Social Justice Tensions Between Friendships and Family
Welcome to this episode of The Determined Mom Show I have for our third and final episode of this series, Dr. Kimia Nuru. This is such a great series, and we’re talking about so many things that need to be talked about, and this third and final episode is very, near and dear to my heart and my life.
Social justice tensions between friends and family. This is a doozy, and I think so many people will relate to this episode. It’s just a very sensitive topic, and it’s also a very difficult topic, and it’s also very important. It’s something that, you know, I personally, my husband and, I talk about every single day.
There’s not a day that goes by where something in our lives, a friend or a family member doesn’t bring this up in some way, shape, or form. So, tell us about it.
That’s how I looked at you. I was like, who wants to start you? All right, so this is what we’re talking about. And again, hundreds of thousands of years of human inequities have existed and justices have existed because we’re talking about demographic cultural identities, which can include health, include economic status, gender identity, nonidentity, sexuality, asexuality, ethnicities, nations of origin, languages, religions, spirit.
Then the last five centuries are when racial categorizations existed and white people created those to put all these ethnicities and nations of people into these narrow categorizations. And they used to be even, even more, narrow and more expensive. But there are still people who understand how all of these identities coexist, everything that we are as people at any given time.
That’s why discussing family connections, friends’ connections and coworkers and colleagues are important. Because white people are mad about January 6th, 2021. So white liberals, white progressives, white democrats, white libertarians, white anti-fascists, white socialists, the list goes on of the white people who claim that five centuries are to blame for Trump.
Gop conservatives, like all white people, are not a component of all this. So whenever white people are outright outraged over what a majority white group of rioters who start as protestors and always tell people there’s a reason why it shifts in terms of violence, particularly for the power majority and white people are the power majority.
So white outrage has always, for five centuries around the world, been allowed to not just be outspoken everywhere, including in school board meetings, right?
But white people are allowed to be violent without people calling them Violent. People will just say, well, this is a form of speech or they had a mental illness is one of my favorite ones. They, they, white people love to make it a mental illness.
Right. And I also taught serial killer courses about serial killers as a criminologist. I always had to explain that most people have some form of mental illness. right? Short-term or lasting, most people are not going to do a lot of these bad things.
Even if someone does have a mental illness, that’s not the direct causal factor. If someone is paranoid schizophrenic and they’re on medications or they had to get off their medications for various reasons, that is not a direct causal factor of them Rioting with a bunch of white people. At the Nation’s capital.
I find it, very interesting that it’s like all of these people, like even going back to, what is it, Jeffrey McVey, the Oklahoma City Bomber. Like they call them the uni bomber, right? Or is that, what am I mixing two people up? no, I’m talking about the guy that did the bombing for sure.
His name is Jeffrey, let’s keep going. I’m going to look it up. Because of his name, I think he was a serial killer. Jeffrey Dahmer was the person that ate the people, I think.
It’s Timothy McVey and Jeffrey is from the, got it. Other, okay. Got it.
So, Timothy McVey, like back then, like how was he not considered a terrorist? Like they’ve never used that term, like, but if anyone does. If any other race does anything, it’s immediately a terrorist act. That just boggles my mind.
Well that’s, that’s what we call white freedom. Like freedom of speech is about white people, the right to bear arms is basically about white people. The same thing applies when we’re talking about terrorism.
Despite five centuries of European white terrorism around the world, despite white people stealing land and stealing people, and of course hundreds of thousands of years, humans have stolen from each other, controlled each other, and enslaved each other around the world.
But this is a different form because it has a different lasting impact. Five centuries that made white people, despite 12% of the world population, the powerful majority of the world. I include when people talk about the world’s most powerful and wealthiest nations, they are. Predominantly white nations.
I tell people to stop using the categories of First World, Second World, and Third World because despite how they were initially created, a white man took it to make it about power. White people are falsely labeled as intellectuals, inventors, and creators
Most of the things that people are taught K through 12, even doctoral programs, and medical degree programs, including teachers who are teaching stuff to every generation are taught that white people’s violence was finding new nations as they talk about the founding of America, isn’t today like President’s Day or some other nonsense holiday? It sure isn’t it.
I’m glad it’s Monday’s day because I don’t celebrate these holidays. So, we’re supposed to celebrate the presidents who have contributed to terrorism and that’s the president of every.
I’m going to say it again. Every political party, every single president. Through funding, through people celebrating America, not being at war, but literally, America is warring every single day because we still have military people around the world who are also raping and killing people around the world.
We still have funds. Our tax-paying money is always at war and creating war. Oftentimes the American government and European government and Canadian governments are the ones initiating these wars around the world.
I always tell people, do not to celebrate America finally not being at war. America’s always at war. That’s just one thing to think about. So, when people celebrate these presidents, I always say, why are you celebrating them in the first place? And that ties to, of course, people having friendships and family connections. This is not about people controlling what other people believe and what other people say.
Instead, getting people to understand what is, what is a deal breaker, like, a deal breaker for me is not when I see black people stand for the Star-Spangled Banner. I haven’t done that for decades, but I’m, that’s not a deal breaker for black people. Because there’s a reason why black people are patriotic in the nations in which we were stolen because we built this nation.
So, patriotism comes from us knowing that it exists because we were forced to create it. And some indigenous people are patriotic and who’ve been in the military for America, despite this land being stolen from their people and their people being murdered, and lynched as well.
So, this is what I always tell people, whether the issue is homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism, or ableism. You can’t be doing marches and streets and claiming outrage over January 6th, 2021.
If every day you interact with family and friends and colleagues who are conveying the same harmful messages, right? And, they don’t know that you have a problem with it because you’re, they’re accustomed to you being complacent and compliant.
That’s a serious issue. It’s like not saying anything is just agreeing with whatever they say or whatever, you know, that they believe. I’ve been fighting with my family. I would say fighting with my family for at least a decade about different topics in this arena, whether it be immigration or, you know, just a million different things.
And it has, I’ve just stopped talking to people. Like, I’m like, you know what, like be you, being in my life is not more important than you understanding or us understanding each other. The thing that bothers me personally is. People like to vote or believe those things, and then they turn around and say that they love their kids.
That is like the worst thing that you could ever do to me, like, in my mind, like you can’t vote against those interests and then say that you love my husband, you love my kids, you love my friends. Like it, that’s not possible.
Sometimes it is a complete waste. For I tell people as a black person who demands reparations, I demand it differently. I don’t want us to have a check in our account because if you’re still going to require me to pay taxes on this stolen land I’m here. After all, my people were forced to be here.
For my reparations, if you’re going to keep putting oppressive materials in every school around the world, then you’re taken from my reparations. The list goes on and on. So, this is where people just have to like, pretend this is a counseling session.
What are your deal breakers like? If you go to a counselor and you’re talking about an emotionally or physically horrible romantic, intimate partnership, think about what the council would oftentimes say.
How many times are all going to debate with each other before you recognize that this is just a deal breaker? This can’t be fixed. Maybe we should never see each other again. Or if we see each other, there should be a head nod wave and going about your business. This is why I just think that it’s important for people to highlight who in their life is a deal breaker.
Because family for me is always quotation marks. I don’t believe that family has to be assigned to you. Family is what we create. Biological family does not mean that has to be your family friendships.
Most people are not your friend. Like people since preschool, they’re, you know, brainwashed to believe that just because you can talk to someone about a certain topic that makes them your friend. Social media has made people’s definitions of friendships even worse.
Like that person is not someone whom you can speak with during life tragedies. That person is someone whom you can speak with regarding every professional. That means that person is part of your social capital and social networks.
That’s not a friendship. And sometimes they might be, you might be telling that person something and they’re using it to harm you in some way. So, this is also something that adults need to learn about healthy, productive relationships.
That’s a general sense and especially when we start talking about demographic and cultural identities. And one example I also use is when we’re talking about multicultural, multiracial, and interracial, most of the time when people highlight that, they’re talking about somehow white people are involved.
Right? And that’s been the case for generations. When people talk about, you know, back in the seventies and eighties, the Dargon, was it a Coca-Cola commercial? Was it Pepsi that had the, I like to teach the world. And that commercial was so stupid, lack then it just looked so sunny because we were children.
But in retrospect, When I say that commercial, it’s a very stupid commercial cuz despite them celebrating the different complexions, and melanins of our people around the world, it was still led by white people.
Blue, blue hair, blue eyes. I wish they had blue hair, blue eyes, and blonde hair, right? The same thing whenever we talk about multiculturalism, and various identities, it’s always based on white people being the central focus and everyone else becoming white enough.
If you have very dark melanin and you’re from East India, you now better make sure you at least have thinly textured hair and you can comb it over and look like a white guy with very dark skin and you can whiten your voice as much as possible when talking about interracial relationships, biracial children, it’s almost always a white person in there.
Rarely do people highlight interracial, multiracial, being based in indigenous people and Asians. black people and non-white, Latinx, Latin, A Latin. Almost always when you see a commercial, it’s a white person with the rest of us. So that’s how we know that there’s also an issue there in terms of how people define friendships and collaborations.
Because they still see it in the scope of white people having to be here somewhere. So, if that’s a general sense in terms of marketing for companies, this notion that biracial have to, you can’t exclude white people. Then that’s also something that white people of every socio-political scale around the world do.
Has been taught since childhood, and even though they’ll say they were never taught that, they were still taught that through verbal and nonverbal cues because that’s what they saw. Even if they saw children of various racial and ethnic and cultural identities at school or home, they still saw it as I want to be with you, but then I can pick and choose when to go back to my white people.
There’s a normality for them. For me. Well, it, I mean it used to be for me, obviously before I married my husband, but you know, there’s that normality where you go back and like, I go to my mom’s house and everybody there is white, you know, and like there’s no anything.
Here’s the thing that’s fine with me. I’m not one of those people who believes that the world has to become everyone mixed because that’s, again, when sociologists talk about color-blind racism. It’s also based on the notion that we can’t have our own identities. It has to be everyone ingrained and especially everyone integrated with white people.
It’s false that people will talk about New York and New York has its different spaces, like Italian spaces, and Jewish spaces. When they say Jewish, by the way, that’s white Jews, you’re not going to see Ethiopian Jews in these spaces.
So, they pretend that that’s a race-neutral space, but white people still, and they pretend that having these different spaces and these areas that are some of the original terms of the ghetto in the early 19 hundred, that that is another example of all these spaces coexisting.
But no, people still go home to their people. Which again, that’s fine with me because I don’t think that, I don’t think that racial justice has to mean churches and stuff.
I don’t think racial justice has to be interracial dating and biracial children. I think that we can all be in our own spaces with our people of the same racial, ethnic, religious, and other cultural identities without being oppressed.
Just like when we talk about dismantling white Anglo sacks and Protestant dominance in parts of the world, that doesn’t mean that now white Anglo sex and Protestants have to go around mingling with every religion of people and say, well, we’re going to be with all of you. No, go back to your corner. But just know that your corner’s not in charge of everyone else’s spaces.
I don’t know if I’m capable, like, I mean, I know I’m capable, but I’m not sure without hearing it from someone like you, that I can make sense of it and I can, at least I don’t feel capable, if that makes sense.
I don’t know if I’m capable, like, I mean, I know I’m capable, but I’m not sure without hearing it from someone like you, that I can make sense of it and I can, at least I don’t feel capable, if that makes sense.
I’m not impressed by that either. What are people doing if they work with someone who’s a Trump supporter? Now, instead of focusing on Trump supporters, cuz this stuff existed five centuries before Trump existed, I don’t care about Trump. That’s why the whole pro-trump, anti-Trump stuff since 2016 is stupid to me.
It’s a complete distraction that particularly white people of every political realm want us to stare at the Trump stuff so that we can ignore what’s happening in schools, medical facilities, and everything. So, this is why I tell white people, instead of you expressing your anger, you’re, you’re mad at a family member who’s a Trump supporter, and now you think that I care about that.
What are you accomplishing? Nothing. So, this is why I just tell people like, you’re mad at your cousin. Okay, maybe you don’t want to see your cousin ever again, but the next step, you know, what else are you going to do?
The medical policies are still horrible, right? This is where if people have deal breakers with someone in their family or friendship circle who’s making comments that are anti-black, anti-Asian, anti-indigenous, then okay, that could be a deal breaker, right? But no longer speaking with that person is going to be a daily process because that person might be pro something else that you’re interested in.
Like that person might be anti-Asian, but they’re pro recycling and they’re pro ecosystem. And a lot of people have told people, I disagree with you on this, but we agree on that. And that’s the thing that black people are told. When we collaborate, we’re told constantly that we need to be around anti-black people because we need to reach more common goals.
What if it is a deal breaker? So, let’s say you have those conversations with your family members and you realize that there’s just like, they’re just not like I, I’m going to go. Here to my own family and, and friends and like, it seems like there are people that are so rooted in their beliefs that they can’t think of anything else.
And in that instance, no matter how many times you talk with them, no matter how many times you try to understand where they’re coming from and get them to understand where you’re coming from, they just don’t understand. And they’re incapable of thinking beyond what they’ve been taught and what they believe. So, what do you do in that case?
That’s right. I mean, and you have to remember, you’re an exception in that how you handle it is not how most people handle it. And it does vary also by the circumstance. Like, I mean, sometimes people say horrible things. Like, I went to a funeral, and I try to stay away from funerals at all costs.
But I went to a funeral almost 10 years ago in which the deceased person’s family brought in a family member who is a traditional conservative black pastor. And he made, basically a sermon at the funeral, which that’s a nightmare. Sermons are anyway, but uh, he went in there, start talking about being gay at a funeral and a funeral.
That person was very not accommodating to homophobic people. So, the family unfortunately still brought in that homophobia while the person was lying in the casket. And so, my colleagues and I, and including my colleagues who are gay, we just sat there silently because we’re like, we’re not going to march out and protest. After all, this is not the time for that.
We’re not going to preach to that family about how this is wrong, because the family knows it’s wrong. Which is why they did it when the person was in the casket. Because they, the person would not allow me to do that any other time. So, this is also when you have to notice as a deal breaker because there are some people that after this incident happens, still get the best message when I’m no longer available for them.
Like again, we’re talking about planets and aliens tell us specifically who is the problem. We can go to that person. And we’re not going to say, oh, we just mysteriously found you. We’re going to say so and so told us to find you. You know that when people try to act like it’s a mystery, it’s perpetuating injustices because people don’t want to be held accountable for their fathers.
They want to hold others accountable for the problem. And then the people who are the key decision makers, they pretend to be just, I’m just here. but they’re making sure they’re not just here when it’s time, to take their salary to the bank. I tell people if you’re just here, if you’re not doing anything, then why are you getting this salary?
All of those things are amazing. And if you’re listening, I hope that you’re thinking about all these things and how they can, you know, be present in your life and your relationships and with your coworkers. And, I mean, there are just so many different areas that this applies to.
I mean, literally every single relationship in your life, whether it be your boss or your cousin, or your sister or your mom, or your significant other or so many different things. I have a, I know people that are. Of different political spectrums than their spouses.
I do not understand how people can be in a relationship with someone that they’re, they have, you know, such different views of the world. It doesn’t make sense to me. I couldn’t do it. I would not be able to do it. I don’t know what your thoughts are on that. I’m sure.
Here’s something that we have to understand reality as adults for the people in our lives, you don’t know their beliefs. You just know what they convey. You don’t know their voting patterns, you just know what they say. Every single relationship, which includes marriage, has included people with differing voting patterns and beliefs than assumed.
A lot of times people are not sharing their true opinions because they don’t want to argue and they’re fine with you assuming that they have good opinions. And it’s also, it’s historical.
Like when we talk about the views that many black people started having regarding immigration, including African immigrants, that started because white people falsely conveyed that now black people have to compete with everyone for black rights to happen.
If I’m around black, whether it’s in my family or friendships, or in organizations that say anti-immigrant things, including anti-Africa, it’s not a deal breaker for me. Instead, I teach them things that they were not taught in school, that they were not taught in their family. Because most black people do not have access.
I’m Pan-African, but most black people do not have access to 150-plus years of Pan-African knowledge. It also shares subjects like African mathematics, and African sciences. They’re taught that no real things that matter are created by our people for thousands of years. And that’s total, which also connects.
This also connects with their thinking that being pro-black requires being pro-black in the Western hemisphere of five centuries and pretending that we did not exist before. Anything as enslaved people. Like we came here empty-handed.
And they’re fake products. They’re, they’re, it’s annoying stuff like my deal breaker though, would be a black person who wants to be my friend, but they don’t understand this problem. It’s one thing if they insist on shopping there and they admit that they don’t want to be caught on camera shopping there, but it’s another problem.
If they don’t understand that problem, then my friendships and stuff will have to be cut off because that’s, sometimes I go through my contact list and my iPhone like I did the other day, and I delete people. Because I just think that’s healthy for us to do as adults, is to admit that there are some things that we hold onto for no reason.
Some people want to pretend they don’t understand, but they understand. It’s just that challenging. The establishment takes more time from a busy schedule. Or they have to pay more often to certain stores.
They know, I mean, we have a lot more and more information out here. We have had black organizations for centuries and not just NAACP and Urban League. I mean, we have to remember these. When Dr. Wb, the boys, and Ida B. Wells created NAACP back then, they did it for a different purpose.
Colored people were used because we were called colored. Then eventually it started integrating different racial and ethnic groups who were not white. Then, unfortunately, NAACP became very not black in a sense. Although there are chapters that still very much defend our people, it’s very much based on what’s approved by white liberals.
But people who spend time doing that, they’re just showing that people will waste time on the dumbest things because instead of putting that investment in research and writing to change funding and other things, they put that in our face and say, look here, black people, this will teach you how to shut up.
Because it just proves, again, that people have d. Purposes for what they do. In their mind, they’re putting this in our place and that happens. Some white professors do that. In colleges, a lot of times white legislators do that. The whole idea over and over again, despite them not reading, they’re not well read, so they, they don’t know.
They haven’t found centuries of black writings, black poetry trees, or black knowledge that black people have published in this hemisphere for five centuries alone. They don’t know that. What they do is they find a smidgen of something and then they think they’re telling us to shut up so they can teach us something.
White people do that a lot, including white professors. They think they’re telling me something about myself. Yeah. And that’s where I don’t argue. Because I tell people I don’t argue fools. Yeah. I let you have your foolishness on your own. I never, white people want us to waste our time, just like when I do training, white people would want me to spend two hours training.
Debating with white people and then they can critique my business and say all she does is argue with white people because she hates white people. That’s intentional design over and over again. I always tell all minoritized people, including black people, to recognize that that is the routine that the powerful majorities do.
They’re accustomed to dismissing us as uninformed, unintelligent, and just darn angry. When you waste time arguing, instead of just saying, I hear you now moving on to my point. When you focus instead on correcting them and arguing and stuff, then they’ll label you as a person who’s about to do some kind of terrorism, burn down buildings, or something. And you’re complying. Hostile. You’re hostile.
I love this conversation as you already know, but what is the final thing that you would like to leave the audience with about this particular topic?
Thank you. Some people are listening and they’re like, they don’t want to stand our topic. And that’s fine because we’re intentionally showing how this topic of deal breakers with your friends, families, and coworkers encompasses a lot of subtopics. We’re doing that intentionally. Because the same way they might feel like they’re going in different directions in our conversation.
That’s how their life is. Their life is not straight and narrow in terms of just one issue. We did this on purpose. To show them at the end of your thought process, you have to say, okay, I’ve just thought about a whole lot of stuff. Now, what can I do with all those thoughts? it doesn’t always have to be a perfect outcome.
Whether it’s a family member or a friend or coworker who says a lot of harmful things against particular groups of people, you might find that they’re doing something harmful. They might be part of an organization that’s anti-Asian, an organization that’s homophobic anti-LG T Q I A, they’ll claim it’s free speech, free religion, whatever the case may be.
You have to say, you I, I tell people to write it down. You have to say; can I be around this person and just require this person not to do this around me? You have to look at the pros and cons of doing that. Do you want to, it might be a parent, it might be a real close family member that you didn’t know they held onto until you saw it.
You might be shocked. This includes people who are very educated as well. I always tell people, a lot of people like to pretend when they look at the January 6th, 2021 white protestors, they tried to also do a very classist ableist fat phobia standpoint. They try to show images of obese, poor working-class trailers, and the phrase trailer trash I hate so much because that’s such a harmful term.
But they have this image of the white man, obese, poor, and, and I say no. I said, first of all, that is the classism, ableism, and fatphobia that solidifies how black people have been depicted from the welfare queen to Sarah Bartman. To Henrietta Lack at Johns Hopkins University. Don’t perpetuate that and claim it’s just challenging white people.
I always encourage people to have at least one hour of peace every single day. And that one hour might be, telling someone in your life to leave you the hell alone. Like some people think peace has to be you lock yourself in the bathroom to breathe because your children are running around.
Sometimes your dog might, dogs are very nosy. I love them, but they’re nosy as well. But that peace might have to be, you’re around people in your life. You might be on a lunch break and people just blah. And that includes anti-Trump people. Because anti-Trump people are mostly in the denial about realities that are part of their identity and not just Trump supporters.
So sometimes your piece is getting up from that lunch table and walking away, and those people who you’re with, they will try to accuse you of being pro-Trump. And you tell them I’m an adult who does not believe in any stupidity on any side of this nonsense. And that’s your piece.
This is like school decision-makers. K12 teachers and college faculty are some of the most annoying people in the world. Across the nation, around the world. They think that they’re like intellectual owners.
And no matter the side of the politics, both sides think they’re the know-it-alls and they’re unchallenged. And both sides are very annoying. And I oftentimes, since I’m not in part, I’m not in any political party, I don’t believe, I don’t like any politicians.
I don’t care who the politicians are. I don’t like them. I don’t trust them. A lot of times as a black woman, they think I’m a Democrat. They think that I. Support so and so. They think I’m anti-so-and-so as though I’ll be a fool to believe that, the problem is that the oppressor is just one political party, right?
And when I speak out, they’re very shocked. And I’m like, my knowledge is based on centuries of black knowledge and a ditch of knowledge. It’s not just based on a hashtag that you learned five years ago. It’s not based on DEI and other training you started attending 10 years ago. It’s based on knowledge.
Black people have explained it. The last poets explained it. You know, we can talk about different Gill Starts. Heron talked about it, not just in the revolution will not be televised, but he talks about the white man going to the moon. You can listen to his entire records on YouTube for free, where black people have explained this for centuries.
Some gospel singers, jazz singers, professors, and all ranges of black people have explained it. I tell people when I walk away, it’s not cuz I’m too busy, it’s because this chair over here is a chair that is immune to y’all nonsense. And I’m going over there to that chair and that’s my piece cuz I’m not the good negro.
Because strong black women are always put on us when we’re supposed to be silent, compliant, and put everyone else on our backs. When we’re supposed to fight the power of political parties, I’m not doing any of that. That’s not my identity, that’s not my existence.
I’m, I did not come from Adam’s rib or any of that. I put myself off to the side because. My focus is not going to be determined by other people telling me what to do as a black woman.
I love that. And I hope that everyone listening gets the message that we’re trying to convey here. And you’re just a wealth of knowledge and a wealth of, uh, I want to call it. I don’t understand. I mean, you just help people to understand so much. I truly appreciate you where is the best place for people to get in contact with you?
They, and say the same thing and they think that they found a new insult that has not been said for five centuries to black people. Like. No matter how much you call me, ugly fat, whatever, it’s the same thing we’ve been told for five centuries. But every new white person thinks they’re doing that, which is why they email us and all that.
The same nonsense. You’ll notice when you find me, I do not have the comments open in certain spaces, however, you can call me, or you can send me an email. Just know that if you have a locked email address or a fake number, that means you’re not genuine. If you can be your true self, do not call me. Do not email me.
We need to, I tell people if you can’t use your real identity Then we have nothing to discuss. And you’re up to no good too, by the way. That means you’re up to trying to find an insult or trying to find free labor for me, and I’m not doing either one of those.
I love it. Well, thank you Dr. Kimia, and I truly appreciate you and I love this series that we’ve done. Thank you. I appreciate what you’re doing. Thank you.
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