Arjun Singh Sethi (@arjunsethi81), author of American Hate: Survivors Speak Out, joined Ana (@anamariecox) on this week’s pod. Over the course of their conversation, Arjun explained why he wrote the book: to center the perspectives of hate survivors, who live with the everyday hate not just of Trump’s America, but that — shocker — has always been present in American life. “I thought it was important to give agency back to survivors and to really center them, which is why I did my very best to travel and meet them in their homes and houses of worship. I think their stories in their own words are more likely to move people. I think if we are going to have real policy discussions about how to address hate and state violence, we’ve gotta be proximate. We’ve gotta be close to the problem,” Arjun said.
He and Ana talked about the general erasure of hate survivors in no less a setting that prosecution of hate crimes, and why hate crime legislation, restorative justice, and listening to survivors is so important in the first place. “Sometimes it feels like mainstream media is more interesting in understanding neo-Nazis and white supremacists than actually exploring and documenting what’s happening to targeted and vulnerable communities at this moment,” Arjun explained.
Their conversation also touched on the role social media does, and should, play in tackling hate. “I think technology companies should take a stronger stand against hate. And that means rooting out white supremacists, and rooting out folks who troll Alexandra Brodsky in the book, or Tanya Gersh in the book. But I also think that there have to be mechanisms in place to keep these companies accountable. So if somebody is removed, there should be an appeals process. I think there has to be transparency,” Arjun stated.
Lastly, they talked about how Arjun’s two German Shepherds help him continue to do this work, and the most important thing he learned through this project.
You can find Arjun’s book here.
A clip from Taylor Dumpson’s TED Talk is included in the show’s intro. If you’re interested in the full version, you can find it here.
Arjun referenced an SPLC report.
Get in touch with the show on twitter at @crooked_friends or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to our sponsors!
Get one FREE month of unlimited Victorious fitness classes when you sign up at victorious.com/friends.
Check out Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant.
Go to Framebridge.com and use the promo code “Friends” to save 15% on your first order.
This week Dr. Carol Anderson joins Ana Marie Cox to talk about current events in the context of her new book, One Person, No Vote. They cover an intensive history of voting rights and the violence in those battles. Dr. Carol Anderson clarifies the lie that is the American dream, and discusses with Ana the work that needs to be done by White people to stop the onslaught of violence that People of Color face day in and day out.
Kiese Laymon joins Ana to discuss his new book, Heavy: An American Memoir. They talk about what it’s like deal with other people’s difficult stories, as well as how they cope with their own. Additionally, they connect the concept of the body to struggles that we face internally with our own issues and externally with political and social issues.
Diana Butler Bass joins host Ana Marie Cox to talk about gratitude, and the contradictions that ensue. They asked what it means to celebrate Thanksgiving, when you’re on stolen land. They conclude by making a distinction between optimism and hopefulness, attempting to change the paradigm on what effective gratitude looks like.
Ana sits down with Rick Wilson to talk about the results of the 2018 Midterms. They analyze the Blue Wave, and discuss voter suppression, the struggles they faced in the election, and what will happen next in terms of the White House, investigations, and potential policy.
Rebecca Traister joins Ana to recap the 2018 midterm elections, and the work that led up to them. Their conversation touches on the demographic of White women and their voting patterns, the history of why White women continually vote conservative, and the changes that were made this election to reach out to other marginalized and often disenfranchised communities.