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Welcome to going armchair expert experts on expert Dan Shepherd. I'm joined by Monster Asmus.


Hello, sir. This was a fun episode, extremely fun. We both knew Michael Dr. Michael Eric Dyson from Bill Maher's show.


Yeah, he he appears on Bill Maher a fair amount quite frequently. You could even argue he's the Alec Baldwin of Bill Maher. He's got to be up there.


Yeah, he's the Sanjay Gupta of armchair experts of Bill Maher a little.


Anyways, he's always fantastic on that show. And now we got to talk to him. He is. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson is a professor in the College of Arts and Science and in the divinity school at Vanderbilt University, ordained minister, a political commentator and the author of seven New York Times best sellers.


That's a lot. What a guy. He's got a new book called Long Time Coming Reckoning with Race in America, which grapples with the cultural and social forces that have shaped our nation in the brutal crucible of race. Dyson traces the genealogy of anti blackness from the slave ship to the street corner where Floyd lost his life and where America gained its will to confront the ugly truth of systemic racism. This was an awesome conversation, and I'm very excited for everyone to hear it.


So please enjoy Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. Oh, quick reminder, if you're not following nurture versus nurture, I implore you to subscribe to nurture versus Nurture with Dr. Wendy Mogel because there are four episodes in their phenomenal so little reminder.


I know and I posted about this on my Instagram, but I want to reiterate, I edit these and I get so excited to edit them.


I really, really do, because obviously I'm not in there during these sessions. They're very intimate and it's just Wendy and the the parents. And when I get to listen in, it just feels like an honor.


So privileged to be able to hear people be honest and open about something universally. I don't even have kids. Yeah. That you know. Well, that I know. Well, happy baby.


Subscribed to nurture versus nurture anywhere you listen to podcasts now please enjoy Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. We are supported by Neum ever gotten questionable food advice?


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He's in our chat. So, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, it is so damn nice to meet you. We've been watching you on Bill Maher for a decade and we absolutely love you are huge fans.


We love when you're there, things are going to get rowdy.


I appreciate it, man. From Oakland County to Wayne County. You know what it is? That's right.


Lafayette or American. This will be over if you choose wrong.


Let me see. Are you an American? Is Trump. So it must be Lafayette. And had Lafayette got that great rhythm, those guys have been working there for like seven.


Oh, man, I love them, brother. I love him so much. So you were born in Detroit? I was born and reared in Detroit. Absolutely.


OK, you'll find this annoying is all guests do. But I'm going to try to draw some parallels between you and I, because your folks or at least mom's from Alabama. Mama from Alabama.


Daddy from Georgia. Yeah. Oh, oh.


Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. Yes. So both my grandparents were from Hazard, Kentucky, so I attended a Southern Baptist church every other Sunday.


Huh. Which again, was a rowdy affair.


They tend to be, sir. When we weren't there, we were at the other grandparents church, which is Catholic, and my brother and I couldn't stand it. But when we went to the Southern Baptist one, we were allowed to yell Amen. Occasionally we always got it wrong. And my grandpa always beat punch in our legs. But we boy, did we live to yell out Amen.


Yeah, that's a beautiful thing. I was in not Catholic, but I preached at the National Cathedral this past Sunday.


Oh, no kidding. Oh yeah.


Where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his last Sunday sermon in his life. And then I was invited there to preach on the King Sunday, recognizing his birthday and so on. So it was a heck of an honor, ma'am.


And are you able to be present for those things? Are you more thinking about like, oh, I got to deliver, you know, can you take all those in or you results oriented?


Yeah, you know, I'm definitely task oriented, but I try to absorb that because, first of all, it was empty except for like ten people.


Oh yeah. That's where. That's right.


So you got the cathedral that sits 3000 some people and it's literally me, my wife and my assistant and, you know, the singer, the piano player, the saxophonist and the dean of the chapel, they're into it. So it's about ten of us there, man. And I'm speaking into the camera because they're recording it. And that's my congregation. I was like, well, between one or one million, I'm going to do what I do.


I do what I do.


You probably could have just done the zoom background of the cathedral, the same moment to be there.


I mean, you got to be there. Yeah. You got to be there. And you got to hear, you know, the voices of the spirits that clearly you're in that place. It was a magnificent opportunity.


Now, you became ordained as a Baptist minister at nineteen, which again at nineteen. Boy, that's the last thing you would have seen me pursuing. I need to know how you ended up doing that.


Yeah, well, I actually accepted my calling at eighteen, but then I get, you know, license that twenty one and then ordained right after it. It was because of the inspiration of my pastor at the church there in Detroit who was an incredible speaker, thinker, theologian. So that was inspiring to me. And I was a young, poor black boy in the hood in Detroit. And that gave me something to look up to and an inspiration to to do what I do.


Now, this is not a cynical question. This is someone who left Detroit to pursue acting. So there's no judgment here. But what percentage of it is like the appeal of the showmanship? Yeah, well, performance is critical.


You know, my next book is going to be about performance, black performance and so on. And I don't take any offense to that question at all, because if you're doing it well, you got to perform, whether you're an actor, whether you're a preacher, whether you're a priest, whether you're a professor. So there is a performative element to it that is quite enticing. But it's also the fusion of that performance with the profundity that you can generate, the gravitas, the seriousness that you can then get out of it.


And when you think about it, a guy like Martin Luther King Jr., you know, who had every element of the performance of black rhetoric and sacred speech at its height, but also was deeply invested in trying to move the crowd so that he could move hearts so that he could move the nation forward. So performance is critical. You know, it's like a rock him, you know, standing by the speakers and I had a fever. Was it me or either summer man?


And then he says, how could I move the crowd? First of all, no mistakes allowed. So you got to think about the performative element because there's something. Powerful about that, to hear the spirit come down, the people in the aisles getting the Holy Ghost, you know, whether they're up on a bench or they're shouting, all of that was quite dramatic and quite interesting and intriguing to me.


Well, I just want to respond with saying me and Eric being a nice big plate of fish, which is my favorite dish, but without no money, it's still a wish.


There it is, back and forth. Call a response, man. So I dig into my pocket all my money spent. No doubt. No doubt. So.


Well, I was thinking immediately. Yeah, it's a confluence of like wanting to do that, to perform. And then what? My dad is a car salesman told me all growing up, which is you can't sell a product you're not in love with. So it's like if you have the love and the belief that performative job gets that much easier, I think there's no question about that.


You know, it's like some of these pitchmen and pitch women, I'm not going to sell a product I'm not deeply invested in, whether it's a Coca-Cola, as they used to say down in the south, a dope in a poke.


Oh, yeah. By the way, my my grandma called Coke a bottle of dope.


She's like that was all she referred to it as, to poke a yelp, you know, because it had dope back then for. Yeah. Yeah. Bottom end in a poke in a bag. So there it was. Right.


How about smells like a polecat. Did you hear that a lot. Oh man. That's funny as heck. That one's still LUDs me. I've looked up polecat. I'm like, what the hell is that? Yeah.


No, those idiosyncratic expressions are kind of funny. But look, the thing is, if you don't believe in it, if you're not invested in it, if you don't have a kind of righteous cause associated with it, then you're not going to really be good at it anyway.


Yeah. Now you went to Cranbrook for a minute on scholarship. Yep, I did. And I took Monaca there when we performed at the Fox last year. Mm hmm.


Because it needs to be seen. I'm like, you don't understand. There is a high school that looks like Harvard or beyond right now. I grew up kind of poor, but then my mom built this business that became successful. My little sister, who's seven years younger than me, she got to go there.


And it was crazy. Things weren't there. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Kingswood.


So a what was that culture shock like? And then B, why did you leave.


Yeah, well it was a culture shock and how I got there, what had happened was being a poor black boy in Detroit, but joining the Baptist Church and going there since I was a kid, being there and dating the daughter of a very prominent federal judge.


Oh, because the classes could get lost in the church where you could mix with people you wouldn't ordinarily be in their social circle. So I had no idea I'm dating her six years old. She goes, this boy's very bright, took an IQ test. They said he's off the charts because I want you to know his daughters were going to Kingswood. And so he says, you belong at Cranbrook.


And I said, wow, Cranbrook. I mean, I've been out there to see the planetarium and to see the stars and the skies. But, man, the school. Three hundred and forty acres of incredible, you know, greenery, the fields of books.


So, yeah, it's look like it was designed by Homestead or something. The Central Park dude.


So here's the point. I got in after, took the tests and couldn't afford it of course. So he hooked me up with a scholarship and then I had to work at a couple of places to make ends meet, to pay help pay my tuition. I had to repeat the eleventh grade. So I go there from an inner city segregated school in Detroit, Michigan. So I'm born in 58.


So this is like seventy five, maybe seventy four. Seventy five. Seventy six. So I'm there at Cranbrook never having gone to school with white kids at all. Now I'm with going to school with like rich white the white kids.


That's right. Right. Stevensville birds. You know, brother half brother Lee Iacocca, you know from the Chrysler daughter, another guy, Taubman, one of the 10 richest guys in America. So I'm like, wow, this is a difference. And it was also the first time was like maybe a thousand boys there at the school, maybe ten black boys, you know, at the school. And they put something on my door, you know, nigger, go home.


Oh, and then they made a tape circulated. This is when they had cassette tapes and they said, oh, we're going cigar fishing. No, we're not. We're going nigger fishing. And what's the bait? Hominy grits. So it was that kind of rich white boy excess. Can I add for context, that's the most liberal school there, man.


Like, I just want to point out that that's actually the high watermark of liberal debt right there in the middle.


But that's why Dr. King, he said to white moderate, he said he said the white moderate and the liberal man, those are the ones that are killing us. So I'm there at that school experience and all that, and it's blowing my mind. And one thing led to another I didn't. Well, me and a couple other guys, a couple of white guys, we figured out a way we were lonely, want to call our girlfriends, and they had these faceless phones.


I mean, so this generation. What a dial phone. Yes.


You know, took three minutes to put in nine numbers and then it's busy. Oh, what the hell did then?


Not saying I did this, but some people then would call the operator to interrupt. It's an emergency.


Yes. Emergency breakthrough. That's right. This is before call waiting young people. No such thing back then. Anyway, there were faceless phones, though, where you could pick them up off the cradle, but they deliberately made it faceless so kids wouldn't be calling out. We figured out a way that those two little prongs that stuck up, you hit them one for one, 10 for 10, eight four eight oh. Now we can dial up. So, of course, we got busted when the bill came to and they figured it out because we were I was calling my girlfriend.


They're calling theirs. It wasn't hard. Their parents paid them off. No problem. I had to take a third job.


Unfortunately, you were probably the first suspect just because you're one of the ten black folks. But then you delivered. I want to live up to this stereotype, please. Thank you.


So you know, all that stuff together, it just pushed me out and I went back to the hood, so to speak, and then became a teen father, lived on welfare, hustled in the streets, worked odd jobs, became an emergency substitute janitor, worked at Chrysler, not on the line, but in the wood form. Shops got fired from there a month before my son was born, I think unfairly. And it was it was tough times.


Man got evicted on Christmas Day for the apartment like, whoa. Yeah, that's just taking Scrooge to another level here now, you know.


Yeah. Wait six days, please. May I write a little lump of coal? Perhaps. So I ended up twenty one years old. You know, my son is like wood, so I think I got to provide him a better future than this. Right here. Talk to some people. In my church, there was a historically black college called Knoxville College. A couple of them had gone to I called them up, got my transcripts. Next thing you know, I'm a Sam Cooke said I grabbed an armful of Greyhound and headed down from Detroit to Knoxville, Tennessee, at twenty one years old, just right before I was twenty one to start my college career.


It's wild. What a role. Obviously, your church is playing in all of this. Like without that, it sounds like a lifeline at many different intervals. You're going another you don't. I mean, that's probably the only resource in that community at that point.


There's no question about it. I mean, the church was my lifeline. The minister was my inspiration and my school because my teachers from a very early age identified me as a kind of smart guy. And in church, I would recite certain pieces and be into, you know, stage plays and stuff. And then, you know, I began to perform in public as an orator when I was 11 years old. I wrote I wrote the speech at eleven and delivered it at twelve.


I'm in school one day at Junior High, Weber Junior High. And on the loudspeaker when they have announcements, if you're interested in an oratorical contest, come to Mr. Burton's room. Me and my guy, Greg White, said, let's go up there because I don't know what the word oratorical means. Let's go find out what that is. So we went up and asked what is oratorically? Me? Oh, you give a speech I so like.


Yeah, no, I'm good. No, no, no, stick around. So I stuck around. Long story short. Ended up, you know, enrolling in that routine, ended up winning the local contest. The district contest went on and I was like the youngest guy was twelve years old, beaten guys who were sixteen and all that. So I was interesting. That's how I started speaking in public. And from there, that saved me.


Your step stepdad adopted you, is that right? He did. He did. You know, he's the only father I knew.


I had the other variety of stepdads. So it's really cool that you got one of the good ones. There's a lot of options out there.


Oh, brother, tell me. And some of the guys who stick with their parents and the ones that brought them into the world might as well have been absent. Yeah. Oh, yeah. He was a tremendous father present. You know, I didn't call him my stepdad because he was my father. That's all I knew from the time I was a kid, you know, to he adopted me when I was about two years old. So that's who I grew up with.


That's who it was. And it was not till later. In fact, I didn't meet my blood father, my biological father, until a couple of years ago.


Yeah, I was going to guess until you were on TV, but not to be cynical. No, no, no. Yeah, well, that's one of the perhaps that's one of the ways I was found because he was looking for me. Yeah. Strange story. But the thing is, I met him one time and then he died. It's oh, horrible. And I've been, you know, wondering who is this guy? You know, what is he like?


My mother said, you know, use big words, like you use big words. So I figured, what the hell is did he go to school? Did he what's the deal with this dude?


Had he. On the school or he was just a wordsmith, armchair wordsmith. Yep, yep, armchair expert, you know. Yeah, sure. Yeah. Black Shepherd.




So you got your Ph.D. ultimately from Princeton in 1993. And then you and turn to this life of an author, a professor, someone who goes on and debates people and does so, so effectively. And most impressive to me is you've written a trillion books. I'm just going to read a little list of some of the people that you've written about. Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Marvin Gaye, Barack Obama, Nas, Bill Cosby, Tupac.


Of that group of folks that you've spent considerable time learning about, thinking about empathizing with this one standout is the favorite that you got to spend time with. Yeah, that's a tough one to see.


I did a book on Jay-Z as well. Did I not say I think I was saving that? Because that's the thing I want to talk to the longest about.


OK, so I mean, all of those figures, man, I mean, Martin Luther King Jr. was a staple in my existence in my world as a young person. And when he died, I'd never heard of him. And I remember we were on the living room floor and my father was in his big chair. And this guy came on television because the regular news was talking about, you know, the news, but in six or one p.m., you know, the newsman announced tonight Dr.


Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. And I don't think they announced he was dead yet. And I was like, wow. But it really doesn't make a difference. What we do really doesn't matter to me now, because I've been to the mountaintop and I've looked over and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.


It's like I was like, wow, like, whoa, who is that? And I asked my mother, which one is it? Well, he's the one talking. Hold on.


I'm ignorant on this. He was actually delivering that right before he was shot. Well, that was the night before he was shot delivering that speech. But they played it. They were saying, oh, I got yeah. The night before he was murdered. And it was an extraordinary speech, arguably the greatest speech he ever gave. He was at his motel, Lorraine Motel. It was raining cats and dogs. He'd been threatened on the way in there.


He was tired and he didn't like smaller crowds, you know, especially because America was writing him off. Dr. King is a has been you know, he can't pull the crowds anymore. You know how it is. So Dr. King was tired. He was sick. It was raining cats and dogs. And it was a small audience. He thought Ralph Abernathy, his friend, gets over the duck duck. He calls him at the motel. This is your audience.


You got to come over here. They don't want to hear anybody else. They want to hear you. King gets up, gets dressed, runs over to the auditorium that night and delivers off the dome. Now, one of the greatest speeches ever. So.


Well, is there any kind of proof to that? Is that apocryphal or could that be was it really off the dome? Because this is my great fascination with Jay-Z as well.


Could it have been is that true? Of course. But see, here's what off the dome I mean as well. Of course, you got set pieces, your favorite phrases, you know, saying, God forgive me for my brash delivery, but I remember vividly what these streets did to me. Imagine me allowing you to nit pick at me for treating me like a Picadilly. So, King, could you go down in Alabama with its vicious racists?


Yes. With its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification. So you get into a rhythm, of course. So the thing is, even when you're improvising, you're doing it within a tiny framework. Yeah. That allows you to do it. What did Robert Frost say? Freedom is moving easy in a harness. So that's what they were doing. And it was pretty extraordinary. So, yes, obviously, King might have said a couple of those things are thought about those things, but knitting them together.


Yeah, when he was a young preacher, he was young when he died. Thirty nine. But when his late 20s, he'd written his first book, Stride toward Freedom. He was signing the book in a department store in Harlem and as he said, demented black woman, mentally ill black woman came up. Are you Martin Luther King Jr.. Yes.


Bowman stabbed him with a letter opener. And while doctors said. That had he sneezed, it would have punctured his aorta and filled it with cavity up with blood, and he would have died, drowned in his own blood, just a sneeze. And so the papers told that story. So he got a letter from a young white girl and she wrote him from White Plains, New York. And she said, Dear Dr. King, while it should not matter, I'm a white girl, younger, like 10 years old or something.


She said, I read in the paper that it said that had you sneezed, your aorta would have punctured and you would fill them with blood you to die. She said, I'm just writing you to say, I'm so happy you didn't sneeze. So king like a great preacher. You know, he took that. He said, Oh, I'm so happy I didn't sneeze. If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here in 1963. So he runs off then he just goes to town on that.


If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have seen the protests that were extraordinary and the Freedom Riders and so on. And then he says, all I ask America is that you be true to what you said on paper. He said, that's all we're asking you for. And it was an extraordinary speech. And yeah, so it was a combination of that improvised conception of the world. He wanted to come into view based upon his own feelings, his own ideas.


But it was a remarkable improvised speech at that level. Hmm.


OK, so I am regularly trying to explain to people who might not be hip to it the level of which Jay-Z. Is as a genius, as a musical genius, and, you know, if you're not really into it, the time for me is watching that documentary. I think it was called like Fade to Black, Fade to Black. Right.


And watching him go into a studio. And, you know, for people don't know that he'll go see Kanye and Kanye got five tracks and he listens to the five tracks and he says, you know, I'll take number one, I'll take number three. OK, great. He's going to buy those.


And then he sits there for a minute, sits there, sits there, sits there, and then he goes, OK, I'm ready. And he walks in. And then the rhymes with the references, it's so staggering.


I never watch Picasso paint real time or anything. Right. Right. I've not ever witnessed anything that's that spectacular where the finished product is that intricate.


Oh, my God. And one take one time. One take of something you didn't write down that you conceived in your brain. You know, can you imagine that numbing dude? And then the level of play, the level of metaphor, the following through, like all that complicated or should have stayed in food and beverage like this deep Godfather reference.


I mean, come on. Is unreal.


How is that just thrown in off the top of the head? It's like four layers deep of why it works.


That's exactly right. Yeah, it is pretty astonishing. Had he lived during the time of the Greeks, they would have been bowing down as a rhetorical God. There's no question about that. I mean, think about that level of mastery and aural articulation of ideas. And many others have done it now. But he was one of the first he and Biggie.


But it's also a glimpse into the enormous breadth of his knowledge, like the references are so wide ranging and everyone needs to take a nice moment of a moment of silence for the fact that we're living with this guy on planet, you know, freshet this whole.


Riddle me that. Oh, riddle me that. Now he's got the Batman. You know, I entertain you. It's it's astonishing. Pop cultural layers, references to Greek orthodoxy, to religion. It is a study, as you said, the art world. It's astonishing.


It is what the man has done a time and again, the best thing he did for me, I didn't need him to talk to me. I just needed him to grant me permission to use those lyrics because I'm going to break down what you're doing. You've done everything I need you to do, which is create genius. Let me now demystify. Let me deconstruct. Yeah, let me have that. And I've known him for a few years, and so he gave me permission to do that and that allowed me to get into that catalog and really grapple with his extraordinary insight.


Of course, he was flattered and honored and, you know, supported me, but I didn't need to interview him. I just needed to get inside those lyrics. And in his life, unfortunately, I've told his story on here a few times.


But I'm going to give you the one second version of it. I've been invited to the Met Ball about ten times. My my wife. I refused to go. She said this year you're going to want to go. I said, why? She said, We're sitting next to Jay-Z. I said, I'll be there. I hope he likes hearing his own lyrics. Said to him all night long at dinner. I went there. I gave him one hundred and twenty percent of what I have to offer.


I promise you, if he had seen me in the bathroom during the dinner, he would not know I was sitting at his table.


It was a complete and utter failure. I mean, it just couldn't have gone worse.


I know you think that's something I'll every now and again I'll text him and I'll just freestyle. I'll start just thinking, oh, my God, am I insane? Am I, like, insane by, like, spinning these lyrics for his fifty first birthday?


Because the book came out on his fiftieth birthday. But for the fifty first birthday, I sent him a couple of lyrics. I was just thinking the sound of where you are. So some of these like not the one you did that, that was bars. That was like the rest of y'all can kiss my mouth.


Dum dum dum dum dum dum. My man said I got bars. You know, I don't care what the hell any of you say.


Yeah. It's like Jordan telling you, that was a really nice, really nice, nice jump shot there. Yeah. Yeah.


Stay tuned for more armchair expert, if you dare.


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OK, so your new book, Long Time Coming, Reckoning with Race in America, right? Well, first of all, it's in five chapters and each one is dedicated to a contemporary black marker. Right. I.e., George Floyd goes on. But one of the things that you get into which interests me greatly, is this conversation that is so difficult for everyone to have.


Mm hmm. I fear is handicapped by. The expectation that everyone is going to be able to do it without putting their foot in their mouth, without fucking up, without learning real time, without being wrong and then saying, yeah, now I got it right.


Without that safety net, I fear it can't actually be done. You know, or something needs to evolve where people can own their ignorance without fear of cancellation.


I got an entire chapter on council culture and I go at it hard because as much as you can see my passion for justice and commitment to black freedom and liberation, because white supremacy has been a monster in this country that has devoured so many of us, we saw it at the capital death on that.


There are a lot of black folks there. They just had gas masks on. You totally missed it. Yeah, yeah. Totally was a multicultural in favor of rebellion and the next kid who's like, you know, the head of the cowboys. And you're right. So.


So I'm definitely that I'm down with resisting that. But what I'm not down with is canceling people because either you disagree with them or as you say, they're evolving and learning.


I'm not going to. Which somebody. Ten years ago, did you use the word nigger? Did you come up? Tell me tell the truth. No, I'm not done with that, because here's the point. If I see a white kid who's getting drafted, he's like 20 years old now, you know, 21. Oh, my God, his future's before him. I'm so grateful. And then somebody digs up some stuff he said at 13.


Now, if he was a racist at 13 and he's a racist now and he feels the same thing later for you. Dude, I'm sorry, but if you're telling me a kid said some stuff at 13 that he's ashamed of right now and he's sorry, he said it because he was stupid and he was hanging around with some dumb kids cancelling that guy. I mean, what did you do at 13? What did you say? If there was an Internet, if there was a friggin Twitter that was account that you had access to, there would be some dumb stuff, not necessarily racially, but against women, OK, not against women, but against gay and lesbian people.


I mean, so the point is that none of us want to be held to that standard where, as you say, we can't make a mistake and go, damn, I'm sorry. Yeah, I was naive about what I thought. I thought that black lives matter and blue lives matter with the same damn thing. And then I got scared on that a little bit. And then now I'm growing. Let's not cancel each other. Let's not eradicate and eviscerate people.


Let's not put them out on the ground. And let me give an example. I got called from my good man, and I'll just say this Farrall, you know, who wrote the introduction to the book? And he's from Virginia. So he's deep into Virginia, like your identify with Michigan.


He's he's Virginia. So he's calling me. I'm a duck. You know, I guess some black politicians here and the governor has done the blackface thing, Ralph Northam, and they're trying to figure out, do you want to get rid of this guy?


Do they get together and kind of put him out of office?


And I said, yeah, let me tell you why. I said, first of all, now he did. He was a little bit older than thirteen. He was in medical school. So, dude, what are you doing? What scares me is that you were at what? You were a surgeon and you're doing a black face now. So, yeah, it was stupid. It was racist. It was dumb. But I said, has he evolved?


Yeah. Has he grown? Yeah. It's does he know that was some silliness. Yes. And a racist. Yeah. All that. So I said there is nothing better than a white guy who realizes he messed up and he wants to do the right thing and you leave him in office because you forgave him. He's going to be your friend. I said this dude is going to be your friend, man. Here's what will happen. You put him out, the next white guy goes like this, hey, I've never worn blackface, but I don't really care about none of these black people either.


I, I have no debt to them. I don't owe you anything, has no consciousness, has no developed awareness and comprehension about what's going on. So as a result of that, he doesn't do blackface. He qualifies for your nonracist problem, but he has no investment in the community. I said Ralph Northam will be grateful that black people stood with him and look what he'll do. And I'm telling you, I was like a prophet, this dude.


Ten thousand people were on the returning fellow citizens prisoners. He allowed them to vote again. Right. He wipe the slate clean. You know, that was disproportionately black people. He got invested in the politics of education. In other words, he did so much stuff that was helpful to black people. They called me up, Doc, you were right. I said, yeah, guess what? When you don't counsel people, they don't cancel your prospects or your future or they learn they're appreciative of forgiven or they are human and we all make mistakes.


If you show them some grace, they can then proceed. And if you show grace, they can help run the race, then you got space to do your thing in your faith. OK, I'm sorry. Sorry, sorry, Jay. So the thing is.


Yes, and this is not an excuse by any stretch. Just does. Not excuse anything, but I hope it explains a little bit. So growing up in a Detroit suburb, Doctor, there's things that had no other name like as a kid, I couldn't have known what the thing meant. So in Detroit, if you knock on someone's door and run away, what's that called?


What is that? A very bad word. Knocking Right. Right. Gotcha. Now, I didn't pick that, but there's this activity. There's no other words to explain it. It was handed to me. It's terrible. But there's a lexicon that literally certain things didn't even exist without that word.


Of course. And here's the thing. So what you're pointing to, right? Again, you're not justifying an abhorrent practice that was passed on from one generation to another, from one person to another. But the point is, as a kid, if you have no comparative analysis, if you have nothing to judge it against, if you have nothing to contrast it to, to understand. Oh, that's horrible. What's going on there? Yeah.


And you have no black neighbors. You have no black friends. You can't see the impact of anything.


It's just this weird word, the lack of engagement with the other, no matter what that is. In this case, we're talking black and white. But a lot of other stuff that ignorance feeds fear fuels a kind of lack of understanding, a defensiveness. And before we know it, they've been hardened into viewpoints and understandings of the world that we have to do a lot of work to undo. So there's no question, again, that as people grow and mature and as they become culpable and responsible for what they are, for what they know, for what they've named and how they've named it now.


Oh, man. I mean, stuff I did. Look, dog, I set the stuff back then. I would never do that now, but I didn't have any frame of reference or I was calling the woman to be worried and so on and so forth, because that's what all my cats were doing. And then now I understand that is a horrible and destructive way to name another human being. So, yeah, context is critical and that's why culture makes a difference.


It's not just an individual thing. It's also about a collective enterprise of shaping communities so that when you change, you don't just change an individual's practice, though that's critical. You're changing the temperature. You're changing the environment in which people are reared. So it's not just that one plant. Oh, that one plant. It was horrible. Oh, now is doing well. What's the soil? What's the sedimentation, what's it growing out of? What are the environmental factors that impact what's happening in races the same way the environment, the condition, the context, all that stuff is extremely important, as you said, not to excuse, but to explain, to understand and to figure out how to effectively manage what is essentially a pathology or a practice that has been destructive.


But to do so while preserving the humanity of the very people to whom you speak and from whom you expect responsibility. To me, that's why Dr. King was such a genius, because he understood the power of forgiveness. He understood he wanted people to be accountable. You know, what is the Abraham Joshua Heschel? The great rabbi said fewer guilty, but all are responsible. Right? Even though you say it wasn't my fault. But but, you know, we're all responsible for how we change this.


How do you how do we shape it? How do we make sure that the environment in which kids grow up, that blank knocking doesn't happen? That's a more colossal and cosmic problem than the kind of telescope problem of an individual neighborhood.


Yeah, you know, it's funny because I've been on my own, like, ride with this for the last five years, which is like I immediately bristled at the term white privilege because I think well, I grew up on a dirt road, lots of childhood trauma, a bunch of stepdads, alcoholism. I've got privilege.


It don't feel like, you know, right then recognizing. No, I was a fucking drug addict for eleven years. I would have been in prison. They didn't search me when I interacted with police. You know, I own now. Yeah, dude, I would have been incarcerated for decades with the level of drug abuse I had, so. Right, right, right. I'm on the road. Right. But also as I'm on this road I recognize.


So yeah.


I didn't pick the term for that was in Detroit. But systemic nature of it is so obvious. And as someone again who's sober and knows what making amends is, I am of the opinion. You make amends and when you make amends, you don't just say sorry. That's not how it works in AA. You don't go, Hey, sorry I ripped you off two years ago. You go, Hey, man, I'd like to pay you back.


I don't have the money now, but I'm going to give you ten bucks. You make amend. And so I'm now recognizing. No, no. So there's a salary and then there's and we're going to fix it. We're going to attempt to fix it.


Right. Right. No, that's huge. And that's exactly right though because when people now. And we use the word ally, right? You know, white folk allies, I'm standing with you beautiful. But there are levels to this. As Meek Mill says, there's levels to this ish. So there's levels. Right. The first could be, look, I read some books on the say, what's going on? Cool bedmate. But then I want to step it up a little bit.


You know, how do I begin to challenge some of the unfair practices or to evolve my understanding? Look at you beautifully talking about white privilege, because understandably, you're going to be defensive and then when you begin. Oh, right. Right. Because this do been in prison now for 30 years.


Oh, some bull crap. Right. Or do you think about. Oh, so a black woman. OK, well tell a little fib. Yeah. I said I live in one zip code and I live in another. I just wanted my kid to go to a better school. Five years prison. Fuckin good girl. Lori Loughlin. No disrespect to Mrs. Lawson. You lie, you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, you get your kids in the school and you just corrupt the entire system of merit and worth.


You got a month in prison and it's hard it's hard time. Now, I get the fact that these are complicated situations. But when you compare a black woman who just lied about her zip code and is doing five years of hard time versus a world famous white woman who's an actress and her husband, and they did some far worse stuff. And she gets a month in prison. He gets a month, month and a half, whatever. Come on.


But beyond that, this is also, I think, important. So white privilege doesn't mean that everybody's rich and cool, right, because think about it, during Jim Crow, during the time when black people had to go to black schools and white people went to white schools.


Right. Especially in the south, but up north, too, it was just more informal. But it was real.


Yeah. You've been at the intersection of Grosse Pointe and Detroit. Come obra those sundown towns, get your black ass out of town before Dearborn because you're going to be hurt. So check this out. So you are dealing with the fact that during segregation, when it was all white, only white people could go to Harvard, only white people could go to Michigan, only white people exercising. You limited the competition. Babe Ruth didn't hit seven hundred and thirteen home runs against the best players.


He had them against the best white ballplayers. Right. So think about this in your lifetime and mine. The first black man to play for the NBA died, put that in your brain, the first black man, Earl Lloyd Wright, late 70s, who died like four or five years six years ago, the first black person who was allowed to play in about 80 percent black right now, right? Yeah. So are you telling me that because LeBron can play or Jordan can play or Kobe can play, that's all horrible affirmative action.


And no, it means that your restrictions against our opportunity were definitely and they hurt not just black people to hurt you, too, because you want to see Jordan either, you know, LeBron either hurt the game.


I mean, come on. So my point is also finally, this white privilege doesn't mean that all white people would be rich. It means that the people who are usually going to be rich are going to be white.


Mm hmm. It's a nuanced and dynamic concept that unfortunately, people need to be kind of walk through it.


I think it is what it is. You have to meet people where they are. And I'm a professor. That's my job to meet people where they are. So I said this is a free zone. This is a safe zone. So I tell the white kids, I said and I tell everybody, I said, if a white kid says some stuff and you think it's some stupid shit and you think it's ill and dumb, I said, I don't want anybody to feel, oh, I can't say that because you might call me a racist.


Right. I want to archive and curate a discussion that is open and honest because a lot of you kids ain't even had a black professor before. I said smarter than your white professors, but cooler to hipper. I said, I know the bars. I know. I'm telling you, I'm walking up into class. And whether the lyrics are from Odysseus and Homer or Iliad or whether they're from Virgil or indeed or whether they are right here in the level of Jay-Z or not.


So the point is that that experience is necessary, is rich to challenge narrow viewpoints.


Well, I think the best thing that ever happened to me is I was married to a black woman on TV for six years without her. So here's an example. I hate Chris Brown. Fucking hate this motherfucker. Hope I meet him in a fucking alley. I'm going to take him down on a piece of shit. Blah, blah, blah. And when I say that to other white people, they're like, yeah, that guy's a fucking monster.


I say it to Joy and she goes, there's no doubt what he did was insane. But you seem to feel differently about him than a lot of the white actors who have been convicted of the exact same thing. And I was like, oh, that's a solid point. And numerous ones like that. But again, if I'm not in that wonderfully privileged position where I get to do that safely with her for six years.




I don't know who's going to point that out to me. Absolutely. When people go, oh, we're not bean counting, we're not trying to determine by the numbers who gets in. Let me tell you the difference it makes right there. Right there. That difference right there or in school. If I'm in a class and they don't have teacher professor white guy X or Professor White woman, why. Right. But they got me. Yeah. And I hear that and I go, hmm, that's interesting.


Have you thought about it this way. Yeah. You're upset with and you're outraged by it on many an occasion when I went into class and some obnoxious outrageous thing had happened. Can you believe that my take on it was significantly different than their other professors, I'm not dissing those other professors. Yes, you're just saying what difference it makes to have me in my body present in your class when the stuff goes down with George Floyd or the stuff happens with Jacob Blake or Sandra Bland.


The point is that having me in that class makes a huge difference because then I give you a different take and a lot of my students will. Right. I never thought about it this way. He challenged me. He was loving. He was compassionate. He was humorous because I use everything. But I'm still serious about challenging those vicious beliefs, those prejudices and those self-destructive behaviors that unexamined harden into what don't have to be necessary differences. Some are necessary, but some are not.


And what I do is to try to plan. I'm a paid pest. I'm trying to challenge narrow viewpoints when I teach classes. Look, if I'm teaching, I do all the egghead stuff. You know, I'm teaching you Germanic and French philosophy and I'm doing Dehradun Fuyuko because I love it is great. But then I'm doing some of the stuff on hip hop and so on. And then some of the white parents who write me, call me nasty names, call me the N-word, all their stuff, and then you're messing up our kids and doing it.


And I said, Yeah, I'm trying to warp your kids because you don't warped them and mess them up. And I'm trying not dwarfish. Yeah.


So that's what I'm doing. I'm trying to uncombed gave them unconquered them brother. And I'm trying to go at this kind of stuff you taught them and screwed them up with. And I'm trying to challenge their viewpoints. And by the way, not just my white students, I'm challenging all students. Oh yeah.


No what no one's got a monopoly on warped point of view, there's no question.


Yeah. Yeah. I don't believe in a kind of, you know, false equivalence because you could be from a certain community and have a kind of, you know, serious warp. But all wharfs are not made equally. As you know, some of them have the force of law. Right. We could all be prejudice and we all are. And biased and bigoted. But there was only one Supreme Court justice in 1857 who said that black people have no rights, that white people are bound to respect.


What is opposite. It didn't say white people have no rights that black people about respect. So it ain't equal. But at the same time, the bigotry, the prejudice, the narrow view point of view, right. That we all have, that we all have to overcome, has to be grappled with even as we acknowledge what the necessary evil is in the room and what the predominant force of inequality is that we have to be clear about.


Well, here's one of the Warboys. Yeah. That I like put together last year, which was so I loved Ice Cube growing up and many, many lyrics vocally critical of Cracker's.


It is clear and justifiably so. You know, he's not love and white people in that phase of his his art.


And so there was a moment where I was making a false equivalency where I was thinking, well, I'm sure black folks would be really triggered by some hillbilly music. That's straight racist. Right. And I just kind of made that comparison. Well, that's weird. I can accept blah, blah, blah, and then, you know, duh, it occurred to me I'm not going to likely find myself in a courtroom where the judge is black and may think like Ice Cube.


I'm probably not going to get pulled over by a black officer that things like Ice Cube. But if you are a black person listening this hillbilly sing about this, the power that will be above you at all times is always going to be white. So the stakes are so different for me to listen to Ice Cube vent then for a black young man to listen to a white guy.


Thank you for that. That's perfectly articulated. As you said, it ain't equal. It would be different if the likelihood is that a young white kid is going to go before a black judge and that black judge is going to assign him spell's America with a trip.


OK, come on, dawg. I mean, you know what it is, right? And plus, what Ice Cube, as you said, you know, people used to do the same thing when they would say. You know, you could have a black person expressing some abhorrent beliefs, some odious belief, right? But then when you put it into the context of power, does the capacity to amplify that odious belief exist such that the individual acts of bigotry, that that person could have enormous power over the masses of white people?


That's a different story than an individual bigot, systemic, as you said before.


I want to go back to one thing. I can't stop thinking about it, but I just want to digress on the college thing for one second, which is I found that the people that were shocked by the Lori Loughlin situation were almost only white people. Everyone around me that was white was appalled by this revelation.


And my black friends, I think, were like, yeah, what do you what you're shocked? Like, yeah, the whole fucking system is rigged. You guys are blown away by this. See it.


I'm so glad you said it. Yeah. And here's the thing. The people we saw on the Capitol are pissed because they think the system is rigged. Dude is rigging your behalf. What do you mean, act like the individual you could say, you could say, right. The reason and I said this in my sermon at the National Cathedral, the reason the white folk were pissed there and the reason they thought the system worked against them, because in their minds, the system wasn't for them, because it was given to rich white people, not poor white people.


So as a result of that, they thought the system was jacked up. And so as a result of that, the very people who the system has screwed like black people.


And we go like, yeah, yeah. You surprised by that? But why haven't they revealed why black people gone to the frickin capital? If what you have experienced has driven you to the capital, we should be blowing up stuff every day. But we have a different mindset forcibly, but also within the context of our culture forcibly in terms of numbers, but within the context of our culture where we say we're going to love, we're going to forgive.


If our anger and rage is there, it's love turned inside out. We're trying to change the system, see the difference between Black Lives Matter and these protesters on the Capitol, Black Lives Matter. People are trying to say, can we get into the system? Can we reform the system? Can we make it better for what it was supposed to be doing to get involved with a democratic system to try to reform it is different. And being angry that it's not then trying to say, where's Nancy?


Let me go in here and blow somebody up. Let me do what Trump told me to do. Let me then reinforce a kind of hatred that is fueled by people who exaggerate the offenses and underestimate the advantages and benefits that media has to be critical. How many black presidents have there been? One. How many black senators have there been? We can count if you can count them on your hand, brother it we ain't running stuff. And then the anger.


Look at Dylann Roof going into that church in South Carolina. Man, you people are taking over what where?


I would love to see it. Where is it? Right. I want to bring up one last thing because it does pertain to your book. And I'm going to ask you to let me enter your safe zone of your college because.


Right. I want to suggest something that is potentially dicey and I might be totally wrong and you'll tell me one way or another, but I'm going to potentially Dyson.


Particularly Dyson. Yes, it's very dicey.


OK, I don't know what your opinion is on why the election was so close. I saw ultimately that was a close election and I did not like that. And I really wanted answers. And this is my. Fear and my theory, and I want to know what you think about it. Mm hmm. So. There are eight point nine million black folks living below the poverty line in America, there are ten point five million Hispanics living below the poverty line.


There's two million Asians. There's fifteen point seven million white people living below the poverty line. And if I was a white person in a trailer with a baby with a dirty diaper, and every time I heard the Democratic Party talk about their platform, I heard a huge percentage of it being taken up by how they're going to help. Black folks, transgender folks, all these groups that I'm not in, I can imagine them thinking there's no plan for me and it's a significant chunk of the voting public, you know?


And so I'm wondering both, can we do it all? Can we have a better message that says, you know, we're trying to help everyone below this line or am I wrong? And those people need to suck it up and blah, blah, blah. But I just I think it's tactically a little naive to not be talking to those 16 million people who are also flat broke. All right.


A couple of responses. First of all, Dr. King is in jail in Birmingham and he's there. And the warden comes in, says, no, Dr. King, what you're doing is wrong, and then his jailer to do the work they do. Right. Low wage do comes in, you know, Gaoler, Dr. King, you're wrong, and they're going back and forth and then Dr. King stops and asks the guy, how much money do you make?


And when the guy tells them, bingo, hell, you need to be out here marching with us to the question and whether black people ignore poor white people. Martin Luther King Junior's last movement was about the poor people's march, well, really quick, I'm not proposing the black folks don't care about poor white folks. I'm proposing that the Democrats get them out to dinner.


I'm going. OK, WBB Dubois, the great intellectual in his book Black Reconstruction in nineteen thirty five, talked about white poor people. And he says what rich white people do to poor white people is pay them in a wage. What does that wage the psychological wages of whiteness. At least you ain't a nigger. It's the Chris Rock joke about the janitor, and people don't know that Chris Rock says he's on stage and he says, look, if you think it's not that big of a deal, you'll be black.


He said somewhere there's a janitor in here that's going, no, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, a white gender and I'm rich.


He said, none of you are trying to trade places with me and I'm rich. Yeah. So the thing is, when we talk about percentages and you're absolutely right, you know, the psychological ways of whiteness is the overlords could screw the poor white people by reinforcing the fact that at least you're not black and you're not that horrible human being, because even if they're rich, they're still animals.


Right? You're poor, but you're superior. There it is. And this is why white superiority is deeply invested in by people at all ranges, not just a trailer park, as we saw. Right. So the trailer park gets a bad rap in terms of like they're the exclusive preserve of bigotry in this country. When we're looking at Lindsey Graham and we're looking at Ted Cruz, I mean, come on. So here's my point, though. You know, when white kids would say, well, why can't we have a white history month if you have a black history month and if they have Latino History Month and if they have gay because the rest of them are for you.


Yeah. You want to tell the poor white dude you got to hook up. The reason this has to be, quote, special on a platform is because the everyday workaday world has been critically platformed for your upward mobility. Now, you might be poor. Now nobody's denying that. But the possibility of you getting richer, of you getting outside of that system is far higher and more likely than a black person born poor. How do we know this when they do comparative studies of white and black poverty, white and Latin X poverty?


The point is that when white people are poor, it is different than some black people who are poor because black people are poor what they call concentrated poverty. That means your poor, your family's poor, your neighborhood is poor. The community from you, what you come is poor and most likely your city is poor, your schools are jacked up and so on. Whereas with white people, even if they're living in enclaves of poverty, they also have cousins who are upwardly mobile.


They have opportunities to get out and escape in a way that are easy egress from some of the horrors. Not saying easy, easier. So the point is, is not to deny the legitimacy of the complaint of white people that I'm not being taken care of. You think, oh, they're hooking up to black people, the gay people. That means we can't be hooked up. No, that means that all of us are in the NFL. You're the San Francisco 49ers.


I'm the Washington national football team with a hell of a name. It's not that my existence causes you something. White supremacist logic is made you believe that if you give black people something and if they get a platform there, look at me. What about me? Where black people are going, damn you getting everything handed to you, homie? Not in terms of economic prosperity. Again, white privilege doesn't mean you're going to be rich. It means the possibility that you can be rich is extraordinarily far higher than mine.


And the likelihood is that somebody in your family will be able to provide a role model for you to elevate you from a particular situation or to give you a hookup or somebody who looks like you and smells like you will give you an opportunity that the other person will not have. As a white woman who was a dean of a business school wrote, she said, racism is not simply about how you hate the other. It's about what you do for your people like yourselves, white people that you don't do for other people.


So I can understand the mindset of a poor white person looking at the platform and thinking, oh my God, black people are getting hooked up in X, Y and Z, people getting hooked up when the reality is the entire infrastructure exists for your potential upward mobility and for your potential resolution of poverty in a way that it doesn't exist for a black or brown person over here. That's not an easy lesson. That's not to say to dismiss the poverty, but let's end by saying this, too.


If you look at the numbers of white people who are poor percentage wise, far smaller.


Yeah, they're a a percent and black people are twenty percent.


And that's a systemic problem. So it's not to deny the legitimacy of white anger, but it's the fact that the white anger should not be directed at black or brown or gay people. It should be directed at a system that continues to screw them, which is why a guy like to say a Bernie Sanders or an LLC or somebody who's talking about distribution of wealth so that the poor working person, the white working person who's getting screwed by a system that refuses to acknowledge their humanity or the dignity of their work will be advantaged by joining with black or brown people who are trying to say the system is growing us all.


Yeah, so I agree with everything you said. I think that is the objective reality of the situation. But I am a little nervous. It's not pragmatic enough to get them to vote in a way that all. Currently, we both agree, would help them, but if you've got this one guy saying, all I care about is white people and you're in a desperate situation, that becomes a more appealing option. And that's just the also the reality of humans.


I get that. But it's always interesting to me. I was looking last night at an interview with Bill Russell, the great basketball player coaching his own team. Oh, man, he was 11 championships. So here's the thing. They were elevating him to make him a player, Coach Mike. And I think he won two chips as a player coach. Right. The white reporter asks him, do you think you will be able to be fair and not to be reverse racist and not to be president?


I mean, this is like a stunning. But there it is. And I applaud him for you even back then.


You just ask, but it doesn't even occur to him what? Damn, if you had all white coaches, are you calling them racist? Are you calling them incapable of having any black players? They don't even begin to interrogate the hypocrisy and the contradiction of their own thinking. So, again, for poor white people, I say to them, my brothers and sisters, I get you. The reason race got introduced is because there's been three, four hundred years of, like, denial of opportunity where they couldn't even get included in the circle of American privilege, where they couldn't even compete.


So as a result of that, you're distracted by looking at black people who just got in the door the other day you met at the dude who just got in, as opposed to the person who built the thing, the damn architect standing right next to you. And you think he's your friend and the dude who just struggled as hard as you do to get in.


He's your enemy in a bad way. That kind of thing at least can open up some minds and force people to think about the wages of white supremacy, the wages of, quote, white privilege, and how if they disinvest in that, the better route, the better way is to challenge inequality across the board, including of their own. Because look look at the study that came out. I think it was a year or two ago the disproportionate numbers of white people who were dying, I mean, this is real stuff out here.


We just making it up right in terms of the vulnerability. But as Dr. King said, if we could forge a connection between people who see us versus them as opposed to us versus them capital, what a huge difference that could make.


Well, listen, Dr. Dyson, you're radical. We love you. You deliver to all my expectations and beyond the shepherd.


Thank you, my man. I appreciate that.


And you write a book seemingly every week, so I bet we'll talk to you again soon. My next book. I'm coming back on your show. OK, can we make that a date? Give me a date. Absolutely. My man. Your brother. I love you, man. You love what you do. Love what you stand for. Keep growing, keep being introspective. Keep being honest. It helps us all, my man.


All right. Good luck with everything on this. Thanks, Brother Biggart base.


Stay tuned for more armchair expert, if you dare.


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And now my favorite part of the show, the fact check with my soul mate, Monica Batmen. OK, close your eyes, OK? Pop, pop fizz, oh, what a relief funds a one was doing much better today.


OK, Sammy Davis Junior and you think it might not be OK to do that?


I don't know. I just don't know. I think it's just funny because it's an Alka Seltzer commercial, and I was very shocked that he participated.


Well, it does seem below him, doesn't it? Well, first, yes. Pop fizz. Fizz. Oh, what a relief.


Oh, goodness. Well, you didn't even know all about plop plop. This visit was so fun.


Yes, it plop, plop or pop, pop, plop, plop as the as the Alka seltzer fall into the cup.


Yep. Plop and then they surfacing fizz fizz and then.


Oh what a relief Furedi I did you sound like a Sesame Street and Kermit the Frog a little bit.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. I had never heard plop plop fizz fizzy energy said to me I definitely thought it was brilliant. Yeah.


Which it is because it's Alka Seltzer so it's for messed up tummy's. Yeah.


But I think indigestion more than like Hana's Reus or constipation.


OK, ok we we've a big update. Oh you're broken.


Oh yes. OK that. Yes. And I don't even want to tell people about it because I know it's going to cause a lot of concern that I'm going to relapse again. That's my main thing. I didn't even tell my mom about it.


I told her not after know again, because it'll be obvious and. Well, you know, I'll just say that I hate to make people worried, but yeah, when I went to Utah, I had swelling over the plate that had been put in my shoulder.


And it was pretty bad enough that the people who care about me said you should definitely go get it x rayed. And so I went on a Wednesday morning, got it x rayed, found out that the bolts had come out of one side of the plate and the plate was raised quite a bit. It seems now obvious that this happened three months ago when I crashed my electric bicycle. Who are we interviewing? I just kept trying to remember because it was 7:00 in the morning.


What was it?


Natalie Portman. Oh, she was that night, was it Danny? Ricardo, because that would have been the only reason you would have been up that, or was it that early? I felt like it was a woman for I don't even know why, but it was early. We were interviewing someone at seven thirty in the morning. I was riding my electric bicycle through the neighborhood and it was dark out. And I came over a hill and there was a car coming up the other side of the hill in the middle of the road.


And I was in the middle of the road. So I swerved to the right and then immediately there's a parked pickup truck in front of me. So I'm either going to TIBONI and go over the handlebars and really fuck everything up or locked up the back breaks and then put it down and then slid underneath the truck. And then we went and examined it and I had put a dent in the bumper of the truck. That's a whole other story. Trying to pay the guy wouldn't let me.


I can't believe you had the wherewithal that quick to know to do that. I mean, I can, because that's like your wheelhouse. Ding, ding, ding wheelhouse.


I was pretty impressed that I did it. I was just so immediate, like, oh, I'm going to hit this head on and fly over this truck.


So I was going like twenty three, twenty four miles an hour.


Oh, and I do know how you crash a motorcycle on camera, you know, you just lock that big break up and just commit to laying it down.


Oh but yeah, I landed directly on my left shoulder, the one that had the plate had been put in it. It's really funny because now having talked to the doctor, I now of course realized what I was doing, which was I was just ignoring it because I was so kind of embarrassed is the right word. But he did a perfect job. It was perfect. And I just couldn't accept that I had fucked it up. But you kind of knew.


You did. I did.


So, yes, I was just ignoring it. Plates out in one side. And then I say, OK, well, I'm shooting until May. Can can we do this in May? He says, absolutely not. It's going to just grenade in there and you're going to have pieces of bone everywhere and all the hardware is going to be floating around. So when will you have two weeks off work? I say won't ever have two weeks off work.


Then he says, when will you have ten days off work? Anyways, I leave there.


I talk with the production team and it turns out I'm currently on the biggest break I'm going to have, which is nine days. So I then went in Friday. It all happened so fast. Oh my God, it did. It was like bad news. And then I was prepping for surgery. Yeah. And then of course, all the stuff about the relapse will fuck. What are we going to do now? Are we going to not have this happen again?


And so the doctor and Christian talked at length about what the game plan was for medicine and then obviously getting drug tested soon as the prescriptions over so that we know there's no way I went and got my own prescription. I'm not allowed to get a prescription from the doctor.


Yeah, those are the precautions. Oh, the night before on the drug call, I find out. He casually mentions he's also going to take a bone graph out of my hip to put in my shoulder, which I didn't know, I wasn't expecting that, and then got in there for the surgery and saw what hopefully is not but could be an infection in the shoulder where all that is happening. So I had to take a sample out. They're going to grow a culture.


I had to spend the night. I now have a port in my arm to take really heavy antibiotics until that's figured out. So, yeah, that's where we're at. My hip is insane, right? It is say I have a watermelon on my hip, the shoulders totally fine, it's really just the hip that is brutal. This is a juicy detail. I said to him, by the way, I love my doctor so much. He's my favorite doctor I've ever had.


Wow. He's gorgeous. I said to him when it was all said and done before I got discharged. Oh, how did you get the bone out? Use like a bone saw. And he goes, No chisel.


And I'm like, you're a psycho chiselling some chunk of someone's bone out of their hip. Oh, my God. Thank God there's people that can do that stuff. I know.


I can't imagine chiseling a bone. It's so sad. Yeah. This one, as you can attest to this one got me. Yeah. Yeah. This is the first one that defeated me. Look at you. You're still working today.


I felt a little less defeated yesterday. I felt very defeated. I was actually feeling my mortality quite a bit yesterday. Thank God.


I was like, oh. People sometimes don't come back from surgeries. I don't mean dying on the surgery table just yet, not always going to heal perfectly like, you know, I don't know how many times you can do this. Yeah. That those kind of feelings.


It's a lot. It's only been a couple of days. It's going to be a little while.


That's true. Be totally back to normal. That's right. But yeah.


So a lot's happened and in the blink of an eye, wishing you well. Thank you. Paw. So this is Michael Eric Dyson. Oh, my God. And I was such a fun episode. So much energy.


Yeah, definitely. I like that. He loves rap and historical figures.


Yeah. Equally. And he's a professor and preacher. Uh huh. So cool. OK, you said the polecat.




I think we maybe already looked this up once. Yeah. I think they call skunk's polecats. Is it pull or poll. I think poll P only.


OK, a poll cat. Sorry if we've already done this guys. That's OK. You probably have been. What was the thing. We kept going over, over and over again. Probably it was, there was one that we covered like 12 times, probably something.


Malcolm Gladwell. OK, Polecat is a weasel like Eurasian mammal with mainly dark brown fur and a darker mask around the eyes noted for ejecting a fetid fluid fluid when threatened. Another term for skunk.


Oh, so it's a skunk. OK, great. But you say this thing sounds just like a skunk.


What's it called again? Polecat. What's the phrase?


Oh, she just always says everything smelt like a polecat.


Although you stink like a polecat instead of saying a skunk, whichever one in the north would say, oh well that makes sense then.


Yeah. Yeah ok. Yeah. But it was like we didn't know what it meant but it seems now clear.


Yeah. We didn't know the whole cat was a skunk and it is.


Yeah. And then there was like coke in a poke. Mm hm.


Oh my God. I know what it was. We covered Chiquita Banana like twelve times.


Oh oh. Sugru Cheroot like we're going to do it again. And we decided we can never learn this, like we've now covered it twelve times and we just can't commit to memory. Cha cha cha cha.


Oh. Oh my God. OK, cowpoke. Urban Dictionary means when you give a woman cocain for sex.


Oh all right. Which makes sense.


Oh Laura said that another phrase for knocking on someone's door and then running away. Oh boy. It's called ding dong dash.


Yeah. Ding dong ditch is what I learned when I was older.


Oh that's what she called it in Iowa. Ding dong. Ding dong Dasch. Yeah. So that's the preferred. Alwi.


I never was standing by the no. Oh yeah I know. Yeah.


I didn't hear ding dong ditch until I was at the grounds when I was twenty four here. Yeah. Yeah.


Have you heard of Dine and Dash yo. Yeah sure.


You bet. There was an episode of Silver Spoons where they dine and dash. Oh sure.


And Rikki was really morally conflicted about it but he had a naughty friend. I think it was Bateman. I think Bateman like coaxed him into dining and dashing.


Oh no, he was a bad and he was. Yeah of course.


OK, according to CNN, the U.S. Senate has only had 11 black senators and it's two hundred and thirty two year history.


Hmm. That's that's not enough. That's just not enough. That's not enough. He did a really good job of explaining this element of it, which was, I think, a new take. Like when people say, well, you only need this money to represent like companies or whatnot, he's like the reason you need it's not about counting exactly this money or representing exactly proportions.


It's it's that having those diverse opinions they are broadens your ability to learn that you were talking about joy on parenthood and teaching you stuff. And if you don't have joy, you're never going to learn all that stuff. And so it's just important to have what I mean, of course, it's important. But one of the many reasons it's important to have diversity. Yeah.


Because you won't hear those opinions if you just aren't exposed to them, if it's proportional and it's you're aiming for every single company to have 14 percent black, let's say, unfortunately, 14 percent isn't enough to overwhelm the culture. So it's like even with perfect proportional representation, it's not necessarily going to take on a different vibe.


Yeah, I think that's his point is like stop worrying about the exact numbers and like to actually diversify the pool of whatever you're doing because that's how we learn and grow.


Yeah. I'm sad about your surgery. You are, yeah, I'm sorry. Don't apologize.


Well, it's my fault. No, it's not. You got in a bike accident.


That's true. It's not my fault. Oh, OK. I guess accidents happen and no one's at fault that accidents happen. That's what they said.


That's what you tell a kid. It's not your fault. Accidents happen. Yeah, OK. It's hard to extend that to myself.


Really? Yeah. When it was a total act, it was. And I should be happy. Didn't go way worse. I could have been in a head on collision with the car that was coming or I could have t bone in the back of the truck and flew 30 feet and really done a number. Yeah. Aren't I happy. I should be happy. Well, you are happy I said I was. Oh, do you want to elaborate on what you said?


No, you just it's just sad. It's hard to see your friend alive. I would hate it. Yeah, well, I'll broken up. Yeah.


I don't mind it for myself, but yeah, if I was looking at you and you had a tube coming under your arm and table over and a watermelon on your side, I would hate it.


Yeah. It's just you feel helpless. Bright. Yeah.


Well on that sad note, there's no more Varghese knows it was a short vaki. OK, I really, really enjoyed him.


Me too. Yeah. What a cool guy.


Yeah. And I liked him on Bill Maher all the times I've seen him on Bill Maher, but I like the way more on our. Yeah, I feel like I got to go to deep dive.


We got a real deep dive. Another fact is that you and I by mere coincidence, are wearing matching bottom and top.


I know. Yeah, we're both wearing mustard colored. I sweat sweats. That's right. I've got the bottoms. You've got the top. That's right. That's a good color. You took the high road.


I took the low road. Mustard is a good color. I'm new to it and I'm really embracing it. And this whole sweats thing, I was so stubborn and now I'm here and it's too late.


It's too late. We're all I'm coming out of it. Everyone's moving on. And I'm just like, hey, you guys heard about sweats? We're so comfortable. I am that way to such a fall.


Or it's like two men, everyone's doing it. So I just my knee jerk was like, I don't want to do it. I don't want to be a follower. Yeah. I don't want to be. And then you just end up being left alone. I know. I'm getting I'm getting totally left out.


Well, we'll update you on taxes health next week. Yeah.


Maybe I'll try to post some pictures of me looking vibrant.


Oh, but you don't have to don't have to prove you're vibrant or if you want to, you can.


I just don't want anyone to be worried about me. I hate to cause people worry. I'm also. Well, maybe we'll post a picture of my drug tests. Oh sure.


Pee in the cup. That's nice. Yeah.


We have one floating around here so I think it got thrown out. They didn't realize that was our P baby number two. You threw it in the garbage.


A playmate for baby number one. She's so lonely. Oh, you know, we should maybe talk about what is how much we're enjoying the Mia Farrow Woody Allen documentary.


The hard to say enjoying it is it is not the right word. It's obviously very heavy. It wouldn't be as impactful or challenging if they didn't acknowledge how great of a filmmaker he was like to have the critics on and explain his his relevance, I think, is the context. You absolutely have to have to understand how it happened. Yeah. And it makes you just like come to terms with how fucking complicated people are and how they can so dualistic they can be.


It's really it's rough. I feel so bad for everyone involved. Not Woody, but I feel bad for all the children.


And I wonder, like, I wonder if it's good that we hadn't seen that before we talked to Ronan or but of course, I have a renewed interest in Ronan watching cause I have more of an respect for him, because what a traumatic childhood.




Being surrounded by all of those things like Sunni and then then Dylan and the and then obviously he kind of got to escape some of it by going away to school.


It definitely helps explain why he was so drawn to be a wonder kid. Get out of that environment. Yeah, I know.


It's the fact that he had all this intense trauma and now is doing all this good and exposing all of these injustices is like I just I think he's so I just love him.


Yeah, we love him. Yeah. Yeah, I'd love to have him back on, I guess in other news, you got your car wax this weekend. I sure did.


I got my car back and it looks so good. And you drove me to the attic today.


Yeah, you let me drive is fun because you got to sit in my leather interior and really enjoy that cockpit. Yeah. It's so elegant in there. It is. I'm sorry I made you like a car so much. I know you you wanted to be a kind of person that never liked a car so much.


I go and I do.


It's fun and I feel I have some ethical dilemmas with it. Of course. Yeah I know. It's Mhm.


On that note, doing the surgery and the moral superiority thing, we did a really fun book, talk with Bill Gates about his new book, How to Avoid Climate Disaster, which is really good.


It's fantastically digestible.


I was just going to say I'm not an environmentalist, I'm not a climate denier, but I've been someone that has been very cynical about the proposed solutions thus far, and I just have not trusted that that's going to solve the thing. Yeah. And for me, this is the first time I've read about it, and it's done in such a realistic, pragmatic way. Yeah. That I, I totally bought in. The problem is so enormous, which everyone already knows, but the areas from which all this carbon is coming from I think would be revelatory to people.


Yeah. Like where are we got to focus. We've got to be smart, we got to focus in the right places and we crack some places that'll help the other places. So it's just only the way Bill can break down a problem scares me, though.


It really scares me because Bill is one man.


No, he's just right about everything. Like he predicts he predicted this pandemic. You are saying this is happening. This is about to happen. Everybody, please listen. Please put in these precautions because of this. No one did it. Right? Here we go. Here's a pandemic.


And and he's like, guys, we have to get to zero emissions by 2050. And after that, it's going to be too late. We have to. We have to. We have to. And the fact that these things get politicized instead of all of us just getting on one page, it's so frustrating.


I think it's the most maddening thing in a perfect parallel with covid, which was somehow that became a fucking I know issue I know or so handicapped by this whole thing.


We are it really scares me because I was also watching John Oliver about the Texas situation. And on Fox, they're blaming the solar and all the windmills and they're blaming it on my quote, liberal green energy.


Right. Like, oh, my God, you're talking people out of green energy right now, huh?


Yeah. And then also just ignoring that it's actually because they have their own.


They're on their own. Right, exactly. They wouldn't have federal involvement, which is a political thing. Yeah.


Why is everyone so opposed to things running. Well, I know, I know whether it's going to be.


Oh it's crazy. I know. Mhm. Yeah. We got to me and we got to move beyond this political crap. What was I just reading to that. Oh there was a New York Times article this weekend about a guy saying because the left was so trapped in hating Trump that anyone that posed a threat to him or stood up to him, we embraced and then just ignored everything. And he's like, it's just it's nonstop, like we're on a side.


So Cuomo, we're just he's like, this stuff isn't new.


Oh, the harassment and the bullying and the hiding patients. Like, just a lot of stuff. And I'm all I'm guilty. Yeah, I'm on the left. And I was watching him on TV going like now that's how someone should be talking about Korona and I just more and more, I'm like, God, I'm so susceptible to this, to the power of that to like just oh, it's because there wasn't enough of those people.


Right. And why couldn't they all just be doing it then? We could look at people individually. But if everyone's in his camp. But and then someone strays. I don't know. I don't know.


But even they pointed out how like the the left fetishizes Europe, which is so true. I do all the time. And so, like, we were pointing so hard to Europe as being the way to do covid and they're completely failing the vaccine thing, like we're doing much better in the vaccine. But no one can report on that because it's against we like to fight it. It's the whole thing is just like I just think if I'm as trapped in it.


Yeah. And I think I'm someone who likes the challenge being trapped in it. I just think we're also fucking trapped in it. Yeah. It's going through such a dense filter.


It oh. Oh well on that said OK, that's no between the surgery. The moral dilemma about the. And now, Trappe, we are in our political identity. We love you. We bid you adieu.