We Have a Dream (with SuChin Pak & Kulap Vilaysack) | Crooked Media
SEE POD SAVE AMERICA, LOVETT OR LEAVE IT & STRICT SCRUTINY LIVE SEE POD SAVE AMERICA, LOVETT OR LEAVE IT & STRICT SCRUTINY LIVE
January 19, 2021
Pod Save The People
We Have a Dream (with SuChin Pak & Kulap Vilaysack)

In This Episode

DeRay, De’Ara, Sam, and Kaya dive into the underreported news of the week, including male friendships, D.C. statehood, locked Bitcoin, and the documentary “MLK/FBI”. Netta Elzie gives updates on what’s happening with the nationwide protests. DeRay sits down with SuChin Pak Kulap Vilaysack, of the Lemonada podcast “Add to Cart”, to discuss the political and emotional effects of being a consumer.
Transcript:

2021.01.19.PSTP.WeHaveADream.Edit1.mp3

DeRay [00:00:01] Hey, this is DeRay, and welcome to Pod Save the People in this episode, it’s me, Sam, Kaya and De’Ara, as usual, talking about the news that you don’t know from the past week. Then Netta joins us to talk about what’s happening with the protests. And then I sit down with the hosts of the new Lemonada podcast, Add to Cart, SuChin and Kulab, to talk about what we agreed to when We consume both products and ideas. My advice to the week is about the current political climate. And you heard our forever First Lady say when they go low, we go high.

DeRay [00:00:34] And the way I always thought about that is that when they go low, we go high as in we go high to our values. We go back to the things that called us to work. We go to our core beliefs about why we do what we do. And that helps us fight harder than we’ve ever fought before. ‘When they go low, we go high’ doesn’t mean that we take some metaphorical, you know, passive stance. It means that we fight like everything is on the line. We go back to the things that called us to the work. So I’d say take this week to remember why you started to do this work, why you believe in justice. Go back to those things because as we start a new administration, we’ll need to be rooted in our values like we’ve never been before.

De’Ara [00:01:17] Family, family.

De’Ara [00:01:20] Welcome to another episode of Pod Save the People. I am De’Ara Balenger. You can find me, if you’d like, on Twitter and Instagram @DeAraBalenger.

Sam [00:01:30] I’m Sam Sinyangwe @samswey Twitter.

DeRay [00:01:32] And this is DeRay @deray on Twitter.

De’Ara [00:01:34] So many things to talk about. I mean, it is Martin Luther the King Jr. weekend. Inauguration coming shortly imminently.

De’Ara [00:01:47] Lots of things to talk about. I mean, I think it’s getting harder and harder for me to hold those two thoughts in my head.

De’Ara [00:01:52] The fact that it’s MLK weekend and that inauguration is finally here. Since there’s so many unknowns around inauguration, hopefully it goes on peacefully and there’s a peaceful transition, but there’s a lot of intelligence telling folks otherwise. D.C. basically on complete lockdown. Also just you know, it’s still covid. We still have, you know, hundreds of thousands of people that have died and more potential deaths. So I think inauguration, in spite of all these things, it’s just yes, it’s it’s definitely positive. But I think still a lot of unknowns here. I’m also in Tulsa, everybody.

De’Ara [00:02:27] And so I think just given that it’s 100 years since the 1921 massacre and just what I’ve seen since I’ve been here, I’m in a mood, I must say. So you better have to bear with me. You know, a reckoning is a long time coming.

De’Ara [00:02:44] And so I am still hopeful that this administration will bring along some change.

De’Ara [00:02:48] But I am thinking more and more that it is going to take us, the people, the collective to to move us where we really want to be. And hopefully we get there in my lifetime.

DeRay [00:02:56] You know, it’s I keep looking at the inauguration and a part of me is like, if you got to shut down all of D.C. to do it, maybe we should just put it somewhere else.

De’Ara [00:03:06] But Shutting it down to do it.

De’Ara [00:03:07] And it’s on the Internet. That’s why I’m just like it’s not even like the typical we’re going to do all these things and the parade and then this and the that. It’s like this man, they’re being sworn in on the steps of the Capitol. That’s it. That’s it. Aretha Franklin ain’t singing Roxane Gay ain’t going to do a poem. It’s not.

DeRay [00:03:25] Yeah, it just is really. And it’s one of those things where, like I mean, obviously we’re like, can you trust the police? Probably not.

DeRay [00:03:32] You can’t trust the FBI like all of the Secret Service. They’ve all been on this game, Biden So it’s like y’all are trying to keep Trump’s people as far away as possible. Mind you, Trump is stealing artifacts from the White House. That picture of them taking the bust of Lincoln just straight out the front door of the White House is amazing. And it’s like, you know, I don’t know when because the Biden team probably isn’t going to leak it. But I want to know, like the first week story, like what was did they take all the doorknobs? Did they, like, delete all the files from the. I know these people are going to do some dastardly. So that’s the first thing. The second thing is, is I keep thinking about the vaccines is, you know, as they open it to be more people.

DeRay [00:04:14] So, you know, phase one and a lot of places, hospitals and it’s elderly and teachers and then it’ll be sort of preexisting conditions. I think it would be interesting to see like what that becomes, especially with the new strain. Will you need to get two vaccines for the new strain I like. How will that be? Will people take it? Will it will CVS turn out to be. Or Duane Reade and Rite Aid and the Dollar Store turn out to be the great relief? Or will it take the National Guard setting up vaccination stations?

DeRay [00:04:41] And the last thing is I’m interested to see to how we overcome the pandemic when we finally have just strong leadership, like when the governors, like Trump is still lying to the governors about the vaccine distribution at the very least. And to just think about how easy we might recover given like that, we’ll just be smart people in the governor again, it’s actually pretty refreshing and De’Ara, you know this because you were in the government and Sam, you worked with the people on the Obama team, as we all did, is that I think in so many ways the Obama staffers were like, wow, look at the young people in really cool jobs and. And now those people are older and actually and a lot of them, we know them, are coming back in the Biden administration. And we’re like, wow, I remember sitting at a table with you. I remember when you did that. And that actually is sort of cool to watch it happen. Like, I think about I think about some of the recent appointments. And I’m like, I saw you grow up over the past four years and now you’re like the deputy director of so-and-so. And it’s like that actually makes me feel good.

Sam [00:05:35] So, you know, seeing the first sort of round of the vaccine beginning to get distributed is cool. And seeing that the headlines around California and they’re opening up stadiums now for folks who are, I think, 65 and older to get the vaccine, you know, I’m reminded that there is so much that has to be done in terms of coordination to actually make sure that enough people are vaccinated to deal with this crisis. So it’s not one dose, but two. Right. So then the second dose, like there’s been a lot of conversation around, like where all the second doses will people get them in time for them to be administered in a way that actually can protect people? How are we tracking these? I mean, the vaccines have to be stored at something like negative, like 90 degrees Fahrenheit, some wild temperature that is really difficult. You have to get, you know, specialized equipment for, CVS and Duane Reade has to have that equipment. So there’s like so much logistically that needs to happen in order for this vaccine strategy to work. And that’s not even getting to the political barriers. The fact that so many people don’t want to take the vaccine, aren’t comfortable taking the vaccine. The what I worry about now, as you know, the Biden Harris administration comes in is the interplay between the federal government and state and local governments, particularly Republican state and local governments, that, you know, might see it as a politically convenient thing to do, to say bad things about the vaccine or to refuse the Biden administration’s help mean we saw a lot of that under the Obama administration around health care. And I worry about now that it’s not Trump sort of trying to take credit for the vaccine, what happens to Republicans and their potential resistance to a refusal to participate in that coordination that’s necessary. So, you know, I think there’s a lot of potential that it’s great that the vaccine is getting administered, but we’ve got a whole lot of work left to do.

De’Ara [00:07:16] All right ya’ll. So, my news is essentially a review. It’s in The New York Times. It’s about Sam Pollard’s documentary, MLK, FBI.

De’Ara [00:07:27] I’m just on a roll. You know, I watched this film before I got on the plane to Tulsa. I don’t know why I chose to watch it this particular weekend, but just given it was MLK weekend and I’d read so much about it.

De’Ara [00:07:40] I’m also just a fan of Sam Pollard’s work. And so if you don’t know about him, please check out his catalog. I mean, it goes from Eyes on the Prize to the documentary, The Four Little Girls, he had a documentary on Jim Brown. He did that documentary on Atlanta’s missing children. I don’t know if you all saw that one. And he also is an executive producer for Tiger’s documentary, which is out right now on HBO

De’Ara [00:08:02] Max, that I watched the first episode of that, which is really fascinating. But this documentary really digs into, you know, Hoover’s really bizarre and maniacal fascination with MLK. I knew and, you know, kind of read and studied that MLK had been surveilled. And it’s mostly between the march on Washington until his assassination. But I didn’t understand the degree to which he was actually surveilled by the FBI at the direction of Hoover. Phones tapped, you know, hotels bugged. Everything you can think of that was technologically possible at that time. And a lot of it was centered on MLK’s infidelities. Right. And some of it may be true. Some of it may not be true.

De’Ara [00:08:53] We really won’t know until these tapes that are really the center of this documentary, some of the papers and the communication has been released, but the actual recordings of MLK won’t be released until 2027.

De’Ara [00:09:07] But anyhow, it’s just really fascinating to learn more about Hoover’s intention of really bringing MLK down and just went to such great lengths to do so and was unsuccessful with this particular effort. The other thing that I didn’t know that was fascinating that the documentary taught me, and this is spoiler alert, but MLK was actually being surveilled on the day he was assassinated, like the FBI were actually on site at the Lorraine Motel, which is wild to think about because they could have intervened. The efforts that were going into surveilling him actually could have been used to protect him. And I think that really I think I’m still sitting with that and still processing that because as I think about and process this documentary and also consulting on Judas and the Black Messiah and understanding the surveillance that went into surveillance and ultimate assassination of Fred Hampton Jr.. And then just also, you know, folks folks in the movement who are continually surveilled and targeted by the state, you know, I think it’s just an understanding that folks who made a difference in my life and continue to do so today, you know, folks that we’ve lost, but also folks who are living and breathing and active in the movement today are in danger.

De’Ara [00:10:33] It’s traumatic. It’s sad. It’s all these things because it’s like I couldn’t live the life that I want to live. I couldn’t live a liberated life without the sacrifices that other folks are making.

De’Ara [00:10:42] And so I think it just, you know, really pressed upon me what more I could be doing. But yeah.

De’Ara [00:10:48] But just wanted to bring it to the pod because I think the story of MLK has been told in so many ways. But I think this particular way really spoke to me and really uncovered such a connectivity to what’s going on right now that I just wanted to share.

Sam [00:11:01] So it was really wild reading this article in particular in the context of what we have just seen happen at the Capitol and the white supremacist terrorism that we’re seeing all across the country, that they’ve now I need thousands of military troops in D.C. to defend against.

Sam [00:11:17] And I’m like reminded that the FBI has poured money into going all the way back to the 60s, poured money into surveilling, intimidating, tracking every single movement of black organizers and activists leading all the way up to the present day, leading up to, you know, reports that came out that we’ve talked about on the part of them creating a special category for a black identity extremism, they call it, and devoting resources to surveilling activists within the movement. That sort of a double standard or the difference in approach between the FBI’s approach to black people literally organizing for liberation peacefully and, you know, white supremacists who are posting online weeks in advance that they have got all these guns and they’re going to go to the Capitol and start an insurrection. And like no FBI agents showed up at their door like there wasn’t any attempt to stop them from actually going, like they were able to get on the plane and board the plane. They weren’t, you know, agents following them. Like none of that stuff happened. They just walked right in. Right. And so, you know, it’s wild. And I worry that, like, as we start to talk about the Biden Harris administration and, you know, thinking about domestic terrorism and whether we need new laws for it or what the FBI should be doing differently, like we can’t have the same people responsible for our strategy at combating white supremacist terrorism, who themselves have participated in allowing, enabling and in many cases reinforcing existing systems of white supremacy and surveillance against black organizers and activists. And so, like, we need to change up who is in those positions. First of all, we need to change up where the government is putting its resources and the tools that it’s using. When we’re thinking about whether the FBI is prioritizing a focus on, you know, people who are organizing for liberation or a focus on people who are trying to come into the capital and overthrow the government.

Sam [00:13:11] There’s a lot that is extremely relevant to the moment that we’re in now to the decisions that have to be made, you know, immediately in this next administration to hopefully change our approach to what is considered a threat to national security, what is considered something that the, you know, the FBI should actually intervene in and stop. And and what is actually quite necessary in terms of us realizing a goal of equity in our society.

DeRay [00:13:38] So people should definitely watch the documentary. It feels it’s so interesting to think that we’re still learning new stuff, like that’s wild. And when the documents get released in 2027, I think it’s like, can you trust the FBI?

DeRay [00:13:51] Right. Like know they can say they found the King poisoned people at dinners and I’d be like, man, I really, you know, like it. It’s one of those things where you’re like, you might show me a video of it happening. And I’d be like, they made up the video, like they went so hard against him that it’s like, who knows what is true and what’s not true.

DeRay [00:14:09] So like that is that’s also interesting, I think about that. It makes me think about the new Fred Hampton, William Oneal movie, too, like, you know, I didn’t know there’s all this stuff about what I didn’t really know about William O’Neil and, you know, his relationship to law enforcement. So I think that this conversation about law enforcement’s relationship with movement seems to be like a twenty, twenty one theme. And trying to think about what have they done in the past six years is probably fascinating to think about one. You know, I was labeled as like a high risk by that firm in Baltimore during the during the protest there. And like, that was weird and bizarre and and interesting. The second thing I’ll say is just echoing what Sam said about like they had all these if they had the resources to do that to one person way back when before they was like cell phones, then they got to have.

DeRay [00:14:59] Better technology than I got today, and all I’m white supremacists just walked into the Capitol like, you know, slamming into Pelosi’s desk in the new videos that are coming out about the Capitol or even what like white people really did just walk in and filmed themselves destroying the Capitol. And we’re like, we’re going home and took pictures of it. You’re like, that’s its own thing. The third thing, though, is to me, I’m always interested in how much we police the crimes of poor people and justice work and the wealthiest people in society do the most heinous stuff.

DeRay [00:15:38] And not only do we allow them to do it without paying taxes, but then when they make huge errors that like ruined people’s generational aspirations, we’re like, that was a mistake and let us pass a bill to correct it. What?! Like that is sort of fascinating to me. So when I think about the IRS, I want them I want a whole I want half the IRS to be focused on white collar crime. I want to take all these people committing tax fraud, I want them out of here because, you know, when we get all that money back, we’ll be paying for Medicare For All, health care for everybody. We’ll call it call it whatever you want. We’ll be giving people checks just because they’re alive, not because they prove that they’re worthy of something. That is the last thing I’ll say. This is an aside, has nothing to do with the FBI. But seeing people online be big haters about people making fifteen dollars an hour has really taken me to a new level. People being like, wow, I don’t think people have McDonalds. You’re like, why do you care people make fifteen dollars an hour? Why should there’s still no money. That’s still thirty-ish thousand dollars.

DeRay [00:16:39] I mean, it’s not like people are becoming millionaires or fifteen dollars an hour, but to see people be just such a big haters about it was, was surprising in some way again ain’t got nothing to do with the FBI. But on my mind.

De’Ara [00:16:51] Well it was interesting too from the documentary because Hoover was quoted saying that, you know, the most dangerous thing in America was the perseverance or the growing of a Black Messiah. And the fear was that they would take over the Capitol, which was wild to me because I don’t know, we haven’t taken over Capitol, maybe in Oakland, the Black Panther Party did a time or two. But, you know, I just feel like to see all the fear mongering and what we need to actually be scared of is what happened on January 6th is just the wild thing. That’s what’s wild.

Sam [00:17:28] So much of this is projection, right? So the things that they are, as you said, are the things that they are imagining black people are going to do are exactly the things that actually like white supremacists have been organizing to like take over the Capitol, have been organizing to overthrow the government, like have been organizing to use violence quite explicitly, like as a tool of terrorism to change sort of the political calculus in this country. And despite all of that, like the FBI does, they’re not investing in, you know, how do we stop that? Like, that is not their their M.O. It’s not what they’ve been doing over the past six years, clearly, because they just allowed people to walk right into the Capitol and fulfill those sort of sick fantasies. Right. And so, again, it’s I’m reminded and, you know, this goes all the way back to, you know, 2016.

Sam [00:18:14] I remember, you know, a number of organizers and activists within the movement were visited by the FBI, were questioned by the FBI over like a conspiracy theory on like white supremacists, you know, media outlets and far right blogs that people were going to come in and stop the nomination of Donald Trump and force Obama to declare martial law and like basically take over the government, which is like basically what the white supremacists just tried to do. Right. Like they literally tried to do that. No FBI agent showed up at their door. They were like telegraphing it for miles, like weeks in advance with guns in the photos, like all of that. And like they didn’t get a single visit, like they didn’t get stopped at all. And yet, like black organizers, you could have like somebody put out a tweet suggesting that that might happen. And all of a sudden the FBI is like encircling entire communities to surveil.

Sam [00:19:05] So it’s wild. You know, this is continuous as recent history, just as much as it reflects a historical legacy that we’ve seen time and time again.

DeRay [00:19:12] I just want to say, Sam, Sam isn’t saying that the FBI visited his house. They did. They visited my house.

Sam [00:19:19] They did. They did. They did.

DeRay [00:19:20] And they visited Netta’s House. So, like, this is not an abstraction to us. This is real.

De’Ara [00:19:26] Exactly. And I but I think the thing that, like I want folks to understand is that the level of self-sacrifice that that takes to put yourself in that position is great. The benefit that I get and others get from that is also great because it’s because you all do what you do.

De’Ara [00:19:47] There are other folks like myself that get to walk into rooms that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to walk into. Now I get to snap it on people and talking crazy once I get in there. But, you know, it’s just it’s connected. So I just I don’t know. I don’t know if we keep that in or whatever we’re doing with that. But I think it’s important for people to understand. I think it also helps people bring it into the present, like the shit is happening right now and it’s happening to people that you know and that you can name.

Sam [00:20:11] So my news is about Bitcoin.

Sam [00:20:16] So Bitcoin, you know, you probably know like that one friend who is always trying to get you to buy Bitcoin and saying it’s a great thing, you’re going to make a lot of money. It turns out that, you know, it’s been up and down over the years. This past year, Bitcoin has increased in value by some like 300 percent, although it recently dropped a little bit. I came across an article that just like blew my mind. And this article was about people who were early investors who bought Bitcoin early when they weren’t worth anything and now have amassed a huge fortune. Now that the value of Bitcoin has gone up hundreds of thousands, in some cases millions, tens, even hundreds of millions of dollars in their digital wallets. But the catch is they forgot the password to be able to access the money. So Bitcoin is different than a lot of other investments that you might make in the sense that it is decentralized. There’s not like a person who you can call for customer service if you forget your password. There’s not like a company that you can go to that controls all the Bitcoin. It can help you sort out whatever needs you have for technical support. It is completely decentralized and online. And what that means is that if you forget the password, you get a couple of attempts to figure it out. And if you can’t figure it out and those attempts, you get locked out of your account and out of your money. And so in this article, there were a number of people that they talked to, one of whom had over 200 million dollars in that account, had tried over the years to guess the password was coming down to their last guess. And I just couldn’t like like reading the story. Like, I didn’t realize that there were like people walking around who had technically hundreds of millions of dollars in investments that. They were one password away from accessing, but had no way of figuring out that password and accessing that money, so I thought that that was sort of wild. The other thing is that this is a huge, huge market for companies that try that, like security companies that try to unlock people’s passwords. They’re making a whole lot of money and getting a whole lot of requests from people. But but again, like this is a whole market.

Sam [00:22:32] A lot of people have made a lot of money with Bitcoin, but some of those people, at least 20 percent of all money in Bitcoin is either lost or is in a digital wallet that can no longer be accessed. One hundred and forty billion dollars is just sort of lost. So, you know, we think that money is real, but a lot of it is like literally up in the air and people are one password away from millions but are sort of tearing the hair out, trying to figure out that password.

DeRay [00:23:02] One of the things that I think is interesting is like the dot that you can have that’s really some disposable income to just put money away and forget the password is some real. I’m not that’s that is a level to be at that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. The other thing, though, is this is an aside about Bitcoin is that Iran is having massive blackouts right now and is blaming it on the Bitcoin mining, that bitcoin requires a lot of computers to to like do the algorithms to keep it secure. And the government is like they’re breaking the electricity grid in Iran, which is why they’re blackouts. And I was like I hadn’t even thought that the government would blame, I don’t know, Bitcoin on massive blackouts like that was sort of interesting. But hopefully on the pod, we’re going to get a Bitcoin expert to talk about Bitcoin. I’m interested. You know, people talk about it as a replacement for banks and secure.

DeRay [00:23:59] But these people losing their passwords is enough for me to be like I think I’m to go with the bank. That to me is like I think the bank might be my option for now until I can figure out how not to have something like this happen.

DeRay [00:24:11] Sam, so I’m happy you brought it. It’s leading me to go learn some stuff. So my news, this is so this is interesting to me. I don’t know how I stumbled across this article about men in friendship, this idea that there is a friendship crisis among men in that there’s a study that came out in the early 2000s about men and friendship and that led to all these conversations. And somehow I stumbled across this. Essentially, what they’re trying to sort of push into is this idea of bromance and and like that men have all these incredible relationships with each other and that and I and there were a lot of things that I thought were interesting. One is that men really struggled to maintain friendships with people and that men tend to bond around experiences, not necessarily their feelings. So there was another study that showed that in a survey, almost 80 percent of men’s relationships were around sports, for instance, which was interesting. And the 2006 analysis that was published in the American Sociological Review, they found that Americans generally have fewer friends outside the family than they used to in that young, white, educated men have lost more friends in other groups. The study that I talked about, Geoffrey, Professor Greif at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, who wrote a book about male friendship. He surveyed hundreds of men about how often they socialize with friends, and about 80 percent said it was sports either watching or participating. There are people writing now about what happens with the pandemic when there are no game days. This article talks about no game days, no bars, and people are actually having to think about what friendship means and that men are just, you know, the isolation is actually deadly in some ways. Is that in twenty eighteen, the suicide rate among men was three times higher than among women. And the research shows that men are less likely to admit that they’re lonely than women are. While other research suggests men derive more of their emotional intimacy from the women in their lives. And in another study, married men were more likely than married women to list their spouse as their best friend. It was just interesting to think about. We talked about before the unintended consequences of the pandemic, but also just the consequences of loneliness or the lack of friendship. And, you know, there are consequences. So social isolation weakens our immune system and makes us susceptible to diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and death. You know, so I’ll stop there. But just really interesting research about boys and men. There’s a whole nother study about adolescent boys and friendship. So I wanted to bring it to the pod.

Sam [00:26:49] Yeah. I mean, this was really spot on and he caused a lot of reflection for me as I’m thinking back, you know, so much of the past, I don’t know, year that we’ve been under quarantine, like, I can count on one hand, like the number of like friends that I have, like, legitimately hung out with probably like two or three people, right? And I think that that is it’s tough, like in the context of a pandemic, I think of a lot of like even my relatives and some of my friends who like they are in some cases, some of them are.

Sam [00:27:22] But breaking quarantine till I go to a game just to be like with friends. And I’m like, why are what are you doing at the game? Like, I even know they’re having, like, football games anymore. And they’re like, well, like, you know, I wanted to go hang out with friends and and see each other in a while. And I’m like, well, that’s not worth it.

Sam [00:27:36] But I sort of get like the impulse and the sense of isolation and the feeling that there needs to be a level of connectedness that in many cases has, you know, dropped off because of the quarantine, because of social distancing, which sort of has built on some of these trends that have been around for a while. So it is really tough. And part of part of reading this, what was interesting about it was there’s like a whole research literature around this, right? Like this is like there is a professor and like this is what that professor does, like studies, male friendships and like how these relationships are formed and how they’re sustained and like trends over time. And like that’s a whole, like body of of work that I’m like not familiar with, but is obviously like deeply relevant and connected to, like my lived experience and and a lot of men’s lives experience. And so I think definitely, you know, this is one of those articles that piqued my interest that I want to learn more about the context, because part of this is like the feeling of isolation, feeling that you’re alone. Part of it is realizing that, like a lot of us feel that way. And not only that, but I think that there are some broader sort of cultural currents that we need, like as men, to push back on this idea that, like, we can’t talk about our feelings. And like, the only time that we can really hang out is like talk about sports. Like that is not healthy. So I think that there are like a set of like behaviors and trends that that are exacerbating now under the pandemic that like we need to name learn about like study the research, learn about how do we break out of that, how do we do it safely. So we’re not like going to events that could be dangerous in the context of covid, but definitely something that I’m interested in learning more about.

Kaya [00:29:07] My news is about D.C. statehood. As a resident of Washington, D.C., this is an important issue to me. And the insurrection on January 6th has brought a whole new conversation to light around statehood. In fact, leaders from more than 60 civil rights, labor, racial justice and progressive organizations issued a statement on Friday urging soon to be President Biden to fast track D.C. statehood in response to the insurrection on January the 6th. They cite the district’s inability to deploy the National Guard, because it’s not a state as the reason why elected officials and others were endangered at the Capitol. The statement also asserts the lack of statehood is rooted in white supremacy and that the lack of representation for nearly a half a million Washingtonians of color is one of the worst cases of voter suppression in our country. The list includes organizations like the NAACP, the National Black Justice Coalition, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, the two largest teachers union, the UFCW, Fair Fight Action, MoveOn march for our lives, the Sierra Club, Voto Latino and more. Many Americans don’t realize that the seven hundred and twelve thousand residents of D.C. don’t have representation in Congress. D.C. residents pay the highest per capita federal income tax in the United States, more than 22 other states. But we have no say over how those tax dollars are spent. The fact that D.C. has no voice in the Capitol and no autonomy to defend its own streets without federal approval was made evident to the world during the insurrection and is reigniting the push for D.C. statehood. A July 2019 Gallup poll found that only 29 percent of Americans were supportive of D.C. statehood. But as of last year, polling is up, showing 43 percent supporting statehood. Most Republicans approve statehood for D.C. because it’s a Democratic leaning city with more than 75 percent registered Democrats. The district has also voted Democratic in every presidential election, in fact would statehood would likely mean two Democratic senators and a Democratic House representative. For years, progressive organizations and federal employees unions have pushed for statehood. In fact, statehood bills have been introduced every year since 1965. But maybe 2021 will have a different outcome.

DeRay [00:31:38] Don’t go anywhere more, Pod Save the People’s coming.  Pod Save the People is brought to you by Babbel.  Que tal?  In case you don’t speak Spanish, that means how are you?

DeRay [00:31:48] And I just learned it from Babbel, the number one selling language learning app. One of my goals for the New Year was to learn new language and babble has made the whole process both fun and easy with nite sized lessons that you’ll actually use in the real world. I didn’t pay enough attention in high school Spanish classes and I’m making up for lost time.

Kaya [00:32:04] I. I used to teach Spanish, but, you know, when you don’t practice it, you lose it and so Babbel’s 15 minute lessons make it the perfect way to learn a new language or strengthen your existing one on the go. Unlike the infamous language classes you took in high school, Babbel designs their courses with practical, real world conversations in mind, things you’ll get to use in everyday life.

DeRay [00:32:26] Now, how amazing is it? Did you know that Kaya was a Spanish teacher? BOOM! Oother language learning apps use I for their lesson plans. But Babbel lessons were created by over 100 language experts. Their teaching math has been scientifically proven to be effective. And with Babbel you can choose a 14 different languages, including Spanish, French, Italian and German. Plus Babbel’sSpeech recognition technology helps you to improve your pronunciation and accent.

Kaya [00:32:50] Start your new language learning journey today with Babbel. Right now, when you purchase a three month Babbel subscription, you’ll get an additional three months for free. That’s six months for the price of three. Just go to Babbel.com and use promo code PSTP.

Kaya [00:33:03] That’s BABBEL.com code steep for an extra three months free. Babbel, language for life.

DeRay [00:33:12] This episode of Pod Save the People is brought to you by Magic Spoon. So I loved cereal growing up. I still love cereal, big city fan who said cereal is only for breakfast. You should eat cereal whenever you want. But the problem is a lot of this year I grew up eating was just a lot of sugar. I mean it was like probably shouldn’t be having this often. And I’ve been trying to cut down on carbs, sugar and unhealthy food as we go into the New Year while also keeping my love of cereal. And that’s where Magic Spoon comes in with all the flavors you love, but without the bad stuff.

Kaya [00:33:41] Zero sugar, eleven grams of protein and only three grams of carbs in each serving. So many of you have asked and now you can finally build your very own custom variety box. You can choose from the best selling cocoa, fruity, frosted and blueberry flavors, plus brand new flavors like peanut butter and cinnamon. It tastes amazing. Honestly, too good to be true.

Kaya [00:34:03] It’s keto friendly, gluten free, grain free, soy free, low carb and GMO free.

DeRay [00:34:09] Go to Magic Food that comes as people to grab a variety pack and try today and be sure to use our promo code, PEOPLE at checkout to save five dollars off your order. And Magic Spoon is so confident in the product that it’s back with the one hundred percent happiness guarantee. So if you don’t like it for any reason that refund your money, no questions asked.

Kaya [00:34:26] That’s MagicSpoon.com/PEOPLE a nd use the code, PEOPLE to save five dollars off, we thank Magic Spoon for sponsoring this podcast.

DeRay [00:34:38] And now, a check in with Johnetta Elzie as she gives us an update on what’s happening with the protests.

Netta [00:34:42] Hey, what’s up, everybody? It’s me Netta and thanks for tuning back in. Things are still tense as we wait for whatever else is planned to happen at the Capitol this week besides an actual inauguration of the 46th president. With the city itself shutting down, closing off sections of neighborhoods and the metro to attempt to keep the public safe from potential threats.

Netta [00:35:04] I just keep asking myself, why on earth did I move back to D.C.? Whoa. So before moving back east, another option was going to spend time in San Diego with a good friend of mine to rest after the semester had ended.

Netta [00:35:18] And thinking logically, I wanted to be near a majority of my friends just in case anything ever happened. And I was missing that bigger community vibe. I found myself back in D.C. and wow, in the words of future in Drake, what a time to be alive. What does it mean when every day of your life features an unprecedented event every day? So in puppy dog news, Sage met her new cousin, Ivy, a sweet little German Shepherd puppy. The two roughhoused. And it was actually amazing to see little Sage be the responsible one in a duo for once. So shout out to my friend Camila and her dog Ivy. I also want to give a special thank you to Candace, Peyton, Clifton and Storm a few organizers from back home. I met Cliff as a teenager in 2014 during the Ferguson protest. Storm.

Netta [00:36:12] Candice, Dishanya, Peyton and others all came from this incredible organizing work from the Concerned Student 1950 movement at Mizzou. I really appreciate the call last week and I’m so honored that you all actually still listening to my little segment on here.

Netta [00:36:28] I love y’all. Thank you.

Netta [00:36:30] So I did an interview recently and the reporter asks me what gets me the most excited about my work. And you know me. I just told her the first thing that came to my mind, and that’s my favorite part about my work is talking to and reconnecting with and making new connections with organizers. It’s reconnecting with everyone who was doing the work that myself and so many others were doing in Ferguson in 2014 without even knowing that there was a job title that described the position itself. It’s having the ability to show up how I wished someone would have shown up for us back then.

Netta [00:37:06] So y’all know what time it is. Let’s get into the news.

Netta [00:37:11] Anybody remember the Oath Keepers that showed up in Ferguson in the St. Louis area back in 2014? On Christmas Eve that year, the police had just killed Antonio Martin in Berkeley, a suburb of St. Louis County. It was freezing outside. And along with the frozen winds and rain, the Oath Keepers popped up.

Netta [00:37:30] I posted a pic of two white men standing on top of an auto body shop that night onto Twitter. And in the photo, you see two white men masked wearing what seems to be tactical gear.

Netta [00:37:42] For so long, people were confused about who the Oath Keepers actually were. They could have been the police themselves. Back then, in the moment on the ground, we just didn’t know. The Oath Keepers who showed up to the protest that night in Berkeley have stated that they believe it is their job to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, which is similar to the oath that military and police take.

Netta [00:38:05] Many of them claim to actually be former military police and first responders.

Netta [00:38:11] So at the time, the police thought nothing of their coworkers and friends coming to the protest, the so-called Oath Keepers. There was no accountability or any real response from any local official regarding this bold act of pretending to have authority.

Netta [00:38:27] The Oath Keepers popped up again in St. Louis around the first anniversary of Mike Brown Jr. s death in twenty fifteen and before their most recent appearance at the Capitol. The last time we saw them was summer twenty twenty in Louisville during the uprising there after Breonnna Taylor’s murder.

Netta [00:38:43] So imagine my fake surprise when I saw that the Oath Keepers were back again, gallivanting all up and through DC. Of course, they were a part of the terrorist attack on the Capitol just a few weeks ago, not to go too deep into what they were doing there at the Capitol or why they had the audacity to feel they should be there.

Netta [00:39:03] Because the point is beyond this moment, let’s go back to when the Oath Keepers showed up in St. Louis and twenty fourteen and twenty fifteen.

Netta [00:39:11] If government officials took our complaints and concerns seriously about the white armed militia, hello, being present at protests as well as heavily armed police, maybe, just maybe this trained militia would not have led the charge during this treasonous act a few weeks ago here in DC. But then again, given the current administration.

Netta [00:39:35] They probably still would have. Nothing about forty five and his goons should have given us any hope that the domestic terrorist takeover was anything but welcomed and that the threats about violence were anything but ignored.

Netta [00:39:49] So this week, it’s also pretty wild that I watched a 12 minute video from inside the murderous riot at the Capitol from a reporter working for The New Yorker. I just couldn’t stop watching, though.

Netta [00:40:02] It was the arrogance of the moment for me, like the protection of whiteness is seen and felt throughout all 12 minutes.

Netta [00:40:11] There is a casual ease between the treasonist traders and the Capitol Police. This is beyond handling with kid gloves. This is beyond codling. I know everyone has said if they were black, they’d be dead.

Netta [00:40:25] But no, listen, for real. As someone who has had more nights than I can remember talking to God about next steps for my soul, if that night was indeed my last night on the planet and nearly seven years after the murder of Mike Brown Jr., I can say without a doubt for everything we saw in that video footage from The New Yorker, it would have been a bloodbath if it were black people leading the charge.

Netta [00:40:50] I watched it and replace each person in that video with black bodies in my mind and try to reimagine what this footage would have looked like if it was us. And just let me say, it would have been a massacre, a slaughter house.

Netta [00:41:05] It was triggering to watch so much white privilege on display, watching how much white privilege allows very grown people to literally be coddled like infants while they are sitting in Nancy Pelosi’s seat.

Netta [00:41:21] For years, black thinkers, writers, leaders have spoken in depth about the two Americas. Remembering summer twenty twenty and comparing it with just the first few weeks of this New Year.

Netta [00:41:33] Our examples are clear. As we go into this next week. I do hope that everyone is able to take care of themselves and take care of each other. Stay in community. Stay safe.

Netta [00:41:44] Talk to you next time.

DeRay [00:41:46] Hey, you’re listening to Pod Save the People. Don’t go anywhere.

DeRay [00:41:48] There’s more to come.  Pod Save the People is brought to you by Betterhelp. Now, what’s interfering with your happiness? We’re going into twenty, twenty one and we got to make sure that you have all the tools to make sure that this year is a year that works for you. I think about twenty twenty. We all barely you know, it feels like we eked out of that in twenty, twenty one. Feels like the thirteenth month. So I’m trying to make sure that we have as many tools as possible as we go for it. I know I certainly need some help.

Kaya [00:42:14] Betterhelp will assess your needs and match you with your own licensed professional therapist. You connect in a safe and private online environment and it’s so convenient you can start communicating in under 24 hours. It’s not self-help, it’s professional counseling.

DeRay [00:42:28] You can send a message to your counselor any time and you’ll get timely and thoughtful responses. Plus you can schedule weekly video or phone sessions, all without ever having to sit in an uncomfortable waiting room because Betterhelp is committed to facilitating amazing therapeutic matches. And you can have access to counselors when you need them. It’s more affordable than traditional offline counseling and financial aid is available and they serve you anywhere in the world.

Kaya [00:42:51] There’s a broad range of expertize available which may not be locally available in many areas. Licensed professional counselors who are specialists in depression, stress, anxiety, relationships, sleeping trauma, anger, family conflicts, LGBTQ matters, grief and self-esteem.

DeRay [00:43:11] Anything you share is confidential. It’s convenient, it’s professional, it’s affordable. And check out the testimonials posted daily on their site. It’s not a crisis line. It is there to help you get the resources you need. And in fact, so many of you will be using Betterhelp. They’re recruiting additional counselors in all 50 states.

Kaya [00:43:28] We want you to start living a happier life to day. As a listener. You’ll get ten percent off your first month by visiting our sponsor at Betterhelp.com/PEOPLE.  Join over one million people who have taken charge of their mental health. Again, that’s Betterhelp, HELP,.com/PEOPLE.

DeRay [00:43:47] Pod Save the People is brought to you by Nutrafol. Thirty million women are impacted by weakened or thinning hair. If you’re among them, know you’re not alone and that there’s a solution you can trust to deliver results.

Kaya [00:43:56] Thousands of women have taken back control of their hair with Nutrafol, with many users raving that the supplement not only transformed their hair, but restored their confidence too.  Nutrafol offers two targeted formulas for women that are clinically shown to improve hair growth and thickness with less shedding through all stages of life.

DeRay [00:44:15] Healthier hair growth takes time. You’ll begin to experience darker, stronger, faster growing hair in three to six months. And a clinical study. Eighty six percent of women reported improved hair growth after six months. More than 1500 top doctors recommend neutrophils an effective and high quality solution for healther hair.

Kaya [00:44:30] You can grow thicker, healthier hair and support our show by going to Nutrafol And using promo codes, SAVETHEPEOPLE and new customers will get 20 percent off. This is their best offer available anywhere, plus free shipping on every order. Get 20 percent off at Nutrafol.com spelled NUTRAFOL.com promo code SAVETHEPEOPLE.

DeRay [00:44:55] I’m sitting down with the hosts of the new podcast Add to Cart, SuChin Pak and Kulpa Vilaysack.  Add to Cart is funny, it’s sprawling. It’s a discussion of what it means to be a consumer in twenty twenty. It was a good conversation about what are the things that we buy. It’s a different conversation for the pod. I learned a lot. It was fun to talk to SuChin and Kulap and I want to share with you. Let’s go.

DeRay [00:45:15] SuChin and Kulap. Thanks so much for joining us on Pod Save the People.

SuChin Pak [00:45:18] Thank you for having us. This is an honor.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:45:20] And what a time to be on this particular podcast. May I just say. And may I address the elephant sitting in my lap?

DeRay [00:45:28] There’s a lot going on. So so there’s no shortage of things to talk about. Both of you are new podcast hosts. Shout out to you. Podcasting is much harder than people think it is. So shout out. But before we talk about the podcast that you have, let’s talk about why now. Let’s talk about what is the podcast about and what brought you to storytelling in this way. Both of you have had storytelling careers far longer than podcast land. So, like, why now? Like, what’s the what’s the thrust?

Kulap Vilaysack [00:46:01] I have a background in acting and improv with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, but it was podcasting that kind of helped me find my voice.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:46:10] So this is my tenth year of podcasting, a little long in the tooth in this world.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:46:17] But the podcast I did before it was called Who Charted on the Earwolf Network. It was really fun to do, but I was looking to talk more about things that I am interested and SuCh

Kulap Vilaysack [00:46:29] And I became friends through our work at Times Up Entertainment and just in our burgeoning friendship, I knew that we would have a really fun dynamic and this would be both a great way to explore the subject of the things that we buy into and also simply our friendship.

SuChin Pak [00:46:49] Yes, yeah. Well, the podcast is called Add to Cart, and it’s about all the things that we buy and then all the things we also buy into. So TV shows, concepts, philosophies, celebrity crushes. So, you know, like Kulap said, we had met working together at the Times Up organization. And so I think when we first sat down, we were like, oh, should we sort of do a version of that, you know, bring that to life and talk about Asian-American identity and women in the workplace and that kind of thing. And from there, I think, at least for me, I wanted to have a way to have all those complicated and layered conversations among the conversations about stupid shit that we talk about all the time. You know, I mean, face serum’s and why sometimes Amazon sucks and, you know, the shows are bingeing on, but also talk about identity politics and growing up in immigrant families and being Asian-American females in the media. So strangely, somehow talking about the things that we buy gets us to the heart of the matter. And so far, fingers crossed, it’s been a lot of fun. And I think what’s great is every episode, yeah, we talk about things that we buy, but that also can segway into where we are in our lives and what matters and what breaks our hearts and what brings us joy. So it’s been kind of, you know, a big emotional rollercoaster every episode.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:48:18] It’s very intimate. Yeah.

DeRay [00:48:21] And what is it like to talk about what we buy in this in such a weird context? Right. Like you’re so like, why consumerism in this moment? Yeah, I don’t know. What does that even look and feel like in a moment where people are definitely buying a lot, if not only because they’re stuck at home, people are cash strapped in a way that they haven’t been cash strapped in a long time. So, like, how do you think about consumerism in this moment?

Kulap Vilaysack [00:48:43] I mean, it certainly is one of one of the safest activities to do in terms of online shopping, to speak to what you were saying. It’s a dance. And I even bristle about like consumerism like that. It’s like because that almost makes me feel like, you know, it sounds like we’re a podcast about, like reviewing things and it’s dry and and it’s Consumer Reports, which is not my vibe at all.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:49:12] Yeah, I mean, that’s that’s such a great question.

SuChin Pak [00:49:14] I also think, too, though, for me it’s, you know, the kind of light bulb went off when we were talking about what type of show this is, because we were both like, well, we’re not going to do reviews and be consumer reporters. Like, that’s not you know, that’s not what’s interesting to us. What I think the concept of the Add to Cart is, is both what we buy, but also, like I had said, like all the things that we’re obsessed with, that we quote unquote add to our mental cartes, you know, so that add to cart phrases is a really big open space. But I also think just in talking about consumerism and right now, I sometimes feel like when the world is the most chaotic just to focus, my last search was on like I got curious about Japanese fermented soybeans called natto and I just like went down a rabbit hole of like, where could I get a jar of natto beans right now and try, you know what I mean? Like that little piece of of a half hour dove into something that I’m interested in buying, like for a moment, at least for me, just like stepped away from the chaos. And I also think we have these phones and these like gadgets and we’re always shopping. We have open carts, all of us, maybe dozens of open carts all over the Internets.

SuChin Pak [00:50:36] And technically, you’re currently shopping, you know, I mean, like, if you think about it, like these open carts, they’re in the process of somehow being removed or added to, you know, your final cart of, you know, processing payments. So there’s just it’s a confluence of a lot of those things. I think it’s technology. I think it’s an emotional kind of resonance and a way that we can control just the little things in our lives that we touch and feel and use in our daily lives.

SuChin Pak [00:51:10] It’s also like the Asian auntie in us, you know, like let me tell you about this hand cream. What do you use?

SuChin Pak [00:51:19] What is you know, we’re we’re we like to give advice where advice is unsolicited or unwanted and it’s in our genes.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:51:27] Yeah, we have a lot of opinions. I think also talking about this moment in time, it’s a it’s a way to support businesses that are hurting. It’s a way to endorse the practices and business practices of of companies and to end subsequently on the other side to not.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:51:45] Yeah, I think how we spend what finite resources we have is sort of its own sort of power.

SuChin Pak [00:51:54] Yeah.

DeRay [00:51:55] I want to ask you, too, and I know that, you know, this is a new podcast, which is the coolest part about it, because you get to build it and like do all this cool stuff in this moment. Give feedback is what how, if at all, has talking about shopping, I don’t know, change the way you thought about. I think about it for myself. Like, you know, racism this is the work I do, the police and the talking about every week is like a very different thing than like sitting in policy meetings and. And I’d love to know, like how he is talking about it, like, have you gotten feedback? And people are like, well I wish you said this. Or are you like, wow, we should probably talk about it this way because this is like the better. What has that been like?

Kulap Vilaysack [00:52:31] I think it makes me more mindful. I think initially, I mean, and I don’t know if this is a smart thing to do to talk about this, but, hey, why not?

Kulap Vilaysack [00:52:41] But like, you know, talking about Amazon, talking about my own habit of of leaning on that website and doing it, you know, I kind of like read articles about it. I know about sort of. Yeah, yeah.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:52:58] The practices certainly during covid for workers. But doing this podcast really paying attention and going past my own ease of being able to click on things immediately. Doing this podcast made me really sort of deep dove into what Amazon’s been doing for their workers during covid their practices as in regards to tracking what products work best on their website and them knocking it off and selling it for much cheaper. How Amazon has affected the consumer landscape.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:53:34] I mean, to think about the fact that Jeff Bezos has made more money during covid and not a little like Scrooge McDuck, multiple pools full of money. That’s it’s it’s the shortest answer to that question is I’m changing my habits because of it.

SuChin Pak [00:53:54] Yeah. And for me, I concur on that. And by the way, there’s there was this great article, PS, I forget where I read it about Jeff’s ex-wife, who I don’t know if you read it was or talked about it is like possibly the single most, you know, generous donor of this past year, if not in decades, and then you sort of juxtaposition that to how much Jeff has given to charities. But anyway, I digress. So there’s that aspect of it. I think it’s also a real kind of for me, been a personal journey.

SuChin Pak [00:54:28] I’m like one of those people that reads about emotions but has a really hard time registering emotions or being near emotions or talking about emotions. And just just funny, like yesterday we are we have a new episode up about like our budget finds. And we started off a big chunk of the episode. And by the way, the episodes are like when I say barely planned, I mean barely planned. We have no idea what each one of us are bringing to the table each week. We have no script. We really have a loose like I’m talking about a two bullet point, like, OK, let’s just talk about what you bought, what you hated and what you’re watching. Like, that’s about our agenda. So we had started off this budget episode having this hilarious conversation about both of us being from refugee and immigrant families and how we save everything and what that says. And last night I was posting about it and I went to go brush my teeth and I realized that I no longer buy adult toothpaste anymore because my kids’ toothpaste is good enough. I’m sure it’s not. I don’t know if it is. I mean, I shouldn’t be putting strawberry flavor on my teeth. I’m 45, but let’s. OK, so there and then what I did was as I was running out, I was like, there’s so much toothpaste in here. So I cut the end of it off and then I dip the toothpaste in there and I’m brushing and I’m looking and I’m looking at this like hack that I and I.

SuChin Pak [00:56:02] I just had a moment of self reflection and I said, SuChin, what is it you’re doing and why? Why, why are you doing?

SuChin Pak [00:56:10] And it just kind of got me into this, like, really funny. But also, you know, a moment, a stop in that moment of like, yeah, this is also me. Like, I am the person who has a three thousand dollar indoor sauna, but I’m also the person as an immigrant daughter of immigrants that has to cut off my kids toothpaste to then scoop out the rest of it to get every penny on both of those people.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:56:37] Well, we contain multitudes. Yes.

SuChin Pak [00:56:39] Yes, Kulap.

DeRay [00:56:40] She said waste not want not they say waste not want Not.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:56:44] A penny found penny earned.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:56:46] I mean, I mean this is lotion and I’m not done with it yet. This is you know, I’m showing them just a solution at least. Yeah. Six more servings.

SuChin Pak [00:56:58] Oh yeah.

DeRay [00:57:00] So let me tell you that there are I only buy tech things when I like like one so whatever because I’m like I shouldn’t because I’ll just go down the rabbit hole but like I think I need a new pair of headphones or a new computer. So I like the tech, I like will look, I will look for days but I will not buy often because I just it’s too much. What’s your equivalent of that. You know, I know in the self care on the self care one, you know, Kulap, I think you bring up skin care stuff on that episode.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:57:29] Yeah.

DeRay [00:57:29] So like, what’s your version of the like? I probably don’t need a lot of this stuff, but I love looking at it.

SuChin Pak [00:57:35] Oh my goodness. I mean, everything, you know, we were like joking about we had this one episode where we have this category and neither one of us knew what we were going to bring. And the category was, does this make me look weird? And I brought to the table a manual typewriter.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:57:54] And like, that’s not weird at all.

DeRay [00:57:59] Not weird at all by the way, Kulap you’re right, not weird at all

SuChin Pak [00:58:00] I felt really self-conscious and weird, you know, but thank you so much. I, I come out of the shadows, a bright butterfly.

SuChin Pak [00:58:11] But I mean, that has been lurking in an open cart I don’t know probably for four or five months that. So in answer to your question, what is like that guilty pleasure? I really like to indulge in finding and I talked about this earlier about like obscure, mostly ethnic types of food that I can buy online that I won’t be able to find in my town that is relatively small and has no ethnic foods or ethnic markets. And I used to live in L.A., which obviously has Koreatown. So I’m so used to just going down the street and getting the stinkiest, most wonderful Korean food. And now I have to sort of go online. So I do that, but I don’t always pull the trigger on it. I don’t know.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:59:01] I mean, what’s SuChin skincare like?

SuChin Pak [00:59:04] Oh, skin care is the obvious.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:59:05] Like there’s so many kinds of serums.

SuChin Pak [00:59:08] Too Obvious.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:59:09] Oh.

DeRay [00:59:10] Do you Really need all of them?

Kulap Vilaysack [00:59:12] No.

SuChin Pak [00:59:12] Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:59:15] SuChin You are on record saying that all skin care is a scam. You can’t pull back now.

SuChin Pak [00:59:20] Oh, no. Oh, no.

SuChin Pak [00:59:21] But all skin care is a scam, but I need to try all of it, you know what I mean? And not only just skin. I’m talking about skin tools like Kulap and I have, I mean, I have so many infrared laser ideas resurfacing, zappers.

SuChin Pak [00:59:37] All of that.

DeRay [00:59:38] Is a real?  Tell me, tell me. I was going to buy one today and then I, I needed to look at more reviews because I didn’t know if it was real.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:59:44] Yeah. See DeRay that’s that’s two things that your tech plus skin care. That’s the Venn diagram. There are so many skin gadgets.

Kulap Vilaysack [00:59:55] I don’t know, like there’s so many.

SuChin Pak [00:59:57] It’s hard to know what’s real and what isn’t with skin care. Like Kulap said, so much of it is marketing, packaging.

SuChin Pak [01:00:04] I would say that there are things that you could do for a pimple that’s a lot less complicated than a zapper and just as if not more effective.

DeRay [01:00:16] OK,.

SuChin Pak [01:00:17] Yeah.

SuChin Pak [01:00:17] Like those little little patches you ever tried to patch those patches.

DeRay [01:00:21] I had that had the patches.

SuChin Pak [01:00:23] Yeah, the patches. But I don’t know.

SuChin Pak [01:00:25] I mean the zapper. I’m not sure if that works. I have to tell you the truth.

DeRay [01:00:29] Kulap, what about you. What’s your guilty pleasure?

Kulap Vilaysack [01:00:31] Man lately this is I got an electric bike like pedal assist bike. That was my splurge.

SuChin Pak [01:00:38] You’re still pedaling . I’m, I am still pedaling.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:00:41] I, I My bike. You have to pedal.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:00:44] Mine doesn’t have like any like but up the hills it really helps but it’s got to boost.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:00:51] You got to boost up those hills and it’s of course I’m, I’m very esthetically driven so it looks like a vintage bike with a battery on it. Right. But the thought I had as SuChin’s making fun of me that it’s, you know, pedal assist was like, man, it would be cool if I didn’t have to pedal.

DeRay [01:01:10] You’re Like, who pedals?

Kulap Vilaysack [01:01:13] Yeah, like high.

SuChin Pak [01:01:15] That is sist is just someone so guilty that because the technology obviously exists or you could just sit.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:01:22] Oh yeah.

SuChin Pak [01:01:23] Scoot Up that hill.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:01:24] Well now, now this is you guys are asked me what websites I’ve been on now know that I just got this bike and I’m already looking at other bikes guys. I won’t get it. And I’ve already tried to convince my husband to get that bike that I would want and he said no. And so we’re just going to we’re just pedal my bike is perfect and find the.

DeRay [01:01:45] That was quick. That was quick.

SuChin Pak [01:01:47] She just got it. She literally, I don’t know, again, a month or two months.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:01:52] I got it in December, guys. And I was like, oh, wow, wow. And I was like, well, maybe that’s who I am now. I’m a person who collects bikes.

DeRay [01:02:01] Oh, right. That’s right. That’s right. Y’all are hilarious. That’s who I am now. What do I do?

DeRay [01:02:07] What have you learned anything about yourself as a shopper? And I ask because one of the things that I realized that I’m getting myself out of is that I delayed buying the basic things.

DeRay [01:02:18] I don’t know why, but I feel like I needed a soap dish for a year and I just have had to stop lying around the bathroom literally just like bar here bar there.

DeRay [01:02:28] Oh my God. So then the other day I was like, DeRay just get it. They were a dollar piece. It has completely changed the bathroom. But I realized, like, I spent hours on, like, the big stuff, but I literally just like I keep putting off the little things and I just I’ve stopped that and it’s really been a good thing.

DeRay [01:02:46] But I learned about myself,.

SuChin Pak [01:02:47] Wow, that’s awesome.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:02:48] And I have learned about myself in contrast to SuChin, where she she really thinks about she deliberates.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:02:58] I must sort of shoot first, maybe regret later maybe. Well, I just describe to you the bike situation.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:03:07] Maybe I should. I thought I did enough research, maybe I didn’t. But I have no problem. Just like let’s try it, you know, let’s buy five pounds of gummy bears and not think about what does five really mean.

DeRay [01:03:21] Did you really buy five pounds of gummy bears? Oh my goodness.

SuChin Pak [01:03:21] She did.

SuChin Pak [01:03:22] But to her. To her. But she not only bought the five pounds of but then when she realized that there was no way a human could get through five pounds of gummy bears, she then, you know, lock the rest of it and dropped it off in her friend’s house.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:03:36] We cannot waste DeRay.  We cannot waste.

SuChin Pak [01:03:41] So he can enjoy four pounds, four pounds of gummy bears. You see how it feeds the village.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:03:46] And really, you don’t understand five pounds of gummy bears until it’s in your hands, in your arms and you’re cradling it like a toddler. And you go, why did you do this? Why did you do this? You don’t even like them that much.

DeRay [01:04:00] That is, you went on that way.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:04:03] It was a journey.

SuChin Pak [01:04:05] Oh, God, I love it.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:04:07] And that’s the type of baggage we could all leave behind.

SuChin Pak [01:04:10] But share also share, because I’m sure your friend was like, oh, look, I have four pounds of canvas for free.

SuChin Pak [01:04:16] Yes, Kulap and I, I mean, I think that, you know, it’s great and it works for our podcast. We’re very different shoppers. Like I’m the kind of person that deliberates over everything. Like I I have been known to, like, return something without even really trying it. Just because of that feeling of not having it is more satisfying than opening it to really mean, like I, I like preemptively return. Like I think I’m like, wait, I may want to let me just return it, I could buy it again. Like that’s how sick the diseases. Yes.

SuChin Pak [01:04:48] So it takes me a while to buy something and then I regret it all the time and if I love it then I would just want to share it from the rooftops.

DeRay [01:04:59] What’s the last thing you loved?

SuChin Pak [01:05:00] The last thing I loved and we talked about this was.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:05:05] Blue Land.

SuChin Pak [01:05:06] Which, all the Blue Land. That was a really good one. So I bought these cleaning products and this woman created this business, which is incredible. And and you get a bottle and then you just buy tablets. You may like this, actually, because it’s kind of like it totally works. So the thing about it is.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:05:24] He leaned in.

SuChin Pak [01:05:25] He leaned in. Is if you’re a person who cleans with bleach, this is not your thing. If you’re a person who buys, you know, seventh generation or other eco products this totally works. And so you never have to buy another plastic bottle in your life again so that you get three or four glass bottles. They have a handsoap, a window, bathroom cleaner and then a countertop cleaner. And then you just buy the tablets and the tablets are two dollars. But they fill I mean, the bottle is like this big. It’s it’s like a full sized bottle of whatever cleaning thing. It’s really smart. It makes sense.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:06:00] Good For the environment.

SuChin Pak [01:06:01] Good. Yeah. It checked off all the boxes. Which very few products do you usually have to compromise on one or the other price or you know, how effective it is. But this one kind of checked it off and then we talked about something a while ago. I bought a toothbrush like a manual, oral B toothbrush with side silicone bristles that like it just gives me afternoon delights every day.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:06:27] That’s not how people use the term SuChin.

SuChin Pak [01:06:30] It gives me it gives me the sensual pleasures every afternoon.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:06:36] No, no. I don’t think people would associate that with a toothbrush.

SuChin Pak [01:06:42] Yeah, I’ll leave, but I’ll leave that on the table there. So, yeah.

DeRay [01:06:45] Ya’ll are a mess. With when people listen, what can they expect?

Kulap Vilaysack [01:06:49] They can expect a I think hopefully a lot of laughs and with a little bit of shopping tips.

SuChin Pak [01:07:01] I mean that’s it. A lot of laughs and a little bit of shopping tips. I think that’s the tagline. Now I think Episode nine, we go forward with that.

DeRay [01:07:10] Well, thank you all for coming. We consider you a friend of the pod.  We can’t wait to have You back.

SuChin Pak [01:07:14] Thank you.

Kulap Vilaysack [01:07:14] Thank you.

DeRay [01:07:17] Well, that’s it. Thanks so much for tuning in to Pod Save the People this week. Tell your friends to check it out, make sure thagt you rate it wherever you get your podcast, whether it’s Apple podcasts or somewhere else. We’ll see you next week.

DeRay [01:07:29] Pod Save the People is a production of Crooked Media. It’s produced by Brock Wilbur and mixed by Bill Lancz. Our executive producer is Jessica Cordova Kramer and myself. Special thanks to our weekly contributors Kaya Henderson, De’Ara Balenger, and Sam Sinyangwe and our special contributor, Johnetta Elzie.