Podcasts/Sacred Tension-Examining WokenessMASTERED8p2rc
Examining_WokenessMASTERED8p2rc SUMMARY KEYWORDS evergreen, student, identity, leftist, college, narrative, racism, racist, black, sense, marxism, started, podcast, protest, happened, footage, white, thought, gay, talk SPEAKERS Benjamin Boyce, Stephen Bradford Long
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Stephen Bradford Long 01:00 This is sacred tension, the podcast about the discipline of asking questions. My name is Steven Bradford long, and we are here on the rock candy Podcast Network. For more shows like this one, go to rock candy recordings.com. In this episode, I speak with YouTuber and podcaster Benjamin Boyce. He is part of a growing movement of centrists and liberals who object to what we might colloquially call wokeness. This particular episode focuses on the events at Evergreen State College in 2017, and how those events may or may not reflect broader cultural trends. Now, I need to contextualize this episode a bit. As an interviewer, I'm interested in having conversations with people with whom I might disagree or have some friction with. And this is because I think hard public conversation is important, but also because I'm getting bored of only talking to people with whom I agree. But I'm also new to these conversations. And I'm not sure at how good I am at having them. My default in conversation tends to just be to listen and to let my guest or my conversation partner fully articulate their worldview, because I do think that we all benefit from understanding where another human being is coming from. But that doesn't mean in retrospect, I sometimes wish that I had asked for more clarity that I pushed back some but I'm learning all that to say I ask that you listen to this conversation with charity. And if you disagree with Benjamin or me to fully examine how and why I think that this process of self examination and really hearing another person out even if we disagree with them, I think that process is beneficial to all of us. And also this podcast is a conversation with you, my audience. So if you have thoughts, comments, disagreements or agreements, I'd love to hear back from you, you can contact me or leave a comment at my website, Steven Bradford long.com. But before we get to the show, I have to thank my patrons like everyone else in 2020, I have been pretty financially impacted. So I am really relying on my patrons right now. If you become a patron, you get extra content every week, and you get that content for just $1. And you can go up from there however much you want to give that's up to you but the baseline for entry into my Patreon is $1. And you get access to the house of heretics podcast where Timothy and I talk about everything from fisting to Satan, and everything in between. So in this episode, I have to give an incredibly huge thank you to my latest patrons who have made this episode possible deja vu, Joe Lyon Hawk, Rodney Graham, and Lavinia thank you so much. You're my personal lords and saviors. And I really could not do this without you. There are other ways to support the show. If you cannot financially give right now. One of the best ways is to just subscribe wherever you're listening that tells our algorithmic overlords that the show is worth recommending to others. You can also leave a review on Apple podcasts and that really boosts the algorithm and I am going to read a five star review. This is from echo young buck and they say Thank you, Steven. I love this podcast I came across Stephen either through TST or black mass appeal, and thought I check out his podcast for the modern Satanist. But his podcasts are more diverse in subject matter than that current events social issues religion, politics, sex, music, environmental concerns, Stephen is thoughtful, nuanced and kind and his perspective is so refreshing in such a polarized world. Of course, I'm a bisexual tree hugging leftist pagan so What do I know? Well, that is a very nice review echo young buck and I think you actually know quite a bit because you are a tree hugging, leftist pagan. But all of that out of the way I am delighted to welcome to the show, Benjamin Boyce. Benjamin Boyce, welcome to the show.
Benjamin Boyce 05:21 Hey, thanks for having me on Steven.
Stephen Bradford Long 05:23 So unfortunately, I can't talk to the real star of your YouTube channel which is your cat so I know at this time not at this time so I have to settle with you. What's the name of your cat again?
Benjamin Boyce 05:35 Well, we got to know what's BS you and what is a bowtie
Stephen Bradford Long 05:39 Okay, so what do they think of woke ism since I can't talk to them? I have to get their opinions through you.
Benjamin Boyce 05:44 Well, they're kind of stuck in their own echo chamber of snagging up diminutive wildlife in our area and you know, raising the hell on the inside so they don't get out much so I don't think they've even heard of wokeness being
Stephen Bradford Long 05:59 eco terrorists just destroying destroying the ecosphere. around your house all about canceling the voles. So through this show, dear listeners, you might hear some yelling in the background. And it is because one of my six cats, John and I recently thought that it would be a good idea to take her for a walk outside on a on a leash our our cats are strictly indoor cats. And that was a bad idea. Because now, Wednesday, our kitty has discovered a whole new world. And she spends her entire day now just yelling at the door and my office is right next to the front door. So if you hear plaintive yells, it's, she's fine. She isn't going to die, just so you all know. So Benjamin, I wanted to have you on to talk about Evergreen State University and what happened there and whether or not what the events of Evergreen State University are indicative of a wider cultural trend. And I'm also taking a risk having you on I would say that you are probably pretty loathed by a lot of by a lot of leftists, and a lot of a lot of the more woke crowd and I consider myself more on more On the work side of things. You know, I have traditionally traditionally I have historically been more on the more On the work side of stuff. And I think in some ways I still am in you know, they're like a lot of the slogans I still believe I still believe trans women are women. I still believe trans men are men. You know, a lot of the a lot of the leftist orthodoxy. I do actually believe at the same time. I think that conversation is important. And I am getting really concerned about the online environment. And this this environment that Pillories and silences, and demonizes and I just maybe I am overly optimistic and naive. But I operate under the assumption that we all need each other, and that we all have something that the that the other person needs, we all see something that the other doesn't see. And even if we disagree with one another, even if we think that the other is horribly wrong, unfortunately, or fortunately, we're on the planet together, and we still need to figure this shit out. Together. There's no way around that. And that's really where I am. And I don't claim to know how to do that. Well, I don't claim to know, the best way to do that. But I'm going to try. And so Benjamin, I don't even think that we really have many deep disagreements, you know, I don't know. But this is an attempt to start having harder conversations on my show. And I don't know if I'm going to do it well, but I'm going to try to so
Benjamin Boyce 09:14 well. Yeah, can you briefly or not So briefly, however you feel to do so define what woke is? So we have some terms to do. Yeah,
Stephen Bradford Long 09:24 definitely. So I associate woke with especially online activism, and an emphasis and an emphasis on well in this card part of the problem right like woke is a slang term and it's pretty vague, you know, and and so when I hear the term woke, I think less of a specific thing and more hold on my cat wants in all right. Yes, I am a crazy cat lady. And I have six cats. Um, so it's like when I think of the word Whoa, I think less of a particular ideology and more of a particular attitude. It is one of being constitution. Yeah, yeah, exactly. It's a constitution it is one of being sensitive to injustice, it is one of being sensitive to, to institutional or systemic racism, homophobia, etc. And being very passionate about those things. And I have noticed that sometimes there is a neglect of other issues like class, like
Benjamin Boyce 10:35 lost in the shuffle for sure.
Stephen Bradford Long 10:36 Yeah. And, and so, woke ism, I defined woke ism as being like the cultural descendant of bell hooks and Judith Butler. And, and that, that kind of stuff. So you
Benjamin Boyce 10:53 do agree with the pedagogy or not the pedagogy. That's the teaching style, but the pedigree of wokeness as having to having descended from a version of academic perhaps Marxism, Frankfurt school, then you have the intersectional feminists, and then you have the increasing activism mixture into academic.
Stephen Bradford Long 11:18 I think so. Yeah, I am. So here, I have to acknowledge my limitations. I just don't know enough about the philosophy to say if that is true or not, but it makes sense that that would be true. What is less clear to me is the link between Marxism and post modernism to me, I have just from what I understand that that link is really dubious to me. And I'm, and I'm kind of skeptical of people. I'm kind of skeptical when people say that, that post modernism is a direct result or or part of the lineage of Marxism, and I'm I don't know if that's true, I think it's more likely that post modernism was a response to Marxism and the disillusionment that that the academy fell in with their pet theory, which was Marxism just being a total disaster and application. And, and then they wanted to just deconstruct everything, and that includes Marxism, I mean, so it doesn't make sense to me to say that, that this stuff comes from Marxism, because maybe it's a reason maybe some of it is a response to Marxism, and also, like Marxists, and post modernists were like at each other's throat, you know, they, they were not friends. And the post modernists would want to like deconstruct all that shit, and and Marxists would want to emphasize reemphasize class, and so on and so forth. So that link is dubious to me at best. However, I do think that a lot of what we're seeing right now in what culture is a lineage of from people like bell hooks from people like Judith Butler, and Kimberly Crenshaw, and so on. Now, I have to say, I haven't read any of these people. And so, again, I'm skeptical of claims that of when people are like, it's all bad. And then I'm also skeptical of claims when people are like, it's all good. No thinker is like that. No school of thought is like that. And I'm sure that there's some mix of good and bad. They're just like in every single fucking discipline on the planet. So yeah, so with this preamble out of the way, what happened at Evergreen State University?
Benjamin Boyce 13:42 Well, thanks for allowing us to kind of lay down some theoretical framework. What Evergreen State College shows us is an institution that went completely off the rails for a very brief period of time. For about a week, the college descended into anarchy. And the students filmed that from their cell phones and posted it directly to the internet and not even posted it, they streamed it. They stream this protest that they did right onto the internet, thinking that they were in the right. And their behavior, however, is so egregious that you can't really recreate it with language, you can't really tell the story, you actually have to look at the footage and what I've done. And you can definitely say that I've editorialized it, but I've done as much as possible to collect all the footage available, and lay it out chronologically. Lay out what happened exactly what happened at the Evergreen State College within this kind of few week period in May of 2017. And I've also correlated collected and then spliced into that reconstruction. The footage of the professor's and The administrators teaching the students these certain ideas and these certain ideas, I guess we could probably call them woke having to do a lot with identity and having a lot to do with taking identity and putting it into a matrix. A binary matrix of privilege and oppression. And every identity has a certain sort of privilege score or oppression score. And that's how you can basically go through and judge everybody.
Stephen Bradford Long 15:29 This is actually the reason why I wanted to have you specifically because, you know, I also did reach out to Brett Weinstein, but he's a very busy person, and he wasn't able to come on, but I wanted to get you on because you're like, one of the main chroniclers of of this event, and I watched first Mike Nina's documentary about excellently about it's excellently done. And I was captured, I was captivated. And I had previous, you know, I'd heard about it and I, but I think like a lot of leftists I had dismissed it, I dismissed it as college students being college students and lord knows I was a piece of shit when I was in college. And, and I just assumed that it was college students brains not being done yet. And just being there is that there there is there's there's
Benjamin Boyce 16:23 absolutely, that there's a lot of activity that happened because these people were not refined as people. But my argument is that they were shut off from refining themselves or from developing a sense of conscientiousness, towards their own behavior and empathy towards other people, because they got caught up in this matrix of identity. And every identity was pitted against every other identity, and privilege and oppression has to be overturned. So what the college ended up doing was creating a racial hierarchy and identity hierarchy and inverting it. So about Yes, go on. So if you look at what happened in 2017, there's a lot of different ways that we can go about like trying to describe why it happened, what happened, Trump got elected at the beginning of that school year, and that really charged the environment, the students were not equipped with narrative tools, I would say, or probably even theoretical tools to really process, the ascendancy of Trump, they were very convinced that Trump was the reincarnation of Hitler, with, you know, Stasi and concentration camps popping up all over the country and surrounding Evergreen. And that rhetoric, while people can agree with it, and people use it, they really did internalize that, and really, were under the assumption that the United States of America was going to go around, snatch people off the street, and put them in cages. And not that there's not data to support that. But that was the kind of the background that kind of turned up the heat. Plus, there's another thing where evergreen is kind of very far left college always has been in a rather far left state or rather left ish, or at least Democrat state in Washington State. So it was very, it was in its own bubble. And due to the fact that the ideas that it started to enshrine made such a stark, a stark division between correct and incorrect or good and evil, that they cut themselves off from conservative points of view. But also even liberal points of view, they started cutting themselves off more and more, there's a purity spiral that kind of happened there. And you can see that in the way of that these orientations that the college would put on for the students when they came in as freshmen. And a lot of the organizational activities that they did, really did inculcate the sense of progressive, very highly progressive politic. So at the beginning of the 2016 2017 school year, I worked for the media department, we had to go to a training and the training was billed as somehow having to do with customer service, but it was really about internalizing the intersectional rubric of every identity has a power quotient, and you need to be aware of this power quotient and the proper thing to do is overturn this power quotient. So what they did was they put this list on the whiteboard and the list had all these different categories race, class, sex, gender, religion, and and a few other ones like that. And then we were supposed to say what was the most dominant in all those categories? And so what we came up with what the the trainer put on the board was straight white male, middle class Protestant, you know, like the whole You know, CES, the whole thing that that whole thing. And while I was watching that happen, I'm thinking to myself on ironically, and this is before I was hyper online, so I wasn't, you know, this, this analogy is very worn out, and I already brought it up from the left going to the right, but the right going to the left, I'm probably a centrist. But I'm like, this is exactly what they did in Germany, they said that there was this one class, very specific class that had all the power, which would be the Jews, the Jews controlled all the money, like, what is this going to do psychologically to us, and I started, you know, listening. And I had already been very aware that people constantly would be making fun of white men constantly in classes or in seminars. So you'd always joke about the white man. Always derogatory, that was the one class that you could openly derived. But every other class, you were very sensitive not to upset, it was very weird, psychologically, to see that it was okay to mock this one identity. But we can't do anything that would slightly offend any other identity. And so there was that weird kind of scapegoat, kind of lever, pull and lever. And because they became more and more obsessed with identity as the currency of you know, society, like everything in society is run on identity and reinforces identity, there has to be a release valve for that. It really, again, we should probably get into the story. But it really creates a sense of, if you don't have meritocracy, because meritocracy is flawed. And everything is really based on power, you're basically powerless. Every individual and they even get into this with the language, they start calling themselves the students, they get it from the teachers, they start calling themselves bodies, they say black bodies to the front, white white bodies, go get us power plugs and go get us water and white bodies do this, and black bodies do that, right. So they the whole kind of every little piece of this ideology kind of subsumed into this psychology or this religious kind of mythology, that really disempowered the individual and through that disempowerment, there was a lack of responsibility for how you acted and how you treated somebody. There's no way to offend a white man, there's no way to be sexist against a man, there's no way to be racist against a white man. But But racism against black person is everywhere, it's in every nook and cranny. If somebody tore down a poster, it doesn't matter if they did it because of racism, because that poster had to do with a black event. And you know, they, they didn't go through the proper channels to have that poster up on the wall. And this is something that actually happened, it was automatically systemic racism, that is exerting white supremacy over black bodies to not, you know, have this poster up, everything was was interpreted, according to that.
Stephen Bradford Long 22:54 So if I'm hearing you correctly, in your view, and I think Brett Weinstein also takes this view, as well. And I'll explain why I'm referring to Brett Weinstein in this situation. For people who don't know, if I'm understanding your view correctly, you really see this as primarily an ideological movement, what happened at Evergreen and that the foundation are the primary motivator of the events. And I really want to just get explain some of the basic facts of the event so people know what we're talking about, you really place that blame at the feet of a particular ideology.
Benjamin Boyce 23:36 I will say my argument, at least for this hour that we're speaking is that the ideology allowed for the expression of this behavior, or this behavior was the manifestation of energy that was just on campus, young people cooped up all winter springs. Finally here, we need to act out we need to have some sort of thing, this ideology allowed for the the summoning of this energy and then the channeling or the funneling this energy into what happened into this behavior, and the behavior went off the charts. Yeah. And the reason why it went off the charts was because they're young was because they're probably evergreen does have a very high acceptance rate. It's 98 or 99%. So a lot of students weren't actually ready for college. They just were, you know, they got in their head, we got to go to college evergreens like we're here to help you. But then they were kind of just left flailing. They're in this academic environment. They don't really a lot. Number of protesters don't have the actual tools to feel comfortable on college. So they're kind of at a place right? There's that there's a lot of different reasons why they decided to do this and why they went so far, but I really do think that the ideology allowed them to think that they were in the right and furthermore, furthermore, allowed the college or disallowed the college to respond properly to it. The college itself the college, administer ration from the very top catered to the whims and the desires of this incredibly radical off the charts acting activist group coddled them and and depleted all the authority of the entire administration the entire school and and basically besmirched the degree and the teaching of everybody there because the college went to serve this one group, right because the group fit this intersectional Hierarchy of Needs group. And so they were allowed to get away with all that stuff.
Stephen Bradford Long 25:35 So I I'm just going to give a really brief account of what happened and if at any point, I need to we need to add anything or you need to clarify anything, just stop me and and let me know. So in 2017 there there was this event that happens every year called The Day of absence and the day of absence is when people of color voluntarily absent themselves from classes. And the purpose is I assume to help white people not take that presence for granted. And and on that one day to realize the the apse, the all that is lost when people of color aren't there. Well, this one particular day that was coming up, they decided that they were going to demand that white people leave. And Brett Weinstein who is who is like a famous curmudgeon, he's like science dad, he's, he's, he's like He is the most dad guy I think I've ever seen on the internet. He's He's curmudgeonly and kindly and I think he has some pretty crazy ideas on occasion. But I think a generally good person, he wrote an email, which basically said, it is if I'm understanding correctly, it is one thing to voluntarily absent yourself. On this day, it is an entirely different thing to demand that other people be absent on the basis of their skin color. And this caused a fucking eruption. And it resulted in Brett Weinstein being cornered and shouted down, it resulted in professors and staff being barricaded in their building. Yeah.
Benjamin Boyce 27:29 I need to change that narrative or challenge that narrative. Please do yes, that that day of absence thing did occur, but it came and went without any incident. Okay, they exchange, his emails were printed in the college, the student newspaper on the college, you know, and he was vilified. And there was some email chains, you know, where people will call them down and call them privileged and stuff. And what happened in May was that there was an altercation between a black student and a Puerto Rican Native American whites. Okay, so
Stephen Bradford Long 28:02 just to pause, the narrative that I have heard is that it was really centered around the day of absence, but that what you're telling me is not the case that that really the human that that really came in went without incident. And, and you know, some people called Brett out for being racist and whatnot. But there was some heated exchanges, there were some heated exchanges. Okay, got it. That's good to know, move on
Benjamin Boyce 28:26 a Puerto Rican, Native American white student. So he's a student of color, technically. And you could argue that Native Americans have gotten just as bad treatment as black people by the United States, you can 100% We can play that game if we want. But I bring this up, I bring up the racist, I don't think in this way, but I have to because the ideology or the story, though, the behavior demands that one black student made a post on the Facebook 2020, you know, student page, and this black student whose becomes a key player in the protests, he wanted to have a black class or a class that was mostly black having to deal with medium. And, you know, we're going to explore how, you know, mainstream media or media depicts black bodies and you know, oppresses them or whatever. And the Puerto Rican Native American student, switch that and said, Let's have a class that's all white people, you know, exploring how media misrepresents white people, right, and that post that parody post was seen as explicitly racist and white supremacist, even though it was directly a parody. The student listserv that that Facebook page erupted in cries of oppression. And there was this huge heated thing going on. And then that spilled over onto campus where that student started getting badgered and harassed and followed around and you know, cussed out, and and then he was confronted by a black student, dummy Ending the Black Student demanded that this other student, apologize and stop acting disrespectful. And the students like I don't know what you mean by disrespectful, what do you want me to stop doing and that they have this altercation at lunch and the Puerto Rican, Native American Student chiave, who's actually Antifa. Now he keeps on getting arrested in Portland. The Evergreen you can put the student in Evergreen, but you can't get the Evergreen out of the student actually did the leaving evergreen, but he, he went to the police because he felt threatened. He was kind of fed up with being harassed. So he went to the on campus police department, which is very small. It's a small college. It was 4000 students at the time of this event, but now it's down to 2000. Because of this event, he went to the police he filed a report, the police called this other student said do you want to come in and give me your statement? And the other students like yeah, I'll come in. And the student takes a long time to get there. So it's really late at night. And he goes in and gives a statement. And the the narrative pops out that this black student was torn out of his bed in the middle of the night and put into a locked room and questioned without his consent, and was refused to use the bathroom, which is all a fabrication. It's complete fabrication. But that event that is the event is not day of absence. But it's that event where the police are abducting a black body. Right. And this is this is kind of in a dip in the Black Lives Matter narrative. Black Lives Matter had reached a peak. And then was kind of it was kind of fell out. And 2020 It's kind of in a resurgent but it was kind of but it was still in the background. And there's other stories about altercations between black youth and police in Olympia, which is where Evergreen State College is. But that galvanized that narrative of the black individual being abused by the police caused a bigger eruption and the student body came together. It's like this, this college is systemically racist. We need to challenge them, we need to challenge them. They started having meeting after meeting, and then they designed a week long protest where they're going to go through and they're going to target different levels of the institution and protest. And that's where somebody said, Well, we have Brett Weinstein, we have his emails that prove that he's a
Stephen Bradford Long 32:20 racist to God. And now I see the connection. So we're
Benjamin Boyce 32:23 going to start with Brett Weinstein and then we're gonna go to the administration then we're gonna go to the police department, we're gonna do all this thing. And so they started with Brett Weinstein Little do they know that Brett Weinstein wouldn't go along with them and say that he was racist because right to have a dialogue with
Stephen Bradford Long 32:37 he is curmudgeon science dad. And yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I appreciate you clarifying that. And so the the outrage over what was what was that that kid's name chiave was got it so in the end the outrage towards him for what he posted. I'm wondering if there if if there is a steal if you could steal man, the reasons why they found that post outrageous like if you were to get into their head? Yeah. Steel man what they were what they were trying to say. And maybe they didn't say it well, maybe they went way over the fucking top. But if there is an argument, they're
Benjamin Boyce 33:25 never calling for a race war. Alright, I'm faced with like, this is the beginning of the race where we're gonna,
Stephen Bradford Long 33:30 that's over. I'm not if it was over the top, but it was over the top like, yes. 100% But could you still man that?
Benjamin Boyce 33:38 Yeah, well, you have to go back to what the the institution was teaching the students and so there's this orientation. There's, there's, there's these really amazing recorded documents of the professors and of the administrators just falling over themselves. And I will use the word wokeness they are all like competing to be the most woke in the room and they start having these things that are exactly like church services, with songs and rituals and confessions and testimonials and we'll sprinkle in data. It's sprinkling data.
Stephen Bradford Long 34:14 It is it is spooky. I will just to just to pause you. So I watched that footage in it creeps me the fuck out it It reminds me of the white knights from Jonestown. Like for real, it it reminds me of and just you know what you it's also it's really important for listeners to know this is happening in one of the most liberal states and in an extraordinarily liberal college where only extraordinarily privileged kids go
Benjamin Boyce 34:49 well. I do have to clarify, am I wrong? Okay. Okay. College is very cheap. They were actively recruiting non traditional students so called So they are really targeting in order to boost their numbers, low income, first generational first generation students. And there's a lot of older students too. But if you do go on that campus, you learn very quickly as I did, I was I was a student there. And I went when I was I started going there when I was 36. So I had lived in a version of the real world, or at least the non academic world, for a while there. And when I showed up on campus, it was like stepping back into a parody of 1993, where we're all of a sudden we're in like, politically correct land, I'm like, Oh, I thought we grew out of that. So I learned really quickly to kind of either not play my cards as somebody who's going to challenge progressivism or challenge or even just question it. If you question these ideas, you're gonna have to put up with a lot. So you do the calculus? Do I want to go through that? And I guess I'll save I'll save the argument for the very last day of class or I'll just like, not associate myself. So there was a very liberal, very progressive kind of God, it was all bent in that direction.
Stephen Bradford Long 36:03 Well, okay, so so that does change my my narrative just a bit. It's so so a lot of the kids, how do we know that they didn't come from some hardship? How do how do we know that they that they didn't experience racism and then brought that experience or that trauma to the college,
Benjamin Boyce 36:22 if you look at where's the trouble kind of starts, like there's different ways to kind of try to find the orange, Jen. But the origin of a series of seminars and lectures called coming together started with this email chain, which started because two black youth probably 2020 year olds, they assaulted a police officer and got shot. And that was about two miles away from the campus. And this is in 220 15. So in 2015, these two young guys, they're paddling around at Safeway, they steal a couple of watermelons, then they tried to steal beer, they throw the beer at the clerk, the box of beer, they throw it out there. And then they run away, and it's all on foot it we have the footage there. And then what we don't have footage of is that there's an altercation between them. And the police where the police officer goes, finds them says, you know, calls them out of the woods. And instead of following the order of the police keep on running away, and then they eventually charge him with their skateboards. They go after him. And they're probably a little drunk, too. And then there's some shots. And you can go through and you can say, Well, did he act correctly? Did they act correctly, what eventually happens is that they are prosecuted for assaulting a police officer, and the police officer is exonerated. So it really does kind of shadow the BLM narrative. It does hit a lot of the notes. But if you again, if you look at it, it's like is this were the kids behaving correctly, they were in the right race at the, their the right race at the wrong place at the wrong time. And all this stuff. And the white police officer who has a girlfriend who is black, but the narratives twist anyway, so that happens. And it happens two miles away from Evergreen and all of these very progressive, very liberal. Teachers say, oh, no, like we thought we were safe. We thought that Olympia wasn't like these other places like Flint, or like all these other, you know, markers in the Black Lives Matter movement. And I hope I don't sound like I'm denigrating the validity of black activism, I'm just saying that there's a narrative in the water that gets that gets activated with certain key facts, certain key facts turn everybody on who's in this kind of progressive landscapes like okay, we need to do action, the narrative
Stephen Bradford Long 38:46 being that Olympia is no different than Ferguson almost like that's basically what that is that that is like the exact same scenario,
Benjamin Boyce 38:58 or the same as the South that we're having footage. I have footage of a teacher, well, he's not really a teacher, but an administrator who works with the college students saying that 1957 and 2017 are exactly the same. There's no difference between black people getting run down by dogs in Alabama. And the stuff that you guys put up here in this passive aggressive white institution, it's the same thing. It just went underground. I have footage of them saying and equating that there's this there's this equating thing and then what will what we have to do, we have to be activist we have to overturn the system. I have him on record 80 days before the protests and we have to overthrow our oppressors. So, but try to like clench down on that one. One narrative that was trying to go for the Evergreen State College starts getting very wrapped up in the Black Lives Matter movement. It's really close to home now. They there's these email chains By the professors and this is all public documents. So I didn't have to go and like Edward Snowden my way into, you know, these databases, I just requested these things. They they started this email chain where they start saying that evergreen is as complicit in white supremacy as any institution of the West, we are no different. They leave out like the extremity. It's like, okay, are you the same as the KK gay? Are you the same as Nazi? Germany? Well, not literally. But because we're a white institution, because we teach these western knowledge, this Western way of logic, this white way of knowing we are as complicit in this power structures anything.
Stephen Bradford Long 40:40 So let me pause right there. So as I'm hearing this, what I'm hearing is that the problem is not the problem is not accusations of racism that can be debated or not debated.
Benjamin Boyce 40:55 The problem, not discrete instances, though, yes,
Stephen Bradford Long 40:58 the problem is a matter of scale and degree, it is the claim. Not that a racist thing happened in Olympia, it is that Olympia is truly an evergreen is truly absolutely no different in degree from the kk k, from Jim Crow America, and that racism is is a almost spiritual quality that actually never goes away. It's like this ambient thing in our environment that is always constant, but just simply shapes, shape shifts,
Benjamin Boyce 41:44 and it's implicit or explicit, but it's mostly but it's always
Stephen Bradford Long 41:47 there. But it's always going to be there to the exact same degree. And I hear that, I hear that criticism I get, I get what you're saying here. Because there there are differences of degree. It is just true. And and so in my mind, it is there's a difference between saying something racist happened here, let's let's explore it. Let's debate it. Let's talk about it. There's a big difference between that. And saying, Evergreen State University is fundamentally no different in how much racism it has from the K K K, or the or Ferguson, or whatever, you know, does that does that make sense? Does that delineation I'm making there makes it
Benjamin Boyce 42:37 you have to be really careful. And this is this is kind of what on the grand scale argument, if you kind of tried to understand why the students acted that way, and why they were treated the way that they were for acting that way, which was to be, you know, embraced and coddled and given positions of power to rewrite the student code of conduct these students who acted this way, if you watch the videos, they were given the power to rewrite how the college functions and how the student code of conduct was dispensed. But at the very beginning, when those teachers started, have this email chain and started getting themselves riled up, one staff member says, calls their bluff and says, evergreens, not white supremacist, Evergreen is not racist. We go out of it, we bend over backwards, we're doing everything we can to be as accepting and as inclusive as possible. And the problem is, is that you guys, whenever somebody challenges your narrative, you close your ears and you start screaming racist at them, like every time you make this claim, we're all racist. Somebody says no, and they say, well, you're racist. And what do they do? All the teachers say, you are a racist son of a bitch. Like they all pile on him and call him a racist and a white supremacist even though he's even though yes, white. And I probably am misgendering him because he ended up transitioning shortly thereafter, like he actually was gender non conforming and, and went into trans female hood. So he's not like this standard. He doesn't check every box or that person doesn't check every box. But he was because he challenged that narrative. They go against him, they start and then this one teacher makes this letter about coming together a call for action, like we have to come together and really figure out this this, this problem. And so they designed the the college designs that this new president comes in, and it gives them this power to design these training institutes about anti racism. And one thing that one thing, they what they end up in training is Robin de Angelo's tenants, and one of Robin de Angelos tenants and Robin D'Angelo, the author of white fragility, and she she's a rather powerful icon right now and in the cultural soup, but one of her tenants and I have footage of saying this is of them. repeating this is that it's not. If racism happened, it's how racism happened. So your your app again, the epistemology, your your complete worldview is that we live in a fallen, racist world. There's no way around that. So don't even question that. There's no assumption that that's our axiomatic principle. That's the ground we stand on is that we are in a racist world. Another thing that somebody says is that we don't need to question our students of color. They are right. We need to listen to them. We don't we don't question them. So what we're what does that set up, it sets up this entitlement, that if you are, if you are in this category of a certain race, there's no questioning, therefore you can't be questioned, therefore you can't learn. Therefore, why are you at college, you're all you can be as affirmed, you can't be questioned, you can only be affirmed your lived experience is the basis of everything. And that always resolves into race. And so it just started to eat away the foundations of reality, because there's no questioning, there's no skepticism, and it stops them from being able to slow down the progress of claims of racism is the the ability for the college to or anybody at the college at that point of time to slow down and question if things were actually how they perceive them. It was, if there were no breaks, and that's why it escalated to the peak that it did, because there was nothing but affirmation of this one narrative. And therefore when they get up into performing the struggle session, and we can talk about what a struggle session is, but they do have several hours of the black students are in the center of the room. And people in positions of authority are in front of the black students. And then the white students are around the black students. And the black students are yelling and screaming and tearing down and insulting. The Brett Weinstein was one of them. And George Bridges was another one, which is the president and then the chief of police and all the different Chief of Staff's for hours and hours and hours, they're tearing people down with and they're making all these demands that don't make sense, they're caught up because they're so disconnected from reality, they can't even be satisfied with what they're doing. They can't even say specifically what they want, they want more more equity space that they want a new student code of conduct, there was no there's no feedback loop, to stop them to slow them down or to give them a contact back to reality, because they're completely lost from reality. Because the basic assumptions don't line up with reality. They, they cut the they cut that off, and that's the intersexual intersectional play, the intersectional play is that because we live in a postmodern world, that is all language. We don't know anything except for oppression, I am oppressed, therefore I am. That's the signature move that Crenshaw does. You know, inheriting post modernism, which is everything's language game, everything's power. Therefore, the only thing that is real about me is my blackness. That is, that is the the island in the sea of chaos that I can stand on. And when you build a when you build an institution out of that, it has to collapse. It has to collapse. Because the oppression itself is too unstable. And it's all power and it just falls all apart.
Stephen Bradford Long 48:28 You so one thing that you did just say there was that it was unclear what the students actually wanted through this whole thing. And and I urge everyone, I don't think we'll be able to get into all of the events that happened during that week at Evergreen, so I really do urge everyone listening to this to go watch Benjamin's archive of footage. And Mike Nina's shorter documentary, both of which are excellent, it will give you a lot of context. But one thing that was really clear to me through all through watching all of that was it was never, what was very clear was the lack of clarity in terms of what they wanted, and the acts of racism that that they were seeing as threatening if that was at no point in the footage clear to me. I don't want to discount if some of these kids had experienced racism at home or whatever. I don't know. I don't fucking know. I don't know their lives. But it was not clear to me as an onlooker that they were, it was It wasn't clear what they wanted. And I was actually watching your, your documentary with my partner. And he looked at me at one point and he was like, this is just all about Trump. They just seemed really fucking furious that Trump won, like this. And and I was like, how much does that play a role in this? Like, how am I Much of this was, wasn't watching the watching Trump get elected. And just feeling like that was confirmation that every single thing that we had ever feared about America turned out to be true. And that that sparked this thing at Evergreen. How much does that have to do with it?
Benjamin Boyce 50:20 There's two events that we can point to. So well, three, I guess. So Trump gets elected on November, what is it sixth or seventh of 2016. And the day after that I was on campus, it was my senior year. And the whole campus was just, it was so depressed. And like, the mood everybody, everybody's just Yeah, I was too, like in the state of panic. Yeah, I
Stephen Bradford Long 50:44 was. I was too.
Benjamin Boyce 50:46 Yeah, so they all go and they have this rally. And then that rally turns into the protest of a building that's getting coronated in honor of the previous president, who is a black man. And there's this really interesting footage where the students go in these protesting students, and they're screaming about how white supremacy is on our campus, people are being raped every day, you know, and like making these claims like, we're people are getting lynched and raped all the time now, just like, what, and they confront the old, the previous president les purse, who'd been the president for a long time, like 12 years or something like that, a black man. And they start saying about how we live in a supremacy, they start saying all their things, and he kind of stands up and he grounds them, he says, you know, the arc of, you know, MLK says that the arc of history bends towards justice. And one protester says MLK is dead.
Stephen Bradford Long 51:41 I remember that. That's that really stood out to me. Yeah.
Benjamin Boyce 51:45 And what you have, and this is kind of something that I'm still toying with, like my grand narrative to try to figure out what I'm really trying to talk about, and all my work on YouTube is that the civil rights movement has entered a decadent phase. It's like, like, 19, what 68 or 1962, like 64, like, whenever those big civil rights movement happened in the 60s, that was like the the introduction of the iPhone, right? We're all of a sudden, like this, we're at a new phase of the world. And you know, the battery sucks, and the screen sucks, and it's small, and it's not refined, but we made a big leap, right? And everything after that has been iterative, and iterative and iterative and iterative. And over the last 50 years, America has been moving towards seeing color less, and not counting color, as much as it was right. Racism is it becomes a faux pas, it's not really something that if you are racist, you're kind of looked at you're though you're stupid, right? This is before it was rebooted, like it went out of fashion. And it started to be leached from our society. Now. It's not gone. I'm not saying it's gone. But the big leap forward happened. And we've been slowly moving towards equality slowly, gradually, then you have this new generation that's filled with energy. And you have these ideas that say, well, it doesn't matter if racism is discrete, it's implicit. There's no such thing as well, yeah, of course, racism doesn't exist, like people being called the N word constantly are people being run over because of their race. But if you look at the data, you have these different outcomes, you have these structures, you have this systemic structure, you have this big sociological version of racism, and what are what is an individual supposed to do about a system? Like how is an individual supposed to change a system? It disempowers it, it's really frustrating, right? It's really frustrating to have that, that sense of, of, of huge overcoming that that the boomers had right where they were, you know, there was this great awakening, and everybody was marching in the streets, it was like this big cultural awakening. It's like, we want to have that again. But we don't have that the binary now between black and white has degraded over time. So we have to summon up these kind of ghosts of oppression past in order to have this great revolution. It's like they want to have that drama. But the the instances don't equate to the power of their radical nature, right? It's out of balance.
Stephen Bradford Long 54:21 Can it also be true that there is that there are institutional I avoid the word systemic here because I think systemic can all can sometimes be so broad as to be useless, but institutional inch in and the echoes of, of racism that still profoundly harm marginalized groups. Is that also true? Meanwhile,
Benjamin Boyce 54:52 if, if that is true, then you need to think and act like an institution in order to combat that you have to be a beer crap to do that, which is boring. It's not sexy work like we're mocking up the remnants of, of oppression is not sexy work. I mean, it's not really rewarding in a dramatic fashion right. So
Stephen Bradford Long 55:13 you know, it's interesting you say that actually because I was I recently had Lucien Greaves on the show and he's the founder of the Satanic Temple and and if there's one thing that the temple does, it is a fact of activism and effective protest. And, you know, one of the things that we were talking about was how activism is actually really fucking boring. It is anyway, real activism. It's boring. It is long and deliberate and slow and grueling and takes years. And it's like the activism required to get gay marriage legalized. That took decades of hard fucking brutal work. And yeah, there were protests, but it was also it was often it was.
Benjamin Boyce 55:57 And I've had a preeminent sex researcher, James kantoor. If you can get him on, he probably blow your mind with his ex backs. But
Stephen Bradford Long 56:08 he is he's talking about I've thought about having James kantoor on Yeah,
Benjamin Boyce 56:11 he's a fascinating, but he talks about in the context of trans rights activism, right, not necessarily trans rights, but the activist contingent of it. He critiques it as saying, you know, when we were as a gay man, when we were trying to get gay marriage legalized, we showed ourselves to be not a threat, we made friends with the opposition we made, we made inroads with it. And we don't have to go down that road. But the strategy that we see at Evergreen and the strategy we see in the streets of Portland, or a lot of these other places that kind of erupted over the summer isn't to make friends with the white person. It's not to make friends with the white community, it's to attack them and call them evil and say that you're bigoted, and you're implicitly bigoted and that sin stains everything that we do, that our nation the soul of our nation is steeped in said, it sets up a very divisive tone from the get go, which eventually justifies this, belittling this degrading and this reverse racism, or this dis reducing of somebody into this quality that they can't change and then vilifying them for somebody else's quality or for racial things. It's not set up like the MLK movement, we can, I understand there's a lot of subtlety to colorblindness. But he he was, his movement, or the movement that he championed was to show them to, to lean into the dignity of everybody, right. And to evoke that dignity. And I understand that under the Trump administration, that dignity was under assault in a lot of different ways. But the the tone of the counter Trump demonstration of the tone of the, the woke or the toxic, woke contingent, is not to make us all human. It's not to and that was my first when I came out, and I had to start talking about what happened at Evergreen, I wanted to talk about the the moral background of this stuff is that when we when we start to think of ourselves as this color, and that color, and this identity and that identity, where's the individual, where's the individual, and when when I want to connect with that other individual, I can't see an individual I just see this nest of, of identities, you're just we're all just these Lego pieces without a soul. Right? So So we're basically stripped down. And there's, there's not that common humanity to stand on. Like, there's not that sense of, of soul, for lack of a better term.
Stephen Bradford Long 58:39 Yeah, this is something that I really struggle with. And I, I feel like, because on the one hand, I am very much a gay man. And I am, and I not only love that identity, I embrace that identity. And I really think that because of how that identity has shaped me, because I grew up in a conservative Christian home, I grew up in the South, I went through ex gay therapy, i i A lot of the abuse and a lot of the hardship that I have suffered in my life has been a direct result of that. And my part of my goal in life is to help create a world where it it's a non issue, right, but and so for people to not have to recover from any of that trauma because it doesn't exist in the first place. That's part of my goal. And for people to be first and foremost human and and if people don't because of that experience, if people don't know that I'm gay, they don't know me because who I am, is shaped by that. On the one hand, I see myself as fundamentally human and there is a and if that's not the case, then fiction doesn't make sense. Then then writing fiction and reading for fiction and the power of empathy that allows us to read everything from from you know, Octavia Butler to Shakespeare makes zero sense if we don't have that that foundational human bond, and I'm very gay, and I embrace that. To me, that's to me, it doesn't make sense to pit these things against each other. And to me, it doesn't make sense to be to, to downplay my gayness in part because I don't feel like I can. And I would love to create a world I would love to create a world where that is not where where gayness is not even an issue, I would love to create a world where people don't have to come out. And where people don't have to be shaped into the person they are, by their orientation. i That's the world I want. But I am personally, Steven Bradford long, because I'm gay. And I struggle with this. I really do. And on the one hand, I see MLK days call to see everyone first and foremost as human really as the way forward. I really do. And I think that if we de emphasize, I think that if we I think that if we de emphasize universal humanity. I don't I think that appeals to the darker angels of our nature. I really do. I think that if we put I think if we don't put humanity first, then we're fucked. At the same time. I don't. And I'm not an AI. In other words, I want I sometimes wonder if LGBT, quote unquote, identitarian ism, versus broad humanity is actually a false binary. Because that's how it feels to me. Personally, in my own life, I feel like I'm 100% of human being. And I'm 100% gay. And I don't have to de emphasize either of those things. Does that make sense? I mean, this is I'm just talking out loud, I am just processing this out loud. It's something that I have. It's something that I've really struggled with, honestly, because I'm with you. I like in principle, I'm with you. I'm, I'm with you, in that, I think the power of MLK, and the power of what he accomplished that was that he appealed to broad humanity, and he wanted inclusion in humanity he wanted, he wanted all the rights and privileges of being human. And really, that's what I have wanted to as a gay person, my struggle as a gay person has been to be included in, in the label human. At the same time, I can't stop being gay. At the same time, I can't de emphasize the experience of being gay. And the identity of being gay because I am who I am, because I'm gay. And so to me, it's kind of an incoherent binary. In a way. I'm gay. And I'm human. And I don't know how to present myself without being gay. And I also don't know how to present myself without being human. I don't know. I don't know if I'm making any sense. And so yeah, I want
Benjamin Boyce 1:03:21 i. So I started speaking out about what happened at Evergreen and I had a particular point of view, and plus I had the ability to exhume a lot of documents that would help people make sense of the behavior that they did see. And, you know, that launched me into this realm of lights and sounds and social media and being on YouTube and running a podcast and then being on Twitter, right. And so I, I came out in a way into this other realm that I had been, haha, huddled away in my room writing fiction, you know, with just giving up the hope that anybody will ever read it, you know, just completely isolated from time. And now all of a sudden, I'm in time, and I have this material. I make my case. And I think Well, what happened? Why did that happen? What would have stopped? Evergreen from going critical? Trump not getting elected? No, no, no. What did they miss? What did we what did we not what were we not doing? And it's that we weren't talking. We weren't communicating. We weren't communicating just
Stephen Bradford Long 1:04:29 about to say that I was just about to fucking say that. And do you want to know what makes me almost blind with rage? What makes me furious, is how a lot of the leftist content creators and a lot of the big leftists just ignored it. They didn't fucking talk about this. And that, at least not that I'm aware of maybe they were maybe there were some out there that were but in general, a lot. A lot of the leftists weren't talking about evergreen. Well weren't talking about Princeton weren't talking about these these events?
Benjamin Boyce 1:05:07 There's a lot of discounting when there were those that's what? Well, that's just well, there should that's just college and or, and I did it's all the same language. It's certainly difficult. Yeah, it left us and you're like, well, they're saying everything that I've been saying, oh my god like, right, it's really difficult to compare those two things.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:05:24 And this is something that I've been trying to tell us you get to the root. Some friends of mine, like this is something that I've been trying to tell some friends of mine like, I've been having this ongoing conversation with some people where I'm like, I think that there are some really big fucking problems on the left. And I am a leftist I am as fucking faggot pink commie as you can get like, for real, like, I'm not a commie. But you know, I'm somewhere I'm somewhere in the socialist spectrum. Somewhere in the spectrum between social democrat to democratic socialist, I'm, I'm pretty fucking far left, I'm probably more identitarian than a lot of people would be comfortable with, I'm probably you know, I'm basically I'm a degenerate leftist. And with that being true, there's some really fucking scary shit going on in these online spaces that I'm seeing, and it freaks me the fuck out. And then I see people write articles saying Kancil culture doesn't exist, or I or my friend, I have various friends who are like, Steven, now it's just not the right time, there's there may be their problems on the left, but even by talking about this, you are, you are enabling the right. And I'm like you and I've told them this, you know what that fucking feels like? It feels like gaslighting. It feels like this, this problem that is super fucking obvious. That is actually destroying people's careers, when it gets away out of control doesn't exist. And there is this fear that talking about this is somehow anti progressive. And it isn't. And there's this fear out there that talking about this is somehow a tool of the right and my response is, well, if you don't talk about it, then it will be it. Like, if we don't talk about it, you give them you give them the power to tell them to calm Yes, you give Breitbart the power to you give it to them,
Benjamin Boyce 1:07:28 and give them all the views to because people are curious people like Well, what happened over there? Okay, well, I'll go watch the rights version of events.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:07:35 And, and it means that the people who are willing to talk about it, the only people who will give them a hearing are the right. And that makes it even more it just from a perspective of strategy. I look at my fellow fellow liberal slash leftist slash progressives. And, and I really just think we've dropped the ball. I really do. And I think that there was this resistance. And I felt it myself that there was this resistance to talk talking about this stuff, because we didn't want to spotlight our own warts. We didn't want to spotlight our our own flaws. And we didn't want to have a serious conversation about it. And but the more we deny that there were problems on the left, the more people feel gaslit and the angrier they get with us. And I can say that because that's how I feel. Right? And it it just makes me almost blind with rage. It it is so infuriating. And yeah, anyway, and rant, and Thus endeth the rant, I feel like we have a lot more to talk about. And I feel like we just scratched the surface. And I am open to having you on the show again.
Benjamin Boyce 1:08:47 Yeah, yeah. Let's let's up another time. Well, Benjamin,
Stephen Bradford Long 1:08:51 thank you so much for joining me. This has been very
Benjamin Boyce 1:08:53 Thanks for Thanks for giving me access to your audience. And hopefully, my blasphemies or heresies don't take away from certain key points that I really do think, and this is when I looked at what happened at Evergreen, and I'm like, Well, if this goes viral, if this scales up to the level of the state, or the level of the country, we are truly screwed. We are truly screwed. Do you think that? Do we need to do that? That's a good question. What we need to do is foster coherent criticism we need to foster especially for the left, what I need to do is somebody who wants a center who wants a dialogue between right and left that's what I want. I want to be able to have dialogue across difference. So I need to give people on the left tools and I'm probably not the right person to do it. Not just because my identity but because my own biases politically speaking, but give them lifelines like okay, it's okay to like look at this glaring contradiction. Yes. Look at this glaring contradiction right here. You say you say diversity But then you're constantly kicking people out of your space like, Okay, well, what? What, let's just start with little things, right. And so with regards to identity, I just wanted to hit on that, like, that's where I kind of moved as a content creators like, okay, I can go around and be like the anti woke, you know, another anti woke YouTuber that's not going to move the needle for anybody that I'll get me an audience that is already maxed out like that, that market saturated, I want to go into these different identity groups. And I want to cut off the activists at the path pass, like say, Okay, let's take let's take an identity, let's say black women. Well, where are the conservative black women? Who aren't Candace Owens? Like, what? What about these different groups that are being literally
Stephen Bradford Long 1:10:43 anyone other than Candace Owens? It's?
Benjamin Boyce 1:10:48 Because, because, or, or the trans conversation like, well, what are what are trans people? Like, who aren't activists? Right? What are these people like? Who are just living their lives? And why did they make those decisions? And what is it been like to them? Like, like, yeah, sure, I want to reach out to people who are in these different identities, but that initial identity melts away, and I'm talking to a person. And I do think that there's a lot to explore with what you're bringing up with? How much of your gayness is you? And how much of you is shaped by that and society's pressures on that, you know, but ultimately, like, are you funny or not? That's what I care about. You know, well, how big is your heart? How many? How many people can you fit inside of your heart, like, that's what I want to know about you as a human being.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:11:34 And I will say, I will say the darkest time of my life was when everything in my life was about being gay, is when I was in the conservative Christian world, right. And I could not stop thinking about it, it literally occupied my entire world, every all all of my computational power. It's like my entire bandwidth was taken up every second of the day with the fact that I'm gay. I tried writing about this. And there, there were some, I think, pretty good criticisms, actually, of what I said. And so I'm like, Okay, I need to take this back to the drawing board and kind of think more clearly about this, when I see what happened at Evergreen State University, what that feels to me. And I'm not saying this is true, I'm not saying that this is the way it is. But the way it feels, to me is, it feels like a weird mirror in version of what I experienced as a gay person in the conservative Christian world, it feels where the everything about me was the fact that I was gay. Now, I have the I have the ability to wake up in the morning, kiss my partner, make coffee, and live my life, I have the freedom to not think about it. And I cannot imagine going back to a time in my life, to up to a place where literally every single thing is about my identity. I can't, because that, to me, means stepping back into that time, when it was all about my identity in a horrific way. Does that mean? And I think that's one reason why I I struggle with this stuff. Because I watch I watch what happened at Evergreen where, where identity wasn't just important, but was everything. It all important. It was all important. And it was everything. And I think my identity is important, but I don't think it's everything. And and maybe that's the difference. Maybe as I'm verbally processing this, maybe that's the difference. And I see that as just going back to this time in my life, when it was the darkest, scariest, most broken time of my life where everything was about the fact that I'm gay, and may and even though it's supposed to be positive. I can't see that as anything other than dehumanizing. Does that make sense?
Benjamin Boyce 1:14:06 Yeah, it does. And that's why while I do understand the impulse to adopt critical race theory or white fragility, Robyn D'Angelo, or anti racism as construed by Ibram kendi. My one of my main criticisms of it is that it asks, for instance, white people to imagine the experience of black people. And unless you're a really, really good author, you're not gonna be able to do that. You have to actually go and talk to people that are black, you have to talk to people who are gay, you have to talk to people, or listen to the voices of these people. Where that is not that's there, but that's not all them, like, you gotta go. You have to reach past that, in order to like, start to understand and to contextualize oppression, if we want to fight oppression. We have to have we have to give it a container and calling it systemic or even institutional that allows it to get really big and ghosty. And we start working in a Christian powers and principalities mindset, which is not attenuated to the individual instances of how can we actually pragmatically solve these little issues one thing at a time and build an argument build a better world, if you're thinking in Utopia, these huge spiritual forces, you start acting like a God use yourself. And that's why, you know, the Evergreen State College protesters were acting like they were defeating these giant demons, this giant dragon of systemic oppression, well, I have to be a big hero, like, well, you're, you're not, you're just, you're just raising your voice and spitting things that don't even make any sense. Because it's no longer a human sized problem. We always have to restrain our activism, or our you know, our, or our religion, or whatever it is that we want to create a better world or realize a better world, we have to constrain it. And and when when that narrative starts calling upon us to imagine the 400 years of oppression or imagine systemic structural racism, you have to be really careful not to say that that stuff doesn't exist. But be really careful, always batten it down. And always try to find people in that camp that you want to reach across with, who don't, who aren't just activists, who are just normal people, living normal lives and route yourself, we always have to ground ourselves, which is really difficult in a time where everything has been by our media, and our social media constrained to very small little indicators of this thing called identity. Well, you've given
Stephen Bradford Long 1:16:36 me a lot to think about. And I hope that you've also given my audience a lot to think about. And this is a reminder to my audience, by the way that my show is a conversation. It is not a pronouncement. It is not a press release, it is a conversation and I would love to hear back from you. If you agree with Benjamin or me, if you disagree with Benjamin or me, please send me an email or write a comment on the post for this episode on my website, Steven Bradford long.com. I would love to hear back from you. This is a conversation if there's one thing that I think that we can all walk away with, from this interview is is that we need to talk and I'm sure Benjamin and I probably have a fuck ton of disagreements and that's fine. But but at least we can talk about it. And I I've really enjoyed this. And I'm going to be thinking about this. I want to reference the invocation of the Satanic Temple because I'm really doing this in the spirit of the invocation which in part reads, that which will not bend must break and that which can be destroyed by truth should never be spared its demise. Right and so we really we shouldn't be afraid to have hard conversations and we shouldn't be afraid to put ourselves to the test. Because that which cannot bend must break and that which can be destroyed by truth should never be spirit its demise.
Benjamin Boyce 1:18:06 Hail Satan. Hail Satan.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:18:09 Well, that is it for this show. Thanks so much. Thank you The music is by the jelly rocks and eleventy seven you can find them on iTunes Spotify or wherever you listen to music The artwork is by Rama Krishna Das this show is written produced and edited by me Steven Bradford long and is a production of rock candy recordings as always Hail Satan and thanks for listening
1:18:39 brand new sin from the same old here for the next one please take the blame training brain by the fingers of microbes we've got the sights and the slim fingers now to move Generally down to the new seeds and as I wander waiting for draining brain by the fingers on tables in the microwave your tables as we wait