Seattle, Joma Alonzo, Joma Allu discussed on Forever35

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Our guest today. Today is each Joma Alonzo. Welcome Joma Hi. We're so glad to have you here. Joma allu- is a Seattle based writer speaker and Internet yeller. Her work on social issues such as race gender has been published in the Guardian the stranger Washington Post Elle magazine. NBC News News and more and Her New York Times bestselling first book. So you want to talk about race was released in January. Two thousand eighteen with seal press. Joma was named one of the most influential people in Seattle by Seattle magazine. One of the fifty most influential women in Seattle by Seattle met one of the roots hundred most influential Americans twenty seventeen nineteen and twenty eighteen and is the recipient recipient of the feminist humanist award twenty eighteen by the American Humanist Association the Media Justice Award by the Gender Justice this league and the two thousand eighteen. Aubrey Davis Visionary Leadership Award by the Equal Opportunity Institute and we are so excited to have her here ear to talk about her book and about Self Care and yeah So let's let's get into it Can Can we start Each homered just for listeners. Who aren't familiar with your book? Can you endure night both. Read it can you tell us Kind of tell us generally about what it is and also kind of what your experience has been since publishing it. Obviously it's a New York Times bestseller which is amazing I'd love to hear just kind of what right it has been like since it came out for you. Sure I'm the book is called C.. WanNa talk about race. So it's it's it's pretty self explanatory planetary. It's a kind of guidebook on helping with your conversations on issues of racism in America. It's really designed nine to kind of help. People get past some of the stumbling blocks that frequently Canidu- conversations on race and for your every day life in work at home in your community to really get past those initial conflicts and into really find areas for change range. So each chapter tackles issues or questions that People Kinda stumble upon regularly talking about issues of race the book. It came out in January of last year. And it's been amazing. It's been really well received. It's been used in in colleges across the country work shops across the country. It's been mason to hear from people about the difference. It's made in their life and it's definitely a book that keeps going. It's been interesting to watch this steady use and you know over the last almost two years now how and to see it. Still be relevant and something that people are still recommending to each other and to see it really improving not only relationships let's but in actual situations that are impacting people of color across the country and even outside of the United States. And we should say that it came Out in the paperback edition in September. And you you wrote a new introduction for the paperback which I thought was a preface For for the paperback that I thought was interesting Were you kind of talk about some of the I guess some of the things that you sort of wish. You would disgust in the original edition Can you talk about a little bit about how you came to those realizations. I guess. Certainly I mean I think this is something that faces every writer. Where is the things you right? Stay static even the raiders grow and change and an often we grow and change because of what we right and so writing a book on recently. I book you. Even the process of talking about the book and traveling in hearing from people added to what I felt like. I wish I had this. I wish I could have included this. It changed it added nuance to my own ideas. He is of what I'd I'd written and Ching and use also showed some areas where you know could have done more Or better and they think any brighter always thinks they could do more and I think any topic we write about. We could write multiple books about but you luckily when you have a paperback you get to at least give voice least to some of that instead of just carrying it with you and so it was really nice to have the opportunity to talk about what I would like to include things. I learned that you know my own privilege had kind of stopped me from realizing raising of just care that I could have taken in some areas of the book especially daily Issues facing people of Color. That aren't lack. That's my own lived experience Ryan But also things that I just didn't realize needed to be explained as explicitly as they did and so seeing it And then getting another Chanson very grateful that it sold well enough to. Do you know to be able to have a paperback edition. So that I could at least include some of those things and talk about it and people know that I- side and you know I'm not the last person to write a book about race and certainly not I and it's always important. I think think for us to recognize what more we can do and what could happen next. And what ask about cultural appropriation because we talk a ton about self care on this podcast and self care practices and I think a lot of what we're seeing in self care right now kind of is there is a lot of cultural appropriation going on and so I was wondering if you could kind of speak about how we can bring more awareness to the ways in which a lot of self care practices especially you know things that white women are doing our coach cultural appropriation. Yes certainly I would say that you know hard what I I I think we should look at is a lot of the idea of self care as it is. Popularized wigs was well within white supremacy by the idea to have this luxury time. Where you can set everything side is something that many people of colored never get to two and I would say especially women of color and so a lot of detractors? That are often adopted are not Mrs Sarah what we would call self care her but our survival by a lot of practices other cultures have come up with to get by to live or something that are you know survival. For communities communal practices religious practices very important practices are treated as luxury items as retreats for white the people and it's important to recognize why that's problematic and it's not problematic that anybody would would want some luxury in their life. It is problematic to sink that you can take something that was created for survivor. Where for community eighty or you know to hold an oppressed people together and not take any of the struggle not to anything to you? Reconcile your part in that oppression and that's really where we're the issue wise for. I think a lot of people. It's not that people want to practice yoga or you know. Go on a sweat or do any of these things. It's the fact that these things are since they are part of a culture that is being told they don't have a right to themselves and these things were created to balance you. You know in to fight off sloop. Russian that white culture has perpetrated and or have been held onto inspite of oppression of white culture. And so then to have people who don't have to face any of that who we'd these things for that purpose to say. Oh that's nice. I want some of that without also so thinking what can I do to ease the burden that I'm imposing upon this culture Or what can I do to make sure that whatever prophets Sweden eight from this actually goes to the culture that created maintains its is in itself just more colonialism white supremacy. And so I think for me. The focus is not necessarily on the act itself but in the imbalance behind it by the problem is the symptom is cultural appropriation. Russian raped power imbalance ends up looking like true appropriate. And what I would love. People to look at is the power imbalance to look at where the problem lies. What makes it cultural appropriation? Asian and tackle back so tackle eraser and our cultures you know tackle The way in which capitalism cuts communities of color out of any profits from their own creations. Tackle the Exploitation of communities of colored sat tackle the censoring of Whiteness in media And pop culture all of these things that make cultural appropriation that give teeth. Those are the things I would like people to focus on where oftentimes ends up happening. Instead is something that rise still with inwards premacy which is people WANNA list of. What can I do if I can't you know if I can't do yoga if I can't you no dress up like a Gisha if I can't do all these things what can I do and really what people are asking is this? How can operate the same way? I always have without feeling bad and instead if you you know people talk about how much they appreciate and love other cultures. New Celebrating other cultures was celebrating other cultures needs looking towards sustainment of that culture her and showing appreciation for what was given by trying to not be a burden and to lift any burden that you've placed and that's really what I want. People people start focusing on. Yeah I mean kind of along those lines. I love all the actionable suggestions you have in your book for how people can fight systemic racism. Right you can try. You can try to link to the stomach effects of racism whenever you talk about racism Can you you can talk a little bit more about that and explain why this is so important. I'm it's an order for a couple of reasons. One is that what people of color are are suffering from is not the sentiments the lack of love for White people right and a lot of times. We like to keep discussions on race and racism. Awesome in the hearts you know feelings and love in Area and what will it really is is system systemic oppression. It's Tau those opinions and feelings could be manipulated by the system or the power that our systems give those feelings so I could walk in the street and people can think whatever they want with me and I'm fine with what does bother me. Is that if they decide to act on it and they'd said outcome feelings about me because the color of my skin our entire air system our employment system our government our media will line up behind that action to make it more powerful and that's really what impacts the lives of people of Color and so when we're talking about issues of race it's important to recognize a that it's oftentimes is more effective to get people to see why something is a problem that they're doing if they see how her playing into something more systemic but also because that's really where the pain lies for people of Color and people of color don't feel heard when all the here is. I'm sorry if you felt bad when I did this because it's not not saying. I felt that you know if I get talk to her in a meeting by a white man. It's not just that it's rude to be talked over. It's because it plays into the general erasure and subjugation. That black women face in workplaces across the country right it reinforces that pattern and it's part of a long trail of events to harm and it doesn't exist from its own and so we need to tie to these larger issues a because that's where the real issue is. That's what people of color are talking about winter talking about these situations but also because people need to understand the full weight of what they're doing and they need to also know but it's the systems they need to attack and that when they fail to look at their actions. They are supporting oppressive assistance. It's not just a made a mistake or I did what I would do with anyone else it is. I supported a longstanding harmful racist system. So you know I am example. I think using the book Lucas. If you make a joke about people of color being late in the office we are actually doing is not just making a joke. You are up hoping a stereotype. Oh type that makes people was likely to be hired for jobs and that because we have racist systems that allow all black people to be judged in mass That you know are fever. Negative stereotypes that want to find reasons to hold old white employees above employees of color. Then you what you're saying is no longer just a joke and the harm that that brunt of that that joke fields which is not just the by person you're talking about but every black person an officer black person who would work in. That office is larger richer than just a few words. And that's really why we have these conversations and I think that's why it's important. I think everyone should know especially white people. You should know the broader impact of what they're doing because people of color are meant to feel that every single day we feel the full weight of racist actions agents. That's why we spent so much time focusing on things like microaggressions because there's nothing micro about that because they play into a large system that is crushing people..

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