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Episode 35: Coffee, Community and Justice: A Conversation with Keba Konte of Red Bay Coffee
Explicit
May 15, 2018 10:05 AM PDT
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On today’s episode, I speak with Keba Konte, founder of Red Bay Coffee in Oakland CA. On a mission to diversify the look and feel of the specialty coffee business in America, Konte’s business model for Red Bay considers issues of equity and fairness at all points along the supply chain: from where the coffee is grown and how much growers are paid, to how much his own baristas and other employees receive in pay and profit sharing, so they can continue to afford to live in rapidly gentrifying communities like the Bay Area.

Blending commerce and conscience — and demonstrating a successful model rooted in fairness, equity, and community — makes Red Bay Coffee a model for not only the coffee industry but for companies in general.

And at a time when companies like Starbucks are training their white employees on matters of implicit racial bias, companies like Red Bay are demonstrating that people of color ownership and connection to communities of color might well be an even deeper and more meaningful institutional challenge to racism.

This episode also contains Tim’s commentary on the recent spate of white folks calling police on people of color in a number of high profile incidents, and what these suggest about white privilege, white fragility and the current political and cultural moment.

Episode 34: Raising White Kids for Racial Justice in a Racially Unjust Society: A Conversation with Dr. Jennifer Harvey
Explicit
May 08, 2018 09:09 AM PDT
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On today’s episode of Speak Out with Tim Wise, Tim speaks with Dr. Jennifer Harvey, Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Drake University, and author of the new book, Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in Racially Unjust America (for which he provided the foreword).

They’ll discuss the reasons why so many white parents avoid discussions of race with our kids, and the harm this silence ultimately does to our children's understanding of racial dynamics in America.

The conversation explores the common (if well-meaning) mistakes often made by white parents, and why telling your kids “we’re all equal,” is not only unhelpful but actually detrimental to the creation of a more racially just society.

They’ll discuss examples in their own lives, and interactions with their own kids, where racial issues came to the fore and how they handled those moments — for good and bad — and how parents can become more competent at fostering a healthy antiracist white identity development in their children, thereby helping to generate in those young white people a true sense of solidarity with peoples of color.

Episode 33: Jody David Armour - Examining & Confronting "Negrophobia" in White America and the Legal System
Explicit
May 01, 2018 12:33 PM PDT
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On today's episode of Speak Out with Tim Wise, Tim speaks with Jody David Armour, the Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California, and a leading expert on the intersection between race and legal decision making. They’ll discuss the ongoing relevance of a book Armour wrote over 20 years ago, concerning the way that white Americans and the larger legal system have sought to rationalize racism and discriminatory treatment of African Americans, and to normalize what Armour calls “Negrophobia.”

From Bernard Goetz in 1980s New York to George Zimmerman more recently, as well as in case after case of police-involved shootings of unarmed black folks, the rationalizing of racial prejudice and the fear of black bodies has been a constant. As Armour notes on the program, this problem is more than one of individual bias; indeed, the workings of the justice system itself — from evidentiary standards to the “reasonable person” standard of analysis in jury instructions — virtually ensure the enshrining of Negrophobia in law and custom.

Wise and Armour will also explore the way Negrophobia can affect the thinking of black Americans, often leading to an internalized bias against other black folks, especially along lines of socioeconomic status. And finally, they’ll examine possible ways to move the national narrative on crime and violence away from irrational fear, hatred and a thirst for revenge, towards more restorative and redemptive practices and policies.

Episode 32: Monifa Bandele - Empowering Black Women and Reducing Racial Disparities in Maternal Health
Explicit
April 24, 2018 08:23 AM PDT
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On today’s episode, Tim speaks with Monifa Bandele, Vice President and Chief Partnership & Equity Officer for Moms Rising: an organization committed to amplifying women's voices within the national public policy dialogue and media.

Tim and Monifa discuss Mom’s Rising’s campaign to address the disturbing maternal health disparities between black and white women in America, including distressing rates of maternal mortality for African American women irrespective of socioeconomic status. Why are black women dying at much higher rates, and how does racism — implicit and institutional — contribute to the problem? How do stereotypes of black women, often held even by white physicians, endanger their lives? And what policy changes are needed to address the problem?

They’ll also discuss last week’s removal of the statue of J. Marion Sims from Central Park in New York City. Sims, often called the “father of gynecology” (itself a rather absurd term given the long history of midwifery), developed many of his gynecological methods after submitting enslaved black women to torturous techniques, against their will, and without anesthesia. Why is the removal of the statue important, and not only at a symbolic level?

Finally, this episode includes a commentary by Tim about the implicit white nationalism at the heart of a number of recent incidents, in which black bodies were presumed not to belong in certain spaces, including that Philadelphia Starbucks we’ve all heard about. While many think of white nationalism as something that comes with burning crosses and marching around with tiki torches (as in Charlottesville last August), the presumption that black folks (and other people of color) simply don’t belong “here” (meaning our neighborhood, our school, our businesses, etc) is all too common and ingrained in the fabric of America.

Episode 31: (LIVE Taping) Victories from Inside Out: Dismantling the Prison-Industrial Complex
Explicit
April 17, 2018 08:56 AM PDT
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On today's episode, Tim sits in conversation with two of the nation’s most inspiring criminal justice and prison reform activists, Taina Vargas-Edmond and Dorsey Nunn, during the first-ever recording of the show in front of a live audience.

Vargas-Edmond is the Executive Director and co-Founder of Initiate Justice and Dorsey Nunn is the Executive Director of Legal Services for Prisoners With Children/All of Us or None. In this public dialogue — a fundraiser for their respective groups sponsored by Bay Area SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) — they discuss a number of critical issues, including:

-- The devastating impact of incarceration on families and communities;

-- The importance of seeing the incarcerated as multi-dimensional human beings rather than broken and dangerous individuals incapable of restoration;

-- Why it’s so important to involve the incarcerated and their families directly in advocacy work and to have them actually leading those efforts;

-- The importance of some recent successes in California and elsewhere when it comes to criminal justice reform; and finally, the work that remains to be done to create a more just society for all.

Episode 30: #WeCounterHate - Creating an Innovative Digital Response to Racism on Twitter
Explicit
April 10, 2018 10:55 AM PDT
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On today’s episode of Speak Out With Tim Wise, Tim speaks with the folks behind the We Counter Hate project: an ingenious and creative new effort to counter hate speech on Twitter. As you’ll hear on the program, the project involves the use of computer technology to identify hate speech, alert those who spread it that it has been deemed hate speech, and then let them know that for every re-tweet of the material, a donation will be made to an organization fighting the very hatred they seek to spread. Ultimately the goal is to get “hatefluencers”to think twice before retweeting bigoted content, by raising the cost of their free speech. Neither censorship nor shaming of racists will suffice to shut them down, but this creative approach is making a difference. Tweets marked by the We Counter Hate system get retweeted up to 70 percent less often than tweets sent out by the same Twitter accounts, but which were not marked.

Also on the program is Sammy Rangel, the Executive Director of Life After Hate — which works to help people leave the white supremacist movement and inoculate others to their poison — and which has worked with the folks at We Counter Hate to develop the model and the approach used in this effort.

Episode 29: Jasmine Tyler (Human Rights Watch) -Criminal Justice Policy in the Age of Trump
Explicit
April 03, 2018 04:16 PM PDT
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On today’s episode of Speak Out With Tim Wise, Tim speaks with Jasmine Tyler, of Human Rights Watch, about criminal justice policy in the age of Trump and under the watch of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. They’ll explore the administration’s threats to states that have legalized recreational marijuana and their call for the death penalty for drug dealers, and what it could mean to re-invigorate the failed and racially-disparate war on drugs.

Tyler and Wise will also examine the ongoing racial disparities in street-level drug arrests, even in states that have legalized weed dispensaries, and the importance of linking decriminalization efforts to racial justice work. Finally, they’ll discuss the problem with drug courts, as well as using “risk assessment algorithms” to predict future offending—often offered as an alternative to financially oppressive money bail, but which threatens to replicate all the racial and economic inequities of the existing system.

Also on the episode, Tim offers an analysis of the good, the bad, and the ugly in terms of racial (in)equity since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., 50 years ago this Wednesday.

Episode 28: Marc Lamont Hill on Youth-Led Justice Movements, Police Violence, and the Racialization of Terror
Explicit
March 27, 2018 04:09 AM PDT
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Today’s guest on Speak Out With Tim Wise is Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, one of America’s leading public intellectuals. Hill is a Temple University professor, host of BET News, a regular political contributor for CNN, and the author of the NYT bestseller, Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond.

On this week’s program, Wise and Hill discuss Trumpism, and the inspiring state of youth resistance, both in the U.S. and abroad. Additionally, they explore the relationship between younger and older activists, including how elders can provide helpful insights to youth while at the same time giving them the space to grow, make their own mistakes, and ultimately lead the struggles for equity and justice.

Hill and Wise also examine the ongoing reality of police shootings of unarmed persons of color—as with the killing of Stephon Clark in Sacramento—as well as the differential way media frames violence and terrorism, whether committed by people of color and Muslims on the one hand, or white Christians like the recent bomber in Austin, Texas, on the other.

Finally, Hill discusses why he opened a bookstore in Philadelphia, and why black bookstores are such a vital component of community there and elsewhere.

Episode 27: Bradley Onishi on What Really Motivates White Evangelical Politics (and Why?)
Explicit
March 20, 2018 11:38 AM PDT
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On today’s episode, Tim speaks with Bradley Onishi, an Assistant Professor of Religion at Skidmore College and author of the forthcoming book, The Sacrality of the Secular, from Columbia University Press.

Onishi’s recent writings, in which he discusses his past as an evangelical Christian, frame the conversation as he and Wise explore the way that white evangelism in particular filters virtually all issues of political morality through the lens of abortion. They’ll discuss why this is, how it explains fundamentalist support for Donald Trump despite his repeated violation of Christian norms of behavior, and how it connects to the religious right’s racial vision for America as well.

Onishi also discusses the privilege of white nostalgia for a fictive religious, racial and national past, as well as the meaning of Billy Graham and his elevation to the role of “America’s Pastor,” following his recent death.

This episode also features Tim’s weekly commentary, in which he discusses recent bombings in Austin, TX as well as the arrest of two white men who were hoarding weapons and bomb-making materials in NY and FL, and what the lack of news coverage — and the president’s silence about these events — says about the way we view terrorism, violence, and danger in America.

Episode 26: Robin DiAngelo/Debby Irving - White Fragility, Obliviousness & White Allyship
Explicit
March 13, 2018 01:48 PM PDT
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On this episode of Speak Out With Tim Wise, Tim speaks with antiracism educators and authors, Robin DiAngelo and Debby Irving. They’ll discuss the ways in which white obliviousness to the reality of racism, and "white fragility" as DiAngelo calls it—which causes such backlash when matters of race and privilege are raised—both complicate efforts to produce racial equity in American institutions. They’ll explore how white fragility manifests, why it’s so toxic for both people of color and (ironically) white folks, and how even “nice white people” can derail conversations and efforts aimed at rectifying racism unless the phenomenon is understood and confronted.

They also discuss the inherent tensions they all feel as whites doing antiracism work, in which they confront and critique privilege, on the one hand, while most assuredly benefitting from it on the other. How should whites navigate that space? How can we do so in a more accountable way to people of color? And how have they come to see the proper role of whites in the movement for racial justice?

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