.pamgfitness.com

LinkedIn

Instagram

 

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 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 61: Pink Floyd-Race-Rock Music

In this conversation on race, Durga McBroom shares her experience as a Black woman in Rock music. “Because of racist stereotypes in the US, it was difficult to get work in Rock music. There was the belief that all Black women should be in R&B. I wanted to be like Jimi Hendrix or Donna Summer. I moved to the UK where I became a backing vocalist for Pink Floyd.”

Key Topics:

• Growing up in an  upper middle class Black family in Bel Air. Being stopped by police with her sister in their Mercedes because the cop didn’t believe that two Black women could have a car like that.

• Why it was easier  to be a Black woman in Rock in Great Britain than in the US

• Why Durga McBroom says that while these is racism in Europe it’s not as  entrenched as in the US

• How she is heartened by the response of so many white people today who demonstrate for Black Lives Matter

• Her willingness to engage with people who disagree with her and the importance of getting out of the echo chamber on  only one way to think

• What it was like to work with Pink Floyd

Listen to her new album with her sister, Lorelei McBroom  entitled Black Floyd

Check out their website, www.McBroomSisters.com

Durga McBroom was born on October 16, 1962, in Los AngelesCalifornia. After working as an actress, dancer and singer in the United States, she and her sister Lorelei McBroom worked with Pink Floyd as backing vocalists. She went on to have a long stint with them, being the only backing vocalist to appear consistently on all of their shows starting from the November 1987 concert at Omni Arena of A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour up to the final concert of The Division Bell Tour in October 1994. She also performed on their appearance at the 1990 Knebworth festival and has provided vocals for the Pink Floyd live albums Delicate Sound of Thunder, and Pulse, and the Pink Floyd studio albums The Division Bell, and The Endless River, as well as David Gilmour‘s 2001 solo tour.

Around 1989, McBroom formed the band Blue Pearl with record producer Youth, singing, playing some keyboards and co-writing all of their material. As part of Blue Pearl, she had several hit songs in the early 1990s, including “Naked in the Rain” (UK #4 in July 1990),[1] “Little Brother” (UK #31 in October 1990),[1] and a cover version of Kate Bush‘s “Running Up That Hill“, all taken from the album Naked, released in 1990 on the Big Life label. Subsequent singles included “(Can You) Feel the Passion” (UK #14 in January 1992).[1]

She provided backing vocals to the song “Don’t Wait That Long” featured on the James album Seven released in 1992. She also sang a duet on “Mother Dawn” with  Billy Idol for his Cyberpunk album, a self-penned song that was originally released as a Blue Pearl single. In addition, she sang backing vocals on several other songs on Cyberpunk, including a featured performance on “Heroin”.

In addition to her music career, McBroom performed as an actress in the movies Flashdance , The Rosebud Beach Hotel, the episode “Lullabye” of the TV show “Hunter” (with Gary Sinise), and several other less notable appearances. She also appears in many videos, including “California Girls”, “Yankee Rose” and “Just A Gigolo” for David Lee Roth, “Would I Lie To You” for Eurythmics, “Day In, Day Out” for David Bowie, and “When I Think Of You” for Janet Jackson.

In April 2010, she started to work with the Argentinian band “The End Pink Floyd” show in Buenos Aires, including some appearances with Guy Pratt and Jon Carin. In October 2011, McBroom joined her sister Lorelei to sing “The Great Gig in the Sky” in Anaheim, California with the Australian Pink Floyd Show.[2] 2017 saw her reunite with Gary Wallis, Scott Page, and Claudia Fontaine in several Italian shows. 2019 promises even more shows with her old band mates.

June 2019 kicks off with the first-ever live performances of Blue Pearl featuring both Durga AND Youth in anticipation of the long-awaited release of their new album.

She currently tours the world singing with various bands, and has recorded a second Blue Pearl album with Youth. Another album is currently in the works with her sister Lorelei (produced by Dave Kerzner), including some cover songs as well as original material. She and her sister Lorelei are also featured on Steve Hackett‘s latest album At the Edge of Light, being featured on the chart-topping single “Underground Railroad”.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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