Transcript: The Hole in Racial Justice | Jan 09, 2019

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a black blazer over a pink shirt.

A caption on screen reads "The hole in racial justice. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says OVERCOMING INEQUALITY
AND COMBATING RACISM ARE
OBJECTIVES THAT MOST PEOPLE SIGN
ON TO PRETTY EASILY.
BUT WHEN IT COMES TO BIAS AND
DIVERSITY TRAINING, ACHIEVING
THAT GOAL CAN FACE SOME REAL
HEADWINDS, SUCH AS WHEN IT
TRIGGERS EMOTIONAL REACTIONS
THAT MAKE CHANGE HARDER.
SHAKIL CHOUDHURY IS CO-FOUNDER
AND SENIOR PARTNER AT THE
CONSULTING FIRM ANIMA
LEADERSHIP, AND AUTHOR OF "DEEP
DIVERSITY: OVERCOMING US VS.
THEM" AND HE JOINS US NOW ON
GETTING BEYOND BIAS.

Shakil is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short wavy black hair. He's wearing purple-framed glasses, a plaid vest and a blue shirt.

Nam continues WELCOME BACK.

Shakil says THANK YOU.

Nam says IT'S NICE TO MEET YOU.
YOU WROTE A THREE-PART ESSAY
WHICH YOU CALL THE HOLE IN
RACIAL JUSTICE.
A LOVE LETTER.
WHO DID YOU WRITE THE ESSAY FOR?

The caption changes to "Shakil Choudhury. Author, 'Deep diversity.'"
Then, it changes again to "Understanding emotion."

Shakil says I WROTE IT FOR MY RACIAL AND
SOCIAL JUSTICE PEERS, AND IT WAS
REALLY WRITTEN IN THE SPIRIT OF
SAYING, IN ORDER TO IMPROVE OUR
WORK, IN ORDER TO INNOVATE, IN
ORDER TO BE MORE EFFECTIVE,
REALLY WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO NOT
JUST TALK ABOUT OUR STRENGTHS
AND WHAT'S WORKING BUT ALSO BE
ABLE TO TALK ABOUT OUR
WEAKNESSES AND WHAT'S NOT.
AND SO FOR ME THIS WAS REALLY
SAYING, LOOK, WE'VE GOT SOME
CLEAN-UP AND WORK IN OUR OWN
HOUSE TO DO IN ORDER TO BE MORE
EFFECTIVE OUT THERE IN THE WORLD.

Nam says HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT
THIS WAS A CONVERSATION TO HAVE
IN THE FIRST PLACE?

The caption changes to "Shakil Choudhury, @Shakilwrites."

Shakil says WELL, I'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN
RACIAL AND SOCIAL JUSTICE WORK
FOR ALMOST 25 YEARS NOW.
I'VE EXPERIENCED THIS FOR A LONG
TIME IN DIFFERENT WAYS, AND ONE
OF THE SITUATIONS THAT HAS
ALWAYS STOOD OUT FOR ME WAS
ACTUALLY RIGHT AFTER 9-11, AND
IT WAS A FEW DAYS AFTER 9-11 AND
THERE WAS A GATHERING AT CITY
HALL OF PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO DO
SOMETHING, TRY TO FIGURE OUT
WHAT TO DO IN RESPONSE TO THIS
HORRIFIC ATTACKS AND THE
RESPONSES AND THE MILITARIZATION
AND ALL THESE DIFFERENT THINGS.
AND SO THERE WAS ABOUT 100
PEOPLE, ACTIVISTS OF ALL
DIFFERENT STRIPES, YOU KNOW,
ANTIWAR, ANTIPOVERTY, FEMINISTS,
ENVIRONMENTALISTS, ALL THESE
DIFFERENT PEOPLE, AND PRETTY
QUICKLY, INSTEAD OF SORT OF
COMING TOGETHER, THE ROOM SORT
OF FELL APART.
PEOPLE STARTED SNIPING AT EACH
OTHER AND, YOU KNOW, CRITICIZING
THE FACILITATORS, OFTEN BEING
FEMALE AND WOMEN OF COLOUR WHO
WOULD GIVE UP THEIR TIME TO TRY
TO BRING THE COMMUNITY TOGETHER,
AND THE FEELING WAS: WE HAVE NO
TIME TO TALK!
WE HAVE TO ACT!
AND I JUST WATCHED THE ROOM
DISSOLVE AND I THOUGHT, WOW,
WHAT'S HAPPENING TO US?
AND IT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST
MOMENTS THAT REALLY CRYSTALLIZED
THAT THERE'S JUST WORK WE HAVE
TO DO AS WELL.

Nam says AS FAR AS TALKING MORE
AND UNDERSTANDING EACH OTHER MORE?

The caption changes to "Shakil Choudhury. Anima Leadership."

Shakil says WELL, I GUESS WHAT I WOULD
SAY IS THAT OUR WORK IS MISSING
SOMETHING, AND THE WORK HAS
ALWAYS BEEN MISSING SOMETHING.
WE JUST CAN'T SEE IT IN THE REAR
VIEW MIRROR.
IN THE ROOM THAT I JUST
DESCRIBED IN THAT POST 9-11
MEETING, THE EMOTIONS WERE HIGH.
THE EMOTIONS WERE HUGE.
WE DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH
THEM.
AND SO PEOPLE STARTED ATTACKING
EACH OTHER, TAKING OUT THEIR
FEELINGS AND AGGRESSION ON EACH
OTHER.
AND SO WHAT I'M SAYING IN OUR
WORK WE HAVE WHAT I CALL A
PROTEST ORIENTATION, WHICH IS
HELPFUL IN SOME CASES, NOT
HELPFUL IN ALL CASES.

Nam says WHEN YOU WERE HERE
LAST TIME SPEAKING TO STEVE
ABOUT YOUR BOOK "DEEP DIVERSITY."
BACK IN 2015, YOU TALKED ABOUT
UNCONSCIOUS BIAS.
WHEN PEOPLE CRITIQUED YOUR WORK,
WHAT WAS THE MAIN CRITICISM THAT
YOU HEARD?

Shakil says WELL, THE DEEP DIVERSITY
APPROACH, IF IT GETS CRITICISM,
THE ONLY PLACE IT REALLY COMES
FROM IS FROM PEOPLE THAT BELIEVE
THAT IT'S TOO SOFT AND THAT IT
LETS PEOPLE OFF THE HOOK,
ESPECIALLY PEOPLE WHO HAVE
PRIVILEGE, WHO HAVE SOCIAL RANK
AND SOCIAL STATUS.

Nam says BECAUSE YOU'RE ARGUING
THAT PEOPLE ARE NOT AWARE...
THEY MIGHT NOT BE AWARE OF WHAT
THEY'RE DOING?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Shakil says MOST OF US ARE NOT AWARE OF
WHAT WE'RE DOING.
WE HAVE SOME AWARENESS, AND THAT
IS THE CONSCIOUS PART OF
OURSELVES.
BUT NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH OVER
THE LAST TWO DECADES
DEMONSTRATES UNEQUIVOCALLY THE
BIGGER PART IS OUR UNCONSCIOUS,
OUR FEELINGS, OUR REACTIONS, OUR
HABITS.
SO MUCH OF THAT IS LIKE HIDDEN
BELOW THE SURFACE OF OUR
AWARENESS.
IT'S HIDDEN EVEN FROM OURSELVES.
IT'S EASIER TO SEE IN OTHER
PEOPLE.
IT'S EASIER TO SEE IT IN THEIR
MICRO BEHAVIOURS AND ACTIONS OR
HESITATIONS OR THEIR TONE OF
VOICE, WHICH MEANS IT'S EASIER
FOR THEM TO SEE IT IN US.
SO, YES, MUCH OF OUR BEHAVIOUR
IS INFLUENCED BY UNCONSCIOUS
CHOICES, UNCONSCIOUS HABITS,
THAT HAVE BEEN INFLUENCED BY HOW
WE'VE BEEN SOCIALIZED.

Nam says THOSE ARE I GUESS MANY
EMOTIONS AND IN THOSE
ENVIRONMENTS, WHY IS IT SO
DIFFICULT TO LEARN WHEN YOU'RE
EXPERIENCING STRONG FEELINGS OF
MAYBE GUILT OR CONFUSION?

Shakil says WELL, FIRST OF ALL, YOU KNOW,
THE CONVERSATION THAT IT WE'RE
TRYING TO HAVE, THE GUILT AND
THE SHAME AND ANY BIG FEELINGS
LITERALLY SHUTS DOWN THE
THINKING PART OF OUR NEO CORTEX.
IF WE TRIGGERED OUR EMOTIONAL
REPTILLIAN KICKS IN.
IN THIS WORK IT'S EASY TO GET
TRIGGERED INTO THAT...

Nam says THE WORK YOU'RE DOING
IS BIAS TRAINING.

Shakil says IS BIAS TRAINING, IS SOCIAL
JUSTICE WORK, HELPING PEOPLE
UNDERSTAND THAT WE'RE BEING
INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT ARE
HARD TO SEE AND ALSO THAT THERE
ARE DISCREPANCIES IN SOCIETY,
THERE ARE GAPS BETWEEN MEN AND
WOMEN, BETWEEN RACIAL MINORITIES
AND WHITE PEOPLE IN TERMS OF HOW
THEY'RE BEING TREATED IN THE
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, WHO'S BEING
OVERPOLICED, WHO'S BEING
UNDERSERVICED IN HEALTH CARE OR
EDUCATION, AND OUR IDENTITY
PLAYS OUT WITH IT.
THE ONLY THING IS MOST PEOPLE
ARE NOT AWARE OF THAT BECAUSE
THAT KIND OF INFORMATION OPENLY
BECOMES VISIBLE WHEN WE COLLECT
DATA, AND LOOK AT THE EXPERIENCE
OF THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF
PEOPLE.
SO WHEN SOMEONE HEARS THAT THEIR
ORGANIZATION IS RACIST, THEY'RE
LIKE, THERE ARE RACISTS IN OUR
ORGANIZATION?
WHERE?
RIGHT?
AND IT'S HARD TO SEE ANYONE WHO
IS OVERTLY RACIST ANYMORE IN
ORGANIZATIONS.
BUT IT'S THE SUBTLE THINGS THAT
REINFORCE RACISM.
IT'S THE MICRO BEHAVIOURS.
IT'S THE MICRO AGGRESSIONS.
IT'S THE HESITATIONS.
IT'S WHO WE TURN TO TO PROMOTE
AND WHO WE DON'T AND WHO GETS
HARSHER PUNISHMENT IN THE
CLASSROOM.
SO ALL THESE THINGS, WHEN PEOPLE
START UNCOVERING IT, IT MAKES
THEM VERY EMOTIONAL BECAUSE
SUDDENLY THEY'RE IMPLICATED, IT
IMPLICATES ALL OF US.
THERE'S NO ONE THAT DOESN'T HAVE
BIAS AND WHO HASN'T ACTED ON
THEIR BIAS CONSCIOUSLY OR
UNCONSCIOUSLY.

Nam says YOU SAID WHEN YOU HAVE
THESE CONVERSATIONS, PEOPLE DO
GET EMOTIONAL.
SHOULD PEOPLE WHO ARE PART OF
THE DOMINANT CULTURE AND WHO
COME FROM PRIVILEGE FEEL GUILT
FOR THEIR PRIVILEGE?

Shakil says WELL, I THINK ABOUT IT LIKE
THIS: ALL OF OUR FEELINGS ARE
HELPFUL.
ALL OF OUR EMOTIONS GIVE US SOME
INFORMATION.
GUILT IS A HELPFUL EMOTION TO
HELP US UNDERSTAND WHAT WE MIGHT
HAVE DONE WRONG.
HOWEVER, GUILT IS ALSO A
POWERFUL EMOTION.
IF WE SIT WITH IT TOO LONG, NO
LONGER IS IT HELPFUL.
IT JUST HOLDS US DOWN AND WEIGHS
US DOWN.
GUILT AND SHAME ARE... SHAME
ESPECIALLY IS REALLY PAINFUL.
NO, I THINK WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD
DO IS BECOME AWARE OF HOW
PRIVILEGE PLAYS OUT AND HOW...

Nam says BUT IN ORDER TO DO
THAT, THEY WOULD ALSO NEED TO
ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR OWN PRIVILEGE.

Shakil says THEY WOULD.
AND THEY WILL FEEL SOME
EXPERIENCES... THEY WILL
EXPERIENCE A LITTLE BIT OF GUILT
BECAUSE IT'S A BIT OVERWHELMING.
AS A MAN, WHEN I STARTED
REALIZING HOW MUCH I BENEFIT ON
THE BASIS OF GENDER, HOW, IN
SMALL WAYS, IN A SPACE IF I'M
SPEAKING THAT PEOPLE WILL GIVE
ME THE FLOOR, OFFER ME
LEADERSHIP JUST SIMPLY BASED ON
THE BODY THAT I'M BORN IN, THAT
THAT KIND OF... IT'S
UNCOMFORTABLE TO GO, WAIT A
MINUTE, I'M GETTING SPECIAL TREATMENT?

Nam says BUT TO GET TO THAT
POINT I THINK IS PROBABLY HARD.
BECAUSE FOR MYSELF, I'M A
LIGHT-SKINNED PERSON OF AFRICAN
DESCENT AND I'VE ACKNOWLEDGED
THAT THE WAY I LOOK ALLOWS ME TO
ENTER DOORS THAT SOMEONE WITH
DARKER SKIN MIGHT NOT ENTER.

Shakil says THAT'S RIGHT.

Nam says BE ABLE TO.
BUT DO YOU THINK OTHER PEOPLE
ARE AWARE OF IT OR EVEN
EDUCATORS FOR THAT MATTER ARE
AWARE OF EMOTIONS THAT PEOPLE
ARE EXPERIENCING WHEN YOU DO
THESE TRAINING SESSIONS?

Shakil says I THINK THIS IS WHY I WROTE
IT, IS THAT I THINK MOST PEOPLE
IN SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATION,
WE'RE NOT TAUGHT IN SOCIAL
JUSTICE EDUCATION TO ENGAGE WITH
PEOPLE'S EMOTIONS.
WE'RE TAUGHT TO DELIVER THEORY
AND INFORMATION FROM A
SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE SAYING
HERE'S HOW WE GOT HERE.
HERE'S THE ROLE OF RESIDENTIAL
SCHOOLS.
HERE IS HOW SLAVERY STILL
IMPACTS US TODAY.
THAT INFORMATION IS
OVERWHELMING.
WHAT WE'RE NOT DOING IS
REALIZING THERE'S AN EMOTIONAL
COMPONENT AND THAT EMOTIONAL
COMPONENT HAS TO BE DEALT WITH.
PEOPLE ARE GETTING ACTIVATED.
HAVE WE HELPED THEM UNDERSTAND
THAT THEY'RE GOING TO GET
ACTIVATED?
HAVE WE HELPED THEM WORK THROUGH
THEIR TRIGGERS?
HAVE WE HELPED HOLD DOWN THE
CONVERSATION?
DO THEY TRUST US ENOUGH TO GO TO
THESE VERY UNCOMFORTABLE PLACES?
SO WHAT I'M ARGUING IS WE NEED
PSYCHOLOGICAL LITERACY.
WE ACTUALLY NEED TO BRING
FORWARD AND PRACTICE IT
OURSELVES.
WE NEED TO... WE NEED TO BE
EMPATHETIC OURSELVES.
WE NEED TO BE, AS THE GANDHIAN
QUOTE IS, BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT
TO SEE IN THE WORLD.
THAT'S NOT EASY BECAUSE THAT
MEANS WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH OUR
OWN HURT PLAYERS... IF WE'RE
EDUCATORS, IF WE'RE EDUCATORS,
WE'VE GOT TO BE ABLE TO HOLD THE
SPACE FOR THE TRANSFORMATION TO
OCCUR.
AND THAT COMES FROM HELPING
OTHERS UNDERSTAND THEMSELVES AND
THEIR REACTIONS TO THE WORLD
AROUND THEM, AS WELL AS DOING
THAT WORK OURSELVES.

Nam says WELL, I WANT TO READ
SOMETHING YOU WROTE IN ONE OF
THE ESSAYS...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "The conscious use of anger." The quote reads "Perpetually cynical attitudes are passed off as 'critical' thinking. The conscious use of anger -which can be helpful in many ways- is replaced by the voices of deregulated activists who feel they can lash out at anyone who disagrees with them. Important concepts like 'privilege' and 'fragility' are compromised educationally because they are hurled about like slurs. Conversations become stifled as many people worry about saying the wrong thing or using the wrong words, fearing judgement from their peers."
Quoted from Shakil Choudhury, deepdiversity.animaleadership.com. November 29, 2018.

Nam says I THINK A LOT OF
PEOPLE CAN IDENTIFY WITH THAT,
ESPECIALLY THE FEAR OF SAYING
THE WRONG THING.

Shakil says THAT'S RIGHT.

Nam says OR USING THE WRONG
WORD, AND THEREFORE I THINK A
LOT OF THINGS ARE LEFT UNSAID.
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

The caption changes to "Building bridges."

Shakil says IT'S HAPPENING FOR MANY
REASONS.
ONE IS THAT WE DO WHAT OUR
PEOPLE DO, RIGHT?
WE DO WHAT WE'VE BEEN TAUGHT TO
DO.
AND THERE IS A WAY IN WHICH, IN
WANTING TO FIX THE BROKENNESS IN
THE WORLD, WE ARE QUICK TO GO TO
ARGUMENT, WE'RE QUICK TO TELL
PEOPLE WHAT THEY'RE DOING WRONG,
AND THAT DOESN'T HELP.

Nam says WHAT HELPS?

Shakil says COMPASSION HELPS.
HAVING EMOTIONAL FLUIDITY HELPS.
I ALSO WANT TO ADDRESS A FEW
THINGS BECAUSE THAT'S A BIG QUOTE.
BUT ONE OF THE THINGS I WANT TO
SAY IS THE CONSTANT USE OF ANGER
IS VERY IMPORTANT.
I DON'T WANT TO DISMISS AND I'M
NOT SAYING WE NEED TO CONTROL
PEOPLE'S EMOTIONS.
I'M SAYING WE NEED TO HAVE MORE
FLUIDITY TO UNDERSTAND OUR
EMOTIONS AND THE EMOTIONS OF
OTHERS AND TO BE STRATEGIC.
THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS THAT
ARE USEFUL IN CERTAIN PLACES.
FOR EXAMPLE, BLACK LIVES MATTER,
I THINK ARE THE MARTIN LUTHER
KINGS AND THE AL BAKERS OF THIS GENERATION.

Nam says BUT OTHER PEOPLE DON'T THINK THAT.

Shakil says BUT FOR THE SAME REASONS THAT
THE ACTIVISTS OF OLD, THEY SHARE
THE SAME PRINCIPLES, THEY ARE
NON-VIOLENT.
BLACK LIVES MATTER IS INCREDIBLY
POWERFUL AND INCREDIBLY EFFECTIVE.
AND THEY USE STRATEGIES THAT ARE
ON-THE-STREET STRATEGIES THAT
ARE VERY EMOTIONAL, VERY
POWERFUL, AND BASICALLY HOLDING
INSTITUTIONS TO ACCOUNT, RIGHT?
AND THAT REQUIRES... THAT'S THE
PROTEST ORIENTATION THAT COMES
REALLY FROM THE LEFT.
THIS IS WHAT WE DO ON THE LEFT A
LOT AND IT'S ONE OF OUR STRENGTHS.
THAT PROTEST ORIENTATION IS
IMPORTANT AND IT COMES WITH
SHAME AND BLAME BECAUSE YOU'RE
SAYING, LOOK, THIS ISN'T WORKING
WELL AND YOU NEED TO WAKE UP.

Nam says DO YOU THINK THAT'S
WHY SOME PEOPLE DON'T RECEIVE
THAT MESSAGE THE SAME...

Shakil says EXACTLY.
PEOPLE REACT TO THAT BECAUSE WE
GET EMOTIONAL.
OH, THAT LOOKS... WHEN IN FACT
IT'S THE EXACT SAME TACTICS THAT
WE ADMIRE FROM ACTIVISTS THAT WE
DIDN'T HAVE TO DEAL WITH FROM
GENERATIONS AGO, RIGHT?
IT WAS THE SAME REACTION.
MARTIN LUTHER KING WASN'T SUPER
POPULAR AT HIS TIME EITHER.
RIGHT?
WHAT I'M SAYING, THOUGH, THAT'S
A STRATEGY.
YOU CAN'T USE THAT SAME PROTEST
ORIENTATION IN A WORKPLACE SETTING...

Nam says WITH INDIVIDUALS.

Shakil says WITH INDIVIDUALS OR FOR
TEACHING PURPOSES.
AND THAT PROTEST ORIENTATION HAS
ACTUALLY MOVED INTO HOW WE
EDUCATE RACIAL JUSTICE AND
SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATION, AND
THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

Nam says IS THAT WHAT YOU CALL
A HYBRID APPROACH?
BECAUSE YOU SAY WE NEED A HYBRID
APPROACH TO EDUCATION IN ORDER
TO BE MORE EFFECTIVE.

Shakil says YES.
I THINK EDUCATORS NEED TO TAKE
MORE OF AN EDUCATOR'S STANCE IN
THIS WORK TO PULL FROM THE IDEAS
OF THE ACTIVISTS AND PULL FROM
THE IDEAS OF THE RESEARCHERS WHO
ARE BASED IN SOCIAL JUSTICE, BUT
THE JOB OF THE EDUCATOR IS TO
TAKE COMPLICATED IDEAS AND BREAK
THEM DOWN TO SMALL PIECES, AND
THAT ALSO MEANS TAKING
COMPLICATED EMOTIONAL IDEAS AND
BREAKING THEM DOWN INTO SMALL
PIECES SO PEOPLE CAN LEARN AT
THEIR LEVEL.
SO THE HYBRID APPROACH IS NOT
JUST COMING AT THIS FROM AN
INTELLECTUAL PLACE AND SAYING
YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND THESE
IDEAS, IT'S ACTUALLY FROM A
RELATIONAL PLACE SAYING LET'S
TEACH YOU ABOUT THE BRAIN.
THIS IS GOING TO BE... THIS IS
GOING TO EVOKE SOME EMOTION.
LET'S HELP YOU WORK WITH EMOTION
SO WHEN WE GET TO THE HARDER
STUFF, YOU CAN ACTUALLY DEAL WITH IT.

Nam says YOUR GOAL WITH THIS
YOU SAY WAS TO HELP PEOPLE TEACH
DIVERSITY TRAINING AND YOU
IDENTIFIED SOME WAYS IN WHICH
TEACHING CAN BE IMPROVED.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WAYS THAT
WE CAN DO THIS?

The caption changes to "Teaching deep diversity."

Shakil says WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I THINK
THAT OUR APPROACH TO TEACHING
RACIAL AND SOCIAL JUSTICE HAS TO
BE MUCH MORE GROUNDED IN
EVIDENCE-BASED... WHAT ARE
STRATEGIES THAT ACTUALLY WORK?
NOT JUST THINGS THAT WE THINK
SHOULD WORK OR BELIEFS, BUT WHAT
ACTUALLY WORKS?
AND THERE IS A FAIR BIT OF
RESEARCH OUT THERE THAT SAYS THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT WORK
AND SOME THINGS THAT DO NOT.
SO THINGS THAT WORK INCLUDE
TEACHING ABOUT THE BRAIN, RIGHT?
THAT HELPS BOTH YOUNG STUDENTS
AND ADULTS ENGAGE WITH THE IDEA
THAT THERE ARE THINGS THAT
THEY'VE BEEN SOCIALIZED IN THAT
THEIR BRAIN IS PREDISPOSED TO
THAT'S GOING TO CREATE CERTAIN
WAYS OF UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD
AND CERTAIN WAYS IN WHICH YOU'RE
GOING TO SEE AND GENERALLY IN
NORTH AMERICA THERE'S A REASON
WHY, IF YOU HAVE A
WHITE-SOUNDING NAME, THERE'S
A 40 TO 50 PERCENT HIGHER CHANCE
OF A CALLBACK FOR AN INTERVIEW.
WELL, MOST PEOPLE AREN'T AWARE
OF THAT, RIGHT?
THAT'S HOW WE'VE BEEN SOCIALIZED
TO CENTRALIZE WHITENESS AND
WHITE NAMES, OR THAT
MALE-SOUNDING NAMES ON RESUMES
ARE RANKED HIGHER THAN FEMALE
SOUNDING NAMES.
THOSE ARE ALL SORT OF WAYS THAT
OUR BRAIN HAS BEEN INTEGRATED
WITH THE SOCIALIZATION PROCESS,
AND IT'S NOT OUR FAULT, BUT IT
IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY.
SO TEACHING ABOUT THE BRAIN
WORKS.
TEACHING SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL
LITERACY, WHAT I CALL
PSYCHOLOGICAL LITERACY, IS
IMPORTANT AND IT HELPS.
TEACHING POLITICAL LITERACY, THE
IDEA THAT WE'RE HERE BECAUSE OF
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS.
WE'RE HERE BECAUSE OF THE
LEGACIES OF COLONIZATION.
WE'RE HERE BECAUSE OF ANGLO
DOMINANCE, WHITE ANGLO SAXON
PROMINENCE IN THIS PART OF THE
WORLD.
THERE ARE LEGACIES.
SO WE HAVE TO HAVE THAT
POLITICAL HISTORY AS WELL.
AND LASTLY IS I THINK THIS HAS
TO BE ROOTED IN RELATIONSHIPS.
IT HAS TO BE ROOTED IN, AS
EDUCATORS, HELPING PEOPLE BUILD
STRONGER RELATIONSHIPS WITH
THEMSELVES, WITH EACH OTHER,
WITH OUR COMMUNITY, ESPECIALLY
ACROSS OUR DIFFERENCES.
WE CAN'T BUILD OUR... WE CAN'T
BUILD BRIDGES ACROSS DIFFERENCES
WITH JUST IDEAS.
WE HAVE TO DO THAT THROUGH BEING
ABLE TO WORK WITH OUR EMOTIONS,
BEING ABLE TO DEAL WITH OUR
NERVOUSNESS, BEING ABLE TO DEAL
WITH OUR FEAR, TO BE ABLE TO
DEAL WITH OUR UNCERTAINTY, TO BE
ABLE TO GROUND OURSELVES, TO
MANAGE OUR TRIGGERS.
THESE ARE WAYS IN WHICH THIS
HELPS US THEN REALLY BRIDGE THE
DIFFERENCES, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT
GETS HOT, MEANING WHEN WE
DISAGREE, WHEN SOMEONE SAYS "YOU
KNOW WHAT?
WHAT YOU DID REALLY HURT ME.
WHAT YOUR PEOPLE DID REALLY HURT
ME."
AND I CAN'T HOLD THAT AND I GET
REACTIVE AND DEFENSIVE, I'VE
JUST SHUT DOWN A POSSIBILITY FOR
A BRIDGE TO BE BUILT.
SO WE NEED THE EMOTIONAL TOOLS
AND THE POLITICAL TOOLS.
I'M NOT SAYING ANY BABIES NEED
TO BE THROWN OUT WITH
BATHWATERS.
I'M SAYING THAT THE POLITICS AND
THE WAY WE DID IT IS A BIT LIKE
IRON.
IT'S STRONG, BUT IRON ON ITS OWN
IS BRITTLE.
WE DON'T USE IT TO BUILD BRIDGES
ANYMORE.
BUT THE HYBRID IS, WHEN YOU TAKE
IRON AND MAKE A HYBRID, AN ALLOY
OF IT, AND STEEL IS MUCH MORE
RESILIENT...

Nam says IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU'RE
SAYING TO KEEP THE CONVERSATION
GOING ALWAYS.

Shakil says WE HAVE TO KEEP THE
CONVERSATION GOING, ESPECIALLY
AT THIS TIME WHERE THE WORLD...
WE'RE AT A TIME OF
AUTHORITARIANS, WE'RE AT A TIME
OF DICTATORS, AND IT'S VERY EASY
TO GET POLARIZED INTO US AND
THEM, THE GOOD PEOPLE, THE BAD
PEOPLE, REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS,
CONSERVATIVES, NDP, LIBERALS,
WHATEVER IT MIGHT BE, AND WE
ACTUALLY NEED TO KEEP THE
CONVERSATION GOING. OTHERWISE,
DEMOCRACY ITSELF IS AT RISK.

The caption changes to "Producer: Meredith Martin, @MeredithMartin."

Nam says SHAKIL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR
BEING HERE TONIGHT AND FOR
SHARING YOUR INSIGHTS.
WE APPRECIATE YOUR TIME.

Shakil says IT'S GREAT BEING HERE, NAM.
THANK YOU.

Nam says THANK YOU.

Watch: The Hole in Racial Justice