Inclusion Junkie #3: Real Talk

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In this episode we get raw with some of the events occurring in America today. From the murder of George Floyd and Brionna Taylor to the one-day protest of the NBA, we explore what events are having positive impact, question if we are doing enough, and share some personal stories about how exclusion – racism, discrimination, bias – effects us.

Transcript of Episode

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:00:01] Welcome back to another episode of Inclusion Junkie, I am here with my co-host, Paul Peebles and Mason Washington. How are you today?

Paul Peebles: [00:00:11] Doing good, what’s up, listeners, how are you all doing out there? Doing great.

Mason Washington: [00:00:17] Definitely a lot going on in the world, but we’re still here and we’re glad to be here today. What’s going on?

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:00:25] Well, not a whole lot outside of the usual over here either. And, you know, Mason I’m glad you said that there’s a lot going on in the world today. And we were going to talk about triggers. And, you know, what I’m thinking about is probably still relevant because of everything that’s going on right now. We are probably all being triggered constantly. But, you know, to what you said, Mason, there is a lot going on. And so hopefully you guys are OK with it. I wanted to kind of hijack our topic a little bit and just really first kind of check in and see how you’re doing and hopefully for our listeners to see how they’re doing, there’s just so much happening that I don’t think it’s right to just dive into another topic without first pausing and just saying, like, oh, we got a lot going on.

Mason Washington: [00:01:24] Yeah, I know for sure, I think, wow, I mean, first, first, thank you for definitely taking the time for us to do a little bit of a check in with one another, because, you know, I think it’s important for us to first realize that the things that we’re dealing with and what’s happening in our society aren’t normal. And I don’t think it’s good for us to try to normalize them and just keep going on with everyday life as if, you know, the things that are happening in our society are just just OK. When I think about all of the different things that have just happened over the last week or so in regards to the young man in Wisconsin being killed by the police and, you know, all the stuff that’s happening with, you know, the NBA and them deciding to to protest in a way where they where players refuse to play. I mean, we are living truly in unprecedented times. And I got to be honest, you know, it’s it’s really, really unnerving, I feel anxious, I feel, you know, just heartbroken in many ways, guys. My mind immediately goes back right now to many of our listeners, you may not know, but I’m a huge sports fan. And as I remember watching Sports Center the other day, there had been a plethora of athletes and coaches on television literally crying. As it relates to plead with people to get them, we understand that they don’t understand why black and brown people in this country are treated and killed in some capacity the way that they are by law enforcement. And I just remember. Coaches in general are literally crying on television, saying in some capacity like, I don’t. It feels strange to live in a country that I love and support and want to be and know that this country doesn’t love me back. It’s just a very, very terrible feeling. And I’m I’m just having a little bit of difficulty with it.

Paul Peebles: [00:03:52] Well, you know, and I truly understand how you feel Mason. And Nat thanks for checking in on us, just seeing how the athletes have been, their interaction with their own teammates. It it just really resonates with me and brings me to like a more intimate moment where I think about my three sons. I’m terrified. You know, I’m just going to let I’ma let everybody know I’m worried about my three sons. You know, I have a son away in the military. I have another son on a college campus right now. Then I have one other son that he’s a public safety servant. He’s a he’s an officer. And I’m worried about my young black men. And when I think about where my three sons are and I’ve had to teach them how to walk, how not to wear a hoodie, how to be on an elevator, how to go into a store, it bothers me that I’ve had to teach my sons to walk in a passive fashion just so they don’t get attacked or harmed. It’s it’s really scary. I will say that looking at the NBA players, just seeing how they came together, the camaraderie that unified front really moved me. And I just want all the young males and females out here to know that of color. We have to look out for each other. It’s we’re living in a time where you have this this pride of being an American, this proud of being in your your country. But you wonder sometimes if your country looks at you with that same amount of pride, you try and interact with other people, whether it be in, you know, just your work environment or just out in just a public setting.

Paul Peebles: [00:05:50] And, you know, there are times where you wonder, how are people looking at me? What are they thinking? And when your children are away from you, it just makes you really nervous. My son is at an impasse right now. All he ever wanted to do was be an officer, but yet he’s worried about how the people view him. Now, how do you explain that to your child? How do you explain to your son away college? You have to stay in your dorm. You cannot be in that town doing things that other people might be doing. You have to walk and protect yourself at all times. It’s really difficult, guys. And for me right now, I mean, my mind is always on that. My wife and I talk about it and I think about, you know, my grandchildren. It’s difficult times, guys. And I would like to see I would like to see the world in a different lens. I would like to see us get past this. But for some reason, it’s very difficult for individuals to understand why we are so frustrated, why we are so upset, why we are looking for just equal and fair treatment. That’s all we’re asking for. We’re not asking for anything else. But I think that’s the premise of what makes inclusion Inclusion Junkie what it is we want to be included and we want everybody to be included. It’s just difficult times, guys, but I do appreciate you all checking in on.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:07:37] So many so many thoughts and you know, I think I think one with the NBA and sports and I want to get to that in a second, but as I’m listening to both of you talk, one thing that I think is sometimes hard for people who are not black and brown to to truly understand and wrap their minds around is what it feels like to every single day walk and live and be in a country that on the one hand you love and on the other hand doesn’t love you.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:08:16] And tell me if I’m wrong here, but I’m wondering if maybe one way that we can we can help some of our listeners who are maybe struggling with truly understanding and empathizing and taking that perspective. Is even thinking about being in a bad relationship, or an abusive relationship, to where you love this person and you keep doing everything to make it right, to make it work, to make them see you, to make them value you.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:08:54] And every now and then you get this glimpse like, yeah, we’re on the right track. And then, boom, slap in the face, another beat down, another emotional, you know, abusive statement. You know, it’s kind of like this roller coaster ride. Is that am I on the right track with that? Do you think that would help bring some of the perspective to people who are struggling?

Mason Washington: [00:09:20] Yeah, you know, quite honestly, Natalie, I think it’s an incredibly accurate analogy, right. I often think about how in many situations and circumstances.

Mason Washington: [00:09:37] I begin to feel comfortable. I begin to feel like, oh, I can operate and do this and do that just like my other friends and co-workers, and then all of a sudden I’m reminded very honestly in some kind of real off-putting way, no, you’re a black man. You can’t do that.

Mason Washington: [00:10:00] No, you you can’t just get on the elevator.

Mason Washington: [00:10:04] No, you can’t just go in the store.

Mason Washington: [00:10:06] No, you can’t just drive your car down the street.

Mason Washington: [00:10:12] And I think your analogy is a good one, because in some cases, you know, it’s so unnerving to to to recognize and know that, man, there’s a time where I feel like I’m a part of and then all of a sudden, bam, nope, I’m not a part of that.

Mason Washington: [00:10:31] I’m not a part of it. And I have to behave in such a way where I need to recognize that I’m no longer a part of that group. And so, yeah, I think it’s a real thing. Paul, your your conversation about your son’s. Man, that really hit home, obviously, because I have sons as well, but to hear, you know, the. The fear in your voice, you know, especially with one son in the military, another son who serves as a police officer, right.

Mason Washington: [00:11:09] Knowing that even in such admirable, perceived professions, we still have certain things that we have to worry about as black men that many others just don’t have to concern themselves with. I am afraid. I’m afraid for my for my children to go to school, and I also want to say this, I’m afraid even now for those who support Black Lives Matter and those types of movies and people who do get it, who may not happen to be black or brown, right. Because as we saw with this vigilante in in Wisconsin who just decides he’s going to start killing people like there’s no who knows who could be the victim of these violent acts, you know, because you’re in support of something that’s so fundamentally right.

Mason Washington: [00:12:18] But yet you can be here today and gone tomorrow. It is it is a reality that is just incredibly unnerving.

Mason Washington: [00:12:28] And I’m glad that I have people around me and in my circle that I can discuss this with and talk to and that we can maybe in some small way not only help each other to feel better about things, but hopefully plants and seeds and say some things that others will hear that will bring about change, you know, in a very trying time that we’re currently living.

Paul Peebles: [00:12:55] Right. Right. I agree with you and I do Natalie, I love the analogy that you used. So often you’re almost lulled into this false sense of security. You know, you have these these moments where things all seem to be going fine. You know, maybe I am being accepted. Maybe I am being valued. Maybe I am being looked at for my basis of who I am, not how I look. But then there’s that dose of reality. There is some defining moment that happens and it’s right back in your face. I have to admit, I’m really pleasantly surprised with the members that have gotten involved in the rallies, the marching to see so many people say enough’s enough. It’s really refreshing to see that maybe some people are opening up their eyes. But when you do have others that are ostracized because they might say black lives matter and then they’re ostracized within their circles, that just shows you just how fundamentally flawed some situations in some individuals can be because this has never been a terrorist group. They’re just looking to be treated as equals. And it’s really unfortunate when you have individuals that can just walk down the street and randomly pick people. So that false sense of security. Once again, you can see I’m not really safe. Even if you’re out trying to do the right thing at a peaceful time in a peaceful protest, it it really it just really gets to you. You can you can see that people understand enough’s enough. We we have to unify. But any time you have that that picture, that clarity, clarifying moment, somebody comes in and just they destroy it. And you do you get lulled into this false sense of security. And then you just it’s almost like you’re waking up out of a deep sleep. And it is it’s it’s it’s hard. It’s frustrating. It would it would be nice to know that I can walk outside and know that I’m accepted for who I am, you know, not that I have to change how I walk, how I how I am in certain environments. And but that’s the world we live in. That’s the reality.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:16:02] Yeah, I think that one of the things that I struggle with and maybe I watch a lot of people around me struggle with, is that we’re in such heavy times and there are times when certain people can ignore this or walk away from this or imagine that maybe things got better because we don’t necessarily have to have to have to face it every single day, right.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:16:37] I can I talk about this a lot. I can walk outside of my house and people are going to look at me a certain type of way and make certain assumptions about me, usually pretty positive ones. And I can walk in that if I so choose to. Right. I don’t I don’t have to be reminded that I’m not accepted or that I might intimidate somebody or that my life might be at risk. Those things are a choice for me. Right.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:17:11] I get to choose if I want to go march or wear a Black Lives Matter shirt or or be in a group with my close friends.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:17:21] Those are all choices and I think even just always tying this to something kind of behavioral, but even knowing that I have that choice. I think somehow still it still puts me on a power differential. It still is an element of privilege. And so while the choice seems clear and it seems that it’s not, it’s a choice between being ethical and just being a decent person and not being a decent person.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:18:00] But at the same time, I still have that choice, just like if I had enough money to feed my family and still made a choice to go steal, like there is a choice between right and wrong. Right. But you still have a choice. If you want to go out and steal something, then you can do that, I suppose. If I want to walk through life and and live in my privilege and not ever fight against that, then I can do that.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:18:32] And I think that it’s easy for people who look like me to run away from that very uncomfortable and heavy and sad and enraging feeling and so we do things to distract us, and what I’m hoping right now in is that we’re going to sit in it for a minute. And Paul, and Mason, we joke around a lot and we say things that kind of lighten moods and things like that. But sometimes we just have to sit in it. And I think it’s important for me to, to feel that feeling that you guys have to face every day and hopefully some of our listeners can sit in it as well for a while. Because it’s. There are some really good things happening out there, but let’s be real, you know, George Floyd was killed three months ago and two weeks ago was hasn’t even been two weeks, not even two weeks, you know, we’re seeing the same thing, so.

Mason Washington: [00:19:51] Yeah.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:19:53] Yeah, great statues are coming down and, you know, a bill got put to the Senate that, you know, they won’t allow to come to the floor to get voted on. So we’re seeing some change, but it all kind of seems fairly superficial when we really look at the. The moment of like, have those things changed how you guys feel, has that changed how scared you are, Paul, for your your sons?

Paul Peebles: [00:20:22] Not at all. Not at all.

Mason Washington: [00:20:25] Man, I mean, I think this is a really good conversation and something that I kind of wanted to ask you all. And Natalie you kind of alluded to it a moment ago. What we’re talking about and thinking about, reflecting back on it, on the George Bush case and how he was brutally murdered. It is that incident seemed to trigger people. All different types of people, whether you are black or brown, white, whatever. It triggered people in a different way. And you saw people react to that incident differently than you seen them react to many other incidents that have occurred. And my question is, is what was it about that incident that allowed people that triggered people in such a way to react so differently? But will we see many of these other ones that have occurred? It’s almost like they’re not the same. It’s almost like they can look at that George Ford incident in a vacuum, you know, but and that is is is totally separate from all the other systemic things that we see throughout our country on a regular basis that people have such a hard time identifying with. What was it about that incident that that allowed people from every different socioeconomic and cultural background to see it, you know, in a little bit of a different light? I know that’s a little bit of a loaded question, but I just like to like to hear what you guys thoughts are as it relates to that.

Paul Peebles: [00:22:27] I, you know, I struggle with that myself. I don’t know what the catalyst was, but it was it was weird to see, even within my own circles of people telling me in a passionate way that they don’t know what triggered them to have that reaction. It bothered them to a great extent. And, you know, we realized it couldn’t be that they just saw the recording, the video, because there’s been so many other recorded murders, you know, people saying they can’t breathe. You know, we had a gentleman that was killed, you know, selling cigarettes there on his back saying he can’t breathe. So there’s been videos out there. And and within my own circles are like, I don’t know what it is that triggered this. I mean, but this has got to stop. And I don’t know if they start to see the repetitive ideologies of people being killed of color. Is that what the callousness was? I really wish I knew what it was. But it is just so is it’s really difficult to put your hand on it. I mean, you know, when you have your kids jog through the neighborhood, it makes me think about Aubrey, who was jogging, who was shot down by vigilantes. You go through you go through these cycles and. Unfortunately, George Floyd deaths brought about a movement, I’m glad to see that people are more engaged, more aware, but this man lost his life for no reason.

Paul Peebles: [00:24:31] So now we’re engaged in this movement, in the movement that people are actually unified and joining in together. There’s people within that same movement trying to start chaos because they really don’t. Some people don’t believe that we should be created or treated as equals, which we’re just action asking for equality. And it’s it’s just incredible how many people are they’re at a loss for words. I wish I knew the answer to that, Mason, and I wish I did.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:25:12] You know, I always try to look at things from a behavior framework, and some of that requires asking, you know, what was different and Paul you said we’ve seen other videos where black men are murdered in the streets and people don’t react the same way. From a more kind of analytical academic perspective, the there are two things that I think stand out to me and in you, you two can tell me if you agree or not. Maybe three things.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:25:52] I think first is the time that we’re living in, we we are in a very polarized moment in in American history, and not to say that America hasn’t been polarized before because we’ve been polarized probably throughout the entire time of America and some sort of way. But I think much more so, you know, we made some progress. Certain things, I think this is something you said before, Mason, like we all kind of got a little comfortable, a little relaxed and past four years have have not been relaxing for many people. It’s been polarizing on on so many different levels. You know, not not just racism, but we have classism. We have wealth issues. We have blue versus red. We have all kinds of stuff going on right now. And so I think there’s there’s this context, right. That that we have to pay attention to. And I think it’s important.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:26:57] But I think above that, there are two things about this video that I think may it a little bit different. The first one is the sheer emotion that you heard in George Floyd’s voice. He cried for his mom, he called for his children. And on some level, whether you agree with anything or not, there’s some fundamental level that every single person alive we can tap into an emotion or a feeling of how we feel when we cry out for our mothers, right. Like as grown adults, we cry out for our parents when when things are really bad, right? When when we’re when we’re in danger, when we’re super sick, when we need to be cared for, when we need to be rescued. And so I’m wondering if maybe some of it is there was finally an emotion that we could no longer discount. We could no longer say, oh, well, he deserves to be beat up. He was fighting back, he was doing this, he was doing that. Like, we can’t say that anymore because we can all all of the sudden identify.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:28:34] And then we had the immediate juxtaposition of that officer sitting there with his knee on his neck with complete non emotion on his face.

Mason Washington: [00:28:47] Yes, yes.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:28:48] And so you have this polarized context, you have this grown man who is like six foot something crying for his mother and his children. And you have this other person. Completely emotionless. And that’s the person who’s inflicting the pain.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:29:08] And so I just wonder if putting those three things together that people could no longer choose to walk away from that emotion. You know, they can no longer choose to make an object out of a human being and figure out a way to blame that human for the pain that somebody else is causing.

Mason Washington: [00:29:34] And that I think, you know, in listening to you talk about it, it makes a ton of sense, right? Who can’t relate to feeling like you’re helpless and you want your mom. And the emotion that are the not the lack of human emotion that you see on the officer’s face as he’s. Literally taking the life of another man is. It is a I’ve never seen anything like that before, you know, and and maybe, you know, maybe that’s what it was and I have to admit, you know, I have a lot of friends from different cultures and backgrounds, and I got phone calls and people came and checked on me, that were friends of mine, who weren’t black and brown, like they came and said, Hey, hey, bro, are you OK? Like this? I’ve never seen anything like that before. Like and they were struck by it, you know, in a way that it changed some things in their minds, you know, like we were able to have a conversation about things in some capacity that I hadn’t had with some of those friends before. And so I just when I think back on it and to your point, Natalie, you know, we’re only weeks removed from that incident and yet we’re dealing with another one in Wisconsin. You know, I’m saying and granted, you know, some of the circumstances and variables may change, but at the end of the day, another another person of color has been killed by the hands of the police.

Mason Washington: [00:31:33] When you that those are the only two I mean, you know, we got we got Aubrey and Breonna. And I mean, it’s just like there’s so much. Right. Yeah. Yeah, I don’t I don’t know. I think it’s a good question and and I hear so many people talk about it and we’re all struggling to figure out, you know, what made this different. Like, thank God is different. Right. Thank God that people woke up and finally are like, oh, OK, maybe this is a bad thing, you think. But, you know, there’s still a part of me that’s like, now what? So what’s the next step? Like, yes, I’m glad we got some stuff done. I’m glad we got some momentum. How do we continue it? You know, and maybe that’s what brings me to the NBA. And Paul, I know you and I had a brief conversation about it yesterday about, you know, like we thought they were protesting. Now they’re going back and going to play. So what they they just didn’t play for one day, you know, what does that accomplish? And I didn’t follow up after that. I have no clue honestly what’s going on. I’m sure. Amazing. You could probably feel me in awe, Paul. But you know what? What do you think about that? Like, do you think that did anything do you think it helped?

Paul Peebles: [00:33:01] I think, you know, being an avid sports watcher, I think they use that national form to bring attention and to show that they were unified. Now, why they decided to go right back, I have not been made abreast of that. I think, though, everyone getting together after they saw Milwaukee and, you know, saying, hey, we’re not playing, I think it made people look and say, hey, maybe these guys realize, you know, there’s there’s a lot going on and they want to show solidarity amongst people that look like them, that have been getting killed. I think it is a clarifying moment when people look at and say, hey, we have to take a stand, at some point you get sick and tired of being sick and tired. You take a stand.

Paul Peebles: [00:34:03] Why do they go back so soon? Maybe Mason has more. He can elaborate on it, that I don’t know.

Mason Washington: [00:34:11] Well, I think the first thing that I want to say is, you’re right. You know, we did have a little mini discussion about this yesterday. And I remember when we first heard about the NBA players taking the stand and saying, hey, look, we’re not taking the floor. We’re not playing. I, as an African-American male, felt a whole lot of pride behind it, especially as somebody who loves basketball. I’m a high school basketball coach. I was pleasantly surprised at not only their ability to be able to do so, but the unification right in the thought process that they could all come together relatively quickly and go, look, we have to take a stand for this and we have to use the platform that we’ve been giving. To show the world that this is not OK and I love that premise, I love the premise, right, that all of this I feel. Should be able to use the platforms that we’ve been given to speak out right against things that we know fundamentally are wrong. And so from that perspective, I felt an incredible sense of pride and I was happy about what they had done when I initially heard the news that they were they had decided to resume play. I think initially I had some mixed emotions about it because I’m like, whoa, wait, you know, we’re just starting to get in, not necessarily just starting to get but the impact behind that was so real and realized that I wanted it to last longer. But then I really had to, like, reflect and ask myself and Natalie, you and I have had some conversation about this before as well, but. It made me think about the concept and the principle behind like, is it is it our responsibility to make sure that we’re not treated a certain way by certain people? You say you like. Like, is that my job, you know what I’m saying, am I am I am I supposed to make sure that everyone understands that, hey, you can’t do.

Mason Washington: [00:36:38] I’m fighting for for equality, right? But is it is it my job to educate you to make sure that you know how to treat me all the time? You know, it is just such a it’s such a tough thing. You know, I’m saying it. So I’d like you know, I mean, you and I have talked about it as I like to, you know, maybe you’d be a good time for you to kind of chime in on that whole thought.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:37:03] Yeah. And I think you make a good point. And even Paul and Mason, as you guys are talking, I, I thought to myself, well, you know, if somebody told me that, you know, in order for me to take a stand and really make a difference and the impact that I need to fully quit my job and, you know, stop everything that behavior leader is doing, I might I might pause for a moment and say, well, well, how am I going to live? You know, what am I going to do? How can I even continue my work if I kind of shoot myself in the foot like that? Right. And I think one thing that we even mentioned as we were talking about this a little bit yesterday is like, well, you know, does even canceling one game or pausing one game or that like, does it at least bring awareness? It makes everybody stop, at least for a minute. And maybe sometimes that’s what we need to do. Right. We need to just make people stop for a minute and recognize and that could have its own impact on on behavior, on change, on things like that to what you were saying. You know, you and I have talked about it. I have a lot of friends that I talk to about about this quite often because, you know, there seems to be this expectation that if I am a white person and I don’t understand what it’s like to to be black and what it’s like to be treated this way is, as we’ve been talking about, that it is the black person’s responsibility to educate me about that. Right. And I think that’s what you’re getting at. Is that right, Mason?

Mason Washington: [00:38:50] Yeah, exactly. 100 percent. You hit the nail on the head.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:38:54] And so I think it’s one of those that you know, you have to recognize, like, it’s absolutely tiring to keep telling people over and over and over again what it’s like to be you. I don’t know about you. I don’t even like really introducing myself that often. I’m like, hey, I’m Natalie. Get to know me. I don’t want to give you this whole narrative about what it’s like to be me. So I can only imagine that if you’re asked that and people aren’t just asking what is it like to be you Paul, they’re asking what is it like to be you, i.e. a black man? Please speak for everyone in America.

Mason Washington: [00:39:38] Yes, yes,

[00:39:40] You can’t do that. Like, why would you think anybody can do that? And so there’s definitely you know, a lot of people get angry and they’re like, stop freaking asking me. And I’m like, right, stop! At the same time, I think if we could approach it from a sometimes people ask things not to be offensive. Yes, they’re being lazy. Yes, they’re not doing the hard work. All of those things, but responding to them with anger and this is very much so, the behavior analyst of mine coming out, responding to them with anger is not going to help get us where we want to go. And so if we can take a step back and look at that collective, you know, that doesn’t mean fill them in on everything they want to know, but maybe saying here’s some resources that might help you answer your questions and…Go ahead, Paul.

Paul Peebles: [00:40:42] You know, quite often in our trainings, we talk about communication.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:40:47] Mm hmm.

Paul Peebles: [00:40:49] And I think you have to use good moments as well as a time like this is something that happened to occur like this, you had to take these bad times and use it as a teachable moment. Yeah. So when that individual has questions, OK, let’s sit down. We got to get down to it now. It’s not going to be a comfortable conversation, but I want you to understand what I’m saying. I want to allow that person to, you know, express what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling. But then I want them to afford me that same amount of respect so I can let them know what it feels like for me. Right. In communication, we always talk about that, listening to understand. So I have to say, I’ve had a couple people and, you know, I had I had a particular friend of mine is children start crying when I explained to them what my life has been like. We all have a story. Every one of us have a story. And sometimes when you share that story, you can affect change if a person is ready to listen. And I believe the platform that the players used, one thing we never think about, I’m not a professional athlete, so I don’t have the stress that they have. Everybody thinks or they make all this money, which they do. They make great money. But so many people look up to them. And when people are looking up to you like that, they’re looking to you for a response, sometimes a reaction, sometimes games, you know, good, bad or indifferent. That is the reality. People look to their athletes for these things. And I believe some of the guys, because they are men of color, they’re tired, they’re worn down, they’ve been beat down. They have the same fears that we have. They have black children, I believe, when they show that unified front. I believe for a lot of Americans, it was something that they looked at. It was like, wow, this affects them the same way it affects us. They’re human, just like us. They might play a sport and be great at the sport. But they’re reminded as well that you, too, might make all this money. But you are a black man in America.

Mason Washington: [00:43:26] One hundred percent, bro, I. I just want to jump in there real quick and maybe, you know, this is, you know, a little bit of a topic that we can discuss for another day. But I had to I was watching this show briefly. Yes. Or maybe I was on my way to an appointment and listening to this in the car, but I heard a prominent sports figure getting on television again on the radio and essentially say that as an athlete, I have a certain level of privilege that’s afforded to me because I’m a star athlete, but then all of a sudden I get reminded very quickly that when I take that uniform off. And I’m just a regular person driving in my car and I’m not on the field or on the court or in the arena, all of a sudden I’m back to that black man. Right. And that’s how most people see me. He talked about how when he goes to take his trash out, he has to do it in such a way and he makes sure that he has his identification with him because where he lives in the neighborhood, the neighborhood in which he lives his worried about whether or not a police officer will will stop him and go, hey, I don’t think you’re supposed to be in this neighborhood because. You know, when you’re not on the court, people don’t know that you’re some star basketball player. And it was a very enlightening moment. You know what I’m saying? And that whole conversation, again, we’ve talked about this multiple times a lot in our training. And we see the effects that it have when we start talking about the concept of privilege. And like I said, you know, maybe this is a discussion for another day. But, you know, Natalie, I, I know you talked about triggers and all of these other things, but I will say, you know, I, I think the conversation has been productive. Right. And I thank you for recognizing that.

Mason Washington: [00:45:39] Yeah, we all have agendas and things that we’re planning on doing, but sometimes it’s just important to check in on each other, you know, and make sure that we’re OK and to have a little bit of a discussion to talk through some things and see our I’ll let you in because I have to admit, in this last however many minutes, I’m feeling better about the fact that I get to talk to people that I that I respect incredibly, that are friends of mine and that I know care about how I feel. And so I hope that some of this is coming across to our listeners during this podcast. But I appreciate it.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:46:15] I think that’s what inclusion is all about. Right? It’s about recognizing that we’re all going to have different needs from time to time, but, you know, calling out the elephant in the room. And, you know, I’m thinking about privilege and not not to jump down too much of a rabbit hole, we might have to make a statement and put a plug in it till next time. But we do talk a lot about privilege and in in some of our trainings and we also talk about context of of behavior. Right. In the context in which behavior occurs.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:46:57] Historically, we’ve talked about those things separately, right? We’ve talked about behavior, the context of behavior or how context changes behavior, and then we’ve talked about privilege and we’ve talked about privilege as more of a stagnant thing. Right. This is something that you have certain ways you might earn it, certain ways you’re born into it. But as you’re talking, Mason. I think there are some privileges or that we should maybe talk about much more so in context, right, so in the context of being an NBA player, when I’m in that context, meaning people know who I am, then I have certain privileges. But when I move to another context and I am regular every day, you know, Jim, those privileges are removed.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:47:56] You know, it’s we were talking to a police chief not too long ago and the police chief told the story about walking into another police station in plain clothes. And so the other station had no clue that that this person was the police chief and and treated that person as if they were not a police chief. Right. So the privilege of being a police chief only happens within the context of being police chief. But as soon as nobody knows anymore, you’re right back to everyday Joe. And I’m thinking now, and I would love to impact it, maybe when we have more time, I think maybe that’s a really important line we need to start drawing a little better of like. And there’s some people where context matters less, right? There are some privileges that I have as a white woman, that context doesn’t matter at all, right? My my context is always going to be the same no matter where I’m going, unless I really fight hard to actively undo that. But others, i.e., black and brown people especially, context is everything.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:49:18] And maybe we need to that that might be one of the biggest issues with privilege, right?

Mason Washington: [00:49:24] Well, that’s a great point.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:49:29] Oh, thanks, Mason, you kind of just blew my mind right there.

Mason Washington: [00:49:34] Well, I think that’s a great point. And again, and we’ve seen right like in that in that many of the trainings that we’ve done how when trying to discuss the whole concept of privilege, how in the room intensifies. Great. Right. And it becomes a, you know, an even more difficult conversation to have. And so, you know, maybe framing it. As you stated, you know, a more in context, right, can help bridge the gap and allow us to have that conversation in a way that maybe may make it a little bit more palatable and a little bit more real.

Mason Washington: [00:50:17] You know what I’m saying? And for for people to understand. But I do think that it’s it’s another topic that we definitely need to unpack more and then we need to have a discussion about as it relates to privileging equity and bias. And many of these terms, it you know, we use in our regular everyday vocabulary because this is what we do for a living. But but what that really means and how it really, you know, affects our everyday life and the everyday lives of others I think is an important thing for us to discuss in the future. So just a little bit of a preview, listeners, to maybe some of the things that will be coming, you know, as we continue to move forward in our in our Inclusion Junkie series.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:51:07] I think that’s a pretty nice summary. And outro, I know we’re we’re getting close at the time and we like to be mindful of everyone’s time and commitments to that. I’m wondering any final thoughts, final take home messages, anything we want to leave with our listeners today?

Paul Peebles: [00:51:28] I would like to just say, first off, thanks for taking time out of your busy days. And just remember, guys, we always say inclusion is a way of life. So take that little nugget and think of it. Our differences actually makes us all better together. I just want to say thanks to all of our listeners out there.

Mason Washington: [00:51:56] Yeah, yeah, you know, and I think for me, I would what would would definitely, you know, add on to what Paul is saying. But I think, you know, this sounds real superficially, a little cliche-ish, I guess. But it’s important that we listen and it’s important that we love each other. Paul made a point earlier about communication and really listening to one another. And I think that one of the one of the many things that I think I hope that our listeners get from our podcast is that we take the time to actually listen to each other and hear each other and understand the different perspectives of things, because that’s what makes us better as people who really care about diversity, inclusion and try to, you know, bring about change in organizations. So I just appreciate our dynamic and I appreciate our willingness to listen and love each other.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:53:04] Perfectly stated. Thank you both for those those closing comments, and I’m just going to reiterate what both of you said, inclusion is a way of life. Let’s listen. Let’s value. Let’s love one another. Until next time, this is inclusion junkie.

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