Cocktail Banter, Episode 9: Racism in America (And What You Can Do To Stop It)

Cocktail Banter connects you with the best of politics and pop culture. It’s the podcast that gives you everything you need to know to be in the know.

This week, we’re talking with Abiola Oke, the CEO of okayafrica, about racism in America and what we can do to stop it.

Abiola discusses how our society has been constructed in ways that often create disadvantages for African Americans – disadvantages that most white people never experience and thus never see the need to change. He talks about what structural racism looks like in practice, from the war on drugs to mass incarceration (13:22).

As the country’s first African-American president prepares to leave office, Abiola considers how we can create a better future. President-elect Trump’s campaign was marked by accusations of racism, xenophobia and sexism, but Trump also insists that he’ll look out for African American communities in ways other elected officials have not.

But so far, things aren’t looking good. (27:00)

Abiola highlights the policies that Trump should prioritize if he wants to make a difference in the first 100 days and beyond. (20:55)

He argues that people have more power to influence their elected officials and push for change than they realize. Now it’s time to put that power into action. But what does that look like? We talk about the Safety Pin Movement (26:30). Some have said that it’s an embarrassing display of “white people making themselves feel better.” Abiola shares his perspective about how to translate good intentions into action (9:45, 36:30).

Want to learn more? Read more of Abiola's thoughts, follow okayafrica and continue the conversation by connecting with Abiola on Twitter.