METROFOCUS: JANUARY 14, 2020

Actress and comedian June Diane Raphael is inspiring women to “Represent” with her step-by-step guide to running for office. Irshad Manji, author, activist, and founder of “The Moral Courage Project” offers perspective on our divided nation.

Aired on January 14, 2020. 

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS.'

WOMEN CHANGING THE WORLD.

POLITICAL CAMPAIGNING CAN SEEM DAUNTING TO SOMEONE WHO HASN'T DONE IT BEFORE.

BUT NOW ACTRESS AND COMEDIENNE JUNE DIANE IS GETTING WOMEN TO HELP.

THEN JOIN US FOR A MASTER CLASS.

THE OUTSPOKEN AUTHOR, ACTIVIST AND FOUNDER OF THE MORAL COURAGE PROJECT AT USC SHARES HER PERSPECTIVE ON LABELS, GENDER ROLES AND OUR DIVIDED NATION.

THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

THIS IS 'METROFOCUS.'

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --

FOR MOST OF RECORDED AMERICAN HISTORY, POLITICAL POWER HAS LOOKED A CERTAIN WAY.

PORTRAITS OF POWER CALLING IMAGES OF MEN DRESS IN THE SUITS.

HOWEVER, AFTER THE 2018 MID-TERM ELECTIONS WHEN WOMEN ACCOUNTED FOR MORE THAN 100 SEATS IN CONGRESS, IT WAS CLEAR THAT CHANGE AND REPRESENTATION IS UNDERWAY.

BUT WHAT OBSTACLES CAN DeTHEY FACE GETTING TO OFFICE?

AND FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN RUNNING WHAT SHOULD YOU KNOW BEFORE ENTERING THE RACE?

THE WOMEN'S GUIDE TO RUNNING FOR OFFICE AND CHANGING THE WORLD, ACTOR, COMEDIENNE, WRITER, JUNE DIEANNE RAYFIELD GIVES WOMEN A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO RUNNING.

IT'S NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

I PREFACE THIS BY SAYING IT IS A MARVELOUS BOOK AND INFUSED WITH GREAT HUMOR WHILE STILL FOCUSING ON VERY SIGNIFICANT ISSUES.

THAT'S A DIFFICULT BALANCE TO ACCOMPLISH.

SO MY COMPLEMENTS TO YOU RIGHT OFF THE BAT.

FIRST QUESTION.

I'M ALWAYS CURIOUS, I'VE WRITTEN A FEW BOOKS MYSELF.

I'M CURIOUS FOR WRITERS AS TO WHY THEY DECIDE TO FOCUS WITH ALL THE OPPORTUNITIES YOU HAVE ON THIS PROJECT.

AND YOU TALK IN YOUR INTRODUCTION LETTER THAT YOU DO ABOUT WHAT GOT YOU TO IT.

GIVE AS YOU QUICK SENSE OF THAT.

AFTER THE 2016 ELECTION, I WAS FEELING, THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO PUT IT.

DEVASTATED.

AND HUMILIATED AT HILLARY'S LOSS.

AND I WAS CONSIDERING RUNNING FOR OFFICE.

I KNOW I'M NOT THE ONLY WOMAN IN AMERICA WHO FELT THIS WAY BUT PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PRESIDENCY CERTAINLY MADE ME FEEL LIKE, WELL, SHOOT.

MAYBE I CAN DO THIS, TOO.

AND DID I SOME GOOGLING AND I COULD NOT FIND A LOT OF INFORMATION ON WHAT THE FIRST STEPS WOULD BE.

I THINK THAT CIVIC ENGAGEMENT IS KEPT AWAY FROM A LOT OF US.

MAYBE ON PURPOSE.

AND WE DON'T, FOR MOST WOMEN, WE THINK THE PROCESS IS MISS TEAR JUST OVERWHELMING AND ALSO BEST LEFT TO OTHERS TO DO.

I REALLY SET OUT TO WRITE A GUIDE BOOK TO ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS THAT I HAD.

KATE BLACK WAS SOMEONE I FOUND, THE CHIEF OF STAFF AT THE TIME AND SHE HAD ALL THE INFORMATION.

SO WE REALLY SET OUT TO DEMYSTIFY PROCESS, TO MAKE IT, YES, FUN, DARE I SAY, AND ACCESSIBLE, BUT ALSO FILLED WITH GRANULAR DETAILS ON HOW A RUN FOR OFFICE COULD LOOK IN A VERY REAL, VERY FULL LIFE.

LET ME ASK YOU A BIG PICTURE QUESTION.

IN PUTTING THIS ALL TOGETHER, WHAT DID YOU FIND IN TERMS OF THE BARRIERS?

BOTH THE REALITIES OF BARRIERS AND MAYBE MORE IMPORTANT, THE PERCEPTION THAT WOMEN HAVE OF THE BARRIERS?

FOR THEM RUNNING FOR OFFICE.

I THINK THAT THERE ARE THE VERY REAL EXTERNAL BARRIERS THAT EXIST.

AND THEN THERE ARE THE INTERNAL BARRIERS.

AND THE VERY REAL EXTERNAL BARRIERS ARE AROUND MONEY AND ACCESS TO WEALTH.

AND HAVING PERSONAL WEALTH, OR ACCESS TO WEALTHY CIRCLES MAKES THE PROCESS A LOT EASIER.

ALSO, WOMEN HAVE A HARD HE TIME FUNDRAISING.

WOMEN OF COLOR HAVE AN EVEN HARDER TIME THAN WHITE WOMEN.

AND THESE ARE FACTS AND THEY'RE REAL AND THEY'RE SOMETHING TO CONSIDER.

THEN THERE ARE THE INTERNAL BATTLES.

THE FEELINGS AROUND, ARE WE QUALIFIED ENOUGH?

THE FEARS THAT WE'RE GOING TO BE EMBARRASSED.

WE'RE GOING TO BE SEXUALIZED, HUMILIATED IN SOME WAY IF WE TAKE A STEP INTO THE PUBLIC.

ARENA.

AND THE BOOK DOES NOT DISMISS THE FEARS OR SAY THERE IS NOT A REALITY TO THEM.

BUT WE ALSO OFFER WOMEN, I HOPE, A LOT OF WAYS TO COMBAT THESE INTERNAL FEARS, AND TO ADDRESS THEM.

AND I THINK ULTIMATELY, BY PROVIDING WOMEN WITH A CHECK LIST, AND A PASS AND A ROAD MAP, THAT THEY CAN REALLY WORK AND THAT THEY CAN REALLY INTERACT WITH, BY THE END OF IT, MY HOPE IS THEY'RE REALLY ARMED FOR THIS PROCESS IN A DIFFERENT WAY.

AND THAT WHAT THEY REALLY WALK AWAY FROM, THE BOOK WITH, IS THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THEY'RE NOT ALONE IN THIS.

THAT THIS IS NOT SOMETHING SOMEONE DOES ALONE.

THAT THEY ARE GOING TO BE ENGAGING A LOT OF PEOPLE AROUND THEM TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

WHY DO YOU THINK?

YOU MENTIONED THE QUALIFICATIONS.

I WAS STRUCK BY A COUPLE THINGS IN THE BOOK.

ONE WAS THAT SURVEYS HAVE SHOWN, EVEN MEN WHO ARE NOT QUALIFIED THINK THEY'RE QUALIFIED.

EVEN THOSE WHO HAVE ACKNOWLEDGED THEY'RE PROBABLY NOT QUALIFIED, THEY SAY YEAH, I'M QUALIFIED ON RUN FOR OFFICE.

SO MANY WOMEN WHO ARE HIGHLY QUALIFIED MIGHT QUESTION THAT ABOUT THEMSELVES WHY.

DO YOU THINK THAT IS?

YEAH.

WELL, I THINK HONESTLY, IT IS BECAUSE WE LIVE IN A SEXIST CULTURE.

AND WOMEN ARE NOT PRIMED AS LEADERS.

WE ARE NOT PRIMED THE BELIEVE THIS IS FOR US.

I THINK REPRESENTATION MATTERS AND SO IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE YOURSELF AS SOMETHING WHEN YOU DON'T SEE MUCH MODELING FOR IT.

SO I THINK THERE ARE A NUMBER OF REASONS WHY WE'RE INTERNALIZING THESE MESSAGES.

AND WE'RE INTERNALIZING THAT THE PATRIARCHAL CULTURE THAT WE LIVE IN.

WE'RE ALSO A PART OF IT.

AND IT SEEPS IN.

SO I THINK THE FIRST STEP, OF COURSE, IS TO IDENTIFY THAT THESE ARE MESSAGES AND JUST THAT.

THAT THIS IS NOT SOMETHING INHERENT THAT'S TRUE.

AND THEN WORK TO DISMANTLE THAT.

THE CHAPTERS, THEY'RE ALL INTRIGUING.

THEY RANGE FROM BIGGER PICTURES, YOU TALK ABOUT FUNDRAISING.

WHERE DO YOU GO TO FIND THE MONEY?

YOU MENTIONED EMILY'S LIST AND THE ROLE THEY CAN PLAY.

YOU EVEN FOCUS ON HOW TO SORT OF MICRO FOCUS.

YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT WHAT SHOULD YOU WEAR.

WHAT SHOULD YOUR UNIFORM BE?

TALK ABOUT THAT CHAPTER.

THAT WAS A REALLY DIFFICULT CHAPTER TO WRITE AND I STILL, I'M NOT SURE WE SHOULD HAVE INCLUDED IT.

THE REASON WHY IS BECAUSE FOR SO MANY WOMEN, BEAUTY STANDARDS ARE COMPLICATED AND POTENTIALLY DAMAGING, AND SO TO WRITE ANYTHING THAT PRE DESCRIBED WHAT TO WEAR FOR WOMEN WAS VERY TROUBLESOME TO ME.

YET WE GOT SO MANY QUESTIONS WHEN WE STARTED TO TALK TO WOMEN WHO WERE CONSIDERING RUNNING FOR OFFICE ABOUT THIS VERY SUBJECT.

A LOT OF THEM JUST WANTED TO BE TOLD WHAT TO WEAR SO THEY COULD MOVE ON WITH THE REST OF THEIR CAMPAIGN AND FOCUS ON THE THINGS THEY ACTUALLY CARED ABOUT.

SO ULTIMATELY WHAT WE CAME UP WITH IS A REAL, CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE.

IF YOU WANT TO GO OUT AND BUY A WHOLE NEW WARDROBE, YES, WE GIVE SOME SOUGSS OUTFITS THAT MIGHT WORK.

IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SPEND ANY MONEY AND TIME ON IT, WE TELL WOMEN TO GO INTO THEIR CLOSET AND PUT ON SOMETHING THAT MAKES THEM FEEL REALLY GREAT.

AND IF THEY DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT AT ALL, JUST MOVE ALONG TO THE NEXT CHAPTER.

BECAUSE IT IS A BIT OF A BERMUDA TRIANGLE.

BUT IT TURNS OUT, SOME THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO INCLUDE, IT IS A BIG ISSUE FOR SO MANY WOMEN.

WE ARE A VISUAL SOCIETY.

AND YOU KNOW --

ABSOLUTELY.

MEN OF ADVISERS TO TELL TWHAEM COLOR TIE TO WEAR.

I THINK FOR WOMEN, MEN PUT ON A SUIT AND THEY SEEM POWERFUL.

FOR WOMEN, IT IS A MUCH TRICKIER THING TO DO.

SO WE DON'T NECESSARILY HAVE THAT COSTUME OF POWER TO JUST PUT ON.

FOR WOMEN, A LOT OF OTHER FACTORS THAT COME INTO PLAY.

I TALKED ABOUT THIS INFUSION OF HUMOR BUT IT IS POWERFUL HUMOR AND INFORMATIVE HUMOR.

TALK ABOUT HOW YOU UTILIZE THE CHECK LIST AT THE END OF EACH OF THESE CHAMTS AND HOW THEY BUILD UPON EACH OTHER?

WE START BY REALLY ASKING WOMEN TO JUST SAY IT OUT LOUD.

TO TELL SOMEONE OUT LOUD.

AT THE END OF THE CHAPTER, THEY GET TO CHECK A LITTLE BOX.

I THINK GOING THROUGH THE BOOK AND CHECKING THAT BOX, HAVING DONE THE WORK AND RESEARCH FOR WHATEVER THAT CHAPTER IS ASKING YOU TO DO EMPOWERS WOMEN TO FEEL MORE READY TO DO THIS.

SO MANY OF US, I MEAN, I'M ONE OF THESE WOMEN.

I LIKE TO KNOW THAT I'VE DONE ALL THE WORK AHEAD OF TIME BEFORE I CAN GO DO THE THING.

BUT YES, THERE IS A CHECK LIST.

YES, WE THOUGHT A LOT ABOUT IT.

I THINK IT IS VERY VALUABLE.

AND MY HOPE IS THAT WOMEN DON'T USE THIS BOOK AS A CRUTCH.

IF THEY'RE ON THE FIRST CHAPTER AND THINK, I'M READY TO RUN NOW.

I HOPE THEY CLOSE IT AND JUST START.

BECAUSE I DON'T THINK WE HAVE TIME TO WASTE.

I'VE OFTEN BELIEVED, A COMPLIMENT FOR YOU IF I MIGHT, WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHERE WE ARE AS A GOVERNMENT RIGHT NOW, I TEACH IN VARIOUS COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES.

OUR FOUNDERS ENVISIONED THIS AS CITIZEN LEGISLATORS.

NOT PROFESSIONAL LEGISLATORS.

ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE HERE.

WE'VE BECOME MUCH MORE GOVERNED BY PROFESSIONAL LEGISLATORS ALMOST AT EVERY LEVEL.

I THINK ONE OF THE GREAT VALUES OF YOUR BOOK HERE, IN ADDITION TO ALL THE THINGS WE MENTIONED.

LEARNING AND IN A WAY THAT'S ENJOYABLE.

BUT IT ALSO PRESENTS A BIBLE FOR PEOPLE, ALL RIGHT, IF YOU WANTS TO BE A CITIZEN LEGISLATOR AND YOU HAPPEN TO BE A WOMAN, COME TAKE A LOOK AT THIS AND WE'LL HELP YOU GET THERE.

THAT BEING SAID, IF SOMEONE SAID TO YOU, OKAY, I'M A WOMAN, I'M REALLY INTERESTED, WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE ME ABOUT RUNNING FOR OFFICE, HOW DO YOU DISTILL IT?

I THINK THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I WOULD GIVE IS TO START TALKING ABOUT IT.

THAT WAS THE FIRST THING KATE SAID TO ME IN OUR VERY FIRST PHONE CALL.

I THOUGHT IT WAS AMAZING.

SHE SAID IT WAS THE FIRST THING WOMEN SHOULD DO BEFORE THEY EVEN FIGURE OUT WHERE TO RUN.

OR WHAT THE EXACT REQUIREMENTS WERE FOR THAT SPECIFIC SEAT.

THAT THEY SHOULD SIMPLY START SAYING IT ALOUD.

THAT'S THE NUMBER ONE THING.

I TOTALLY AGREE THAT THE PROMISE OF OUR DEMOCRACY IS ABOUT WE THE PEOPLE.

THAT MEANS ALL OF US PEOPLE.

AND ONE OF THE COOL THINGS, COOL FACTS IN THE BOOK IS THAT MOST WOMEN ARE RUNNING BECAUSE THEY SEE A PROBLEM THAT DIRECTLY AFFECTS THEM AND THEY WANT TO SOLVE IT.

NOT ALL MEN BUT A LOT OF MEN ARE RUNNING FOR CAREER ADVANCEMENT.

SO WE SHOULD ALL WANT PEOPLE IN OFFICE, MEN OR WOMEN, ANY GENDER, WHO ARE RUNNING TO SOLVE A PROBLEM THAT THEY SEE.

I THINK THAT IDEA OF CIVIC ENGAGEMENT, WE'RE NOT REALLY TEACHING CIVICS ANYMORE.

IT IS MYSTERIOUS.

WE DON'T OFTEN THINK IT IS SOMETHING WE SHOULD DO.

I HOPE PEOPLE READ THE BOOK AND WALK AWAY FROM IT THINKING, I AM A PART OF ALL THIS THAT I SEE AROUND ME AND THAT COULD MEAN A RUN FOR OFFICE.

ONCE AGAIN, IT IS CALLED REPRESENT, THE WOMAN'S GUIDE TO RUNNING FOR OFFICE AND CHANGING THE WORLD.

THANK YOU FOR SPENDING SOME TIME WITH US.

IT IS WONDERFUL WORK THAT YOU AND KATE DID.

WE APPRECIATE YOUR TIME.

BE WELL.

YOU, TOO.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

> THE GROUND BREAKING BOOK, THE TROUBLE WITH ISLAM, MADE HER ONE OF THE MOST ADMIRED AND MOST REVILED WRITERS THINK ANDERS AROUND THE WORLD.

A VOICE WHO REFUSES TO BE SILENT.

HER SEEMING MASTERY OF MORAL COURAGE.

SHE'S HAD MANY LABELS THROWN AT HER AND SHE REFUSES TO WEAR JUST ONE OF THEM.

HE MUSLIM, REFUGEE, LESBIAN, AND BY SOME, HAIR PARTICULAR.

SHE JOINS US TO TALK ABOUT HER NEW BOOK, DON'T LABEL ME.

AN INCREDIBLE CONVERSATION FOR A DIVIDED TIME.

WONDERFUL TO HAVE YOU HERE.

RIGHT BACK AT YOU.

LET'S START WITH LABELS.

WHY DO YOU THINK, I KNOW YOU TALK ABOUT THIS, WHY DO YOU THINK WE AS A SOCIETY FIND LABELS SO SEDUCTIVE?

IT'S NOT JUST WE AS A SOCIETY.

IT IS HUMIDITY.

WE HUMIDITY -- IT IS HUMANITY.

WE THINK EMOTIONALLY AND BIOLOGICALLY SPEAKING, THE EASIEST EMOTION TO HAVE IS FEAR.

TALK THAT ONE THE FACT THAT WE ARE ALL IMMERSE IN THE DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY THAT'S ARE DESIGNED TO AMP UP OUR EMOTIONS.

AND THEN FINISH IT OFF WITH THE FACT VERY FEW OF US HAVE EVER BEEN TAUGHT TO BE AWARE OF OUR EMOTIONS, LET ALONE EXPRESS THEM CONSTRUCTIVELY.

SO IN THIS TOXIC CAULDRON, LABELS BECOME CONVENIENT TOOLS WITH WHICH TO SORT OF INDULGE OUR EMOTIONS, AND AVOID REFLECTION.

CONVENIENT AND REQUIRE VERY LITTLE WORK.

EXACTLY.

CONVENIENT.

WE ARE ALL BORN WITH BRAINS THAT ARE BOTH PRIMTY AND EVOLVED.

THE FIRST THING THAT ANY STILL EYE GOES THROUGH IN THE BRAIN, THE PRIMITIVE PART DOESN'T WANT TO WORK.

IT ONLY REACTS.

WE HAVE TO FIGURE OUT WAYS TO OUTWIT OUR OWN BRAINS.

AND YOU TALKED ABOUT THIS.

ON I DON'T WANT TO MINIMIZE BY CALLING IT A DEVICE THAT DRIVES THIS CONVERSATION.

IT IS A UNIQUE CONVERSATION THAT YOU'RE HAVING.

SOMETHING THAT WAS VERY SPECIAL TO YOU.

YOUR DOG.

BUT A CONVERSATION WITH THIS.

AND I HEARD YOU TALK ABOUT, IT IS WHAT HELPED TO STIMULATE THE IDEA BEHIND THAT.

ABSOLUTELY.

I JUST MENTIONED THE MOST DANGEROUS FOUR-LETTER F-WORD IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, FEAR.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I GREW UP WITH A VERY UNHEALTHY FEAR OF DOGS.

ONE YEAR I WAS HAVING PARTICULARLY TOUGH TIME WITH MY HEALTH.

AND MY THEN PARTNER, NOW WIFE LAURA SAID TO ME, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO EVOLVE.

YOU'VE GOT TO GET PAST YOUR FEAR.

LET'S ADOPT A RESCUE DOG AND YOU WILL SEE.

HOW CAN I ADOPT MORAL COURAGE IF I'M NOT WILLING TO GO FIRST.

WE BROUGHT LILY HOME.

FOR THE TWO PRECIOUS YEARS THAT I'VE HAD WITH HER, NOT ONLY WERE MY OWN FEARS OF DOGS BEGGING TO BE OVERCOME.

WHEN DID I OVERCOME THOSE FEARS, I LEARNED SO MUCH FROM LILY.

THE VALUE, FOR EXAMPLE, OF JUST GETTING OUT OF OUR DEVICES.

CLOSING UP THE LAPTOP AND GETTING INTO THE GRASS AND PLAYING.

YES, I KNOW, FOR ANIMAL LOVERS THAT'S A NO BRAINER.

BUT UNDERSTAND THAT TODAY WE ARE ALL DOING THIS.

AND IF WE COULD JUST REALIZE BY SLOWING DOWN, TAKING A DEEP BREATH, ACTUALLY, WHAT WE WIND UP DOING IS TRANSCENDING THE FEAR BASED PART OF THE BRAIN.

EVEN WHEN WE'RE ENGAGING SOMEONE WE DISAGREE WITH, THE FIRST THING TO DO AND THE BEST THING TO DO IS TO JUST BREATHE.

SO SIMPLE.

FOR LILY.

WE TALKED ABOUT THE NOTION OF LABELS.

YOU MENTIONED THE CONCEPT OF TRIBALISM.

WE'RE HARD WIRED FOR THAT.

YOU LOOK AT THE WAYS IT MANIFESTS ITSELF.

PEOPLE DON'T HAVE CONVERSATIONS ANYMORE.

IT IS AS IF FEAR, WE'RE FEARFUL OF SOMEONE REJECTING OUR OPINIONS.

WE DON'T WANT TO ACCEPT THEIR OPINIONS.

HOW MUCH OF THIS DO YOU THINK FLOWS FROM WHAT WE SEE, AND I'M GOING TO TALK ABOUT BOTH PARTIES IN WASHINGTON.

YOU BET.

YOU CANNOT HAVE NOW A DISAGREEMENT POLITICALLY WITHOUT VILIFYING THE PERSON YOU DISAGREE.

WITH IT IS CALLED THE POLITICS OF PERSONAL DESTRUCTION.

HAS THAT ALWAYS BEEN?

OR HAS IT BECOME MORE ENHANCED LATELY?

I'M GOING ON GUESS THAT WOULD YOU AGREE WITH ME THAT IT HAS BECOME MORE ENHANCED LATELY.

WE'VE BEEN LIVING WITH THE POLITICS OF PERSONAL DESTRUCTION.

I THINK THAT WAS BILL CLINTON'S PHRASE FROM WAY BACK WHEN.

WE'VE BEEN LIVING WITH IT FOR A LONG TIME.

IF IT IS EVEN WORSE NOW, I WOULD SAY IT IS THE IMPULSIVE TRIGGERS THAT IT FEEDS TO US HAS MADE THINGS THAT MUCH WORSE.

SO LET'S GET OUR HEADS OUT OF THAT MONITOR OR THAT SCREEN AND SPEAK WITH ONE ANOTHER FACE TO FACE.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT?

I TELL A STORY IN THIS BOOK THAT TWO YOUNG PEOPLE.

ONE, A BIRACIAL HIP HOP ARTIST.

THE OTHER, A WHITE GUY.

BOTH OF THEM COMPLETELY DISAGREE ABOUT WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN WITH THE MISSISSIPPI STATE FLAG.

IT HAS THE CONFEDERATE FLAG.

EXACTLY.

SHE WANTS IT TO CHANGE.

HE DOESN'T.

SOMETHING SHE SAYS AND DOES GOES VIRAL.

HE GETS IN TOUCH WITH HER.

SHE INVITES HIM TO THE BACKYARD TO SIT DOWN AND TALK.

LET'S DISCUSS THIS.

BY THE END OF THAT EXPERIENCE, IT'S NOT THAT HE CHANGES HIS MIND.

THAT WOULD BE TOO EASY A CONCLUSION.

HE REALIZES HE CARES MORE ABOUT HER THAN HE DOES ABOUT THE FLAG.

THAT IS WHAT HUMAN TO HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS, OR HUMAN THE LILY RELATIONSHIPS CAN DO.

HOW DO WE GET OURSELVES AWAY FROM IT?

I THINK THIS IS SOMETHING, SURROUNDED BY LIKE MINDED PEOPLE.

WE LIKE TO BE SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE WHO SOUND LIKE US.

WHO THINK LIKE US, WHO LOOK LIKE US.

AND WE KNOW THAT.

SO HOW DO WE GET OURSELVES TO A DIFFERENT PLACE?

EVEN THOUGH THAT'S ALL REINFORCED IT.

YOU LOOK AT THE NEWS.

THERE'S AN AGENDA AND THEY'RE BEATING THE DRUMS.

OPINION HAS BEEN AN INTEGRAL PART OF JOURNALISM.

WHAT TROUBLES ME IS WE'RE SEEING MORE OPINION AND LESS FACT-BASED DISCUSSION.

HOW DO WE GET FEMALE REMOVE THEMSELVES FROM THE ECHO CHAMBERS.

AT LEAST BE WILLING TO LISTEN.

FIRST IT BEGINS WITH EVERY ONE OF US.

IN OTHER WORDS, INSTEAD OF POINTING FINGERS AT SO AND SO, HE DOESN'T LISTEN TO ME.

ASK YOURSELF.

HOW AM I CONTRIBUTING TO THIS PROBLEM?

MEANING, IF I'M EYE ROLLING, IF I'M BERATING INSTEAD OF RELATING, IF I'M LABELLING THIS PLACE.

FROZEN HIM IN TIME.

WHAT MOTIVATION HAVE I GIVEN?

HERE'S WHAT I SAY.

WHEN YOU ARE ENTERING A CONVERSATION, OR WANTING TO ENTER INTO A CONVERSATION WITH SOMEBODY WHO PROFOUNDLY DISAGREES WITH YOU ON SOMETHING THAT YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT.

ASK THEM.

TELL ME, WHAT AM I MISSING ABOUT YOUR PERSPECTIVE?

DON'T GO IN MAKING STATEMENTS.

ASK SINCERE QUESTIONS.

AND THEN LISTEN.

LISTEN TO UNDERSTAND.

NOT TO WIN.

THIS DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A DEBATE.

IT IS A DISCUSSION.

THAT'S INTERESTING.

I WOULD SUSPECT.

I KNOW THIS.

THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS THAT I DON'T GET INVOLVED IN DISCUSSIONS WITH PEOPLE ANYMORE.

I KNOW IT WON'T CHANGE THEIR MIND.

BUT I PROBABLY SHOULD.

I THINK THE FEAR IS YOU SAY TO YOURSELF, WHY SHOULD I BOTHER ENGAGING IN THIS DISCUSSION?

I WON'T CHANGE MY MIND.

BUT WHY GO IN THERE EVEN WANTING TO CHANGE THE OTHER PERSON'S MIND.

IMAGINE WHAT YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO LEARN FROM THAT OTHER PERSON BY SIMPLY LISTENING.

THIS IS NOT BEING POLYANNISH.

LET ME TELL YOU.

IF YOU CAN FIGURE OUT WHAT VALUES THEY HAVE, WHAT PERSPECTIVE THEY'RE COMING FROM.

THAT IS CRUCIAL INFORMATION WITH WHICH YOU CAN RE-FRAME YOUR ARGUMENTS DOWN THE ROAD.

SO IF YOU ARE REALLY STUCK ON NEEDING TO CHANGE THEIR MIND, YOU'LL HAVE THE INFORMATION NECESSARY TO NOW EXPRESS YOUR POSITION IN A WAY THAT THEY CAN FINALLY HEAR.

LET ME TALK ABOUT THE YOUNGER GENERATION HERE.

I KNOW YOU TALK ABOUT IT IN YOUR BOOK.

I WAS IN COLLEGE AT A TIME WHEN THE NATION WAS ROILED OVER VIETNAM.

ONE OF THE THINGS I REMEMBER IN MY COLLEGE EXPERIENCE, I CAN'T REMEMBER THE COURSE I TOOK.

SOME OF THEM WERE FAVORITES.

BUT DO I REMEMBER THE CONVERSATIONS.

I REMEMBER SITTING IN DINING HALLS AFTER DINNER AND TALKING ABOUT THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT AND THE VIETNAM WAR.

AND YOU GET THE SENSE THAT THERE'S NOT THE SAME LEVEL OF CONVERSATION ON CAMPUSES.

AND SOME OF IT I THINK COMES FROM THAT FEAR THAT YOU MENTIONED.

YOU NAILED IT.

I WORK WITH COLLEGE STUDENTS AROUND THE COUNTRY.

AND MUCH MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, REGARDLESS OF THEIR LABELS, WHATEVER THEIR COLOR, THEIR GENDER OR RELIGION, THEY SAY TO ME, I'M AFRAID TO BE JUDGED IF I ASK, GET THIS, THE WRONG QUESTION.

THAT'S WHERE WE HAVE ARRIVED AS A SOCIETY.

AND YES, AS HUMANITY.

IF YOU USE A WORD, YOU MAKE A CLUMSY MISTAKE, YOU ARE HONESTLY JUST MISSPOKEN, IT IS JUST VERY EASY TO GET SLAMMED, SHAMED, BLAMED, AND GAMED.

AND NOBODY WANTS THAT.

SO THIS IS WHY I THINK TEACHING THE 60s OF MORAL COURAGE IS SO IMPORTANT.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY MORAL COURAGE?

DOING THE RIGHT THING IN THE FACE OF YOUR FEARS.

AND SO IF, FOR EXAMPLE, YOU KNOW SOMETHING SOMEBODY IS PROMOTING IS SOMEHOW EITHER INACCURATE OR DEROGATORY, THE WAY TO APPROACH IT IS KEY.

I'M BE SAYING DON'T STAND UP TO INTOLERANCE OR HATE.

ABSOLUTELY STAND UP TO IT BUST THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO GO INTO IT GUNS A-BLAZING.

YOU REALLY WILL BE SHOT DOWN IN THAT CASE.

RATHER, BE INTELLIGENT ABOUT IT.

THAT MEANS LISTENING BUT THEN ASKING.

AGAIN, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS?

I'M GENUINELY INTERESTED.

IN THE BOOK, ANOTHER STORY I TELL IS ABOUT A NOW FORMER WHITE NATIONALIST WHO REFORMED HIMSELF.

NOTICE, I DIDN'T SAY WAS REFORMED.

HE REFORMED HIMSELF.

HOW?

BECAUSE IT IS AN AMAZING FRIENDSHIP HE HAD WITH A RESILIENT JEW WHO DIDN'T TURN HIS BACK, WHO DIDN'T TRY TO GET IN HIS FACE OR MAKE HIM DISAPPEAR.

BUT RATHER WHO LISTENED AND ENGAGED.

OVER THE COURSE OF THREE YEARS, THIS WHITE NATIONALIST REALIZED THE VIEWS I'VE GOT, THEY'RE NOT FACTUAL.

AND MOREOVER, THEY HURT THE VERY PERSON THAT I CARE ABOUT.

THAT IS A GREAT STORY.

THE BOOK IS FILLED WITH GREAT STORIES.

IT IS CALLED, DON'T LABEL ME.

AN INCREDIBLE CONVERSATION FOR DIVIDED TIMES.

YOU AND I COULD TALK FOR HOURS HERE.

WE'LL CONTINUE THAT BUT FOR NOW, ONCE AGAIN, A VERY PROVOCATIVE, THOUGHTFUL, AND I THINK EXTRAORDINARILY HELPFUL LOOK.

OUR THANKS TO YOU AND TO LILY.

LILY GIVES HER THANKS RIGHT NOW.

THANK YOU.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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