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Being a Black Man in Australia
Mike: We're here with Reginald Lamar. He a Strong Coach graduate and he's a Training Camp For The Soul graduate. I got to meet you. How many years ago was it?
Reginald: It was two and a half years ago in California.
Mike: And what's it like for you to be an American as well as a black man in Australia, out of the country while all this is going on and having that objective perspective in a way.
Reginald: It's quite interesting. I feel removed from everything that's going on. It's hard to have, like those mirrors people that are actually in the country and the specific situations, like in Nashville during the rides and things like that, I haven't had a lot of conversations with people from there. For instance, I was having a conversation with a gentleman downstairs here at the complex I'm in, and he was a 65 year old Australian white man and just retired.
He was a dairy farmer. And I was just talking to him about what's going on in America. And most people's perceptions here. They don't want anything to do with America. They don't want to touch it. I don't want to go there. I don't want to travel. That's dangerous and scary. And I'm like, for me, I don't think it's that dangerous. I imagine that the news that has flared it up a little bit more than it really is. I'm not sure from the people that have spoken within Nashville, things aren't that bad, honestly, like as far as like the riots, like some minor looting and things like that have happened, but for me, I feel a bit isolated and I just haven't had those mirrors.
Haven't had those conversations that I fully would like to have, but being in Australia has been an amazing experience, has gotten me out of that, the cultural context. I can look at it objectively. And I have an objective view because I was born into a family that is completely mixed race anyways, from what's going on in America. Like my entire family, half of its white, half one's black. And as far as the kids go, I'm the only like full black kid as far as my generation goes in my family.
Mike: you don't feel like you're missing out, I guess. And, but what what's been your experience like has how's it been hard to watch or by the way, I dropped in Oakland, which is a very diverse community. I dropped in on Wednesday and I wanted to go see, because it got, it, got some of the news coverage. And I went downtown. I ride with straight downtown.
I hung out with my buddy cliff who lives right there and showed me, like, I put a bunch of the artwork that was put up, put it up on Instagram stories. This week bought a, he had video of like a bulldozer going around and running into his building. I got, but it was only one night out of, you know, it's been a couple of weeks of protest and there was one night where things got out of control and his experience of it was that it felt like people were in from out of town to wreak havoc.
it's really just from everything I can tell. And I've noticed, is it because I was out in the mountains, I was not inside of a city or near a city where protests were happening. a lot of the way I was consuming the content was similar to you. And it looked like inside major cities where I've talked to friends who are outside of major cities, like, that's pretty cool here. But if you go into the city into the middle of Atlanta, there was like a problem one night.
it does seem like there's a lot of evidence to suggest that people are flying into a city wreaking havoc, and then they're bouncing to another city to wreak havoc. I think overall the protests are not violent and people are just trying to, you know, be heard. I'm with you on that. That seems like the general consensus and it is, I've been in other countries and watch the U S news. And I mean, it, does it look different there than it is, like when you're in the U S versus when you're outside of the U S like, does it look different to you?
Reginald: Honestly, I haven't watched too much of the news. Like I've really stayed away from it until here recently liked in COVID-19 and everything that's going on in America. It doesn't look two different. They do show more of the highlights, if you will, like more of the highlights, as far as like the things that look like, just tear, like it's going like eight shit essentially. They definitely get the highlights.
The Narrative of Inequality
Mike: Alright. it was about a week ago, you posted some stuff to Instagram, which I thought was really, really cool. And you started talking about narrative and that's a lot of what's happening. Well, everything that's happening right now is due to that. You know, there's a story, you know, and stories, impact people. That's some would say, that's what makes us human is the fact that we can carry narrative. You know, that's what the VI separates us from the animals.
Can you go into a bit about the cultural narrative? I think you said something about it, did you say 400 years? Could you fill us in, on what you were getting at with that posts?
Reginald: Essentially look back in history and the historical narrative is one of separation, one where we're white people, enslaved black people. When you go and look at U S history, at least, and originally, I said 400 years of this narrative, that's built up over time. And as I've gone and done my research, I realized that this is something that has been happening for damn near 2000 years.
This is this narrative of inequality. That's permeated our culture for that long. And it started from what I understand, it started with an N the Arabic slave trade. It was like the trans African trends to how are in slave trade. And then that's then into the transit Blanding's slide. Right. And then it's like that narrative, it has, it's still in effect today is what I'm saying basically.
And it's one of separation. It's one of separation and where I'm at from where I can see. And what I understand now is that there is no true separation is it's just human to human. You can look at it. We're the same, you know, there's, there's no difference between URI. We came from the same place. We'll return to the same place, wherever that is, wherever
And there's this idea that's born in my, my imagination is born from the ego that sees things as being good or bad, right. Wrong things like that. And that, that idea that the identity from the ego has created this by catered this inequality, and it's still happening today. And that's what basically what the proposal was about is coming from breaking away from the consciousness of separation of, to me, consciousness, victim mentality, things like that, stepping into a state of unity, consciousness of love, consciousness of togetherness.
And that's what I'm seeing from around the world, with all the conversations that are going on. It seems powerful, like antsy to get home, although it's not my calling to go home right now. But I'm excited to get home and just like have these conversations in person. Cause it's different, you know, doing zoom calls, you know, you did podcasts for, for years in person, you know, the difference. I'm excited to get home and like really get my feet on the ground and have these conversations in person and really feel the energy of what's happening.
Because I imagine that it's going to be, this is a revolutionary moment in time. Absolutely. It's like a second, like the second civil rights movement almost, you know, it’s awesome.
Subconscious Narratives Narrative
Mike: There's we've worked together. And a lot of the work that we've done together is on subconscious programming or we could call it subconscious narrative. we have conscious narrative and then we have subconscious narrative. And the interesting thing about subconscious narrative is people don't know what they don't know, you know, AKA the blind spot. And it w what's really cool about when studying human development and the conscious and unconscious is the same thing happens in culture.
You know, whatever it happens with an individual's also happening with large groups of people. And when I'm looking at this, what appears to me is we had a, almost like a, and I think it's our generation and younger, like my generation younger it's there, there may be some type of unconscious narrative that's running, but, and that that's bubbled to the surface now where I just completely unaware of certain things.
And then a lot of like my black friends are going well. Like we've been saying that the whole time, but like, it just, is it like, I didn't know, but I didn't know. And you've got experience with this too. Like what do you see? What do you see and what have you experienced in your own personal transformation that you see also happening now?
Reginald: I'm glad you brought into unconscious narratives and conscious narratives for me. I've definitely had many experiences growing up, I'll just give you a little background. Growing up, I started out in a mixed-race school, and I'm moved into an all-black school. And the reason I got moved into an all-black school is because when I was in the mixed school, I gravitated towards tall Caucasian women.
And I love like all the movies that Titanic, Leah, Leonardo, the capitals on my favourite actors. And one day like four or five-year-old, me, six-year-old, I don't know how it was. I went and told my mom, I wanted to have my hair like Leonardo DiCaprio's hair, knowing damn well, you're not going to get these dregs of freaking Leo, Ty hairstyle. It's not the same texture. it's not possible. My mom was like, hold up, wait a minute.
What the hell is going on? She had no idea. She was elated. She was trying to figure out why is my son rejecting his black skin? You know? And she, she moved me to an all-black school after that. I could be ingrained into just my people and be around black people and just see how black can be beautiful because the five-year-old me had a narrative going on that white was better. Black was bad. And it's very interesting.
Like there were some studies done, I think, in the 1940s. And it was called the doll test and they had these kids choose between the black or white doll. They said, which doll is beautiful. Kids pointed towards the white dog, which dog is smart. He's pointed towards the white doll; which doll is ugly. Kids pointing towards the black doll, which doll is bad. His pointed towards the black dog. And keep in mind, these are black children, black children.
Okay. it's that, that's what basically what happens to me essentially, what was going, how old are these kids where you've studied like psychological development? I think there were between the ages of like four and six or something like that. you can go look this up. it's called the doll test. You just type it into Google. It'll pop up, you'll see all the info on it. Very interesting stuff.
I moved to all black school after that. And what I realized was these, the kids, there were significantly undeveloped compared to the kids in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where I went to school in Rutherford County, Tennessee. And it was, it was a very, the school systems were bad. It was ghetto. It was dangerous.
And even though like, there was a girl in my grade who was pregnant in fifth grade, we got pregnant from an upperclassman like seventh grade or something like that. It was crazy. And long story short. My mom realized that this wasn't the environment either because I was going to be underdeveloped. It was ghetto as hell. Like, I mean, get fabulous. And it was ghetto and this isn't, it was ghetto. My mom had a boyfriend at the time who went to a payphone.
He was making the call. He is from North Carolina is my age right now when he died 28 years old and he was shot and killed while making the telephone call, just people rolled up on him, tried to Robyn. He said something that they didn't like. Cause he wasn't going. As we say in the South of black people would get that. I'm not going. And he basically told the guy that and they shot him. my mom picked me up, move me to an all-white school, upper class, upper middle class, upper class, wealthy white location, white school.
My mom did an amazing job. She fought hard to get out there. She's a single parent business owner. And we moved out there and I had the most amazing experience that I could have ever asked for. As far as high school goes, just to give a little context, I got into five fights in the black school. I got into one fight at the white school. that just gives you an idea of, of what type of environment that the people that people were in.
I moved to the, to an all-white school, had an amazing experience. But one thing I did notice is like, when I started going to parties, I got a little bit older. We went to this party. I was in 10th grade or and went to the party. There was about, I went to a high school that had about 1200 students. About 60 of those students were black. Okay. 60 totals. And at the party, the ratio is about the same. There was like 30 people there.
There was like three people that were black. The police busted the party and we get there, they come out, they tell us all to come outside when we're outside, they sit us all down on the corner basically. And essentially what happened was they picked out three people. The first two people were, was me and one of my other black friends and then a Hispanic friend of mine. And that right there is my first real experience with having that narrative run that like kind of like black people were dangerous or, you know, police brutality or anything like that.
And in that moment, that's when I knew that this was real, you know, and for me, I just thought it was normal. You know, it happened a couple more times in that environment. And I just thought it was normal. I thought this was typical. I never really said much about it, nor did I have friends that said anything about it. that, that right there was my experience with that. I'm not really sure w where we could go next from there. That was basically the story of like where I came from with the experience of that in the South and just with the whole separation piece.
Experience of Being Black
Mike: Do you feel like you've had to overcome all right. Any disadvantages from being black or do you think that, you know, everyone's different? Right. some people are like definitely. And some people were like, there's some disadvantages and I overcame them. I'm just wondering, like what your general stance on that as like what, what's your felt experience.
Reginald: Man, I don't speak for all black people. I won't say that. But my experience is I think that there's, it works too, as there is an actual psychological barrier for black people to overcome, that's been created. And I think that there's a certain victim mentality that does keep black people from taking steps forward, because if you're in like a mental bondage and you don't know you're in mental bondage and how what's the way out.
I do think that there is a certain psychological perspective for a lot of black people that keeps them stuck in a victim state of consciousness. And I also believe that there's an environment, an outside environment that is influencing and reflecting that back to them on a daily basis. there is evidence for a lot of black people that they are being held back from me. I don't feel like I've been held back personally because that's just not the narrative.
That's not how I operate my life. I don't think that anything has held me back other than me. I haven't experienced that directly. Not in my, not other than other than the police officer thing. I have not experienced that.