DeRay, Clint, Brittany and Sam discuss the history of school busing, language used among athletic leagues, two recent Supreme Court decisions, and how bias is overlooked within the NYPD. Nora McInerny joins DeRay to talk about her podcast, “Terrible, Thanks for Asking,” her new book, and what she has learned about grief and joy.
- New York Post: NYPD failed to find one incident of biased policing in five years
- NYT: Why the Supreme Court’s Rulings Have Profound Implications for American Politics
- Chalkbeat: ‘Why Busing Failed’ author on Biden remarks: ‘This sense that communities should only desegregate when they locally decide to do so is farcical’
- UC Press: Why Busing Failed: Race, Media, and the National Resistance to School Desegregation
- Vox: Joe Biden’s record on school desegregation busing, explained
- TMZ: NBA COMMISH ADAM SILVER: WE’RE NOT USING THE TERM ‘OWNER’ – ‘I’m Sensitive To It’
- Nora McInerny
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Off and yourself. Hey, this is Dre. Welcome to Bots and the people in this week. We have the news with me Brittany Clinton Sam as usual. And then I’m joined by Nora McInerny who hosts a podcast terrible. Thanks for asking. The thing that I’m reminded of nearly every time I do an interview is. The way that we try to rank suffering and how it is our natural inclination to try to fix it today if I screw this week is about apologies.
[00:02:00] When we apologize. We acknowledge what we did that was either receive. Or experienced in a negative way but we do it in a way that is about our actions. So I apologize to a friend this week in my first response was going to be apologize for how you receive that and I’m apologize that you felt that way but that actually takes all the responsibility off of what I did and actually put the responsibility on the way that they were approximate to what I did.
So what I said was I apologize for coming off a self-righteous and I apologize. For not hearing you in the way that you expect to be heard that wasn’t my intent, but I apologize for that and I had to remind myself that a true apology acknowledges the action you did and we hope that the person will receive the apology and accepted.
Let’s go. Hey y’all. It’s the news. This is Brittany pack net Atmos pack yeti on all social media and this is Samson. Yonghwa Sams Way on Twitter and this is Clint [00:03:00] Smith at Clint Smith third III in this is Dre at der a DIY entreaty. I’m start saying Clint Smith Roman numeral three just to spice it up that will stop nothing.
Alright y’all so I know that this episode will air on my dad’s birthday. It would have my dad 67th birthday. Miss you very much Dad, but I had a full-on laughed till I cried moment. A few days ago when I realized that my dad used to sneak me into or let me watch rated R movies, but I realized after all these years of all of them had a social justice message.
I think it was like Higher Learning and Boyz in the Hood and like I thought he was the cool parent and I was sudden I realize he was basically like trying to give you an education and I laughed so hard because I just wish you were here for me to tell him like wow, really? Is you were sneaking all along but [00:04:00] it made me wonder what you all favorite rated R movies were as kids I think for me.
It probably would have been the Matrix. That’s a good one. I think the Matrix came out and what 99 so I was I was 11 and I think my pops taught me. It was like he’s my dad so funny. Shout out to Clint Smith Jr. Out here, but he liked everything becomes very dramatic like he like acts like he’s Denzel Washington.
He watches like way too many Denzel Washington movies. And and so he’s like he’s like son. I have to talk to you about something and I’m like, oh man, he tried to give me the I’m 11. So I’m like we get in the birds and the bees talk. I don’t need that right now, please no, and he was like tonight.
We’re going to see The Matrix and I was so high. I was like, oh my God, you had a Reeves Laurence Fishburne is getting crazy. Janna Reeves also for continuing to be a non-problematic white man, shoutout to Keanu Reeves, but I remember I saw that movie and I was just like this is the most [00:05:00] incredible dopest thing I’ve ever seen.
What I’m hearing is that 11 year old Clint had good taste because the Matrix is still a classic and Keanu Reeves is still hero. So, I don’t think I’ve washed Matrix since then. I actually really want to go back and watch I recently re-watched Matrix 1 2 & 3 because I think it’s on Netflix now, so it was free and easy to watch.
But I hadn’t caught three. I don’t remember three. It wasn’t very good. The first was good. The second was all right like three by that point. It was sort of like we already got the point, but I hadn’t realized like the whole underlying. Like social justice themes to The Matrix because I was just too young when it came out.
So I’ll get rated R movies have them. Yeah, I mean, so this is like one of the only movies depicting a future where like, it’s majority black and brown hmm, which was interesting. I hadn’t realized like the back story that I was supposed to be apparently Will Smith and not Keanu Reeves who played me.
Oh, so that was fascinating Laurence Fishburne. There’s a video online of William Smith explaining why he passed [00:06:00] up on The Matrix. He was humaid Wild Wild West not a classic so, you know, but what shout out to shout out to Big Willie and did you just call him William Smith William Smith – I will. I think you said Williams.
That was great. I’m just trying to call that man by his proper name. So so way so that’s the last piece of the Matrix was that I didn’t realize that Cornel West was in The Matrix. Did y’all know this? Yeah. Absolutely. I had no idea. He was like, I’m a city council or whatever the council was that they have.
He was like on the council. I was like wow, like he was an actor like I didn’t know. I never forget it’s funny. I need I need to call to worry about this because I like cousins or somebody snuck us into see a thin line between love and hate. I’ll never forget it inappropriate and it’s like you’re definitely sex scenes and other line between love and hate and I remember we’ve how old were you it came out in 96.
I was born in 85. I just remember being [00:07:00] snuck into other languages in love and hate we watched it and like we didn’t tell I think we tell Calvin we were gonna go see something else. We definitely don’t but he found out. I was heartbroken he would like I remember him at the house being like my kids innocence has been ripped away in the movie theater.
Is it me a dreamer like sorry about that Dad. I mean a thin line between love and hate I guess it’s sort of a classic of the genre that it’s in but it’s a black classic. Yeah, but it’s not like the best movie you’ve ever seen, you know, like it was Lim Lim Whitfield, right? And Martin Lawrence and Martin Lawrence.
Yeah, but I’ll never forget like his not even disappointment. He was like hurt that We snuck in to see that movie. What’s yours Sam my parents. Let me watch rated R movies like even when I was relatively young so I there wasn’t much out here live. I was out here living at an early age, but I do there what they did draw the line at like gratuitous violence, whatever like a movie like a gratuitous violence like those are the moves I couldn’t see.
But like the the other aspects of rated R movies like that. They didn’t really have as much problem with. [00:08:00] Wow. You were the cool kid the rest of us with some nerds apparently, right? Oh, and also happy Pride. Happy Pride. Happy Pride whoop. Hey, happy Pride. How did you all bring in the celebration as the gay person on the Pod?
I will just say that for Pride. I painted my nails gold. Yay. Let’s see. They’re gone. Now. I took a nap. It was something about being enough polish is that it? It distracts me. I don’t know how people wear it everyday it like really I like couldn’t stop touching it and then I’m in the salon and. I didn’t realize I think an apology doesn’t dry immediately and I almost lost my mind waiting on that little the girl driving.
I was like get me out of here, but it was cool to just see so many I went to a couple parties yesterday with so many black gay men so many black Trans men and women and it was dope to just see the community come together and it’s a reminder that. Pride is still resistance. It is called you know, I know that the community is split about the commercialization of Pride.
I will say [00:09:00] as a kid. I saw a no rainbows. I saw nobody who was a proud Ally or like who was living it just wasn’t something to be public about so I will always Veer toward like I appreciate the rainbows and the stickers and the clothes and all that stuff for the younger generation to see a community around them that can live out loud because I remember being a kid and seeing none of those things I am.
So I so happy Pride everybody. Happy Pride indeed. And now the news so for my news I want to talk about a moment that I imagine many of us saw millions of people saw last week during the second installation of the democratic debates. And that was when Thunder Kamala Harris had a moment. We’ll say with Vice President Joe Biden about his history of opposing federally sanctioned busing and she had this.
Really remarkable moment one of the most potentially powerful moments that I’ve seen in a presidential debate in my adult lifetime where she talked about how she was the beneficiary of [00:10:00] busing in Berkeley California and that without busting that was meant to integrate the school that she went to she was among the second class of black children who were integrating the school that she would not be in the position that she is today and it was something that was very purposeful and was very personal and also, This led to a lot of interest she’s gone up in the polls.
She’s raised a lot of money and I think it was a really compelling moment for a lot of people in a lot of different ways. And so there’s a lot to say about the political. Aspect of it but what I’m interested in is the historical piece of it, so I’m going to talk a little bit about the history of busing just to sort of ground Us in that.
So as always box has some great reporting on this and they do so well explaining the sort of essence of these things. So in 1954 the Supreme Court ruled in brown V Board of Education that school segregation was unconstitutional and it mandated that schools begin the process of integration. However, as a result of high amounts of State section residential segregation, Many cities and states refused to integrate and the courts and federal government had to step in and intervene when they [00:11:00] realized that localities would not do this on their own and there were a range of ways that people attempted to address the issue of integration and busing as we’re talking about today was one of those things.
The way busing typically worked at that black students were driven to predominantly white schools in neighboring communities and sometimes it happened but less often white students were driven to predominantly black ones many busing orders were mandated in the late 60s and early 70s after groups like the NAACP.
Filed in one school desegregation lawsuits and busing was often the sort of Last Resort the thing that they use to to say, this is how we’re going to get these black children into these wealthier wider schools. Blessing is often The Last Resort, and it was used as a means of integrating these schools with the hopes that it would not only end State sanctioned segregation, but also that it would give black students and white students equal access to resources and opportunities since the best resources were often concentrated in white schools, and that is not to be confused.
Used with black children’s proximity to White students being the thing that makes them better [00:12:00] it is that these schools were better resource had better opportunities and that black students presence in these spaces would give them opportunities for academic on upward Mobility that they might not otherwise have.
It’s important to know that busing programs weren’t just opposed in southern states. They were met with Fierce resistance in northern states and places like Detroit in places like Boston, there were riots. They were people who boycotted the entire school district and start sending their kids to private school.
They started sending their kids to entirely different school districts. They moved entire school districts shut down rather than having to integrate that happened a lot in Virginia and other places and parents essentially claim that forced busing wouldn’t work because. The bus ride was inconvenient.
It was so long or that’s not natural or at all of these sort of meta names for white parents not wanting to have their children go to school with black kids. And so it was as many things, you know were opposed to busing was a stand-in for were opposed to having black children in our schools, but they were able to do it without saying that directly it [00:13:00] should be noted that there was black opposition to bussing and that, you know, black people are not a monolith some people like busting some people didn’t but that that was not.
Because black people wanted to continue with segregation it is because black people were like was bussing the best way to do it often times when students were being bussed the teachers in these communities would lose their jobs teachers in Black schools. Sometimes what would happen is that people are like why don’t you invest more money into our schools rather than just sending our kids to White schools.
And so it’s complicated and there will be a lot more to say as we move forward and obviously there’s a lot of political implications, but I think it was important to sort of ground this in that history as we begin to think about this. I went to majority-white private schools and I will never forget sitting in 8th grade social studies talking about African American people as that was the textbook that we were currently in and talking about busing and sitting there is the only black student in my class while my white classmates talked about how their moms took them out of Ladue Public Schools, [00:14:00] Clayton public schools and other white affluent school districts because it was quote getting too dangerous or a bad element was coming or.
It was time for us to leave. These people were literally talking about family members of mine about kids that I grew up with in church and in my neighborhood who were availing themselves of busing desegregation laws in St. Louis. So Clint, you’re absolutely right to point us to the historical context of this debate.
And the fact that that history is not all that old. What is also true though. Is that when I talk to a lot of black Educators around my hometown of st. Louis A lot of them are very frustrated by busting a lot of them feel. Like resources were pulled from communities that were never restored that longer-term solutions to a fully integrate communities because we know that after busting happen there was suburban sprawl.
So it wasn’t there wasn’t true integration because my people just moved elsewhere and be to restore pride and power to Inner City Public Schools never happened. And so I think. For me ultimately the question is about how [00:15:00] robust how nuanced and how thoughtful education plans are going to be that are put forth by every single candidate Joe Biden Kamala Harris everyone how they are going to address not just integration, but Equity across the board.
So this was a fascinating debate. I mean both debates are fascinating, but I think that exchange between Senator Harris and Vice President Biden really stood out because it represented such. Dramatic range of perspectives and experiences and ideas that you know at the same time as we’re talking about issues that have rarely been talked about issues that are really on the Forefront of racial Justice things like reparation.
Things like closing the racial wealth Gap at the same time as we’re having conversations about how to make investments that have never been made have been long overdue. We’re still re-litigating things that have been litigated for decades and decades and decades were still talking about integration in schools.
Right? We’re still dealing with the [00:16:00] reality. Many of the gains that have been made since Brown V Board of Education in part because of policies like busing have been repealed, right? We see the numbers that when you look at school segregation schools are more segregated now than they’ve been since the 1970s.
So we’re now having to deal with having to address areas where we’ve actually moved substantially backwards and many of the ideas. I think and the past positions of people like Vice President Biden and others. Have contributed to the reality that we live in today and I think what Senator Harris made clear was have contributed to not only like personally hurting folks but creating a environment we are in today where schools are more segregated where busing has been dramatically curtailed as a strategy to integrate schools.
And as a consequence were schools have become more segregated. So, you know, it is fascinating that how much diversity of thought and policy there is even within the Democratic party on this issue not to mention the Republicans, who are. [00:17:00] You know probably all even worse on this. So I think that was fascinating.
I think the second piece about busing in particular that stood out to me was the language that’s often used around busing is still reflect some of the underlying biases that were in place 50 or 40 years ago that communities that oppose this used in their rhetoric words like forced busing for example, you look at Lee Atwater.
Reflection on the southern strategy and forced busing was a term that even he States explicitly was used as a way of furthering a racist agenda in ways that sounded less racist or non-racist that larger groups of white people would support. So I think in part this is like, how are we thinking about the words that were using to describe busing and making sure that we’re not sort of repeating the language that makes the problem worse and I think the second thing is like we really shouldn’t have to continue to have a conversation about integration in 2019.
But here we are. And I’m looking forward to seeing I know Bernie Sanders put out a plan to address the inequity and school funding [00:18:00] between black and white schools and included a range of other things in there. But I’m also looking forward to seeing what some of the other candidates are going to propose and what their position actually is on school integration.
Just a couple things one is it was a powerful woman to see Kamala Bush pies and so skillfully and maybe I just didn’t even know none of us knew what was happening. We were like, okay. Why did she say I don’t make your racist and then it was like Bam Bam and it was it was just she got them in that vein though.
It is only fair that if we ask and challenged by an about his record that Kamala will also have to be asked in challenge about her own. And there are a lot of things about her time as a prosecutor that she just has not answered questions about and a public space we met with her and I got a sense for how she might answer them, but she needs to do it in public.
So I’m interested to see what that looks like. And I think that the game is on I think that the next debate will probably be even more intense than this last one. I will say I didn’t even know swallow. Well, the swallow was coming out with some zingers through people [00:19:00] swallow. I was like, I got nothing to lose.
Let me just say. As the torch by the police chief, I mean swallow I was serious. So that was the debates what has been interesting though. Is that since the conversation about buying them busing is that all of a sudden stuff that we’d never seen before came to light. So they were some never before published letters from Biden when he was in the Senate a long time ago.
And he said that he like wasn’t against busing but these letters show that that was not true. So one letter that he wrote in 1977. He it says and I quote my bill strikes at the heart of the Injustice of court-ordered busing it prohibits the federal courts from disrupting our educational system in the name of the Constitution where there is no evidence that the governmental officials intended to discriminate.
I believe there’s a growing sentiment in the Congress to curb unnecessary busing and then in June of 1977. These are both in 1977. The first one was in March. In June, he wrote dear. Mr. Chairman. I want you to know that I very much appreciate your help during this week’s committee meeting and attempting to [00:20:00] bring my anti busing legislation to vote two weeks later.
He followed up with another said thank you for your efforts in supporting my bill to curb court-ordered busing so Sam is already talked about that language and what that means but Biden was actually a really powerful Advocate against busing and you know, he’s already come out and said like he supports everything that might help kids got a new school, you know the next.
He did a talk somewhere in front of black people and was like I support everything but it’ll be interesting to see what this actually does to him long-term. We are so far away from election day that there’s a question of like well people even remember I know a lot of people who saw that were like, yeah, I’m not good.
Hope he does it better the next time so it was definitely a big boost for Kamala and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next. So my news is about the NYPD. A report from the office of the Inspector General in New York City found this past Wednesday that of 2495 complaints of biased policing. So [00:21:00] that’s police discrimination that have been filed against the NYPD over the past five years exactly zero of those complaints have been sustained.
So the police are saying that of the 2495 complaints of police. Nation not a single one actually was substantiated upheld or resulted in any type of discipline whatsoever for the officers involved. So this is fascinating. I had not seen data on this issue in particular for the NYPD. But despite sounding outrageous.
This is actually not uncommon. So it turns out that complaints of police discrimination are almost never ruled in favor of the person reporting misconduct. So in La for example for the LAPD, 2782 allegations of bias policing have been reported from 2012 through 2017 and exactly zero just like in New York were.
So this [00:22:00] is really really important for obvious reasons first and foremost if the police discriminate against you and you report them for it, it means you will not be taken seriously and your complete will not be substantiated. There’s a zero percent chance of that happening under the status quo. It also is fascinating to read some of the recommendations in this report because I learned something if for example the Civilian Complaint Review Board in New York City, which is the agency that investigates complaints of misconduct, it actually doesn’t currently investigate by.
Complaints that is something I didn’t know and begs the question why shouldn’t they be investigating this serious issue? The second thing that was interesting was that composition of those complaints by has complaints can involve racial discrimination, but they also involve discrimination based on national origin sex gender identity nationality disability status and range of other categories.
And yet 68% of all bias complaints in New York City were for racial discrimination specifically and the largest category of people filing complaints or black. [00:23:00] So I wanted to bring this to the conversation because we often talk about how rare it is for complaints to be sustained. Only one in 13 complaints Nationwide is sustained when reported to law enforcement, but for this in particular, it’s zero or almost zero for most cities.
It’s fascinating one of the things that was interesting. Is that the. And said, you know we’re taking so many steps to like bring police and Community together and we’re putting body cameras on everyone what’s fascinating about that is why like 40 million dollars have been spent by the federal government and even more by state and local governments to buy and purchase body cameras for their Police Department.
There’s been little to show that these body cameras are effective in reducing police violence that they are effective in reducing use of force civilian complaints. There was one study in 2012 that suggested that. I did do a little bit of reduction along those lines, but they were only 50 for officers who are part of that study.
Our more recent study, which [00:24:00] was done in Washington DC with 2224 police officers suggested that there was little to no difference. Also, you know, we have presidential candidate Peter Budaj who is embroiled in his own controversy with officer involved shooting there and the officer did not have his body camera on which is something that has been an issue on multiple occasions.
So we spent all this money giving people a lot. Cameras, the body cameras are often not on when they should be and their range of other issues in terms of the implementation of these body cameras and how they’re being used or even if they are used to what extent there is transparency about what will be released and what won’t be released.
So I don’t even know what to say about New York City saying that there’s no bias in their policing essentially is what they’re suggesting but it does provide an opportunity for us to interrogate some of these practices that we are told is helpful for bringing about better. Police relations that actually might not be doing what we think they are.
Sam I’m glad that you properly contextualize this so that we’re [00:25:00] not just pointing the finger at New York City, but really recognizing that the flaw is when police continue to investigate themselves and the data that we are supposed to trust is coming from these departments. This is part of the reason why I found Bill De Blasio’s moment during the debate.
So well downright hilarious when he talked about the progress the supposed progress of the NYPD and their strong relationship with communities because obviously we are not seeing the level of transparency or change from the NYPD. That should allow any mayor of New York City to Pat themselves on the back publicly or privately about supposed progress, but it is also part of the reason why some of the transparency efforts that mayor Pete pointed to in South Bend are simply not enough and I appreciate his earnestness during that conversation, but there has to be more depth to this question of how we solve this problem from people who are daring to run for president.
Let alone those who run cities at the end of the day [00:26:00] transporters. And she is all well and good. But once again if the data does not actually tell the truth just like the data that we’re talking about right now, then it’s practically useless. Sam already talked about the fact that you know, when we look at data all across the country it the complaints aren’t the same.
We actually talked to a mayor recently and the mayor was like, you know the police you told me it’s a good thing that these aren’t sustained because it means that bad things are happening the police department. We were like like everybody didn’t lie, you know, like hundreds of people are following these complaints against police officers lying now.
What’s also happening in New York city, that is a good thing is that there’s a charter revision commission that is currently looking at ways to administer. New York City and they just voted to allow the ccrb the Civilian Complaint review board, which has the power to discipline or recommend discipline propositions New York City.
It just voted to move forward with an amendment to the Charter that would allow the ccrb to investigate false testimony by the police. So when officers lie on the official [00:27:00] record when officers turning forms that have things that are lies we think about it with Garner we think about the lot of cases where there’s just lying that happens and we know it’s happening.
That currently doesn’t fall within the purview of the ccrb in New York City and this at what actually allowed to happen right now Internal Affairs deals with it and you can imagine that the New York Times reported that out of 81 tracked cases of false statements referred to the police department by the ccrb since 2010.
Only two times did the NYPD Internal Affairs division say that any line happen, so. It’ll be good to make an external body in your city be the Arbiter of what happened. And that is some good news. Don’t go anywhere more pots in the people’s coming to New Yorker represent some of the best writing in America today Beyond publishing work for some of the best writers in the world.
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[00:30:00] So the Supreme Court made two really critical decisions in the last week that will have an immense effect on American democracy in the near and far future they made decisions on gerrymandering and the census. So on the census the conclusion is. Not totally a conclusion what essentially the court said it was that the administration did not provide enough justification to add the question on citizenship to the census.
So that question is block. For now, they essentially gave though an open door for the administration to be able to come back through the process of litigation and provide different justification for that addition groups. Like the leadership conference on civil rights are reminding all of us that the fight is not over as the question could produce an undercounting immigrant communities and communities of color and those communities are already estimated to be under counted if they’re under counted on the [00:31:00] senses.
Then we are not fully represented in the government. In this case chief justice Roberts actually broke with the conservative majority to side with the more liberal judges on the gerrymandering case. He sided with that conservative majority. The gerrymandering case is a bit more complex, but all-in-all the result is scary.
So essentially the court said that federal courts cannot hear cases that are challenging gerrymandered Maps both parties in the past have used gerrymandering Republicans and. Currently it benefits Republicans. There are 22 States right now. We’re those Maps benefit Republicans because they hold the governor’s mansion and they hold the state legislature.
And those are the folks that are determining those mats Democrats. Hold about 14 states in the same way. So again chief justice Roberts sided with the conservative Court. This really means that on the senses, even though we have a reprieve of the Fight Continues and on gerrymandering the fight is substantially harder because the door is closed on judicial challenges to voting [00:32:00] maps that have been quote warped by politics, which means that a critical tool that of litigation is essentially rendered useless.
I wanted to bring this here because we spent a lot of time trying to fight Brett Kavanaugh trying to prevent this conservative majority. Sitting on the court and for far too many reasons lots of which were out of our control. We lost that fight and this is the result. It means that the scotus fights are going to get more difficult.
It means that we have to stay more Vigilant. It means that we have to keep fighting and that we have to be aware and understand the Nuance. There’s president all of these decisions. It’s going to be really important to keep supporting organizations that are experts in Justice litigation like the leadership conference like the lawyers committee on civil rights and local winds like.
My hometown the Art City Defenders because they are the ones who are keeping these fights going in the courts and around the courts to make sure they’re not forgotten. Something we just have to be mindful of we kind of got two different ends of the spectrum with the results that we got this past [00:33:00] week with the gerrymandering on one end and the census on the other but a lot of folks who watch the Supreme Court closely and have done so for decades are warning folks not to get too comfortable with John Roberts being the new sort of center of the court, right and they talk about how Roberts is going to move.
The court as far to the right as possible without breaking it. He’s a tactician right and that he has an astute political sensibility and that he knows how to find the balance between continuing to move the court to the right continuing to erode certain civil liberties certain human rights certain things that would lead to massive public outcry without doing it in a way that would become sort of politically combustible.
It’s just important to be mindful of very few rulings that this court comes out with Will. Decimating precedent in sort of one Fell Swoop. A lot of it will be sort of tinkering eroding and pushing the court further to the right in ways that we might not see as holy [00:34:00] dramatic in the immediate term.
But in the long term will sort of look back and say wow wherever we come since the Warren. So there were two things that were interesting about this decision on gerrymandering. The first was the language used to justify the ruling that the Roberts Court made centered around methodological issues, right it focused on this question of whether there was actually a fair and unbiased way of evaluating.
Whether a given Congressional or State Legislative map was to gerrymandered or was not right and I think that that’s like a methodological question and what this decision does is it says that the federal court should have no role in stepping into you know, essentially police what the district should look like instead using a given methodology.
But like this is a scientific question, right and and what the court has done here is essentially throwing their hands. Said we’re not actually gonna play [00:35:00] any role whatsoever rather than. Actually seeking to identify and institutionalize that methodology so that they can actually address the issue at hand and this is despite progress that has been made from political scientists to actually develop scientific methodologies to test how gerrymander.
And skewed a given Congressional map might be right and so there continues to be progress made in that area and what the courts have done here is basically shut off the potential of those new Innovations in the field contributing to informing interventions through the federal courts to disrupt and block some of those gerrymandered Maps the second piece that’s interesting is what this ruling functionally does is it shifts to state legislators and state courts the power to.
Decide what the maps should actually be right whether or not we’re going to have gerrymandered maps that ensure that you know Republicans win elections. Even when Democrats get the majority of the votes or whether we are going to show up and vote and elect [00:36:00] folks who will put a check on that whether it’s electing Democratic Governors who will veto those maps from the legislature in 22 States.
You can actually elect Supreme Court Justices. So that’s really huge tube because as. I’ve seen even at the state level you can intervene and Rule some of these Maps unconstitutional regardless of whether the federal courts decide to step in. So the ruling is really bad. It’s going to contribute to the problem getting worse and the way to fight back at this point seems to be to really mobilize at the state level to elect people who will put a check on Republicans in the state legislature continuing to skew these Maps.
Okay, have you ever done the debate second night. Bernie said that he was against back in the court, but that he wanted to rotate members of the court to Circuit Courts like to lower courts and then that’d be a way to make sure there was no supermajority and then you would just rotate people and I remember during the debate being like can somebody send me the.
Like I just have never [00:37:00] heard that before so can somebody sent to me and in reading about it? This is a pretty new proposal. And with the campaign has said is that the reason that they want to do this is because it would only require an act of Congress. It wouldn’t require the Constitution to be changed.
So that was interesting. I’m just throwing it out here because we’re going to be talking about the elections for a long time because the elections aren’t for a long time too. Just want to add that as we talk about the Supreme Court, but I still am confused about this whole. Yeah Court transition thing that Bernie is proposing.
The other thing I’ll say is sort of piggybacking off of what Sam said is that I really get worried when people talk about like the single greatest thing or like the most important that you know, like when people say the prosecutor is the most important part of that like I don’t think that’s true.
All the parts are important prosecutor can’t prosecute something that’s not a crime and the lawmakers make up with is a crime. So like all of it matters and I say that because there are a lot of people in 2016 who said like local is where everything is if you don’t vote local and did it at all. And what we saw was that the president really matters right there like it’s a both a [00:38:00] and I’m hopeful that in this upcoming election.
We’ll all just do a better job of recruiting people to run for the things that seem really random that like. We need to make sure saying people of the clerk of the courts. The sheriff’s Lord knows the Supreme Court Justices you think about what’s the woman’s name? The 31 year old who just got elected as the Bronx da Aban.
Caban. You think about caban Kebab was like, okay. I’m working in the system. It don’t work. Let me run a you’re like let her run. Yes. Come on, like we need a million more Cabanas and ask you like we just need to find people and now is the time for people to make the decision to run once we get into.
Funny if you were trying to run it’s sort of like a nightmare but now is the time to start educating people about these random jobs so that if the Supreme Court is going to say like, you know, we just following what states do then we’re gonna be like, okay cool, and we’re going to take over the states.
So that’s my hope as we go into 2020. So my news about the NBA I didn’t know this but the NBA [00:39:00] has said that they have stopped using the term owner the commissioner of the NBA commissioner said that he understood the delicacy of the word there had been players who spoke. Against it and they are now using the term governor.
And it was a reminder that what does it mean that we still say like, oh, he owns that group of guys like he owns the team. It’s like, well you own a group of people that seems like language and we should not support and the public space that we should not encourage and that we certainly shouldn’t solidify is just practice.
I didn’t know this has happened. He said that they’d actually stopped doing it a year or so ago, but I think like a rat TMZ reporter asked the commission about it and he said it on the record for the first time. I thought that was really powerful and made me think about all the other sports is still hold on to this and it made me think about this incredible essay that I’ve definitely got up before but it’s called in defense of looting it was the first critical essay that I read during the protest came on August of 2014 and I say it because one of the things that I took away from the article that I never forget is.
The author writes about the American obsession with property the claim made in the article. Is this [00:40:00] notion that like there’s no social change has ever happened in the country that was kind of rooted in an attack on property. But what made me think about it in this context was just how much the language of property and ownership answer capitalism is just normal to us that like real like yeah, he owns the team you’re like, what is he owns a team?
Like he doesn’t own a group of people. Nobody owns a people. Nobody should own people in this day and age. I just want to bring. Here I thought it was interesting and I hadn’t heard about it, you know language matters just this week. I sent up a treat to NPR to ask them. Why in 2019. I was still hearing them use the word illegal immigrants instead of undocumented people.
Thankfully they responded and said that this was a mistake and that it is actually their policy to use the phrase undocumented but it is a reminder that words shape our thinking and thinking shapes our. It’s there is nothing too small when it comes to this. I think a lot of people are filled at this is about PC [00:41:00] culture and they’re annoyed by the idea that something as simple as a word to describe the people who fund a team could be taking issue with in this way and yet if folks speak about sports teams through the lens of ownership.
Then people will behave in ways that correspond with that. This is the exact kind of response that we saw with Colin Kaepernick and his peaceful protest folks thought him inappropriate folks thought him downright disrespectful not just of America, but of again his owners where the team’s owners so fixing the language changes the lens through which people can see race in America and with better language, we can construct a better understanding of not just the size.
You put our behavior and. So I think it’s important that they changed the term from owner to Governor. But you know, that’s one step towards a broader goal of racial Equity within the league, right and we still see a reality where you know, the NBA [00:42:00] most of the governors are white right white men so we know like Michael Jordan governs the Charlotte Hornets.
We know that the Milwaukee Bucks have Marc lasry whose Moroccan American Sacramento Kings have Vivek ranadive. But you know, they’re 30 teams. And those are three that have Governors who are people of color and we need to do a lot better than that. Right? I think changing the term is the first step towards being able to recognize and address some of the underlying inequities not only in the language but in the outcomes that we see in terms of who’s in charge and and who’s not within not only NBA which.
Doing better than the NFL but still not doing good enough, but within Sports more broadly, especially within the United States. That’s the news. Hey, you’re listening to pod save the people stay tuned. There’s more to come. Hiring used to be hard back in the day. You’d have to go to multiple job sighs look through stacks of resumes.
The whole review process was confusing been there [00:43:00] absolutely have done that. But today hiring can be easy and you only have to go to one place to get it done. Zip recruiter.com saved the people in zipper Cooter send your job to over a hundred of the web’s leading job boards, but they don’t stop there.
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She’s an author co-founder of the hot young widows club and the host of the [00:44:00] podcast terrible. Thanks for asking. Nora thank you so much for joining us today on Party of the people. Thank you for having me. I am excited to talk because I’m fascinated by terrible. Thanks for asking. I’m fascinated by your story and have so much to learn we can start a couple places either.
How did you get to terrible? Thanks for asking like even the title as a show or the Memoir. No, Happy Endings. I’m passing it equally by both so we can choose well. Terrible thanks for asking is actually a book title that was rejected. When I wrote my first book and my first book was written about losing my husband Darren and my father within a couple weeks of each other in 2014.
So I am. The person who when you ask how I am for a long time, I would always say fine like most American say because that’s the polite answer and I would say that [00:45:00] even when the honest truth was well, I just lost the two most important men in my life the man I’ve loved since I knew what love was and the man that I thought I would hopefully be able to spend the rest of my life with.
I wanted the title of the book to be terrible. Thanks for asking. But the feedback that I got was that it was to- for a book about my husband dying. So so I bookmarked that I bookmarked that name and the podcast itself came about because Aaron and I and really everything comes down to Erin. I had been with Aaron for a year.
He had a seizure at work and it turned out that his seizure was because he had a brain tumor a really bad brain tumor a stage four glioblastoma, which you don’t even have to Google. It’s a terrible terrible brain tumor and. Got married a month later and our third wedding anniversary was his funeral.
So [00:46:00] it was a very very intense time of my life and. The happiest days of my life. I also think were mixed in with those hardest days Aaron and I we wrote his obituary together before he died and the opening line was / more Taryn Joseph age 35 died on November 25th, 2014 due to complications from a radioactive spider bite and a years long battle with a nefarious criminal named cancer and.
His obituary I will tell you right now during I did not think they would print it but a free tip for you and your listeners is that. They’ll print anything in an obituary because you pay for it. It’s an advertisement for your death. So so they printed it and it went viral and people found the blog that I’d been writing when Aaron was sick and [00:47:00] people from all over the world started emailing me and sending me messages on Tumblr and they weren’t all people who had just lost a husband.
They were just people who had been through something really really difficult. And who just wanted to share that they just wanted to share the pain that they had felt with another person who would understand it and not tell them that everything happens for a reason or that everything is going to be okay or to tell them to look on the bright side and.
I felt a big responsibility with that inbox and I did spend a lot of time replying for many months. I would reply to pretty much every message that I got. I wanted to do something bigger than just write emails and one of the people who read that obituary was a literary agent who reached out to me and I did have the chance to write a memoir.
And other than that. I just had a lot of free time, too. Just sit [00:48:00] there and feel my own pain, but also to find myself opened up to the pain of others and one day I sent out a tweet and I said does anyone in Minnesota make podcasts and that is a dumb question. You could answer with Google but somebody replied and they said yes.
Hans beutel makes podcasts and I just clicked on his Twitter handle and I sent him a DM and I said I have an idea for a podcast. It’s called terrible. Thanks for asking. I have hundreds and hundreds of emails in my inbox from people who are going through terrible stuff and I just want to talk about that and that’s not a good pitch necessarily to be like I have no experience.
Would you like to make a podcast with me but Hans replied and we made one pilot episode and then we got to make 10 episodes and now it’s been almost three years that we’ve been doing this. Do you remember the first episode? Oh God. Yeah, it’s called sad Nora and the secret baby and I had just had a secret baby.
I had not told [00:49:00] hardly anybody in my life including Hans until maybe a couple weeks before that. I was pregnant and that I was about to be a mom to another child in between. Aaron dying and the podcast coming out I had met somebody and met a new man and I had fallen in love and I gotten pregnant unexpectedly and I was so happy and I felt so.
Bad for being happy and I felt guilty and then I felt ashamed for feeling sad and guilty win how lucky are you to ever experience love or to have the entire Rube Goldberg machine that is your reproductive system actually work and create a human being inside of you and I had all of these awful complicated feelings.
All mixed up at once and I sat in a [00:50:00] studio with a two-day-old baby and I recorded that episode which was not that was not part of our plan, but it felt like the right way to start stuff which is to set this tone that. Just the show is called terrible. Thanks for asking. And I mean there’s a certain part of the population who will never listen to that show based only on the title, right and probably any other time in my life.
I would have been one of those people had been like on no thanks. I would prefer to not know and sad stories are never just sad and most really happy stories are never just happy like all of these life experiences that we have. They’re all tangled up with one another. I think part of the loneliness that we feel when we’re struggling is that we feel like if we are struggling, how can we ever feel anything else and if we’re happy, how can our pain have been real or how [00:51:00] can it be real?
That was a very lonely place for me to be and so episode 0 was our first episode for that reason. You know, it must be such a different perspective to hear pain so much like to just hear so much trauma and pain in the way people tell their stories especially telling stories that they’ve not told before.
How is it made you if it all think differently about Humanity or about yourself or about the shared experience or about the way connection works like what have been your lessons? The thing that I’ve learned and the thing that I’m reminded of nearly every time I do an interview is the way that we try to rank suffering and how it is our natural inclination when somebody shares something with us to try to fix it to try to fill that silence and I’ve had to fight that urge Within Myself in interviews.
To [00:52:00] let the pain sit there and let the silence sit there so that somebody else can sort through what this story means to them instead of just trying to make it more palatable for me. I’ve also learned that nobody wins when we try to compare one kind of grief against another because you really only know your own experience.
There is not some sort of objective. Measure for it and so I will be honest after my husband died when people would email me and say I know how you feel. I just lost my favorite dog. I would say like, do you know how I feel and the answer is no you don’t and I also don’t know how you feel about whoever you’ve lost or whatever you have been through.
So that is a very human reflex that we have to either minimize our own pain for somebody else or to elevate our pain above somebody else’s. And watching that in other people has [00:53:00] helped me notice that in myself. So will it shift Alex a little bit after the shooting at Tree of Life a synagogue in Pittsburgh as many listeners know you did a three-episode series in Pittsburgh.
What would it take away some Malik? How was that? What did you learn? Why was that important? God that was a really that was a really intense series to do and also probably one of my favorite projects that we’ve worked on there was as probably all of your very smart listeners now a huge mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh and.
Like everybody else in America we heard about it and then probably like five minutes later. There was another shooting and we got an email from a congregant at a nearby synagogue a couple days after the shooting and he said to us, can you come here? There’s so many people feeling. So many kinds of pain and will you just talk to us and we went out there as a team.
We took [00:54:00] four people out there and we knew that we were not going to talk about the shooter. We just were not going to offer that any airspace and we knew that we wanted to talk to different people in Pittsburgh about the ripple effect that an act of violence like that has on a community and there is.
Sort of like Community Capital C like monoculture and any City but especially in Pittsburgh. The shooting was felt in different parts of the city in contrast to the reaction to it in contrast of the shooting of Antoine Rose who was a black teenager 17 years old who is unarmed and. Shot by a police officer and there’s a way to as you know to talk about all of these forms of violence that doesn’t minimize one or another but [00:55:00] says look like this is all a problem.
People are hurting from these things and however, your empathy is able to stretch in the One Direction towards people who were in their synagogue. Just getting ready to worship. Can you please I do know that the vast majority of my listeners are white women who are my age and the 2016 election who did women who look like me vote for the half voting for Trump, which is crazy.
Right? It’s Bonkers and so I do feel big sense of responsibility to. Help a population of people who look like me did not vote like me but doesn’t matter really stretch their empathy and to consider points of view that maybe outside of what is an easy get on the empathy scale when we have that opportunity to have a conversation that is not just about.
One [00:56:00] act in one city but to sort of draw those lines and connect those dots and get people to see a wider perspective. That’s the work that is worth doing your world is at least professionally working with people who have had their hope challenge because terrible things have happened to them in their personal lives.
And and I have to imagine that you get people who are really struggling with this idea of Hope. What do you say to people? I mean I say, I don’t blame you. I don’t blame you, I think. Barbara ehrenreich has this amazing book called bright sided and it’s about sort of this really uniquely American sort of forced optimism, right that becomes oppressive, you know, like Stay On the Sunny Side.
There’s a silver lining to every cloud but sometimes people do need to hear that. Yes, things are very hard things are as hard as you think they are and they are as heavy as they feel to you and I absolutely feel like that. I. [00:57:00] Solutely feel like that often and I lay in bed face down and I think like what’s the point of stuff and I say that also understanding that I am a middle class white woman who’s got a body that works and really like my life is like pretty fine.
Pretty okay. And when I get like that I do I hate this advice because it sounds like something that you would read on Pinterest and you’re like that wouldn’t work. But I just try to say out loud to myself one good thing that is happening. And then also I turned my phone off. I don’t look at anything.
I live in Minnesota. We have a lot of trees. I sit in front of my house and I listened to the wind in the trees. I try to do something that takes me out of my own head which is often cranked down and looking at a phone or at a computer and to be present in the moment in just any Pleasant moment, and it [00:58:00] doesn’t have to be big it doesn’t have to be big.
I love it. And what I’m what’s a piece of advice that stuck with you over. The years Hans is Grandma is Hans is my producer / currently friend now, which is great and his grandma is I think like a hundred years old. If not real close real close and she don’t Hans to tell me not to let anyone should on me and not to shit on anyone else either and.
Oh that I really I really I try to do that. It doesn’t apply in all situations. But here’s where it does when someone is having a difficult time. I’m a fixer. I like to have a plan for them like who better to solve your problems than me a person who is not experiencing your problems. Like allow me allow me to step in and tell you exactly how to fix this situation.
That doesn’t affect me and. I’ve tried not to [00:59:00] do that because I know that when people did it to me after Aaron died when people told me that I should sell my house and move when people told me I should not sell my house. I should keep that house. I should not move should stay put when people told me I should stay in my job.
Just go back to my cubicle try to fill out some PowerPoints pretend I was a normal person. I felt like I was doing everything wrong. And I realized looking back. They were just trying to help but the fact is they didn’t have to do any of this stuff. They didn’t have a dead husband and a traumatized child and their shoulds were not helpful.
And when I do that to other people, I’m not helping them unless they specifically asked for advice unless they specifically asked for my opinion and a path forward really they just want me to. To listen and to be there well, thank you so much for joining us in your party the people. [01:00:00] Thank you.
Well, that’s it. Thanks so much for tuning in a posse of the people this week. Tell your friends to check it out. Make sure to rate it wherever you get your podcast or this apple podcast or somewhere else and we’ll see you next week.