team codeswitch American Resilience

Codeswitch, a Podcast Tackling Race, Class and Culture

Enter the podcast that answers (almost) all of your questions about race and class.

Code Switch offers their take:

First, don’t fetishize poor cultures as being the only ‘authentic’ ones. Acknowledge that everyone is striving for upward mobility. Gene Demby of NPR says it’s a good thing if a lawyer of color moves into a low-income neighborhood – they are setting examples, too.

“There are so many ways your class can be utilized to advocate for people in those communities. Your presence there is not necessarily detrimental,” replies Demby. “My life would have been improved if I didn’t live next to an abandoned building.”

Second, do not let your class prevent you from embracing your community. If you’re a resident of privilege who’s moved into a lower-income neighborhood, engage with your neighbors.

“If you walk down the street and never speak to anybody or you’re still clutching your purse when you’re walking past a group of kids playing hopscotch, it doesn’t send a good message,” said Karen Grigsby Bates, another NPR correspondent. “But if you get to know your neighbors and you’re part of the block club and you’re helping out then I think it makes a difference.”

 

We look even better in person. See you tomorrow night.

A post shared by NPR’s Code Switch (@nprcodeswitch) on

[Feature image Matt Roth for NPR]
JP Sears American Resilience

JP Sears: Comedy and Sincerity Go Hand in Hand

Making fun of yourself can be the opening to truly understanding yourself.

You may have stumbled across JP Sears’ comedy videos taking loving pokes at ‘New Age’ lifestyles. He’s a Youtube sensation who first caught the eye of folks online in 2013. Now, with more than 600k subscribers, he makes fun of everything from the essential oil fad, gluten intolerance, astrology, and Bitcoin.

His jokes are good—sometimes too good—and make us question ourselves a bit. That is exactly his point, these jokes roast himself too. Humor keeps us humble, it is the opening of a new conversation stripped of ego.

After dropping out of college, Sears began studying holistic cultures at age 18, going on to become a life coach. After gaining recognition as someone with an acute sense of humor, he went on to write a book called How to be Ultra Spiritual – “a 12 1/2 Step Guide to Spiritual Superiority”.

 

 

“I needed it for self-therapy because so much of the New Age culture and New Age practices are a part of my life and a very beneficial part of my life, yet there’s another side to the beneficial coin for everything,” Sears told the Charleston City Newspaper.

“I was finding myself having egotistical agendas and judgments hiding within my new age and spiritual practices. The videos and the book [How to be Ultra Spiritual] became a way for me to shine the light of awareness on the shadow side of me.”

Sears compares his humor and sincerity with his left hand and right hand—both are different and don’t work quite as well alone.

Feature photo: Jonathan Boncek / Scott Suchy

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