PodcastBruce Jacobs; author, Race Manners for the 21st Century

October 31, 2016by Frank Love0


Podcast Episode:
What are some of the race issues that we all have an opportunity to take a look at?  Stay tuned as we find out … on this edition of Frank Relationships.



Guests: Bruce Jacobs
Date: October 31, 2016

Frank:  What are some of the race issues that we all have an opportunity to take a look at?  Stay tuned as we find out … on this edition of Frank Relationships.

Yes. Once again, those are my babies. As always, thanks for getting daddy’s daughter today.

Author and nationwide speaker, Bruce Jacobs is with us and I am curious… how can we improve race relations in this country?

Bruce: Well, good day to you, ff. It’s good to be with you. Thanks for having me all.

Frank: Thank you.

Bruce: We need about… oh maybe another 200 years to fully settle that question and we have an hour. But let’s talk about it… You know, as authentically as clearly as we can. I think the first thing we can do is recognize the steps and breaths of the problem that we’ve got and the fact that for 400 somewhat years, all of us on this piece of ground that we now call the United States of America have been locking around, surrounded by lethal toxins—all the time.

Frank: Those—

Bruce: [unclear] call securing heavy metals within yourself. And when that’s the reality and you don’t accept it and deal with it and face it, you get even sicker than you would if you face it and try to hurt yourself and try to cleanse yourself and lead the kind of life that we’d all like to live.

So I think that’s the starting point to facing it. There’s so much we can talk about. We can talk about how all of this is boiling up literally through this election and the ugliness and the nastiness and the drama of this particular electoral cycle. And we can talk about how all of these things have as long as we’ve been alive, affected each of us personally if they do and how we move ahead with that.

So we can kind of pick a place to start. We can start any particular place. We can start with the election if you want. I mean, to me, [unclear] I know you start with talking about in the news and that’s certainly in the news. We can go there if you want or we can start somewhere else.

Frank: Well, one place I want to start given that we’re going to be talking about race, we can go to the heart of what maybe—not necessarily though—each of our biases. I’m a black male. Nancy, you are?

Nancy: A black female.

Frank: Jeff, you are?

Jeff: I’ll let you know later.

Nancy: Perfect response. The mystery unfolds ladies and gentlemen…

Bruce: You keep us [unclear]…

Jeff: I’m a white male.

Frank: And Bruce, you are?

Bruce: I am a black male. I’m an African-American male.

Frank: Okay, alright. There’s such a… relationships is really what we focus here on the show. Everything that you said thus far can be applied to relationships. When you said, having the honest, very honest conversations, those can be rare in some relationships also.

So many of the things that we’re going to touch on can… there’s some natural carry over.  And so I kind of want me, I want my wonderful co-host, Nancy, to think about that. Jeff, you, and Bruce, let there be a relationship conversation in everything that we’re going to talk about also. Can we all do that?

Nancy: Sure.

Frank: Can we consider that?

Nancy; You mean, in the context of what’s happening politically?

Frank: Yeah.

Nancy: Or the [unclear]… Sure.

Frank: As we talk about race.

Nancy: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely.

Frank: Okay.

Bruce: I think that’s absolutely right, Frank. Because race, is in and in itself a relationship.

Frank: Absolutely.

Bruce: By definition.

Frank: Absolutely.

Bruce: It is a definition of yourself in relation to other people, and much of that in the US, in our legacy of what we call a race is artificial. It’s a relationship built on fruits and imbalances of power. And so yeah, dealing with it as a relationship is the only way to get through this humanly, I think.

Frank: What are some of the lofty abstractions of policy arguments that you want listeners and just a greater audience to avoid kind of lingering on?

Bruce: Well, the convenient ones that we linger on are number one, that this is the greatest country on earth and we are a democracy and we are the envy of the world. Much of that has rules t it—

Frank: Bruce… We’re going to walk out of this show friends. I’m amazed… like you are the first person I have ever… ahh maybe not ever, but you are one of the very few people I have heard actually questioned or pushed back on the statement that is thrown around so much—this is such a great country. I mean, I wonder is that just promotional material and does everybody in every country think that? And you touched on the democracy thing also, that’s just as rich to talk about. But please… Jeff, you got something there?

Jeff: I have two things. There was a show on HBO called [unclear] called “Newsroom”. If you’ve never seen it, go on Youtube and watch the first scene of the first episode. I think it ran for 3 seasons.

Frank: Okay.

Jeff: It’s brilliant.

Frank: New, old, 5 years, 20 years?

Jeff: 3 years ago.

Frank: Okay.

Jeff: 4 years ago. It’s the last of 3 seasons. Jeff Daniels is the star and it deals with… he’s a journalist. Basically, he’s Tom Broca but he’s a journalist and he’s at a lecture and someone asks “why is America the best country in the world?” and for the next five minutes, you will be riveted with your mouth open it’s brilliant. It’s really brilliant.

Frank: Okay.

Jeff: Regardless of how you feel or have perceived our country. The only thing I was going to ask as you asked Bruce that question is Bruce, how old are you?

Bruce: I’m 61.

Jeff: Perfect.

Frank: You are, Jeff?

Jeff: I’m in my 50s.

Frank: I’m 44 and Nancy is 53, I think.

Jeff: 50-ish, yeah.

Frank: 52, something like that.

Jeff: And the reason I’m asking Bruce is, was the motivation for you studying this and becoming an author on this subject personal?

Bruce: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Jeff: Second—

Bruce: I…

Jeff: Go ahead, I’m sorry…

Bruce: Yeah, I was just going to say yes. I started writing these race books. There have been 2 so far and I have to add, that that is not the only thing I do as a writer. I’m a poet, I’m a musician, I do other things creatively with myself and it all kind of mixes together. But I started writing these race books precisely because I was raced in a family that taught me to be myself all the time. And when I ran off against the world and refused regularly to do that, I started looking for a way to get past that and to push through that without kind of devolving into bitterness and unproductive rage.

So I started writing these books first, as a kind of antidote to myself for the sense that you know, you’re shouting in the room and everybody sees you’re lips moving but nobody hears what you’re saying. And that’s why these books are my approach to [unclear] is the basic and kitchen table as it is. It’s like a combination of sociological philosophy and history and [unclear] because it’s foundation.

So yes, it’s a [unclear] to your question.

Jeff: Well, no doubt it’s a necessary story and subject to share the original question on age was, maybe it should’ve been geography. Did you grow up in a “black neighbourhood” where you homogenised? Did you experience busting or any of these things, the social issues that lead you to want to explore the topic?

Bruce: All of them were. I spent the first 8 years of my life in a mostly black but mixed neighbourhood in Rochester, New York. [unclear] strictly segregated city at that point in the early 1960s. When I was 8 years old and we moved to an all-white neighbourhood, [unclear] against my family moving in—which is another story…

Frank: Wow.

Bruce: I learned that year that I was black. I mean, I knew what color of my skin was. I knew that I was a black person walking around.

Frank: But you learned what it meant to be—

Bruce: I learned what it meant when I was 8 years old and from that time forward, I have been like working in various ways, sometimes productively, sometimes not to integrate and push who I am into the fabric of a society that often doesn’t want to hear it, doesn’t want to see it, doesn’t want to know it.

So all those things informed me. My mother was part of a photo registration drive. She was part of a push for racial progress—she and my dad were part of a generation of black Americans. It’s not a unique story. It’s a common story as you know. It was only ambition really was to be [unclear] word and June cleaver. That’s all in one, was to be the family. And when the society would not let them, that’s politically radicalized. I came of that whole experience.

So yeah, yeah. That’s all part of why I’m here talking to you, absolutely.

Frank: Welcome to Frank Relationships, a show for you my brethren who like me, are too young to be considered old and too old to be considered young. It’s also for those of you that love and support us. We’re here to provide weekly wisdom, conversation and the information that’ll help create loving and flexible parental and partnerial…

Nancy: Here we go…

Jeff: Partorial?

Nancy: Here we go, here we go…

Bruce: There’s now.

Frank: Create loving and flexible parents and partners.

I’m Frank Love and you can find me, my blog and my various social media incarnations at franklove.com. If you’re listening to the show on Blog Talk Radio, please follow us and if via iTunes, please subscribe so that you can effortlessly get the show each week.

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Greetings to my super duper co-host, Nancy Goldring.

Nancy: Greetings, Frank.

Frank: The consummate generalist.

Nancy: Indeed.

Frank: Yes, yes.

Today’s guest is an author and nationwide speaker and he tells it as it is. His latest book and his speaking engagements, he stands out for the values of social justice and for re-humanizing the ways in which we advance what we believe. With his dynamic presence, his plain spoken clarity on difficult issues and his empathy with audiences, he’s able to encourage people of good will to challenge all forms of bigotry and the work for the kind of social and economic fairness that benefits us all.

So if you, like me, want to know this… I have a problem even saying this… what the $250,000 sale of the gun that killed Trevon Martin is telling us…

Nancy: Yes.

Frank: And what he wants black and white Americans to know, then stay tuned as your Frank Relationships team talks with the author of Race Manners for the 21st Century, Mr. Bruce Jacobs. Welcome to the show.

Bruce: Thank you. Thank you for having me here. It’s a pleasure.

Frank: Before we get too deep in today’s subject matter, we’re going to check and see what’s in the news. Bruce, please don’t be bashful. We want you to weigh in. Okay, first up. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt… does anybody care?

Nancy: Oh the divorce?

Frank: Yes. Yeah. I’ma first say I don’t know what’s going on. I’m the first like I said on last week’s show—

Nancy: Okay.

Frank: —when we talked about Nate Parker, we don’t know. We don’t know.

Nancy: Right.

Frank And with anybody’s marriage but mine, I don’t know. So, let that be my preface. Now, the floor is open. Anybody want to jump in, give their 2-cents…

Nancy: Jeff is looking like…

Jeff: I wish I had time to care.

Frank: Yeah, Jeff’s looking like “I don’t care”… Nancy, you care…

Bruce: I’ll just talk to you about that after I go fishing.

Frank: Yeah…

Jeff: Hey, how about they’re some good looking folks, they’ve got a lot of money, and they’ve got a black kid. How about that?

Nancy: I think—did they just won?

Jeff: Honestly…

Nancy: Here we go, lord…

Jeff: They make some good movies. I like the Ocean’s 12. I mean…

Nancy: Well you know…

Jeff: But you know what? People do… Some people’s lives revolve around Entertainment Tonight and Us Magazine and the blogs… Again, god bless them. I wish I had the time…

Frank: To care…

Jeff: …to care.

Nancy: Well I have to say though guys… I have to say I did attend—my attend—my sister got married this past weekend and I heard something in the ceremony that just don’t ever remember hearing before

Frank: Alright, let it rip…

Nancy: And so as part of the minister pronouncing them man and wife and you know, they say what god has joined together that no man put us on, right? Well somewhere in that process, he also charged the audience, those assembled gathered here today, so to speak, he charged us with supporting their union and doing what we could as a community to support them being and staying together in holy matrimony.

I was just like I never heard that before. Now I’m not telling you they don’t say it every time. I just never heard it before.

Frank: Are you trying to tell me that the preacher or the pastor or whoever married you—

Nancy: Yeah, yeah, yeah…

Frank: —when you got married might have—

Nancy: He might have said it. Wait a minute, wait a minute…

Jeff: Obviously nobody was listening…

Nancy: I got news for you though… Here’s what’s really deep about what you’re saying… My ex-husband was at the wedding, okay? My ex-husband was at the wedding. Now, you have to understand something. My ex-husband and I would have been married 29 years a month ago that weekend, right? September 20th of this year, we would’ve been married for 29 years. So there are several people at this wedding that are saying, “Oh are you guys getting back together?”

Frank: Wow.

Nancy: So… when you talk about a community standing for your union, there are people who are still standing for our union even though we have been divorced for say 25 years.

Frank: Okay.

Nancy: So…

Frank: I have an issue with that… I mean, actually, I don’t have so much of an issue with the assertion, you know, help these people stay in marriage ceremonial bliss…

Nancy: Sure.

Frank: That sort of thing… I don’t have so much of issue with that is it is what that may look like. Like that could look like so many different things to so many different people.

Nancy: I don’t think that people mean that in a way that’s unhealthy for the couple. I heard that like two people making that quality of commitment to one another uplifts the community and so it’s in the best interest of the community to support these people in honouring who they say they want to be for one another.

Frank: But how does that community do that? So do you—

Nancy: It’s the same as what you said earlier. It looks differently for different communities in different marriages. I suspected at the very… on the ground it looks like “don’t try to interfere in their relationship” meaning, don’t try to get what the man and don’t try to get what the woman. You know they’re married to each other. I think at the very minimum it’s helped them to honor their marriage. You know, don’t go over to Anna May’s house in your stockings… you know what I mean, I don’t know… I’m just saying, Bruce…

Frank: Even with that… Okay…

Nancy: Are you there? Can you help me with him?

Bruce: I’m here. I’m not sure I can help but I’m listening [unclear] because number one, I mean yes. Bless Angelina and Brad.

Nancy: Yeah.

Bruce: They are two good people from [unclear] I gathered.

Nancy: Right.

Bruce: In a really, really difficult place.

Nancy: Yeah.

Bruce: And I wish them a way through it that’s just healthy and loving as it can be [unclear] situation.

Nancy: I agree.

Bruce: And as a child of divorce who watched my [unclear] marriage not so much [unclear] all at once, sort of dramatically dissolve with [unclear] years and years and years… And he’s still carrying that pain and the kind of fear and caution with me relationally as a result. You know, I can feel that. Part of what I hear you saying, it sounds like Nancy, maybe not, maybe I’m just projecting this, maybe this is me… A part of what I feel here is a want a desire to honor a certain amount of kind of it takes [unclear] like shared, communal relational love in which a lot of our romantic relationships… a lot of that’s missing now as a context for relationships between loving partners [unclear]…

Nancy: Yes.

Bruce: And I think part of what… not just yeah, not messing around, and doing stuff tangibly to weaken the marriage by flirting or by funny business… But by having a kind of village like intimacy, a kind of… you know people taught wistfully back in the old days when everybody do everybody…

Nancy: Right…

Bruce: [unclear] and play and not work. And you know, that’s trait but it’s also there’s truth to it. And maybe part of what he was talking about with that… was wanting to kind of loving setting even which a loving partnership can flourish. In a society where we’re  bowling the [unclear]. Got your little cardboard house and you come and you go, you might not even know the names of the people two doors down and that’s not good for us.

Nancy: Right.

Bruce: So I don’t know… But that’s one thing that hurts.

Frank: My take on it is I truly believe to support you in your relationship or marriage. My way of supporting you and your relationship or marriage is to believe that the two of you know what’s best for you. There’s… I don’t….

Nancy: So you meant o stay out of it?

Frank: I stay out of it. I’m staying out of that if you ask me something, I am going to do all I can to give you my 2-cent that I believe will support your union, not your bias question or issue or would not make you feel good and that  might be…

Nancy: But that’s support.

Frank; That might very well be… I’m not touching that…

Nancy: Okay, okay.

Frank: You know, love your partner.

Nancy: Okay.

Frank: Do your best to support and love your partner and work through whatever it is for as long as you can work through it, be loving and accepting… that might very well be my advice and that’s about it.

Nancy: Okay. Onward.

Frank: Yeah, yeah.

Nancy: Okay, okay. That’s fair.

Frank: Kind of like as much as possible mind your business because I’ve got my own issues and I’m trying to work through my stuff and I’m learning me just like you’re learning you and for me to jump in, as though I know what’s good for you is not good for me.

Okay, alright. Bruce, on to the good stuff… what divides blacks and whites in this country?

Bruce: Well… let’s start with the fact that a certain group of souls who ended up here were brought here in chance, captured by force, made into slaves to build the basis for industrial economy from which they would [unclear] proportionally not [unclear] and define as “black” versus the kind of… racial or if you like superficial physiological skin-based background. There’s a phrase for you. The folks who were of the conquering and colonizing groups being defined as “white” for purposes of expediency.

There’s a way to explain, well, how can you treat other human beings [unclear] they’re not human beings. [unclear]. So we’re making money and we need to do this. So that’s the basic starting point I think of the difference of where experiences the verge. The fact goes all the way up to the present day when you know, the statistics show the differences between things, outcomes that are likelier for me say, as a black male and outcomes that are likely for a person who will be called a white male. If you look [unclear], if you look physiologically, if you look emotionally, if you look at how we deal and how the police deal with us and what we’re likely to encounter from strangers on the street and in public places. All of these things are chasms, they’re divides and how we deal with them defines how well or not well we get along.

And so far, we’ve managed to survive and lurch along but just kind of barely.

Frank: And as a black male, how would you ask a white male to look at that same scenario?

Bruce: Well you know, I would… and this loops back around to one of the things that might’ve—that we kind of started the very beginning of what we were talking about [unclear] having this conversation which is the whole Trump phenomenon and what’s going on with why a man with his [unclear] history and the blatantly not just morally challenged but legally challenged, and ethically challenged all along the line set of characteristics is using [unclear] running for the presidency of the USA and half of the voting electorates [unclear] is still willing to vote for him. And that is… my message and what I’ve been saying for years and years and years to white audiences and to white people individually when I have the opportunity is that you’re being piped. There’s a thing called white privilege and there’s a history by which we’ve been taught that certain things are due you as a person who’s defined his way. And when those things are withheld and withdrawn, you feel denied something that you’re entitled even if it’s subconscious and secondly, you lose the ability to understand who your true enemies are.

I go to Montana. I’ve been to Montana a bunch of times because it’s a beautiful state. I fish there, I have friends there and I talk there. I just talk there and I interact with folks. I go to Montana and short version is a white guy stands up and recites a litany of complaints as to why he resents and blames people of color and welfare communities in Chicago for the things that are going wrong in his life. His litany is exactly the same litany. I mean exactly as what I hear from a black woman in Harland on 126th Street in a bookstore who stands up and recites the same list of problems that are catastrophically problematic in her life that are all caused, in her words, by the “white” man.

What I say to both of them is, “you know, there’s a black woman in Harland who I want you to talk to. There’s a white guy in Bozeman, Montana who I want you to talk to. Because when you get the [unclear], what’s really beneath the Trump phenomenon I think, is it white folks who are suffering, relatively uneducated white folks who are suffering in a global economy where wealth is shifted dramatically from the top and left them behind, with all their expectations of what is due them need some place to go with that rage and that energy. If mainstream politics won’t get them the kind of populism that says “Yeah, you’re right. It’s rusted, it’s broken, it’s rigged. We got to fix it,” then the racist and misogynist demagogue will come along and give it to them.

That’s what we’re looking at right now, I think.

Frank: That’s a mouthful. Okay, so Trump. I mean, that’s really who you just captured. Sum up Trump. Is he a character? Is he doing what he thinks a certain population would want to hear? Does he believe what he says? What are your thoughts?

Bruce: You know Frank, those are really great questions and I have no idea—it’s like, it’s almost like asking about like you know, what are Brad and Angelina going to do? Because… and I have a better idea actually of who they might be and what they do than I have about Donald Trump. I have no idea who that man is or what he wants or what makes him tick. I’m not sure that he does either. And I really don’t care very much, to tell you the truth. He’s a really, really dysfunctional guy…

Frank: How do you define “dysfunction”?

Bruce: I define dysfunction as not being in touch with what he really wants and how to engage other people in a healthy way to get what he wants.

Frank: I don’t know if he’s—

Bruce: That’s why I define this dysfunctional.

Frank: I don’t—

Bruce: I see Trump as… it’s a really interesting as a day with [unclear] who need a very, very smart, thoughtful [unclear]. [unclear] New York Times saying not too long ago about Donald Trump’s loneliness and about how profoundly sad it is to see a guy with billions of dollars—not as many billions as he claims—but a lot of money raging around through his life… there’s nobody in his inner circle that he can really be intimate enough to trust. He’s got to give orders to everybody and at the end of the day, he trusts nobody and nobody trusts him. When he loses the election, as it looks like he will, and David Brook’s words “Donald Trump’s entire team will just go home” and he’ll be sitting in his private plane, in his [unclear] penthouse alone.

Frank: Well he can always make another reality TV show that…

Bruce: Of course.  And I think that’s part of the plan. I think in some ways, this is a commercial for the next enterprise which is the Trump Network that kind of [unclear] reality TV series that takes what he’s stirred up with his electorate and tries to make money off of it. I think that’s probably worse [unclear].

But to answer your question, I don’t know these [unclear] is except that he’s ceaselessly hungry for attention and for power. You know that. And he’ll do just about anything and say just about anything to get that. In a way, as a poet, I can kind of relate to him in that way because I really do think he has a gift. He has a sort of almost sorcerer’s gift for being in front of an audience and closing his eyes and feeling what they want, and feeling what the id is, right in front of the [unclear] in that room. What’s the animal in that room and then open his mouth and roaring, and groaning and kind of [unclear] gurgling… You know? Like making the sound of that animal, conjuring that animal for the crowd’s desire.

I think Trump does that and he’s good at it. The problems is, he’s a liar, a racist, a misogynist, and a fascist. He’s a wrong poet to be capturing and hypnotizing the crowds. But in the absence of the right kind of poets, taking out that message with [unclear], folks who need to hear it, [unclear] what we bet for that segment of the electorate that has lost so much of its dignity and needs it back.

Frank: And … with an interest in providing some balance, what do you say about Hilary?

Bruce: Well, you know, Hilary Clinton was never my first choice ever. I think Hilary Clinton is a respectable and I think well-meaning mainstream corporate [unclear] candidate in a corporate-based electoral system through which money is the basis for access to electoral power. She is using that [unclear], that traditional 20th century, 21st century basis for power which is out of the traditional every other corporate politicians come before her. It’s no difference. It’s not as if she’s created this all of a sudden and she’s using this to do the most good that she knows how to do within the confines of the power structure that’s she’s working within. So is Barrack Obama. Absolutely, I think. I don’t think there’s any question to me, anyway, that with a choice put before us, Hilary Clinton is the must-choose for anyone who wants any kind of sane way forward, absolutely. There’s no question.

Frank: What—

Bruce: But I think Hilary Clinton, like Barrack Obama actually, I’ve written about this a lot over the years because I think it’s true. I don’t know her personally but I think she’s a good person who essentially means well, who is trapped within a system that created her own basis for power. She kind of doesn’t have any place to go that’s not based on that system of kind of corporate-based privilege and what mainstream politics [unclear] takes it for granted will allow.

Bernie Sanders was willing to push beyond that. And to do that fervently, with some [unclear] kind of fire power the Trump carries as it progresses and as an honest progresses. But I think Bernie’s message was too far beyond what the corporate monarchy—and I think that’s what we’re talking about will allow. [unclear] Hilary Clinton’s level of a sort of mediated social progressivism is allowable within certain limits.

Nancy: She’s the devil we know.

Bruce: Everybody knows that Donald Trump’s going to blow up the machinery. So you kind of have a no-go. But the problem is, you’ve [unclear] real progressive rage and that’s the irony here, I think. What’s being called a conservative and it is—a conservative [unclear] kind of powerhouse in Trump’s appeal is really largely based I think in progressive desires for more economic fairness and justice among white people. But racism and misogyny and other kinds of manipulative wicked wielding of power are used as sort of ways to like tilt the energy in another direction like Trump and by others. That’s the irony, I think.

Nancy: Well you know what, Bruce, I’m listening to you and I hear you saying essentially that Hilary is the devil we know and we’re not exactly sure what we’re going to get from Trump. Yet I reflect back on the conversation we had on Friday and I think you used the perfect metaphor when you called him the lance that pierced the boil on the race conversation and essentially that he is saying what other people have been thinking or what the… how they’ve been feeling for centuries. He’s put it out there—

Bruce: Yeah.

Nancy: —for… it’s like he just put it out there like “okay, I’m going to say it and the only reason I can say it is because the rest of you have been thinking it.”

Bruce: Yeah, I think that’s right. That’s part of the irony. It is the… such a raging liar would functionally turn out to be such a wickedly effective vessel for truth. Like a certain base of truth which is basically, you know, working and non working white Americans looking up and saying “Hey wait a minute, you promised me a bunch of stuff when you brought those black folks over and put on the work in the fields and didn’t put [unclear] in the fields and that [unclear] the longer it goes, the less I got and the more somebody else has got. What up? And Donald Trump’s answer to that is “Well what up is these other people have to be put back down.” When in truth, like you’re saying both the black woman in Harland and the white guy in Montana need to look at the tiny, tiny group of men—mostly white—who are making the decisions that are screwing up both of their lives and that’s the underlying truths which Trump’s message despite its wickedly racist and misogynist tilt is tapping it.

There’s a beautiful podcast, you know, I’m going to go back and look up that HBO series because it sounds powerful and it reminds me of something that’s on right now that’s actually true. It’s a podcast that’s created by WNYC and the nation and it’s on right now. Maybe 3 or 4 episodes of it, it’s been running for a little while. A friend just told me about it a few days ago. It is called the “United States of Anxiety”.

Nancy: Okay.

Bruce: And it has a podcast that talks to really, really talks to white folks—not just white folks but one of its main lines of inquiry is what white folks who are suffering in parts of the country that are heavily pro-Trump really have to say. I mean, really have to say; not what Trump has to say that appeals to that but what THEY have to say. It’s powerful and it gets to kind of where the passion behind this Trump thing comes from because a lot of Trump voters… what I’m hearing is [unclear] like the guy. it’s not that I have to like the guy or that I have any respect for him or I don’t think he’s a pig… He’s saying stuff nobody else will say and somebody’s got to do something.

Frank: So I’m going to piggyback a little bit on Nancy’s question. So what do you say to an angry white male and his wife and children, that have the experience and the perspective of… And you’ve already touched on this a little bit of… look… we brought this animals here to work for us. We established this country. We slaughtered the native Americans because we had to, we needed to take their stuff. We needed to take their land. We took their land, we annihilated them, that’s what we needed to do, good for us and we put these animals to work to make this society what it is today. It’s ours. We won. This is how we made it. What do you say to individuals that have that perspective and want all associations related to the animals that I’m speaking of, the native Americans, other nationalities or other racists want them basically silence like you all get out of my face. Get out of my face. We killed you once, we killed you as much as we need to, we’ve done everything we needed to do. We’ll do it again if we have to.

Nancy: We are doing it with mass incarceration.

Frank: What do you say?

Bruce: Well to be honest with you Frank, not much. I mean, one of my rules about this whole kind of racial conversation thing that we’re talking about is a unique ground for stuff like this. One of my ground rules is that I engage number one where there is what I would call good will which I will define as basically, the intent not to harm. Right? An intent regardless of ignorance and perhaps this information that is not based in the desire to harm others. And that’s basically the pool and it’s a big pool…

Frank: But, but…

Bruce: …of Americans I think who are within that conversation.

Frank: But even the people—wait, wait…

Bruce: Now the [unclear] mean harm—

Frank: Let me cut you off right there.

Bruce: Right.

Frank: Even the people I just characterized don’t mean harm. They mean money, they mean industry, they mean they’re out for land. They were not out to simply annihilate the native Americans for the sake of that and they weren’t out to enslave Africans for the sake of enslaving Africans. They had a purpose for doing so that was self-serving.

Bruce: Right.

Frank: So I kind of disagree with you there.

Bruce: Right. Well I’d say, Frank is that when you embrace those necessary causes, you are embracing harm. You are consciously embracing—I know you might not be willing to acknowledge that it’s harmful to embrace those things that is harmful to move forward as a conqueror and to [unclear] to conquer and to think that’s necessary and good. But it is in fact harmful and I’m willing to say that and I’m willing to [unclear] on it. I don’t think that that is where most of the Trump elector it is. And I don’t think that that’s where most white Americans are—atleast not in my experience. But to answer your question, my answer to somebody who’s coming from that place and there are people-there are definitely a significant chunk of Americans who are coming from a place like that. My answer is well, okay. I get it. That’s what you want? I’m on the other side of that battle and we’re going to win. You’re going to like it but we’re going to win. We did it with [unclear] slavery, we did it with women suffrage, we did it with the end of legal segregation, we will do it with mass incarceration, it’s happening now with gay rights and LGBT rights and we will win this battle for a more just society on this bloodied piece of ground. [unclear] just as you are for what you [unclear] and I’m going to work just as passionately as you do with the folks on your side of this battle if that’s where you want to line on. I don’t want you to line up there. I want you with us. I want us to be pushing together for what’s good for all of us. But if you won’t do it, I will do it with folks who will. And that’s my answer.

Frank: You’re listening to Frank Relationships and we’ve been talking with the author of Race Manners for the 21st Century. He’s Mr. Bruce Jacobs. Bruce, please tell us what you’re up to and how our listeners can find you.

Bruce: Sure.  Thanks for asking. Well, I have a couple of books out. The most recent of which is an updated version of the book as you said, it’s called Race Manners for the 21st Century. It’s on Amazon, it’s around. You can find it. You can also go to my blog which is aliasbruce.typepad.com and youcan see more of my stuff there, including the piece I just brought up. I think I mentioned it to you, Nancy about Trump and exactly what we’ve been talking about right now. What’s going on with that.

Nancy; Okay.

Bruce: And that’ll give you my blog site, aliasbruce will give you links t other stuff that’s going on with me including talks and interviews and other people doing things that I want to share.

Frank: Along today’s journey, we’ve discussed Donald Trump, the United States of Anxiety (that’s a podcast to checkout) and the angry white male. We [unclear] talked about the angry black male but there’s the angry white male too.

Thank you to my co-host, Nancy; thank to Jeff Newman, my engineer; and thank you to my guest, Bruce Jacobs. You’ve been great.

Bruce: It’s a pleasure. I appreciate it.

Frank: I hope you’ve had as much fun as I’ve had hanging out with today’s ensemble.

As always, it’s my wish for you to walk away from this conversation with a heaping helping of useful information that I hope you create a relation that’s as loving and accepting as possible.

Let us know what you think of today’s show at facebook.com/relationshipflove, on Twitter at @mrfranklove or at franklove.com. If you’re listening via Blog Talk Radio, make sure you like us there and if via iTunes, make sure you subscribe so that you can receive each week’s show.

This is Frank Love.


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