97: Eight Minutes and 46 Seconds: Why Black Lives Matter

97: Eight Minutes and 46 Seconds: Why Black Lives Matter

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend, 

When you do the work on yourself, when you train your protector well, it becomes apparent what you need to do and when you need to do it - and that includes speaking up for others.

In this episode, I share my thoughts on why I did this episode, my thoughts on black lives matter, and I bring to your ears three beautiful voices.

Do you want to skip my section entirely? Jump to the 07:52 minute marker. 💚

Coach Christine,

Your Empty Nest Coach

"Black lives matter is a freaking cry for equality. It isn’t about taking anything away from others; it’s a cry for someone (those who have the power to do something) to listen and to take action."

Take a listen or read the full transcript at the bottom of this post.

⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll down ⇓, so you don't miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓

Guests

Allyssa Jones

Composer. Performer. Educator.

Allyssa shares her song, "Change the World" with us.

Valerie Albarda

Midlife-A-Go-Go

Valerie shares her thoughts on being a black woman in America.

Tiana Morton

Teacher, social justice and equality advocate, and mother to a black boy in America

Tiana shares with us a letter to her son.

New Episode! 🎙No empty nest talk today.  💚 Eight Minutes and 46 Seconds: Why Black Lives Matter - thanks to my guests  @MidlifeAGoGo  Tiana Morton and @msallyssajones  for sharing your voice with us #newepisode #podcast #podcaster

Click to Tweet

Episode Resources & Places to Start

Change the World:

from the EP After Hours by Allyssa Jones released May 26, 2016

Produced by The Audio Outfit

Written by Khalel Pritchard, Apollo Payton, & Jahmal White 

Background Vocals: Allyssa Jones & Khalel Pritchard

Additional Vocals: Apollo Payton

Bass: James Gurrier

Arranged by Jahmal White

Mixed by Andy Pinkham

Recorded by Apollo Payton at Levels Studio (Boston, MA)

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FULL TRANSCRIPT: 

Episode 97 of the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast


[Music: Change the World Intro: Allyssa Jones]

Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast  with Coach Christine - Episode #97  Eight Minutes and 46 Seconds: Why Black Lives Matter

00:12

Hello, my beautiful friend! 

Normally on this podcast I share coaching tips for women freaking out about the empty nest ahead. This is my gift, my passion and what I do, but today, this episode is not about empty nesting, it is about the current happenings in this world. You can choose to think this is a political episode and walk away right now. I can’t change that and I won’t let someone’s potential thoughts about me impact who I show up as today on my platform - the platform that I have created. Also, if you decide that what I am speaking about means anything other than what I say in this episode - that is your thought about me. And, yes, your thoughts about me are outside of my fence. 

00:56

The information in this episode is not sugar coated and contains sensitive content. I will leave it at that and you do what you will. Links to everything I mention in this episode will be available in my show notes. 

The Black Lives Matter movement isn’t political. It is human. 

1:14

Nothing I teach is meant for you as an excuse to take no action. Actually quite the opposite - I’m all about momentum in your life. Simmering isn’t inaction. Simmering is providing yourself the space to figure out what action to take. I can’t control you - and wouldn’t want to - I coach on how you can consciously work your way to the best action for you and future you. The action you take is ALWAYS within your control. The action YOU take isn’t due to what someone else does or says - it is purely on what goes on in your head based on your life’s happenings. So make sure, my friend, that you actually choose something. 

02:01

For me, I’ve seen the happenings outside my fence, recently, and over my lifetime that have caused me anguish. I’ve felt sadness (still do), I’ve felt anger (still do). And now, through the work in my life, I consciously notice the thoughts and the feelings, I’m not on autopilot anymore and I’m choosing not to allow the happenings outside of my fence to keep me quiet. 

I’ve done the self-coaching work to move my emotions around to love. Love is more powerful for ME. Love contains hope for me, and I love my fellow humans. My way of taking action may not look like yours. I won’t spend my time and energy on worrying about what you do with this message - that is for you to figure out - I’m choosing to spend my time in love. 

02:48

Love drove me, this week, to un whitewash my instagram feed this week. I’m ashamed but my feed looked a lot like the high school I attended. It still does, but I’m working to correct that - for those who graciously allow me to follow them. 

Love drove me to listen and find ways to support the cause outside of protesting - until I can there are other ways to help - one example is you can support  campaign zero The comprehensive platform of research-based policy solutions to end police brutality in America. Sure you can donate money but you can also donate your time and help them with research - what better way to educate yourself? 

03:27

Love drove me to create this episode:

Why Black Lives Matter? 

The sad truth is that black lives have continually been shown through actions of others that their lives don’t matter.

When a man begs for his life in a public lynching - he was executed without a legal trial - in the streets of Minneapolis in 2020 and the murderer and those participating in his murder were initially protected by not being charged with a crime (law enforcement officer or not) - this shows that black lives don’t matter.

04:03

When a white woman who is asked by a bird-watching black man to put her dog on a leash to follow local ordinances decides to call the cops on him and chooses to blatantly lie that he is attacking her knowing that her word will be taken over his - In this, we show that black lives don’t matter. 

When we as a society do nothing about the lives that are taken for a human being simply doing human things we show that black lives don’t matter.  

When we see that a community is dying at a higher rate from COVID-19 and we do nothing, we show that black lives don’t matter.

04:42

Continually shutting down peaceful protests; tear gassing men, women, and children shows that black lives don’t matter. 

Gaslighting those who know what they stand for, KNOW what they are marching for and telling them that no, what you are marching for is really something else entirely - you are encouraging these things. We show that black voices don’t matter. 

05:05

Black lives matter is a freaking cry for equality. It isn’t about taking anything away from others, it’s a cry for someone, those who have the power to do something to listen and to take action. 

I’ll be honest I can’t stomach watching the video of George Floyd’s murder- personally, I can’t imagine that anyone could watch it - in part or in full without wanting justice.

I am a mother, and when I see George Floyd on the ground in the glimpses of video and photos, I see a man begging for his life. I also see four awful law enforcement officers treating him like gum on their shoe. I clearly see a message that black lives don’t matter. 

05:48

[sighs] It breaks my heart the reality that black mothers have - they have to teach their children (boys AND girls) how to respond properly to a police officer in order to make it home alive - I don’t know about you but I didn’t have that lesson in my home. 

The fear that black parents have for their children and our lack of concern over it - that shows that black lives don’t matter. 

06:16

How well, my friend, do you do when no one listens to you? When you try everything possible to get someone to hear you and no one listens. Better yet, they tell you, “stop being so loud and angry.” Yeah, that feels good doesn’t it? 

I am happy to report that over the last few days while I assembled this episode that protests have happened in all fifty states and that all four officers involved in the murder of George Floyd have been charged. 

This is progress. But we aren’t done. We need a world where it doesn’t take more than a week of protests in all fifty states to see the beginning of justice. 

06:50 

Keep in mind, too, watch the media and you’ll think that all protestors loot and riot - watch the media and you think that all cops are bad. Search out the Flint, Michigan moments and use those to drive you forward. There is a lot more peace in the world than we are shown in the media.

And, please, don’t forget to vote. Many law enforcement roles are brought in at a local level - if you can vote, use your voice there, and look at the system and who it benefits. 

I won't begin to pretend that I have always done well with this - I know I haven’t - and for that I am sorry. I still have a lot to learn but I am done not using my voice. I am here to serve - even when stumbling. 

07:39

As a side note, and an important one, If you are okay with what happened to George Floyd, please don’t bother purchasing my offerings - my membership group - it is a safe space for ALL. 

07:52

My amazing listener, I invite you now to hear the two beautiful voices of Valerie Alberta and Tiana Morton who have agreed to share thoughts they shared with us on Instagram this week - thoughts that I feel needs to be heard. Tiana is a teacher, social justice and equality advocate and mother to a black boy in America. 

Valerie is the host of [the] Midlife-A-Go-Go podcast - if you remember, she and I had a lovely conversation on her podcast in March. She’s absolutely lovely, I only wish we had our conversation in person. 

I also welcome the incredibly talented Allyssa Jones who graciously shares her song, Change the World with us. Friends in high school, Allyssa and I were also roommates one summer when we both worked at Busch Gardens Williamsburg - same stage different show - how cool is that? She’s unfathomably talented. As a singer with only a small percentage of the talent that Allyssa has, I’ve always been incredibly inspired by her. Allyssa has multiple albums available and one of my favorite songs of hers is 14 Jeans from her album 35 - definitely give that song and all of her songs a listen - oh and she has a FAB podcast titled That Spinster Life where she shares leaps of faith with the world.

09:12

I ask you to take the opportunity to support these women as they share their gifts with the world. 

I will now explain how the next segment of this episode will arrive in your ears, at the sound of the first breath, it will represent when four officers began to end the life of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin placing his knee on the neck of George Floyd. The remainder of this episode will be the amount of time that police officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck: eight minutes and 46 seconds. Eight minutes and 46 seconds according to a NY Times article - which I have linked yes, in my show notes. Even after George Floyd lost consciousness, Derek Chauvin did not remove his knee. 

10:00

Eight minutes and 46 seconds is how long FOUR officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest chose to ignore the man on the ground who told them that he couldn’t breathe, and allowing his life to be expired. The initial fallout for the police officers? Fired - not charged for anything. 

This is why we need to be reminded that BLACK LIVES MATTER. 

10:26

During the next eight minutes and 46 seconds of this podcast, I will read the names of some other victims between what Tiana, Valerie and Allyssa have shared with us, today. Please know that the list of victims that I read to you is only a partial list, and that Allyssa’s song will be cut off when Derek Chauvin finally decided to remove his knee.

I will censor the f word - only because it limits who will listen to this podcast, but to be perfectly frank with you, if I were in person with these beautiful ladies I’d have absolutely no problem with it because to be honest, it is warranted. Thank you to Tiana, Valerie, and Allyssa for sharing your voices with us today.  

This next segment my friend is why we need to be reminded that Black Lives Matter. I ask that you listen to it in full without speeding up the audio. 

Thank you.

11:23

George Floyd, 46 2020

[Breathe]

11:28

Valerie: I’m a black woman in America. I have black nephews in America. Ask me what really scares me.

I have two nephews. One is in his thirties, the other is nine years old. In fact, he just turned nine, two weeks ago.  I fear for both of them. Let me repeat that. I FEAR FOR BOTH OF THEM. In this day, this year, this decade, this world … the life of a black person seems to count for so little. That seems especially true for a black man. But really . . . this is about being black in America.

In the midst of a pandemic, we’re dealing with stuff that should have been squashed DECADES ago. Anyone who thinks racism doesn’t exist in this country has their head firmly stuck in the sand. If that’s you, I hope you’re enjoying the view. My view is different.

12:32

As a black woman, I see the looks. I hear the words whispered under breaths. I could get angry. Shit, I DO get angry. But I won’t be baited into being the angry black woman that society has painted me and other women out to be. But you know what? We have a right to be angry. We have a right to raise our voices – either alone or as a collective – because what’s happening to us is appalling. And I’m scared.

I’m scared that, one of these days, I’ll be pumping gas and I’ll be assaulted because of the color of my skin. Or I’ll be stopped by the police as I drive down the street in my little red convertible, knowing that even if I’m respectful, say “Yes, ma’am” or “Yes sir,” keep my hands on the steering wheel, show my credentials, do everything right, I could still become a victim. And please, if you’re not a black or brown person, don’t say, “But that could happen to anyone regardless of their race.” Not now. Not today.

This is what it’s like to be black in America. I’m afraid for my nephews. And for myself. And for my family. And for every other black and brown person in this country. My fear is palpable. How long must we be afraid to leave our homes? How f***ing long?

14:04

[Breath]

Christine: Breonna Taylor, 26 years old, 2020

[Breath]

Trayvon Martin, 17 years old, 2012

14:20

Tiana:  To my black son,

When I look at you, I see how beautiful you are. I know that you are incredibly sweet and thoughtful. I know that you are willing to extend generosity and grace to everyone, even when they are less deserving. I’ve watched your smile and energy light up an entire room. I’ve watched your tears flow and your head hang low, when you see a homeless person or someone in need. I’ve witnessed you in deep thought, figuring out how you can make a difference in the lives of those around you. I know just

how much physical confrontation scares you and how you run home because you know where your safe place is. As your mom, I want to protect you from life’s heartbreaks, but there is one thing I cannot protect you from, the one thing I fear most. As a mother of a black son in America, I wish I didn’t have to strip you of your innocence at such young age. I wish that our reality wasn’t sitting in our living after dinner, rehearsing different scenarios and training you on how to make it back home alive after an

encounter with police, all while wiping your tears because you can’t fully understand. I wish I could protect you from how the world sees you. I often think, what happens when “Wow! He’s only ten? He is big for is age!” turns into “That’s one big ass black dude!” What happens when the son I know becomes the “threat” that they don’t? What happens when you can no longer run home? Every day I let you walk out that front door, I pray that I have given you the skills to handle any situation you encounter. The

lessons will change as you grow. But what else can I teach you right now because your blackness with NEVER change, but will ALWAYS be challenged? The best I can do is fight to change that always to never.

Son, until I can honestly say “Your blackness will never change and NEVER be challenged.”, I will fight for you. I will fight for us.

16:26

I want you to know that you are not less than, your blackness is not a crime. Your blackness is worthy, your blackness is beautiful, your blackness is powerful, regardless of what this world tells you.

I will fight for you; I will fight for us.

Love you most,

Mom

16:46

[Breath]

Christine: Tamir Rice, 12 years old , 2014

[Breath]

Eric Garner, 43, 2014

[Breath]

[Breath]

17:03

[Music: Change the World, Allyssa Jones]