Back in the day, it seemed like folks could disagree on a lot of things, but still find ways to coexist. People didn’t always insist on their relationships being contingent upon harmonious politics or beliefs. Things have changed. In today’s polarized society, it can feel nearly impossible to find common ground with folks who don’t share our views on big issues, especially when those folks are the people closest to us. For many families, political beliefs, racism, gender discrimination, and other hot button topics can cause personal rifts that can tear a family apart. In this episode, we discuss how to have healthy disagreements with family members when diverging views on big issues make basic conversations extremely difficult.
In our eighth episode, we discuss the results of the American Presidential election, and the post election antics of the current administration. While the votes have been counted and the results are clear, the current President has not accepted the reality of his loss, let alone admitted any of his administration’s glaring failures. However, reality is sinking in for the rest of the world, which begs the question: what happens next?
Today is Election Day in the United States of America. Millions of voters across the country will cast their ballots to vote for the next president in one of the most important elections in American history. To say that this election and the incumbent are unprecedented would be a spectacular understatement. There has never been a president quite like Donald Trump, and America has not faced simultaneous crises as it does now for over a century. The world is watching, awaiting the result of this election with intense anticipation. The stakes could not be higher; as Joe Biden’s campaign slogan states, it is a “battle for the soul” of America. Whether Biden becomes the next president, or Trump is re-elected, the consequences of this day will be felt everywhere, not only in America but around the world.
As an American living in Denmark, there is a sense of hope that I cling to from afar, that my countrymen will choose a leader who can unite them. I hope that they will come together and try to heal the social wounds torn open by a tumultuous year of racial unrest, economic devastation, and a pandemic that has left more than 200,000 dead and shows no signs of relenting. Yet, if past is prologue, there is simply no way to know what will happen until the votes are counted – the electoral votes that is, because the popular vote is not necessarily what will decide this election.
If that sounds absurd, that is only because it is absurd. The American electoral system is as complex as it is undemocratic. The electoral college has undermined the voters nationwide, leaving the election in the hands of the congressional electors, many of whom overrepresent a minority, and underrepresent the majority. Gerrymandering has tilted the balance of congressional districts to favor the Republican Party. The system is totally out of balance, and it has stolen the power of the people to make their voices heard at the ballot box.
If the country is ever to truly heal, it must undergo massive structural changes – eliminating undemocratic processes such as the electoral college and gerrymandering. Whether or not that will happen is ultimately up to the people that the American electorate allows to be in power. We the people have the right to choose our government, and on this election day and the days to follow, I hold hope that my fellow Americans will not let their votes go uncounted or their voices unheard.
This episode of Dialectic Peoples is as close as we will get to an “election special.” While Kuku was away this time, Eja and I did our best to dig into the election and the American system, and understand what is truly at stake. I talked about my own political consciousness and give my take on what has made America so polarized. There’s a lot to discuss, so let’s get into it. Enjoy the show, and stay tuned for our “post election” coverage as well.
In Episode 3 of the Dialectic Peoples podcast, we discuss a word that is perhaps the most contraversial word in the English language – the “N” word. Usage, translation, history, context – all the ways in which this powerful word has plagued and empowered the people who have used it and those whom it has been used against.
Disclaimer: There is use of language in this episode that some may find offensive. We encourage listeners to use their discretion.
Notice: We experienced some technical difficulties at the beginning of the recording, so there are some elements of noise in the first 5 minutes that will affect sound quality. Thank you for your patience.
Welcome to the first episode of the Dialectic Peoples podcast. In our first episode, naturally, we introduce ourselves and our show concept. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word dialectic means:
“the art of investigating or discussing the truth of opinions.”
At a time where the world has taken to the streets in protest of racism and decrying police brutality against black people, there is no shortage of widely diverging opinions, but there seems to be a surprising lack of clarity around the truth. While no one can deny the shocking and devastating reality surrounding George Floyd’s gruesome death at the hands of police officers, the truth about racism, its root causes and systemic nature is a newfound concept for many. For those who have joined the cause of #BlackLivesMatter in vehement protest of racism, questions about how we can most effectively win the fight remain a hotly debated topic.
In our debut episode of this podcast, we attempt to get at the central truth about protest and systemic racism, both from the American perspective and also in the context of Denmark and the local iteration of BlackLivesMatterDK.
Gary Young – What black america means to europe
Why do light skinned women dominate the pop-charts
Danish sociology article
Peter Hervik – Race “race” racialisering, racisme, og nyracisme