This week, author Heather McGhee breaks down the driving force of American economic exclusion via the swimming pool. Baratunde asks Heather about all she has learned traveling across the country to write her book, The Sum of Us. They explore the roots of wealth inequality, the true cost of racism, and why Americans have a zero-sum worldview - meaning progress for some must come at the expense of others.
Guest: Heather McGhee - writer, advocate
Bio: Heather designs and promotes solutions to inequality in America. Her new book, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together is now available from One World, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Her 2020 TED talk, “Racism Has a Cost for Everyone” reached 1 million views in just two months online. In the coming year, she will launch an original podcast on how to create cross-racial solidarity in challenging times.
SHOW NOTES + LINKS
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We are grateful to Heather McGhee for joining us! Follow her at @hmcghee on Twitter, or find more of her work at heathermcghee.com.
Where does your family fit in?
Our history is deeply rooted in the idea that one group’s gain must come at the expense of another. Reflect on your family. Has anyone expressed any of these sentiments? Where do you think it comes from? Why?
Read the Sum of Us
This book is incredible. It’s engaging, insightful, and digs deep into the hidden history of our country. Heather covers lots of ground, from the economic and racial impact of Climate Change to the Housing Crisis of ‘08. Support local bookstores and this show. You can buy it and more online at bookshop dot org slash how to citizen. https://bookshop.org/howtocitizen
Fight for $15
As Heather explained, solidarity dividends are the gains we get when we work together, across racial divides. Fight for $15 is an international movement for workers rights and a $15 minimum wage. Heather cites this movement as a perfect example of reaching across racial lines. The website fight for 15 dot org has all sorts of ways you can get involved, from signing a petition to organizing in your place of work.
If you take any of these actions, share that with us - email@example.com. Mention But … Why Is Our Economy So White? in the subject line. And share about your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen.
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How To Citizen with Baratunde is a production of iHeartRadio Podcasts and Dustlight Productions. Our Executive Producers are Baratunde Thurston, Elizabeth Stewart and Misha Euceph. Stephanie Cohn is our Senior Producer and Alie Kilts is our Producer. Kelly Prime is our Editor. Original Music by Andrew Eapen. Valentino Rivera is our Engineer. Sam Paulson is our Apprentice. This episode was produced and sound designed by Stephanie Cohn. Special thanks to Joelle Smith from iHeartRadio.
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