Antiracist Parenting Podcast

E24: What White People Are Doing (Part 2 of 4)

March 30, 2022 Hannah Carney & SooJin Pate Season 2 Episode 24
Antiracist Parenting Podcast
E24: What White People Are Doing (Part 2 of 4)
Show Notes Transcript

SooJin and Hannah sit down with Delia McGrath (Hannah’s 83-year-old aunt!) for this sweeping episode. Delia was born in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II. She was raised in a large family of 14 children, attended segregated schools, married a Filipino man, and raised two biracial daughters who now have their own children (Delia’s four beautiful grandchildren). Delia has always known that racism is wrong. However, she hasn’t always had the awareness or skills to effectively leverage her privilege for antiracism. Her story is one of hard work and perseverance. Delia’s tenacity and dedication have brought new levels of consciousness, new tools and techniques, and new perspectives on how she can contribute to a better world for all of us. She is a model - a true gift - for white people doing antiracist work.

Resources:

Code Pink: https://www.codepink.org/

Jewish Voice for Peace: https://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/

Pacifica Peace People: http://www.pacificapeacepeople.net/

Cognitive dissonance: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/cognitive-dissonance

Nice White Ladies by Jessie Daniels

Sweet Taste of Liberty by W. Caleb McDaniel

From Orphan to Adoptee by SooJin Pate


E24: What White People Are Doing (Part 2 of 4)


Co-hosts: SooJin Pate and Hannah Carney


Guest: Delia McGrath


Intro (music by Mike Myth Productions):


SooJin: Welcome to the Antiracist Parenting Podcast, where we're working to create an antiracist world for ourselves, our children, and future generations to come.


Hannah: We are Hannah Carney and SooJin Pate. And we're coming to you not as experts but as parents who want to share our missteps and successes in raising antiracist children. Thank you for being on this journey with us, as we work together to build a community of antiracist parents who are raising a generation of antiracist kids.


SooJin: Welcome to episode 24. We're here with Delia McGrath, our second guest in our four-part series on what white people are doing to divest from whiteness and white supremacy and invest in anti-racism. She's also a new patron of our podcast. So thank you, Delia, for your generous support. As a way of saying thank you, we wanted to give her the opportunity to uplift a person or a cause on this episode. And she wanted us to share a few things. First, she is wanting to express her excitement about Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. She just thinks that her leadership, her grace under pressure, and her integrity during this whole confirmation process has been really, uh, just wonderful to see and so important in terms of providing a model, an example of how important it is for us to follow the lead of Black women in our country. So she wanted to uplift that. In addition, Delia wanted you all to know about two different organizations. The first is Code Pink, which is an anti-war organization, so they promote peace. And one of the things that they try to do is highlight how our racist, foreign policies that are generated here in the U.S., how that impacts other countries. And so really highlighting the ways in which Black and Brown people are directly, negatively harmed and impacted by the foreign policies of our government. And then the last thing is the organization Jewish Voice for Peace. They too uplift discussions of racism that's experienced globally, and in particular, they're highlighting the racism faced by Palestinians from the Israeli government. So thank you so much for sharing that information and we'll be sure to include the links to those orgs in our show notes.


Okay. So before we dig into our conversation with Delia, it's time for our accountability check-in so Hannah you're up. 


Hannah: Okay. Yes. So my accountability check-in from last time was a commitment around starting a blog for our podcast on our website. And I am so thrilled to let everyone know that the first two posts are now published on the website.


SooJin: Whoo hoo!


Hannah: It’s so exciting and such a big hurdle to have gotten over - just getting the first one out there in the world. And, um, my two kiddos were the ones that supplied the art for the first two posts. And now we're starting to reach out to more children, which we'll communicate in our April newsletter. It’s an invitation for kids who would like to submit a drawing for a future post. And I'll send the details about that. But yeah, it's really exciting. And it's also helping me to hold myself even more accountable as I not only think about coming to our check-ins on the podcast, but now this extra layer of being accountable in the blog posts. So it's really, really great. 


SooJin: Oh, gorgeous, gorgeous stuff. Thanks, Hannah. So my commitment that I made on our last episode is based on what you had shared about your self-care routine. And so following your lead, I made the commitment to create an acronym for myself that encapsulates my self-care rituals and my self-care routine. And so I reflected on this question, what are the essential ingredients I need to feel full and buoyant, to operate from my best self on the daily? And as I was reflecting on that question, I realized that there are things that I absolutely need, like during the week, but not necessarily every single day.


So I actually created a self-care acronym that reflects the weekly ingredients that I need to feel like I'm operating from my optimal self and that, um, acronym, it turned out to be SPACE DJ with S to the third power, because the first three ingredients all start with an S so, um, yeah, so it's like S-S-S and then PACE and then DJ.


Okay. So here's what each of those stand for, uh, the first S is Space and what I mean by that is space to breathe, to dream, to get lost, to ruminate. So it's like, I have so much space in my life where it doesn't feel like I'm wasting time - dreaming and imagining and reflecting and pondering things. The second S is Stimulation. So stimulation of mind, body, spirit, via books podcasts, art, certain aspects and elements of culture, conversations with people. That intellectual stimulation piece is just really important for me. And then the third S is Sleep. So ideally I operate best when I have like 9-10 hours of sleep a day, which I know for some people that's a lot. But for me, it's like a baseline. To think about like sleeping for 12 hours, that would just be a dream. I will settle for the 9-10. So yeah, uh, being able to get 9-10 hours of sleep a day, or at least, you know, maybe three times during the week would be fantastic. Okay. And then P stands for Pace. So, moving at the speed of desire that too is really important and then A stands for Align. So aligning my actions with my values. It's getting at the integrity piece. Remember when I shared like there was a time in my life where I was experiencing so much cognitive dissonance in my life? Do you remember that? Um, and how once I started incorporating, like what would it be to actually live out my values and my principles in everything that I say and do. And I have to say that particular shift in my life led to so much peace and harmony and physical health. So that alignment piece is super, super important for my self-care, because cognitive dissonance does not sit right with me. It messes - like not only with my mind, spirit and emotions, but also my body. You know, like stomach trouble, headaches. Like those were like the two main things that I was experiencing physically because of that cognitive dissonance. C stands for Communion. So communion with my spiritual mamas, my ancestral guides, and my tribes. So communion with both spiritual world and the physical world. And then E stands for Eating yummy food. Food is so important to me. Good food is so important to me. Um, and so yeah, looking forward to like a really good meal - that brings me so much joy. For DJ, the D stands for Decompress. So I have to have some good decompression time. Um, and I like to decompress like by watching a movie, TV shows, reading an entertaining fun book, listening, dancing, and singing to music. And then the J stands for Journal. So journaling to process my thoughts, my ideas, my feelings, et cetera. So, yeah. 


Hannah: SSSPACE DJ - I love that. 

SooJin: And I created a poster too that I have up on my wall. So just as like a reminder - am I getting all of my needs met this week? 


Hannah: So important. Awesome. I love that. 


SooJin: Yeah. And thank you for motivating me to do that. So Hannah, would you like to set our intention for today? 


Hannah: Yeah. I'm going to offer that we set the intention to expand our minds and hearts to make room for multiple truths. 


SooJin: Okay. Beautiful. Okay. So we have Delia here today. So welcome Delia. I was wondering, could you share a little bit about who you are, where you come from and what you do? 


Delia: Absolutely. I want to say that I am Hannah's aunt. I love being Hannah's aunt. Her mom is one of my sisters. I am retired. I was a social worker in the mental health profession for a huge part of my career. And I am a grandmother of four beautiful children. And I was thinking in the self-care part, just being connected with them regularly my endorphins shoot up. So great. I loved what you said about your self-care. I've been a lifelong peace activist. From as long ago as I can remember, I was born in 1939, a few months before Hitler marched into Poland. And so my earliest memories are of war and how terrible it is. So in terms of what I'm here today for is that I am not going to claim that I am not racist. And I am going to claim that I have always known even as a child that racism is terrible. I've known it. I'm not sure how, um, so as things have developed in our country, especially the much more open acknowledgement of the tragedy, the destructiveness, the shamefulness, the criminality of the racism in our country - I am happy to say that I'm doing as much anti-racism work as possible, that I can do within the context of my life. Yeah. Just last night, I wrote two pages of just my background, my times of not being skillful around the issues of racism of which there are plenty. And also the times when I was skillful, even before it became something that we should do, you know? I'm very involved in my community, although I just turned 83 a week or so ago, and I'm truly noticing how my pace has gone way down and that's okay with me. I feel like, you know what, I will do what I can do. I mean, there was never a rally in San Francisco. I lived close to San Francisco that I didn't go to against war, against racism, whatever.


And now I mostly signed petitions online and send out emails to my cohorts, that type of thing. So my activism has changed and slowed down a little bit. 


SooJin: I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that because that's real, like our bodies change as we get older. Right. And there are certain limitations that come with that. It's like, okay, given the parameters of my body, what can I do now? That's beautiful. 


So this is a four-part series. And it is in direct response to the questions that Marjorie Grevious posed in episode 19, where she pointed out that people of color have historically and currently done, quote unquote, the heavy lifting when it comes to combating racism and white supremacy and fighting for a world, a society that is more equitable, just, and fair.


So, you know, when she asks questions like what are white people doing to tackle racism and white supremacy? What kinds of conversations are you having with your people? You know, other white people to engage in this work, to share the burden, the load, what are you doing with your privilege and how are you using it to benefit others?


When Marjorie asks these questions, she's reminding us that white people have a greater responsibility than people of color in the same way that men have a greater responsibility than women to solve sexism. But here in this case, white people having a greater responsibility to solve racism because not only did white people invent racism, but they have more resources, more institutional and social power, and frankly, more time and energy to do this work. In other words, white people need to do more because they have more. So, what have you been doing Ms. Delia? What conversations have you been having? How are you sharing the load, the burden so that the work of anti-racism doesn't just fall on the shoulders of people of color? And what are you doing with your white privilege? So I realize that's a lot. That's kind of like a bundled question. But yeah, if you wouldn't mind kind of getting us started there, that would be great. 


Delia: Absolutely. I really think that Marjorie Grevious put out very important questions. I appreciated that because yeah, white privilege. The thing is honestly, I never thought about it until I started thinking about it. My husband was Filipino. He died three years ago and our two beautiful daughters then are biracial and one of them is darker than the other, and I never thought anything about them being different. I was not even clued into that. And only now because they have joined our McGrath Race Talks, which I'll talk about minute. They are revealing things that they went through in a mostly white community where we raised them. That I was unaware of my own children. So, I guess. I think kind of numb was the word to describe my living white privilege until fairly recently, that is just the truth. But once I got onto it, once I heard the term, once I realized, I mean, it's been a very powerful incentive to pay attention to daily activities where I would not have even thought about it. I've heard many, many, people talk, especially Black women, mothers who bring out the fact of them having to tell their children every day, you know, to be safe. It just blows me away. There's a deep sadness. And also the outrage that, that is what my white privilege has impacted on their lives. So my awareness has increased a thousand percent, I would say, in the last four or five years, and now I'm thinking, well, my daughters, when they walked out the door as children, how vulnerable they were. And it's shocking to me that even though they're my children, they have a different experience – vis-vis this whole racist society. Uh, it's funny, there were times when we did have conversations when they were children, and they would say, mom, you're outnumbered. There's three of us, and one of you. It was great. It was a good reminder of, you know, we're living a different life than you are. So that's a little shocking. It's a little heartbreaking to me that I did not have that awareness because I loved them so much. I just, I just didn't see it. I did not see it. And so it's kind of interesting to hear it now. So the white privilege aspect is very real. I can see it now. I need to stop here and say that I come from a very large family. My parents had 14 children. 


SooJin: Wow. 14?


Delia: 14.


SooJin: Wow. 


Delia: And I'm the oldest female. And all of us are still living. And so that's quite...


SooJin: Wow. 


Delia: I know. But, um, I was raised and so in many ways, we all grew up in different families because there's 20 years difference between the oldest and the youngest. What I was gonna say about that is we were exposed to racist speech, racist behaviors in our family coming from the older generation. And I mean really bad stuff. We grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. And, as a child growing up in that environment and nobody correcting anything. I mean, it just becomes part of the fabric. And yeah, as I said earlier, I never could get with it. There was something wrong with that, even though these were the adults, these were the grownups saying this kind of thing. I remember challenging my mother once with some very racist speech. And I think my younger siblings felt that over time, my mom clued in and she began to not so much question it, but I mean, it was more in her awareness that she had simply transferred the racist background that she had and didn't challenge it or anything. But I did, even as a young person. I want to say that classism and sexism were much more my own experience because we had so many children. My dad worked, but we sometimes barely made it. We weren't poor. We were middle-class and had we not had so many children, we would have been very fine middle-class but with all those children, we didn't.


So I was subjected to, I went to a private Catholic high school where the wealthy girls went there so I was very subjected to the classism. And, I remember as a freshman in high school, the teacher set up a debate about slavery and whether it was okay or not. Okay. I mean, now that blew me away. I know, I know. I just want to give a context for this. And I took the side. I was fierce. I just knew that slavery was wrong. However, the opposing student pressed that it was, now this was 1953, that slavery was okay. I mean, can you imagine? I got so agitated or enthusiastic about my position that the nun finally called off the debate. She said, okay, we're not going to do this anymore. But anyway, these are kinds of the things that were around me. And now in 2022, we have a lot of dissonance in our family. We have a lot of people clinging to some of these racist upbringings and privilege. And then we have some who have seen through that. So it's very difficult to, in terms of talking to other white people and trying to bring their awareness. Hannah and I started a group called McGrath Race Talks, and we extended an invitation broadly to the entire clan, which constitutes now because of the 14 children, then the grandchildren of my parents, 45. So my daughters have 43 cousins, first cousins, and then, and Hannah being one of their first cousins. And then there's great grandchildren. So we number almost 200 human beings. Now, some of them are babies. Like a lot of them are.


SooJin: Wow.


Delia: Yeah, I know. So this is not really a usual situation.


SooJin: But it just means that my goodness, if you came together and mobilized, you would be such a powerful organization.

 

Delia: That's what drives Hannah and me and the others. So we extended the invitation out to other members of the family to talk - it's called McGrath Race Talks. And I would say 90% are white. So that is what I would, I guess your listeners could derive from this, is that in even smaller, more or normal size families, there obviously are pulls in different directions, political pulls and religious and all that.

And yet there might be a way that people could. First of all, I think like Hannah and I, and the several others who are involved in this, we have educated ourselves. I mean we read, we listen to speakers who put it right out there. We listen to Marjorie Grevious saying, what are you white people doing?

Right. We find that we must stand up to this and we do have a major role in countering the racism. So this is one way that is beautiful in my opinion, because Hannah has so much skill laying out like a format, you know, where we listen to each other, we've learned the great listening tools and we listen and we're learning how to be with differences. We might hear something from somebody and because of our listening skills and our respect for each other, and we know that whoever comes to the table of McGrath Race Talks has an earnestness and integrity for wanting to learn more. So, you know, there's that. 


And then in my community, our Pacific Peace People of which I've been a member since we started, it's a very small group, but very dynamic. We decided to hold a series of what we call Pacifica -that's the city I live in Pacifica Talks Race. In the Pacific Peace People are all white people, but we're going to have our first event very soon. And we have a whole program that we've developed to begin the conversation about race in our little community. And we think it's our job to actually like Marjorie said, take some of the heavy lifting, and explore it and try to get a community to become more conscious and what can they do? So we've got resources. We've got books that we have read. We've got videos and podcasts and things like that to help us. And that's what I think needs to happen.

 

SooJin: That's wonderful that you're organizing white people in your community and then also like in your familial space. Could you say a little bit more about the McGrath Race Talks? So what do you talk about?


Delia: Well, we usually set an intention and then we have some prompts. I think one of our goals is to help us learn how to be anti-racist ourselves, but we have to start with what we have. And so some of the participants have more experience than others in this. And I would say several of the people in the group are really anti-racist, you know, they're fully conscious of this, but they're not really activists that much. And I don't know if our goal is for that, but sort of my goal is that we help each other, but at a very basic level, for example, we're bringing some skills. Like how to address racist remarks and things like that when they occur. And we're trying to teach ourselves and we're exploring, like we did in one of our McGrath Race Talks, we had a little vignette where something that somebody said was brought up and how would you respond to that? One was taken from real life. One of the participants had an experience and didn't feel good about how it was handled because they didn't have the skill and know how, because one of the skills that I've heard of is call people in instead of calling them out. And so we're trying to think about how do you do that? You know, where you don't shame people, you don't put them down, and you also don't remain silent. These are skills that we ordinarily don't really have that much. And, so we're trying to bring that out in McGrath Race Talks as sensitively as we can. It's a challenge, SooJin, because my family before all of this, there had been threads of the racist background that we shared at different junctures and some in our family were able to kind of call people out if you will.


And that's not so skillful. I mean, it's better than just being silent, but it's very tricky in a family like ours, because we want to stay connected. Although not everyone does. Several of the family members have pretty much just divorced the whole thing. But the general theme is we'd like to have the closeness. We would like to continue the connection with our siblings, our cousins, and so forth. So I think we're just wading in waters that are still kind of, not so clear, not so clear how to go about this, but I am truly grateful to Hannah's leadership. I really am because I can see how much skill she has developed, and you know, last month's podcast Hannah shared and described her journey. I think that we're talking about a mix of people who have more personal self-awareness of what their journey is and some who really don't honestly. So it's a mix. And when you're in that situation, it just seems like the more skillful you can be, the more clear you are about what is the message, what is the message you're trying to convey? But without, um, one of my teachers in my spiritual development made distinction between having anger and the benefit and energy that anger can bring to situations without laying on a level of hostility. That has been a remarkable learning for me because I have the anger, but often I add that level of hostility. Whereas if you can really take people, even who have horrifically different points of view and are uncareful about saying them and see them as a person who really would prefer to be happy and joyful and not belligerent and antagonistic and filled with hate, but that takes a lot of one's own development to see that. So that's important in this anti-racist work. And actually by going through this last night and writing down all these different things throughout my life, I really could see that I had failed many times. So when I see that I did that, how can I blame somebody else who maybe hasn't stepped back and seen what their words and behaviors are doing. So I think that's an important part of anti-racist work. 


SooJin: I love that you brought that up because this is why people of color say like white people need to talk to your own people, you know? Because like you've been there, you know, you've been there. So you understand the challenges, the obstacles that need to be worked through - to reach, you know, the person’s mind and heart and spirit to like, make that change. So the fact that you have like empathy for that person because you literally have been there before. And then the fact too, that you've had the experience of working through that. So you're able to have a much better sense than me, for example, on like, what could you say, or what could you do to help shift and move them, even if it's incrementally? So I love that you're recognizing yourself in the people who you are finding to be challenging. That's a beautiful thing and that you're making space for that and thinking through the nuances of like, how can we hold this person and hold their experience and meet them where they're at as well as being like, that's not okay, but we still love you. We're still gonna be connected to you. Like, you're not ostracized. So that's such a beautiful skill to be developing.


Delia: I think that's what it takes, you know? And our family is a good laboratory because there are so many, there's so many possibilities. And to me that even the most, unkind, racist attitudes, um, beneath that would be a loving heart that would want to be whole and want to be part of the community and part of the family. It takes a lot to work through that. Yeah. 


SooJin: Another thing that I love too Delia that you shared is how despite the quote unquote failures, the mistakes, the lack of consciousness, the lack of action, you never stopped. Like you keep trying. You're 83 and you're still trying to this day. And that is fantastic. That needs to be recognized because that's what we've been asking. Like just try, try, and don't give up, like, keep trying. So that's really beautiful that you make space in these talks as a family for people to make mistakes, and, okay, well, let's try again.


Delia: Yeah, I do. I do. I will take ownership of that. I am not giving up. I'm not folding my chair and walking away. I'm saying, okay, this is hard. My daughter has a sign . It says, “This is hard. We can do hard things.” That's kind of a nice motto. I mean, I think I agree whole heartedly with the theme of this conversation, which is what are white people doing? I don't see that we can ever stop. And you know, I'm going to die before racism is ended, but you know what? I'm going to do everything I can to end racism. I'm going to, I'm very committed because it is harming all of us, all of us. 


SooJin: Hannah had shared in the previous episode, how fundamental healing from trauma, whether it's individual trauma, generational, or collective, how fundamental healing from that trauma is to being on this anti-racist journey. And I was curious, has that been true for you? Like, do you feel like you're healing from trauma engaged in this work? 


Delia: Absolutely. In fact, as a mental health professional I studied treatment for trauma for many years, many years, because that seems to me to be pivotal to all of the negativity in the world, you know, is that people have experienced trauma. In terms of the racism, I myself have done a lot of work on the trauma of my childhood, which includes these things like hearing all these racist things and talk about cognitive dissonance. Even as a child, you're like, no. But you're a child and there's adults around you saying these things and so forth.


So yeah, healing trauma is very, very critical. But, you know, it's interesting because let's say with child abuse, physical abuse, or sexual abuse - those traumas are identifiable, they're understandable, but some of the wounds of emotional trauma or neglect, like for instance when adults do not challenge racism and so forth, that's more hidden and it's harder to get at. And yet without getting at it, you're going to continue to have these flavors of. One thing I never did realize is the microaggressions, which are so now being identified and seen as harmful. But I think trauma I'm in agreement with Hannah about that, that trauma-based behaviors and speech and everything without knowing where it comes from, that's gonna be a difficult part of this work when people are not attending to the trauma of their own lives. It's going to be harder for them to work with this.


SooJin: Yeah. So I'm going to shift gears a little bit to bring in the parenting component here of our podcast. You know, you had shared that your activation of consciousness around racism happened later in life, after your adult children came to you and shared some stories and stuff like that. And so I was wondering, as a grandparent now, are you having different conversations with your grandchildren now that you have this consciousness and this more deliberate commitment to anti-racism? Okay. I see you nodding your head. So could you share a little bit about what kind of conversations are you having with your grandchildren now?


Delia: Yeah, I am. And so are my daughters, of course. Yeah. I talk to them all the time. All the time. They have probably every anti-racist child's book out. We get them right away and they read them, and then we talk about them. All of my children go to a Spanish immersion grammar school, their ages are six to 11. So you know, I was never exposed to a Black child. In Louisville there were Black children and white that we didn't have the diversity. Now it's a little bit more cosmopolitan, but we grew up never interacting with any other child except white. Now my grandchildren are in this wonderful, diverse school.


They're learning the language of many of the children, you know, but we do, we talk about it constantly and they have such a different experience. I mean, to me, it's so - what shall I say - the contrast of my little six-year-old and what I was at six, you know? And so you're just joyful that they're getting much, much more of the understanding. I've been in the classroom a couple of times and helping and I'm always conscious. It's so wonderful to have consciousness. 

SooJin: Can you say that again?!


Delia: It is so wonderful to have consciousness about this after being unconscious, for most of my life. But that's one of the benefits of learning about this and doing the work is you begin to see things, you see them all over the place. So even being able to taste that part of the racist society, to see it is a miracle because you then can have the compassion, the development of empathy and caring, and the energy to want to stop this - is very, very strong. 


SooJin: That's beautiful. Thank you. So I just have one more question for you, before we move on to the lightning round, and that is so given your journey and all the lessons that you've gained, all of the pain and rewards, the discomfort and joy that you've experienced along the way. What advice do you have for the white folks tuning in who might be hesitant or who are on the fence of engaging in this work, of taking up the burden of racism and white supremacy?


Delia: I am going to start with taking good care of yourself first, so that you don't slide into places that you are not going to know how to deal with and that taking care of yourself includes educating yourself, really reaching out to maybe other people in your white community who have some sensibilities and can help, also reaching out to people of color and ask for direction. That also adds to the burden of people of color but if you ask with a kind heart, I think it won't feel like a burden. It'll feel like somebody wants to join us. You know, somebody wants to help do this work. And I think that the third thing would be, just to be gentle with yourself and kind, and acknowledge that you're going to do the best you can but you have to really try to do the best you can by developing your own understanding of the situation, because to go willy-nilly into it, that's when I think more harm can be done. If you started accusing people, calling them racist, not helpful. It isn't helpful. One of the hardest things for me was finding the racism within myself and just say, okay this is here. And I know it's one of the rough edges of my being, I need to work with that, but to really strongly do that. So I don't know if that's helpful, but those are some of the things. 


SooJin: Great, thank you for that.


Hannah: I'm just so happy that you're here with us and yeah listening to you. I just feel so grateful. So these are just you, I mean, you know, from listening, we're just going to ask questions, whatever comes to mind first, okay. Anti-racist parenting or caretaking is...


Delia: Is paying attention to what life is about and having a dedication to making life more wonderful for everyone by being antiracist. And teaching our children. 


Hannah: I love that. Okay. What is one thing your kids or grandkids did to make you smile? 


Delia: Oh, so many things. Well I guess just being kids, you know, dancing, sometimes they have a little interactions that are not so fun and they work through them and they apologize to each other and it's sweet. Makes me smile.


Hannah: What are you reading right now?

 

Delia: What am I not reading? 


SooJin: You sound like Hannah. I love it. I'm seeing the family commonality running through. 


Delia: I actually am almost finished with Nice White Ladies, it's a mixture for me. It's challenging in a lot of ways, but there are some really good points that are made in that book. But one of my favorite books is Sweet Taste of Liberty, which is about Louisville, Kentucky, and the racism, the slavery and, oh, it's such a powerful book. And it actually speaks of places that I would have known where people were enslaved. And so that book, I highly recommend, especially for anybody who lives in Ohio, Kentucky.


Hannah: Okay. What are you doing to take care of yourself? 


Delia: Well, I have really good connections with other people, which brings me a lot of joy especially here in Pacifica. And I also have a meditation practice, which is wonderful. I have a labyrinth in my backyard, which I go out and walk the labyrinth and love that I walk three to five miles a day. It's essential to my wellbeing. And, what else? Let's see. I have space for myself. That's really important.


Hannah: Okay, last question. What question would you like Antiracist Parenting Podcast to answer in a future episode?


Delia: Maybe what's going on in the schools, especially with all of the pushback on critical race theory and all that stuff. What are educators doing when they know they have to do this work and yet the legislation is so awful in some places? So yeah, I think a little bit more on that because parents can really like, for instance, my grandchild who's now taking social studies. I said, well what are they teaching you? You know, because the genocide was out here in California against Indigenous people. And she said, oh no, they're telling us all about it. I'm like, yes, this is good. You know, that helps. Then they can take that home to their families. And if their parents are involved, they can pick up on it that way too. So, yeah. 


Hannah: Cool. Anything else before we say goodbye, Delia?


Delia: Well, just thank you so much for having me. It's an honor to be on your podcast. I like it a lot and feel really grateful that we're all in this together. Not one of us is immune from the effects of this and not one of us is off the hook for dealing with it. Thank you.


SooJin: Yeah. Thanks so much. It was really wonderful to hear your sweeping journey regarding this. So yeah, really. Thankful for your, partnership and engagement with Hannah and being part of the organizing committee of the McGrath Race Talks. So thank you so much. 


Delia: I have one other thing I meant to say earlier. SooJin, I read your book. Very powerful, I forget the title of it. 


SooJin: From Orphan to Adoptee


Delia: Yes. I highly recommended that book too. It's just amazing. Thank you. 


SooJin: Thank you. Wow, that's really unexpected. I thank you so much. I appreciate that. Okay. Take care. 


Hannah: Bye Delia. 


Delia: Bye.


Hannah: I love Delia. There's a couple things that she was talking about that are standing out for me. One was kind of around the anger with the layer of hostility. I feel like that's an area that I need to look at more closely for myself of when I see that showing up, because I think does – and as much work as I do around, you know, building compassion and empathy and all the healing and everything. I still feel like that creeps in and can be ineffective ultimately. So that part, and then just also as she was talking about just healing trauma and like the role that it plays like in the work and you know, it is so complex when we're trying to connect with people, to bring awareness, bring the consciousness, have conversations that are productive, that can expand versus close off. And I feel like for me as a white person, really trying to engage in this work, like that trauma healing really is critical for, in my experience to even lay the groundwork, to be able to build those skills. And so, like you were saying since Delia and I have like been down this path of like the growing awareness and healing trauma and stuff, and that we can then, you know, when we come across white people who are really quick to judge and quick to just shout out certain comments or whatever, in both the language and the ways in which they do it are very hurtful and harmful to be able to stay connected with that person because of something that sort of transcends all of us and that I don't know about how that's possible without doing that trauma and that spiritual work.


SooJin: What is coming to mind based on what you just shared is Delia had said something to the effect of like behind the racism behind those hurtful, hateful words is a loving heart, like, trying to see that loving heart behind all of that, which is socialization. Right. For the most part, right? Like if you're born in a family where that is the norm, that's the culture then like, yeah of course that's what you're going to be reproducing and replicating in the world. And so, to recognize that and to have kind of this laser, X-ray vision, you know, like to be able to see through all that crap and really like, the essence at the core is a loving heart a human being who is just trying to do the best they can with what they know at that time. Um, yeah is a beautiful reminder. 


Hannah: Yeah, totally. 


SooJin: Okay. So. Are you ready to talk about maybe what your commitment might be from this conversation? 


Hannah: Sure. Yeah. Do you want to go first? 


SooJin: Yeah. Okay. So I think my commitment is going to be, and I don't know why I didn't think about this before. And this is why it's good to be in community and in conversation with people who are different from you, which is the question that she posed towards the end, what's going on in our schools with our educators regarding this pushback against critical race theory? I mean, I'm an educator myself. I am a critical race theorist. I am talking to my students about this all the time, but I didn't ever think about like, oh, we should devote some episodes or an episode around this question and how we can plug in, and organize collectively using our podcast as a platform to work against this concerted effort to shut down these kinds of conversations, this kind of education in our public schools. So my commitment is, is to work on developing that series.


Hannah: Sounds great. Yeah. Cool. And yeah, and that reminds me because I have been kind of like checking in every so often on some of the efforts that I'm doing at my kids’ school. And I'm at this place where I feel like we're moving in a direction where it's becoming more of a tangible thing or event that could take place where we could start to get parents to come together and build relationships and have a collective voice within the school. And at the same time, I'm just so aware of the fact that even to get to this point, it's primarily been like me and like white administrators developing even this initial part of the planning process. And I'm so thankful to a couple of people that I meet with every month who are other parents, anti-racist parents who are holding me accountable to say, you know, like basically - don't go any further in this process without bringing in the voices of parents of color. And so that's my work now because I get the sense that the school really isn't going to do that. And while I don't have access to like the lists of every name of families of color, I do know several through my kids and just from knowing people in the community. And so I'm going to make the commitment to start reaching out and including families of color in this process that I've like gotten going with the school. And then my other goal is kind of related, but as Delia was talking - she mentioned that her kids are in a Spanish immersion school. And one of my like long term goals in life is to learn another language. And I have kind of settled on Spanish as the language. And so my other goal is to set up an actual app or some way, however I'm going to do this learning, to start to learn Spanish. And so I'm going to commit to getting that set up and then the thing with the school.


SooJin: Wonderful. That's awesome. Great, great commitments. Okay. I think that's it. Thank you everyone for tuning in, and we just so appreciate you. I hope that the feeling is mutual in the sense that, you know, Hannah and I, we keep doing this work because well, we love this work, like we're committed to this, and we love each other. We love working together and being in partnership with each other and that doing this work specifically regarding the podcast, it is making our lives better and it's changing our lives and our relationships in fundamental ways for the better. And I hope that it is true for you all too, as well. So you keep us going. And if I could just make one request, which is, if you find this helpful, share this podcast with two other people, two or three other people that you think might benefit, um, just to help grow our community.


Hannah: Cool. Yes, that would be amazing. 


SooJin: Okay. Thanks everybody. Take care. 


Hannah: Thanks. Bye. Bye. 


SooJin: We just want to say thank you for joining us today. You can find more information about us and past episodes on our website antiracistparentingpodcast.com. A big shout out to Mike Myth Productions for the intro and outro music.


Hannah: This work requires us to challenge ourselves and take care of ourselves. Be well.


SooJin: Be antiracist.