June 7, 2020

5. Black Lives Matter | Special Guests; Janyce Carroll & Annabella Gagnon

Today we welcomed two very special guests, our amazing and insightful daughter Annabella as well as our beautiful loving friend Janyce Carroll (or to our kids Auntie Janyce). This week's episode strayed a little from our usual content but we felt it would be a disservice to our community not to address what's been going on in America right now, and bring a conversation as well as resources. Having conversations with our children about what's going on in America is so important, our children are smarter than we give them credit for and have a voice too. Let's listen to them! This is an episode you won't want to miss. After listening please check out these resources and join their fitness challenge!



Well, hello, welcome folks to another episode of what's special about special. Uh, today we do have special guest, uh, Janice or miss Janice, or as we like to refer to her in the Gagnon household as auntie Janice.

[00:01:46] Thank you very much for joining us today. Yeah, it's so great to be here. Thank you guys for inviting me. Oh, you're very welcome. And then we also, considering this is a very special episode. We do have Annabella Gagnon. Hi, welcome to the show. We have our extra special second guest today. So Christine, why don't you go ahead and, uh, roll with the credentials of our guests?

[00:02:11] Yeah. Well, I want to start by saying that today's, episode's a little different than our typical episode that we normally, um, put out. Uh, we realized that we. Normally when we were going to air another episode for this week, but with everything going on in the world and everything kind of going on this week, we really wanted to bring a different set of resources to the community.

[00:02:38] And we felt that this might be the best way to do that. Um, we also realized that in our household. There's been a lot more conversation this week, particularly, but all the time, but really this week, particularly around what's been going on in the news. Um, and the, you know, specifically the black lives matter movement and everything that's been happening and Anabella has had a lot of.

[00:03:07] A lot of things to say about that in very articulate ways to say them probably better than both me and Eddie can say. Um, and we felt that it was important to let her have a voice as well. We thought it would be a really interesting voice to hear from her as not only our daughter, as a child, um, as someone in our community.

[00:03:34] And somebody who is a student and his is in this community as well. She's got a lot of peers, um, who are people of color. She has a lot of peers who are not, and we in an inner city where we see a lot of different, a lot of different things in the community, a lot of different people all across the board.

[00:03:54] And so I think that she's got a lot of great views on what's going on right now. And we wanted to give her that voice, but we also understand that. She's 12 in that that's a different views mindset. And that also has parents have a responsibility to kind of help guide her through what's going on. Um, and we understand that teachers have a responsibility, whether or not they want that responsibility there.

[00:04:21] It's kind of handed to them when they're in a classroom, it's a little bit different of a dynamic outside the classroom right now during COVID. Um, but we thought that having Ms. Janice or auntie Janice on to speak with us to talk about what she had, uh, does in the classroom or outside the classroom as it is right now with her students would help kind of us with this conversation as well.

[00:04:49] So awesome site. There's a long ramp. Yeah. It's okay. And so I guess, um, what we had. Decided for this whole episode is we do want it, of course, to be just an open conversation. Um, I guess to completely acknowledge the elephant in the room is to acknowledge the fact that, you know, Chris and I are, we are white.

[00:05:13] Um, we've had that privilege of not having to deal with the social inequalities and the injustices that are, uh, Endured by people of color every day. Um, but again, We find it, it would be irresponsible of us not to address these current issues right now, especially because in my opinion, us being that privilege and having the ability we need to use that platform.

[00:05:42] Um, I think that that's one thing that we can acknowledge. Uh, one thing that. I'm trying to learn and trying to literally engulf myself with is to make sure that the actions that I'm taking national, the words I'm speaking, but actions that we do as well are going to be benefiting the future, benefiting data, quality, and benefiting, um, the end of this injustice that we face every day.

[00:06:05] So that's where I think all of this really urgent from, um, and I'm honestly, I will try to keep it like. I will try to keep my emotions down. But, um, in the wake of all of this, I just, every day, I've, I've been struggling emotionally. Like where do I find myself and where I can put myself to better the situation, but that's where I feel like this, this episode is going to be very.

[00:06:30] Very special in that way, where we can, we can discuss this. It can be an open conversation, but in the end, I want to be able to know what I can do more, what actions that I can take to again, um, contribute to the evolution that we need, this, this, the end of this injustice, the end of the inequality, especially as a parent, too, right?

[00:06:53] Like how we, yeah. I would say in Bella, this is where I would like you to come in. Um, we are fortunate that Bella goes to a great school where she has great teachers, um, and we just have great mentors and teachers in our lives. Thank you, Vince. Thank you very much, Mr. Um, but in that, yeah. You know, um, today Bello was engaging in a conversation with her peers.

[00:07:17] Um, and honestly, when I reflect on that, when I, when I'm. Witnessing and hearing that there's other 12 year olds, that they they're addressing their fears, they're addressing their concerns. It is absolutely heart-wrenching to me as a parent, that these are the things that are on our children's minds. Like these are adult content things our children should be worrying about who left off being it when they were playing tag at recess, not we need to address social inequalities in our own schools.

[00:07:49] Like those are things that I just can't. I have a really difficult time wrapping my head around and I want, you know, I want to be a contributing factor to make these things better. I don't want to talk about what is happening when we acknowledge what's happening. I feel like a voice of where we can go from that and a voice that can.

[00:08:09] Create answers or just kind of, you know, brainstorm about answers is where we need to go. Like, so, um, Bella, I would like to turn that over to you. I like Bella. Why were you interested in, in being a part of this episode? Well, mainly because as a 12 year old student in a school where I, I do have like friends who.

[00:08:36] I have friends who I know for a fact, don't get the amount, don't get the amount of privilege that I get. They don't get the, they, they are facing like social injustice. And I think that that's, it's really, really terrible. And I want to be, I very, very, very much want to be a contributing factor to be able to stop these issues because to be honest, they're the things.

[00:09:00] That are going on right now, like in the world with, with racism, it's really just terrible. It's terrible. And it's, I, I mean, I really, I really can't even explain how, how terrible it is that these are things that people have to face. And go ahead. Oh, um, and like, it's, I feel that I want to help people that face social injustice because I don't, I hate the thought that somebody has to feel like that every single day at somebody has like a friend of mine or a peer of mine at school has to, has to fear walking home from school.

[00:09:42] I, I really. I it's it's. I want to be able to fix that because every person that I see or I meet instantly, I feel that I need to, I need to make everybody feel like you mean you want to make people feel comfortable when they're around you? Yeah. I, I think that I don't, I really don't like it when I don't feel accepted or I'm uncomfortable in the space and I never, ever would wish anybody.

[00:10:13] Like that feeling. So I just want to make sure that nobody's feeling that way and that we can all feel like we're in a safe, we're in a safe environment. So I think that's important. Yeah. So I really want to help. So to make sure and like that every person, every friend, every peer, every human being on this earth feels as though they are treated with respect.

[00:10:40] They are comfortable in the environment that they are in and they know that they are loved. And so I, the reason that I got into it was just basically, I really, I want to help and I want to be able to make a change. Well, I think that's big thinking. That's huge. Thank you, Belen. And so of course, you know, We have the child's perspective, but, um, as Ms.

[00:11:06] Janice being involved in the school system, the public school system, um, and honestly, in my opinion, you, you're a great advocate for, you know, social equality. Um, just the things that we talk about in our conversations that we had previously and just, you know, where you stand politically, I think is huge, but where do you find yourself?

[00:11:28] Um, Trying to make those differences in your students. Um, and where do you see, uh, the ability to make those changes or to, to help with those improvements? Um, I think firstly, we all just kind of have to realize like, no, one's perfect at this, you know, nobody's a hundred percent going to get it right.

[00:11:46] Every single time. But the first step is, you know, the willingness to try and the willingness to put yourself out there for the kids. Because when the kids see that you're a real person who has the same kind of thoughts that they do and they want. Better for their lives better for other people's lives.

[00:12:04] And they pick up on that. Um, something I do every year in my classroom during black history month is I always show my kids this particular cartoon. Uh, I think it's called my friend Martin and it's I watch it every single year. It's like a 45 minute. Just these kids go back in time. Meet Martin Luther King, Jr.

[00:12:23] And that's kind of our segue into talking about diversity and racism and what types of things were happening during the civil rights movement and what types of things are happening now? Um, And even though I, this year teach second graders, um, you know, they pick up on those things and they say, Oh, well, we don't have to write at the back of the bus anymore.

[00:12:43] We can pick our spots on the local transit bus. And, you know, um, we go to school with all sorts of kids of every color. Well, so-and-so's white and so-and-so's black, but we're allowed to go to school together. And I feel like as adults, we often. I think that, or just assume I should say the kids don't have complex thoughts about social justice, about race, but kids are already thinking about race and who's around them and what's fair and what's equal.

[00:13:13] And those kinds of equity conversations, even at that low little seven-year-old level. Right? Um, well I think that's what the big thing is like Bella watching. I don't think we even, we know Bella has. We say it all the time. Like we're aware that Annabella speaks in has thoughts in a way that it might be beyond her at 12.

[00:13:35] Cause she's only 12 year old we're talking to, but sitting during college, she's been on all of these zoom calls with her classmates and her teachers and it's in the same room that I'm working in. And so I'm able to kind of hear these calls. And the one today with her teacher one, I will say that I was thoroughly impressed.

[00:13:56] Well, the fact that her teacher was, you know, open enough to just say you're a S it was a music class. And for her teacher to just be able to say, open it up to say, Hey, your assignment today is to give some flat on what's going on in the world right now and come to class with that. And how is it affecting you?

[00:14:13] You know, to be able to just say less than stops. Let's talk about that. And then these students, you know, she gave them all a moment and a voice to say, how are you feeling? What's going on? I'm the honest, we kind of do that here in our house, but I would assume most parents don't think when we're, when me and Eddie are talking during the day, we're talking about current events.

[00:14:36] We're talking about what we saw on Facebook. We're talking about what we saw the news. I never usually think to turn around and go, Hey guys, how is this affecting what you what's happening with you when it's definitely probably affecting them. So for the teacher to turn and say that to the students, listening to the students' responses and how articulate they were and what their thoughts were.

[00:14:57] A couple of times I turned around and looked at bellow like, wow. I mean, they were thoughts I wasn't even having. And they knew more about what was going on than I did. They were informed. They were thinking very logically, you know, they were very middle grad just saying, well, this isn't necessarily fair, but I think this, and just being very, you know, understanding of the situation and they weren't looking at all the negative because one, they're not all over Facebook, but the rest of the world.

[00:15:30] So they're not seeing all the bad, all the good, because unlike adults, they're not all over the media, they're just seeing the facts. Or hearing what's happening and they're forming opinions based on that. Right. It's really interesting to hear their here, seeing it through a child's eyes and just a really innocent look on things.

[00:15:52] And there are times that we say you're not fully informed. Let's have a conversation about that. I mean, right though, there are a couple of times that me and daddy have said to you, that's not a hundred percent accurate. Right. Let's talk about that. Yeah. As a whole, she's coming from a really genuinely honest place and forming these honest opinions, you know, I'm like, why don't you tell me?

[00:16:21] Thanks. And I'll start voting that way because you seem to have much more genuine view on things. Yeah. And I, um, am I understand, like, I mean, even in that zoom call that eroding today, I understand that I didn't vocally participate very much. Um, and I know that I should have, but I do think that if you just, if you're just listening to the things that are really going on and to, and to people's facts and opinions that is going to change you, that's going to make a difference in.

[00:16:52] What you think you need to make an impact on? I was just sitting there listening to all of my peers opinions and I, and I kind of just thought, you know, we all are well-informed, I didn't participate, but I definitely took something away from it. And as long as people are listening and they're, they're hearing the things and the facts and what people are saying, You're going to be able to take something powerful away from everything that's going on.

[00:17:19] Right. But that's participating pumpkin, like, okay. Yeah. You participated without her knowing you're participating. Yeah, absolutely. And I think, um, I know the school that I work on a big push this year and it's actually built into our curriculum is how to build a community of learners. And it's not just about learning the academics.

[00:17:37] But teaching the kids how to be open and honest with each other and comfortable being vulnerable or being wrong or being right, and listening to their friends who are wrong and right. And learning how to have a conversation with someone without jumping in and saying, no, that's not right. And being able to accept, you know, somebody else's idea that's different than yours.

[00:17:57] Being able to give a different idea than yours. Give yourself reasons of like your backup. Why do you feel this way or asking the question? Why do you think that? Hmm, that's interesting. Or I disagree or I agree because dah, dah, dah, you know? Yeah. Now is that like, I mean, do you feel, how do you feel like, I feel like that is the foundation of making these changes.

[00:18:20] Yeah, I think that this push in curriculum, um, or not in curriculum, I'm sorry. This push in community building, uh, Is going to be the biggest way for us to make change in the classroom and the biggest way for us to make change in our community because these local protests are going on. Many of them were started by students because they're open and willing to listen to each other.

[00:18:46] And they're being their honest selves. Like you said before, they know what it is that they want. And they know what it is that they believe is fair and equitable. And. The right thing to do, and they're helping their communities see it the same way. And I think that those kinds of things have to start when they're young, they have to start when they're little, you know, down to what's better for lunch, pizza or popcorn, you know, I think pizza's better because blah, blah, blah.

[00:19:15] I think popcorn's better because blah, blah, blah, but learning how to be, uh, Citizen of your classroom is going to help them learn to be citizens of the greater community, going to help them be able to have these really hard conversations later on where as adults we get caught up in that Facebook you're wrong.

[00:19:36] No, look at this article. No, you're wrong. Look at this article. We didn't have that foundation, you know, or maybe some of us did, but obviously not enough of us did right. Well, or the foundation was. Thought of as right. But the whole, the black and white of right and wrong and not like necessarily Blackwood, but you even like, there's a right and a wrong and there's no in-between.

[00:19:59] And, and I think that that was probably born out of something else, just because maybe there wasn't an alternative at some point, maybe it was necessary that there had to be someone right. In someone wrong. And so it kind of birthed this whole generation of. Someone just has to be right on this. And someone has to be wrong on this.

[00:20:19] And there's no room for gray area right now. And so I don't know where that stems from, but it, it seems like pride, it stems from pride was like, I don't know if it's a generational thing, but it seems that there's a generational shift where that is. There's a generation that, that happened for, and then.

[00:20:40] There's this generation that, you know, you, people can complain about millennials and under, but they ha they do have a different view on things. And for whatever the society may think they're lacking. And this is something that I feel like they're not with this whole community feel right. And that is where some things maybe going to make a change and.

[00:21:06] You know, I think with that, that same group of people are using social media differently. They're not using it in the same way. And the hope would be that, that whole part of media that's only showing the yes and the no and the good and the bad and the right in the wrong will probably fade. Because I know that there's so many people I know, and I'm the older side of the generation, but the younger side, the younger generation are either don't have that type of social media or just don't, don't use it, they scroll through, then I'll click on it.

[00:21:42] It's just not their cup of tea. They're just kind of learning to embrace that gray area of like, yeah, they're using the Tik TOK in the Snapchat and the Instagram instead of the Facebook. Right. Yeah. Cause it's just not their thing. So the politics are out of the picture for it. And hopefully that makes a shift in how the things get out there and how information gets kind of sent out there.

[00:22:10] And then people see something differently. Um, and it's not to say, I mean, like we've said this many times, we know that there's stuff out there that shouldn't be happening. Like Bella said it really, really well earlier. She said, you know, I know that there's bad things happening that shouldn't be happening during protests.

[00:22:28] And I know that there's great things happening, but she was for a frustrate day, she kept coming to me and saying, but this and this and this, and she was only naming off negatives. And I said, there's a ton of positives. We have to find that let's talk. You can no longer talk to me about a negative. It's easy to talk about the negatives because that's what the media is showing.

[00:22:51] Right? That's the big question. That's what everybody wants to hear. Like, see, look, you're wrong. Look at this. Look at this. Yep. This proves my point because your point is bad on both sides. Yeah. Both sides are doing that. So exactly, but there's so much of the opposite happening and that should be also shown.

[00:23:15] And then people like the kids are, can also make their opinions as a community and, and decide how to kind of move forward with that. I feel like at this point in time, um, we, we, we live in an age where if you search deep enough, you are going to find an opinion that. Coincides with yours, you know what I mean?

[00:23:38] So I feel like that's, that, that is a little bit of a problem where you have these people who can have, you know, these most like ignorant, close minded ideas, and they will get support from other people who are just as ignorant, close minded from them. But then you also have the same thing where, I mean, it is the same thing.

[00:23:57] You have people on the other side of the farthest end of the spectrum, who can do the same thing. And you're just manipulating the situation when 95% of us are just like we do. Just want to be in peace. We just want to, we just want each other to understand each other. We just want each other to respect each other.

[00:24:13] What we're having today is we live in a society today. We live in the most peaceful, and I know it's hard to think about it, but we do live in the most peaceful time because now when you have technology and you have this information, that's able to be spread across the world. It's. Yeah, uh, milliseconds, um, it's really hard to get away with like, uh, putting, you know, 10,000 soldiers against 10,000 soldiers in Washington, slaughter each other.

[00:24:36] We don't have those things. Um, it's still, there is crime. There's still bad things that happen. There's still social injustice and there's still inequality. Absolutely. But I think what's happening now is just like the saying it's darkest before the Dawn, when you're about to. The biggest fight. Anything we'll put up is right before it's dead.

[00:24:59] Right before you neutralize that threat. So I feel like we'll hit a peak of racism right before it honestly is, is, is squashed. But we have to bring it to that point. That's gross. That that has to be like that. Right. But look at when you logically look at everything that is the cycle, they talk about the circle of life, the cycle and history repeats itself.

[00:25:25] All of these great things. It is it's, it's, they're all sayings for a reason because it is, that's where it's going to be. It's going to be this, this maximum peak and everybody be like, look how devastating this was. Let's never do that again. Yeah. But then we'll do another 50 years. Don't I'll do it again again, then probably one more time for good measure.

[00:25:49] Sorry. Um, but like, um, I think that we should not have to do that. We shouldn't have to go through a really, really, really terrible situation to figure out that this is wrong. If people just thought, if people just thought about something before they actually did something before they actually did something that was going to cause a, a, a terrible effect on.

[00:26:16] So, so, so many people, we would be in a much better place if people use their brains. Before they did something that was ignorant. We would be in a much better place. So, Bella, how do you think that. We get to that point. I think teach people to think before we get to that point so that we don't have to end up there.

[00:26:43] Well, I do think that it's going to take a very, very long time because it's a very, very difficult thing to be able to fix. But I think that we should start with people that hold the most amount of power and tell them and convince them that we need to be doing this because it's wrong. Then those people of power have an effect on millions, upon billions of people.

[00:27:04] So we get the people that hold the most power to tell the people that they hold power under. And if they hold enough power, they're going to be able to tell enough people. And it's just, it's just a game of. I mean, it's like, it's like a game of telephone. And the game of telephone that we're playing is to be able to spread the message across millions and billions and millions and millions of people and, and tell everybody about what we really need to do, which is think before you act, think about what you're doing before you actually do it.

[00:27:42] Us as human beings, don't think before we act our daily lives. At least three times a day, we do things without thinking, let's call it impulse. But is that, are those statistics you're throwing us in? That was like the perfect child way of saying don't. Boom. Yeah, exactly. Well, that's I was just going to say about like, I think, you know, more importantly, like I think it's hard to tell someone in power.

[00:28:11] I think we try it all the time. People March on Washington, people go to their state, senators, people go to the government. I think it's even the step, even bigger than that is vote the right people into office that you think will get the job done. And that is hard. I think. We've talked about this a lot.

[00:28:31] We've we know people that we've helped try to get into office that we really truly believe in. And sometimes money wins out and the bigger candidate that has more money is gonna beat out that candidate. And that makes it really difficult for voices to be heard. You know, I don't know what the solution is.

[00:28:51] I mean, we definitely have, you know, felt that. It's never going to be clean. I know politics is a word it's like the verb into that. It was like, you know, it's everything, but like it's, it's politics, you know, there's a game behind it. You have to have the right person that can play the game and play the way you need the game played.

[00:29:17] It's it's finding the people that will work. I think the hard thing is that people are just tired. So the only people playing the political game are the people that just like power, the power, hungry people. Me and Eddie have said this many times this week, power breeds trouble lately. You know, like when you w or fighting amongst themselves, they can't rebel against the King.

[00:29:45] And that's what we have is, so it's easy to split. You have. Uh, for example, right now we have people that are fighting the social inequality and social injustices against a group of people that feel like they're trying to keep our nation from collapsing. And then the people that support them when both of those parties are looking for the same thing.

[00:30:09] Um, and, and that's the hardest thing. It's just, what we're looking at right now is in reality. There has been a 400 year war on a group of people due to this, the color of their skin. And that's, that is the, the, the main. Philosophy to what we're dealing with right now. And I feel like everything, every power will try to get you to stray from that concentration.

[00:30:39] They will try to get you we'll look at this and look at that. Look at that. No, no, no stop. It's not a smoke show anymore. It's not, and it won't end. It won't end until there's actually things that are done about this because. We, we have seen it. I'm done. I am. I'm done with this, these issues. I honestly, no, I haven't watched, I haven't watched that.

[00:31:04] George Floyd. I can't watch that video. I can't watch a man's life be taken in front of me. Because that's not, that's not the fact that it happened is enough. I don't have to watch a video. I just have to hear that, that, and then in my opinion, like you don't have to watch that, but people, I mean, listen, I don't think that anyone should be watching someone's life be taken on national news or TV or anything.

[00:31:37] That's somebody's family member. That's somebody's child, that's somebody something. So I don't think that that shouldn't be on anything, you know, we've, I think we've talked about this on other things, you know, somebody jumps off of, uh, you know, goes bungee jumping and the cord breaks. And I don't think that should be on some stupid viral Reddit thread either, but.

[00:31:57] I see the power behind that being out there. And I see the argument that other people have for why that's out there, because there are people you don't need to see that because you know, the power behind those eight minutes and 46 seconds as they yeah. Well, so from meals, doesn't comprehend that. Right.

[00:32:23] And that video. May be enough for them to go from this side of the line, to that side of the line, right? It shouldn't be something I've said for a long time. Obviously I'm black. It's

[00:32:42] cool to know. I mean, people listening by God know, I get told that a lot just goes to show, like that's not, that's a different conversation. Another podcast episode, however, you know, I am, my brother calls me like his tree hugging, liberal bleeding, heart sister. And I really embraced that nickname, honestly, even though he kind of meant it a little bit as like a jab, but it's fun.

[00:33:11] It's cool. You know, and I had a close friend who was like, well, all lives matter all lives matter, right? No one's saying that they're not. However, we've got a problem and she just kept on and on and on. And when this George Floyd video came out and then a few days later, Um, the video about, uh, the man in central park came out with the girl screaming on the phone, acting like she was in so much danger because she knew what type of power her voice had when all that operator could hear was her voice.

[00:33:51] And then a few days after that, during a protest, these college kids were taken out of their car and tased and she texted me and she said, I've had enough. Like, I understand what you're talking about now. And that was really powerful to me. Like, you know, I've been preaching the sun purple in the face for so long since the hashtag started and, and you're getting it, but you're getting it because you watched that on TV.

[00:34:20] You'll watch that moment on TV. And this is a reality that black people in the United States can escape. Like, I, I. I don't get to take the skin off. I don't get to take off, uh, a uniform when I leave my classroom at the end of the day, you know, I take off my teacher keys. I take off my teacher clothes and then I'm mommy.

[00:34:40] I'm auntie Janice. Um, the sister, the friend, you know, whoever my work-life is behind me, ma that's my other life. But yeah, stay black. I can't, I can't change that. And I think that's something I want the kids to know too, you know, like. You can't change what you look like on the outside, but what's on the inside is the really important part.

[00:35:02] And we should value what's on the inside of everyone, whether they agree with our opinion, whether they want to say things that we don't want to listen to, but you still have to value that that is a someone that's a person that's a human being at the end of the day. Absolutely. Eddie made a really good.

[00:35:24] Analogy that I felt like was really powerful. Like, you know, I, I, I stole it. So just remember I stole that. I said that I stole it, they stole it. Okay. He brought it to my attention. Why people, you know, I get why people, you know, say all lives matter. I get that because maybe in their life, a police officer or somebody else is extreme, their life is so important to them because I think that there's a fear.

[00:35:50] That they again, see on the media portraying police officers or as all bad. So they're concerned for the safety of their police officer, family, or friend or whoever. And they want to make sure that they're saying, don't know, everybody matters. Please don't quit or pigeonhole our police officers or whoever that they're caring about into that same pile.

[00:36:14] I totally understand where they're coming from. So of course I refer it in weave if you're listening to the podcast, because you're interested into hearing what we have to say. You've probably heard this analogy, but the house on fire, of course, all houses matter. But when the fire department comes the house that's on fire needs the water right now.

[00:36:44] And. In today right now, black America is burning. And it is up to us to acknowledge that my house doesn't need water. I don't need anything. But what I need to do is I need to rush over to that burning house and I had to help put it out period. And to acknowledge that is to just that's when you put yourself aside.

[00:37:07] And I think that's, we live in a country where it is, this me first, a very selfish, instant gratification kind of country. And when people don't feel that, or they don't have that, they feel like they lost control. They feel like their freedom's taken away, whatever it may be at this point. Yeah. Deer. Yeah.

[00:37:24] It's a fear-based country right now. Right? Right. Understandable. I want more freedom. If, if as American, I feel like my freedoms are being, uh, attacked right now, then, you know what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna fight for people to have more freedom. That's it period. So it, freedom is equality. Freedom is Liberty.

[00:37:43] Freedom is justice. So I'm going to fight for a group of Americans that are dealing with this injustice and this inequality. That's what I'm going to fight for it because at the end of the day, I'm fighting for my rights. I'm fighting for the American rights. And when you think of black, American is different from white American, then that's another issue that you have inside yourself.

[00:38:03] Because if I'm fighting for another Americans rights, I'm fighting for my own rights. Period. That's it. Great. I saw this really good. Um, I don't want to call it a meme, but I guess it was a meme. It was like equal rights for others. Does not mean less rights for you. Exactly. It's not pie, right? It's not. And that really stuck with me.

[00:38:22] I was like, I want that on a bumper sticker. T-shirt or something like, it's not pie, it's not pie. We're not fighting over pie. We're just asking that when you look at me or when you look at my daughter, or when you look at my students, you're not looking at them any different than you would look at me or my daughter or my students, if they were the same complexion as you, you know, that doesn't mean that.

[00:38:53] People are innately great or innately good are innately bad. It's just, everyone deserves to be treated on the outside as we are on the inside. Yep. Yes. Which sounds super cheesy. I feel like I say this so often treat other people how you want to be treated the golden rule, other people, how you want to be treated.

[00:39:18] That's that's that's my religion. That's it. It's, it's such a it's it's, it's a perfect philosophy because that does it. It takes that responsibility. You, you now are taking that responsibility onto yourself. You're saying, Hey, listen, if I want this respect, then obviously I have to give that respect.

[00:39:39] That's it. When we talk about the actions and stuff that, you know, that more than just speaking out and posting memes and seeing that, you know, I'm a freedom fighter on Facebook. Um, I think what it comes down to is in my personal experience, what I'm learning from this is that honestly, I will never find myself being the person to film.

[00:40:02] I will never find myself being the person that's just documenting the situation. I need to step in immediately. I need to use the power that I have to interject in to make sure that these, if I'm ever a part of a situation like this, I will make sure that I do what is, what I feel is right. And I'm going to, so I want to just interject and say that the person filming that.

[00:40:29] With a teenage girl. No. And I'm not saying it's not part of her that step again. It's just to reflect on. No, it was, it was filmed by a teenage girl probably couldn't have interjected and was fearing, um, in, in, in her thought I could just say knowing Annabella and knowing any teenage girl thought was probably, and considering everything going on was.

[00:40:52] I can't the only way she probably knew to help in the situation was to at least document. And to be honest, what helps she did. Because if she had not documented that situation, where would we be right now? And what will we be talking about? Those people, those four men would not be charged. I can almost guarantee that there would have been a conversation about it.

[00:41:15] Wasn't a minute. So it wasn't this, it wasn't that, Oh, it was all these other reasons that they've already, they've already tried it. Right. So the fact that that video is there, the fact that that young girl had to even had to witness that, um, she. Should get every . So, yes, I understand that for you. I wouldn't say that is your privilege.

[00:41:41] You were very strong, but that's what that's, but that's the thing is I have, that's where I have the power in. I need to use that. Like that's where I need to F I need to take that advantage. Use my opportunity to benefit others, because that is my obligation. Honestly, that's, that's where I am in my spirituality.

[00:42:01] Like, I am nothing on this. I'm helping others. What are you at the end of the day? So you use that privilege and I think it's really important. Any that you're. Not feeling like, Oh, I don't want to say the word privilege because people get caught up in this. Where's my white privilege. I struggled, I was poor.

[00:42:20] We had government cheese, but yeah, we did. Yeah. I still acknowledge the unicorn in real life, which is probably most of cure listeners. Uh, my family, my family is white, but I'm black. I'm adopted, um, You know, like w I kind of grew up a little bit benefiting from, you know, having a white family and growing up in a mostly white town, 85 to 90% of the time, you know, and having that privilege doesn't mean having white privilege doesn't mean that your life is not hard.

[00:42:58] It doesn't mean that you didn't struggle. It doesn't mean that there were not, you know, uh, Situations of animosity. This doesn't mean that you had to climb and crawl your way to where you are now. It just means that your skin color was not what made your life hard, right? That's it? Yeah, that's it, you know?

[00:43:19] I think, have you ever seen there's this fantastic video? I saw it on YouTube or Reddit or somewhere. I'm like, I go down Reddit, rabbit holes for hours at night with me with that, but, um, it was fantastic. I saw a couple years back and it's. It's a high school and they're all out on a football field. And it's the, I don't know if you've noticed they've seen it and I'm probably gonna say it wrong.

[00:43:43] And they're all standing in a line, the coach or the teacher that Jim T I don't know who he is, coach or teacher. And he's saying, you know, if you ever win a day without a meal, No, no, no, no. If your parents are still there, he see, he listed off all the privileges. So if your parents are still together, if you, if somebody pays your cell phone bill, if you've never had to help your parents with the bills, so all the privileges they got to see.

[00:44:08] So he's each, he's labeling them one by one by one. And as he's doing that somewhat, they step forward once to step and you can see as people kind of drop off and drop off and drop off and everybody that's dropping out, you know, Most there are people of color drop off. There are white people dropping off.

[00:44:28] And I, there were things that in my life I was thinking I wouldn't be stepping forward for some of these things. And I would have been one of those kids as a high schooler. And I would be thinking to myself, this doesn't feel good being the one that's left behind, but you are being left behind in life as well.

[00:44:46] And that's, that's the message. It's not necessarily like. Oh, well, you have privilege and you do not it's that when you don't have those extra privileges in life and that you don't even know you have, and it's okay to have them. It's okay that you have these privileges, but just be aware that you had them.

[00:45:02] And that's what got you to that, what that step, even not as a person of color, but somebody who. Had maybe less privileged, but still privilege there in the special needs community. The whole point of this is to say, we understand not everybody has the privilege as we might have to find these resources.

[00:45:19] Let's bring them to you. It's the same idea. We know that's the point of today's episode. I just want to bring more resources to somebody who might not have access to those they're out there. Exactly. They're there. Yeah. You might need a little help to find it and you know, That's where we come in, as teachers, as community members, you know, Hey, I see you lead this.

[00:45:44] Let me help you. If I can't give it to you or I can't get it or help you make it. Well, let's find somebody who can. Yeah. And I, if more people were willing to embrace that, you know, mentality, I think things would be a lot different. Well, I think you said it best, like earlier when you said like that. You know, how does the school's kind of adapting that mentality, but that community mentality community is a big word in so many different ways, but figuratively, it's a big word as well.

[00:46:14] Like community is a big word and we need to remember that whenever we move forward and things, and when we make choices and decisions, like Annabella said, when we. When we make a choice, we need to be thinking about the choices we make and should be thinking about our community. Before we make those choices.

[00:46:34] Who is this affecting? Why is it affecting somebody? No, I think I'm impressed Annabella that you, you think, you think that way? I don't know, you know, I don't think it came from me a dad. Cause I feel like there are not many times we've been like when you're in trouble, give her me. I'm like the most empathetic person, like ever, like for real Janice is going to take credit for that one that you were very, very influential in her.

[00:47:05] I wish I could. I don't know. No, it was those preschool foundations, those early years. Yeah. And, um, um, and there was, um, and there, there are things I saw like, um, I'm sure many people saw this of, um, policemen driving their cars through crowds of people. Like they're, they're trying to shut us up. They're trying to make us be quiet so that they can keep doing these things.

[00:47:30] And frankly, it's, I don't think it's going to work because this is something that is so. That really, really, really needs to stop. And it's an multiple millions, millions of people realize this billings, even billions of people realize this. So they're, they're going to try to shut this, shut us up. They're going to try to keep.

[00:47:57] Running cars do cards of people, people they're going to still use rubber guns. They're going to still use tear gas, right? Sorry. Um, but it's not going to work. I personally, I don't believe it's going to work because we are because we're using our voices so much. And I think that we just need to keep using our voices and we were, we need to keep fighting and fighting and fighting, and it's going to get to a point where we're going to be able to do it, but we can't give up because then they're going to win.

[00:48:32] People who are the bad. They're not, all of them are bad, but the specifically not so good policemen or bad policemen. Nope. Bell bell. Again, it's not, it's actually not the police. It's it is the system. And when we talk about this system, it's just a, it is a group of people that have collaborated together where they, this is an agenda for them to keep a yeah.

[00:48:57] Separately. We talked about this earlier. Not to go on a whole nother tangent, but that, you know, there are, there are some bad police officers and more probably not just some, but that there is a, there's a bad system in place. And when people that are put into a position of power who are systematically, not someone who should be put in that position because they themselves are maybe.

[00:49:28] The type of person that get off on that power or have just the wrong wiring to put into that position. They are going to use that power for negative for the wrong ways. It's the same reason why, um, a man in a position of power is going to abuse a female or use that position of power in a negative way.

[00:49:51] Or we set at the same, like the best analogy I could use was you never hear someone say assault, the soldier is bad. You hear them say, if someone's complaining, you hear them say that. The military is brainwashing us older. Like if that, if they're talking negatively about the military, they're never saying the soldier is messed up.

[00:50:11] They're saying the military brainwashed the soldier, you know, they're using the system as the, the issue. And I think that if that's how they feel about that, I'm not saying those are my views. I'm just saying that if that's how they feel about that, I think it's the same, like the system as a whole needs to change before you can change.

[00:50:31] One or two or three or four or 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 bad cops. If you have a police officer who has racial tendency or racist tendencies, or is who, or gets off on power, you know, it's probably the same police officer that beats his wife when he gets home, right. Or, or just even emotionally abuses his wife when he gets home and doesn't even know he's doing it, but now he has a position of power that he can use.

[00:51:00] When ever he wants really, every time he feels like pulling a car over and if he just has those free reins, then it's just going to continue to happen. So that system needs to change. It needs to come from the top down. It's not going to work from the bottom. Yeah. Okay. So like, well, yeah, sorry. I didn't mean to cut you off it's okay.

[00:51:24] Um, but yeah, that, that. It's they're trying the system then I guess, is trying to shut the, shut up. The people that are trying to make a positive change. And it's a fact that it's a positive change. Why do you think that? Why do you think that what's happening? Do you think it's because. If the voices are heard, then the system is in trouble.

[00:51:52] Right? Because, because, because then they are the ones that have to change the things that they want to do. They're the ones that have to change the issues that they're creating and they want, they don't want to change that because they just want to keep doing what they're doing and that's not okay. And that needs to stop.

[00:52:09] And it's really stupid of people to think that they can just keep doing it without getting punished, because they're going to end up getting punished because we're going to have loud voices and we're going to be strong and we're going to keep pushing through and we're going to make it. I love that.

[00:52:23] You keep saying, we see, I wrote it down because we're to hang it in my head. Like.

[00:52:35] Put it right next to that.

[00:52:39] Aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. I'm saying I so many times and I hate it. Wait, but personally me personally cannot say I'm going to make a difference because we are going to make a difference. People who are trying as a whole are going to make a difference. It's not one specific person. It's not me. It's us. Yeah, but you have to provide that energy let's you?

[00:53:06] Okay. But I'm not the only one trying it's everybody. It's all of these people who are at these protests were signing. Petitions were donating. They're not just using the hashtag, even though using the hashtag shirts, spreading awareness, but people aren't just using the hashtag. Which I think is a really great thing because they're not just using that.

[00:53:23] They're signing petitions, they're donating, they're going to protest there. They're emailing like people that are, I don't know, like in charge of this stuff, um, they're senators. Yes. Those testaments putting their money where their mouth is. Yes. Specifically right now, you know, there are plenty of people of color in the special needs community who.

[00:53:46] Maybe have children that are non-verbal or at, or all the reasons. And this is even a scarier time for them right now, knowing that their child is non-verbal me and dye talked about this. If, if little Eddie was an, a teenager or whatever, and he was stopped by the police and he was non-verbal at say, and didn't know how to react to a police officer.

[00:54:13] He probably would just be approached in a way of, Oh, this child or this kid doesn't know how to react to us. They would, the police officer would respond that way. Not thinking why is this child not responding? Well, if a child of color or a teenager of color was not responding to a police officer, historically, they're not treated the same way.

[00:54:39] Well, autism is held differently. Well, I think with that, it's a little bit different because I think that. Um, I think that really, I really don't think that, uh, the, the average police officer would like, I mean, I'm not saying that that they wouldn't react differently to a person of color versus a white person.

[00:55:00] I don't think that that is, I think that yes, they may be would they probably would and possibly like, you know, react a little bit differently. But I do think that since I do think. I do believe that a police officer would have a little bit of concerns in reaction towards both. I think that I don't think it's that I don't fear is not, is that, that I think there's a fear at this point that they have to be prepared for any, everyone has to be prepared for anything.

[00:55:30] And, and be, and be prepared in case that's not the situation because there's a fear at this point. So historically what's gone on, right. I'm just saying like, I think that, I mean, I've seen, I don't know if like any people watch the show atypical. Um, but it's a really good show. And in the show, um, the main character, Sam he's autistic, he is approached by a police officer, does not know to react and kind of doesn't respond to the police officer.

[00:55:59] Um, and he is white. So the police officer, but still the police officer has a lot of assumptions. So I think that it doesn't. I think that it doesn't necessarily in that type of situation, maybe yes. It would have a stronger, effective if the person was a person of color. I think that the reaction would be a little more aggressive, but if, I think for both, for all races, I think that the police officer.

[00:56:28] I mean, their immediate reaction is, are you on drugs? What drugs are you on? Like those are, those are just the immediate reactions to the police officer. And I think that in general, what we need to be teaching our police officers is how to properly react with people of color, which I think should be taught a long time ago.

[00:56:41] And I think it shouldn't be something we have to teach. Now. How about properly react with anybody? Yes, it should be how to react with people of color, which P uh, police officers obviously need to know how to learn. Quite a few and need to learn that. And I think deaf children with different, special needs, they need, they, they want to be independent.

[00:57:01] They're being independent. That should be celebrated. And I think that they should also, you know, I think that a police officer should look for different signs. I think that they should learn more about all disabilities also. I think that's the key. I think I understand what you're saying because in the atypical episode, It wasn't that the police officer approached him appropriately it's that he approached him inappropriately.

[00:57:27] Correct. And he didn't handle the situation well, because he didn't understand that he had. Right. And that's not necessarily their fault. Are you saying that you're thinking that in any situation, the police officer may not handle that? Well, yes. In any situation with any race. At the end of every episode, we do like to ask our guests, if they have 30 seconds to say anything to our community, what would you like to say?

[00:57:53] You know, I th I just think it goes back to what the original conversation was, building that community, starting at home, building that community inside of our classrooms, teaching our kids that it's okay to disagree with somebody. And it's okay to politely teach someone something they may not know, open their eyes to a new perspective.

[00:58:15] And it's okay to let other people have the same rights that you have. Because, like I said earlier, it's not pie. There's enough for everyone. And am I allowed to put in a shameless plug shameless plug you follow I'm Brit, Brittany Liz strong on Instagram or myself. O M G it's J Prix. We are starting a, um, fitness challenge with donations going to the Loveland foundation and the Loveland foundation is, uh, And nonprofit that is committed to showing up for communities of color in unique and powerful ways with a particular focus on black women and girls and their resources and initiatives are, um, prioritizing opportunity, access, validation, and healing, especially to those with mental illness.

[00:59:11] So you can all love Lynn foundation.org and give them a little donate. Nice. We'll link all that to your episode. I like that. And so Annabella, um, just like we like to do at the end of every episode, we do ask our guests. If you had 30 seconds to speak directly to our community, what would you like to tell them?

[00:59:35] There is a change that we need to make and we need to keep fighting and we need to keep pushing to make this change, because if we stop, it's just going to keep happening and we can't get lazy. If we can push through this by, and we can really succeed in this fight, the world is going to change for the better, more than it really ever could.

[00:59:52] Like this is, this would be a very, very big opportunity. It'd be very good thing for us to succeed in. Awesome. This has been awesome. I really appreciate you coming on Janice and being a guest on the show and you for having me, I was secretly for like months being like, what can I contribute to this ship, please?

[01:00:13] Yo Janice, I swear to God like me and you have like that mental like connection because that's exactly. I was like, we got to find a way I would love to do a show with Janice. We know you can have your own show. The two of you all day long. So Janice, I'm going to call you. We're gonna make him thank you, Kristen, for the idea.

[01:00:32] I appreciate it. Well, thank you so much for listening. We really hope you enjoyed this episode as always, please make sure you share and leave a review. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode, on our Facebook or Instagram on, at special about special. Thanks again. And we'll see you soon.