Trump, COVID-19, & BlackWomenViews (w/ Reecie Colbert)

Zach has the incredible opportunity of sitting down to chat with Reecie Colbert, founder of BlackWomenViews Media, about Trump’s being diagnosed with COVID, Kamala Harris, and ways Black women need to be better supported and heard in the professional workplace.

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We all know the interview process can be fraught and full of bias. We’ve teamed up with SurveyMonkey to learn more about your experiences interviewing so we can make the entire process for BIPOC candidates. Share your thoughts: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HLV9V5W And watch this space for the results!

Check out BlackWomenViews.com.

You can listen to her on Roland Martin Unfiltered every Thursday at 5PM Central. Take advantage of this YouTube playlist!

Connect with Reecie on social media – she’s on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

TRANSCRIPT

Zach: What’s up, y’all? It’s Zach with Living Corporate, and you know what we’re doing. Every single week we’re having real talk in a corporate world. We center and amplify Black and brown folks at work. We’re just having, you know, authentic conversations, and who do we talk to? We talk to all kinds of folks, right? Like, some weeks we might have J. Prince on. I mean, that one time, ’cause he scared the mess out of me… he probably won’t come back. Then we’ll have the CEO of SurveyMonkey on, and then we’ll have an elected official on or two or three, and then we’ll have a couple of activists on, right? Shout-out to DeRay Mckesson. Shout-out to Zellie. Shout-out to Charles Preston. Shout-out to–who else do we have on… authors, right? So shout-out to Feminista Jones, Howard Bryant. We’ll have educators on and professors, shout-out to Caitlin Rosenthal, Dr. Robin DiAngelo, shout-out to Dr. Courtney McCluney, Dr. Erin Thomas, Dr. Tema Okun. And we’ve also had, like, political commentators on, right? So we’ve had Dr. Jason Johnson on, so what’s up? Dr. Johnson, what’s up? Listen, man, hit me back. I definitely wanna have you back. I appreciate you. I feel like we had a really good conversation. And we’re continuing forward. We’re continuing to have these conversations. We’re continuing to live in this world, right? So Living Corporate is not necessarily, like, a politics media network. Like, we really center and amplify Black and brown experiences at work, but it would be intellectually and emotionally inauthentic to say that politics don’t impact Black and brown people at work, and so I’m really excited about the guest we have today, founder of BlackWomenViews Media, Reecie Colbert. Reecie, what’s going on? How are you doing?

Reecie: Hey, Zach. I’m good. How are you? Thanks for having me on your show.

Zach: Yo, thank you for being on. So I’ma be honest with you. I’m kind of, like, in this media space, and we’ve been around for 2.5 years and we’ve had a lot of dope people on, and I still kind of starstruck, so, like, when you followed me on Twitter I was like, “What’s this?” I was shocked. I was shook up.

Reecie: Oh, you’re too kind. [laughs]

Zach: No, I love your work. I check you out on Roland Martin’s network, on his show, and I’ve just always appreciated your takes. Recently you’ve had to set Michael Harriot straight a couple of times on these Twitter streets, which I would love to–

Reecie: [laughs] I’m blocked now, so I don’t know what he’s talking about. [both laugh] I’m always ruffling somebody’s feathers.

Zach: It’s all good. I mean, look, it’s needed. This is no shade to Michael Harriot. I love both of y’all. Like, I’m not even trying to play it in the middle. I really enjoy y’all both. I think honestly I’ve always enjoyed his threads and his content, and I’ve never actually looked at him with a critical eye before I looked at your tweets though, and I was like, “Well, let me–hm, maybe I should challenge this,” and it really kind of brings me to my first thing I want to talk about, which is, you know, not ignoring and really centering the perspectives of Black women in all spaces, including the political space. I’d love to hear more about your journey as a political commentator and how BlackWomenViews Media got started.

Reecie: Yeah. So for me BlackWomenViews Media started as what I saw was this space that was missing for Black women to be unapologetically multifaceted, you know? So many times there are these litmus tests for–this is a woke litmus test, this is an intelligence litmus test and things of that nature, and I just felt like there should be a space for a Black woman that can be anything at any given time. You know, I like Love and Hip-Hop. I like Basketball Wives. I love Real Housewives of Atlanta and Potomac, but I also like The ReidOut and Rachel Maddow, and I’m a political junkie, and I cuss a lot. I curse like a sailor, you know? So it’s like one of those things where I’m like, “I absolutely refuse to be boxed in by anybody’s notion of what Black woman [?] is, what respectability is, what intelligence is,” and so I said, “Well, if I lead with my voice, people that are attracted to that, people that gravitate towards that will come, and people that don’t like it don’t care,” but that was kind of the impetus for me creating BlackWomenViews, just saying “Hey, there’s a space for a woman like me, the women who aren’t super on their high horse about everything, you know, and so that’s really where I wanted to come in, and I’m really happy I created it at a time–I actually created it I want to say… I don’t remember now. I want to say 2018 is when I first started it, and I started primarily on Instagram, and so I was really, really pushing the midterms and things of that nature, and I’m really happy that I started then because it gave me a chance to really kind of come into my voice on the social media landscape before I even got to Twitter. And, you know, I felt like during the presidential primary especially, I felt let down by a lot of Black influencers or intelligentsia and these political pundits that many of us, including myself, have come to kind of revere as thought leaders for our community, and I just felt like they switched up or their energy wasn’t consistent with what we had been seeing from there for years, in particular as it relates to senator Kamala Harris, and that’s where I really was like, “Wait a second, something ain’t adding up here,” and that’s where that critical part came in where I was like, “Listen, I’m gonna be brutally honest about things that I don’t like, things that just seem off to me, things that seem inconsistent, but I’m also going to be unapologetic and fiercely devoted to amplifying senator Kamala Harris and fighting for a Black woman, because she deserved it, and I think now people are starting to see it now that she’s–you know, everybody loves a winner, but you’ve got to have people that can help you get to that space where you’re winning, and not a lot of people are willing to step out, and so I’m glad that I came along in that space. There’s a part of me that will always be disappointed that there was that much space for somebody like me, who was a very small account. I think had, like, 200 something followers on Twitter when I started, you know, really going hard for Kamala. I had more people on Instagram, but now I’m at 70,000 followers on Twitter, and the only reason for that is other people left that space wide open. So that’s where we are today. I’m on Roland Martin Unfiltered on Thursdays, and I do a couple other little things here and there too.

Zach: First of all, thank you for your courage, right? I think your story and the work that you’re doing right now follows the meta-narrative of Black women having to carry and support every-doggone-body because in saving themselves they end up saving us. So thank you. Thank you for your labor, and shout-out to Roland Martin, you know? Now, he’s gonna hear this hopefully. Now, listen, Reecie, when you see Roland, you let him know that I’ve been emailing him, okay? A couple other people–and I’m not gonna namedrop who the other people are who have been trying to get Roland to hit me back, but just please let him know I’m looking for him. You know, I got love for him. I’m trying to hang out with him. Anyway, it’s not a problem–

Reecie: Yeah, I love Roland.

Zach: I love Roland too, but this is not about Roland. This is about you and I having this conversation right now.

Reecie: Can I say, though, shout-out to Roland, because–I make a joke that I’m, like, the loudmouthed Black girl on Twitter, and not a lot of people–a lot of people know me to be, like, kind of an expert on Kamala, and I do politics outside of just talking about Kamala, but Roland really was the first one to really step up and give me a chance outside of my own platform–which I was fine with, to be clear, having my own platform, but I appreciate that he really took a chance on me and really believed in my voice, and I’ve been on Roland now going for 10 months straight. Every Thursday I’ve been on Roland Martin, so shout-out to Roland.

Zach: Yo, shout-out to him. And that’s the thing I like, more than his political acumen, I appreciate that Roland is about the people, right? He will actually engage. He’s not Hollywood. And that’s what I’ve been realizing–we’re gonna get to it in a second–just this Black elitism is… it’s exhausting, it’s exhausting, like, to kind of engage, and then folks, you know, when they make an assumption, they think you’re Hollywood and then you say something that they don’t expect or whatever, and then they kind of put that little whatever on you too. So it’s just… hm, I don’t know. It’s disappointing. Anyway, so to this week–we’re recording this on the 4th of October in the year of our Beyonce, 2020, and Trump has, you know–as the news reports say, he got the rona, right? I’m trying to figure out, you know, how have you been navigating–as much as you’re comfortable–your own emotional space with that and then also, like, these Twitter streets? So let me just, like, level set, ’cause I’m not trying to lead you into nothing, right? So let me just talk about what I’ve been seeing. So on Twitter I’ve been seeing some Black celebrities, notable ones, say things like, you know, “We wish you well,” and, you know, “I’m not wishing death on anybody,” and, you know, you see Rachel Maddow I think just the other day was like, “You know, think about your friend who got lung cancer after smoking cigarettes. You still want the best for them while also, you know, holding them accountable for their actions. Both of these things can exist at the same time,” and there was this, like, appeal to respectability and decency and civility, and I’m not… so I don’t wish death on anybody, like, to be clear, and I think it’s intellectually dishonest to say that if you’re not desperately pleading for someone to be healthy that you’re wishing their demise. I don’t think one equals the other, and I’m seeing, like, a lot of critique on that, right, and I’m just curious to know, like, as much as you’re comfortable sharing, like, what has it been like this week for you, you know, starting at the debate to all these various reports and kind of, like, conflicting information around the current occupier of the White House’s health. Like, what has it been like for you to navigate this just as a political commentator?

Reecie: Well, I’m always unbossed and unfiltered, so I keep it real, and I think a lot of people have been on their high horse, and, you know, there’s a lot of “pick me” going on. “Pick me! Pick me! I’m so righteous!” And I don’t give a damn about being righteous, okay? At the end of the day, let’s be honest that things are [?] at best. What if science and karma could team up, you know? And I also think, like you said, it’s intellectually dishonest to [?] that because somebody isn’t, you know, crying a river or playing a tiny violin for Donald Trump that they’re wishing death on him. I don’t want that karma on myself. I’m not trying to say, “Hey, you know, drop dead,” ’cause I don’t–

Zach: I don’t want that energy. I’m good on that.

Reecie: I don’t want that. I ain’t got time for that. I don’t need that kind of karma on my head. But what I will say is let’s keep the same energy that he had for other people. He’s the one that said, “It is what it is,” okay? He’s the one that has completely abdicated his responsibility to have a robust federal response. He told states to fend for themselves. We have a death toll of–what is it now, 208, 209 thousand dead Americans? 7.3 I think, 7.3, 7.4 million Americans infected. We’re hitting the highest numbers of daily COVID numbers since mid-August at 55,000 I think was yesterday. So this is a crisis of Donald Trump’s own making. It was inevitable that he was basically going to get burned by him playing with fire, so I’m not at all conflicted about it. Now, what I am conflicted about is the fact that we have no idea what’s really going on. A lot of people were on their high horse about people being skeptical about him having COVID at all. I don’t blame people for being a little cynical because Donald Trump is a pathological liar, but I’m more on the side that he does have it because he’s been completely irresponsible. But what I’m conflicted about is what the hell is going on? Is he really severe and they’re trying to downplay it, or is he not severe and they’re trying to, you know–for instance, it came out today that he’s on three different drugs, two of those drugs which are normally reserved for people who are severe, and so there’s the cynical part of me that’s like, “Is he really even sick and they’re just–” You know, this is a ploy for him to come out and say, “Look, I’ve taken all of these miracle drugs,” like he did with hydroxychloroquine. He’s always tauting these miracle cures, and so there’s a part of me that’s cynical that’s like, “Well, maybe.” If they’re saying he’s in good shape but he’s on these drugs for severe people, maybe he’s not really on those drugs. Maybe this is just a ploy for him to come out and say, “Look at all these great treatments that we have. Coronavirus is under control.” You know, I don’t know. That’s what I really don’t know. We know for sure that they lie, and we know for sure that they’ve lied about his symptoms on, you know, various days, and so I don’t know what to believe in terms of the severity of his diagnosis, but what’s very clear is that he a super-spreader and that he knew that he was infected or that he knew there was a chance of him being infected and he still went on, because perhaps he thinks–’cause he’s a narcissist and he doesn’t care about people–“Well, if I’ve got it, then who cares who else gets it?” And a lot of people, I think particularly Trump supporters with their refusal to wear a mask, you know, psychoness is that they feel like, “Well, if I get it, that’s all I care about. All I care about is not getting it. I don’t care about me not giving it to you. I only care about you not giving it to me.” So that tracks why he would continue to be out and about doing fundraisers and rallies and things of that nature. But I think it’s insane that we’re in a political landscape where the White House is having an outbreak. We don’t see this whole “all hands on deck, everybody wear a mask, let’s do contract tracing, let’s do mass quarantining.” They’re just going on like it’s almost business as normal, not just the White House but the Republican Party, and it’s really disturbing, but I think it’s going to do real damage to his electoral chances because–this survey came out today, 65% of Americans believe that he could have prevented it by taking it more seriously. So I don’t think this is gonna be a net positive for him. If it was a stunt, I think it’s gonna backfire spectacularly on him.

Zach: Well, you know, and we’re kind of working backwards now talking about things failing. I want to talk a little bit about the presidential debate, and then I want to talk about it–’cause I do want to get into Kamala, and I would be remiss not to engage that, but let’s talk about this presidential debate first. So on a scale of–let’s see here… absolute trash and dumpster fire, where would you rank that performance?

Reecie: I think it was a dumpster fire. It was a disgrace. It was an abomination. It was. It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

Zach: I was so taken aback. I was live-tweeting, I think you were also, during the debate, and I was just like, “Oh, my gosh. This is insane.” And it would be wrong for me to say “I can’t believe Trump would behave this way,” but it was just so beyond the pale. And I think, you know, when you talk through this season, like, this presidency, and my wife talk about this a lot, is that there’s a certain level of gentility that we expect the office of the presidency to have, right? Irrespective of the imperialistic nature of America and, like, the things that we do abroad, we expect for you not to… you know, act [?].

Reecie: You have to have decorum, yeah.

Zach: Some sense of decorum when you’re in front of everybody, and so, you know, he was barking on Chris Wallace. He was overtalking on Biden. It just didn’t make any sense to me. I’m curious as to, like, where do you fall as it pertains to–and again, this presumes that Donald Trump does recover or is sick and does recover and is in a position to continue forward with the debates, like, do you think that we should continue to have these? Like, there are people who say we should have them but, like, with different rules. Like, what is your position on that?

Reecie: I don’t think there should be any more debates. I mean, I know that people really want to see Kamala annihilate Mike Pence, which I believe she will do. I don’t particularly want to see that happen in person because I’m not–I don’t trust that Mike Pence is truly negative. I think that as long as he’s asymptomatic they’ll say that he’s negative. So I don’t really trust that, but as far as Donald Trump and Joe Biden, there’s zero reason for them to debate again. These debates don’t particularly move the needle too much to the extent that polling has shown it’s moving the needle. It’s actually in Biden’s favor, but I don’t think that Biden will be particularly well-served by another debate with Trump on his best behavior, because I don’t think that Biden really did that good of a job. I think he did an okay job, particularly under the circumstances of being just completely bullied and just trampled over for 90 minutes. That has to be incredibly unnerving and difficult to just even live through, you know, but I don’t think substantively we learned anything out of the debate. So it’s just an embarrassment. It’s a national embarrassment. Also, now we know that very likely Donald Trump was already infected with COVID. That could be why he showed up late, him and his family showed up late, so that they didn’t have to get tested in time. So there’s that sinister, insidious part of “Donald Trump is being irresponsible.” The next debate I believe is scheduled for the 15th, and so, you know, technically that would be out of the 14-day window. Maybe. It might be just one day out of the 14-day window, but I just think cancel it. Let’s move on as a country. There’s voting in 35 states already. 3 million votes were cast as of Friday. The election is already now. Let’s just move on.

Zach: Honestly, let me see what part that–I came to the same conclusion during that debate. Let me see here. Okay, when Biden said, “Will you just shut up, man?” I said, “Oh, okay, we don’t need to do this again.” I mean, why?

Reecie: Well, yeah. I think Biden was–you know, I think he was accurate. He was saying what we all thought. I think he could have delivered it a little bit more forceful when he was getting those digs in, but I honestly think that Trump did come in there with the intention of being a bully, but I don’t think his game plan was to go that far. I think what happened was he saw that he was really unnerving Biden, and so he’s like a shark that smells blood in the water, and he just–at that point he just was an unhinged maniac. He could not resist, because his–he was not focused on the task at hand, which is to convince the American electorate that he deserves another 4 years. He was solely convinced on just messing with Biden, and so I really don’t believe that was the game plan going in. I just think he has no self-control and he just got a kick out of doing that. But yeah, I think that Biden was very restrained in the stuff that he said. I think he was restrained in the tone that he used. I would have liked to have seen a little bit more force, but it is what it is with that.

Zach: No, I’m right there with you, and you’re absolutely right. At Trump’s [?] age, it’s wild how he can’t control himself at all, you know what I’m saying? I just don’t get that at all, and it continues to blow my mind. To your point around Biden. You know, I was talking to a mentor of mine and we were watching it in real-time, and he was kind of–you know, his point was, “Look, Biden continuing to react is a fail. He needs to–” And I said, “Well, the thing about it is–” The reactions aren’t bad. Like, him reacting is not bad, it’s just that he’s not Kamala Harris where he’s gonna snap. Like, he doesn’t know how to snap back. He kind of was like, “Oh, that’s not true. That’s not true.” And I think also, you know, Trump has failed so much, he’s done so much wrong, it’s almost like there’s too much to hit. It’s like there’s so many options I could understand you being flustered. I can certainly empathize with being flustered in the moment. It’s kind of like when somebody’s talking to you–so I’m kind of going back to high school, but you know certain folks in school would be like, “I know you’re not talking,” but some of them “I know you’re not talking” people got so much going on. It’s like, “Dang, okay, how do I–do I talk about your shoes? Do I talk about your haircut? Do I talk about your nails being dirty? Do I talk about your teeth? Do you talk about you failing all your classes?” Like, you don’t know what to do, but they’re just screaming so you’re like, “Dang, okay. Uh, uh,” and you kind of just end up on the defensive. I get that, but it was interesting to me. I think to your point around it couldn’t have been his game plan, when he talked about Biden’s kids I was like…

Reecie: Just deplorable.

Zach: Disgusting. I was like, “Come on, man.”

Reecie: Yeah. I think that was the moment for me where I was like, “We don’t need to do this.” When he said, “I don’t know Beau. I’m talking about Hunter.” That was it for me. I said, “We don’t need to do this. Let’s not do this anymore.”

Zach: And straight up to your point about restraint, that’s when I realized how mature Joe Biden is, ’cause I would’ve been like, “I know you’re not talking about my kids. I’m looking at your kids right over here. I can see their red eyes from here. I know you’re not talking about–don’t play.” And he literally said, “Hey, this isn’t about either one of our families. This is about the American people.” I was like, “Wow, that was a very controlled line.”

Reecie: Yeah. I think he did a good job not making it a slugfest, ’cause you can’t roll around with pigs, you know? So I think he showed remarkable restraint. I just think he was more flustered, to use your word, than I think any of us would have liked to see, but it’s understandable why he was flustered.

Zach: Absolutely. I also think to your point that there were several things that he could have hit on, right? I think I tweeted about this, and a bunch of other folks commented after the fact. Bari Williams said something as well, but when he said–you know, he downplayed masks. I was like, “Herman Cain died after going to one of your [?],” you know? There was a lot of stuff going on. Okay, but again, I would like to get your perspective on the debates. I hear you. I agree that, frankly, there’s just no real reason for us to continue. I think that, you know, as it pertains to those options, there are a lot of folks that are saying they’re unsure, but I just feel like you pretty much know. And I could be wrong, right, but I think the majority of folks know who they’re voting for, even if they get on spaces and they say they don’t. I think deep down folks know who they’re gonna vote for. Now, I am curious about this VP debate though. So, now, are you looking forward to this?

Reecie: I am not, only because I’m very concerned about the health and safety of senator Kamala Harris. Again, I do not trust the Trump administration, the Trump campaign, to follow health protocols, to be honest about anybody. And it’s not just Mike Pence who could be infected. It could literally be anybody that they send to that particular debate. I like what Jamie Harrison did in South Carolina where he brought his plexiglass. Like, come on.

Zach: I respect it. I love it.

Reecie: Yeah, that was gangster. So, you know, let’s take out the doom and gloom scenario of it being a safety risk, a COVID health risk. I am looking forward to the country seeing the senator Kamala Harris that I admire, the one who is a complete badass, who has represented time and time again, and, you know, one of the things that she is unmatched on is dismantling the Trump administration’s COVID response. I know you saw her pre-rebuttal to Trump’s RNC speech where she just went for 20 minutes and just completely eviscerated their response. That is what needs to happen on Wednesday, and nobody can deliver that more forcefully than her. So that’s what I’m looking forward to.

Zach: You know, I’m right there with you. I don’t know. I don’t see a point in a debate being face-to-face. I would like to see–and, you know, again, this is partially due to I think just human beings are pre-dispositioned to carnage, I do want to see Kamala Harris jack up Mike Pence. I want to be clear. I want to see that.

Reecie: [laughs] Yeah, yeah. Oh, for sure.

Zach: You know? He said something, like, about a month or so ago kind of alluding to–he was like, “I welcome her. I’m looking forward to the debate.” I’m like, “What are you looking forward to? You shouldn’t be looking forward to that at all.” Said something about protecting our meat. I was just like, “I don’t think… You’re not good at this part. Like, whatever this is for you? Like, you’re not good at the communications piece, Mike Pence. Like, you should stop. Stop this.” And so I’m curious about, you know, what that’s gonna look like, and I’m curious about just how she shows up. I am curious to get your perspective on, you know, the rebuttals and just kind of, like, the critiques on Kamala Harris, you know, since she’s began running around. The fact that folks say she’s police and that she’s been locking Black folks up and she’s pro-police and all these different things, like, regarding her record and how lopsided it has been historically in terms of the fact that you’ve just never heard that level of vitriol towards Amy Klobuchar even though, I mean, Amy Klobuchar has a terrible record as it pertains to Black folks. I’m curious to get your perspective on, like, as you think about Kamala Harris and her history as a prosecutor, some of the statements that she’s made in the past, like, not how you’ve reconciled it, but what is your rebuttal to those who have those critiques about her in general? People have plenty of things to critique, but in summary most folks just kind of summarize it as “Kamala Harris is police.” So, like, what is your thought or response to those types of critiques?

Reecie: Well, rebutting. That is completely my specialty. You know, Amy Klobuchar is who they said Kamala Harris was, right? In terms of her record. So it is completely, completely false that–any notion that Kamala Harris is some sort of draconian prosecutor–a persecutor is almost what I’ve heard somebody even refer to her as–that’s completely absurd. Senator Kamala Harris is a trailblazer. She is really a trailblazer in terms of progressive prosecutors. That’s just unequivocally a fact, you know? So my first response is that, #1, senator Kamala Harris has been the target of a massive disinformation/misinformation campaign since 2017, and so what happened is she was not only just targeted by bots and inauthentic accounts and disinformation/misinformation, but she was also targeted by the Bernie Sanders left wing media outlets like Jacobin and [?]. You had, for instance, Briahna Gray Joy who was writing hit pieces about Kamala Harris in the primaries before she signed on to be Bernie Sanders’ press secretary. Do you think that those pieces were updated to reflect that she’s actually the press secretary for an opponent of Kamala Harris? Absolutely not, and so this is something that has been by design, that people feel this way about Kamala Harris, and one of the things that I say is that it’s very easy to convince someone of a sensational lie than a simple truth. The simple truth is that you cannot cure centuries of racism, systemic racism. You cannot cure the problems that are created by laws when your job is to enforce the laws, but let’s just be clear of what senator Kamala Harris did as District Attorney. She created the first in the nation re-entry program that reduced recidivism by 60% of its participants. That was a program for Black and brown men and women in ages–let’s just say young adults, 18 to 34, and that was at a time where you could get 20 years in prison–this was in 2004, 20 years in prison–for 2 grams of crack, and that was something she had to get funding for. She had to work her Rolodex, and they called her program “Hug-a-Thug” and “Back on Crack.” So all of these Twitter influencers and all of these Twitter activists, where the hell were y’all at back in 2004? They were nowhere to be found, okay? And so she was actually doing the work. When you have skin in the game, yeah, you get some bruises. Some people went to jail, okay? That’s just how that works. We have a carceral system in this country where when you do a crime and you’re convicted of that crime you go to jail. Did some people that were innocent go to jail? Possibly, but people would like you to believe that everybody in jail is innocent or the only people in jail are in jail for weed. They want to ignore the people that are raping people and killing people and knocking people upside the head and breaking into people’s homes. None of that happened. It was just only weed smokers that went to jail. And let me tell you as a person who was in California at that time, who was raised in California, I never saw a stressed out pothead. Never. I never saw a pothead that was like, “Oh, my God. Kamala Harris is coming to get me. I better throw this weed out.” Like, literally, the way they create this picture of the way that marijuana just smokers were attacked under Kamala is so absurd. I’ve never–I would challenge anybody to show me a stressed out pothead in 2004. Show me somebody in 2010 that was like, “Oh, my God, Kamala is coming to get me.”

Zach: I will say there is this narrative of, like–this picture painted around Kamala Harris that she was running around here with, like, her dogs and, like, chains to just, like, throw random Black people in jail.

Reecie: It’s ridiculous.

Zach: Yeah, and then you got the whole ADOS crowd who’s, like–

Reecie: Chaos agents, mm-hmm. That’s a disinformation/misinformation Black voter suppression campaign. It was in the Mueller report that one of the most effective ways that they sought to suppress the Black vote was through race and racism. That’s what senator Kamala Harris said, and everybody was all, “Ah, she’s being ridiculous.” No, it’s actually documented in the Mueller report, and so that’s one of the actual number one attacks on senator Kamala Harris, particularly after the first debate, where she was subject to 181,795, something like that–93% of all of the attacks for all of the candidates were against Kamala Harris. Out of 200,000, she got 93% of all of the attacks. Not just her attacks. Including Joe Biden, who was number one, Bernie Sanders number two, Elizabeth Warren number three and so on and so forth, but Kamala Harris singularly got the most attacks. And then when you look at–there’s numbers to support this. You can Google it. The number one way she was attacked was not on policy, even though on Twitter, “Oh, Medicare for All, blah blah blah,” it was on matters of character and identity, particularly her race, and that’s the first thing that you saw flare up after she was announced. “She’s not really black,” and this, that and the other. So that is where the ADOS piece comes in. I’m not saying that there aren’t people who are ADOS who legitimately want reparations and want the ADOS agenda, but in terms of the leadership and in terms of the social media, again, like I said, the misinformation/disinformation campaign, it was almost solely targeted at Kamala Harris because they knew if she got the Black vote she would be the nominee, and now they know that if Biden and Harris get the Black vote in record numbers they will be president and vice president.

Zach: It really leads me into the thing I want to talk about before we get out of here, which is I started off talking about–well, I brought up Michael Harriot. You said he blocked you. I think I did see that, ’cause I saw–hold on, this is going somewhere. Was it that exchange about the Kamala Harris interview and how, like, he didn’t drop it in time? So I’m trying to figure out, like, one, why is it that even in–I do believe still, and this is not a debatable point, that Black women continue to be mistreated, undermined, ignored, and I’m trying to figure out, like, you know, what are ways you believe that we, as non-Black women in these spaces, in this working spaces, political spaces, in these spaces, can better center and amplify and listen to y’all? I’d love to just get your perspective on that. There’s folks who listen to this who are not Black women. There are aspirational allies that listen to this. But when I saw your tweet and I saw him retweet it with your comment, then I saw you tweet back, then yeah, you got blocked. I was like, “You know what? This is more of the same.” And again, this is not a critique on Michael Harriot… I guess. I mean, I don’t know either one of y’all. It was just more of, like–it highlighted something to me because I follow both of y’all, so I was like, “Dang, y’all even beefing up here?” You know what I mean? Like, “Black women not being heard up here?” So I’d just love to get your perspective. If you’d like to talk about that situation specifically that’s great. I just want to get your perspective on that. Like, what are ways we can show up and be better for y’all?

Reecie: Yeah, I think that’s an interesting take on that. I am unapologetically for Black women. Sometimes that means, you know, going at other Black women, ’cause if you’re not for Black women and you’re a Black woman I ain’t got nothing for you. That’s why I say plenty of times that I support Black women who support Black women, and some people have said, “Oh, you support Black women but you drag Black women.” I drag Black women who don’t support Black women. To be clear, I’m not dragging when you’re supporting Black women. But anyway, I think what’s interesting is that–and this has been my experience, I think that people are so unaccustomed to a Black woman being fiercely and unapologetically protective in the way that I ride for Kamala Harris, right? It’s so foreign to them. It’s not a profit-making venture for me. I don’t make my money through social media at all. I’ve never solicited money through social media, except for to get donations for senator Kamala Harris and then now for the Biden/Harris campaign, and so I think that people are very, very, very unaccustomed to that, and so it comes across very jarring to them, and I think that’s what was jarring to Michael Harriot. And I think he blocked me because somebody said, “Oh, you should apologize,” and I said, “I absolutely will not be doing that,” because I was accurate in what I said. I mean, he has a history of being shady towards Kamala, okay, so I just call it out. Listen, if you’re not being shady, then you can say, “Well, you know, I was busy.” Whatever. Okay, fine. It didn’t matter. At that point I didn’t care. I mean, Chadwick Boseman had died for Christ’s sake, so I didn’t even care what Michael Harriot was talking about. So he was the one who still upset about it. I had moved on. But I think that I would say check yourself, you know? Don’t be so jarred by a Black woman, or anybody, protecting another Black woman. That is just something that people are not used to, and I think that creates a discomfort for people. So that’s one. #2, you know, just give us the same grace that you would give a white woman. Like, for instance, the grace that Elizabeth Warren was extended. Oh, my gosh. Any little thing she did, everybody was alllll, you know, fainting and wooing and oohing and aahing over that. I wouldn’t say everybody. Let me just say the intelligentsia. The Black blue check class and things like that, which they don’t like me saying that, but I don’t care. But yeah, why do you have to interrogate and dismantle and disassemble everything a Black woman does, but when it comes to that white gaze, you know, oh, you’re just so flattered that somebody patted your little Black self on the head and told you [?]. So that’s another thing I would say. But I just think, like, give people space. This is my thing. There is space for Michael Harriot and for me. I have never told anybody don’t follow him or don’t like him. A lot of people give me the feedback, “I like both of y’all.” Okay, that’s fine. You can like both of us. We have different perspectives. So make space for multiple perspectives, and you don’t have to agree with everything anybody says. You don’t have to like everything anybody says. But, you know, if you don’t, keep it moving. Actually, don’t keep it moving. Say what you gotta say and then keep it moving. But yeah, I just think that people just need to check themselves. That’s really what it boils down to. Check yourself. Are you really walking the walk or are you just talking the talk about you protecting Black women and supporting Black women and [?] Black women and hashtag this and hashtag that, but you don’t keep that same energy when somebody says something that you don’t like or when somebody challenges you and your perspective. So that’s really the main thing that I would say, but then to Black women I would say you don’t owe nobody a damn thing. You don’t have to filter yourself. You don’t have to get approval from anybody. Say what you say and say it with your chest, and if somebody don’t like it too bad, and that’s that. So that’s the perspective I bring. Whether I’m supported or not, I’m still gonna say whatever the hell it is that I want to say. Whether I’m protected or not, I’m still gonna say it and I’m still gonna mean it, and I’ve had people who come to me and say, “Oh, you should apologize,” and I tell ’em “Hell naw. I will absolutely not be doing that.”

Zach: I’m right there with you. I think, to your point, which is what really re-centered my attention on you and really just, like, the topic at hand, which is listening and believing Black women is “Yo, like, all she did was just challenge a perspective.” Like, it’s not the end all be all of anything. You said something, somebody else said something, you challenged something, and you actually looked at something with criticality. Like, those are healthy things that we need to do, and like I said at the top of this, historically it has been Black women who have always challenged us to look at things critically. You know, you think about Toni Morrison, rest in peace to the great. She got critiqued all the time because she had critiques about Black authors. There is no record of Toni Morrison calling, like, legendary Black male authors bad writers. She just simply had critiques on what they were writing about, and she was like, “Okay, I don’t agree with that,” or “I’m not writing my content centered on white gaze. If anything, it will be on the periphery. We can exist outside of whiteness.” Like, “It’s okay,” but she got so much shade for that. That’s top of mind for me ’cause I just got done watching this documentary. It was phenomenal. But the point is, like, literally y’all push us to engage in the types of thinking that in every other space is applauded, yet when it comes from Black women it’s a problem, right? So I just want to thank you again.

Reecie: And can I be clear too? I said so many times, “Debate me.” I’ve said, “Challenge me,” and nobody has taken me up on it, you know? With the exception of one person, who I said I would debate, for instance, Kamala Harris’s criminal justice record, and she wants to debate just this one super narrow topic, and then she finally admits, “Oh, I don’t know her record that much.” Okay, well, then there’s no point in me debating you. Like, “Okay. Well, then never mind. Forget it. If you don’t know, then you should’ve said that from the jump.”

Zach: That’s the other thing. This happens to Black men and women and non-binary folks as well, and it seems especially Black women, when it comes to spaces of, like, specialty, non-Black women feel so empowered–it’s a lot of white folks, but a lot of non-Black women feel so empowered to, like, critique–we had Nikole Hannah-Jones on a little while ago, right, and we were talking about just all of these dumb critiques of The 1619 Project by people who’ve never read a book, okay? They can’t even write, right? But they have these super longwinded critiques around the historicity or lack of academic rigor in the work, and it’s like, “You’re not even qualified.” And I’m not saying this is a snobby way, I’m saying, like, “You literally don’t know what you’re talking about, but here you’re up here, talking loud, trying to shut this Black woman up,” and that reminds me of what you just shared about, “Look, I’m willing to debate anybody on the merit of, like, the record,” and then people are like, “Actually, I don’t know.” Then you shouldn’t have been saying anything. Like, why are you talking? You know what I mean?

Reecie: And I’ve offered to debate Black people. Killer Mike and more people. It was a couple of people. Killer Mike comes to mind. A couple of people that I’ve directly challenged, and they don’t take me up on it. I’ve always put it out there. I can withstand any kind of scrutiny. I can withstand a critical lens. But see, what people don’t like is they don’t like my delivery because I don’t have deference towards them and I don’t treat them like they are so much smarter than me, because they’re not and they don’t know what they’re talking about, but a lot of people don’t really have the balls to go–and that’s why I’m saying I challenge people. I’m about that life if you want to challenge me. It’s not my fault that people haven’t taken me up on it.

Zach: You know, it’s funny. Living Corporate is a part of Westwood One now. One day I’m gonna coordinate something where Ben Shapiro, like, I hit up my guests and I bring him and, like, we do something, ’cause that would be good, you know? But a lot of these spaces not really about that life. You know, it’s a conversation for another day, but anyway, Reecie, before I let you go, where can folks find you? Where can folks learn about you? Where can folks engage you?

Reecie: Well, you can go to BlackWomenViews.com, and that’s where all of my different social medias are. I’m @BlackWomenViews on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook and on YouTube. You can also find me on Roland Martin Unfiltered every Thursday. And yeah, I’m around other than that.

Zach: All right, y’all. Look, you heard it right here. Black Women Views. It’s gonna be in the show notes. Roland Martin Unfiltered every Thursday. Make sure you check it out. Look, Living Corporate, real talk in a corporate world. We center and amplify Black and brown perspectives in the workplace by having authentic conversations with Black and brown and sometimes white–you know, every now and then a couple of Buckys or White Wolfs, shout-out to Marvel, you know what I’m talking about, if you know you know–you know, we have them here too, but we’re having authentic discussions, right, and it’s every single week. You know, we’re all over Al Gore’s internet. Just type in Living Corporate and we’ll pop up, right? Living Corporate is a play off of “living single,” okay? We’re not some capitalist machine. It’s “living single,” right, so think about “living corporate.” Sometimes you gotta re-baseline, Reecie, and sometimes you do it at the end ’cause, you know, whatever, but I want to make sure that people understand that when you hear the music at the top, that “da-da-da-da-da,” that’s a sample from Living Corporate’s intro. And we’re not that big, so Queen Latifah has not sued us yet, so we’re able to keep the sample for now. Anyway, until next time, y’all. This has been Zach. You’ve been listening to Reecie Colbert, CEO and founder of BlackWomenViews Media, political pundit, commentator, and regular recurring contributor on Roland Martin every Thursday. ‘Til next time, y’all. Peace.

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