The Federal Crackdown | Crooked Media
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January 30, 2024
Pod Save The People
The Federal Crackdown

In This Episode

Pay up! Trump ordered to pay 83M in defamation damages, diversity blamed for defective airplanes, new federal regulations on Native museum displays, D’Angelo’s creative journey, and did a Black woman teach you how to type?

 

News

Trump ordered to pay E. Jean Carroll $83.3M in defamation damages trial

How right-wing influencers turned airplanes and airports into culture war battlegrounds

‘Seeking Mavis Beacon’: The Wild Search for a Tech Icon Who Isn’t Real

Leading Museums Remove Native Displays Amid New Federal Rules

Today In Hip Hop History: D’Angelo Dropped His Sophormore Album ‘Voodoo’ 24 Years Ago

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

[AD BREAK]

 

DeRay Mckesson, narrating: Hey, this is DeRay. And welcome to Pod Save the People. In this episode it’s me, Myles, De’Ara, and Kaya talking about all the news with regard to race and justice of the past week that you should be talking about, that you should know about. And we start with the election coverage because it is an election year, and here we go. And make sure to follow us on Instagram at @PodSaveThePeople for more continuous updates about what’s going on in podcast land. Here we go. [music break]

 

De’Ara Balenger: Family. Welcome to another episode of Pod Save the People. I am De’Ara Balenger. You can find me on Instagram at @dearabalenger. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: I’m Myles E. Johnson. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter at @pharaohrapture

 

Kaya Henderson: I’m Kaya Henderson. You can find me on Twitter at @HendersonKaya. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: This is DeRay at @deray on Twitter. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: So as we get closer to the election, y’all, we’re really going to start doing these like kind of campaign election roundups where we just take some of the snapshots of of news that we’re following, um just to keep us all informed about what’s going on. So we’re not going to spend a lot of time, but it does deserve time, particularly Donald Trump having to pay $83.3 million dollars in damages to Jean Carroll for defamation comments he made about her when he was president in 2019. He attacked her character, um and kicked off years of harassment and threats from his supporters because they’re a mob. Um. And so most of the award is 65 million in punitive damages. And jurors concluded that Trump acted spitefully and wantonly toward Carroll after she accused him of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s. So, you know in May, a civil jury in New York found that Trump sexually abused and defamed Carroll and awarded her a combined $5 million dollars in damages. Um. And Trump has appealed that. So this is good news. This is good news. I don’t know where this man is going to get $83.3 million dollars from, because we know he is not worth that. Um. But it I think, you know, we’re going to we’ve been having a continuing conversation around what does it mean for a former president and now a presidential nominee, to have so many cases and lose so many cases? So we’re going to continue to see. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: You know, because he has said that his net worth is so high. It is interesting if suddenly he like, cannot pay $80 million dollars, it’s like you went from being a billionaire to a 500 millionaire to a, whatever. So I do like that the amount is totally supposedly doable for Trump, who, um who should be able to pay it. I did see some of the Fox talking points about this were like, you know, the the system is trying to bankrupt us. We won’t have our things anymore, it won’t be our money. The government is just taking things from people. And I’m like, y’all are Fox. What Fox has done to this country, you know, we are not the first people to say it, but to see people in suits and ties on TV and argue that this defamation lawsuit settlement is a bad thing because that government is taking things away from people is just something else. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: I guess my very legal focused question is, of course he’s gonna appeal, right? Um. But time wise, could this appeal happen quick enough that he’s forced to spend the money and bankrupt his uh and bankrupt some other stuff and basically, can he bankrupt himself and get out this race? Is that is that is is can that happen? Is is is– 

 

Kaya Henderson: Wait. Can you say the question again? Can he bankrupt himself and get out of this race? 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Yes, I know that he’s going to probably appeal. So I know that he’s going to appeal. So I know that’s going to take time too. And I know that this case in of itself took about like five years um, to to get to any type of verdict. But I’m wondering, is there a way that this big amount could maybe make a speed bump or redirect his presidential uh aspirations? 

 

De’Ara Balenger: I don’t I it’s– 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Could this be a greater win–

 

De’Ara Balenger: I’m looking Myles. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: –for the voting public? [laugh]

 

De’Ara Balenger: I think there’s just there’s so many ways to exhaust it in terms of, like, what the options are for paying it. So he was ordered to pay her 5.5 million. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Got it. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: In a related case. Um. And he asked the court. He asked the court, the court actually held that money while the appeal was pending, which I found interesting that he even paid that money to the court. But that was reported in the New York Times. He can also try to secure a bond. I mean, a $83 million dollar bond. I mean, oh my God. Um and because I’ve had to bond, pay the bonds of some of my cousins and clearly it was nowhere close to $83 million dollars. [laughter] So trying to secure a bond which will save him from having to pay the full amount up front. So it’s just like there are there’s a ton of different ways, I think, to figure out how to pay this. Um. And so I think that’s, that’s the issue is like, are these cases even if he is losing them, are they going to slow him down? They’re not slowing him down in terms of, you know, his base. You know, the impact of his character, um to his base. So it really is Myles to your point. Like, is it going to somehow tactically slow him down and I don’t know. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Yeah. Yeah. 

 

Kaya Henderson: I mean I think what’s interesting about I think there has to be some impact, right. Like these things are they might seem small individually, but collectively from these awards that I mean, just remember this. The first award was just $5 million dollars. And then he yapped his trap about the lady after that $5 million dollar win. And welcome to $83 million dollar world. Right? [laughter] Like these judges are not playing these these are not playing. You should have kept your mouth shut. Paid your $5 million dollars for what you did to that lady in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman. Oh, my gosh, don’t get me started, but you should have paid your five million and gone quietly into the night. I think that these amounts, Rudy Giuliani, $45 million dollars or whatever, that he has to pay– 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Yup. 

 

Kaya Henderson: –to the two Black ladies. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Pay that. 

 

Kaya Henderson: In Georgia, these people–

 

De’Ara Balenger: Yup. 

 

Kaya Henderson: –are not playing they–

 

De’Ara Balenger: Yeah. 

 

Kaya Henderson: And and while the the base might be animated by all of this stuff, where do you hit people? In their pocketbooks? Donald Trump’s whole entire financial profile is all smoke and mirrors. It’s all loans. It’s all bankruptcies. It’s all whatever, whatever. So you get hit with a couple of these things and we know you can’t pay. That’s why the court asked him to put the $5 million dollars up beforehand. We can’t keep having these empty verdicts where people get awarded a lot of money and never see this money. And so I think to have the court ask for the money up front to ask for a bond, this is helping people understand, like whatever Fox is saying, let Fox say, but we are going to get these people their justice. And I can’t help but think that as these things progress and has, he continues to to lose. I understand how it’s animating his base. But I also understand that if you don’t have no money. [laughing]

 

De’Ara Balenger: You don’t have no money. And–

 

Kaya Henderson: That that is a problem. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: And the other thing for our radar is Tish James, the attorney general of New York, is seeking $370 million dollar penalty from Trump and his family business as part of a civil fraud trial that wrapped up this month. So and that is in January. So–

 

Kaya Henderson: And he was, but he was convicted– 

 

De’Ara Balenger: –that’s also coming. 

 

Kaya Henderson: –of that, right? Wasn’t he convicted of the thing? 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Mm hmm. 

 

Kaya Henderson: And so now it is just about what the penalty will be. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Penalty is. Yup. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Right. So he’s lost the case. And–

 

De’Ara Balenger: Yup. 

 

Kaya Henderson: If this judge is acting like these other judges, they’re not letting people they’re not letting these dudes get away with this. It is it’s interesting to watch, I’m eating popcorn. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: And like I said last episode, um I literally have been reading the Trump’s The Art of the Deal book because I just was not aware during Trump’s not, you know, I’ve only known uh, this Trump and and the little bit of the reality television Trump so I’ve been trying to like contextualize him better in just in my own culture brain. And it’s really interesting to read about somebody who was just like the first chapter of this book is all his, his a week in Trump’s life. So it’s meeting to meeting, what I’m doing, making this deal, closing this so it’s so interesting to see somebody whose quite literally character is built on how well I can amass wealth and how um smart I am when it comes to money. It’s it’s wild to see his demise come not just with like, you know, moral depravity, but also with I can’t keep a dollar. [laugh] Where your whole your whole thing was, oh, I know how to make a dollar into a million. Know how to make a million into a billion, you know. So.

 

Kaya Henderson: I think what what what I thought about a lot this weekend, I watched um Nikki Haley on Meet the Press. And [clears throat] what I thought about a lot this weekend is how much the media has created this character and maintains this character. Um. On Meet the Press. Kristen well, I like I met, I watched because I really wanted to hear what Nikki Haley had to say. I wanted to see if there was anything there, if there was momentum if there was whenever, whatever. And they spent 85% of the time talking about Trump, should he, you know, does she believe that he should get off the ballot? Does she think that he does? Does she think, well, what the hell do you think Nikki? And Kristen, can you ask her that question? What do you stand for Nikki? What are you about? What are you going to bring? What is important to you? But the media is so enamored of the Trump-ishness that we can’t even get a clear assessment of other candidates, because all they want to ask other candidates is what they think about Mr. Trump. That was interesting.

 

Myles E. Johnson: I was watching the 92NY um Kaya to your point, I was watching the 92NY um talk with um Liz Cheney, and her her whole thing is about Trump. And I’m like– 

 

Kaya Henderson: Yeah. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: I’m like, sister, if we don’t pivot. [laughing]. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Mm hmm.

 

DeRay Mckesson: And, you know, Kaya to that point the the way that they have propped him up also leads people to believe that there’s some brilliance there that like, there is some that something there is like really smart or savvy. You’re like, no, that man is a clown and clowns are funny and the circus is funny. That is what this is. Not brilliant, he just says all the things that you’ve been taught you can’t say out loud because they’re inappropriate, rude, and bigoted. He says them and people are intrigued by that. So De’Ara brought up Tish James and as you know, Tish did that investigation of uh Governor Cuomo, came out that he sexually harassed people. It was one of the key moments that led to the end of Governor Cuomo. What you might not have known is that right when that was happening, the Department of Justice also opened an investigation into a former governor, Andrew Cuomo. And it just came out. It was like a dump last week that the, um that they concluded that Cuomo violated title seven rules against discrimination and retaliation between 2013 and 2021. They said that Cuomo and his staff engaged in, quote, “a pattern or practice of discrimination against female employees based on sex,” and they found that he retaliated against the women. And this is these are findings from the Department of Justice. They found that he repeatedly subjected women in the office to nonconsensual sexual contact, that he gave them gender based nicknames, and further, that top Cuomo staff, quote, “were aware of the conduct and retaliated against four of the women he harassed.” Kristen Clarke, who writes, who runs the Civil Rights Division, who we love of the Department of Justice. Her quote in a statement is, “the conduct in the executive chamber under the former governor, the state’s most powerful elected official was especially egregious because of the stark power differential involved and the victim’s lack of avenues to report and redress harassment.” 

 

Kaya Henderson: Basically, Tish James knew what she was talking about. That’s what the Department of Justice said. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: Yes. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Mmm. Whew child. I mean, I, I, I uh [clears throat] look I am not even touching this Cuomo stuff because, I don’t know. Um. But but here’s what I will say about uh Tish James. Think about and and and I will I’m going to link it to Fani Willis and to the other women of color whose name I can’t. She’s a Caribbean sister. I can’t remember her name. Who’s over the other Trump case. Think about the pressure that you have to be under if you are bringing, if you’re a Black woman bringing these cases against these powerful white men. And what I love about Tish James is she is unafraid. She has dotted every i and crossed every t. She is like, there is a crime here, and I’m a show it to y’all. And so far she has been right. Now, I don’t know, Fani Willis. I don’t know nothing about her, I don’t know. I I hope that these allegations are untrue. And even if they are true, I still hope that she’s dotting every i and crossing every T, because who you sleep with in your personal life and all of that jazz don’t have nothing to do with me. But I hope that you still understand that as a Black woman prosecuting these powerful men, you got to have the whole thing buttoned up. And Tish, I think, has given us a great example of I can show you better than I can tell you. Um. So kudos to the Justice Department for coming behind her and underscoring the work that her team has done. It takes a lot, I mean, these cases have zillions of documents and lots of investigations and stuff that has to happen. And and you have to manage this humongous project. And so my hat’s off to her. And for these other women who are in the arena doing this work, because it’s hard being a Black woman, anything. And for them to be literally in the crucible attacking America’s favorite politicians is more than a notion. Come on, Black girl lawyers, I see y’all. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: And it’s so important. And I always thought about this when it first when it first came out, how important this particular case is in my head. Because the, the one thing [laugh] that uh out of probably many but [?] the one thing that always comes into my mind is that Democrats still have their kind of like a moral center, you know, whereas when I think about people in the, in the um Republican Party, when I think about people like, of course, Trump, Roy Moore, people who have been just accused of horrible things, but then went on to have um, actual lives inside of the um, you know, inside of their and like, political lives. It’s wi– it’s I think it’s so important that when this happens in the Democratic Party, we call it out. We prosecute it. We don’t try to um, still make this person a part of our our our like, political the fabric of our, like, our political representation, you know, and I and I’m really glad that this is still happening. People are still you know, you have Black women litigating you. Uh. We’re we’re still showing that, no, we have a moral center. We still know what’s right and wrong. It doesn’t matter if this person is powerful to us or on our side. Wrong is wrong. And I think that’s so important right now. Um. Maybe more than it’s I don’t want to be, you know, dramatic, but maybe more than it’s ever been. It seems like it’s so important to publicly show, no, you can’t do bad things and stay in this political club just because you’re powerful or just because we can use you. 

 

DeRay Mckesson, narrating: Hey, you’re listening to Pod Save the People. Stay tuned. There’s more to come. 

 

[AD BREAK] 

 

DeRay Mckesson: I rarely go first, but my news is something that I was like, come on. As you all know, uh Toni Morrison famously said, race racism is used as a distraction. And Toni was right about a lot of things. She was certainly right about this. Now let me. You’re not gonna you’re gonna be surprised about where I end. But let me start with the airplanes. You probably saw that video that went viral where the door of that airplane essentially came off mid-flight. They grounded the flight, and they only gave the people in the plane $1,500 as, like their recompense for the door literally coming off mid flight. And that was a Boeing plane. They have there’s been a lot of uh pressure on Boeing. They have essentially grounded that particular type of airplane, so it’s not flying anymore. You might have seen that while they were grounded, there was another airline that it was like seven or so or like a handful of the Boeing airplanes got grounded. There were loose um screws that they had to fix. There’s a lot of oversight coming to Boeing, blah, blah, blah, which you also should know is that the Republicans have generally been anti oversight anti-regulation simply because it is not good for business. That is their argument they’re like you put more regulation in, you can make a lot more money when it’s not as regulated, blah blah blah blah blah. So then I look up and I see that the right way of dealing with the airline stuff is to blame it on Black people. Literally, that is the strategy. So Trump I’ll just, uh Donald Trump Jr, there was something with um a Delta Boeing 757, which is the plane in question, and he tweets, I’m sure this has nothing to do with mandated diversity, equity and inclusion practices in the airline industry. People are going to die. And no one regulating these things gives a [makes a sound] wheels don’t just fall off planes without gross incompetence in question. Um. Charlie Kirk, who is, as you know, one of the right wing racist uh folks, he said, I’m sorry if I see a Black pilot, I’m going to be like, boy, I hope he’s qualified. And the way that they have been trying to essentially fight the regulation of the airline industry is to say the presence of Black people is why the planes aren’t good or why there are issues. Uh. Matt Gaetz, who, you know, Representative Matt Gaetz, he said DEI is destroying our major airlines. Libs of TikTok, which is one of the big TikTok accounts, um they pulled this like whole ad from Virgin Atlantic saying that it was like about pronouns and and you’re like, wow, this is really um, this is really nuts. And then Marjorie Greene, who you know, is a just lost her all her mind. She said, I just traveled in the airports across the country just the past few days. You know what I saw in the airports? Migrants, illegal aliens all over in the airport. And I’m bringing it here because, A.) I wish there were more Black people in the airline industry. The numbers have essentially not changed. It is flat. 92% of pilots and flight engineers are white. 92% of them are men. That has essentially been the same as long as we have ever measured the numbers. The proportion of pilots and flight engineers who are Black grew from 2.7% in 2018 to 3.6% in– it’s negligible. Like I could tell you all the numbers, but ain’t none of them higher than four um for Black people or Asians. Latinos are higher than all of the other people of color, and they’re a whopping 10%. Um. And women, it’s less of them. Women went from nine to 8.3. So, you know, the airline industry remains over overwhelmingly white men. That is just who is flying planes or flight engineers. And it just is a fascinating way to see them use race as a way to avoid any accountability for industries. Any conversation about regulation and safety and1 that race really every single time is the boogeyman. It is the thing that derails people and moves people around. People get excited about it. We even have to address it in forms like the podcast, just so people understand that the racism you’re hearing delivered to you with a suit and tie is not true. It is not real. It is just a lie. And I wanted to bring you here because this is one of the things that I was like, really, of all the things you can say about the airplanes falling apart is Black people?

 

Myles E. Johnson: And it’s like they know once they say it because of how information specifically now gets spread. They know once they say it, even if we say 100 times, it’s because of this. It’s because, you know, they know that something going wrong on the airplane. Deaths, trauma because your the fricking door falls off, whatever they have to pay out is way less than whatever they’re cutting like we that that’s that’s the reason why. You could we could say that 110 times over. But once you just say something in this media landscape in general, it’s like you can’t almost undo it. It’s, it’s that’s now the new truth. And because you said it and you said it strong and you said it loud, now that’s the new truth and that’s what’s being that’s what’s just going to like go in the ethers. And it’s just such a, you know, moral depravity doesn’t begin to like, articulate how I feel about that. 

 

Kaya Henderson: I mean, from where I sit, this doesn’t have anything to do with airlines, does it? Right. Absolutely nothing to do with airlines. This is I mean, diversity equity and inclusion, belonging any kind of initiatives around that are under attack writ large. So we started in academia and they successfully took out Claudine Gay, all of that, the whole Harvard thing and all of those other presidents, all women like these are not coincidences. The whole attack on on academia is an attack on diversity, equity and inclusion. Now let’s take it to the airline industry. Next we’ll go to banking. Then we’ll go to somewhere else. Right. And and all of this stokes the the right wing playbook around these people are coming for your jobs. Ain’t nobody coming for the airline people’s jobs. As your numbers just told us. But now these people are coming for your jobs. They’re unqualified. You are unsafe flying. And that is going to cause, I mean, the people who are worried about jobs, about economic secure, insecure about economic security, about, you know, colorful people, gay people, straight people, trans people, whatever about these other people coming for their jobs, their place in society. This is just another vehicle to serve up that meal that, you know, the that base is ravenous for. And so I think in a couple of weeks we’ll see them go after they’ll, they’ll do this airline industry thing for a while. I mean, I fly all the time. I ain’t see no migrants in the airport. Look [laugh] so, as far as I know, the migrants don’t have enough money to fly in, they at the border, right? Deal with the border crisis. But uh, I think right now it’s airlines and airports, and we’ll see it move to the next place. Until this has touched so many different industries that the scared base is completely riled up because people are coming from them for them at every turn. This is this is so wild like it is. It is a lie. Whole cloth. Right? Like there is nothing truthful about this and people are caring it on the news and that, I mean, you know, to your earlier point around what Fox has done to this country, like fake news is not even the right term like this. People just lie. Lie lie lie lie lie lie. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: Right. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Like make up stuff lie. And our poor uneducated populous does not have enough critical thinking skills to understand what is right and what is wrong, and that’s why they continue to assault education, because they want to keep us dumb and uninformed. Mmm. Child.

 

Myles E. Johnson: Well well well, rewind me a little bit. Um Kaya. Because [laugh] because I might, my mind might have got got because for some of the content that I’ve been seeing, some of the news that I’ve been seeing, there is something happening at the airports, [laugh] or is that just like a systemic? They’re just they’re making, like a [?]–

 

Kaya Henderson: What’s happening?

 

Myles E. Johnson: Kind of, almost look like kind of like– 

 

Kaya Henderson: What’s happening at the airports? 

 

Myles E. Johnson: So I have seen a lot of news stories around, like, things happening with these airplanes. And–

 

Kaya Henderson: Airplanes. Yes, yes. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Yeah. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Yes, yes, yes. But that don’t have anything to do with people of color. It has nothing– 

 

Myles E. Johnson: No of course! Of course.

 

Kaya Henderson: –to do with diversity, equity and inclusion. That’s my point. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Yeah I guess I–

 

Kaya Henderson: Air lines are failing for uh airline safety is a question right now. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Yeah, exactly. I guess I want to be super duper clear.

 

Kaya Henderson: Because of. Oh, yes. Yeah yeah yeah. The–

 

Myles E. Johnson: I want to be super clear that there is probably something to look at when it comes to these planes in the sky that we should be concerned about. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Oh yes. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Where as like, I feel like when it comes to the academic stuff, there was there was a whole bunch of to do about nothing. Where I’m like oh, there’s something happening at the airport.

 

DeRay Mckesson: Oh I hear what you’re saying. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Right. 

 

Kaya Henderson: I’m sorry. I did not mean to say that doors are not flying off planes. Wheels are not flying off planes. Those things are all true. Those things are all true. And and my guess is, if you look at who works at the Boeing plant, it don’t have nothing to do with diversity, equity and inclusion. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: At all. 

 

Kaya Henderson: I might venture to say, I am saying the lie is that any of the safety issues have anything to do with diversity, equity and inclusion. That’s all. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: And I do think there’s there’s a thread here that. Yeah. When it comes to the DEI of it all. There has been a massive decrease in company seriousness in pursuing, engaging, institutionalizing. Um. And in my work. I feel like this, this, this sense of meritocracy that a lot of white folks have around, I’ve worked so hard. And, you know, I, you know, I’m not privileged and yada yada, yada. I do think there is a through line through if there is truth around us all being equal, then their whole concept of meritocracy actually crumbles. And I think that is that helps set up this lie of it all. But it also impacts our everyday lives and how we’re functioning or not functioning, because folks are just so unable to see all the inequalities, but then also how sometimes in some cases, Black people out and overperform. So we don’t want to. Don’t want to acknowledge that either. Kaya Henderson. Myles Johnson. 

 

Kaya Henderson: You better say it, girl. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: DeRay Mckessson. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Say it. [laughing]

 

De’Ara Balenger: So. [laughter] So I think it’s it’s that too. Because I’m also just like this. This is all. It’s everywhere, right? It’s everywhere. And it’s not just like Trump’s base. It’s actually like white progressives too. So, you know, I think it’s it’s a it’s a bigger construct around racism that we have not even begun to pull apart in a way that um well, it just it creates conditions for this. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: And I was even [next word whispered] sorry. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: De’Ara. I didn’t even think about. You’re right. How this is also a setup for that conversation about meritocracy. And it’s like totally a lie. And like a [?] like they it’s like the scam way to do it. But this idea that. Like to question the qualifications and all that stuff like this is the this is the other way to do it, you know, like this–

 

De’Ara Balenger: Yeah. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: –is the back end way to get you to have that conversation. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Yup. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: Because then we start saying like, the numbers aren’t true. And da da da and then it becomes, well, who should be a pilot? What makes a good pilot da da da. You know, like it [?]. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Um. To your point, De’Ara, y’all, y’all are just so y’all are so smart this morning. I’m [?] [laughter] got my brain ticking. But um, to your point, I was just talking to um my friend the other day, and so one of my favorite people, writers is Fran Lebowitz, and she has this thing where she talks about the art, she talks about art, and um she says well you can hear in the language that how we think about art has changed because when she was young, it was called the art world, and now it’s called the art market. And which tells what is important about art now, is really it’s about the finance and stuff like that. And what I noticed and I heard her say this maybe like two years ago, and what I noticed in front of my, right in front of me, a lot of places went from calling themselves organizations in 2020. Now they’re back to being companies. [laugh] And it’s really interesting to even think about how that language has shifted in letting you know what we care about, and that when it was this um, kind of rebrand, this you know, around um, around equity and diversity that everybody was an organization. And now that people are figuring out, well, you know, rebranding as good as a good company and as a, as equal and diverse is not necessarily profitable. So we going to go back to being a company. [laugh] And and being here for the profit is really interesting that even down to the language, you can hear this kind of shift that’s happening. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Mm hmm. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: To the right. 

 

Kaya Henderson: So I brought this article to the podcast because it sent me on a little bit of an emotional roller coaster. I read the headline, which is Leading Museums Remove Native Displays Amid New Federal Rules. And I was angry. What do you mean we’re taking down native displays? That’s not okay. And then I read the article and I was like, oh, wait a minute. There are some good reasons why we’re taking down native displays. And then as I finished the article, and really thought about this. I got mad again. And so I was like, okay, any issue that has me going up and down is worth the conversation on the podcast. And really what this is about is the fact that this month there were some new federal regulations that went into effect, and these regulations require museums and other institutions to obtain consent from Native American tribes before displaying or performing research on Native American cultural subjects. And these new regulations are actually um they were initiated by the Biden administration, and they’re actually corrective action to speed up the repatriation of Native American remains like human remains, funerary objects, and other sacred items that were required by a 1990 law called the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Right. In 1990, the federal government said, museums give the people their stuff back. This is human remains, sacred funeral stuff, important cultural objects. Give them their stuff back. And since the ’90s, it has been really, really slow in happening. Right? Um. In fact, this process has dragged on for decades. And so the Biden administration jumps in and says new policies, you know, the regulations require a shorter timeline for the repatriation of things. And the new regulations actually say, you gotta you gotta do this with the tribes. Tribes have more authority throughout the process. Um. The feds are required to defer to Native American traditional knowledge of lineal descendants, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations. And, our our tribal friends say even though the new regulations have only been in effect for two weeks, they already feel a shift in the tenor of talks with the institutions. So that’s a good thing. Um. In fact, uh one of the quotes in the article says this represents a major shift in practices when it comes to Native American exhibitions at some of the country’s leading museums that will be noticeable to visitors. How is it noticeable to visitors? Well, museums are actually covering up displays and removing items from their galleries. In fact, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, which is one of the biggest and most visited museums um is closing two major exhibit halls that show Native American objects, which is about 10,000ft of of space, that 10,000ft² of exhibition space that will now be off limits to visitors. And they get about 4.5 million visitors a year. Um. I’m worried about that. I’m worried about that. I’ll come back to that. Um. There is a woman who’s the director of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Missouri, and she says this is human rights work, and we need to think about it as that and not as science. And she’s adding five new staff members to work on repatriation, because this stuff is complicated, right? It’s one thing to say, give the stuff back to the people. It’s another thing to figure out the right way to do it, to figure out a way that honors the deceased, that respects the cultural practices around how you treat these things. Um. And, a top priority of these new regulations is repatriating more than 96,000 individual human remains that are in institutional holdings. 96,000 individual human remains that are in institutional holdings. I brought this to the podcast because again, this to me, this demonstrates the complexities of undertaking a healing process. Right? It is net positive that the federal government is requiring museums and institutions to treat these artifacts, human remains, cultural items of cultural significance with the respect that they deserve in an attempt to heal relationships with the Native American community. And it’s hard. It’s not easy. Um. I also think that it is significant and and worrisome that as people visit museums and cultural places where we places that hold cultural significance for us, in many cases they will not see some of this stuff because the institutions are wrestling with how to to deal with this. Um. And, and then, um and then I got mad because I was like, okay, good for my native people, but what about Black folks? Because y’all got our brains and our bodies all over the place. And in fact, there’s no federal regulations for you requiring to that require you to give us our stuff back. In fact, the Natural History Museum has at the Smithsonian, the Washington Post did an investigation a like whole exposé. It is it’s a beautiful thing. If you go on the Washington Post website to see this racial brain collection and all of this stuff that these people do that people had no idea even existed. But according to the Washington Post investigation, the natural history museum has a collection of over 30,000 body parts that people didn’t know about until 15 minutes ago. Guess how many of those are Native American? 15,000. So there’s a whole nother 15,000 that you know who they belong to. They belong to us. They belong to people that look like me and you. And there is no regulation, no requirement, no process, no anything on giving those pieces back to the communities where they belong. And so on the one hand, I want to commend the feds for undertaking what is a difficult, painful, healing attempt at healing. Um. I want to charge our museums and institutions to figure this out. Like, yes, it’s hard, but if you’re committed to it, like the lady in Missouri, you hire more staff, you put the resources in place and you do the right thing. And and I want to challenge them all to do the right thing, not just for the Native American community, but for all of the folks, for Black people, for Asian people, for, you know, the disabled people, for gay people, for trans people, for everybody who you have experimented on, institutionalized, stolen body parts and all of these heinous things that have happened. We all deserve the kind of accountability, the kind of process and collaboration and restoring dignity to our ancestors and our forbearers. That’s all I got. [sigh]

 

Myles E. Johnson: Kaya, you definitely went the way that I was thinking because I was like, okay, this is fantastic. And this also should be the blueprint for our artifacts. This should be the blueprint for our body parts. Um. And we this also should be you know, this is a lofty expectation, but I’m like, go ahead and send this blueprint to Buckingham Palace because there’s stuff, some stuff that they need to return too. Um. Because I really think that this era of and it’s a huge era, long era. So I’m not trying to make it seem like it’s a, it’s a, you know, a Megan Thee Stallion song, like, short, but like this huge era of, you know, these institutions are important and we get to extract everything around the world and put them under our roof, because this is what makes them important. I don’t I don’t I, I don’t think that’s true. And I think that, um museums are going to have to change the way what they find important, what they center. Again, I went to the Guggenheim. I’m at the Brooklyn um Museum, like almost weekly now because I live down the street. And um, I think there’s enough art that is that can be obtained and and history that could be obtained, um morally. And and also enough art that’s being made in the, in modern times to fit a museum. And I think that we don’t need to always. I don’t think we need to exploit things or steal things in order for these institutions to stay important. And I think we have to totally reimagine what makes these institutions important important because there’s there’s just stolen things in [laughing] everywhere. And I and I, and the what this article did do for me to think about what psychologically does that do to somebody when they see their history umbrella’d. And just cornered inside of this building. If if that’s making sense. So what does it mean that something as vast as Native American culture and history and death and tradition is a corner and a section inside of this bigger house? I think that that says something and communicates something that, um that, that, that, that the through line between that and white supremacy is to me like very clear. And I think that if we are really trying to dismantle some of these ideologies that have been destroying us, it has to start there. It has to start with doing this like harder work. So thank you for bringing this, because I love to hear it, and I do think it should be a blueprint for how other things should be taken care of as well. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: And my mind also went to the, it went immediately to Sarah Baartman, otherwise aka Hottentot Venus. Um. And what’s interesting is, Kaya, your article took me to another article where the Field Museum in Chicago was doing the same things. But what I didn’t in terms of repatriation, but what I didn’t know about the Field Museum is that it evolved from, um the the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. All that to say, like Sarah, there were all these exposition and like world fairs that happened in America at the turn of the century. And what it was, was basically displaying folks of color to exoticize them, to exploit them. And then for Sarah Baartman, her remains were with Paris. They were on display until 1974 and not repatriated until 2002. So it’s again, y’all it’s just like larger issues around this country in particular and in the world, the Western world, quite frankly not not reckoning with what has happened in terms of racism, oppression, etc. and so we still have all the lineage of all these things because we haven’t addressed it as as a big cultural social issue. So it’s just it’s wild that even nine 96,000. Like the remains of 96,000 indigenous people. Like is being held in an inst– like that is wild. Absolutely wild. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: There are two things that come to mind that I just um want to say. One is that the scope of what the museums has has always just I as an adult, I appreciate it more than I ever understood as a kid. Like as a, as a kid, I went to a museum. I’m like, oh, I see the stuff on the thing. I just didn’t understand that this is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the collection, just like, didn’t get it. So I am so reading this. I’m like, they have the birch bank canoe of somebody. They got darts from 10,000 BC. Like they got all this stuff just in the cabinets in the back that we have never even heard about. That is that blows my mind. So I’m like the, the scope of the theft is just vaster than anything I think our minds have been able to wrap around because we only see the things on display. So even De’Ara as you talk about the the people and the bodies and the remains and, you know, the article very gently is like, well, you know, they can’t put the remains out on display. So they’re just like in storage. You’re like, well, yeah, they I mean, they sell people’s bodies. It’s sort of crazy. So that is wild. The second thing that I’m that I am thinking through is, I hope that they, I almost want the halls to be redone about the repatriation, you know, like I want there to be a hall, the Hall of repatriation. Like, I don’t want people to ever forget the amount of theft. Like I want there to be pictures of everything they stole. And the hall can be like stole, stole and passed or something. I don’t know, like, I, I want people to be for, you know, because the worst version of this is they give it all back and then they paint the hall over something else. And people never like this whole moment is gone of theft in taking people’s culture. Like–

 

De’Ara Balenger: Exactly. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: I just don’t want that to happen either. [music break]

 

DeRay Mckesson, narrating: Don’t go anywhere, more Pod Save the People is coming. 

 

[AD BREAK]

 

De’Ara Balenger: So my news is from The Daily Beast, and it’s so many of my interests in one. So one, it’s Black filmmaking. So this young Black filmmaker who I’m now obsessed with, Jazmin Jones, um who has made this documentary that is based on Mavis Beacon. Um. Now, getting into the other thing I’m interested in, and we’ve talked we’ve actually talked about this on this podcast is Black representation, particularly women’s Black representation. And like what that means in American culture. Um. And so let me tell you who Mavis Beacon is or really is not. So Mavis Beacon um teaches typing. Was this classroom staple in the ’90s, um for kids who wanted to become proficient, proficient in typing. So Mavis Beacon was really presented as this trailblazer for Black women in her field. Um. She was she was lauded for her contributions. Uh. Students who learned her methods, filmed testimonials to thank her. Her career was also lauded at the Kennedy Center by people like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey. And even our girl, Wendy Williams went viral saying, Mavis was an icon and a legend. Thank you Wendy. The issue is, is that Mavis Beacon is not a real person. Um. And so this software company um basically hired this woman Renée L’Espérance um who’s a Haitian born woman, um who was discovered working at a a department store counter and the game so the developers of this software asked her to model as a typing instructor. She was reportedly paid $500 for her image and photographed once. Um. And over the years, she’s only given um, oh and she’s never given an on the record interview, and has basically disappeared. So here comes Jazmin Jones, who first encountered. Also, I love this because it’s like the young people really interested in the ’90s, and I love that for Gen Z because it keeps us connected. Okay. So Jazmin Jones, who at eight years old, she’s from the Bay area, she first encountered Mavis Beacon. Um. Uh. She first encountered this uh, the the software game, the Mavis Beacon teacher software. Um. She says that she’s one of Mavis’s, one of her pupils. I owe this woman so much when I was learning the game they have these little black hands that mimic typing. It was so amazing to see a digitized version of a body like mine on screen at such a foundational age. But as Jones grew older, she realized that Beacon can be a bit of a problematic fave, as she’s continued to work in the digital arts and to think about self rep– representation as a Black woman, she wanted to retrace the thinking steps and ask questions like, why was Mavis Beacon Black? What was the racialized and gendered casting choice about? So this documentary basically is about that. It’s about this journey, like really like a DIY journey. I can’t wait to see this documentary. It just, premiered at Sundance. Um. Basically a journey of who this woman is and why. You know, why she never gave an interview, why she disappeared. But more importantly, how was it such that this woman was built up in the psyches of so many people, um as essentially a real person? Um. So I just wanted to bring this to the pod because I thought it was so interesting. And when we talk about Black women’s leadership or even when we talk about Black tropes, right? When we talk about, you know, a Michael Jordan or a Oprah Winfrey and like, what those kind of, like, exceptional Black people have meant in our construct of how we think about Black folks and racism. I just found this to be so interesting that, like, you can make up a Black person that really. You know, somewhat does something for both for white folks and Black folks. Um. And and really interestingly satisfy whatever the, the, the cultural needs of those populations are and be successful for so many years. So I don’t know, I just I thought this was fascinating and was curious if you all were students of Mavis Beacon teaches typing. So. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: So I’ll go, um I’ll go quicker because I know people are going to have brilliant things to say, and I can’t have mine get overshadowed by somebody’s [?]. Really Myles I’m going to need you to go after me. Let me just get my little talking points in here. Um. Okay, so what I. So I am a student of Mavis Beacon. Uh. I did not follow all the way through, but I took it, and we had we had a part of computer class that was typing and Mavis Beacon was that girl, as the kids would say. Um. Now, what I find really interesting about Mavis Beacon is that she was working as a saleswoman at Saks when they found her and pay her $500 for a a photoshoot. So that’s like one. But the more fascinating thing about that is that they replaced her on the cover with just other Black women and kept calling it Mavis Beacon. I think that is like–

 

De’Ara Balenger: Like Aunt Viv. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: Wild. Yes. So she is the first model, and then they [laugh] like Aunt Viv, and then they just keep. Um. They keep moving her. They keep swapping out her photo with another Black with other Black women. And I, you know, just the one of somebody will say it much better than me, but needing Black people’s validation to move things culturally is as old as this country is. And this one is just such a wild, wild thing and the way they try and soften it when other articles have written about this is like there was no industry around influencers. They didn’t really, uh exploit her because this was one of the first times and blah blah blah blah blah. It’s like y’all made a gazillion dollars off of [sound of news clip playing in the background] this woman who we thought was an expert. And, uh you exploited her, so fascinating. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Um. I’m going–

 

Myles E. Johnson: The throughline between–

 

Kaya Henderson: I’m going next. No no no no no no. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: –a lot, oh–[laugh]

 

Kaya Henderson: No no no no no no no no no no no sir. No. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: All of us. All of us. Right. We’re like Myles, you got to go last on the culture stuff. [laughter]

 

Kaya Henderson: Mm hmm. Especially because I did not know anything about Mavis Beacon until this conversation. Um. I I looked it up and I was like, how come everybody else knows about Mavis and I don’t? And it is because she was introduced in 1987, which was my junior year in high school, and I had already taken typing. So I was past that and didn’t have to go back to learn typing. And so I missed the whole cultural moment that was Mavis Beacon, but it reminded me a lot of the Aunt Jemima story. Right? Um. The appropriation of Black women as validators, um as external validators for some product or something. The, the disembodiment of the character. Right. Aunt Jemima, there were lots of different people who portrayed that character. And it is the irony of it to me is, you know, people think we’re stupid. People think that we, you know, are lazy. People think that we are whatever. But when you need somebody to endorse a product and make it valid, if a Black woman is using it, then it must be good, right? And so I find the the irony around, you know, the broader society’s perception of Black people verses, you know, their willingness to use us to endorse products um, as frankly, um a real example of a diseased mind like this is what raci– racism makes you do two different things at the same time, I think. And now I’m excited to hear about Myles’s profound reflection [laughter] on this article. [laughter]

 

Myles E. Johnson: That is too much pressure. I think I what I was going to say was the through line between this and Uncle Tom, and uh and Aunt Jemima is just it’s a straight line. Right. Um. Two things that really that really stuck out to me about this is how right now everything is so simple, where it’s like Black people get out, you know, or Black or for some people it’s like Black people don’t be a part of it. But there is something about them creating Mavis Beacon, her last name being beacon like beacon of hope. But like something about making her this, like, exceptional, excellent Black woman who took all of her brilliance and all of her um talent and said, what’s the best thing that I can do with this? Help a white company and help you all get into the same type of like capitalist capitalist um cult. Like that to me, is what’s interesting, because the people that you listed. Child I ain’t about to get invited to nobody’s parties but the people, the people that you listed. When I think about Barack Obama, when I think about Oprah, they sell us the same idea that we’re this brilliant, that we are this um that we worked this hard, that we went to these exceptional colleges and what is the best thing that we decided to do? Be a president. What’s the best thing we decided to do, get our own channel so um, everybody can watch us. What is the best thing we decide to do? Uh. Get on the airwaves. And even with Wendy Williams, she got absorbed into the cable, you know, television like monster as well. And they they know that. They know that something about taking our excellence and taking our um, taking our maybe talents for something and and making a it [?] the, the, the, the, the broader mainstream white cultural project. There’s something that happens to us psychologically. That’s the first thing that came to my mind. The second thing is this is a warning tale. Because this feels also, yes, this happened in the ’90s, but this feels very futurist. Because now when it comes to AI now when it comes to deep fakes, we know that Taylor Swift just had all those um, sexual deepfakes happen with her. Where this is Taylor Swift’s likeness being used to create pornographic images. We know that people more than ever are able, and companies more than ever, are able to make fake mascots. And this may be something that is not just this one off oh this is a weird thing that happened the ’90s, now all types of companies that understand the value of certain types of personhood, certain types of identities are able to create uh uh uh a person and create a mascot. And if you if we don’t want to research every single person or research every single brand ambassador or influencer because who got time for that, then we’ll before we know it, see oh, wow, that wasn’t a Black, queer, non-binary, androgynous person who has they/them pronouns. That was a series of codes. And they knew that this person that we just made up can actually sell more underwear. Sell more products then this other person and the whose and and although we were able to make this like 3D uh symbolism that everybody loves, this is still going towards um the same people who are always getting money. So yeah, this is a very interesting story to me. But also I think it’s a warning because I think that we’re only getting heavier into the, the, our capacity to do that. I don’t I don’t think that this is just this one off ’90s relic thing. I think that a lot of companies are going to able to do that. And, and last, last, last thing I’ll say is that I’ve seen fashion brands in particular already get in trouble for this. I seen a lot of fashion brands get called out for using models that were AI and people didn’t now. So it’s not just something that I think might happen. We’ve already seen this, but I think the something about her having a history and having a name and having a culture and a biography around her makes it even a little bit more haunting. Oh, that was good. That was interesting. Okay, so I’m short and sweet this week. Um. Because it is the 24th. So A.) y’all know I love a anniversary. I love uh, did you know this happened a few years ago? Because I think that our culture is so quick, and I also think that I’m very oh, with every song and Billboard song that I hear, I become more appreciative that I was born in ’91 and there was some bodies of work that A.) were terrific, but also lasted. You know, when I look, think about how long um, people are, were critiquing Beyonce or not even critiquing her, but talking about how Beyonce let an album ride for two years and I’m like, yeah, used to be able to let something ride for two years and tour it and a video came out two years after the release of the album, and they would still push it. And um, I this is the big, build up to the fact that it’s the 24th anniversary of D’Angelo’s Voodoo. The reason why I want to bring this to the podcast is not just because we loved the D’Angelo and D’Angelo was fine, and D’Angelo is was making great music, but also because D’Angelo changed music with that album. And D’Angelo really began to bring in different sounds. So when we listen to what was happening, a curse word now, but Diddy, what Diddy was making when we listened to the um bubble gonna pop. D’Angelo, along with [?] Clarence, like, um Erykah Badu and The Roots and um even like Goodie Mob, I will put into that cata– that category. And Jill Scott, of course, they were beginning to make music that sounded like the music that was in the ’70s, and they were able to kind of um, for lack of better words. Or maybe this is the perfect word, preserve a sound esthetic that was being attacked, was was as hip hop was become– getting out of the golden age and was getting more commercial as um R&B pop was being um, was becoming mainstream. But then [?] like with Brandy and a Monica, but was also being um pirated by Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears’ there were these groups of people, and D’Angelo was at the forefront of these people who were really preserving a sound esthetic and a point of view that I think is really important. And even when I think about artists like Maxwell and Raphael Saadiq and Amel Larrieux and Goapele um so I say all to say is I think it’s super important to um, to, to to recognize that. And then I guess the bigger thing that I wanted to point out, what was happening in culture now is I think that that is not absolutely happening in culture. Because Voodoo didn’t just come out, Voodoo was a successful. That’s what I always say about Erykah Badu, too. I’m like, Erykah Badu didn’t just come out? Erykah Badu came out and went platinum a few times and Lauryn Hill didn’t just come out. She came out and she won awards and went platinum a few times as well. And I always fear that there’s not this kind of deliberate preserving of certain sound esthetics and certain points of view in our current music. And I think when I think about albums that did this masterfully, I have to think about um, I have to think about D’Angelo. And I don’t want to totally discredit Millennial and Gen Z and current generations, because I did just go see Samara Joy at the Blue Note. And I think that is a young woman who was totally preserving a certain sound esthetic and point of view in this current um time. And I hope and pray that there are more and more people who not necessarily just mimic old jazz sounds, but care about the drum, care about the, things that are particularly African about what we brung to music and know that if we don’t preserve this point of view, then it’s just going to we’re just going to be left with this kind of very flat unimpressive, um uninvolving type of music that is just not good for the soul or the mind. So yeah, I wanted to bring to remind everybody about D’Angelo’s Voodoo this week. Um. If y’all have any D’Angelo memories, because, you know, I was just a young thing, um with D’Angelo. But I will say with keeping it very PG. But that was my that was my awakening. That was my awakening. [laughter] I don’t know if y’all didn’t know this, but I’m I’m not straight. I’m not straight. And D’Angelo has solidified that for me. [laughing] So shout out to D’Angelo with that untitled video. 

 

Kaya Henderson: That that was worth the price of admission honey. Oh my God, I learned so much. I learned so much. The Awakening. Yes. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Yes. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Yes. Yes. I mean, you cannot talk about this album without talking about not just how do you feel? I think the real title is Untitled, but like that video changed video-dom. Uh. Period. The end. Uh. And I read because, you know, I was like, okay, let me read something about more than what I know, which is I loved the video too. Um. But, I what I read was he became so uncomfortable. Well, like, he’s such a musician and was dedicated to musicianship and plays multiple instruments and, you know, really wanted to be Prince-ish in, in his, in his artistry and became so disillusioned and disappointed that that video cast him more into sex symbol-dom than into the sort of music um iconography that he wanted, that he ended up really sliding after that album, um into alcoholism and depression and drug abuse and had a really rough time out of that album, because as much as heralded is as heralded as it was and how much of a star it made him, it was not who he wanted to be in the musical world. And it reminded me that all celebrity ain’t good celebrity, um that you know who you want to be as an artist is not always controlled by you and is controlled by the people who want to make money or who want to sell a particular image. And so while that image has resonance and endures for us, it is actually a point of pain for him. Um. And so I thought that was a really interesting thing, um to remember. I mean, he’s such an amazing artist. I saw him, um D’Angelo and and, uh the Black Messiah. Is that the name of the new of the latest iteration? 

 

Myles E. Johnson: The Black Messiah. Yeah. 

 

Kaya Henderson: I saw I saw him in concert with the Black Messiah and the musicianship of this dude. I mean, he played different instruments. He pulled all kinds of ’70s soul and funk. Like, what he his music is, is different. It it’s just different. And it’s different in a way that resonates with who we have been. But there is also a futuristic feel to it. So it connects the old and a new like, I don’t know where this cat is right now, but we need some more of that is all I will say. And thank you for bringing a, um a very like, like, this was a good time in Black music. Um. This was a good time. And thank you for reminding us of it. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: I also don’t know why I claimed D’Angelo as a D.C. person. He’s from Richmond, [laughter] but– 

 

Kaya Henderson: He’s from Richmond. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: So during [laughter] but this was but, man, I got to do something about my city. But growing up in D.C. in the ’90s, there was so much music everywhere. And D’Angelo, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, they would always do almost like a festival at Post Merriweather Pavilion. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Merriweather Post Pavilion. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Exactly. And I would go, everyone would go, everyone would go. And then it was also just infused with like, it still felt like Marvin Gaye. It felt like earth, wind and fire. It felt like Maze and Frankie Beverly, just like this genre. And it also was then punctuated by Chuck Brown and Rare Essence and a bunch of D.C. Go-Go bands. So it just was like. In the ’90s just Black music every where. So that’s my memory, really, Myles, is that it just was, you know, because it was also like. It was this. But then we’re coming off of like for me, growing up, coming off of like in the ’80s, Janet Jackson and Another Bad creation and New Edition and like, it just was always vibing and I feel like we had so many more spaces for all of that to happen. So shout out to D’Angelo. I’m just making you from southeast DC, or at least your honorary. So we appreciate you. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: Kaya. I didn’t know that he spiraled after this. I didn’t know that that that it impacted him very differently than the way that it sat with so many people. And such an interesting commentary on how your best thing is not yours when you put it out. You know, like even when it is amazing and incredible, you can only hope that people do with it what you want to be done with it, and sometimes they do something else with it. Um. So that is really I’m gonna I’m gonna go read about that after this. [music break] Well that’s it. Thanks so much for tuning in to Pod Save the People this week. Tell your friends to check it out and make sure you rate it wherever you get your podcasts. Whether it’s Apple podcasts or somewhere else. And we’ll see you next week. Pod Save the People is a production of Crooked Media. It’s produced by AJ Moultrié and mixed by Evan Sutton. Executive produced by me and special thanks to our weekly contributors Kaya Henderson, De’Ara Balenger and Myles E. Johnson. [music break]