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Welcome, welcome, welcome to armchair expert I'm DAX Randall, I'm joined by Monica Lilly, that's correct, sir. How are you, sir? I'm great. You are.

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This was a really fun conversation. Oh, man. I was so charmed by Chad. He's wonderful. Yeah. He's so damn charming. And I think he was upset that he was charmed by us, too.

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And Chad Sanders is an author. He has a new book called Black Magic What Black Leaders Learned from Trauma and Triumph. It's a really incredible story that he has personally having been in tech in Silicon Valley and trying to, quote, act white and realizing you'll never be as good at being a white guy as a white guy. So just an incredible conversation. We really, really liked meeting Chad and talking to him. I hope everyone will check out black magic.

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Also, we'd like to always promote some black owned businesses. I want to talk about a black owned business called SoPE Sox, founded by Ray Phillips. Now, what's great about this is my own daughter loves to take her stuff in the bath and she loves to do it.

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And they're not really designed for that. And they're not wearing so perfect. They have a stink.

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But Ray noticed that kids don't love getting soap out of a bottle and on themselves.

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So he figured out put it in a stuffy.

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So what he's got is an adorable line of plush friends that kids can take from playtime to bath time. It's two and one fun with Soapbox, the cuddly companions you can actually take in the tub, snuggle, cuddle and play together all day. When it's time for your bath, bring them with you.

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That is genius. To learn more, visit soap socks, kids that soap socks. So ex kids dotcom.

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Nice. I want to highlight a florist called Whit Hazen. This is Los Angeles only, which I'm sorry, but she has the most beautiful flower arrangements and bouquets.

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She does weddings and events or services and I saw them on Instagram. Somebody had posted a picture of maybe like a baby shower or something.

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And I was like, oh, my God, those flowers are gorgeous. Luckily, she had tagged with hazony. So then I went down a rabbit hole. They're so pretty. And if you're looking for flower arrangements, check out what he's in. If you're in Los Angeles, w h i t h a z dotcom.

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Wonderful. Please enjoy Chad Sanders. He's in our chat.

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Hello. Oh, my goodness, look how cute this smile is. So I wasn't expecting a ring like, well, good. I don't think we're looking back. No, we're never looking back.

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OK, geez, I wish you know what I got fucking glammed by that compliment and I pressed for it on the Zoome thing.

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And how are you doing? I'm good. I'm a little bit delirious, like I was going to ask you at some point in this conversation, like, yo, how do you do this promotion? Yeah, promotion. And just like going from, you know, high energy convo to higher energy combo.

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But it's like it's not really like exhaustion. It's more like adrenaline and cortisol.

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Yeah, I don't know. Yeah.

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A bunch of shit like all the bad chemicals. Yeah. Man, it's funny you'd say that because I just was on. Not that I'm bragging, but I just was on The Daily Show like one second ago. So similarly I'm like, oh my God, I got a I'm trying to impress him and be good on that show and then I got to be prepared on this show. And yes, switching the gears is, you know, and then when I find I don't know if you found this, it can be fine in this moment.

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Right. Like, it's very energizing. It's it's like, oh, you have four p.m. You're like, oh, my God, I feel like I ran a marathon, but all I did is sit and chat.

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Yeah. The thing that's been messing with me is, you know, when somebody asks a question that I've answered before, it feels cheap to give the same answer again.

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So I try to challenge myself to give some new interesting answer. And then it's not interesting. And you're like, oh, I should have just been cheap.

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But yeah, this is fun, though I can totally relate and let me go further. So I relapsed very publicly and so we talked about it on here. I felt great about that. It was very sincere. But now I'm doing press to promote this Top Gear show. In every fucking interview I do, they bring it up and it's like, what am I going to not say it? And then I even hear myself as I'm answering. I'm like, Oh, this is getting way too well rehearsed.

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This sounds disgusting. And it sounds like I'm out promoting the fact everybody laughed and I just the whole thing. I'm like, I did it like, let's just move on. Fuck, yeah.

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We don't want a trending relapse.

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This is it's weird to like, you know, you all are storytellers than I am. I've told myself the story of myself so many times that I'm like, well, when I say it out loud, is it going to still sound spontaneous and authentic and shit? And is it even true or is it even true?

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The most relevant question ever, this is my first go around.

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So I'm figuring it out, you know, or hopefully you fuck up, you know, in a way that will allow you to learn something. Right. It could be exciting. You could learn something.

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Yeah. Yeah. No, for sure. Like, you guys probably know this, but at some point earlier in your career, you probably like, had a big interview on your schedule. And it's like that date with, like the person that you really want to date and you like every day, every hour. You're like, I hope this shit doesn't get canceled. I hope this shit doesn't get canceled until you're literally sitting in the seat. So I've, like, done the interview so many times in my head already and part of that for this book.

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And for what I talk about is like I even have friends texted me like, yo, when you go talk to these white people, don't be like, oh ha ha hee hee and sweet about it and shit. And so I'm like, yeah, I'm going to keep it extra real. And then you sit down across from a real person and they smile at you and you just smile back at some of those white guys.

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Are Zober charming fuck you all.

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You'll be like, wait, this, this guy seems crazy and that's how we get screwed. Now you're from Maryland. Where in Maryland are you from? I am from Silver Spring, Maryland. Is that a D.C. suburb? It is. But I like to think of it as its own thing only because you open the door. You just gave me a little crack. I am just going to say Maryland is a unusual and special place. It's like the eighth smallest state.

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There's no reason for it to be noteworthy or interesting.

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But a lot of incredible basketball talent comes out of Maryland and also some pretty fantastic writers like Tannahill Coates, Frederick Douglass, Dave Chappelle have come out of Maryland. Dave Chappelle is from Silver Spring. He's from ten minutes away from where I grew up.

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Oh, well, never heard of him. Oh, Chapel Chapel. Dave Chapel. He's black. I don't know if he's crossed over yet, but that's the special one day.

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He's perfect. I do want to go on a little tangent here. One thing I did love in the nineties because I wanted to be a standup, so I watched a ton of stand up and there was this like pretty well-worn genre in the late 80s, early 90s, where black comedians would do white guy voices. They were like black people say like this, white people saying, can I blah, blah, blah. And it never got old for me.

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I always fucking loved it. And well, the funny thing is like ninety five percent of the time when you all talk to a black guy, he's doing his white guy voice. I'm doing it right now. All right. Oh yeah.

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I had the most unique experience among many. I was so lucky to have had a black wife on television for six years and I learned so many things and I got proven wrong so many times. It was very, very educational. But one of the first things was, oh, I've known her. I met her own events or whatnot. And I knew her. I knew quote, knew her. And then we were on the show together and we'd be on set together.

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And then we became friends and we'd hang out and eat lunch and stuff. And then I'd see the joy from the Bronx. And I was like, wait, my first thought was, oh, she's doing a character. And then of course, I realized, no, no, she was doing a character to me. Now, this is real joy, and I feel flattered that I get to see real joy.

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You felt flattered by it. I mean, that's interesting because we spend so much. I'll speak personally. I spend so much energy now at this point subconsciously hiding that person, because I'm afraid that it's going to make someone uncomfortable and they're going to kick me out of the what's the primal fear there? We're going to get kicked out of the village or some shit. Yeah. Yeah, I'm going to be able to feed myself.

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Outgrow. Right. Well, it's a really, really, really nuanced topic, right? There's so many layers to it. So, like, you have to be nervous. What if you're black and you grew up and you only have you're like you're not code switching? Is that person to feel guilty that they can't empower or harness their black magic like you think about that level of the nuance. I do. I went to an HBC you I'm from a super diverse place, but I'm from, you know, a suburb of Chocolate City, as it were.

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I went to college in Atlanta, Morehouse. I went to Morehouse. I basically saying, like, I know thousands of black people. Right. And so, of course, there are so many different ways that we come across and talk and represent ourselves. The dude in the book. And also, I would say the guy in my life who kind of acted as a fullback for a bunch of us and like plowed through a bunch of walls and shit, was this guy named Jason Crane, who I went to college with.

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And Jason's the one who managed the strip club up in Kansas City with his dad. And I'm not sure if it's written as a strip club in the book, but I think that's what it is. But I'm glad we're getting the rail here.

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But in any case, Jason, it's not that he doesn't have the ability to do that sort of code switch or whatever, but he's the one of us who the least of all was willing to do that, maybe out of stubbornness, maybe out of some kind of insight that that wasn't the way to get through. But regardless, it kind of just seeing him be that way empowered me to be like, maybe I can be who I am, which, you know, isn't a straight kid.

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It's not like I'm from DC. I'm from Silver Spring, like I said, you know. So I think yeah, that I guess that's what I'm saying.

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I've had people have every level. I hate to keep using her, but she already talked about it on here publicly, so I don't feel too bad bringing it up. But it's like for Joy, she ended up going from the Bronx to this really fancy private school. And Connecticut, so she'd be there half the year and she's, of course, kind of code switching into that, but then when she's coming back to the Bronx now, she's not black enough.

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So I'm like, this poor girl didn't have a country. It was like she wasn't white enough or she's not black enough here. And I guess that's what I'm saying. The complexity of it is you can feel it on both ends, right?

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Yeah, it becomes very isolating because when you do that, switch over. For me, it was I would be in class, I being like the gifted and talented class with all the other white kids whose parents were in my parent's tax bracket. And then I would go out into the hallway and I would kick it with, you know, my friends who looked like me. And I would try to quote unquote, code switch back to the way that they talked.

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And I felt even as I was doing it as a high schooler, I felt shameful. I felt like I was being disrespectful to them, which made me feel like I was disrespecting myself. And then, I mean, this is how you become a writer, because then you're just like like I'm in my head now. I'm just going to, like, watch it, not participate.

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Well, what you get great at is right. You are really committing to memory all the character types because you're going to be playing them. It's so funny because I just related to you so much in high school. I too was in some gifted and talented stuff, but my passion was drag racing.

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Everyone I hung out with was gearheads. We were all white trash. Is that fucking got we parted in fields.

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We were hillbillies somehow living 30 miles from Detroit.

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So I know that feeling of going out in the hallway from my fucking AP bio class or whatever and then being embarrassed when I'd see my buddies like, oh god, yeah.

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You're like so scared that what if someone from that side over there saw what I was doing over there? Or what if somebody from that side over there saw what I was doing over there? Yeah.

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Asked me if I want to study for something in the middle of talking about what it'll and take. We're putting on something. Yeah.

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And you also just reminded me of my little notes was like, oh, tell me your dad's from Detroit because my dad's from Detroit. So was. Oh he is. Yeah he is.

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Was his family originally from Kentucky or Tennessee. They were from South Carolina. And all my family is there from the South, so to speak. And my dad's side, they all migrated up there to Detroit, to the Midwest. He's like he went to Western High School. He's from West Side. Oh, basketball player. Yeah. Yeah.

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So really quick.

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Who did we interview that wrote a book about the like for migration routes for was it cast.

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I think it was Isabel Wilkerson's cast.

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Yeah. It was really fascinating to find out like what all these streams of black people going north, you know, there's all these kind of predictable migration routes and why it is they went it's just very fascinating. But so when you go to Morehouse and what happens at Morehouse, do you feel when you get there, like, oh, OK, this is different? I'm surrounded by people who look like me. Is it eye opening in an interesting way?

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Oh, I think at first, like most people's freshman year of college, it's exciting and terrifying at once. You have no social capital. You're brand new. In my case, I've never known how to, like, dress like the other kids. That's always been my thing is I like I couldn't quite nail it. It's like, oh, I looks like we're doing Polo's now, but like, what's Tiepolo different. Like why is the emblem fucked up.

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And it wasn't like it was like I didn't have the resources just like I didn't get it.

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So Chirchir So the first thing I was just like trying to figure out what is happening here, like who do I want to be like, you know, I saw fraternity guys. I could clearly see that was a thing. So I was like, all right, I'm going to get with that. I play ball in high school, but I wasn't good enough to play in college. So I was like, OK, that's not an option. So first it was just like, what am I where do I stick?

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Had you gone there with an expectation and a fantasy like, oh, I'm going to be in an all black university, it's going to be like fish in a water. So it was it kind of like cognitive dissonance, a little bit like you thought you were going to click right in?

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No, because the truth is, I never felt like I totally fit in in all black environments, you know, I never felt like I totally fit in anywhere. And I think my mom will hear that and be like, well, yeah, you're such a leader your whole life. And like, that was kind of the mechanism that would be my thing is I'd be like, all right, I don't know where I stick here. So let me puff my chest out and try to be like, you know, try to be the leader, try to get the baton somehow.

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Oh, Chad, I can't figure out the wardrobe either. So I said, you know, I'm going to be fucking punk rock because punk rock tells you I'm not playing the game. And how are you going to judge this punk rock thing? No one else is doing it.

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That's right. Yeah. And I see that, frankly, like, I can still see it in you, you know what I mean? You can probably see it see it back a little bit. All a big time. You're telling yourself like I am resisting I. Just want approval, this truth, like, I just want to be accepted by every human being, but I have all this ego that I'm like, well, if I'm not going to be accepted, I'm going to show you.

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I don't need to be accepted by you. But of course, all I want is to be accepted.

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That's all I want. All the I mean, that's really all I want all the time. And we're primates. We're social. That's what we want anyway, to stay at Morehouse. Like there's nothing to compare it to for a black person, a white person, for any person to go to a campus that only has black people between the ages of 18 and twenty two, there's nothing else to compare it to. You know, the things you would compare it to are like, frankly, like an NFL team.

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Right. But with such diversity within that cast of characters and such subtlety of diversity. Right. Like a black nerd from where I'm from, which is what I was, is completely different from a black nerd from St. Louis, a music kid from, you know, Sunnyvale, California, is completely different from a music kid from Katy, Texas. So I started learning in a way that I never understood the differences between black people. And then once you see, like, these little tiny, subtle differences, it's like, oh, I'm going to you know, that one has a nose ring that looks cool.

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That one has dreadlocks like that looks cool, but then it gets deeper. You know, it's like, well, that one is an entrepreneur. And here's how he sees the idea of building a business. So let me like study that kid for the next three years and learn everything I can about him. And like, it's weird because the school is so thorough and so thoughtful about making sure that you feel pride in your identity. But also it kind of like for a moment, it washes all that shit away because you just don't see anybody else but black people for four years.

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Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're not seeing the, like, obvious shit. Yeah.

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You for the first time get to see even your own people as just people. And that's not something you get for most of your life if you grow up in this country at least. Yeah. Yeah. Well there's a thing Monica just brought it up the other day.

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But the parable about the fish in the water.

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Oh yeah. Damn it. I was going to say that shit. Fuck, yeah. Sorry, sorry, sorry. No, I didn't mean to flip it. So you say.

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Oh yeah that's I guess that's the thing I've been thinking is exactly that is the parable. I think they've kind of botched it. That Pixar movie that just came out. So they kind of like mangled it a little bit.

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But anyway, it's like the two fish and like one fish comes over to the other. It's two different ways. One fish comes out of there. He's like, oh, the water's cold today. And the fish is like, what's water? The metaphor is meant to imply or to say that like, life is all the little things that are happening while we're waiting for and looking for and hoping for life to happen. And race, in my opinion, is similar.

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It is the operating system of everything, whether or not we choose to acknowledge it or see it. And once we see it, you can't stop thinking about the water. You can't stop knowing that it's there.

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Yeah, I guess what I was thinking, potentially, at least your life experience could have been the opposite of that parable, which is you are always very aware of the water. And then maybe on a place like Morehouse, you could actually just swim around.

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That's it. I really got to become Chad there. I mean, we just connected on it. Right. But so much of my energy output is in resisting. It's in like being the opposite of what someone's telling me to be. And so at Morehouse, I did get to kind of just be and then I found out what was there.

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So your story then and really this becomes the catalyst for the work you do in the book you've written. Black Magic is you graduate and then you go to Silicon Valley. And then I think among many places you worked at Google for four years. And you are now probably even if we had to put on a spectrum, say, your high school experience versus Morehouse, I'm imagining this experience in Silicon Valley is even to the left of your high school.

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Yes, Silicon Valley. I did not know how white a white place could be until I lived in Silicon Valley. I lived in you know, whiteness comes in. It's shades as well. And I have always felt, probably because of where I grew up, a little more comfortable with a kid whose dad might have a Confederate flag on the back of his car than a kid whose dad had a building named after him at Harvard. I know where he's coming from.

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Like he's not going to sideswipe me. He's to undermine me with, you know, death by a thousand sort of microaggression cuts. You know, it's like two players that meet in the hall on a football field. It's like, right. I see where you're at. And a lot of times you get through that kind of friction. You know, if you ever get in a fight after the fight, you kind of have a respect for getting to understand each other.

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It was this new Silicon Valley. This is like theoretical liberalism where like people care so much about black. But they don't know any, and so that stuff like it was pervasive, it was in the building and I have to say, like the truth is it was so tight to start my career at Google, like that was a dream come true at that point. Fifteen years old, it was fucking Google. It was like as cool as I don't know what the cool like, I don't know, tick tock or some shit.

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It was really cool then and it showed me so much. It was my introduction to corporate America and that was my in a lot of ways my reintroduction to whiteness as like the most important form of prestige of anything. Yeah.

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So in the book you talk about the many different things, the cues that you started observing. Right. Like where did they vacation? What music festival did they go to? How did they dress in? The obvious thought, if I'm you is like, OK, I got to get with this. If I want to compete and I want to ascend this ladder, I've got to play by the rules.

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Yeah. And like, OK, the biggest scale for my greatest daydreams, it's like yes, it's that if I want to ascend, if I want to be Eric Schmidt one day, like if I want to be the CEO of a company like this, then I better master this shit. But like in the moment, as I'm learning and figuring that out, it's so simple and elemental. It's like if I just want someone to look at me when I say something, then I need to be able to speak this language.

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I need to say it with this tone and this cadence. I need to have these clothes on, like if I want anybody to hear me and value what I have to say and not just out of novelty, then they need to feel like I am one of them. And like for me, the way to appear to be one of them was to like, try to be one of them. Yeah, you got a master passive aggressiveness mitigated compliments.

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There's a there's a real art form of I mean.

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Well, let me just ask, like, what's up with that shit? Like, why do you like what is that like?

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A couple of things I want to say is one is someone I'm very good friends with in Detroit. They say the worst words, they say the fucking worst words. They say all the words that the liberals in L.A. would kill someone over saying yet this is all friendship.

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Circle is Latino and black. And I look, part of me is like, OK, y'all aren't saying the wrong words, but fucking who cares? Like, this person is actually, like, enmeshed in some multicultural experience. So I get a little judgmental of that. That's one of my pet peeves. Gotcha. And then you have this faux politeness is triggering to me, but that again is my class thing. It's like, oh, everyone's shitting on you, but they're doing it in this manner.

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What you can't actually in a court of law, you read the transcript back. What did they say? It's how they said it.

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Yes, it's tonal and it's a chess match. And if you are used to playing with a different chess board, like you're just going to take El's over and over and over again. And I know I'm a passenger. I don't want to try to take the steering wheel here.

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I do I do want to ask, though, like when you hear like a part of me wants to be like, all right, now I need to write white magic because I want to know what the fuck what white people say to each other when nobody's around.

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What kind of I mean, you don't have to repeat the things, but like what kind of stuff that is. In some ways, the boogie man for me can be maybe even worse than what's actually being said between white people. There's this idea that, oh, yeah, a lot of us carry that, like when we're not around, if we come up, terrible things are being said.

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Yeah, well, how could you not assume the worst given the history so and not the history, the present, given what's going on.

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And yeah, I mean, as yesterday, even being history, just like the story of black people in America, how could you be aware of that and not assume the worst?

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I grew up among all white people and also was just like assimilating to the nth degree. And I mean, there is conversations that happen with white people about people of color that I feel like I'm privy to because I'm just like I'm white, like you, like you, you know. And I think it does depend on the group currently is kind of extra tricky, I think, because it's a conversation we're having a lot now and we are perpetuating it.

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That's, you know, and I'm happy about that. But these conversations are happening at dinner tables and stuff which need to. But it's all from a very liberal stance, and then they'll be a joke or something that comes up and I am always conflicted of like, so what do I say right now? Like, you know, how we're always talking about how we have to call out what's happening? Like, I'm calling it out now. Yeah, it's complicated.

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I think people want to be good, but there are also ingrained.

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Can we everyone in front of you that we had that I think I would be very interested in your point of view on an exchange. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, for sure. Let's do it.

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I said I don't think black people take covid as seriously as a lot of the white liberals. And Monica was really upset by that. And I understand why. And I go, look, I just noticed in my friends and the people I follow on Instagram, I don't think they give a fuck as much and I think they don't give a fuck as much because they have actually have a legitimate threat of death from a very real source in this virus is like, OK, I got to worry about that, too.

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Like, that's my explanation for it.

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So first of all, it's cheating when you say it because you're a comedian, like you said, it's like, all right, my friends who are black comedians, like half the shit that comes out of their mouths.

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I'm like, I have a writing partner who's a comedian. Right. He's in his fifties. Like, he's brilliant. Super, super sharp, super quick, super funny. I'm like this like Touchy-Feely thought millennial. So like you have the shit that comes out of his mouth. My dear God, please do not speak those words in front of our network executive or in front of the producer.

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That is a woman that like like is that offensive or do you think it's offensive? So I got to be honest, that particular one does not offend me and I am going to be like I am quick to be like, that's a bullshit. Like such a goddamn mouth when people say some crazy shit about black people. But that one, I mean, I'm sorry. I almost feel like I'm like, all right, I should be offended, but I don't feel offended by that one only because, like, I'm hassling my friends a lot right now, too, about like, why don't you guys come back?

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Why are we playing basketball on the weekends? Why why don't we whatever.

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And, you know, white people are doing that to one hundred percent. So I abstain.

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I don't know. But but I will say, look, I'm the first to say, yeah, hillbillies don't give a fuck about covid like it's my number one. I'm like, yeah, they don't give a fuck. There are little green groups within the white world that I'm also saying that about. They don't seem to give a fuck. There's actually no judgment even. And again, I do similar things like their life expectancy.

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Well, you said they care less. Not they don't care. Oh, right. Well, here's what I know. I don't want to proceed if I'm know.

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I just I that's that's different than saying they don't care because then you could say hillbillies don't care. Volleyball's don't care about. But if you say a group cares less.

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Yeah, that is different. That's making a generalization about an entire group of people.

[00:28:07]

Can I say what. OK, I have my thoughts together now like it's not funny time anymore. Now it's like I want someone who I care about listens to this and I don't want them to judge me. Here's my truth. I think the sentiment of what DAX is saying is accurate, which is that we live with the threat of tragedy constantly, which is why we are good at a lot of things. Also, we live with and understand a sense of urgency and a sense of the moment and a sense of acclimating to an ideal circumstances.

[00:28:38]

There are a lot of different things out here that could try to cause us harm. And while this one is super important and very dangerous and very scary, yeah, we're just kind of used to scary stuff. So, I mean, my sister has twins coming and she has a two year old to like. My parents are taking every precaution. I haven't seen my family. We never go this long without seeing each other. I haven't seen my family since last January, maybe maybe even longer than that.

[00:29:06]

And so it is a generalization.

[00:29:08]

I mean, it's a provocative thing to say DACS and so like it is it has comedy is I think like there is probably a kernel of truth in it. If Dag's were to say, like, I don't think black people understand this pandemic. Right. Which you didn't that I would not at all what I think, you know, I would take offense to that and then we would do this whole like.

[00:29:28]

Yeah, well, here's the thing that is part of me is I don't believe in the whole colorblind things. So let me just say this. I've also said it about older people. I'm shocked that all of our parents don't give a fuck. They're the ones that are most vulnerable in almost across the board. Every person I know who has older parents, they don't seem to care as much as us. Oh, wow. And that's fascinating. And then I go, well, why?

[00:29:49]

And I go, oh, I get it. Fucking time is limited. And they're not going to risk not living their life for two years if they maybe only have four or five years left. Like I don't go to their dumb, I go to there has to be a plausible explanation. But so I'm observing that about older people in my orbit. They don't seem to care as much. And then I'm observing it about my black friends and people who work in the music industry and all these anecdotal things.

[00:30:14]

I almost feel like it would be me pretending I'm colorblind to also not observe it about when it's going to leave that one. A group out, I'm observing it about everybody and I'm being vocal about it, but I'm going to leave black people out because I'm colorblind or something that feels weird to me. We're getting deep. Well, yeah. Yeah, I think that here's the complexity that underlies. Right. It's like that statement is an opinion of your own.

[00:30:38]

It is unresearched, but it's observed. And you as a six, two and a half rich white guy can speak it out loud, you know, with the girth of your chest and like because of your perceived sort of intelligence and wisdom, whether or not somebody knows you just because you have that description, somebody else might take that and be like, yeah, black people don't care as much about this shit because that tall, rich white dude said it.

[00:31:07]

I didn't go off that often its ability. Can I add one more thing to it? I'm sorry, but you were being slightly reprimanded here, you know, not even just like the slightest bit of, like, pushback on your theory came in the way of like that's not cool to say. And I watched you do it. You shrunk your body and you said like, oh, wait, like, not if I'm going to get in trouble.

[00:31:29]

Right. And like, that also is the danger is, you know, if we're going to have this back and forth, then now I'm not I'm not trying to twist the knife in you, DACs. But like, that is often what happens when you get into an argument with someone really privileged. Is there like, you know what, I don't need to win this one I'm might like and they kind of just let you have it. But then, like the decisions end up getting made by the person who had the opinion.

[00:31:57]

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[00:34:37]

Well, here is and we're going to get a smack into the heart of your book and that great New York Times article that your op ed that was out. Thank you. As we keep saying, there's like layer after layer after layer.

[00:34:47]

So first it's just I make a very generalized statement about all black people, which is ridiculous on the surface. It's just plain ridiculous. Right. But at the same time, it's what I feel like I'm observing whatever. Then if Monica says that's crazy and that's racist and then now I feel bad and then now Monica is in a position that she has to fucking comfort me and console me.

[00:35:09]

And that to me is the darkest aspect of the whole cycle. That's the one that if I were y'all, I would be furious about.

[00:35:19]

And then you are furious. But like when people are mad, they can only take it out on people who have less power than them. So like you never have to deal with the curiosity of just going to let that be a word.

[00:35:31]

And I was thinking about it and like, this is a big opportunity for me. Right? If I could just paint the picture right. Like you have everybody on comes on. This is like Justin Timberlake was on this show a week ago. Right. And here I am, first time author, fewer than 5000 Instagram followers, you know, like spunky, you know, like it's trending in my direction, but like a man on the rise of me on the right.

[00:35:58]

I don't know.

[00:35:59]

It's like, quote unquote. It's not great for ratings if this were another industry or whatever. But when I come here, the power dynamic is such that I know that I have to push the limits. I have to be provocative and interesting enough that it makes for good radio podcasting. But if I go too far, if I'm too honest and I hurt Dax's feelings and he says, you know what, fuck this. We're pulling this interview, that is really bad for me.

[00:36:27]

And that is like what black people and people of color and women and gay people and trans people are walking around with at work every day is like, God, I have to be bold enough to make a mark, but I can't hurt somebody's feeling so bad that I get kicked out of the club. Yes.

[00:36:44]

If I can just reassure you, I've never pulled an episode and you're free to hurt my feelings. And this is the greatest place in the world, to be overly honest. OK, so when you were in Silicon Valley, I want to get back to your book. That was so fucking thrilling. By the way.

[00:36:57]

I'm your brother and I'm that's so important that you just said that that's so true. When people say, well, we have 25 percent black people working in our company, it's like, yeah, but that doesn't mean they have the same opportunity. That doesn't mean their voices are equally heard because they're doing that dance. Yeah. And no big company with twenty five percent. Exactly. That would be fucking Rikers. Yeah. Praise God. I also want to add to your time, OK, I'm in such a rush because I'm having so much fun.

[00:37:27]

Like we really did something like we were brave just now the thing. Yeah. Yeah. Oh that's great. I love to hear that. That's all. Yeah. We weren't safe. We weren't safe.

[00:37:36]

And if it's too much monarchal, protect both of us. I really. Well yeah. Thank you. Feel free to cross the line Irem. Yeah. Does that mean when you patrol my Twitter mentions as well in that regard. I'm just kidding. Yeah.

[00:37:47]

She is smart enough to not go on Twitter. Yeah exactly. But anyways when you a couple of times when you were talking, I was reminded greatly of the Martin Luther King quote, when you talk about Silicon Valley, which is like beware of the white liberal. And when I read that, I was like, oh, man, I have been in that white liberal a bunch of times. I've been like, guys, look at the progress, progress, progress.

[00:38:08]

It's a slow like. And I was like, oh my God, I'm a guy. I am the white liberal sometimes or often probably. And yes, the power dynamic is exactly what you just said. And that's a reality. And the kind of breakthrough I have just thinking about this was I loved Ice Cube, loved Ice Cube was my favorite in high school. Yeah.

[00:38:28]

You know, expressively critical of the white patriarchy. It didn't bother me at all. And then I used to falsely compare it to like if a black person heard someone singing that was white and was being critical of the black community, I used to think, well, look, can't you just look at it like I look at it like, oh, yeah, that's his point of view. This is his point of view. And then, of course, I've now come to realize, like, the big differences, I'm not going to get pulled over by Ice Cube and then I'm not going to go to court and ice cubes the judge and then I'm not going to go to the job interview and ice cubes the judge.

[00:39:02]

But when I if I'm black and I hear the white singer saying that they have all the fucking powers, it is a much different threat. But that blew over my head for a long time, like, oh, it's just black people are being critical of one another. Aren't those the same? No, it's not the same because you should have genuine fear if you hear that opinion expressed and then you recognize every single person in a position of power is white.

[00:39:26]

Yeah, yeah.

[00:39:27]

I mean, you said it and it's that is equivocating. And I would say beyond the point that you're making, which is that the power lies behind. You know, the hand of the white person in that regard, I just also don't when people are like I mean, I never hear them say, but I see the behaviors when people don't like black people. I'm like, I don't get it. The data shows that black people don't really cause harm to anybody else because of that power dynamic.

[00:39:53]

The data shows that, like we are in so much higher risk to be kidnapped, arrested, shot, hurt, abandoned by white people. So I don't really even get it. Is it when you I don't know, like, spilled the milk in your house and then you're mad at the milk? Like, I don't get it.

[00:40:13]

Yeah, I have yet to research this, but I really want to. I was watching the Pistorius thirty four thirty whatever. I'm not saying his name right. But you know what I'm talking about the Blade Runner. Yep. Yep. South African. Yeah, South African. And he shot his girlfriend and my first thought was oh wow. They have handguns down in South Africa. Oh that's interesting. Who else has handguns. And then I thought I bet you there is a correlation between who has handguns in their country and who had slaves or who had apartheid.

[00:40:42]

Again, I want to do the research, but it just popped into my head. I guarantee there's a fucking correlation there.

[00:40:47]

I wouldn't be surprised. Yeah, I mean, who feels like they need to defend themselves all the time?

[00:40:57]

And by the way, the only reason you're pretty fearful that that's going to happen is because you have systematically created so much harm and trauma that you should have a realistic fear. Like my favorite quote recently is you should be lucky we don't want revenge, which is true. And I do think on the in the back of everyone's mind is an awareness whether they they could tell you we got some fucking skeletons in our closet. I got to protect myself, you know, like I think it's in there.

[00:41:28]

Yeah.

[00:41:29]

I mean, that's I got to tell you, you're like, man, I like some dark, edgy stuff. And like you, you're like my friend who I have to see only like once every six months because I'm like, OK, well, when I see this person, I know we're going to start talking about some craziness. So I didn't interview. Can I do a name dropping interview? Oh, please, please, please. So I did Bernie Brown's podcast a couple of days ago, and she wrote the foreword to your book, too.

[00:41:55]

She did. She did.

[00:41:56]

And she's been as I cross over, she's been one of the white people who liked my stuff. So that's really nice championing. Yeah, indeed. Yeah. So I think I need to be specific about that as white people become aware of what I do. She has been one of the big ones who has been sharing that. I'm not crossing over, guys. I'm staying where I'm at.

[00:42:17]

But Ice Cube said cross over, watch the money pile up. That's a fact. That's a fact. That's why I got up. And I don't get this episode. She asked me a question.

[00:42:28]

This is the one you know how you do a whole interviewing. Like the one thing that you said a dumb answer to is the one that you remember, obviously. Yes. Oh, yes. She asked me what is something that people have wrong about you or something like that. And my answer was that they think I'm mad at white people. And that's not really what I meant to say. But what I do mean to say is I am fully aware and pained by and angry sometimes and saddened by all the ways that white people have hurt people that look like me continue to do so.

[00:43:01]

And I am coming to grips with now in my thirties, honestly, that that's something I'm going to have to live with for my entire life.

[00:43:08]

With that said, I do. And I think many black people do forgive white people, and I think that's an act of self-preservation in many regards.

[00:43:19]

I can't live with constantly the feeling of non forgiveness toward white people. It's all too intense like the imbalance and the crime of it is all too intense. I can't live with it. So I do think a lot of white people often are walking around with this feeling that all these black people, like when they see us, as Ava DuVernay says, they're feeling like this person is harboring such resentment for me and they hate me. And they you know, they think I'm responsible for what my great great grandfathers did and all this shit.

[00:43:52]

And like, no, we're trying to get to the next moment without having any harm caused to us. That's it. That's it. So anyway, I wanted to set that right also. Yeah. Really dope on Bernie. Oh, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. You're great.

[00:44:06]

And that's not to say I'm sorry. Like every time I say something I can then hear like my friends in the group chat being like you said, you forgave white people. So that's not to say I'm not can't win. You can't win. No, you can't win. Of course. No, you can't win. This is the extra layer.

[00:44:26]

There's so much God, the fact that like even that this is a layer you have to handle.

[00:44:32]

Oh, yeah. Right. Right. The imbalance. Yeah. Right, but it's not to say the same as like I'm not mad and I'm not hurt, I am, but like I have to every single day forgive just to, like, get through life just to get through it.

[00:44:49]

I think the more people focus on the systems and I said it's embarrassing that we have to account for people's defensiveness. It is embarrassing. But if you're pragmatic and you want change, I think if the systems are what we really put a lot of our focus on, I think that takes a little bit of all this defensiveness and. Well, that was my great great grandfather. That doesn't matter. The system your great great grandfather designed is actually still in place just because he died, the system didn't die.

[00:45:19]

And so as much as you didn't do X, Y or Z, the system is still here and you're still complacent with the system. And that's what is being asked. I think I just want to poke at it.

[00:45:33]

I'm not sure if I agree. Can I just poke at it? So it reminds me of the way that we talk about corporations. Sometimes we call them corporations, we call them companies. That's a fancy word for a group of Seasprite executives, group of majority shareholders, couple of founders, and then all the minions that work for them. That's what we're really talking about. Right. And I remember from company culture so often when there is a victory to be touted, some individual human being goes out front, stands in front of a microphone with their name under their body on the screen, and they say, my team did this.

[00:46:10]

Look what we did. It's so great. And when something bad happened at the company or something went awry, someone would go and do that same death walk. But instead, what they would say is we as a company had this failure because of this decision we made back then and this and that. And the third thing, and they would hide behind the idea of this thing as a company that isn't just a group of individuals who are stewards of somebody's investment dollars, right?

[00:46:38]

Mm hmm. So in my opinion, when we say these systems are broken, we just got hit with a pandemic. And the president that we had basically decided that he wasn't going to acknowledge it as such. And so no systems were changed in a matter of days since we got this new president. It's like suddenly we are making really smart, really effective decisions about how to contain this thing. It's not going to fix it in a heartbeat, but it's literally just one dude walked out and another dude walked in and a couple of people in other important offices were swapped over as well.

[00:47:16]

I do believe that. And this is kind of gets to that New York Times article that I wrote. I do believe that in some ways these systems are a hiding place for individual stewards of injustice who don't want to do anything bold, who don't want to tell their family members I'm moving in a different direction because they're scared and they're embarrassed and they're not and they're not strong. That's my point of view.

[00:47:39]

That's a hugely relevant point. I totally agree with that. But if we use the water analogy of the fish, I guess the system is the water in many ways where it's like, hey, look at the water you're swimming in. It's all around you. It's everywhere. It is the systems, it's this and you're a part of it. And you can make change and you can, you know, but some people don't even recognize that it's everywhere.

[00:48:02]

I love the analogy, but I actually think that the system is the school of fish. And I think that the water is a pandemic. The water is the shit we can't control. But the fish, like if one fish decides to swim the other direction and the school continues to go that way, nothing changes. But like, if the whole this is why I wrote that article. Right. I got tired of love text. And I'm so sad about, you know, this and that.

[00:48:30]

And like this was last summer when very bad things were happening and or I mean, they're always happening. But like when people were marching and rioting because of terrible things that were getting media attention, as they rightfully should have been, I think. And I kept getting these texts from some of my white friends, like God, this is so sad. My heart breaks for you. This, that, and it's like these texts are so cheap. If you really feel something about this, call your dad, who we've talked about, who I know has really objectionable views about black people and other minority groups and tell them you're not coming home for Thanksgiving until his company donates to the Black Lives Matter movement or something else that you find to be an effective usage of money and funds for that during this time.

[00:49:13]

Like, I think it takes like bolder action and actually probably some real heartache for, like, things to to move in a different direction.

[00:49:22]

Yeah, yeah. Well, the reason it's nuanced in your point is totally right, that there are humans at every level of the system. And then there's a huge broad spectrum. There's also tens of. Millions of people that are just hardcore racists, like that's that's also a fact. So, no, no, no, no, that's real. There's also tens of millions that aren't, you know, and even the ones that aren't still living the exact same system as the ones who are.

[00:49:50]

And yeah, I just think it's so wild. If you're a teacher, you hang pictures up on the wall. Well, who do you hang? Well, we put George Washington up there. He was the first president. We put Abe Lincoln up there. He did this. We put Isaac Newton up there. We bah bah bah bah. That weirdly is the system, right? So you're growing up in a box and these are the people that you're celebrating and that person who hung them are hanging the same ones they saw.

[00:50:15]

Like, you know, someone's got to point out to them, like, hey, maybe maybe we put some other folks up there, maybe, hey, what about some women on that wall? That'll be interesting. Yeah, because you inherit the system. You know, that's the only part where I say, like, yeah, people are guilty and we all fucking inherited it. And it's upon us to question it now and challenge it and change it.

[00:50:35]

But it's also this was the fucking like we got dropped into, you know. Well, yeah.

[00:50:40]

I mean, they're just inertia. They're at play and. Well, yeah. If it's going great for you guys and you don't and like you don't want it to change, then fuck it. But I mean, there's these incremental steps and we call it progress. When a company goes from four percent black at the lowest level to five percent black, it doesn't match the other stuff that disrupts powerful forces. Right. Like in technology, Yahoo! Is killing the game for a second and then and Ask Jeeves.

[00:51:09]

And then Google pops up and it's like your little world gets crushed. But that's because really smart, really creative people get the power of other people's money and wealth and influence behind them. And they make something awesome and it takes over the market like it's seismic.

[00:51:25]

Right.

[00:51:26]

So like how powerful that we still can't undo this other thing if we have all these smart people working toward it, or do we just have that many more people on the other side of it trying to keep it? How it is? I don't know. Yeah, OK. But back to your book. I want everyone to read Black Magic. So what you found at your experience in Silicon Valley is, as you had said, there was kind of a breaking point for you.

[00:51:49]

And then you decided, I'm done with this. There's a great you said like, I'm not going to be as good as what do you say? I'm not going to.

[00:51:56]

No, I realized I couldn't play a white guy as well as a white guy, you know, but it's so simple. So good, so good. Just don't have it.

[00:52:08]

So what kind of things did you start doing that where you started embracing who you really were? And then what?

[00:52:14]

What was the outcome of that? It's not like cheap, trite stuff, right? It's not like I started wearing Jordans to work every day. It's not like I, you know, got cornrows, which I think those are cultural staples of ours. But they don't they certainly don't define blackness. It was more about I had to get back in touch with myself to, like, see straight. I had to get back in touch with myself to really tell the truth, to say to somebody as an example, that's like the thing about black people not caring as much about covid and covid precautions, that specifically didn't offend me.

[00:52:48]

But let's say you said something else that was similarly provocative and kind of slighting or whatever, and it really did offend me. I would contort myself to give you more power on that. I would contort myself to convince myself I wasn't offended so that you as a white guy would continue to feel comfortable with me and that maybe one day just one of my friends who went to business school and all the fancy ones and the Harvard's and Stanford's and Yata and like every, you know, six months, they all their crew will get up together, will hang out together.

[00:53:22]

And I know they're the only black dude there. And they have these sort of flimsy relationships and friendships where they get honesty from the white people, but they're not really comfortable giving it fully back. And I know what they're doing is investing in a relationship that they think one day this dude's going to write me a big check for this company, you know, from his dad's bank account or something like and I was doing that. I was a friend of mine who texted me something about sleeping in their snuggly of white privilege last summer when when again during the marches.

[00:53:54]

And I would just eat it. You know, that text message felt gross. It felt terrible. It made me want to take a shower.

[00:54:02]

But yeah, at that point in my life, when I was twenty two, twenty three, twenty four, I wanted so badly to be in the club with y'all that I was like, I'll be the whipping boy, whatever, you know, like I remember I went to a birthday party and the host was like a real it was the descendant of a company that started a really prominent bank that I won't say the name of. But he did a toast, you know, with all the guys in the room.

[00:54:27]

And this is little things, right? Like he made his toast, which was sexist and gross.

[00:54:33]

And I won't repeat on on this line, Mike. And he felt we're off to a good start. All right.

[00:54:40]

And I gave it a laugh because, you know, I got to I got to I want to get in the club and he, like, filled all the little shot glasses but mine and he put it down on the table and he picked up the cheaper one and gave it to me. And he said, Chad, you probably like this stuff.

[00:54:55]

And it was like, I don't know what it was. It might have been Hennesy or Crown Royal or something like that.

[00:55:00]

And I just I just lived with it. I don't even drink anymore. But I just I said, OK, like I mean, those are little things.

[00:55:06]

But God, as I speak them out loud, they feel terrible. Right. But yeah. So it wasn't as much just like how I presented myself or how I showed myself, but it was real decisions in moments of pain and urgency that I would choose to exalt whiteness.

[00:55:23]

Yeah. Yeah. Oh fuck. I would hate being in those situations. Yes. We got to stop putting people in situations.

[00:55:32]

Yeah. And like what I ended up doing in that position was I did get pretty good at it. I also got pretty good at identifying who else was uncomfortable and either creating an ally ship with that person, a very subtle, unstated ally ship with that person, or knowing to watch my back for that person because they might be coming for me as soon as they see a spot of weakness. Monica, what's your heritage, if I could ask? Indian.

[00:56:01]

Indian, OK. Yeah, I have a friend who went to a small liberal school in the Northeast. He's got a click of probably I don't know if they hang out as much anymore. We're in our thirties. Nobody has friends. But like they at the time, they had like a group of thirty kids, let's say that all hung out every weekend and I used to hang out with them. Sometimes I can show up or whatever and be alone.

[00:56:21]

But there was one Indian kid in the group who I always got along with.

[00:56:27]

He kind of knew how to LDAP, you know, he kind of knew how to like we saw each other, but they there was a running thread in their friend group, which was that so-and-so is such an asshole.

[00:56:39]

He's always he's always sliding. He's always he's always waiting for a moment to, like, poke somebody. He's always undermining somebody. And it was clear and obvious to me from the first moment I was like. This dude is isolated, like he's tired of being at the bottom of this totem pole all the time, and when I suggested that to my boy, who's really my boy and I do love and he's going to hear this and be like he's honestly going to hear this and be like, damn.

[00:57:01]

But I suggested it to him. And it was like in 10 years of knowing this kid, he had never considered at all once how it must feel to be that dude.

[00:57:12]

And then ultimately, you left there. You were like, OK, I'd be guessing. But is some of it you're like, OK, I actually don't know that it can be my true self here. I know is the place for me to be my true self. It was a couple of things. So it was definitely that I was definitely watching people get promoted and get like new opportunities and I got some cool opportunities to there. One of them was I got to work out of the London office for a little while and that was the best experience I had at that company because I was living somewhere where it was interesting to people that I was black.

[00:57:47]

Oh, let's see what this guy's about with what felt like a genuine curiosity. And that's not to say that there's not racism in other countries against black people. There certainly is. But in this experience, for me, I kind of got to grow into my voice a little bit because I didn't feel like I had to play a character role in the same way. So when I came back. And I thought I was going to get to bring that new voice back to the New York office with me, and then I realized I'll never forget there was one particular meeting and I won't say this person's name either.

[00:58:16]

But my team was mostly white women. I worked in H.R. There was one person who I again, I forgive and I do really think she's dope.

[00:58:24]

She was always like a little bit short, like a little curt with me.

[00:58:29]

And I think she could tell that I wasn't that comfortable in my job. And, you know, when I worked in London, I was so bold. I was always like I would tell people how I felt if somebody said something in a meeting and I thought it didn't make sense, I would speak up for myself. And I did that in a meeting with this particular person. And her reaction to that was, yeah, well, nobody asked you, and that was it.

[00:58:50]

And like and the room. No, you know, no one ran to save me. Like nobody said. That's not how we talk to each other on this team. It was just kind of like that, was it? My voice was dead and I decided I had to get out of there.

[00:59:03]

Stay tuned for more armchair expert, if you dare.

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This is so unbelievable. Like this news traveled like a natural disaster.

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My dad sent me an email. Yeah, it was all anyone talked about on set the other day. President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen sit down to discuss the country that's given them both so much, chronicled the stories of its people and connect their own search for meaning, truth and community. With the larger story of America, they seem like unlikely friends, two men with very different backgrounds and career paths. Yet they built a friendship on their shared sensibility and a belief in the American ideal.

[01:01:12]

In renegades born in the USA, we get to eavesdrop as they reminisce about their hometowns. Role models explore manhood, fatherhood and growing up in America and examine the sometimes painful distance between the American dream and the American reality. And they get into some trouble with the joy ride in Bruce Springsteen's vintage Corvette. Don't Miss Renegades Born in the USA. Episodes are available now on Spotify. Listen free only on Spotify.

[01:01:43]

When you decided to write the book, you ended up interviewing 200 people and 15 of the people made the book telling their story and how they found their black magic. And one of the things you said is that you found that a lot of the people you interviewed feared backlash and that black celebrities were probably the most fearful of that. And I just got curious about that. Yes.

[01:02:08]

So to do a hyper fast forward. Right. So I left Google, go to a tech startup. I'm a millennial. I want to get rich. I think I'm like going to be. Mark Zuckerberg didn't happen. Kaplin bought the startup. I didn't have any equity. I got a tiny little check of, like, some token of goodwill or whatever. So I left Kaplin. I was I just left a big corporation. I'm like, I'm definitely not working at another corporation.

[01:02:29]

And I was a kid growing up. I was went to an arts high school. I've been a writer my whole life since I was three years old and I was like, let me try it. I got to take the shot. I'm 18 months away from 30. I was turning the corner. I could see it coming and I didn't want to not get my shot up. I wrote a TV pilot sitting outside in Fort Greene on Lafayette Avenue, sitting outside Bobba Cool coffee shop.

[01:02:52]

I look up twenty feet away. Spike Lee is sitting there scrolling his BlackBerry. So I get up, I walk over. It's like this part is the part. People are going to think I'm lying. I get up, I walk over, I introduce myself as a Morehouse dude. He went to Morehouse. He pulls me a chair out. We talk thirty minutes a month later, probably. I'm one of my first first class flight with Spike to Hollywood.

[01:03:12]

We pitch all over town and Betty buys the show. And suddenly now I'm like, I'm a Hollywood writer. I sold my first show show. Never got made.

[01:03:21]

None of them do. Don't feel bad. Wow. Thank you. I'm like, oh, if they're TV. All right. So so I was super broke after I left the corporate world. Here's my sad story. I was living in like a 250 square foot apartment in Park Slope, which is an expensive place to live in a tiny little apartment with no furniture, a mattress on the floor, you know, cancel all my subscriptions, that whole thing.

[01:03:45]

Did the thing that so many people say happened to them when they're trying to make something happen and when Spike kind of swooped me up in that regard, it's not like I got any money, but it just felt like I saw one side of the Rubik's Cube come into alignment. And it was like, OK, I don't know how to get the rest of this thing, how I want it. But like, I see that there's this. If I just do the thing I think I'm good at, then this thing works.

[01:04:14]

And then one opportunity led to another led to me having the vehicles to write this book that I had wanted when I was twenty five, which is how are black people supposed to make it through this corporate maze. This is a labyrinth. This is crazy. Like as I really started to pay attention and look at the numbers and and you know, one percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are black. That means five total. I'm like, this is a crazy lottery.

[01:04:41]

This is the odds are stacked against me. How am I supposed to do this? Because that was my dream at the time. I decided that the way to figure it out, I didn't think I could find the answers on Wikipedia. I used to go to, you know, Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene and read every self-help book. I, Tim Ferriss, Tim Ferriss, please, please, please listen in here, man.

[01:05:01]

I used to read the four hour work week and like tolls of titans and good to great and outliers and zero to one. Any self-help book didn't care about the person's politics. Who wrote it? I would repeat into your shit like I was just like, where are the answers? Where are the answers? Where are the answers? And there were answers there. But most of those answers were about how to systematize around a problem.

[01:05:25]

They did not obviously speak to how to do that while black. And so I decided I need to write the book myself. So I went and asked a bunch of people, two hundred people, and I now had access to a bunch of Hollywood people. But it seemed to me that the larger the platform, the more careful I will say diplomatically. People want it to be about offending white people by telling the truth about the experiences that they had had along the way.

[01:05:55]

Well, really quick, it's a lot to ask of somebody to risk their financial security. You know, that's another shitty position. Yeah. Black folks are in, which is like, yeah, I'd love to have the freedom to tell you my opinion, but it could cost me.

[01:06:08]

It's going to cost you. Right. And also, you know, at the time, for a writer with no track record, you know, somebody who like this guy basically just popped up in a black T-shirt and asked me, maybe I know him a little bit through this person, through that person, to this person. But like, why would I give this person that type of scary, dangerous, valuable truth? So what ended up happening was that the best interviews I got?

[01:06:34]

All came from people, one from people I actually had relationships with who trusted me and knew I would do a good job even though I had no track record. So scientists, activists, media executives. Pasteur's. Tech entrepreneurs, investors, real estate agents like black people who I looked up to, who I knew well between the ages of thirty five and seventy five, and that came from all over the like all over the map. You know, the last interview was probably my favorite, which I know I'm not supposed to say, but it's by sixty five ish black pastor of a church in Brooklyn with a congregation of fewer than 50 people, who is a prolific social worker, who goes into prisons and works with the inmates.

[01:07:19]

He goes, is this the ex addict? Like ex addict is an ex atheist. He was an atheist. And I don't like to Buckett that with some other real afflictions, I guess they are suffering from. Right. Right. But he was diabetic. He had one leg. He was an atheist. He had been murdered. But he had done a lot of crazy stuff.

[01:07:43]

I mean, he was suicidal. He was an addict. He was sticking up off duty police officers at one point in his life. And he grew up in the Jim Crow South and he hated his black skin. And that was at the source of most of the ills in his life.

[01:07:58]

Was he just he hated himself because he was black and because it was so hard to live with that color of skin in this country. And that eventually became his gift, his ability to relate to people who had these afflictions because they hated themselves.

[01:08:11]

It becomes their super as you say, you interviewed Spike Lee, as you said, Jason Crane, Jewel Burks. Ed Bailey. Yeah, DeRay McKesson.

[01:08:21]

I just want to say I did not interview Spike Lee in the book. I recount some of my experiences working with and being basically shepherded by Spike Lee, but he is not an interview in the book.

[01:08:33]

We call him the high watermark of not being an apologist. Look, he's bold man. I've seen him walk into Netflix and Amazon and wherever and tell people the truth.

[01:08:44]

Tell people why there are no black people working on this floor. Yeah, you know, I respect him. Well, dude, this has been a fucking blast. I was going to attack one aspect of York Times thing, but now I don't even want to do because I just adore you. Can you do it?

[01:09:00]

If I'm curious? OK, come on. I totally love and of course, this is just because of my egocentric thing. So your New York Times piece, which I really encourage people to read because it's awesome. I don't need love texts from my white friends, so I'm with you on all of it. This kind wrote that headline, by the way.

[01:09:18]

The only issue I had was they say repeatedly, you know, feel free not to respond, which you interpret as you're now also taking control. Whether or not I can write back to you how I feel about this, the only thing I want to say about that was I say that a lot to people and not to black people. I am very co-dependent as a person.

[01:09:40]

So if you send me something that's so fucking annoying, I'll actually spiral about the fact that I got to respond to this fucking thing. I don't want to respond to this thing.

[01:09:47]

So I regularly, as an act of true benevolence and kindness, say, listen, don't even respond. And this is my issue. You are not obligated to respond to this. I want to relieve you of any guilt you have about not responding to this thing.

[01:10:01]

I needed to get off my chest.

[01:10:02]

So that was the only point that I was like, this is the least generous interpretation of that that you could have, which is I'm going to control you. Whereas when I do it, I'm really trying to liberate any other codependents.

[01:10:14]

When I say that, do I have to respond? Now we got the whole thing out. No, that was a joke. Oh, right. I should have said you don't have to respond. You know what? You don't even have to respond to this.

[01:10:30]

I thought it was such a good joke. I like that. It feels good. It was time that you were talking, but I did.

[01:10:35]

Listen, hey, it's a couple of things.

[01:10:40]

I mean, like, first of all, I love how you brought this up. You're like there's something in your article I'm going to attack.

[01:10:47]

It's like, OK, let me let me get in my defensive stance on my counter attack. Your sword jab. Right.

[01:10:57]

I mean, the thing that's on your chest, I don't want it on my chest. Like, you know, you said the way you were describing it was it was just like, oh, I have this thing and I just oh, it's just I have to get it off of me.

[01:11:09]

It's like, get it off somewhere else. Like, go work out like you. I don't I don't want it, you know. And so I understand what you're saying. I'm empathetic to it. Right. I am. Like the question I had at the beginning of this is like I now have a phone full of text messages sent. Congratulations that I think I have to reply to. Right. I understand you're trying to alleviate someone from that. But like, I guess it does sort of feel like they're trapping me and I can feel their anxiety in sending it.

[01:11:37]

And that anxiety gives me anxiety. I can take this. Yeah. So save it.

[01:11:44]

It's what you said earlier about having to make that of and feel good. Like they say, I feel like I'm a snuggies wrapped in privilege and then you have to say, well no or yeah. Or you know like yes.

[01:11:56]

Like maybe just don't say it, maybe just do something like an action to help fix some of these issues instead of relieving yourself by putting it on me.

[01:12:06]

I'm having like the deepest feeling of imagining sending that. Yeah, that's a roughie. That's a roughie.

[01:12:15]

That's a I mean, I appreciate the point. I really do.

[01:12:19]

I just I called Talib Kweli to ask him what charities he like that we could donate money to. And even that when I hung up, I was like, OK, he's probably getting so many calls like this from white people, like, where do I get my money?

[01:12:30]

But I'm like, I trust his opinion better than my own on what's an effective cause. But I didn't apologize to him and I didn't say, what do you think? Was that wrong? I mean, I don't know your relationship, you know, but I will, like, work his work. I got a bunch of those myself after I wrote that article. I got, you know, people saying, I'm not going to stop texting you.

[01:12:54]

You know, I'm going to continue to do that and tell you it's like, oh, my gosh, I nice try, Chad.

[01:13:08]

I'm coming back harder and with more with more love and good. Yeah. It's like, oh God. Yeah.

[01:13:15]

Boyd, what do we think about this. What's the verdict on me asking to Talib who we should donate money to. It's I mean I asked Joy to.

[01:13:22]

I know she seemed a little annoyed.

[01:13:28]

Oh, she said I'll get back. But also I really do see both too, because also Joy did have a good answer. She said, well, don't give here because everyone's giving here because they don't know. So actually, here are some other ones.

[01:13:44]

And so, you know, it's all messy and awkward.

[01:13:49]

Here's a provocative question, because I have I do have friends who got gift cards during that time from their white neighbors and Lowboy Venmo.

[01:13:59]

I swear. I swear to God. Oh, boy. So that is rough to throw it back to you, though. Like, what if Joy what if her response had been an invoice, like, really seriously. What if her response had been like, send it to me, I'll figure it out or just like send it to me. Oh well if she said send it to me, I'll figure it out. I would have trusted her to do that.

[01:14:20]

I'm gonna send it to her.

[01:14:22]

No, she was on a TV show. She just fine. I'm fucked out. No, I want to help somebody. I she's she's doing fine. Would you be making twice as much if she was white. Yes.

[01:14:31]

But is she making enough money that I don't have to help her. Yes, that's a whole nother. You guys have another hour and a half.

[01:14:36]

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. But it was a substantial amount of money. It's not like I called Talib Kweli and said, hey, I'm going to donate twenty dollars twenty or should I do it now. This one thousand dollars. I wanted to make sure it fucking went somewhere. That really means something. Yeah I did.

[01:14:52]

I wasn't like hey I want you to know I'm a good person and I'm going to donate twenty dollars. It was like, no, we said we're going to donate a substantial amount. I want to make sure it goes to the right place.

[01:15:02]

Why? I mean, because these are real estate. I got a text from someone in the book who's interviewed in the book who said a mutual friend of ours reached out and asked me where should I send the money? Same same situation. And she was doing. To share the annoyance with me of the additional labor being asked of her to act as a donation consultant, like all this work is work, you know, and it gets compounded by that sort of transference of labor, basically like tax.

[01:15:36]

You know how to like. I don't know, man, you're smart as shit. Look what you've done in your life. You know how to figure something out.

[01:15:43]

I'm not a Black Lives Matter activists. And to live is so like, if you're going to upgrade your car, you better text me. I'm going to tell you what superchargers. Good. I'm going to tell you which ones the bearings are good or bad. That's my shit. He's a fucking activist. Yeah, I'm going to ask him. Yes. I could dedicate the next week of my life to figuring out which one actually gets the most amount of money that's not corrupted by some fucking 30 year old premise of how to help black people.

[01:16:07]

Or you call the dude that's literally was on the ground in Ferguson and say, hey, where do I send this money?

[01:16:12]

That is an important distinction, is that he's an activist because the person who I'm referring to is a CEO. She's not an activist. She has a lot of shit going on.

[01:16:20]

And also, while we're here, I am not an activist. I'm a writer. So I don't want those problems thrown at me either. I just want that to be clear. OK, all right. Good.

[01:16:32]

So we won't ask you, but we've had a since then we've had many activists on we know where we've learned a bunch of that's part of what we're doing is just like, yeah, everyone do their own work and like listen to people talk and make your own decisions instead of just like running to the only black person you know and asking them all the questions.

[01:16:50]

Yeah, you're awesome. I really want people to read black magic. I think the people that you got to talk to in the stories they tell and again, I don't think this is just for black people to get their groove back. I think this transcends and this is a lot about knowing who you are loving, who you are leading with, who you are. Would you say that's fair? No, I love that. Let's be frank here, like most of your listeners are white, right?

[01:17:13]

A majority. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So if you have a black friend by colleague, a black babysitter or a black whatever, there's a bunch of stuff that person is afraid to say to you. And they should be and they shouldn't say it. I don't think they should say it. It's probably in this book that would be my way to sell it.

[01:17:32]

Yeah, well, the one thing I liked about Chelsea Handler's special she did was she was like, this isn't their problem. This is our problem. Like, we got to talk about you're a little nervous.

[01:17:43]

You didn't like it. No, I mean, it's both of our problem, but we can't fix it.

[01:17:49]

It's our problem to fix. That's what I guess she was saying, which I agree with. So, yeah, like the stupidest stuff that's now, thank God, finally getting attention, like, hey, don't touch black people's hair. Let's just let's not do that.

[01:18:03]

Sadly, that has to be told to people. So guess what, there's a million other things like don't touch black people's hair that you're not in a consensual coitus relationship with. Still ask. Yeah, I know that was the first thing that Joey said to me. She said, you can do whatever. Don't fucking touch my hair is like, good, good.

[01:18:21]

Heads up. Oh, no. So, yes, this is also for everyone. These are the things that they're afraid to say and it's valuable.

[01:18:30]

And I'm glad you did it. Thank you. I appreciate this time, man. Thank you. Yeah. It was really, really fun. I hope you like it was fun. This is my serious voice now, but it was really fun and there's no way you repeated everything you've already said. I know for sure we got new shit out of you. I didn't say anything.

[01:18:46]

I did this thing for my hometown like a bookstore in DC last night, not my hometown. So spring. But my mom was like, I just want to ask you, can you just not say the F word? Your grandma is going to be listening. And then later she was like, oh, you're going to wear your nose ring and you just choose one cursing or nose ring.

[01:19:03]

Ha ha. Tell her that is literally the. Yeah, I try to sell books, Mom.

[01:19:12]

All right.

[01:19:12]

Well, Chad, I hope we talk to you again, man, be it on the TV show you cell or another book you write or whatever it is like kind of podcast. Come in. Can I see that. Yeah. Yes. I can't even say who the distributor is quite yet. God I can't even really say the title. What I will say though is it is provocative and sexy and a lot of black people are going to be involved.

[01:19:33]

My co producers, Amanda Cowpat, who's a field producer on the Seth Meyers Show. And it's going to be so tight.

[01:19:38]

I hope you all will follow me at Chad Sand. And just like me, please wait.

[01:19:43]

You're here already. Do that part. We're moving on now to to making you a hugely successful on the podcast. So thank you, Chad.

[01:19:51]

Sand, not Sanders sand. Yeah, that's right. Yeah.

[01:19:55]

There's a gay porn star who is named Chad Sanders, who has all the properties already.

[01:19:59]

He's very successful. Good for him. Yeah, he's a guy. I want to see his work. I do want to see his work. And that's at IG or that's Twitter. That's everywhere. You're Instagram. I'm at Chad Sand and on Twitter I'm at Chad Underscore Sand. And again, stay off Twitter.

[01:20:14]

If you want to feel good about yourself, I'm going to be all right. Great conversation, man. I'll talk to you again. Thanks. You all right?