Learning and Burning with Joy Henderson

You’re listening to Medicine for the Resistance

Patty:  So Joy, how are you doing? How are you because we are here in the midst of COVID, you’ve got kids, and you talked a little bit about the challenges of that. And you’ve also talked about the racial aspect of COVID. And this matters, because education is one of those systems that um …

Joy:  Mm hmm. It’s been a busy summer.  I kind of feel out of the loop on a lot of issues because I’ve been focusing on education so much and what’s it going to look like?

Going back and right now, as we see, it’s pretty much a very cluster bleepy situation. In Toronto we saw the numbers and a lot of us, as we were planning we were expecting that a lot of kids from racialized communities would be have to go back, whereas a lot of kids from the white communities would be staying home.  It was completely the opposite.

So everyone just kind of took a second to think about that.  “Wait, wait, whoa, okay.”  So our data, our perceptions which was interesting, but then we started to, you know, put our heads together around it. And it was like “No, this is actually making sense” because a lot of these families are multi generational families. A lot of the communities are multi generational communities.

And there is also a great system of distrust within education. You’ve seen it in Peel (Region), where it’s blown up exponentially, but certainly within the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) as well.

And so, you know, a lot of parents are like “Well, I’m not exactly trusting the education system to keep my kids safe.  Particularly my racialized kids, which they are already harming and so many, various, various ways.”  I could go on, but yeah, so it was interesting to see that and at the same time a lot of people have had to pivot on to “Okay, so what makes the online education equitable?” Tight now it is, is pretty awful.

You know there are kids who are going without classes, until October.  My friend’s kid has classes from six to 9pm. I had to fight to get my own child into a class and he didn’t even choose on line learning and I had to fight to get him into school.

And I’m like “What is going on? Why am I…” I fought for several days over this. And I’m thinking “OK, I’m going to get some issues” right? Because I’m not super, super duper big, but I’ve been advocating, my name’s out there.

I think I have a little bit of clout, right?

Patty:  Yeah, some <smile>

Joy:  A little bit, just a little bit. But no, I coudn’t get them to budge. And I just got “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” 

My ex husband, who is white, made one phone call. This kid is enrolled in like minutes and I’m like “Are you kidding me?” I was happy and relieved that he was enrolled. But I was also very pissed off, to be honest, right?

Because you know, sure. “Don’t listen to the racialized parent, listen to the white parent.” And so if this happened, and this has happened to hundreds of students at my kids school, which is a largely racialized school, so what happens when it’s students whose parents can’t afford to advocate, who don’t understand “Okay, let’s call this guidance counselor, the Vice Principal, the trustee, the superintendent.” Right?

Joy:  Parents who don’t have contacts who are sending her all these links and information. If someone’s not connected, if someone doesn’t speak English, someone is living with disabilities, or someone who’s just simply working and trying to survive.  What happens to those kids?

So there is a lot of equity issues that I suspect will bloom in the coming months but that aren’t already quite apparent. So it’s scary and even now my kid, he is in school, he has some classes online sort of thing because I don’t know the system. I’m still to figure it out. Honest to God. And I’m like so scared and so yeah, yeah, I’m like, “What is this?” <screamy voice>

<laughter>

Kerry:  You know Joy, I completely get it. I’m just taking a deep breath to very much relate to where you’re at. I have grandkids rolling through this system where I’m the main caregiver so it’s been interesting as well, because I have a daughter.  Her children they’re out in BC and her story is very similar to the story you’re telling. They just went to school starting on Monday and when she walked into the school, she had no idea what class that my youngest grandson, he’s starting kindergarten.  She had no idea where he was going, what classroom, whatever.  They just said “Bring him.” And it was kind of like they’ll find him a class.

But he ended up with a sister because I think in BC they’re putting the cohorts together by family, if they’re close enough in age, so that’s how that worked.

We are really in new territory here. It is a challenge. I know that in Niagara region it’s been smoother. Like, it seems like you know, the kids that are going to school are going and it’s pseudo working minus we’ve had a couple of outbreaks. But that, you know, let’s not worry about that so much. It’s kind of working. It’s smoother. But I’ve heard the online space has been a challenge.

Kerry:  And my friends who have children in Peel and the Toronto boards have said the exact same thing you said.  There’s a lot of mystery around it, a lot of uncertainty and what I find is I’m of mixed minds about it.  Just from a personal space, because what I’m noticing is how much of the cracks that were already in the system are now, they’ve become chasms.

And there is going to unequivocally … we are going to have to reorganize how we have approached schooling. And what I’m hoping is that we as racialized people will be able to take a bigger chunk of the pie because we were already making some noise prior to. So now that we can step in, because I raised my children in Peel Region and brought them through that system.  I have my own family.

Kerry:  Right, take a deep breath. So this conversation we are having was I was really near and dear to my heart. Because I recognize from a personal space how damaging and traumatizing it can be as you navigate. As you know, as we move through, it really has its challenges. And so Joy, what are your thoughts as we move into the newer part of this now? Like, what do you think about that?

Joy:  I think, I’m afraid, because it seemed like there was a lot of good headway being made and lots of great important conversations happening.

And you see the equity chatter, the teachers are having their discussions and their 4 Big Questions sort of movement, but I’m worried that that’s going to kind of fall by the wayside. I know people are pushing it through, but it’s going to take a lot of energy on part of the activists and the teacher activist, and educator activist.

(So I keep on saying teachers and I shouldn’t say that because it’s my pet peeve.)

Joy:  The EDUCATOR ACTIVIST, because there’s a lot more than just teachers in schools. And so I’m worried that the momentum might slow down, because focus is going to be put on COVID and just surviving what is going on.

And then of course, there’s a lot of pivoting that has to happen now, just making sure that education currently “as is” is equitable online. And so that is my worry. I know that there are so many amazing activists.  Peel Black Parents activists in York Region.  They are killer, they are amazing.

I went to their rally in the late summer and it was phenomenal. I was literally in tears at the speakers and the young people that they brought out and I’m like “This is think something that everyone should do it was so beautiful.” And so I know it will, I don’t have any doubts on part of the activists. It’s just a matter of it not being swamped by the pandemic.

Patty:  Well, and that I’m in one way, I kinda I understand that, but in another way — WE always get left behind.

Joy:  Mm hmm.

Patty:  Right like right away it’s a big issue. We’re making some progress on racial issues. Colinda Clyne (if people don’t follow her on Twitter @CLClyne) she’s been doing some really good work around educating the educators, getting some really good webinars and speakers going on to educate the educators. She’s been doing a lot of good, a lot of good work on that.  There are a lot of good conversations happening on Twitter that are being translated into classrooms. And then, like you said, then the pandemic happens. And suddenly everybody, you know what, they lose their, their, let’s say the wind in their sails on the terms of that. But we also know that whatever happens disproportionately impacts Black and Indigenous students, no matter what it is, right?

You know, financial issues, hurricanes, criminalization, pandemics, it always disproportionately affects Black and Indigenous students. So why wouldn’t you then keep race at the centre? But, but no, it’s always seen as its discrete category. We don’t have time to talk about race, we got to talk about the pandemic.

It’s all Indigenous issues, right? Like, that’s why I get so frustrated with that phrase about talking about Indigenous issues or Black issues.  They are all Indigenous issues, they are all Black issues.

<general agreement>

Patty:  If it doesn’t impact my brain well, maybe the residents of reserves. But no, there are Black Indigenous people exist and they are on reserves. So that there are no issues that do not, to some degree, affect both of us.

Joy:  Exactly. Yeah.

Patty:  The fact that we always get pushed aside as if we exist in some kind of silo is just Yeah.

Kerry:  I’m curious with that.  Because you’re making some amazing points Patty, because it’s really real. It has been historically the way things go. My question, my thought is, are we more, with everything that’s happening, with the anti racism movement do you do we feel like, I kind of feel like there’s opportunity here?

Maybe I’m just optimistic, I’d like to see the glass half full. I just, that is where I’d like to come from. But I’m really thinking that we’ve got some wisdom going, you know.  There’s an understanding there and that the activists’ movement is strong enough to maybe keep at least the noise in the air.

And dare I say, there’s almost a sense that they know that we, as the minority or a minority (I’m using that and there’s air quotes. If you’re watching on hearing the podcast, I’ve got air quotes up.) That idea of we are we are organizing in a powerful force. So it’s sitting there, and they may need our vote in a year or two. So that this is because circumstances are ripe for us to really be able to take advantage of the space. What are your thoughts on that? Like? I don’t know.

Joy:  I appreciate optimism. I really need optimism. I’m gonna start calling you on a daily basis! <laughter>

And I mean, it does help shape the perspective because for me I’ve  always tried to measure things in large chunks of time.  So, okay, have I made progress since my dad. Since my dad’s time and so I’m like “okay, yes, incrementally” but still progress. Right?

But I do, you know, I have lost sight of the vision that like, Yes, we have made some good work this year. I’ve seen a lot of, there’s still a lot to go, so much to go right?

Joy:  I have never seen so much Black and Indigenous collaboration in my lifetime.  This year has been particularly amazing. You guys have been amazing and pushing that button forward.

And I’ve seen it.  I’ve just seen it at the Ryerson University pow wow. I’m like “Wow, what is this? I’m gonna do this and this.”  And I’m pushing the button, am I? But yeah, and so it’s hopeful. And I’m trying to kind of keep on to that.  It’s been a low hope, sort of week. And so I was like, gosh, burn it all down we need to restart again.

I’m hearing more voices and I think that’s always important to have at the table. And that’s, I think, if we’re going to take anything any medicine from this resistance podcast I’m going to take that with me.

Kerry:  Honoured, honoured, Joy.  You’re bringing such a light and I love that we are putting a focus on it.

What is coming up as we are moving through the space like are you finding that we are losing the momentum?  Or what should we be focusing on so that we don’t lose the momentum?

Let me rephrase that. Let me reframe it. How can we how can we keep the momentum going?  What particular avenues can we focus on for that to happen?

Joy:  I like a lot of what the youth are doing, like the kids are amazing! Like, what did you guys hear on Twitter that some young people patented the term, or copyrighted the term, “Take Canada Back.” Some young Indigenous people.

I don’t know how well that works out, but they just want to keep it away from Erin O’Toole, right?

Note: The automated transcriber gave us “Aaron old school” for “Erin O’Toole”.  Just sayin’

I’m just like “Oh, that’s amazing.”  I’m gonna say “Well played, young people. Well played. I am very impressed.” I love ideas like that. I love hearing just innovative out of the box thinking that kids are coming up with.  I mean I’m 40 and I’m still capable of such things, I’d like to think.  They just kind of stimulate this thought this, you know, I don’t know, this new building.

I really like to see what they’re doing, I like to hear what they’re up to, communicating and building those bridges and being at the table with one another.  Bringing communities together and just finding strength and that logic. Not logic I guess but the connection that we’ve had for centuries, right?

Joy:  Like, I think about the Black and Indigenous community, I think about, you know, treating historical items. And we’ve been connecting for generations, since Black people have first been brought to this continent. And so it was just “Hey, no, man, I don’t like these white people when they connect.” So, of course, the white people, they were quite frightened of this, because they’re like “Oh, no, we can’t have them collaborate.”

So many actions have been built to separate us. And we have to kind of get that message out to remind ourselves that what the potential is and that we have done it before. We’ve built communities, Afro Indigenous communities and various nations from the Caribbean to Mexico to the US.  I’m not sure about Canada, because I’m trying to trace down things to Canada.

Joy:  But you know, Canada is the typical Gen X child, no one cares about us. But yeah, I find hope in that these connections have always been there and we’ve just been distracted brilliantly from these connections for the last, how many years hundred years or so right?

And so and it can be built again, I see it being built again. The more space we make for one another, I think the stronger we get together.

Kerry:  Love it. Yeah.

Patty:  I want to push back a little bit on the idea of progress. Because we always talk about progress as if history and social movements and all of these things are some linear chain of terrible to better.

We know it doesn’t work out that way. Right? Like we know, you know, we know that history is more of a back and forth than it is that this linear march. And I think that what we’re looking for more is change. Rather than progress, you know?  I think that might be a more helpful way to talk about it because what we want is change. Because change isn’t always good. Change doesn’t always bring equity and bring inclusion and bring good things, sometimes change brings bad things.

Patty:  So we want things to change in a way that is more equitable in a way that doesn’t leave people behind. And really the only way to do that comes out of the Combahee River Collective is the liberation of Black women. And I say that as an Indigenous woman. No, because I’m still here, on the land of my ancestors. Right? I’m still here. I know who my family is, right? I’m here where my ancestors are.  I am here in the place of my creation. That’s something right?  That might be all it is.

We know what the Canadian government has their way that might be. But it’s something and when you liberate Black women, you liberate everybody, because that requires the dismantling of all of the systems that even I experienced oppression from.  You know, I’ve got a lot of privilege in my life that probably most Indigenous women don’t.

I recognize that, but there are still assumptions that are made right opportunities or things that happen, things that I’m currently going through right now that that I don’t have. So I want to challenge us to think more about change and less about progress.

Patty:  And then the other thing that I was thinking is yes systems have worked very hard at destroying our relationships. Because yes, alliances have happened repeatedly over time. Even the colonist people would take off and go live with the Indians, because our houses didn’t leak and our shoes didn’t wear out. We had a much more equitable system (I’m talking about the woodlands people I’m not going to talk here about the large agricultural cities down in Mesoamerica) but the agriculturally based people had much more equity had much more equitable social systems so their own people were taking off to live with us. And, you know, we kidnap them, they rescue them, and then they would come back. That didn’t work the other way around. When they kidnapped us, all we wanted to do was go home. That way, we didn’t try to go back.

Kerry:  They like eating.

Patty:  But so yeah, so they did put systems in place, they put laws in place. We talked with Azie Dungey (@AZiedee) about laws that were put in place around property that separated Black and Indigenous people because if Black people owned property the colonial, any court, the community could just take it. So Indigenous communities made rules around who was allowed to own property and that are fundamentally racist. So that happened. We also have to own our own stuff. Right, the way that like we just talked about with that Lovecraft episode. That was some anti Indigenous bullshit. You know, that’s all that was. And there have been a lot of really good articles written about it.

Kerry:  Thank you for sharing that one that you did by the beautiful article well written, I enjoyed it. Oh, yeah,

[Referring to The Safe Negro Guide to Lovecraft Country: A History of Violence, by Kinitra D Brooks]

Patty:  I tweeted out a number of articles, because there are some, but we could have had those conversations without that. Right. We could have had the same conversations. Because the one the character I forget his name he was only mentioned was never seen the one who originally imprisoned them.

Kerry:  Oh, Titus.

Patty:  Yeah, yeah, the one who originally imprisoned them and he silenced their voices and killed them and did all of that stuff. We could have had the same conversations about Indigenous erasure without making it … and it wasn’t even part of the book so I don’t know what the show runners were thinking, adding.

And the way they did the two spirited thing. It was like, how many ways can we fuck over Indigenous people in one episode.

Kerry:  Yeah, yeah

<general agreement>

Patty:  That was a real gut punch. I kept watching the show, because there were other aspects about it I liked.  Next week, we’re going to be talking with Alexis Shotwell (@AlexisShotwell) about “Against Purity”. I’m not here to cancel everything, that upsets me because I won’t be able to watch TV at all. But we do have to talk about that, right? Like, we do have to recognize that sometimes we are our own barriers.

Kerry:  Yeah. I love this. I love where you’ve taken the conversation Patty, because I think it’s very real, you know.  Touching upon that piece with the two spirited Indigenous character. I’m hoping that the gut punch is going to come back around, where you know… There’s a, I just, I know that it’s like anthology based, but I’m just there. To me, they couldn’t have set that up in the way that this show is being formulated without recognizing that there’s gonna have been some controversy around it.

Maybe that was the intent. I don’t know. But there’s something in me that just wants to believe that they couldn’t have been that off base. Do you know what I mean?

Patty:  I have so much faith and people’s capacity to be off base. That they hope she comes back, that they hope that Zhe comes back.

Kerry:  Yes. Zhe gotta be something.

Patty: Yahima comes back. Do they come back as a friend and an ally, which is messed up because you just killed me? You know, first you punch me, then you silenced me, then you killed me. Or do they come back as vengeful which is its whole other set of Indian burial ground vengeful tropes.

Kerry:  <laughter>

Patty:  I don’t see that there’s any there’s any rescuing. It’s just sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we make mistakes and we hurt people. We didn’t mean to but we did. And sometimes we meant to because we didn’t take the time to know better.

Like Niagara Falls.  Niagara Falls just went orange for Orange Shirt Day. Except Orange Shirt Day is September 30. So why go orange on September 23.

Kerry:  Yeah, you’re going on number 23rd.

Patty:  Because when people from the Indigenous community said, let’s turn the falls orange.  (Because that’s how it works. You get your community group together and you say, hey, let’s turn the falls whatever color and then they decide whether or not it’s okay.) So when the community said, hey, let’s turn the falls orange for Orange Shirt Day, the parks Commission’s like “Yeah, the 30th has already booked for something else. Okay, well, let’s do a week early and then we can get people ready for Orange Shirt Day. But if the city was honest enough to care about reconciliation, September 30, would just be Orange Shirt Day.

Kerry:  Yeah. Yeah. Right.

Joy:  I’m shocked.

Patty:  I read about it turning orange for Orange Shirt Day and I’m thinking but Orange Shirt Day next week.

Kerry:  Well, that’s it. I just ordered orange shirts. So a friend of mine told me that no,

Patty:  A girl friend told me that it’s because the date wasn’t available. And I was just “Really?  Is Christmas available? Because I’d like to book it for something or did you book that? Or have you already got a standing color set aside?” That’s an employer holiday, unlike September 30, which is just the Indians and nobody cares.

Kerry:  And honestly, let’s take that in for a minute. Like that is enormous. That is absolutely …

Patty:  Orange Shirt Day isn’t new.

Kerry:  No.

Patty:  It’s not like something they just made up last week.

Kerry:  I’m horrified like I’m laughing because I know underneath that there’s a deep horror that I’m feeling in this moment. We are, that to me, is yet another reason, another punch in the gut. What is that? That just shows? What could be more important? What, what

<speechless>

Patty:  I’m just I excited to find out what gets lit up on September 30?

Kerry:  Yes

Patty:  But that’s what I mean. Like sometimes we hurt people with because we don’t care. Because their needs are just not on our priority list. And that hurts them. And sometimes we do it because we just didn’t know. We didn’t mean to. But either way someone gets hurt. Either way “Are you going to learn from it?”

So I’m not interested in burning down HBO because they screwed this up. Or the producers because they screwed this up. It’s an oppurtunity. Let’s do better. Let’s do better. Because I sent out a tweet about this and then it turned into a little thread and I know commented that Old Gods of Appalachia, which if you like spooky, Lovecraftian stuff, you got to listen to the Old Gods podcast, because it’s low. It’s set in turn of the century Kentucky coal mines in Appalachia. And you know that there’s dark and scary things.  You dig down too far into the ground and you’re gonna let those dark and scary things come up. And so that’s my life. Good. I listened to it by campfire.

But I had commented on Twitter that I hadn’t noticed it. So there’s a few Lovecraftian podcasts out there. And the other two have anti-Indigenous bullshit. And then it’s not like overt, but it’s there like we’re the magical Indians and stuff.

But in  Old Gods I hadn’t noticed that. Because it’s focused on a Kentucky mining town, it’s mostly white people. Some Black people are mentioned, because they come in as laborers. 

When they do mention Indigenous people they are mentioned in a in a real respectful way.  They’re the holders of knowledge, they knew things. They don’t live there anymore. But they’re old. Their knowledge is respected in the way the story is told.

And so I had commented on that, and whoever runs the Old Gods Twitter account responded because I tagged them in. So whoever runs that Twitter account responded and said that they did they know the Cherokee history in that area, they know that the Cherokee were there first. So before they started, when they were writing these stories, they have relationships with Cherokee people and with descendants of Cherokee people, to make sure that these stories, although they’re primarily about a white community, are still respectful of Cherokee knowledge.

It shows in the way they tell the stories because the Cherokee presence isn’t really, it’s not a big part but even to me that was super meaningful that even though it’s not a big part of the storytelling.  It was important enough to them that they went out and made these relationships so that they could tell these stories properly.

Which now I’m going to circle back to education. Because that’s why we keep getting left behind because nobody has these relationships with us in the school boards.  Boy, like, Joy, you got to keep knocking on the door, and knocking on the door, and knocking on the door. In order to keep the needs of racialized kids, I actually don’t like that word. Because white people are racialized too. It doesn’t get made invisible by that word, because we’re always the racialized people. But just marginalized people it kind of like, yeah, we’re violently pushed to the margins.

Joy:  Mm hmm. Yeah.

Patty:  And for and forcing them to constantly think about us because they don’t have those relationships with us. Other than as needy people knocking on their doors.

Joy:  Yeah. I’m kind of at the point where I’ve been knocking on doors, just and even just organizing groups, right? I’m just constantly saying “Okay, so what about this angle? What about this thing?” I keep on asking “What am I the asshole here?”

Patty:  I ask myself that on Twitter a lot.

Joy:  Right? Like, well, actually, you know, like “Oh, my God, I am the asshole.” But I’m like, you did something similar.

Kerry:  Someone’s got to be <laughter>

Joy:  I’m kind tired of always being the asshole too, right?

Patty:  It’s exhausting.

Joy:  It is exhausting.  I had an issue where I had to point out that we’re not necessarily focusing on the marginalized community here, right?

We’re focusing on the wrong issue.  And I was like “Ugh, I’m the asshole.” Um, yeah. And you know that causes anxiety and such but I did get out of all the people “Oh, my gosh, right.” And so you kind of have the reaction of “Oh, my gosh.  I’ll do better.”  But nothing really meaningful. And then you’ll have the one person that comes back “Oh, my gosh. Can I break this down with you? Can I help understand?” “Okay, this is what it’s for.”

But it is exhausting. But you know, again, yes, we have to keep knocking. No, we have to build relationships, I think, kind of circling back into  just making those mistakes and having the freedom to make those mistakes that comes from having those relationships.  Like when you’re in a new group and you’re talking to new people, you’re afraid to make a mistake.  You’re like “Okay, how are they going to react.” You’re afraid to kind of branch out and such. Whereas if you’re with your friends ”Oh, yeah, my bad. Sorry, right.”

Joy:  You’re going to be lovingly smacked upside the head. But you know, at the same time, you still have that security. It’s like “You know what, you’ve messed up but we still love you.” Right?

And so we still have a relationship with you, too. So yeah, it just kind of comes. And so I always have white people come to me and say “I’m so afraid to make a mistake. I’m so afraid.” I’m like “That’s because you don’t have the relationships, right?” Like, that’s kind of it right? And so I even in my own life, like where I’m afraid to mess up, it’s because I don’t have the relationships that I that I need. And that’s partly on me, just because I have to build those relationships just in my personal life, right? Where it’s like, you know, I don’t know, who is I would say, who it’s on to make those relationships happen.

So I don’t want to put undue labor on Black or Indigenous people. I mean, it always falls to us. I just go like “Yeah, yeah, right. Like, okay, fine. Up, do it. Right.”

But yeah, you know, and so, at the same time white people have to reach out and make those relationships. They have to have the bravery to screw up and be told “You messed up, you need to fix this.” I’m, despite my fierce Twitter appearance, I’m actually quite forgiving, quite. I cry a lot of like “Oh, this is so sweet.” I laugh, I cry at commercials and that stuff. Human beauty moves me, so if someone comes to me and says “I screwed up. I’m so sorry. How can I make it right?” I’m not usually the type to say why you have to go do your research sort of thing, right? I might refer them to some articles, I might say “Okay, well, here’s what you how you have to connect” that sort of thing.

So that’s how I kind of go about it.  I don’t expect anyone else to do it, because everyone else has their own levels of where they’re fed up and where they just don’t want to engage. And that’s perfectly fine. Because, hey, man, I’ve had those days, too.

I mean, I could shift I can say, you know, go get your research, right? That depends on the relationship too. Right? Like, if it’s a person who I genuinely think is acting in good faith, I will do a lot for them.  But if I don’t feel like it, I’m like “No, you know what, get away. Block.”

Kerry:  I love what you’re saying because I think that’s the key in it. You know? That weariness that those of us who advocate and are in the trenches day in day out.  You have to navigate those waters. And I think what it takes is finding that space of balance where you can discern what you want to give out and what you don’t want to give out. That to me has been, I think, my lesson over the summer.  How is my best way to serve the movement and the space of advocacy for us as a people.  How do I show up in my best way? What am I giving out? Right? Or do I want to give out?

And being okay, if I say “I am not giving out? I’m just not today?” Yeah, I think that’s powerful in its own means, as we work through because you said it best Patty. I know this idea of us gaining ground, I think it is about change. And thank you for bringing an awareness to this idea of progress. I love it. That’s the optimism space. But I agree that it really is about gaining ground, it’s about that equity that we are so striving for more so than it’s looking like this straight up line where everybody can go, it isn’t that movement. And so it’s keeping ourselves grounded enough to be able to move this “forward.” Forward air quotes, again, air quotes and offering to bridge this gap between being Black and Indigenous. And how can we collaborate in healthy, strong, collective ways?

Joy:  Mm hmm.

Patty:  Yeah, how do we show up for each other? I mean, it’s almost like the rallies are easy.

<background “Yeah”>

Right?  Like showing up? No disrespect to Black Lives Matter in Toronto. They did set up a beautiful vigil. A couple of when we were dealing with Colton Boushie and Tina Fontaine. So I don’t I don’t mean that rallies are easy in the sense of anybody can rally because they’re not that easy. Right. There are a lot of work. But they’re also, you know, that’s not the hard work. Mm hmm. Right, you know, …

Joy:  it’s like the wedding versus the marriage. Right?

Patty:  Yeah. It’s important and rallies are necessary in terms of drawing people together and getting attention. Right, because, you know, Kelly Hayes (@MsKellyMHayes, https://kellyhayes.org, https://truthout.org/), who’s probably one of my favorite social media people and podcasters, her podcast movement memos. There was one episode about we need a riot of empathy. We need to care about each other. So I’ve been really, it’ll be because of Kelly I’ve been working on kindness on social media.  I’m trying to stop tearing people apart.

<general uproarious laughter>

Patty:  Accepting apologies and not being a jerk.

Kerry:  I need Kelly

Patty:  Oh yeah, she’s a Menominee organizer in Chicago. And she is the kindest organizer I have ever come across.

Kerry:  Love it.

Patty:  She’s right, we need a riot of empathy. We need these relationships because it’s like I said, old saying, your friend can spill a bowl of soup on you and you’re fine. But did you see the way that bitch boils water? So when we have relationships and make mistakes, we’re in a much safer space. Because we’re gonna make mistakes, right? We’re gonna step wrong. I’m gonna say something and Kerry’s gonna make that face.

<laughter>

Patty:  She’s gonna say something, I gotta push back on that.

We developed a relationship and then we can talk and we can we can say things. And then that’s how you move through to being able to do the important work.  We have to be able, we have to be willing to know that we made a mistake.

Right?  Like if Lovecraft country is just gonna backpedal on backpedaling. “Oh, we didn’t mean it that way. We didn’t mean it that way.” There’s no growth that comes from that. There’s no change that comes from that. I mean, governments do that ALL THE TIME. That’s all they do is “No we didn’t really say that.” They totally said that and here’s the audio clip. “Well, I didn’t mean …”

Joy:  That’s been my entire summer.  <tears in her voice>

Patty:  So not helpful.  Please just admit you screwed up and let’s move on. We can’t move on if you don’t admit it, how do we move on? We just got to burn it down and build something else.

Joy:  Yeah. Which is where we learned these lessons in kindy.

Patty:  What’s that?

Joy:  You learn these lessons were in kindergarten.

Patty:  What is that book – everything I needed to learn to know I learned in kindergarten.  (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum (Author)

Share, listen to this other people

Kerry:  It is so the truth, it is so the truth. I think we’ve touched on some real valid, beautiful points and what comes up for me in this conversation is the idea of relationship and coming together and creating a soft place to fall. Yeah.

Patty:  Because we’re gonna fall down we’re gonna make mistakes. This is a warm and fuzzy episode.

Joy:  We were supposed to talk about burning shit down and we just got all warm and fuzzy

Patty:  I know, thanks a lot Kerry!

Kerry:  I am complete

<lots of laughter>

Patty:  That’s all right, we got more burning shit down coming up.

Joy:  See, that’s what I mean, I’m actually warm and fuzzy person.

Kerry:  We got another side of you Joy. And thank you for being in the space. Thank you for opening up in this way and showing us that warm and fuzzy side. It’s a good look, it’s a good look, kindness.

Patty:  I do need to work on kindness. I need to work on it. I’m not very good at it.

Joy:  I’m just gonna find something to take it out on that’s not people.

Kerry:  Good pillow, pillows.  I have pillows in my practice

Patty:  The comment section is a good place to get to get out your aggression.

Patty:  Thanks so much for joining us again, Joy.

Joy:  Thank you for having me. And thank you for everything you do. It’s been, honestly, like you guys are the Medicine for the Resistance system so …

Patty:  I really liked the way Janet Rogers framed it last week. 

The ones who are resisting are them, the white colonial society.

They’re the ones that are buckling.

They’re the ones that are resisting.

That’s right. Yeah. We see you!

Patty:  Anyway, thanks. Thanks so much,

Joy:  Thanks you guys. Okay, bye bye.

<lots of infectious laughter>

You can find Medicine for the Resistance on Facebook and the website http://www.med4R.com . Don’t forget to rate share and support us by buying us a coffee at https://www.ko-fi.com/medicinefortheresistance.   You can also support the podcast and so much more by going to https://www.patreon.com/PayYourRent.  You can follow Patty on Twitter @gindaanis and at daanis.ca  you can follow Kerry @kerryoscity  and find her online at kerrygoring.com  our theme is fearless.

Many thanks to Elizabeth Barclay for assisting with the transcriptions.

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