Structures of Interaction episode #001!
So now hopefully I’m recording something new. Chapter two, which is these conversations that I’m simultaneously participating in that have long histories. Maybe not in terms of the individuals involved at this particular moment but in terns of the content of the conversation. So race, whiteness, the original indigenous people of this land and how those obligations of engaging in a real conversation with each other should apply. It doesn’t matter if it’s a relatively new conversation for you to be jumping into or if you’ve also had many conversations over the course of your lifetime or even in a concentrated manner in a short, recent period of time. They tell this anecdote in the field of Communication, in communication studies, one of the early theorists described communication as a process of walking into a party and all these conversations are already happening and you just join in where you can with who you want to, and you go from there.
But the conversation is already been happening and it’s always like that. Whatever interaction we’re having, whatever we’re talking about, it’s ritualized. There are elements of it that are similar to other kinds of interaction and there are topical possibilities for connecting it to other conversations and different places with different people. And then there’s also the arc, right, the trajectory of every time you’re in that conversation in your own life. Yeah so there’s this Responsible Whiteness series that my partner and I are co-facilitating right now through the Truth School. It’s the Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership. And we’re also doing a project with a local elementary school. We’re Organizers in Residence for the sixth grade which is really, really cool. And I’m planning an event in May and I’m involved with other individuals in groups who are trying to protect the Northeastern Woodlands, the forest that covers Massachusetts and other states, which needs a lot of protection right now. It needs the strongest protection we can possibly give it.
And also planning, starting to plan for this summer’s sacred water, Water is Life walk. That’ll be our second year supporting. And then there’s the daily stuff, right. So there’s what’s happening in the news, what the news is recording or reporting on. It’s pretty dire, a lot of it. I go back and forth between sensationalism and journalism. I think it does depend what outlet you’re getting it from and more important than that though, I think is how you listen to it and how you notice, how you respond to the choices that they make when they’re telling the news. Because everything they say or everything they show you is part of a conversation, and it’s part of creating the parameters for the conversation. What can be talked about and what can’t be talked about. So if you let what you hear set the boundaries for what can or cannot be talked about you’ve already curtailed the possible future.
So I think I started the first podcast or attempted a podcast with describing that I was going to listen to Sherri Mitchell’s interview with Travis through an app called Podbean and I’m drawn to it right now because of the timing. Sherri was in New Zealand last week when the mass murder of Muslims in their house of worship, in the most sacred act of worshiping, were killed by a person who has become so full of a certain type of rhetoric that the only thing he can imagine to do is act on it. And we all get full up in different ways with different things and think we can’t limit our ability to think through options and act differently or act according to principles that lead us toward a future that has more solutions in it. Yeah, so if you actually made it through listening to this, wow. Thank you so much. What an achievement, an accomplishment, a something something. I’ve been talking for eight minutes and 20 seconds. Holy cow. Yeah, hopefully it was coherent or coherent enough and made some kind of sense. I might do this again.