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This week DeRay, Brittany, Sam, and Clint discuss the murder of George Floyd and the protests around the nation.
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This week DeRay, Brittany, Sam, and Clint discuss the murder of George Floyd and the protests around the nation. Then, DeRay sits down with Justine Barron and Amelia McDonell-Parry, who have been researching the death and cover-up of Freddie Gray.
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So it has been a week, a month? Ah, year. Some days it feels like we've lived in entire year in just a day or a week. But most certainly the last few days in particular, have been really heavy for our community, for each of us, individually and collectively. And this is a podcast of people who were formed in friendship and fraternity through protest and through this era that we are all continuously trying to fight for freedom and liberation for oppressed people. So we're gonna have a slightly different approach today. We're not going to each bring a piece of news. We're gonna each talk about the thing that is facing all of us. And you should know that we are recording this on Sunday evening. So between now and the time that you hear it on Tuesday, things may be very different. There may be circumstances and incidents that we will not have known by now, but will be known to us by the time this is released. So just think of that as you listen and know that we are speaking from our hearts. So how are you all feeling? I'm a little overwhelmed. It is it's just a lot happening, you know, it's also in Britney. We met, obviously in the middle of street. It's my first time ever understanding what it was like to be home during it, right, because we were there the first time. So when I saw everything happen Minneapolis it was like, Oh, wow, I'm not. I'm, like, sort of watching this on the Internet in a in a way that was sort of different. And I did used to live in Minneapolis, and I was in the protest there, too. But it was a little It was interesting to sort of watch, and now it's spread across the country in a similar way that it spread before and just really, really powerful to see all of the young people on the street. So though overwhelmed in some ways, because we're helping people sort of think through solutions and think through how they make sense of this and how we in police violence, I am really encouraged because I've seen people who have never posted about race people who have never certainly never posted about the police. I've seen them stay and do things that are actually pretty powerful I'm doing all right. I am tired like so many of us. I am experiencing a sort of profound sense of exhaustion. I think the confluence of the death of so many people at the hands of police, the hands of vigilante, I think these deaths happening in the midst of a global pandemic that is disproportionately killing black people in America. I think of being in quarantine for three months. I think of this sort of physical and social isolation that creates and the very thing that would create some sort of respite from the sort of sense of despair being in community. Being with people being physically proximate to them is not possible in the same way. And I'm also, you know, what's different for me now is that I'm a parent. Um, it's different than what it was 56 years ago, have a three year old. I have a one year old, and they are at once respite from everything that is happening in the world and a reminder of why it's so important to build a new one. And so I'm sort of wrestling with the dissonance of that. You know, the stakes have always been high, but I think when you have two small humans who look at you and their mom is their entire world, you just want to make sure the world that you're giving them is something that is better than what we're seeing right now. You know all of those emotions? Um, the trauma that has compounded over the years, Um, you know, from it seems like since 2014 since the protests in Ferguson, so many different videos, so many different experiences, so many different stories of pain, of loss, of death, of violence, white supremacy in just compounding over time. And then now it seems like, you know, we're again in this moment with nationwide protests every single day scrolling on your timeline. And it seems like there is another video of the police killing people or brutalizing protesters or running cars into people. Or, you know, all of these things happening in response to the violence that they committed. And it's a lot, but it's sort of the juxtaposition of despair and hope at the same time, because, like you said, Brittany, this is something that we have learned over these past six years more than we knew in 2014 and 2015. Um, it seems like people who would have never said anything about these issues are feeling like they need to speak up and are speaking in ways that, like I would never would have expected them to say about issues of racism and white supremacy and police violence. So there's sort of the hope that things have changed in the context and juxtaposed against the videos that provide evidence that they haven't. And it's just all of that combined. Um, it's just a mixture of emotions, but I hope that this time will be different. Yeah, I mean, I couldn't agree more with everything that all of you said, like you, Clint, my life is different. And so in 2014, when I was running myself ragged and hardly ever sleeping, I only have myself to worry about. I wasn't married to someone who is just a affected by this, if not more than I am. And so being sensitive to his needs being sensitive, Thio not adding baggage and burden to our marriage by wearing myself out, because I do have to think about how I am available to my loved ones differently is just adjustment in this moment because, like all of you, I've been pulled in 80 different ways. And the sleep is hard not just because we're busy, but also because my mind is restless and constantly moving. So even when I lay down, I am not resting and trying Thio implement all of those self care practices that I have been preaching, putting the work down for a bit, making sure that I'm eating on time making sure, um, that I'm at least trying to sleep when I can and Mawr that those things are being practiced and not just preached. I also like you, Sam and array and finding myself equal parts frustrated and hopeful, recognizing that the four names that we've come to know most recently I'm on our very Briana Taylor in Louisville, George Floyd in Minneapolis and Tony McDade, black Trans man who was killed by police in Tallahassee who far fewer people are talking about. Those four names are on a long, long, long, long list that predate all of us. The predate our parents and their parents. As long as the generations of black folks have lived in this country, that is how long the list is, and I keep wondering and finding frustration in just what the tipping point is and how long the list has to get for us to actually shift transformative Lee and not incrementally. But I also recognize that there are a lot of people and moms and dads and teachers and neighbors who arm or ready to approach this moment now. Then they were in 2014 and 2015. And it is because very intentionally, of the labor of black thinkers and artists and writers and activists and academics and researchers that have shifted the societal conversation about this that have deepened American understanding not just about police violence but about systemic racism that have made people more prepared to respond in this moment in the ways that are more appropriate. I don't think we've reached a critical mass, but most certainly there is more preparation and deeper understanding, and I actually think that that's what we want to talk about today because while we're not experts on everything, we are certainly experts on police violence and systemic racism both through our practice and our study, and we recognize that many of you come here for information, data, language, history and understanding that you can't get anywhere else. And we feel incredibly responsible to you in this moment to make sure that you are thinking and talking and working through this moment in the most effective ways.
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