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Black Lives Matter: Sparking a Conversation About Anti-Racism

We need to make something very clear before we dive in: we are NOT anti-racism educators.  

Today’s episode is going to be a raw conversation around the Black Lives Matter movement, White Privilege, & the murder of George Floyd. It will be heavy, and we will potentially get some of this wrong but we need to have these hard conversations, and get it wrong while we continue to do the work we need to do as White Women.

We’re going to talk about:

  • Why ‘Black Lives Matter’ and NOT ‘All lives Matter’
  • Being more than just a couch activist on Instagram
  • Drawing line in the sand, standing up for injustice and what you’re willing to lose when human lives are at stake.

We hope that you are able to take something away from this episode, and it helps you to begin the journey of doing the work to actively practice Anti-Racism.

 

Are you ready? Get listening right away by clicking the link above, or if you’re more in the mood to read today keep scrolling for the full transcription of today’s episode! Let’s do this!

 

 

Emily: Hey, welcome back to the Room to Grow podcast! Emily here and we’ve taken a little bit of an unplanned hiatus from the podcast for the last couple weeks because of the death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter revolution that’s been going on and just I really felt this deep need to just give not only myself space but I also really wanted to give space to voices that needed to be heard from that were not in mind as a White woman especially. These are really uncomfortable conversations that we are getting into that we need to be having that are long, long overdue and here on the Room to Grow podcast, I have never been one to shy away from uncomfortable topics. With the exception of racism. If you listen to any of my episodes, I will often drop into conversation, things about my privilege and on various fronts. I don’t usually go into it much farther than that and one of my dear friends Christina Montalvo is who we are speaking with today. This is a conversation, this isn’t an interview that we’re doing. For anyone who’s been following podcasts for a while Christina and I have done multiple joint episodes together. Christina is the host of the Confidence Project podcast. The only reason why we took several months off from doing them was because I was in Bali, she was in Chicago, the time difference was a little bit too tricky to work around. When we did get a chance to talk live on the phone, we just wanted to catch up with each other. We didn’t want to have to record an episode. 

 

So what’s interesting is that Christina and I have often talked about these types of topics related to racism and privilege and just really tough hard topics, and this is standard for us. We have done this for our entire friendship and when we started doing joint episodes together a year and a half, two years ago, we said multiple times to each other that we wanted to do episodes related to racism and privilege, but we never ended up doing it because we felt Who are we to discuss it? Like two White women talking about racism and privilege, we are not the people that are educated enough on this to be discussing it. We have not personally experienced racism because of the color of our skin, all of these different issues that were coming to the forefront. That was why we never spoke up. We never came out with them because we thought that it was going to be perceived very poorly and we had seen other White people in the podcasting space do a poor job at coming at these topics. We didn’t want anyone to be harmed or be hurt by us saying the wrong things when we were only just trying to support marginalized groups, especially the Black community. I need to be very clear here, Black Lives Matter, they more than matter, but for the sake of addressing the movement, I need to make exceptionally clear Black Lives Matter. From the bottom of my heart, I’m so sorry that I have not been brave enough to go into this topic sooner on a public level. I have addressed this privately, in my private life with Christina, with other people in my life, but I have not addressed it publicly, and that is on me. That was my mistake. That will not be the case going forward. I put a post on my Instagram, a week or so ago about the fact that enough was enough, and that anyone who isn’t ready and willing to engage in in anti-racism work, which doesn’t have to mean we get into this more, you know posting every single thing you can on Instagram, this anti-racism work means doing this in your own actual everyday real life. We’re going to discuss that more today but I don’t want to work with people, I don’t want to be associated with, I don’t want to be involved with people who don’t also fully believe that Black lives matter. 

 

So I’m taking a very clear stance here because I need to make it exceptionally clear. My thoughts on this. So Christina and I are going to be turning this into a bit of a mini-series that didn’t start that way. We just recorded one and then as we were recording this episode that you’re about to listen to, we kept coming up with more and more things that we want to address and then we recorded the second one, we’re like, we have a lot to say. So we’re going to get it wrong. I also need to make that very clear, we’re going to get it wrong sometimes, but if that’s the price that we pay for having conversations that need to be had, I am more than willing to take that risk. I am fully owning the fact that I am going to get it wrong sometimes and when I get it wrong, I will learn from that. I will share that with you so that hopefully maybe you can learn from it as well. We can continue to progress and move forward but we have to be willing to get it wrong, as opposed to ignoring the issues. They’re staring us in the face. This should have been addressed so long ago, because that racism is systemic and if we don’t face it head on no improvements will be made and lives are at stake, and lives have been at stake for a really long time and we have been choosing to be ignorant to the greater issues at hand. So, yeah, this is heavy. This is heavy and and no, this is not going to turn into an anti-racism podcast. I am not an anti-racism expert, neither is Christina. We are not experts in this whatsoever, you’re still going to be getting all of the usual content as well about podcasting, business, online business, entrepreneurship, mental health, relationships, infidelity, all of those types of things, you can still expect to receive all of that here on the Room to Grow podcast, but we’re also going to be opening a more regular dialogue around racism, and more specifically, anti-racism. So I hope that you can walk away with something from it as well, let’s get started. 

 

Hey, Christina.

 

Christina: 

Hi, Emily. It’s been a while.

 

Emily: 

It has been a while, at least for an actual recorded conversation. You and I speak daily, but we haven’t done a podcast in several months because I was in Bali and the time conversion was very difficult from Chicago. 

 

Christina:

And it’s 2020 so nothing is what it seems, am I saying that right?

 

Emily:

Yeah, like the world is upside down, it’s on fire. We’re not sure what is happening. The locusts are apparently even coming. 

 

Christina:

I said that jokingly, and then you sent me the actual article.

 

Emily: 

Then you were like,  is this satire. I’m like, no, it’s National Geographic. This is real. They’re not North America. It’s Africa, India and Pakistan are dealing with apparently the worst locust swarm in 70 years, and it’s causing famine and like, of course it is. Of course it is. There’s nothing funny about that, I’m laughing purely out of Holy shit I cannot believe that this is happening in 2020 on top of everything else. Nothing funny about any of this is funny. 

 

Christina:

Coming from a very religious grandmother. She’s just like eating this up. She’s like I told you the Lord was gonna come. I told you the world was ending and this is the rapture. For years, I’m like, Oh, no, it’s not happening. Every day that passes, I’m like, Oh my gosh, my grandma was right. I think it’s happening.

 

Emily:

Well, in fairness, I’m hoping that we come out of this year, maybe even not necessarily right on January 1 2021. Eventually, we will look back on this year, and hopefully see some of the really positive things that I am hoping, come from this some of the really important lessons that we’ve maybe been missing. Actually, since we haven’t done this in a while, why don’t you introduce yourself? Then I’ll introduce myself, and we’ll dive in.

 

Christina:

That’s perfect, just in case we have any new listeners since our last joint episodes. So I’m Christina Montalvo. I’m from just outside the Chicagoland area. I own a body positive, all women strength and conditioning gym and I’m the host of the Confidence Project podcast,

 

Emily:

So I’m Emily Gough and I’m Canadian. I am currently in Canada, I’m temporarily displaced in Canada, I was living in Bali. I don’t know when I can get back and I am host of the Room to Grow podcast, which is all about everything from business and entrepreneurship to relationships, infidelity, mindset, and all kinds of uncomfortable topics, which is why we’re talking about this. I’m also a podcasting and business coach. You and I are BFFs for anyone who doesn’t know and we were doing an episode every month for a while, and everyone always enjoys them, you and I love doing them. They’re a blast and things have gotten in the way and then this came up, and we felt that it would be easier to talk about an uncomfortable conversation with each other as opposed to each one of us standing on like a soapbox preaching when neither one of us are anti-racism educators, we need to make that exceptionally clear. This is two White girls talking, or at least Christine in your case like White passing. You and I’ve been talking about doing an episode very similar to this around White privilege and anti-racist and all that for at least a year and a half. We didn’t, because we both had a lot of fear of saying the wrong things that would only serve to hurt the marginalized groups that we’re trying to support. That’s why we’ve held off for so long, and it’s become very clear that maybe that wasn’t the right choice, but we’re here now. 

 

Christina:

Yeah, and to your point, Emily, the biggest reason is how it is going to be perceived about two White women or in my case for anyone who doesn’t know me, I am Mexican and Puerto Rican, but White, I’m a White passing Latina. I consider myself White because the world treats me White, which is important. How is the conversation about privilege going to be received by Black women, women of color, people of color, you name it. I mean, what a mistake that we’ve made to hold off for fear of being, called out or honestly not even fear of being called out. I think that’s a newer fear of ours and we’ll get to that in a little bit, but a fear of being kind of out of place. Like it’s not our position to maybe do those things. What you and I have been talking about at length. I mean, Emily was not lying when she said to her, and I talk every single day. That is not an exaggeration at all and I often wish that we could record our conversations when we’re not recording a podcast because we truly have been discussing, I think our conversations behind closed doors are ridiculous. Like I don’t think this is, I don’t think our types of conversations are the norm. I truly don’t.  I think it is partially part of the problem, like the types of things that people discuss, but it’s why I love her friendship so much. It wasn’t that we were necessarily afraid of being called out at that time. It’s just like, is this even our, our job or our are we quote unquote, allowed to have this conversation? 

 

Emily:

Especially because there was someone who is a big name in the industry who has recently come under fire for a lot of this, who came up with an episode. It was a while ago, I don’t know exactly when, but it was at least a year ago. She’s White, and it was her speaking to another White woman about White privilege and some ideas around racism and the episode did not go over well, and I didn’t feel that it was well done. That part of it was because it was coming from two White women who seemed to be not really doing a great job of acknowledging their own privilege in an episode about privilege. Even though that’s not how you and I would ever have approached it, not to say that you and I won’t still make all kinds of mistakes on this episode and lots of others to come, I’m sure, but that wasn’t how you and I wanted to come across and we were we were being very careful to not go down that road. We didn’t want to be perceived that way because that’s not the way that we want to approach it.

 

Christina:

As you’re talking I want for all of our listeners to know that something that’s been called to my attention over these past couple of weeks, is that using the term White or Black or Brown actually makes people uncomfortable. This is interesting because in the Health at Every Size, anti-diet, intuitive eating world, when you first come across otherwise women self proclaiming themselves as fat. People take that as self deprecating, like, Oh, don’t say that. It’s really not the word or the descriptor that is the problem. It’s what we’ve learned to feel about and attach meaning to that. I am a White woman, Emily is a White woman, the world treats us as if we are White, we are not. In fact, when people are like, why do you have to say that like that contributes to the racism that contributes to the issues. No, it does not, and these are words and terms that all of us, in my opinion, have to be comfortable with using because there’s nothing wrong with them. They are not self deprecating, they are not racial slurs, and they are not contributing to the divisiveness, like the divide. It is not contributing to the divide that we are at hand with right now. All of us and the entire world. So again, I think it’s just kind of important to say that and something that has been important to me is to not overly generalize. So women of color, people of color are incredibly general. When we’re talking about everything that has come to fruition over these past couple of weeks, it is the Black community that is experiencing these things specifically, which is very, very important to not continue to water down their history, their experience, their truth and their reality by lumping them in with people or women of color. They are Black women, it is Black lives that matter. It is the Black communities and the Black people that are going through this trauma and experiencing this. Whatever you else you want to call it’s the Black communities that are experiencing this. I think that’s really important to say,

 

Emily:

I’m really happy you brought that up because I have been part of the group, whatever you want to call it, who always considered the term African American to be the more politically correct. I thought that was more polite. Now in Canada that also would throw me off sometimes, because then I would be like, Wait, am I saying African American, and it’s like African North American, because if somebody is in Canada, they’re African Canadian, but no one says African. What I want to stress here the most is that that has really come to my attention as well. It isn’t impolite to say Black and the Black community to address the Black community. Not everyone is African either or not everyone identifies as African. You need to refer to people as the Black community, and we also need to stress that the Black community is not a monolith. There are people within the Black community who may prefer to be called African American or African Canadian or whatever else they wish to be called. That is entirely their choice and you need to respect their wishes. You cannot take just like you wouldn’t for anyone White or anyone else of a different color, you would not take one person’s word as this is applicable across an entire species. That’s not how this works. I think that a lot of times, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of believing, okay, well, if one Black woman said this, then that must be true for every Black woman out there. That is not the case and you need to treat people with respect just like you would with anyone else in your life, to ask their opinion, ask them what they need, ask them how you can support them as an individual, not necessarily just them as in taking one person’s word for an entire community. 

 

When it comes to something like Black Lives Matter, with the the protests and all of those different types of things that you do to support that movement, yes, that is a little bit more defined that there are all kinds of really clear ways you can support the Black Lives Matter revolution that is happening and is very long overdue to be happening, like embarrassingly so 400 years overdue. This is where we’re at right now and I think there are a lot of different directions that we will probably take this, we’re even thinking about maybe turning this into a bit of a mini-series. One of the things that has kind of come up in the last couple weeks in the online space, especially, has been people from the same side. So White people, basically, who have come forward and taken a stance that yes, Black Lives Matter, and this is what I stand for, and all those things amazing. Now there’s all there’s been all this infighting happening from within the same side, and it’s like a pissing contest about who Black Lives Matter matters more to. Who’s doing it right and who’s doing it wrong and you’re not doing this right and and there’s this calling out culture that’s happening and everyone is starting to attack each other, when really that just continues to center the problem around White people, which is part of the bigger issue. We have to be addressing the Black Lives Matter side of things. This is not about the white side of this. This is about how all of us come together to support Black Lives Matter, which also likely leads us into whether we should probably offer an explanation as to why all lives matter does not apply right now. I don’t know if you want to take that one. 

 

Christina:

I do want to take that.

 

Emily: 

Thought you might.

 

Christina:

There’s something I, Emily I’m going to assume that you agree with me but feel free to correct me. I’m not interested in trying to convince someone of anything. I’m here to explain something that is really important for me to check myself on across everything that I do. I think it’s also important for, and you agree, so I’m not just speaking for myself. We’re just here to explain stuff. I’m not here to convince you of anything otherwise and that’s, again, an important distinction. I think we said this, but I want to say this again. Emily and I are not anti-racist educators. We are not the experts in this field. We are simply recording a conversation, this is a conversation, and it is my hope, and I know that it’s your hope, Emily, also, that these are the types of conversations that you are fostering offline, in your real life with people. With that being said, Black Lives Matter. Shall we use an example that I’ve seen on the internet? I think that’s great. When you say all lives matter, in response to Black Lives Matter, this can be assimilated to someone’s houses on fire on your block and you leave your completely safe, totally not on fire home and run over to the fire department and say, doesn’t my house matter? Your house is not currently on fire.

 

I think it’s like third grade, maybe second grade. We start to learn about critical thinking skills, but then also at the same time, we learn about how we use inference like what’s being inferred here? That’s been taken a little bit too far, meaning, somewhere along the way, people have been interpreting Black Lives Matter, as Black Lives are the only lives that matter. No one said that. That’s not what anyone is saying. That’s not the point. That’s not the movement. That is not the argument. They are the community, the population and the people that have been oppressed for 400 plus years. All lives can’t matter until Black Lives Matter. The other thing that I saw on the internet, which can be a slippery slope, by the way, is that all lives matter is the bare minimum, like mattering is the minimum, and people are pissed off that Black lives could even matter, like mattering is ground 0. I wish you guys could see my face right now. I’m like foaming at the mouth. 

 

Emily:

t’s true. It’s true, and rightfully so because honestly, I get so worked up about this because people are like Black Lives Matter and then fight about that. I’m like, really So you’re not okay with them even mattering, not at the top of the food chain. That’s not even what we’re saying, life doesn’t matter to you, really? What? I don’t even know how to respond to that when people make that argument.

 

Christina:

Where are they getting this notion that if we say, and proclaim, and support, and stand behind Black Lives Matter, that none other like no other life matters? How did we get there? 

 

Emily:

Honestly if I have the answer to that question, maybe we all could just unpack White supremacy and racism tomorrow and be done with it. Unfortunately, that’s not where we’re at. I wish I had a good answer for that.

 

Christina: 

You said something about you know, how all this fighting on the same side of the line I’ve been calling it as you know, I’ve been saying this nonstop for what feels like forever, but probably just a week now. Like on the right side of history, and I am going to be so bold as to say that this is the right side of history, like being on and fully supporting and standing behind and understanding Black Lives Matter What that means what that looks like. Offline also, by the way, not just online. I’m going to be so bold as to call that the right side of history. I think it’s also worth stating that my therapist and I have been working on my dog with bone tendencies that not everything needs to be right and wrong, like not everything is just like, right or wrong or yes and no. This is her second concert. This is the right side. This is the right side of history, but it’s been interesting and very maddening to see people on the right side of history continuing to fight about. I am not even exactly sure what we’re fighting about. It’s like aren’t we on the same side?

 

Emily:

Well, actually you and I were talking before we jumped on about how it’s turned into couch activism, where being activists with your thumbs depending on what you post on Instagram is how you’re graded as a human being in this fight. I’m like, anyone can post anything on Instagram and not mean it. It can’t come down to this culture that we have created and you and I have both always stood strongly up against this, that if it doesn’t get posted on the gram, it didn’t happen. Fuck that shit. Fuck that shit. You and I have been, and I’m not and I’m not like putting us above anyone else. This is purely just as an example standpoint, that you and I have been reading books and doing our own research and having conversations not only with each other, but educating the other people in our lives, in each of our lives and having really tough conversations with many people around them. A topic for a long time, like at least a couple of years, and just because we didn’t talk about it on Instagram, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Should we have been talking about it on Instagram? That’s a different conversation we should have been speaking out more openly about, and it was a mistake not to and I fully acknowledge and take responsibility for that. But this whole idea that if you aren’t posting 15 times a day to your stories, with some sort of activism related. It’s not a tweet, I don’t know what you call it, some photo, whatever, on Instagram, that you don’t stand for Black Lives Matter. You need to make your stand extremely clear and Instagram is a really great tool to use to utilize. But that can’t be it. You can’t then put your phone down and then be done with anti-racism. That’s not how this works and I think that people are going to, I said this about the pandemic and ‘m going to say this, again about the Black Lives Matter movement, that there is a separation of the herd. 

 

Obviously, these are two very different things that I’m talking about just purely for again, for example, sake, there’s a separation of the herd happening, where you’ll see a lot of people jump on this so-called bandwagon. Right now, it’s not a bandwagon, but there are people who will treat it as such. They will post post post, there’ll be a whole big thing, and then they’re going to go silent, or they will stop talking about it, or they will only ever post to Instagram and you’ll kind of find out later that they aren’t actually walking their walk or doing anything about it in real life. That is where the separation is going to happen and I think that there’s so much bullshit on social media. We’ve known this for a long time. This is not new either. There’s so much smoke and mirrors, that it’s this year above all else is really showing me that the people who are genuine and who walk their walk and who actually really mean what they say. Slowly those people are rising to the top, because it’s becoming more and more obvious, who is just fucking around and saying what they think they have to say, and who is actually saying what they really deeply feel and are actually actively working on or working towards. If that’s the only positive that comes out of 2020 I call that a win. Truly, like that is a win if we can get rid of some of the fucking bullshit on social media to start really seeing the people who are truly genuine and really mean what they say and to do actually act out and in real life, what they say that they’re going to do. That’s a good sign. In my mind.

 

Christina:

I wish I knew who said this and this is just how unrehearsed I am all the time, but someone said, on Instagram something to the effect of that maybe you know who this was Emily, but like some of you did a cost benefit analysis and figured it was too risky to post anything about Black Lives Matter. I actually want to counter that and say yes and, some people did a cost analysis about what they would lose if they didn’t, which all comes back to this performance of like, Oh, wait, no one call me out, don’t divest from me as a business owner or coach or whatever. Those people have already shown that they’re back to business as usual, and I’ve got to tell ya, for someone and this is again, what you and I were talking about before we even hit record. I’m not curated at all, I’m not super polished and it feels right now at the time that we’re recording this, it does feel really gross to just be like and here’s my day like in the middle of this so we know that this was a little bit of a counterpoint to what you were saying you’re exactly right, activism does not end on social media and what we post on social media. 100% and to back up your point, you have to make your stance perfectly clear. I do want to say though, what I find incredibly concerning is anyone who might be taking that thought, and then using it to their advantage of like, Well, my activism doesn’t need to exist on Instagram, but like here’s another photo of my flower bed in my baked bread. Like, I’m sorry, no, no, you take those, you take your stupid peonies that you’re planning outside and you shove them up your White ass, I can’t.

 

Emily:

In addition to talking about some of the bigger issues.

 

Christina: 

I’m talking about stand alone, not addressing and we haven’t addressed anything at all. 

 

Emily:

Oh, yeah, that’s a different story. The thing is we still have to live our lives. I actually just took like three full days off of social media because I was like, if I continue to scroll Instagram for 10 hours a day, my brain will light on fire, and I cannot show up as a human for myself. I can’t show up as an entrepreneur, and I can’t help anyone else. Regardless of what color you are, if I don’t cut myself off for a little bit of a break. 

 

Christina:

Can I say something that’s really funny? Emily and I both took some time off Instagram, and I was like, Oh my god, Emily, I have so much time to text you now that I’m not on Instagram.

 

Emily:

It’s true. You did say

 

Christina:

I was spending hours I can’t even tell you. It was atrocious.

 

Emily:

I don’t want anyone to mistake this as like I’m comparing one to the other directly. It’s just purely for example standpoint when the pandemic first happened and everything shut down and the world went to shit. Practically overnight with everything. I spent basically a full week on my phone, and so last week when that happened, and I was noticing myself getting sucked into that I’m like, you know, maybe this is just part of the process. That it was also really again, even though I know, like you and I have been having these discussions for a long time. It was very eye opening to see how things are transpiring and how people were reacting to it. It was really fascinating to watch from both positive and negative standpoints.

 

Christina:

I don’t mean to keep bringing up my therapist, but it’s relevant. Something that I’ve learned about myself over the past year or so is my innate drive that I have for survival, which requires me categorizing things in people as safe or unsafe. I know that may sound dramatic, but that’s like a whole birth adoption story thing, but a lot of this does feel very primal for me. Not because, again, soaking in White privilege. This whole thing is very personal for me, because everything that I do, and this is what I’ve been telling my clients, everything that I do, is an extension of my home. Therefore, when you’re invited or I invite you, you invite yourself to my Instagram, to my stories, to my podcasts, to my gym to my online programs. We are in a safe space together, but that has to work both ways. So you might feel safe in my program because I look White, but would actually feel safe with you in my physical home knowing that you would maybe speak differently to my parents, speak differently to my sister, treat my Black and Brown entirely, entirely Black and Brown family differently because of what they look like. If the answer is no. Is it because they’re in my home, or would you treat them differently out in the world? Like are you no longer a safe space for the people in my family? So a lot of this obsession with Instagram was literally my brain from a very primal place, trying to figure out who was safe and unsafe. Not even for myself because I’m dripping in White privilege. No one is unsafe to me, no one is a threat to me and imagine that not being the case for you because of the color of your skin. So they always say this, what you allow in your presence as your standard. So it was a lot of that too. It was a lot of that to what am I going to tolerate and I got to tell you I don’t tolerate much. There’s no wiggle room. There is no conversation to be had. I have nothing. When it comes to racism, prejudice, I’ll have none of it.

 

Emily:

Yeah, and I feel the same way and I put up a post I meant every word like that. If someone doesn’t believe that Black Lives Matter, don’t buy my shit. I want nothing to do with you. I don’t want you in my Facebook groups. I don’t want anything to do with you because I want to create nothing but a safe space for anyone of any color. I don’t want anything to do with someone who can’t get on board with that. Absolutely not. I meant that because that’s the thing. You also have to put your money where your mouth is, and people who say that they are fully invested in this work, but then we’ll still associate with people who openly speak otherwise. I can’t trust them either and I was having this conversation a couple times now with a few different podcasting and business coaching clients. Where I’m like, I’ve always talked really heavily about you know, before you go on somebody’s podcast before you associate with them before you do anything like accept an ad from them for your podcast, anything like that. Like how thoroughly you vet people, I’m like that vetting process just got a lot more intense. I said to them, I’m actually going to put together something and I’m still figuring this out for myself, but I’m going to be having to put more together for myself and for clients about how to thoroughly vet people, brands, companies, businesses, entrepreneurs, for this specifically, like, Where do you stand on the anti-racism side of things. I am not prepared to work with anyone in any capacity who does not believe that Black lives matter.

 

Christina:

You know, something that I was saying last week was more so on like Instagram stories, which should probably be turned into something else so that it can live on is like, Oh, this was right around Blackout Tuesday. So that was kind of a trend, these people like wait a minute, no, I swear to God, I swear to God, I’m not racist. It felt really nice for a while because it did feel like this huge collective act of solidarity but also made it glaringly obvious who wasn’t even, I’ve got people in mind and if you’re listening to this, I’m probably thinking of you. So I’m not ignorant. I paid real good attention last week, let me tell you. On the one hand, it felt like this really lovely, collective act of solidarity, and then again, also, you’ve got literally almost every single person that I follow on Instagram did this black square, we’ll get back to there in a second. It really kind of separated the people that were like, Oh, I’m not going to do this. However, then, like, this performative thing, then it went away. Like all the trends are over, we’re done here. Which, what I’ve been saying like I said, since last Tuesday was like, What are you willing to lose because of this? I have to tell you that some of my clients are just such amazing people because they, you know, were reaching out to me saying like I did when you say that you’re willing to lose stuff over this, like I believe you. Part of that’s my personality too. Emily and I are both enneagram, eights. I will just be very blunt and very aggressive and how I say things but I’m willing to lose and it’s still prepared by the way this is we’re not like out of the woods yet in terms of, like you said, people vote with their dollars, put your money where your mouth is. I don’t want to help anyone in any capacity if they’re not committed to this work. I think the problem is, you and I said this before we hit record, I think some people didn’t didn’t post those black squares because they were afraid to have those uncomfortable conversations. What are my in-laws going to think? What are my clients going to think? What are my parents gonna think like, we never had to have this conversation and, you know, maybe I have like super racist parents or super racist people in my circle or whatever. I think going back to it not being your performance, what are we doing offline? I think we have to be prepared and willing to lose stuff, money, friends, family, um, and a great way to think about this. This is what I explained to my parents, when I read them, the things that I was publishing to my groups and my members, my parents were like, Christina, you’re going to lose your business. I said, One day, I may have children and grandchildren and they’re going to read about this shit in a textbook and they’re going to ask me what I did. I want them to be proud of what I did. Have you seen anything Emily, about people saying, some of you were wondering How you would have behaved in the 1950s? Here you go.

 

Emily:

Yep, I’ve seen those memes and stuff floating around. That’s the thing, not to come at it from a performative perspective, but to come at it from the perspective of what’s fucking right.  I often talk about how you and I differ a little bit on this because you see things in very black and white terms, and I tend to see a lot of gray. You and I will have actually super interesting conversations because of that because you’ll take like a really clear stance and I’ll play devil’s advocate and I’m like, okay, but what about this, this isn’t this and but are also certain things especially when it comes to injustices that I am very clear on and this is one of them. There are no maybes in this situation. This is the right side of history. I completely agree with what you said earlier. There is no getting around it and if you aren’t on board yet, you need to go fucking educate yourself and figure out why you are on the wrong side to get yourself onto the good side. The good side is the right side. I mean, there’s so much more to say about this. I know we’re definitely gonna have to turn this into a mini-series because we have a lot more to say. Is there anything else that you want to make sure to mention in this episode?

 

Christina:

Just really quick. I think if there’s anyone made it this long, that’s like, Oh, I’m on the right side of history, but like they’re not, maybe just a little bit some closing remarks about that, people are like that, run around saying like, I’m not racist. Therefore, I do not need to do this work. I do not need to look into these resources or whatever. What are some of your thoughts on that?

 

Emily:

This work is fucking humbling, and you need to check your goddamn ego at the door, because you will not survive doing this work. You will be nothing but defensive all the time, if you aren’t willing to check your ego at the door, something that I do want to mention. I started following a bunch of new accounts last week, as I think a lot of us did, simply because there were a lot of women of color, the Black community in particular, who were coming to light and being shared that I had never come across before. It was largely on me that I hadn’t come across them before because I hadn’t actively gone to seek them out. So I’m not like putting that on anyone else, but one of the things that I found was that, I think I might have told you there was one morning last week where I just I felt so heavy that I woke up and I laid in bed for a good 30 To 60 minutes thinking about what a terrible person I am, and that was when I was like, Okay, I need to take a little break off social media. I can’t I can’t do this work. I can’t show up for anyone, if I’m coming at it from that place. So yes, you need to check your ego at the door. Yes, you’re going to be humbled. Yes, you’re going to say things wrong. I’m sure that Christina and I have both said multiple things wrong in this conversation alone, and that we probably will get called out for it. what the difference is, is that what I’ve been talking to people about and what you and I have been discussing, Christina, what I’ve been telling myself is that if you go into these types of conversations, knowing how necessary this work is for the survival of other human beings, who gives a fuck if you get embarrassed, or you you do get called out and you know what, if you do get called out, don’t make the mistake that so many of these specifically white coaches at the top of their industry on Instagram have been making, which is to immediately put their guard up to be defensive. It makes them look like assholes, because they’re being assholes. If you get called out, allow it to humble you. If you expect to get called out, it’s going to be a lot easier when it happens to actually use it as a learning experience, as opposed to getting defensive, and then being a complete jerk about it. So start expecting to get it wrong, expect to get called out and suddenly things might actually feel just a tiny bit easier for you to be able to have these types of really uncomfortable conversations.

 

Christina:

Yes, should we maybe link below in our show notes to some resources and just like use this as a call to action?

 

Emily:

Definitely, I also need to make clear that the resources will not be affiliate links. That is another mistake that I was appalled that there was a White coach who was basically profiting off of this movement by linking children’s books. 

 

Christina: 

Maybe we should record a business episode about some of the etiquette because I think a lot of my listeners listening to this are like what the hell is an affiliate link? Or like, what is that? 

 

Emily:

Yeah, but we will get into that and it will be a more business specific episode. To be clear, we’ll listen to resources, some books, some podcasts. I found some incredible podcasts in the last couple weeks that are awesome. Really good articles. I’m sure we can link awesome articles. So in some Instagram accounts to some educators and stuff people who are actual anti-racism educators.

 

Any final thoughts? 

 

Christina:

I think just to tie this up here in terms of the discomfort that we feel when we’re called out, what helps me check myself is that this is the discomfort that Black women and women of color have to feel every single day they do not get a choice, they do not get to censor themselves in real life as they are existing in a Black and Brown body so as to avoid discomfort. It is very common and I know this from experience being raised by Puerto Rican dad and a Mexican mom. We are taught that if you want to be taken seriously, as a Latina woman, you have to be calm and quiet, or you will be written off as a crazy Latina. No one’s going to take you seriously. I don’t know if when my parents were teaching me that if they knew that I was going to. I looked very Hispanic as a child. This is very interesting for some reason, and now I just look White. That is something that Black women are also taught, to make yourself more palatable so as to be more easily digested by people in the world. You don’t want to make anyone else uncomfortable. So we and I’ll group myself into that, although it’s not really fair. So again, Black women, Brown women, women of color are taught that their duty is to go out into the world and not make anybody else uncomfortable. So the least thing that you can do when you are dripping in privilege, like I am, like Emily is simply because we are White. You can handle the short term discomfort of being called out or called in as some people are calling it now, which I think is really beautiful being called in, instead of called out, you can handle it. There. That is why there is an entire book called White Fragility because you think that you can’t handle it. You can. I always put myself when I’m like, Oh, am I going to get called out? Whatever, I kind of check myself a little bit and think about the discomfort that so many Black and Brown folks experience no matter what, you know what that goes for any sort of racially marginalized because Asians probably feel that way. I mean truly it doesn’t matter. You can handle it, we can handle it. You can do hard things.

 

Emily:

I was just gonna say that.

 

Christina:

It’s time. It’s time for us White folks to be uncomfortable. It’s time. It’s over time.

 

Emily:

I think that’s a great note to finish up on and you can expect more of these from me and Christina, because we have a lot to say we have a year’s worth of conversations between the two of us and with other people in our lives. That we should have been talking about more publicly a long time ago, and now we will be going forward. We will get it wrong sometimes, and it’s fine because we’ll use those as learning opportunities. Hopefully we can pass along some of those opportunities to other people as well.

 

Christina:

Yeah, this was great. I’m looking forward to our next one.

 

Emily:

Yes. Thank you. Love you. 

 

Christina:

Love you too.

 

Emily:

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast today. I’m so grateful you took the time and it means the absolute world to me. For any references in the episode and all show notes. Be sure to jump over to roomtogrowpodcast.com, and if this episode touched your heart, it would mean so much. If you would take a quick second hit subscribe, write a review and share on social media or with someone who really needs to hear today’s message. It makes such a difference to keep this podcast going so I can continue to bring you amazing content and absolutely incredible guests. Be sure to tag me on Instagram over @emilygoughcoach so that I can thank you In real time for listening and connect with you. We’re back every Tuesday and Thursday with brand new episodes and I’m looking forward to growing with you!

 

Questions?  Comments? Want to connect and chat about this episode? You can email me at info@emilygoughcoaching.com, or DM me over on Instagram @emilygoughcoach or Facebook at Emily Gough Coaching.  I would absolutely love to connect with you and thank you for listening in real life and here any takeaways you had from this or other episodes!.  It makes me day to see you listening to the podcast and fills me up with pure joy. Seriously.  See you on the ‘gram!

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BRAND NEW EPISODES EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY

Find Emily Online:

Emily Gough Coaching

Room to Grow Podcast

 

Find Christina Online:

Christina’s website

The Confidence Project Podcast

Iron Phoenix Strength Club outside Chicago, Illinois

Instagram @christina_montalvo

 

Access more episodes with Emily & Christina:

Episode #24, Victim Mindset with Christina Montalvo

Episode #43, The Art of Maintaining Friendships with Christina Montalvo

Episode #79, How Your Money Mindset is Holding You Back From More Success with Christina Montalvo

Episode #88, Save the Drama for Your Mama with Christina Montalvo

Episode #98, Bridezilla: Our Unconventional Thoughts on Weddings & Showers with Christina Montalvo

Episode #104, The Tall & Short of It: How Your Height Changes Your Experience in the World with Christina Montalvo

Episode #112, Navigating Entrepreneurship: What Doesn’t Get Shared Publicly with Christina Montalvo

Episode #124, Affair Aftermath & Holding Space for a Friend in Crisis with Christina Montalvo

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