For episode nineteen of season two, Tim and Tuesday delve into the hopefulness, the openness, the fear, and the fragility they are seeing in this moment of people rising up together to demand change
Together, Tim Merry and Tuesday Ryan-Hart are THE OUTSIDE—systems change and equity facilitators who bring the fresh air necessary to organize movements, organizations, and collaborators forward for progress, surfacing new mindsets for greater participation and shared impact.
2.19 — SHOW NOTES
- Tim: There is a lot happening in the world and Tuesday started one of our meetings today, by talking about what is happening in the United States as the Uprising. That’s what we are going to talk about today - the Uprising.
- Tues: I’ve been reading that language and it’s really resonates for me. I feel like it’s an important way to frame what is happening here in the US. It’s that thing around language and narrative really shapes perception. So much of what’s happening here are peaceful protests; our people taking to the streets in great anger and determination and care and commitment and love. Words like ‘riot’ and ‘looting’ are being used to describe - what I think, what I experience, what I know to be - people rising up together to demand change. And so I think different language is needed and that needs to start right up front. I think it’s fine to call these protests because we are protesting what’s happening and what I think is also happening, which cannot be ignored, are hundreds and thousands of people coming together to say no more… and that’s an uprising. That feels quite different from how you might see it portrayed here.
- Tues: What I am seeing is a lot of characterization of violence and looting and I am not saying that none of that is happening and it’s all happening in a context. There’s this piece around who is actually being violent - is it the police being violent to protestors, because that is a violent protest. Where is the violence coming from? Is the violence instigated? There is so much happening and also, there is righteous anger happening that I am sure is becoming violent because when you are being killed you fight back in any way you can. It just feels like that kind of nuance is not understood generally.
- Tues: Never before in my life have I seen so many people have their attention towards, and care, about black lives and that’s amazing and it makes me hopeful. And I also don’t believe that ever in my life, have I felt the country so fragile. And so, it could be a moment where we could break through and it could also go really badly. I’m really aware of the fragility of this moment.
- Tim: I see, in my limited circles of friends and family, an uprising in curiosity and consciousness and desire to learn about issues of race, and social justice and equity. People who, in my circles and community, haven’t engaged in these conversations engaging me in these conversations. Especially in my largely white, middle-class, little world there is a surge of sentiment around I need to be better informed, I need to better understand, I need to be better educated, I am missing something here.
- Tim: One of the things I am finding, having had the enormous privilege of being your friend and business partner, is that you have always said to me don’t go to the anti-racist training. Go look at your own family, go look at your own history, go look at your own relationships to these issues, from your own story in your own life, and build your own analysis so that you can be in these conversations from a place of your own understanding rather than having been told how to think by somebody else having read the book or done the training. That’s been a massive part of my journey.
- Tim: We just need the volume turned up right now. We need people in this conversation that have never been in this conversation before. We need to open the gates here because there is a momentum building, an uprising happening that we want to lend as much strength to as we possibly can; especially in the face of misrepresentation in the media and in the news outlets.
- Tues: For years, I have said: “Not that. We must move beyond this conversation that we are currently having.” And for me, now is not the time to say “not that conversation.” Now is the time for all of it. If it is geared toward moving racial justice forward, even if it’s not the conversation I would have, I want it to be had. I want full press right now. All of the ways that people want, and need and can talk about it. And what I still know is true is the current dialogue will not bring everyone in. We still need alternate ways. That also needs an acceleration right now. I’m not in anyway willing to say, “not that, this.” What are the 18 doorways in? Let’s open them all. Because we need numbers, we need mass. At this moment, I am seeking a way.
- Tim: This truly has become an international movement where all eyes are on the United States. I have this real sense of we are all watching. This is the thing that is different about what is happening now - it is international.
- Tues: I’ve never experienced a moment like this where there are so many eyes, openness, and willingness. I am so aware of never being in a place like this before and that is tragic because of so many lives that have been lost to make this happen. At some point, this amount of death (96 unarmed black men and women, killed by the police since 2014) had to cause some attention.
- Tim: You’ve used the word fragile and full of hope. Can you talk to me about both of those?
- Tues: Hope - the amount of people who care, who are dancing in the streets, who are singing, making the signs. There is something vibrant and vital, and potent, and electric happening and it’s going in a new direction. And, as we know, when that new system begins to form, the old system does everything it can to crush it. So, of course, it’s fragile because we are a country with a lot of weapons, people out in the streets and a President that will single white nationalists, who are armed and organized, and so of course you begin to see other militaristic, left responses. We have a galvanization of people out and about, the vast majority without weapons, we have a militarized police force and a militarized white, nationalist groups. That feels to me quite fragile. It really could ‘break bad.’
- Tues: A moment like this can lead to massive transformation and it has. And it can lead to massive rupture. I appreciate people trying. We need all of the things.
- Poem: “Advice for the Living,” by Lemn Sissay
Dead fast this.
Everyone’s dying to arrive,
Living for deadlines, trying to,
Stay straight as a die. They’ll get
There, dead or alive because they’re
Dead set, and they do arrive in shores
Of dead heats, dead beats at dead ends
Dead messed up like dead stock. The living
Dead flogging dead horses in the dead of
Night. Dead right dead lost dead right.
Every now and again we stop dead
In our tracks, dead still ‘cause it’s
Dead hard, like a dead weight’s
Dropped on the head… wouldn’t
You die for a little piece, die for
A breath of hope? Dead right,
I would. In the dead centre of
All this deadlocking, dread
Locked. Words, dead ahead.
They read: Life is not worth
living if there’s no one that you
would die for. Dead right.
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Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good Studios
Theme music: Gary Blakemore
Episode cover image: source
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