Breaking Down Critical Race Theory with Tim Wise

Hello my Spilling Chai listeners! How is everyone? Welcome to episode 11 of season 3 of the show, coming to you from Washington, DC. I’m your host, Anushay Hossain!

Right before I graduated from college at UVA in 2002, a favorite professor of mine told me something I think of often: “In the real world, you’ll be shocked at how uninformed people really are.”

I’ve been thinking about Professor Robert’s words more as the nation feels like it’s getting ready to go to war over Critical Race Theory (CRT).

From Texas to Pennsylvania to Loudoun County Virginia, why do I get the feeling the people shouting about CRT at the top of their lungs most likely have no idea what they are talking about?

Transcript

Hello, my Spilling Chai listeners, how is everyone? Welcome to Episode 11 of Season three of the show coming to you from Washington DC. I’m your host Anushay Hossain. Right before I graduated from college at UVA in 2002, a professor of mine told me something I think of often in the real world, you’ll be shocked at how uninformed people really are. I’ve been thinking about Professor Roberts boards more often as the nation feels like it’s getting ready to go to war over critical race theory or CRT. From Texas to Pennsylvania to Loudoun County, Virginia, why do I get the feeling that most people shouting about CRT at the top of their lungs most likely have no idea what they’re talking about? Well, our guest today definitely knows his stuff when it comes to CRT. In fact, he built his career around the topic of race. I am talking about Tim Wise! Wise is among the most prominent antiracist writers and educators in the United States. He also appears alongside scholar and activist Angela Davis in the 2011 documentary, Vocabulary of Change. Wise is the author of nine books, including his latest Dispatches From The Race War. He was named one of the 25 visionaries who are changing your world. And he is our guest today on Spilling Chai. Hello, and welcome to the show, Tim.

Anushay Hossain  1:29  

Thank you so much for your time and being so flexible with your schedule. 

Tim Wise:

Oh, sure. No worries. 

Anushay Hossain:

Fantastic. Okay, so my first question. So you argue that racism in the United States is institutionalized due to past overt racism, and its ongoing effects, along with current day discrimination? So how do you define Critical Race Theory? 

Tim Wise: 1:53

Well, we need to distinguish what is actually academic critical race theory from what is being attacked, obviously, because they’re not the same. So yeah, I mean, critical race theory is just a frame of reference for understanding America, really, and understanding the racial hierarchy in this country, as it developed over, you know, a couple 100 years or, you know, several 100 years going back to the colonial period. And it’s essentially a theory that was developed to answer one really important question, which is, you know, how is it that in the wake of the Civil Rights victories of the 60s which were meaningful, which were important, in spite of those victories, why did racial disparity in every area of daily life essentially persist? You know, why is it that in spite of those changes and reforms, disparities in health, education, wealth, income, unemployment, poverty, etc, criminal justice, were not actually resolved? And of course, the answer that Critical Race Theory offers is, well, the problem was deeper than a lot of folks realize. The problem was deeply embedded woven into the fabric of the country from the beginning, such that simply making certain reforms or new policies wasn’t really going to be sufficient. Interestingly, what’s so fascinating about the attack on that argument, which is only one element of critical theory, but it’s sort of the foundational element is that, you know, everyone asks that same question. I mean, whether you’re on the left or the right, and you think about race in America, everybody’s trying to answer that same question. Why did the disparities persist in spite of these very real and important victories? The difference is conservatives and reactionaries prefer the opposite answer, which is, well, there’s nothing wrong with America. There’s something wrong with black people. I mean, that’s basically their conclusion. But they’re asking the same question. The question itself, isn’t what they have a problem with? It’s any answer that actually says, Well, you know, the structure and the foundation of the country is deeply flawed, we would rather teach it. And this is where the attack on anti racist education comes in, which is really what this is, it’s not an attack on critical race theory so much as it is any anti racist advocacy or education. They don’t want us to have antiracist education, which would look at the system’s structures. They prefer an educational approach, which says, well, America’s made you know, made its mistakes. You know, problems have existed, but we’re always moving onward and upward and things are always getting better and deep down. we really have the best of intentions and what critical theory or just one anti racist theory’s saying is, well, maybe not you know, I said in a tweet several weeks ago, I tried to differentiate between conservative, liberal, and critical theory on this. The liberal theory basically says, well, America made these promises and we haven’t lived up to them. Conservatives say, America made these promises and we’re doing just great sweetheart. Everything’s fine.

Tim Wise  5:00  

And critical theory says promises what promises? Y’all never made those promises to us? You know, it was never It was never meant for everybody. So that’s that’s sort of in a nutshell, the difference is saying, you know, when Thomas Jefferson said all men are created equal, the liberal looks at that and says, Oh, well, you know, he just didn’t, he didn’t quite have a handle on his hypocrisy and the critical. He says no, actually, he was fully aware that he owned a couple 100 people at the time he wrote it. And he just didn’t count them as people. And we have to grapple with that rather than try to rationalize it as, Oh, gee, these really brilliant men didn’t quite understand what they were doing. No, they knew full well what they were doing. They did it quite deliberately. 

Anushay Hossain

Yes. Oh, my God, how perfectly articulated. Do you think that CRT needs like rebranding? Because just like you said, this is a really complex theory usually taught in grad or law school, right. And I feel like people are not grasping the complexity of it. Do you think we should just start calling it ‘accurate history’ or ‘the truth’? 

Tim Wise

Well, I mean, yeah, I think we should, whenever possible, do that. Look, you can’t really rebrand an academic theory, because it is what it is, you know, it exists in that rarefied air. What I think we want to make clear is this attack isn’t about that. They’re using this term as a catch all because they know it sounds scary. And the reason it sounds scary is because whenever you say ‘theory’, right, first of all, that’s a way to signal to the masses, that this is just what pointy headed intellectuals sit around who don’t have to have real jobs, right? We don’t have to have real jobs. So we get to sit around and theorize because they think the theory is is just for the non working people of the world. So it’s tailor made for resentment. It’s tailor made to sort of drive a wedge between, you know, academics and everybody else. And so there’s no way to really deal with that except to say, listen, that ain’t even what this is. They’re not grappling with it. They’re really attacking any kind of accurate, truthful history. I’ll give you a couple of examples. So for instance, in Idaho, which is one of the states that has passed legislation restricting what can be taught in public institutions of education, one of the big things that they were arguing about at the legislative level, it was a lawmaker who stood up and went off about, you know, the teaching of in a literature class, the teaching of To Kill a Mockingbird, and how To Kill a Mockingbird was an example of pernicious critical race theory. Now, keep in mind, couple things. Number one, you know, To Kill a Mockingbird is written in 1960 by a white woman, no critical race theory involved. Critical race theory didn’t come around for another 20 years. But more importantly, To Kill a Mockingbird is part of the American literary canon. And if anything, if there’s a critique to be had of that book, it’s that it’s a white savior narrative, right? I mean, I don’t mean to spoil the story for those handful of people who haven’t read it. But I mean, it’s about a black man falsely accused of a horrible rape. And a white guy comes in and defends him in court to save it. If anything, that’s the criticism. It’s like there’s just no black agency in the story that it’s basically just about this white hero. And even then I you know, as fair as that is, I still think it’s a worthwhile book, but they’re attacking it in Idaho, because it teaches that and in their words, it teaches that you know, that black people have been oppressed. Well, look, if you can’t even admit that black people were oppressed in Alabama, which is where that story takes place in the 1930s, which is when that story takes place, then what the hell are you doing even engaging in a conversation about anything? Like if you… How did you get past eighth grade like that’s such a basic American history, but that was what they were attacking. That’s not critical race theory. That’s not a book that says America is an evil place and white people are inherently evil. In fact, for God’s sake, the main character is the quote unquote, good white person. So  if you’re actually you know, and scout his kid seems like a sweet girl, like it’s not a book that bashes all white people, and yet they were attacking. So this just shows they don’t want us to talk about history. More recently. Here. I live in Tennessee and outside of Nashville, which is where I live. But outside of Nashville, there’s a very conservative Republican-dominated County, Williamson County where there’s a huge attack against this particular curriculum that I guess they’re using in elementary and middle school called Wit and Wisdom. And one of the stories or one of the books they use in the Wit and Wisdom curriculum is a book about Ruby Bridges, who was the black child who desegregated New Orleans public schools in 1960. And there’s a famous Norman Rockwell painting, you know, of her going into school with the National Guard and tomatoes being thrown at her on the wall behind her and all that we sort of know that story many of us do. Well, this book, which I think was actually written by Ruby Bridges herself, sort of is a children’s book that talks about her experience, and they’re attacking that here in Tennessee, saying that

Tim Wise  10:00  

This is a horrible book to teach children because it doesn’t offer white people any redemption at the end. Well, in that particular story, you know, those white people were just the bad guys. Like, that’s actually what happened. There was no particular redemption for them. I mean, maybe they found Jesus, so to speak, you know, like seven years later. I mean, I don’t know. But what they’re saying is you can’t teach our children that this happened. It’s not that they’re saying the story’s wrong. It’s not saying you’re embellishing it, it’s like, you just can’t teach it. And there’s actually a parent in Williamson County, for whom a GoFundMe has been started. So she can pay for therapy for her child, who has been traumatized by this material.  This is what they’re doing. So we need to make clear this isn’t about critical race theory, this is an attack on accurate history and an attempt at censorship. It is an attempt to whitewash, pun very much intended, the truth about the country. And the reason they want to do it is not merely an academic thing, it is very simply, look, there’s a bunch of research now, which shows that when young people in particular, learn about injustice, they are very keen to try to correct it, young people have sort of an instinctive tendency toward justice. So you don’t want kids learning about injustice, because then they might try to fix it. And if they fix it, that means that the existing racial hierarchy in this country, which the right wants to perpetuate and maintain, would be challenged. The reason they’re doing this now is because of the uprising last year. Critical race theory has been around since the late 70s, and early 80s. And they never said a word about it until millions of people went into the streets, including millions of their own white family members. And they said, uh oh, we better get a hold on this really quickly. 

Anushay Hossain

That is such an excellent, excellent point. I was reading about your background and your childhood, and you have these, you know, anti somatic experiences in your childhood, you were so you know, kind of pivotal in the anti apartheid movement. How did you get into anti racism work? How was that? 

Tim Wise

Well, you know, it does have a lot to do, obviously, with upbringing, I think it’s hard to understand any of it if you don’t, if you don’t understand sort of what it meant, and what I think it still means to grow up in the post civil rights era, American South, for those of us who are white, and southern, obviously, there is a stereotype that’s not altogether inaccurate, of reactionary, ultra conservative politics. And that’s certainly where, you know, the majority, statistically, of white Southerners are, but at the same time, there’s a countervailing tendency that has existed for a very long time, at least since the Civil Rights era. But really going back even further, whereby white folks in the south who do come to a progressive political place, and that’s not the majority of us, but those who do almost invariably come there through the crucible of race. And the reason is, you can’t be a white southerner and not know that race is the background noise of everything that happens. Now, I would argue that you can be a white Northerner and not realize how central race is, I think you can be a white person from Portland, Oregon, and not realize how central race has been to your own history. Because in those other parts of the country, folks don’t make you think about it, right. But because we lost that war, thankfully, everyone else has made sure to remind us how terrible and racist we are. Well, as a result, as a result of that, we have to think about race. My mom was actually pregnant with me when Dr. King was assassinated. There was something in the soil, metaphorically and probably literally, that required me to think about this. And my parents were pretty instrumental in that as well. I went to preschool in the early 70s at a historically black college. So I was being socialized in a non dominant, non white environment. Most of my friends were black kids, I know, every white person says they have black friends, and they’re usually lying. But for me, you know, that was true. Like all my friends early on, pretty much were black. The women that ran that program at Tennessee State University, were black women, mostly. And so I was learning to respect black authority. And I was also being conditioned to sort of, you know, see the way that or or being put in a position where I could see how black kids were treated relative to the way I was treated. So once we started elementary school, you know, I could see the way we were being separated in the classroom into different tracks academically, I can see the way they were being disciplined more harshly, not because they were acting up any more than than I was, you know, I was the class clown more than anybody I was the kid that really probably deserved the discipline, but I never got it nearly as harshly as they did. And so you know, if I’m any other white kid in that class, I’m probably not even going to think about it because I don’t know the black kids. I haven’t been around the black kids. But in my case, that was who I knew. It’s who I identified with later on. I would play you know, play ball on teams where I was usually one of only a handful of white kids on the team, whether it was basketball or baseball, and I remember going out to a rural area outside of Nashville in 1980, to play a scrimmage game against another team. And they wouldn’t play us because all the players except me, and like two other guys were black. And they just refuse to get on the field with us. And this wasn’t 1950 I mean, this is 1980. And as we left, gotten the car to leave, you know that a bunch of their other teams, kids surrounded the car and were threatening, you know, acting like they were going to hit the car with baseball bats and calling the black kids the N word and calling the white kids and word lovers and all this, you know, that kind of stuff leaves a mark leaves a pretty deep impression on you at an early age that, you know, they’re these people who look like you. And they’re trying to tell you that you have crossed a line in some way that’s unacceptable. And so it was always in the front of my mind. And then when I went to college in New Orleans, and I was at Tulane, it was very hard to with that background, having had that background, it was very hard to ignore the the pretty deep dichotomy between my experience at Tulane and a very white environment really, and and the larger dynamic of the city of New Orleans, which is a black city, both culturally and demographically. And after I got involved in the anti apartheid work, like a lot of college students in the 80s, you know, I, I had the benefit of a lot of really great local New Orleans based activists who would come up to Tulane and sort of take me aside and patiently or not so patiently remind me that Yeah, you know, this is really important what you’re doing about South African racism, but you know, just to clarify, you might want to take a notice of what’s going on down the road, you know, and that was pointed out to me in a number of ways. And then, of course, the next year after I graduated that’s when David Duke ran for the US Senate 91, he ran for governor and I was involved deeply in the campaigns against him. So, you know, I think just my whole life sort of ultimately pointed me in that direction, I guess. 

Anushay Hossain

Wow. This time last year, I really felt like the racial reckoning that was happening in America, I was feeling hopeful about it. Like, finally, we are going to have the hard conversations and you know, talk about the big issues. But now I’m not so sure. Do you think we’re finally coming together or falling apart on race in America? 

Tim Wise

Well, you know, my guess is that’s a question that someone somewhere has asked every 10 or 15 years in this country. That sort of answers it, doesn’t it? I’m sure someone in media probably asked that in 1870, 1871, you know, before reconstruction had been fully eradicated, like, Wow, it seems like we’re really getting it together, you know. Look, I think, I don’t mean to be cynical about the prospects for us to really get it together. But I think it’s not likely that long term change is going to emanate solely from the horrors of the killing of George Floyd and Briana Taylor and others, or from the lockdown related to COVID. I think COVID has presented us with an opportunity, but I’m not sure if we have fully recognized how quickly we could lose that opportunity. And what I mean by that, and I hate to think of COVID in that way, because I don’t want to I don’t want to suggest we opportunistically take advantage of a tragedy that’s killing millions of people around the world and 600,000+, here, but here’s the thing, it’s done that so we might as well learn something out of it. Right, we might as well take something away from it. And one of the things that I think you did, and is still doing because we’re not really on the other side of it yet contrary to what the governor of South Dakota apparently believes and my own governor here in Tennessee believes because they fired the head of you know, the vaccination stuff. Brilliant. But uh, but the one thing it has done, right, it gave us and by it, I mean, the the lockdown culture that emerged last year where we all learn that, you know, more so than before how to operate from home, in many cases, how to do zoom calls, how to, you know, how to function without the level of interaction that we normally would have, that provided people with a certain amount of space that I think they didn’t have before or didn’t carve out before. So people who maybe never thought about this, were suddenly in a relatively quiet space, where their normal lives weren’t really happening the way they had been. So the background noise was drowned out a little bit. And they can actually stay hyper focused on the news and really pay attention. Whereas, you know, pre pre COVID all these things were happening and a lot of folks didn’t hear it, see it or think about it, because it was out of sight out of mind that you know, they had other things going on. And when you didn’t have as much going on all of a sudden, you know, it’s George Floyd all day, every day, right? Breonna Taylor all day, every day. And so, on the one hand that did I think help to elevate the level of consciousness and awareness And that is a good thing in spite of the awfulness from which it sprang. The problem is as we do come out of the crisis of COVID, or at least think we have and decide, we’re going to go back to normal, quote, unquote, I’m worried. I’m cautious. I’m cautiously optimistic. But I’m also realistic that we may go back to, you know, hitting that snooze button that we’ve been hitting that white folks in particular have been hitting for four hundred years. And then we’re just going to bounce from tragedy to tragedy, and it’s going to take another horrible viral video of a cop killing a black person for us to suddenly go, Oh, yeah, yeah, that’s not over yet. So I don’t want to be cynical about it. I just, you know, I’ve studied history enough to know that we’re not there yet. That’s for sure. 

Anushay Hossain 20:43

Yeah, being realistic. Because one of the things I feel like, it’s so hard to even talk about race, like, even with some of my closest white friends, and I feel like in the past year, I’ve seen some people really would rather not do the hard emotional work. And what you do is a lot of emotionally…work that is very emotionally taxing, right. I mean, you have to like, reflect and analyze so much. So what inspires you to do the work that you do? 

Tim Wise 21:15

Well, on the one hand, yeah, it’s emotionally taxing. But it doesn’t have to be as taxing as people make it. I think the reason it’s so difficult, I think for people, there are a couple of reasons. One is that we have generally thought of racism as this issue of good people and bad people. Right, and personal bias, personal prejudice. And if you think of it that way, and then someone raises the issue, you’re automatically on guard and defensive. Yeah, because you just don’t want to be thought of as a racist. Right. So part of the emotional taxation is is this constant feeling of judgment? And like people are saying you’re a bad person, even part of this attack on anti racist education is rooted in the misconception. I think they’re very deliberately misinterpreting it. But the misinterpretation that somehow what those of us who are anti racist are saying is white people are evil, right, which is not at all what is being said, but that’s what people hear. And so that’s what makes it taxing if we started talking about this in the way we need to, which is, as a systemic institutional problem, which has personal repercussions, yes. Which does mold our thinking, yes. And misshapes our thinking, yes. But nonetheless, is rooted in structures that were created long before any of us were born, then I think we can maybe depersonalize it a little to where people don’t have to be as defensive if I realized, for instance, that the reason I think X or Y, or Z, about black neighborhoods is because systemic racism has created such division, such separation between white neighborhoods, quote, unquote, in black neighborhoods that I therefore fear what I don’t know, if I understand that the source of that is systemic, then I don’t have to beat myself up and say, Oh, my God, I’m a bad person, oh, my God, and even some of the conversation around white fragility and white privilege. I’m not saying that I’ve never used that language. I’m not saying that that language is wrong to use. But it’s so personal. It’s so rooted in the individual level analysis, that it’s sometimes or it can be that it takes us away from a systemic analysis, that would be less emotionally draining, but more practically productive. As far as what the way that I stay in the work is, I just, you know, I think, again, for me, I’ve just been very fortunate growing up in the south to have been exposed to certain things and to see the real cost and the real damage of this thing. But I think what keeps me in it, and what I think other can keep other white folks in it or bring other white folks to it is a realization of what we are losing as well, in the process of accepting things the way they are, you know, I’d love to believe that white people as a group will suddenly turn against our own dominance and power and unequal opportunities that benefit us, and that will somehow suddenly have this, you know, epiphany and fight for justice, because justice is a good thing, just like I hope that, you know, I’d love to see men stand up against patriarchy and the oppression just because it’s the right thing to do. But I’ve been around long enough now at 52 years old to know that that probably isn’t going to happen. It’s certainly not likely to happen in my lifetime. So in the meantime, is it possible to get just enough white folks or just enough men when we think about sexism or just enough straight and cisgendered folks, and we think about, you know, straight supremacy and cisgendered normativity and all these things? Is it possible for us to get just enough of the dominant group to turn against that system in order to help make a change and if so, what will do it? I think we’ll do it is a recognition that this system is deadly for the vast majority of us. And and I think we have plenty of evidence of that right now, you know, going and this goes back to critical race theory sort of bringing the conversation full circle, one of the innovations of critical race theory that many people resist, but I think it’s it’s incontrovertibly true, is that most of the progress we’ve seen in this country, if not all of it has happened only in those moments when there was apparent interest convergence between black people and white people. Right? So for instance, Lincoln did not, you know, we didn’t have a civil war. And Lincoln did not sign the Emancipation Proclamation out of some humanistic, anti racist impulse. He did this as a strategy to preserve the union. And that’s not meant, by the way, to bash Lincoln or even as a judgment of like, and it’s just a historical truth. And that means there was interesting convergence between the needs of white folks by and large and the needs of black people’s civil rights movement. Derrick Bell, one of the founders of critical race theory makes the same argument that the reason we got desegregation. The reason we got Brown v board was because when the court looked out at the situation in America, that was a very conservative Court, which decided 8-0 with one abstention in 1954, to strike down segregation in schools. Why did they do it? Did they go to bed on Thursday and woke up on Friday or whatever, and went, Oh, my God, we’ve been wrong all these years. Oh, my God. Plessy v. Ferguson was wrong. Oh, my god, no, what they did is they looked around, they realized that the center could not hold meaning that ultimately, we were in the middle of a Cold War, with the Soviet Union, trying to convince the colonial the colonized peoples of the world in Asia, and Africa and Latin America, hey, our model is better than their model. Now, how in the hell are you going to sell your model to brown people around the world and black people around the world, if you have your boot on the neck of people who look just like them, and they can see that in the news every night, you can’t convince them. So the especially when the other side, the Soviets are gonna beat you over the head with with their propaganda saying, look at what they do to their black people, you know, you should follow us so so as a result, you have people who really aren’t racially enlightened, going along with anti racist reform as a PR move. And I don’t mean to be cynical when I say it. But again, the history pretty clearly demonstrates it. So my point would be if that’s what it takes for us to make progress is being able to show interest convergence, then let’s look for some interest convergence, right? We can sit there and bemoan. And we can say, well, that’s terrible. They ought to do it for the right reason. All right. They ought to and I ought to be six-three and a billionaire. And I’m not, you know, I’m five-eight, and I get by and that’s it. And so, so it’s like so Okay, then, what are the interest convergence points? And for me, yeah, there are moral and ethical arguments. For me, I am motivated by those things, because of my upbringing, but I don’t expect that’s going to do it for most folks, what I see is, right now, we’re in a situation where we have an opioid crisis in America precisely because we fought a war on drugs because we didn’t care about black people and brown people being locked up. So if we had taken drugs as a health issue, rather than a crime issue, maybe we’d have rehab for a little Jimmy John down at the trailer park somewhere in rural Indiana, but we don’t. And now little Jimmy John’s great, you know, grandmother’s like, Why can’t my great grandbaby get treatment? Well, because you voted for lawmakers who just wanted to lock people with drug problems up and you did it because it was those folks on the other side of town. So that’s the irony of your bullshit, like that’s the irony of your racism is now it’s come back to bite little Jimmy John on the ass. And I’m really, but maybe you should have cared COVID is a good example, as well, right? There’s a reason we’ve lost 600,000 plus people. And it’s not just Donald Trump. That’s the easy… That’s the easy, lazy liberal answer, right? As well as that guy. And if we’d had anybody else, it wouldn’t happen. Yeah, if we’d had anybody else, it wouldn’t have happened quite that bad. But part of the reason that we are where we are, is because when the early numbers came out in April of last year, which showed the disproportionate dying was happening with black people. And that’s what it showed, at that time, only, like 29% of the deaths in the early months were white. And the death rate was off the charts disproportionate for black and Latin x folks and indigenous people. So there was this collective shrug from the leadership of the country, which, yes was Trump there was this color and but it was also a shrug from white America. Right? It was white folks going to the state capitol demanding we reopen everything and get back to work because we can’t be locked down forever when you know full well that if that headline on April 7th of 2020, in the New York Times had said, Gosh, for some weird reason this thing is killing white people in mass numbers like we don’t know why, but it’s disproportionately white people. Do you think if that’s the headline that white people are going to demand the right to stand all up in your stuff at Trader Joe’s like yeah, those are I’m gonna be like, I’m not wearing a mask. That’s I’m not putting a diaper on my face. I’m not no white people would have been like, screw it, man, I’m staying home send me a check, semi government support white people would have demanded it, if it were us, but because it was them, it was those people in the cities, it was those black folks, it was those Latin x folks, it was those indigenous people, then all of a sudden, there was a nonchalance. And that and the irony of the nonchalance in response to black and brown death is that by the time we get down to October and November now 55% of the dead are white. Right? So you’ve had hundreds of 1000s of white people who buried a loved one, because black lives didn’t matter. Yes, like that. That’s why when we say if Black Lives Matter, all lives matter. That’s what we need. Right? And and so if so that, to me, oughta motivate any white person to stay in this fight or to join this fight. Because literally, your life is at stake. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually. And so the more we can start to think like that, the more we can start to realize my my well being is connected to your well being, then that’s going to help us build relationships across lines of difference. And that’s going to help us get to the emotional and the moral place that will ultimately keep us in the work long term. 

Anushay Hossain 30:25

Wow. Tim Wise, this has been an education. Thank you so much for your time. Thanks. I was like writing notes while you were speaking. This was such an honor. I really am a big fan of your work. And it was an honor to have you come on the show. 

Tim Wise

Thank you so much. I hope I didn’t just rant and ramble too much. I hope 

Anushay Hossain

Not at all. Honestly, it’s an education. I can’t wait for my listeners to hear it.

Anushay Hossain  31:49  

One of the things that worries me the most when we talk about race is the lack of people’s ability to really listen, people get emotional and defensive so fast. We close ourselves off to any real dialogue, before we even begin to speak. We see it happening in real time with critical race theory, which is a really complicated body of legal scholarship and an academic movement of civil rights activists in the United States that seeks to critically examine American law as it intersects with the issues of race and to challenge mainstream American liberal approaches to racial justice. Do you blame me for being convinced people are getting worked up over something they really don’t even understand? Look how many times it defeatist to say that straight? While America figures out how much factual history she wants taught in schools, we can be grateful to have the wealth of Tim Wise’s work to make sure we actually know what we’re talking about.

Anushay Hossain 32:48  

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