Guilty as Charged

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Even as a young person, I was aware of the challenges of race and ethnicity, despite my suburban shelter.  I was born with an insatiable curiosity as well. My curiosity led  to conversations with a variety of students at different times about their experiences in our high school. I recall a conversation with a classmate who was Jewish. He shared the struggles he faced as many of our classmates would threaten him, using anti-Semitic language as part of their bullying. I believed him to be telling the truth. And I also couldn’t believe people would behave that way. It seemed like a lesson the world had paid a painful price to learn so very long ago. I recall a conversation with an African American boy in one of my classes. He played down the challenges of being in a primarily white school, far from his home. As part of a busing program, he rode over an hour each way to attend our school. I understand now there were likely things I couldn’t understand. Maybe he was trying to express them. Maybe by then he was tired of trying to communicate his experience. Perhaps my well meaning curiosity was a painful experience for him. I just remember trying to understand if it was lonely or hard to be in our school- so white. So suburban. So far from his home. The conversation was brief and returned to complaints about the lunch menu after a short silence. And I really never stopped wondering what his experience was like.

The recent rise in awareness of white privilege and institutional racism has recalled for me these and other conversations. I feel a heightened awareness of my whiteness. White skin. White privilege. White suburban history. Whiteness. And a new social awareness of the challenges we face if we truly want to express our American ideals and values. If we want to live up to our own standards, we have to acknowledge where we are falling short on doing so. Acknowledging what has happened and how we have been complicit is an important part of moving forward. And yet it is often diminished to guilt, rather than accountability.

White guilt. Like any other useless experience, it has a seductive lilt to its presentation. It feels like accountability and it acts like seeking reassurance. It acts like avoiding conflict. It acts like not participating. White guilt is a distraction, at least for me, from taking the risk to be vulnerable enough to be responsible or to be wrong. And in being wrong, learn something and be part of the changes to which I am committed.

I have come to accept I will be uncomfortable, often, as I seek to be part of building a world I actually want to live in. And I will have to learn how to accept my guilt as part of me. I am grateful for the teachers in my life who have helped me to see there is more than my experience. More to the world than my view of what is. More to this moment than my discomfort. I hope I can use those lessons effectively to keep us moving towards a world that embraces all our voices.

The Pragmatic Progressive

We talked with gubernatorial candidate Jared Schutz Polis about the challenges and opportunities of serving in public office.

Summary

How does one balance ones ideals against the need to move forward towards a better future? Politicians are people doing a job and yet the modern approach to politics creates 2 dimensional versions of these people.

Transcript here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQpeJIpu4-B7es6ULSxImOHu1ntVH-Y_jTZh08JtX45UD6mv-eDIwpHPEDBC3_lXuXwAcl7TzuNnwOC/pub

Articles and items we referenced:

Polis for Colorado https://polisforcolorado.com/

Out Boulder outboulder.org

Register to Vote https://www.vote.org/register-to-vote/colorado/

Traffic congestion is making it harder for Denver’s paramedics to get around. Here’s how they are coping. – The Denver Post, Dec 1, 2017
https://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/01/denver-paramedics-traffic-congestion/

F.D.A. Targets Vaping, Alarmed by Teenage Use - The New York Times, Sep 12, 2018
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/12/health/juul-fda-vaping-ecigarettes.html

On Being Horrified

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I wrote a short Facebook post last week about being horrified at where we are and how we got here as a country. My partner told me I was a fool for posting anything vulnerable on Facebook. Given the result, I can’t say he is incorrect in his assertion. It won’t stop me from trying again, though. In that post, I referenced my father, someone with whom I am politically not in sync and also someone whom I love and respect. It resulted in a family member of mine (not my father) acting out in unexpected anger.

I have been reflecting on the post and the result for the past 48 hours. For me, the BiCurean approach is curiosity, compassion, and grace. Can I stand in the face of my own flaws and not blame others for my fears and insecurities? Can I acknowledge where I am ignorant? blaming? unkind? Will I take responsibility for my actions and words? Can I bear the pain of losing face to stand for the world I want to live in? Some days, yes. Other days, no. When I am in a “not there” day, will I acknowledge I am not living up to my own standards and recommit myself? Yes.

I truly am horrified by the polarization and division in our country. It is astonishing to me that a poorly worded statement on a social media platform could prompt a person I love and care for, a person that I know loves and cares for me, to be so inflamed and angry. It highlights for me how deeply into this story of us versus them we have allowed ourselves to sink.

The same day that my family member (not my father, someone else) was messaging me with anger, a friend of mine from college was reaching out. As a young, faithful Mormon I went to Brigham Young University. This friend is still very committed to the Mormon faith and also committed to our friendship. He and I were talking about how much we appreciate one another. We both believe we can work together, despite this current morass and our different views, to create communities in which we all would feel welcome. More than that even, we both believe it is the better path.

And so I am also emboldened to have hope. I am committed to a world in which our relationships can survive misunderstandings as well as real differences. I am committed to a world in which accountability for our actions and our harm to others is part of how we orient ourselves to where we want to go. I am committed to being the change I want to see in the world, even when I fall short.

Fair Trade Immigration

Indigenous people seek acknowledgement for the impact of imperialism in a world where immigrants often don't know their own history.

Summary

Remembering our history gives us insight and empathy. What inspired Columbus Day as a holiday? And why do Indigenous People challenge the celebration of it? It is interesting and revealing to look into.

Transcript available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vRQ5k_tWJeMn3IdkQMncw_qG6uZ1f_uPBuej15Yi5ge9Cgu5bRjP6bF6J4y65aN-RorWwRhm2bGdPPl/pub

Things Referenced:

How Columbus Day Fell Victim to Its Own Success - Yoni Appelbaum - The Atlantic, Oct 08, 2012 http://web.archive.org/web/20131130024752/http://www.theatlantic.com:80/national/archive/2012/10/how-columbus-day-fell-victim-to-its-own-success/261922/#

The Grisly Story of America’s Largest Lynching - HISTORY, Oct 27, 2017

https://www.history.com/news/the-grisly-story-of-americas-largest-lynching

Columbus Day 2018 - HISTORY

https://www.history.com/topics/exploration/columbus-day

Indigenous Peoples Day and Why Columbus Day Is Controversial _ Time, Oct 6, 2017

http://time.com/4971178/indigenous-peoples-day-history-columbus-day/

Motus Theater

http://motustheater.org

Rocks Karma Arrows

http://motustheater.org/rocks-karma-arrows

Amerigo Vespucci_ Facts, Biography & Naming of America, Sept 20, 2017

https://www.livescience.com/42510-amerigo-vespucci.html

John F. Kennedy and Religion - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

https://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/JFK-in-History/JFK-and-Religion.aspx

I Am Not The Catholic Candidate For President'_ How Faith Shaped JFK And His 1960 Campaign _ WBUR News, May 25, 2017

http://www.wbur.org/news/2017/05/25/kennedy-catholicism-presidential-campaign

The Horrific Sand Creek Massacre Will Be Forgotten No More _ History _ Smithsonian, Dec 2014

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/horrific-sand-creek-massacre-will-be-forgotten-no-more-180953403/

Could you legally kill a Mormon in Missouri until 1976_, Sep 01, 2018

https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/ozarks/2018/09/01/missouri-executive-order-44-mormon-war/1147461002/


BiCurean Moment:

F.D.A. Targets Vaping, Alarmed by Teenage Use - The New York Times, Sep 12,2018

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/12/health/juul-fda-vaping-ecigarettes.html

Have a cough_ You might need to show your ID, Sep 22, 2014

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/09/22/have-a-cough-you-might-need-your-id/16079647/

George Will_ Criminalizing parenthood sets the stage for the nanny state _ Opinion _ tulsaworld.com, Sep 21,2018

https://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/georgewill/george-will-criminalizing-parenthood-sets-the-stage-for-the-nanny/article_8751d18b-86ee-5152-b2ff-1894bd9b0eea.html

A brief history of DARE, the anti-drug program Jeff Sessions wants to revive - The Washington Post, Jul 12, 2017

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/07/12/a-brief-history-of-d-a-r-e-the-anti-drug-program-jeff-sessions-wants-to-revive/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.36ee269bd6cc

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Exceeds Expectations_ But Will It Turn the Tide for Sluggish Stock_, Sep 21, 2018

https://www.forbes.com/sites/garystern/2018/09/21/starbucks-pumpkin-spice-latte-exceeds-expectations-but-will-it-turn-the-tide-for-sluggish-stock/#31eec74d20cb

Burning Man

burningman.org


Do White People Really Love Salad?

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Our conversation with Dr. Mosby-Tyler ranged from 80s diversity training to the cultural significance of salad in our dinner choices. We were delighted to have her on the show and hope you enjoy this episode as much as we enjoyed making it!

About Dr. Nita Mosby-Tyler

Mosby-Tyler is the Chief Catalyst and Founder of The Equity Project, LLC – an organization designed to support organizations and communities in building diversity, equity and inclusion strategies. In her work, Dr. Mosby-Tyler specializes in the development and delivery of leadership, equity, diversity, cultural responsiveness and inclusiveness training programs and strategies.

Transcript available here: https://goo.gl/wKvc8R

Articles and items referenced in this episode:

The Equity Project

The HR Shop

White People Really Love Salad

BiCurean Moment:

Info Wars and Free Speech

How Trump Radicalized ICE

This Mortal Coil

Suicide is up 30% according to the CDC. What is going on?

Summary

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There have been a few high profile suicides in 2018 as well as a CDC report released showing that suicide is up 30% in America. What is happening? We looked into the numbers and while we don't have answers, there are some interesting things happening.

 

And if you are considering suicide consider reaching out to the Coloraodo Crisis line (http://coloradocrisisservices.org) or the National Helpline (https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org).

 

Transcript available here: https://goo.gl/hcqv2U

 

Quotes:

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." ~Henry David Thoreau

"A lot of people go straight from denial to despair without pausing in the middle and doing something about it." ~Al Gore

 

Articles and other items referenced for this episode:

 

Suicide rates rise sharply across the United States, new report shows - The Washington Post, Jun 7, 2018

Suicide rates for black children twice that of white children, new data show - The Washington Post, May 21, 2018

5 Takeaways on America’s Increasing Suicide Rate - The New York Times, Jun 09, 2018

Suicide Rates on the Rise Across the U.S., CDC Reports - The Atlantic, Jun 8, 2018

Why US suicide rate is on the rise - BBC News, Jun 11, 2018

America’s rising suicide rate - Deaths of despair, Jun 15, 2018

NIMH » Suicide

2017 State of Mental Health in America - Access to Care Data _ Mental Health America

Top 5 Barriers to Mental Healthcare Access

Mental Health & Stigma _ Psychology Today, Aug 20, 2013

9 Ways to Fight Mental Health Stigma _ NAMI_ National Alliance on Mental Illness, Oct 11, 2017

Starfish Story

Thoreau Quote

Al Gore Quote

 

BiCurean Moment:

Economic Downturn Possible

Guns and Suicide

Problematic Things

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I've been reading Amanda Lovelace and Ky Robinson in a slightly obsessive way this week. Even more oddly, I found the books at Costco. Wandering by the clothes and snacks, I got pulled in. The blank and empty covers intrigued me amidst the cacophony of politics and mystery novels. Poetry that is almost prose, the words leave enough out to inspire me. Sometimes it is in the negative space I find the most powerful inspiration. 

I'm prepping a reading for an upcoming open mic performance. Some new pieces and some older ones, mixed together. I love to share my writing in written form. It feels safer than reading it, out loud with my actual voice, in front of people. I want to touch someone, even just one someone, to connect across the loneliness and confusion that is life. Reading it in front of people feels like jumping into a pool without being sure I remember how to swim. 

I've heard the magic happens outside of our comfort zone. So, hopefully there will be magic. And I will remember how to swim. 

Just a Number

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My grandmother used to say getting older beats the alternative. She lived to be 87. She was independent and vibrant, mentally and physically, until the very end of her life. And yet culturally we have so many ideas about aging that make my grandmother's story seem anomalous. Is it?

Transcript available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vS6UY1EtpADgTpW4koZC7tVHwoMehiQacvDhqmsTH5TJIbWrYOYeak28KG74bl0q78iCEOrWJSmh1Cu/pub

Articles and other items we references for this episode:

Attitudes about Aging_ A Global Perspective _ Pew Research Center, Jan 13, 2014

Discrimination and negative attitudes about ageing are bad for your health, Sept 28, 2016

Improving Attitudes Regarding the Elderly Population _ The Gerontologist _ Oxford Academic, Aug 2001

Thinking Differently About Aging_ Changing Attitudes Through the Humanities _ The Gerontologist _ Oxford Academic, Aug 2015

American Attitudes Toward the Elderly, from Life in the USA_ The Complete Guide for Immigrants and Americans

7 Cultures That Celebrate Aging And Respect Their Elders _ HuffPost, Feb 25, 2014

How Do Different Cultures Take Care of Seniors_, Oct 10, 2016

What it’s like to grow old, in different parts of the world _ TED Blog, Nov 25, 2013

Growing Old in Ancient Cultures _ Psychology Today, Mar 22, 2017

Communication, Aging, and Culture - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication, Sept 2017

Teenagers_ A 1944 Photo Essay on a New American Phenomenon _ Time.com, Sep 28, 2013

Why Young People Need To Look At Older People Differently, Jan 21, 2016

Changing the Narrative

Ideas for Kids to Dress Up Like Old People

This Chair Rocks

Hidden Brain: What Our Google Searches Reveal About Who We Really Are

Implicit Bias Test

To Bi or Not to Bi

A new study claims all women are bisexual, so we had to look into that a little more.

Do bisexual people exist, is everyone bisexual? A study was recently released that claimed all women are bisexual. This led to some questions and lots of reading and then more questions.

Transcript at https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQiddELx7zOiTKH_rc1LTxtipIAykF7nemoc6gAZ5Ap0t6R9VKfL0XCY24Ex5zgUbUoxCdRrwXfFMc1/pub

Articles and Books We Referenced for This Episode:

More Bisexual Women_ Think Again. _ Psychology Today, Jan 30, 2017

Women are either bisexual or gay but 'never straight' - Telegraph, Nov 5, 2015

We’re all bisexual, study claims, Mar 15, 2018

Women’s sexuality ‘can change throughout life’ several times — and this could explain why women like Miley Cyrus have dated men and women, Oct 14, 2017

Study Claims Women Are Bisexual Because It Turns Men On _ NewNowNext, May 25, 2017

Why I’m Not Buying This Study That Claims All Women Are a Little Gay, Nov 6, 2015

What Women Want (Maybe) - The New York Times,Jun 12, 2008

3 Myths About Bisexuality, Debunked by Science _ Psychology Today, May 22, 2014

Is Bisexual Identity a Useful Fiction? Slate, Mar 21, 2014

The Scientific Quest to Prove Bisexuality Exists - The New York Times, Mar 20, 2014

Movement Advancement Project _ New Report_ Bisexual People Face Invisibility, Isolation, and Shocking Rates of Discrimination and Violence, Sep 27, 2016

Meghan Markle On Her Biracial Identity - Actress Meghan Markle Discusses Being Half Black Half White, Dec 22, 2016

The Equal Rights Amendment Was Just Ratified by Illinois. What Does That Mean_ - The New York Times, May 31, 2018

How the dazzling, overstuffed ‘Incredibles 2’ holds up a cracked mirror to present-day reality, Jul 4, 2018