Speak Out with Tim Wise is an informative and entertaining podcast aimed at promoting multiracial democracy and justice in dangerous times. The show features the biting, factual, and humorous commentary of its host, alongside dialogue with some of the nation's leading scholars, artists and activists, as well as grassroots community leaders whose voices are often ignored in the dominant media.
Episode 61 - Your Money or Your Life: COVID-19 and the False Choice of the Far-Right
In this episode, I discuss the anti-lockdown protests and opposition to ongoing quarantining in the face of COVID-19. Rather than focusing on the extremist gun nuts, anti-vaxxers, and conspiracy loons behind some of this activity, I focus on the more reasonable fears of average, everyday folks, simply worried about the economy and their ability to support their families.
But as I explain, however reasonable their fears may be, the assumption that we must choose our money/jobs or our lives/health is false. It is a position into which people have been placed only because right-wing ideology and policymakers resist the kinds of government support for families and workers that other nations provide as a matter of course.
We could be doing the same things as nations like Denmark, for instance -- paying their people significant sums to stay home until the danger passes -- but our cultish devotion to the so-called free market and limited safety nets makes that unthinkable.
And yet, using two thought experiments, I show that we WOULD do those larger state interventions IF the victims of COVID-19 were disproportionately white, affluent, healthy, and in the prime of their lives. Similarly, we would take that route if the virus had a much greater ability to spread or was as deadly as say, a chemical weapons attack.
The fact that we could go the direction of a huge government support effort, but aren't doing that currently, proves that we value some lives more than others and that we value our ideology far more than the lives we're sure to lose if social distancing measures are lifted.
Episode 60: Political Organizing with Gratitude & Humility Rather than Guilt and Shame
In this episode, I explore the importance of gratitude and humility, in terms of how we think of our own place and the place of others in the economy (especially in this moment of quarantine), and also as political organizing tools.
As we enter the home stretch for the 2020 election, activists in both the Biden camp and Sanders camp have been quick to deploy guilt and shame to motivate those in the opposite camp. For Biden supporters, it's shaming those Bernie die-hards who say they will refuse to vote for Biden in November, by insisting they will be responsible if Trump wins a second term. For the Berners its shaming supporters of literally any other Democrat for "not caring if people die because they can't afford insulin," or not caring about the climate crisis or student debt. In neither case is this approach intellectually honest, strategically wise, or ethical.
Instead, as I explain in this episode, we should utilize gratitude for those who could be our allies in the struggle for a more just society. And we should deploy humility when it comes to our own awareness--since, after all, whatever we know (or think we know) is the result of what we've been taught and the insights to which we've been exposed. We haven't the right, ethically, to be smug about how woke we are, when our own awareness may be fairly recent and is largely the result of others helping us come to whatever insights we've managed to stitch together.
Episode 59 - Facts Don't Care About Your Feelings, But Decent People Do: The Dangerous Emotional Detachment of the Right
In this episode, I examine the right's new favorite mantra -- "facts don't care about your feelings" -- and what it says about modern conservatism's deeply stunted emotional core.
Looking at the political, philosophical and psychological underpinnings of this notion, that "reason and logic" are a) conservative, and b) in opposition to feelings and emotion (which are "liberal") I note the absurdity of such arguments, and also their fundamentally dehumanizing and dangerous logic.
1) What the right considers facts often aren't;
2) Conservatives are some of the biggest snowflakes on the planet;
3) Reason and emotion are NOT opposed to one another; rather they are complimentary and both critical to making us fully human;
4) In fact, only by caring about feelings and emotions (our own and those of others) can we fully make logic and rationality function as it should, and persuade anyone of the facts we seek to share with them;
and, 5) Psychologically speaking, to embrace detached indifference to people's emotions and feelings is to embrace sociopathy. It is to suggest that the nurturing of an anti-social personality is a morally compelling life goal. It is not. It is a sickness.
And apparently, that sociopathy is a hallmark of the modern conservative mind: something to be resisted and defeated for the good of us all.
Episode 58: Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and the Need for Solidarity
On this episode, taped live at the 2019 National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education, Tim and his guests discuss the need for solidarity between Jews and Muslims in the face of growing white nationalism, fueled by deep-seated anti-Semitism as well as Islamophobia.
As synagogues and mosques around the world come under attack from terrorists intent on sowing hatred, the importance of Jews and Muslims seeing themselves as allies to one another becomes ever more important. Islam and Judaism have both been intensely racialized by white supremacists in ways that “other” them both and necessitate greater solidarity between the two.
But how do we build such solidarity, especially with so much division and misunderstanding concerning the ongoing Israel/Palestine conflict? How can we navigate that issue to produce greater understanding and a shared commitment to justice for all? We’ll also discuss how whiteness intersects with Judaism in America, and how Islam and Judaism both sometimes operate with an undercurrent of anti-blackness in this country.
My guests for this panel were Dr. Amer Ahmed, Dr. Lisa Albrecht and Kahled Al-Hakim, whose bios and work are explored in greter detail on the program
Episode 57 - Affirmative Action, the Model Minority Myth & Right-Wing Divide-and-Conquer
In this episode, taped live at the 2019 National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education, Tim and his panelists discuss the way in which Asian Americans have long been viewed by some as a "model minority," and how that framing papers over ongoing racism against all persons of color, incuding Asian folks.
Particular attention is given to the way in which this trope has been deployed by reactionary attorneys who brought the recent lawsuit against Harvard for its affirmative action programs.
By pointing to higher average test scores for Asian students, the lawsuit claims more qualified Asian Americans are being discriminated against in elite college admissions to make way for black and Latino students with lower test scores. This argument rests on any number of false assumptions, but is a cynical and effective way to divide people of color by pitting them against one another, rather than engaging all such students in a fight for greater equity and access.
Tim's guests for this panel -- who are introduced in the panel itself -- were Dr. Helen Zia, Dr. David Pilgrim, Dr. Mary Danico and Dr. Nolan Cabrera.
Episode 56 - When Hate Comes to Campus: Responding to the New White Nationalism in the Age of Trump
In this episode, taped live at the 2019 National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE), Tim and his panel discuss the rise of overt racist and white nationalist organizing in America, and especially on college campuses.
With groups like Identity Europa actively recruiting college students, and with young people especially susceptible to right-wing radicalization via internet-based hate forums, it will be important for colleges—as places of learning and as spaces ostensibly committed to pluralism and equity—to devise strategies for responding to the upsurge of racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic and anti-Semitic activity.
Panelists will explore the causes for resurgent white nationalism, controversies regarding free speech/hate speech as they pertain to this new threat, and various institutional responses that colleges and universities will need to explore in order to meet the challenge.
Panelists include: Scot Nakagawa, Lindsey Schubiner, Rahuldeep Gill and Tim Wise
First I heard of Tim Wise at college from the “white like me” documentary. I am so grateful I found this podcast. So much valuable information. If this world would have more persons like him, this country and others wouldn’t be acting and behaving in the way they d
What a bummer
I really loved hearing his insights in graduate school at Smith College.
I was excited about a discussion about Jews and Muslims coming together. Unfortunately, it was convenient for him to have narrow Jewish voices on the show. All people speaking are anti-Israel. It is so much more complicated than that. When one is actually Jewish and wanting a two state solution and not wanting to support various Israeli military decisions, then that is an actual discussion worth listening to.
Why are episodes “temporarily unavailable”? 😕
When will they be back up?