Today, podcasts seem to be the go-to way we consume knowledge, either on our commutes or while we wait at the doctors, we’ve all got our favourites. In this world of “wokeness”, here are 4 podcast episodes and a video that articulate and clarify what is race and privilege that will help you to learn on your commute.
- Dan Snow’s History Hit: Akala (Comfortability level: 2/10)
The always articulate Akala takes down the stories we are told about Imperialism, Racism and “Blackness”. What we need to remember is that racism and racist privilege is built on well-constructed lies that “look” like truth. The story we are told of the British being the driving force of abolition is a half-truth that accurate history negates. Akala also addresses the well-constructed lie that “Blackness” is a monolith synonymous with single-parent households and gang culture is an exercise in intellectual laziness and internalised racism.
2. Under the Skin with Russell Brand:
Gary Younge (Comfortability level: 3/10)
A gentle entry into how we have internalised racist norms and structures, Gary and Russell begin by focusing on Gary’s new book; Another Day in the Death of America which focuses on gun violence in America. This then leads to a conversation about racism and how its ubiquity causes us to extract the humanity from black lives, and this is how prejudice works. This prejudice then manifests itself as the perpetuation of harmful narratives that are so strong that we justify our apathy to oppression. What this episode shows is that our compassion is inextricably linked to who we see as “human” and unfortunately white supremacy has said that it only matters when you’re white or helping whiteness. Though this conversation is about America, we can see a lot of parallels with the British case.
Kehinde Andrews (Comfortability level: 5/10)
The second in conversations with Kehinde Andrews, this links into the wider conversation about privilege in understanding the psychosis of whiteness, its exclusionary nature and why it remains comfortable for ALL races. We need to understand that racism is a system and structure that is inextricably linked to capitalism and builds upon its lies. Ever wonder where The West got enough cotton to fuel the industrial revolution?
As a transwoman of colour, Munroe was pushed into the forefront of public discourse after she posted a post which stated that “All white people benefit from racism”. A lot of people, (white and black) have commented since, confirming that she was not saying anything that was not being said already. The reason the greater public reacted so terribly to what she said is that they took it personally and this shut down the conversation. The response to what Munroe said was a lot of white people saying “but I’m not racist and it’s not fair to label me such because of the sins of my ancestors”, but racism is still a structure that all people of colour have to deal with because of who their ancestors were when gun powder was weaponised. Just because the British Empire disappeared it does not mean white supremacy did, we just have to examine how we think about people of colour, how we understand colonial ‘heroes’ like Wilberforce and Churchill, and look at the Global South. We cannot deny that racism happens, and just like we cannot accept the “not all men” narrative, we cannot “accept not all white people”.
4. Red Table Talk: Unpacking White Privilege and Prejudice (Comfortability level: 9/10)
TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSULT.
Red Table Talk, as a web-series, presents itself as a platform for multiple uncomfortable conversations including the Jordyn Woods- Kardashian scandal. This is a raw and uncomfortable look into why there is so much distrust for white people and more specifically white women. If you do not understand privilege, this is for you. It’s not about the struggles in white people’s lives or lack thereof, it is the fact that society has not added racism on top of that. The privilege lies in your skin colour and history.
It is unhelpful when white people say that “I’m poor, I do not experience privilege” but poor black people have to deal with not only their poverty but also the history of racism that still impacts their lives today, especially in America.
As the only white woman at the table Amie Newham, who wrote a brilliant article about her own white privilege, answered a question sent by a white woman who had experienced trauma. Amie articulated perfectly that this woman also did not have to come up against the uneven power dynamics imposed by centuries of racism. Specifically, on the schism in feminism, what we need to understand is that this is not the Oppression Olympics, as women of colour have never said that white women are not oppressed by the patriarchy. However, white supremacy, which has been the norm for the last 300 years, also adds another layer of oppression onto women of colour.
Also, for anyone looking for a fun exercise, read the comments and spot how many white women did not understand the conversation at all and attacked Rachel for being “angry” and “railroading the conversation”. This is the definition of white fragility and also the reason this is a (9/10) is because even in these difficult conversations it is not helpful to ask the massage to be palatable and comfortable. Therein lies the problem and why there is so much exhaustion from women of colour: by centring your feelings and how you should be told things, it shows exactly how whiteness is weaponised. If a man asked women to not be so angry, we would be having a different conversation.