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UnTrenched 3. Do Americans Have Equal Opportunity?



 

Today Sandy and I discuss the question: Do Americans Have Equal Opportunity?


Highlights include:

-Yes, we do.

-No, we do not.

-Equality of opportunity & equality of outcome.

-What is fair and just?

-The power of Both/And.

-A genuine attempt at understanding and problem solving.

-Looking forward.


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08;06;31;23 - 08;06;23;13

Jonathan

Hello, everyone, and welcome to in the third episode of UnTrenched with Sandy Mayo and myself, John, how are you doing today?


08;06;22;18 - 08;06;21;16

Sandy

Doing well, how about you?


08;06;20;23 - 08;06;06;05

Jonathan

I'm doing well. I will tell you it happens to be early here in a little bit earlier there. And this morning it was like the darkest morning to date and very not warm. So I was grateful to finish up the running and come in here to do this with you.


08;06;04;13 - 08;06;01;27

Sandy

Definitely feeling that shift in.


08;06;00;15 - 08;05;42;21

Jonathan

Indeed. So we're going to work on jumping right into it. So one of the things you and I talked about at the end of the last episode because we evaluate our our actions, our conversation each time is is really working to become more comfortable being directed in how we're practicing, that we're both huge fans of transparency in


08;05;42;21 - 08;05;31;04

Jonathan

owning things and we want to lead in, you know, conversations regardless of where they may go. And part of that is also just being genuine in the fact of like, Hey, this is uncomfortable for us and we're learning and figuring it out.


08;05;31;04 - 08;05;21;18

Jonathan

But we wanted to give each other permission to say, I'm not understanding what the heck you're saying. Could you be more specific? Can you be more clear? And let's get to the heart of the things we're talking about.


08;05;21;18 - 08;05;18;19

Jonathan

So excited to see us put that in practice. How about you?


08;05;18;05 - 08;05;16;22

Sandy

We're going to try here to.


08;05;15;14 - 08;04;56;16

Jonathan

Give it our best bet. So if this is your first time listening to the show, real quick premise. We are here to have intentional conversations across different so that we can gain better. Understand respect of one another. Build community and for us personally, grow our faith and better understanding God.


08;04;56;15 - 08;04;45;28

Jonathan

So that is what we're looking to do. And the prompt the question that we agreed upon do I struggled with it from the moment we agreed upon it until now was.


08;04;44;23 - 08;04;43;20

Sandy

As is the case each week.


08;04;42;28 - 08;04;26;26

Jonathan

As is the case. But today's question is do Americans have equality of opportunity? And that is what we are going to use as a launching pad today. So do Americans have equality of opportunity? What say you?


08;04;25;06 - 08;04;09;08

Sandy

Sheriff, let me first. It's great. So. You know, I would say broadly, we have the ideal right. And I think we hold as a value. I think in practice, like anything else, I think implementation is always harder than the ideal.


08;04;09;05 - 08;03;52;20

Sandy

And we have a we haven't lived into that ideal fully. So, you know, I kind of think of it in a number of ways and like, do we have equality of opportunity? It's an interesting question because I think the opportunity to try is always there.


08;03;52;08 - 08;03;33;15

Sandy

Right? So you you set a goal, you want to go after something, whether it's educational, whether it's professional, you know, in your personal life, whatever you're striving towards. I think, generally speaking, yeah, we have an equality of opportunity to sort of pursue so.


08;03;33;15 - 08;03;16;02

Sandy

So to that, I would say yes. And then I think it gets messy after that, because I think once we once we sort of work towards the implementation, there's some things that get in the way and that we may not see actual equality of opportunity and now give specifics.


08;03;16;02 - 08;02;58;08

Sandy

So, you know, I'm going to speak from the areas that I have the most knowledge. So I mean, I've been in education for over 20 years. When I think about the ways in which school districts are funded. And I think about what that means for the opportunities that students have.


08;02;56;01 - 08;02;24;24

Sandy

It can't be missed that although we have stated as a value for United States that there is equality of opportunity, we implemented policies long ago that created very segregated communities. We created policies long ago that meant that some people had access to to loans to to be able to buy homes and others didn't, which means that we


08;02;24;24 - 08;02;03;26

Sandy

we have already created a landscape of not have equal opportunity while those policies have have been erased. We haven't changed the structure in which we fund schools. And so for drawing on property tax and we've created unequal neighborhoods, then ultimately we have unequal schools.


08;02;03;26 - 08;01;39;03

Sandy

And so when we see school districts where students have access to advanced placement courses, technology, all sorts of resources, and we have school districts where we're students are still struggling to get textbooks. I have to question equality of opportunity is difficult to be realized in that historical context and in our current reality, we're sort of those legacies


08;01;39;03 - 08;01;24;06

Sandy

continue to impact us. So the ideal yes, the equality of opportunity to to try to pursue, yes, the equality of opportunity in reality yet to be realized.


08;01;20;18 - 08;01;15;10

Jonathan

Yeah, I can tell this question was was on your mind as well, because because.


08;01;14;24 - 08;01;14;14

Sandy

While.


08;01;14;03 - 08;00;54;27

Jonathan

I was as a bit, I realized when I was wrestling with it over the week that I had not really thought heavily about the implication of the words equality of opportunity and I needed to before coming into this conversation so that I did not make an arts of myself and listening to what you just said.


08;00;52;10 - 08;00;32;02

Jonathan

I know you did a good job of nuancing the things, so for myself, I realized that my bottom line takeaway is no, we do not have equality of opportunity in America. I'm not even sure that's the ideal. I think that we believe in an equitable rights given to us, by the creator, by our creator that we are


08;00;32;02 - 08;00;08;15

Jonathan

all to be. All have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, right? I think that's true. I think that we all I absolutely agree that we all have. Equal, we all have the opportunity of choice in this country to say darn the torpedoes, full speed ahead, I don't care the cost.


08;00;08;13 - 09;59;49;18

Jonathan

I'm going to get there, right? And depending on the person, the the landscape is so shift that regardless of the reason, on one hand, regardless of the reason, everybody's going to have their own set of challenges and fees to pay to get to where they want to go.


09;59;49;01 - 09;59;33;24

Jonathan

Now, when I've really thought about in what I think you're describing here is when you talk about, I love this specific example, thank you because I need specificity. But when you talk about funding now of school districts? Right?


09;59;33;16 - 09;59;18;13

Jonathan

So the policies that were wrong and unequal and unjust were raised. But there's still a funding issue that has yet to be made equitable. And I and I really struggle even with the idea of bringing equity into the classroom because I didn't understand it.


09;59;18;03 - 09;59;02;02

Jonathan

But I understand it now is something that's just and fair, and in my mind, that makes sense. So I think that on the one hand, the continued pursuit of the ideal would to be to make things fair and just right.


09;59;01;18 - 09;58;43;03

Jonathan

And in my mind, it only hurts ourselves as a country. If you look at school districts, do not want your edge to not want your entire population educated to the best of your ability to not have the brightest minds, be able to have the resources to learn so that they can then make the choice right.


09;58;42;19 - 09;58;20;15

Jonathan

But in my mind, an equitable system just helps to prime the pump for more to make the choice to pay the fee and sacrifice to get where they want to go, regardless of. Regardless of where you are in the system, because there's plenty of people and this is where I've really struggled with it, because from my perspective


09;58;20;12 - 09;58;04;08

Jonathan

, when I typically think of like. Nay sayers of the Oh, you don't have amazing opportunity here, right? Yeah, I really think of people who are like embracing this victimhood mentality of it's not being handed to them. And I unequivocally disagree with that.


09;58;03;16 - 09;57;48;10

Jonathan

But I. So that's where I really strongly disagree, but I absolutely do agree that part of the continued work. Of our country in the pursuit of the ideal of the American dream is to make things fair and just.


09;57;46;25 - 09;57;31;16

Jonathan

Which is what I think what I'm hearing from you and you in your example is, hey, we do have an opportunity of choice. We do have these things. But there are incidents. There are specific areas that have not yet been made fair and just or even logically applied.


09;57;31;08 - 09;57;25;08

Jonathan

And one example would be, you know, school district funding is an area that could use attention.


09;57;24;21 - 09;57;02;21

Sandy

Yeah. And it's I mean, it's just something that's going to be really difficult to unravel because of the landscape that was shaped originally. Like, I don't know how you I actually don't know how you get that back. Like you would really have to create a new structure in this particular example, because you're never going to make up


09;57;02;21 - 09;56;39;00

Sandy

for lost wealth of not being able to purchase homes. You're never going to be able to completely transform all neighborhoods that have been impacted by the decisions that created segregation. You're never going to be able to bring every school to the same level of resourcing and performance, you know, without some significant disruption.


09;56;38;22 - 09;56;22;10

Sandy

Right. And it would take it would take the national will and to really move forward on that. But I think it's interesting and you kind of mentioned a few things, and I think that whole concept of victimhood is interesting.


09;56;21;19 - 09;56;00;08

Sandy

You know, and who gets to decide, you know, if someone is portraying victimhood or if they're expressing, Hey, this is a this is a genuine fracture like this is a genuine fracture that was created intentionally. Is it victimhood to call it out and to say this needs to be fixed?


09;55;58;23 - 09;55;51;09

Sandy

Or is that just confronting something that I think will only strengthen us as a nation, as communities, as people?


09;55;48;19 - 09;55;36;12

Jonathan

To that question, I really so so in my mind, when I say that I'm specifically thinking about examples I can't do. I do think like at the individual level now I do think that that have that grows into group levels.


09;55;36;01 - 09;55;16;11

Jonathan

Right. Groups gain the identity of their individuals oftentimes, right? That's why you form organizations. So I'll see I'll see one organization in 11 avenue, right? Like, I'll look at vets as an example or we can look at schools for like impoverished minorities, like whatever the case is, right?


09;55;15;28 - 09;54;58;10

Jonathan

It. I see those who on an individual level. Are not taking action and ownership and working to confront an issue and instead are whining and want it resolved for them. And then I and to me, that's the victimhood side.


09;54;58;10 - 09;54;47;18

Jonathan

That's the negative side. Those are the ones who are getting in the way of progress. Those are the ones who need to be quiet, right? And then on the air, at least in my mind. And now on the other side, you have people who are saying, No, this is not good.


09;54;47;08 - 09;54;32;01

Jonathan

This is not. This is unjust. It's unfair. It's on. It's not OK, right? And it may be legal now, but it's wrong. And here's why. And here's what I'm doing to work to rectify that, right? Here's here's what I'm doing in my own life, right?


09;54;31;19 - 09;54;18;01

Jonathan

Because to me, it's it really comes back to. The idea of do you like, you know, value someone by the product, what they produce, right? What, what does their life look like and what does? What does the life look like?


09;54;17;25 - 09;54;01;18

Jonathan

You know, and if that's consistent with the message of them identifying a problem, then I'm all ears and I'm all in. You know, so so for me, there's an important distinction there. And the unfortunate thing is, I think the louder voice in most cases is the former and not the latter.


09;54;01;18 - 09;53;39;28

Jonathan

And I think that's where more divisive divisiveness can come in because like, let's respect, you know, what we're talking about is like racial segregation in the past has created inner city pockets that do not have the same resources, primarily inner city pockets that do not have the same resources, which then further perpetuates a problem.


09;53;39;20 - 09;53;39;08

Jonathan

Correct?


09;53;38;21 - 09;53;20;11

Sandy

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, I guess it's sort of like, what frame are you coming from? Because. For me, I'll never be able to account for individual differences. They're there, every person sort of has their own commitments in life, right?


09;53;19;13 - 09;52;58;06

Sandy

What they're willing to work towards, what they're not. You're going to see differences within groups, across groups. So they're they're going to be individual differences. My, I guess, you know, coming from sort of a solutions based approach. I'm like, I'm going to look systemically and I'm going to say, what are the barriers that need to be removed


09;52;58;05 - 09;52;34;11

Sandy

? What are the ultimately what are sort of the built in biases and disparities that have been created? Let's fix it at the root. And then, you know, I'm not talking about equality of outcomes, but I'm saying if we know structurally that we actually have some things built in that are inhibiting equality of opportunity, to me, it's remove


09;52;34;11 - 09;52;16;08

Sandy

those. And I'm not necessarily concerned about pointing to specific individuals to say what they are doing. I think I feel the responsibility and onus to say I am aware that there is something structural built in and embedded that is going to continue to impact people.


09;52;15;20 - 09;51;58;08

Sandy

And so that's that's where that's where I find my motivation and commitment leaning. And I think, you know, everyone sort of. Looks at this differently and approaches it differently, but for me, from trying to address that problem a challenge, I'm going to try and get to the source of it.


09;51;57;26 - 09;51;41;02

Sandy

And I don't think I get to the source of that by pointing to that individual or that individual and trying to determine what made the difference. I'm like, I'm going to look at what's happening systemically, what you know, when when there's like an ailment like, I'm not going to treat one symptom.


09;51;41;02 - 09;51;34;24

Sandy

I'm trying to figure out what what is the actual diagnosis here and what do we need to be working towards?


09;51;31;05 - 09;51;19;09

Jonathan

And that's the only way to make change if we fight the symptoms, and that's the entire purpose of our conversations here, if we fight the symptoms, we will lose each other to the fight we will we will not be able to continue conversation.


09;51;19;09 - 09;51;07;08

Jonathan

It's only by pursuing the core illness, the core problem that we have any hope in engaging in any type of conversation. And you know, I I kind of regret in the beginning of the show setting it up like, Oh, you know, we may be really spicy.


09;51;07;08 - 09;50;53;04

Jonathan

I do think that there will be times that we're passionate, but really well, you're going to see is a genuine, authentic effort forward here. And that is how I ought to have framed it, regardless of if it gets uncomfortable or passionate or what have you.


09;50;52;22 - 09;50;30;10

Jonathan

And with that being said, I love the distinction you just made because as I was thinking through the question. I saw something that said equity is a process, inequality is an outcome. And I didn't like it in the reason I didn't like it is because I think that I associate equality as I've really thought about this.


09;50;30;09 - 09;50;09;15

Jonathan

I associate equality of opportunity with equality of outcome. And that, to me, I think, is wrong because now you're talking about my socialistic socialism or communism. And those are not good things. They're great ideals. They're fun ideas. But in application, they're they're terrible, you know, number one killer of human humans in human history.


09;50;08;28 - 09;49;48;18

Jonathan

So it's like in, if I may, just real quick, if there's an important distinction that I don't have, I have not added the context to yet. The distinction you made that I think is really important in. Is you can't account for the individual, right, but you can account for the systematic problem and you can work to fix


09;49;48;18 - 09;49;30;00

Jonathan

at the root. And if we I think that if we focus on justice and fairness, in even those words are so charged like, goodness gracious. But if you if you focus on making a system, creating solutions at the system level that are just and fair, then you're going to have a more equitable system.


09;49;29;21 - 09;49;06;15

Jonathan

And through that pursuit, you will give. You can pursue the ideal of equality of opportunity, but you don't want to force equal opportunity because that is a difference in the implications of it are different. I think it's an ideal to pursue through creating equitable systems and then that allows for the accounting of the individual so that they


09;49;06;15 - 09;48;59;15

Jonathan

can choose to pursue the life that they want. Did I do well at that? Did it make sense what I said? Or is it.


09;48;59;15 - 09;48;50;15

Sandy

Rambling? I think so. Let me just clarify, are you saying we want to pursue the ideal of equality of opportunity or equality of outcomes? Which one were you saying? We want to pursue? The ideal of.


09;48;50;00 - 09;48;48;19

Jonathan

Definitely not equality of outcome.


09;48;46;15 - 09;48;36;17

Sandy

Would not be a bad outcome. I mean, would that be bad if if we were? I think it's an ideal. I don't. I don't know that that's ever possible to realize. But would it be bad?


09;48;35;15 - 09;48;15;07

Jonathan

Like, as humans are, I think it's wrong, if we all had the same drive, the same desire to learn, to take ownership to live fully, then I think it's great in in in in the course. And I think that's at a holistic level because when I think equality of outcome, I think forced equality of outcome, right?


09;48;15;06 - 09;48;00;20

Jonathan

My my association is I'm going to the guy, the guy or gal who sacrificed. A tremendous amount to whatever they have, whether it be little or lot, but it's more than this person and it be taken from them.


09;48;00;15 - 09;47;54;04

Jonathan

Right, that's what I think of when I think of equality of outcome now. So I have a hard time disassociating that.


09;47;53;21 - 09;47;44;10

Sandy

I know I just I just think it would be a wonderful experiment to see if we removed barriers. What might the outcomes be? And to me, I don't want to control it. It would just be a wonderful experiment to see.


09;47;44;10 - 09;47;28;19

Sandy

We've never done it. And I would actually love to see because I know that when I think about the the talent and potential that has been lost due to our own, our own efforts, like we literally have put up intentional barriers.


09;47;28;18 - 09;47;27;12

Sandy

I think that's just tragic.


09;47;26;17 - 09;47;14;18

Jonathan

And I think what you're saying is different, though. So what I'm hearing is if we remove barriers right and we don't limit what can come from that power on right, that's different.


09;47;13;28 - 09;47;12;15

Sandy

Yeah, that's sort of it.


09;47;12;14 - 09;46;58;08

Jonathan

But that's and I think that's where maybe there's a. A perspective difference or a linguistic difference, I really struggle when I hear like, equality of outcome. I really have a hard time not associating that with, like communistic ideology.


09;46;57;27 - 09;46;42;12

Sandy

But, you know, I don't know what it's associated with. I don't have a I don't have a I'm not putting it in a box. All I'm saying is. Hey, I've got, you know, I'll just think about like if I have if I have two children, right, I'm going to set them up and I'm going to provide you


09;46;41;28 - 09;46;29;08

Sandy

with these opportunities. I'm not going to stand in their way. And I'm going to just be like, let me see them step into those opportunities with the talents and gifts and the specific callings that they have on their lives.


09;46;29;08 - 09;46;13;16

Sandy

I'm not trying to direct that and I'd love to see what the outcomes are. So I'm not saying I'm saying it's this ideal of equality of opportunity or outcomes that I don't think we've given ourselves a chance to even see what can be possible.


09;46;13;05 - 09;45;58;16

Sandy

So it's it's it's not attainable. I'm not saying that this is the thing I'm actually seeking and that the pursuit is about ensuring that we have equality of outcomes. What I'm saying is let's just set that up as the bar.


09;45;58;15 - 09;45;51;16

Sandy

Why don't we have like the highest bar and remove the barriers? And then let's just see what can come of that?


09;45;51;03 - 09;45;40;22

Jonathan

And that goes to really listening to what you just said, going back to the your first question of are you talking about equality of outcome or equality of opportunity? What I'm hearing and what you're saying is equality of opportunity.


09;45;40;17 - 09;45;29;10

Jonathan

If we remove the barriers and we encourage the education that you are capable of extraordinary things, if you take ownership, if you learn, if you strive, if you sacrifice, if you work. And let's see where you can go.


09;45;28;29 - 09;45;20;06

Jonathan

And let's get out of the way. To me, that's pursuing the ideal of equality of opportunity through making sure that the resources are there and it's equitable.


09;45;19;24 - 09;45;03;28

Sandy

Definitely. And my, my, my, my, my hypothesis is just that we're going to see. More equality of outcomes. Let's saying we're going to get there to this total equality golf course, but I'm just saying he's set up for equality of opportunity.


09;45;03;23 - 09;44;59;26

Sandy

I think you're going to see at least the gap close.


09;44;55;18 - 09;44;40;04

Jonathan

So I do not disagree with you. No, no, I have a link. It may be a linguistic difference. I'm just going to say it, but I'm not sure that it's inequality of outcome. I just think we're going to see a tremendously higher value output.


09;44;40;04 - 09;44;20;25

Jonathan

We're going to see value, know value creation is exponentially going to explode. And to me, that's that's what I'm hearing and that's what I think. I'm like Pacquiao like, yeah, it's asinine to me, and I realized that I was given a really unique perspective on how humans work together in this country from my time in the military


09;44;18;28 - 09;43;57;03

Jonathan

. I loved it. I, you know, every organization has its flaws. But I loved. At least for what I had control in, in the experiences that I had to have the opportunity to see. The removal of a lot of those things, and it's up to the person's choice of removal, like just just the freedom of hey, you can


09;43;57;03 - 09;43;39;15

Jonathan

quite literally rise to whatever level you choose. To work to obtain period end of story once you're in uniform in that. And so in my mind, I can see that and I saw amazing things. But the problem was some of the fights were just in the person's own mind from the scars they carried.


09;43;39;07 - 09;43;14;03

Jonathan

And it was. It was education. It was conversation. That spoke a life to and then educate people who needed or wanted or were willing to learn that would become a catalyst for them to accomplish more. And. I don't know, I can't help but think as we attack, like as a society.


09;43;09;24 - 09;42;52;11

Jonathan

If I'm the connection, I think to what we can do on the individual level, as there are movements to correct the system. Is is through the power of knowledge and education in the story we tell. And that, to me, is where.


09;42;51;09 - 09;42;34;05

Jonathan

I struggle, you know. I was thinking about our earlier conversation around Pride in America, right, and the American ideal. You know, and I think that I've been struggling with it and I struggle with how could we not how can we afford not to teach?


09;42;33;00 - 09;42;09;13

Jonathan

People to be proud of what can become through this ideal be, because it's through that excitement that we can continue to pursue its fruition. You know, and I and I know that we talked about the place that we came to that we had agreement in was, you know, we both have hope for the further creation of the


09;42;09;13 - 09;41;57;14

Jonathan

further bringing forth of equity and correcting things. So it's like, oh, we have impoverished districts of schools where kids are growing up and not learning nearly as well, and that's creating a cycle. Let's fix that, right? Like, I'm in full agreement of that.


09;41;57;06 - 09;41;38;16

Jonathan

But, you know, but because of that, I'm even more proud of of my country and being someone who looks to the future and does have desires to learn from the past to make action in the future action in the present to help make a brighter future.


09;41;37;24 - 09;41;17;08

Jonathan

I'm tremendously like it, just it strengthens my love and passion for what can be and the sacrifices that have been, and that's not without. Disliking. And hating the wrong that has occurred. You know, it's just. I think there's something.


09;41;15;23 - 09;41;07;26

Jonathan

I think that it's part of the story. It's part of the narrative to help empower people to greater things.


09;41;07;02 - 09;40;51;24

Sandy

Yeah. And I mean, if I'm if I'm hearing you correctly and I guess I would agree to some extent. I mean, I'm proud of the fact that we can sort of identify and then address those remaining barriers. I guess, though, there's a shelf life to that.


09;40;51;22 - 09;40;32;13

Sandy

I'm only going to remain proud for so long. But if you continue to allow, you know, the inequality to persist, I'm not proud of that anymore because then that's a choice. We're talking about choices. That's a choice. Like if we've known for some time that this needs to be fixed and it hasn't been, we are choosing to


09;40;32;13 - 09;40;23;09

Sandy

ensure that we are limiting the potential of some. That's that's not something that I can be proud of.


09;40;22;16 - 09;40;00;23

Jonathan

And I don't think I don't think that should be something to be proud of. I. And this is where this is such an interesting conversation because I was thinking about. The story of our family, right, and how my grandfather, your father and your mom came here and built an amazing life and how the values that they instilled


09;40;00;23 - 09;39;42;08

Jonathan

in you and the gratefulness for the opportunity that they were able to find here, looking at where you are now, looking at where your brother and your sister are like. To me, it's an inspiring thing not to cover up the things that need corrected, but you find motivation and hope in right like you're, you know.


09;39;41;01 - 09;39;23;03

Jonathan

Your personal story in our family's story has given me an additional, very close connection to what can happen with the American dream. And that is a further foundation that encourages me to fight for the protection of that and against the things that are wrong.


09;39;22;23 - 09;38;59;14

Jonathan

Now the problem that comes to me is, yes, education in education be ample that you've brought up. We need to face this, and I'm not surprised. In a in a large system with people that we have a problem and we have people who are going to fight venom only to defend that problem, that doesn't surprise me.


09;38;59;04 - 09;38;40;14

Jonathan

What I don't know is how to. Address it and fix it. And, you know, a lot of things are changing in my life where I'm becoming significantly more pointed and speaking out and in fighting for what I think is true just and fair and good holistically.


09;38;39;11 - 09;38;32;17

Jonathan

I want to pause and just see what you think about what I said. What what do you think?


09;38;32;08 - 09;38;15;25

Sandy

Yeah. I mean, couple things I guess I'm thinking about, you know, our family story. And yeah, it's the child of immigrants and there was definitely instilled in me this notion you come here, you have every opportunity available. You work hard.


09;38;14;26 - 09;37;54;14

Sandy

It's it's a beautiful and tragic story all at once. And I think it's important to understand it's both right and we love to elevate and sort of give this inspirational kind of picture of what it is. I mean, it's it's a struggle.


09;37;54;14 - 09;37;37;10

Sandy

It's. And it can obscure. I think it can really obscure the fact that we still have some work to do. Not taking away from the fact that, yes, my parents attained some level of success and depends on how you define success.


09;37;36;23 - 09;37;19;15

Sandy

I think for my father, the fact that he could have a job with success, right? Other people would have looked at our bank account and probably said, No, that's failure. So I don't know. It's all relative. All I can say is that, yes, I believe, I believe that story.


09;37;19;15 - 09;37;01;16

Sandy

That narrative is part of the beauty in the fabric of our country. But I get concerned when we don't also acknowledge that there was a ceiling to on what my father could achieve with with the limited formal education that he had.


09;37;01;16 - 09;36;47;29

Sandy

There was a ceiling on what he can achieve. And you know, when we have a longer episode, I can talk about some of the very racialized experiences that he had. And I can, you know, I can speak to some of the nuances of that story.


09;36;47;29 - 09;36;26;03

Sandy

So I think that is yes. Embrace the story. Yes, embrace the narrative in the hope that it really, I think, exemplifies the possibilities that it demonstrates. But I worry when we lean so heavily into that and we point to specific individuals and point to specific individual stories.


09;36;25;04 - 09;36;17;25

Sandy

And again, it's just sort of this, I think I think we haven't been courageous in doing the hard work.


09;36;17;13 - 09;35;58;04

Jonathan

Hmm. I agree with you. The the thing that scares me is the is the adverse to the opposite. Yes, I can't speak. Apparently, if we focus too much on the on the ceiling, if we focus too heavily on the wrongs that were.


09;35;56;24 - 09;35;44;18

Jonathan

And. If it if we allow anything bad to become our only picture, right it it becomes as damaging, if not, it becomes corrosive in the same way that ignoring them does.


09;35;44;00 - 09;35;36;11

Sandy

I have a real good solution to that. We don't we don't have to continue to do so. We can fix it.


09;35;35;29 - 09;35;35;23

Jonathan

Well.


09;35;35;12 - 09;35;23;15

Sandy

Actually, I would love like, here's the bottom line for me. I don't want to have to tell the other story. I don't want to have to keep moving into the history. The reason I keep bringing the history is because we act as though it doesn't impact the current.


09;35;23;05 - 09;35;09;13

Sandy

That that's that's actually why I lean so heavily on the history. It's because it's sort of like, but that was the path. No. Yeah. I understand racial restrictive covenants were the past, but you didn't fix the part that actually mattered.


09;35;09;11 - 09;34;54;13

Sandy

That actually means that we are going to have schools that are reinforced in a way that everyone has equal opportunity. So it's not the past. It was truly the past. It could be let go, but it's actually not truly the past.


09;34;54;09 - 09;34;34;21

Jonathan

It's it's. I can't help but think that the more act yet equal opportunities, definitely the idea, I like the idea of equitable opportunity, right, fair and just apathy. That was just a fun idea. And it's an aside, I don't want to distract from what you're saying and in this conversation, what we're talking about, I'm fully on board


09;34;34;21 - 09;34;21;03

Jonathan

of like, yes. You know, one of the the metaphors that we've talked about is like, I have a lens of perspective and you do, and that's true of any two people. And we want to look at these things that we're talking about through the frame and lens of both of our perspectives.


09;34;20;11 - 09;34;10;12

Jonathan

And I think it's equally tragic to look at the American dream that is hope inspiring. It's something to be proud of. It's something I think unequivocally to be proud of this country for and what we can do with it.


09;34;09;26 - 09;33;50;04

Jonathan

It is equally tragic to then just focus on that and not focus on the hard work to make it better. But to me, that is as that is incredibly wrong and it goes against everything that I stand for to say, Yeah, let's ignore the problems because they may or may not be affecting me directly in this place


09;33;50;04 - 09;33;46;10

Jonathan

is great. That's wrong. That's not what this point. That's not what this is about.


09;33;45;11 - 09;33;21;08

Sandy

Yeah. I mean, I think I think for me, the the bottom line really is it's not about. Making history a reference point for the sake of just retelling a painful story or a story of victimhood. It's literally let's recount our history because our history is in our midst and it is impacting the day to day and my


09;33;21;08 - 09;32;56;02

Sandy

goal is to really address it. The root can we can we resolve it, fix it once and for all, and then move on. But you can't move on if if we haven't really been honest about. I think why we're in the place that we're in, why we see these things I think we like to attribute, so I


09;32;56;02 - 09;32;34;08

Sandy

think here's part of the challenge for me. I think we like to hold up a person's life and look at where they are and then say and make assumptions about how they arrive there. I think that we have done a poor job of doing the same kind of analysis systemically.


09;32;33;07 - 09;32;12;01

Sandy

And so what happens is we we attribute meaning and value to an individual's particularities. Right? What are their outcomes? What are their life experiences? What do I see as the fruits right of their life? I would like to see us do the same kind of.


09;32;10;23 - 09;31;58;23

Sandy

Assessment and to look more deeply. At what contributing factors? Right, we have sort of created systemically.


09;31;56;27 - 09;31;39;21

Jonathan

I don't I don't think we should just like to do, I think it's our responsibility as I think it's every American's responsibility to do that. There's this interesting. Apart from the Declaration of Independence, and it's much more eloquently said than than this, I'm going to look up the direct sentence and I can share it.


09;31;39;07 - 09;31;19;06

Jonathan

But the bottom line idea is if there's something wrong and you have the capability to act, it's your responsibility to do so. Right, right. And. I'm I'm in agreement, and I'm just thinking if we look at our country as a farmer, would a crop or a farm or a business owner with their business?


09;31;18;29 - 09;31;02;07

Jonathan

Right? You would absolutely in good stewardship and responsibility. Look at everything from the systematic level to see how you can help the whole thrive. Right. That's what makes sense and at least from those perspectives. And I think that's what makes sense.


09;31;02;07 - 09;30;50;06

Jonathan

And that's what I definitely advocate for for our country, which is one heck of a lofty idea to look at something so large. But I'm like, Hey, if not me, then who? And I know that's your stance, too.


09;30;49;27 - 09;30;29;14

Jonathan

And I can't help but ask the like. I can't help but think we have found a path in front of us through this conversation. I think. We've carefully looked at some of the presuppositions that without exploring like we just did, we could get hung up on the Oh, you're not proud of America or you're oh, you don't


09;30;29;14 - 09;30;12;19

Jonathan

see the problem and all that jazz. I think we've crushed that. And I looking forward to Mike Heck. I want to pull on the string of OK, so. What's next? What can we do on the individual level, what can we what types of conversations can we inspire?


09;30;12;18 - 09;30;01;21

Jonathan

What types of actions can we take? What can we build here, right? Maybe this is just a platform for us to build something that we've not yet imagined, or maybe it'll encourage someone to do so. Who just has needed this?


09;29;59;13 - 09;29;49;18

Jonathan

But I can't help but feel a gratitude and excitement right now for our conversations become, I don't know where you're feeling, hopefully not indigestion, but.


09;29;49;08 - 09;29;30;07

Sandy

No, no, not at all. I mean, I think I've just just been sitting here and just having this conversation. one thing that really became clear to me is that we speak from different paradigms for sure, and I feel like I hear you speaking a lot from the individual and the individual stories.


09;29;30;07 - 09;29;13;00

Sandy

And I think I I'm speaking a lot from a systems approach. I think a lot of times when we're trying to tackle these big. These big challenges, right, we're coming at it from different. We're just coming at it from different perspectives in.


09;29;13;00 - 09;28;50;22

Sandy

So it is difficult to find a space where we find that the common ground in agreement and a way forward. And so I don't know, I hope, at least from today's conversation, you and I and others might be sort of seeing the necessity of the both end that we can look at the individual and we can we


09;28;50;22 - 09;28;34;15

Sandy

can assess and diagnose from that vantage point. But what might we also gain from looking at the systemic level? And then also, you know, not being so frustrated by a sense that people are trying to languish in a history that doesn't exist anymore?


09;28;33;27 - 09;28;19;29

Sandy

But what can we take from our history and apply to our understanding of the present in? And I do. I think this this both in as opposed to it's got to be an either or is is the secret sauce.


09;28;19;14 - 09;28;07;13

Jonathan

You know, 100%, it has to be both end because if you just look at the system level, it can be it can become flawed if you just look at it at the individual level. It is not a whole picture.


09;28;07;05 - 09;27;52;11

Jonathan

And that's where. I think that we're two we're two sides to an equation to help to solve this, we need to see both the individual and the system if we want to be able to create a solution because it's the fuller picture, right?


09;27;52;08 - 09;27;33;09

Jonathan

The different paradigms we have don't create division. They create greater value if we're just willing to be bold enough to push to find it. And what I'm excited about now and the reason of excitement, especially with what you just said, is our phone conversations are going to be are going to be aimed at building value towards creating


09;27;33;09 - 09;27;30;27

Jonathan

solutions. There's nowhere else for us to go.


09;27;30;18 - 09;27;28;14

Sandy

Exactly why would we want to do anything else?

 




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