Episode 19: Electronic Mail

Hey Race Invaders.

Look, we’ll be the first ones to admit that we aren’t perfect. I think we’ve made that pretty clear over the length and breadth of this podcast. We’re going to get things wrong, and when we do, we’ll course correct.

That being said? Sometimes being wrong feels so right. So here we are, Episode 19: Electronic Mail, where we are unabashedly assholes. Was it warranted? Well, we think so – but we invite you to be the judge.

On this episode, Alok and I respond to this email – it’s gonna get salty:
Hey Tim,

I thought your latest episode was really helpful, although I was left wondering what the “male gaze” actually is. I can read Wikipedia, but then the podcast should be more than a list of new and strange keywords to search, right? I especially had that reaction to your critique in the Margaret Cho segment where you said, ~26:00 before you waste someone’s time, try searching “strange concept 1”, “strange concept 2”, (racebending, yellowface, etc.). and I’m like: “how do I magically invent these concepts for searching with no prior exposure?” “How do I know they aren’t bogus Internet red herrings designed to mislead well-meaning people into sounding like idiots?” As if all minority people are speaking your language all the time and we whites are just ignoring them… not exactly. These are in fact somewhat arcane academic concepts specific to the field of social activism and I believe the average POC also has no reliable attachment point for the term “race-bending”.

I really appreciated the “even the best of us can get tripped up sometimes” message. That’s great for smoothing the edgy and somewhat unavoidable “We can do no wrong because we are POC” tone that seeps out of most episodes. As much as you say “we are not perfect”, your disdain for white males and their perspective is the primary topic most of the time, which can make for a challenging listen.

I have an opinion about the source of the “self-defensive crouch” that you see white people assuming (FWIW). I think that there is a more extreme form of white supremacist language that white people are more exposed to than minorities are, because it’s not broadcast publicly, and the proponents only direct their messages to other white people, so minority people get it off-hand or indirectly, but white people hear it spoken directly to them… (mostly by uneducated people that aren’t even part of your conversations probably). Not that you’ve never heard it, but you might view it as being less prevalent than more “casual white supremacy” because you are much less likely to hear it first-hand from people you know personally.

So, the white people that have compassion for minorities take a defensive stance against being associated with this extreme/uneducated group because they see the world of whites as split between those that have some compassion and desire to understand and those that basically don’t give a shit.

“we” (the more liberal bunch) feel we deserve some credit for our compassion and we hate being lumped into a single group of white supremacists, or considered as “all part of the same system”. The defensive crouch comes when the desire to be accepted as part of the solution meets perceived resistance, even in the mild form of “you aren’t nearly there yet”. I think this explanation covers me as a scientist and probably also to the Hollywood types who see themselves as activists and pretty much any professional/worldly white person accustomed to being taken seriously.

I often hear the message between the lines of your comments that “there is no way a white person can be part of the solution, because they are so invested in their position of power” or even “the only way a white person can help is by working against their own interests” (e.g. Tulsa Swinton should turn down any role that doesn’t accurately reflect her own heritage out of principle when any actor knows that’s a recipe for disaster). This is a self-defeating message. People don’t work against their own interests based on an emotional argument from a complete stranger. Much better to find a way to involve white people in whatever reform you want than to imply that their taint will spoil it…

Compassionate white people will continue to seek easy solutions, or “balm for their guilt”, that is totally true. But they are also willing to accept a bigger challenge if they aren’t pushed out altogether first. Baby steps.

It’s great that you mentioned that some people “just don’t know better” and some people are putting on an act to hide their own denial. This is true. It’s also possible that people know better in one dimension, but have blinders in a different dimension, or haven’t figured out how to apply what they know to new dimensions of race/creed/etc. There are infinite dimensions to this problem, and people’s ability to wield tools of acceptance/fairness is very much finite. This is much more related to basic human nature than to “white culture” in my view.

Anyway, I’m still following along. I would love it if you guys could have a white guy guest come in and give a little white perspective. I’d like to hear a little more healthy debate and a little less “yes, but also yes” between two hosts that obviously see eye to eye on 95% of the core issues. Disagreement on minutiae is not debate. 😛

One of my favorite episodes was the interview with the Sci-Fi author, maybe because he had a much more moderate way of presenting his views…
Thanks for your dedication, and no problem if you prefer not to read this whole email. The therapeutic part for me is still accomplished either way.

 

 

Thanks for listening to Race Invaders! If you like what you heard, please subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. Look us up on Facebook and Twitter and support us if you can at our Patreon page! Thanks as ever to our brilliant sound engineer, Steve Jacoby!

Permalink: https://raceinvadersorg.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/riep19.m4a

Episode 18: Brass Tacts

Hello Race Invaders! Today’s episode is a little different, we had a chat with one of Alok’s friends from the his early years, Kelly Schenkman, who is a veteran of the United States Army. We wanted to have a discussion with her regarding what it was like being a woman in the military, how she decided on signing up, the things she saw, imposter syndrome, and how her stint has impacted her life today.

It’s all fascinating, and it’s all here on Episode 18: Brass Tacts.

Thanks for listening to Race Invaders! If you like what you heard, please subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. Look us up on Facebook and Twitter and support us if you can at our Patreon page! Thanks as ever to our brilliant sound engineer, Steve Jacoby!

Permalink: https://raceinvadersorg.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/riep19-2.m4a

Episode 17: The Coverup

 

Today dear listeners I’m calling this episode, “The Coverup”, and in it we talk about the Male Gaze, makeup and how I, Tim, fucked up in this regard.

I apologize.

We also talk about the kerfuffle between Margaret Cho and Tilda Swinton and explore how it could happen that two people could have the same interaction but walk away with completely different reactions.

Thanks for listening to Race Invaders! If you like what you heard, please subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. Look us up on Facebook and Twitter and support us if you can at our Patreon page! Thanks as ever to our brilliant sound engineer, Steve Jacoby!

Permalink: https://raceinvadersorg.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/riep18-2.m4a

 

By the way? We’ve heard from some of you that playing the link at the top of the page isn’t working well. We’ve found the the best results come from Chrome over Firefox!

Episode 16: You Wrote the Show!

 

I’m calling this one “You Wrote the Show!”, because in this episode we take on a bunch of your questions and do our best to rapid-fire reply to them. We aren’t that rapid because the show is still 57 minutes long.

Shout out to everyone that asked questions, we really appreciate you!

You Wrote The Show Notes

Did Elvis culturally appropriate?

Re-revisiting cultural appropriation, AGAIN.

Shout out to Childish Gambino!

“Irish Slavery” and false equivalencies

We talk briefly on Vikings

We cover the mirroring of real world issues with our geeky hobbies.

What about holidays, how did we grow up being Asian and Christmas?

Unconscious/covert bias in pop culture training.  Society and pop culture trains people to have unconscious bias. 😀

I briefly mention The Superfriends as an example of an older time being a little more representative in popculture.

Religious exploitation of minority groups – we briefly touch on this and will go at length later.

Examine generational trends around racism and the recent election.

Fake Allies – what’s up?

War on Christmas?

Plug for SMC’s Silver & Soul

Black Santa? We’re fine with that dude.

Sean King’s Injustice Boycott

Who qualifies as white enough? Are Jews white or PoC?

Permalink to Episode 16: https://raceinvadersorg.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/riep16.m4a

Episode 15: The Economics of Racism

 

Hello Race Invaders – today’s episode is titled “The Economics of Racism”, and we’re talking about the historical and current economic realities that contribute to racism. What does trading bits of green paper have to do with racism? It turns out: a lot.

Show notes:

A shout out to Juan Pa on Twitter who can be found @jpbrammer and whom I quote at the top of the show.

I referenced Sean King’s essay at the New York Daily News, “Without Obama in the White House, the Democratic Party is Painfully and Disproportionately White”.

Alok spoke about Nick Hanauer’s essay, “The Pitchforks are Coming…For Us Plutocrats”, which I enjoyed reading a few years ago.

And last, and least Alok also spoke about Grover Norquist, the man responsible for much of how the GOP thinks on taxes.

Thanks for listening to Race Invaders! If you like what you heard, please subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. Look us up on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks as ever to our brilliant sound engineer, Steve Jacoby!

Permalink to episode: https://raceinvadersorg.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/riep15.m4a

 

Episode 14: Post-Election Depression

 

Hi Race Invaders,

After a little post-election break we’re back to talk to you through what happened on 11/9. We’re thinking about changing the format of the end of the show from “What the Shit” to “What the Shit Do We Do Now?”

We also answer listener question, “What do we do about problematic artists?” And therefore I talk about Rocky Horror Picture Show. They’re related, I promise!

Links:

project1460.org <–projects for you to do in the face of this new administration

whywereafraid.com <–user generated stories of rising hate crimes

http://shop.civilrightsmuseum.org/black-lives-matter-t-shirt/ <–Get a legit BLM tshirt

http://verysmartbrothas.com/  and http://theestablishment.co <–Get educated from reliable sources

We make a little fun of the safety pin, we talk about the whys on the election, and generally you can just hear us walking through what happened. We talk about our surprises, and why our trust levels are pretty shaky.

Thanks for listening to Race Invaders! If you like what you heard, please subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. Look us up on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks as ever to our brilliant sound engineer, Steve Jacoby!

Permalink to episode: https://raceinvadersorg.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/riep14.m4a

Episode 13: Steven Barnes

Hey there, Race Invaders. We’ve got a special one for you today: an interview with Steven Barnes, Hugo-nominated author and screenwriter, martial artist, and all-around cool dude. Also, Alok has a special thanks for all of you listeners, and then he has a special joke for you in the form of someone actually paying Rachel Dolezal to write a fucking book. This is madness.

Thanks for listening to Race Invaders! If you like what you heard, please subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. Look us up onFacebook and Twitter. Thanks as ever to our brilliant sound engineer, Steve Jacoby, to our guests Marty Gleason and Steven Barnes, and to you, our listeners.

Steven Barnes’ blog and website: https://stevenbarneslife.wordpress.com/

Marty Gleason on Twitter: https://twitter.com/officergleason

Email the show: raceinvaders@raceinvaders.org

Tim: tim@raceinvaders.org

Alok: alok@raceinvaders.org

Permalink to episode: https://raceinvadersorg.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/riep13.m4a