On Feeling Safe

 Heading to a church service in college

Heading to a church service in college

Feb, 1993. I was 18 years old, sitting with my best friend at a ‘Fireside Chat’, a talk on spiritual or religious topics, by one of the leaders of my faith. We sang a hymn together and then bowed our heads for the prayer. As the speaker, one of the church leaders, started to talk, an audience member strode up to the dais. He was carrying a suitcase, shouting, and waving something with his hand.

Bomb.

The word was shouted. I didn’t actually understand it when I heard it. I was waiting to hear inspired words of faith. Instead, the man rushed the podium, ordered everyone off, and handed the speaker a paper.

Bomb.

I suddenly understood the word. I felt my heart race as I sat, watching from my seat. Scared and uncertain, I gripped the hand of my companion. Was I about to watch our leader and several classmates be blown to bits? The helplessness of being only able to watch was indescribably awful. Someone started singing a hymn and I gratefully joined in.

Bomb.

Singing and watching, we poured our fear into our faith. For ten minutes, we watched the terrorist angrily argue with the church leader. We watched the leader indicate no, shaking his head.

Bomb.

Something happened to embolden the two body guards for the speaker. They moved with purpose and disarmed the terrorist, with young audience members joining them. It was over. The man was escorted out. We breathed a collective sigh of relief. The leader stood up to continue his spiritual talk and we moved on.

That wasn’t the first time I experienced the possibility of violence in my life. It was the first time I felt it as a result of something wholly unrelated to the idea of violence. To worship, to pray, to follow your faith, is most usually about connection- the opposite of violence and terrorist threats. Fall of 2018 we have seen pipe bombs delivered to political officials and reporters and faithful people gunned down in their place of worship.

Domestic terrorism.

Twice this year I have attended conferences that were threatened with violence. I run in the mornings and in the back of my mind, I usually remember the women who have been killed, attacked, assaulted while running. I go to the movie theater and wonder if there is another Batman shooter at my fun action-movie premiere. I attend open air concerts and occasionally feel a twitch and wonder if this is the concert someone will copy cat the Vegas shooter and open up on a concert in Colorado. The last open air concert I attended, two of the band members were survivors of a massacre at a concert in Paris.

The politics of fear.

I have evidence that my politics and my interests put me in danger of being shot and killed. And I am a white girl. I don’t have the additional layer of race to increase the odds of violence I might experience.

I won’t let it stop me from going out or supporting the causes I believe in. And, for those of you that wonder why people make ‘a big deal’ about the rhetoric of violence, this is why. Because, for some of us, the reality that we may be killed in a house of worship, attending a movie, doing our job, or attending a conference is very real. It matters when leaders speak in ways that imply or outright state violence is acceptable. Or violence is a solution. Or violence is inevitable. Or that some people are more valuable than others. We have become the countries we used to look down on. The countries with bomb threats in coffee houses, where people terrorize each other on the streets. America’s beacon of light is tarnished with the blood of the innocent and the fear of the privileged. And it is time to wake up and notice if you are part of the problem.

Civil Discourse Over Dinner

Subtitle

If you have people in your life that have vastly different political beliefs or ideologies, how do you keep your relationship honest and also keep the relationship strong and connective?

Summary

Using the power of the internet and our own experiences, we attempted to come up with some ideas for you to take on the task of keeping your family gatherings more about connection. If that is your goal, of course.


Transcript here: http://bit.ly/120Civil


Articles and items we referenced:


How to talk politics at your family holiday meal - CNN, Nov 22, 2017 https://cnn.it/2qjAMjG

How the night before Thanksgiving became the 'biggest drinking day of year' - StarTribune.com, Nov 22, 2017 http://strib.mn/2ACy4vE

Why Families Fight During Holidays - The Atlantic, Dec 23, 2013 http://bit.ly/2EUvVjj

Non Violent Communication http://www.cnvc.org/

Christians and the Pagans https://binged.it/2CVi0HI

Romeo and Juliet in Kigali https://n.pr/2Q7U3A7


BiCurean

Hannah Gadsby: Nannette https://www.netflix.com/title/80233611

As a Black Woman Everything I Love is Problematic, Huffpost, Jan 25, 2018 http://bit.ly/2PujrCN

Not exercising worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease - CNN, Oct 28, 2018 https://cnn.it/2AAV4va

There are Always More Dishes

received_10156217566309470.jpeg

I recently attended a concert with some friends up at Red Rocks. The performer, who sings some fairly aggressive and angry songs, spoke out towards the end of his performance. “We live in interesting and difficult times,” he declared. “And I don’t know that I have the answers. I’m a romantic. And I think we need to listen to each other.” It was a somewhat surprising and appreciated sentiment to hear from the stage.

Riding home, I found myself reflecting on the belief that things in America are really extra super bad these days. The twists and turns of the car on the mountain road provided a comforting and peaceful environment to consider this viewpoint. I remember in 2008 when the country rippled with state after state passing the Defense of Marriage Act. When I was young, I watched the LA riots over the beating of Rodney King. I’ve studied the history of AIDS and how it was first called GRID- Gay Related Immune Deficiency. How gay men who were diagnosed were abandoned by even medical professions and left to suffer and die. I watched city after city in our country issue camping bans (even Boulder, bastion of all that is liberal) to shut down the Occupy movement and inhibit our right to assembly and free speech. I’ve read first hand accounts of our wars in Vietnam and Korea. I’ve absorbed histories and stories about the creation and use of nuclear weapons. And the impact of nuclear weapons and accidents on people and environments. I lived near 3 Mile Island as young person. Difficult times and human suffering are not new to our country.

When W. was elected, there were folks in my social circle who were pleased to have something happen to address the complacency of the progressive community. I admit my own frustration at getting people to engage and participate. We had achieved just enough to feel comfortable, without having actually and genuinely made change. Similar to what happened in the Obama years. It is an unfortunate fact that many of us need to be scared or uncomfortable to get motivated. And there is a form of fatigue from doing this work, repeatedly, for years, and still feeling a sense of being where we started. The ancient story of Sisyphus, condemned to an eternity of rolling a boulder uphill then watching it roll back down again, highlights the essentially hellish nature of doing a task with no real sense of progress.

This feeling of discouragement is something I faced when I first took on the primary work of my household when my kids were young. No matter how many times I did the dishes, there were always more dishes. And as long as I thought of them as a task to complete, I found myself wrestling Sisyphian feelings of being in a hell of in-completion. After some time, it might honestly have been a few years, I had a moment of experiencing it differently. Instead of trying to complete the overall task of dishes so it could be done, perhaps I would simply do the dishes in front of me and feel a moment of satisfaction in the experience of the empty sink. And not really expect it to remain empty. It worked. Even when my well-meaning youngster dropped his cup into the pristine porcelain sink, it didn’t diminish my feeling of satisfaction. There will always be more dishes. Sometimes even the same dishes.

There will always be more injustice. Sometimes the same injustice. Vulnerable people will be targeted and hurt by the chess moves of the powerful. Policies will have intended and unintended consequences that are harmful and damaging. The poor will be left out and left behind. Those who are different will be overlooked or intentionally silenced. And those of us who are committed to justice will be tireless in our efforts to address these things. In the world. In ourselves. In our families. And some days, we will tire. And some days, we will fail. And some days, we will succeed. And every morning, we will start again. Because there is always more to clean up and the only way we can make a difference, is to keep cleaning.

Voting Your Hopes

We spoke with Linda Templin, Executive Director of RCV for Colorado about Ranked Choice Voting and how it could make voting more inspiring for all.

RCV Handbill Image.png

Summary

Is there a way to make elections more fair and get voters excited? Can we create a system that encourages us to talk about the issues?

Find RCV for Colorado on social media at facebook.com/@rcvforcolorado or at their website below to learn more.

Transcript herehttps://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSheLVsiXYYwm4VFLuhY7B-L--7-YV0H2wkLecHHAW4ds1p2xhH1J0AfpjORt05UN62uAzFkwhnNw-8/pub

Articles and items we referenced:

Ranked Choice Voting for Colorado: https://rcvforcolorado.org/

A Brief History of Voting from Fair Vote: https://www.fairvote.org/a-brief-history-of-ranked-choice-voting

Don't Throw Away Your Vote, May 29, 2018:

https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/05/29/dont-throw-away-your-vote-ranked-choice-elections-gather-momentum/

Why 5% for the Green Party is a win for America, CNBC, Oct 27, 2016:

https://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/27/why-5-for-the-green-party-is-a-win-for-america-jill-stein-commentary.html

Could Maine's new ranked-choice voting change American elections?, Boston Globe, Oct 17, 2017:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2018/10/17/could-maine-new-ranked-choice-voting-change-american-elections/6VqNC73bQzMrPd0RSepA8L/story.html

The fastest growing voting bloc in America isn't what you think it is, Apr 28, 2016:

https://www.bustle.com/articles/157646-the-fastest-growing-voting-bloc-in-america-isnt-what-you-think-it-is

Center for Civic Design: https://civicdesign.org/

BiCurean Moment:

Mike Foote_ Amendment 74 threatens legal free-for-all - Boulder Daily, Sep 15, 2018 http://www.dailycamera.com/guest-opinions/ci_32140634/mike-foote-amendment-74-threatens-legal-free-all

Guilty as Charged

20151029_153350.jpg

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

32525999_1637149279714581_2194213944447467520_n.jpg

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?

Mosby Tyler product_thumbnail.jpg

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

vs-0618-Suicide-infographic-920.png

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