racism

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 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.

 

 

Episode 54: 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.

Episode 53: 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 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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