Questions for Reflection
In each episode, we offer you a few prompts to think about how that day's conversation applies to you. Our supporters over at Buy Me a Coffee now have exclusive access to the PDF versions of all our Questions for Reflection. Join us today!
Beth Demme (00:03):
Welcome to the Discovering Our Scars Podcast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:06):
Where we share personal experiences so we can learn from each other. I'm Steph.
Beth Demme (00:09):
And I'm Beth.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:10):
I've been in recovery for 16 years and am the author of Discovering My Scars, my memoir about what's done in the darkness eventually comes to light.
Beth Demme (00:16):
I'm a lawyer turned pastor, who's all about self-awareness and emotional health, because I know what it's like to have neither of those things.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:23):
Beth and I have been friends for years have gone through recovery program together, and when I wanted to start a podcast, she was the only name that came to mind as co-host.
Beth Demme (00:30):
I didn't hesitate to say yes because I've learned a lot from sharing personal experiences with Steph over the years.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:36):
We value honest conversations, and we hope you do too.
Beth Demme (00:38):
On today's show, we're going to have an honest conversation titled Racism in America: We Have A Lot To Learn.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:45):
Then we'll share a slice of life, and the show will close with questions for reflection, where we'll invite you to reflect on the conversation in your own life. Well, first things first, happy Juneteenth.
Beth Demme (00:55):
Thank you so much. Thank you. This episode is going to release on June 24th. And so we've just passed Juneteenth, and that's exciting, right? It's a national holiday now.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:07):
Yeah. We actually did an episode with Darryl Scriven, who is actually the husband of Latricia Edwards Scriven, who we had on the podcast last time. So now, we've gotten both. I think this is our first couple that we've had in the podcast.
Beth Demme (01:20):
Oh, I think you're right.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:21):
Beth Demme (01:21):
Yeah, actually, it is.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:23):
That is awesome.
Beth Demme (01:23):
So we had him on last year, and we were talking about Juneteenth. And when we were talking with him, it hadn't been made a national holiday yet, but now, here we are in 2022, and it is an actual holiday, and that's exciting.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:37):
So remind us quickly what Juneteenth is, Beth.
Beth Demme (01:41):
So Juneteenth is a recognition of the date that enslaved people in Texas actually heard about the Emancipation Proclamation, which was not for, was it two and a half years after it had actually gone into effect. So it had gone into effect in the beginning of a year, but then it wasn't until much later that word got all the way to Texas.
Beth Demme (02:05):
Actually following that, there was a pretty good migration of enslaved folks who moved out of the south, moved north, and Juneteenth became kind of the day that they coalesced around as their independence day, the day that they wanted to celebrate. So it happened at different times in different states. So in Florida, enslaved folks got word of the Emancipation Proclamation on May 20th. So we do celebrate Emancipation day on May 20th in Florida, but really, the national holiday really developed around Juneteenth.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:38):
Yeah. I mean-
Beth Demme (02:39):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:40):
Yeah, which is basically essentially is celebrating freedom for all slaves and essentially freedom for all, like truly freedom for all. And so I think this is really cool that this is now a national holiday, and I'm excited to celebrate it and to continue to share it and make sure people understand the importance of Juneteenth.
Beth Demme (03:01):
Yeah. And it also represents kind of what this episode is about because our title is Racism in America: we have a lot to learn, and I just learned so much from Darrell about Juneteenth, but also, I felt like in our conversation with him, he really was giving permission to continue to learn. He said that he didn't grow up celebrating Juneteenth, but once he knew about it, right, it became a thing, and then he taught his kids about it and et cetera. And that can be true for me too, that I still have a lot to learn, but I am being intentional about trying to learn. And I hope to encourage others, and I know that you hope to encourage others to be engaged in that learning.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:43):
Yeah. And that's kind of why we are, again, having an episode about racism because racism is still a part of our world and it may always be, but if we have anything to do about it, we are going to learn and try to be anti-racist.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:02):
And so there is something that you recently watched, a documentary you recently watched that you told me about, and that's kind of what led us to this episode, because it was really something kind of poignant for you that you wanted to share. So can you give us a little backstory on what that is?
Beth Demme (04:20):
Well, I first heard about the book. So there's a book called Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King, and it is the story of the Groveland Boys or the Groveland Four. And the book is also, in many ways, like a biography of Thurgood Marshall, who was an NAACP lawyer, but then went on to become a justice on the US Supreme Court. But the book is a lot. It's just so much information. So I started look for a documentary to see if, okay, can I kind of learn some more about this story? Because it was brand new to me. I'd never heard of the Groveland Four. And sure enough, UCF or-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:00):
Beth Demme (05:01):
... the PBS channel at UCF.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:06):
Yeah, which is where I went to school. So hey. Shout out.
Beth Demme (05:09):
Hey. Shout out. They have produced a documentary about it, and it was a very good documentary. So I-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:15):
Beth Demme (05:16):
... said, "Hey, why don't you watch this documentary? It's about a terrible thing that happened in Florida, and it's a terrible, sad story." And it's not the kind of documentary that I left going, oh, I just am so edified in having watched that. It was like, oh, this is a whole thing I didn't know. It happened in my state. It's historical record, and I don't know about it, but my black friends know about it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:44):
Beth Demme (05:45):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:45):
Yeah. So, well, first, context. Groveland is more like central-ish Florida. It's kind of near Orlando, is what it looked like on a map to me, but it's-
Beth Demme (05:58):
Yeah. Little north of Orlando.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:59):
Beth Demme (05:59):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:00):
Beth Demme (06:00):
In the groves, the citrus groves. Groveland citrus area. Yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:04):
Yeah. So basically a quick backstory, the book and film talk about these four black men that were stopped to help a white couple with their car, they were having issues, and stopped to help them with their car. And then the woman later said that the men raped her. The black men raped her. And basically, the whole town went on a witch hunt for these four black men, and they never got a fair trial. They never got the due process like all white people are given, and it's a whole really interesting story. Best said, it's a hard thing to watch, but it's very engaging. They do a really good job telling the story. And afterwards, I felt like I was glad that I now know this information. I was kind of a little shocked that I hadn't known it before, because like Beth said, it's in my state. It's something that happened right here.
Beth Demme (07:10):
Well, I was just going to say, and it's not just like, this is history and it happened, this injustice happened in 1949, and then there were subsequent trials and things. It isn't really that old as history because in 2017, the Florida House of Representatives introduced to resolution or pass the resolution saying that all four should be exonerated, and it still wasn't part of my knowledge base. Right? And then the Florida Senate was like, "Yes, yes. Definitely, they should be exonerated." They passed it. And then the clemency board in 2019 voted to pardon them. That is not that long ago.
Beth Demme (07:49):
And maybe I kind of heard something about it when that was happening, but honestly, I didn't know any of the details of the story, and there was probably a part of me that was like, okay, they've been pardoned. Even though it's posthumous, because at least three of them have passed away, maybe all four of them have passed away now, justice is served. No. No, Beth that was wrong, wrong, wrong. I should not have thought that, because there is no justice in this case.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:17):
When I was viewing it, I was thinking, this could be a story from today. This is a story from today. When we heard about George Floyd and when we hear... We've heard all of these stories, and when all the riots and everything was happening, I think to some extent for me, I was like, oh wow, this is new stuff. Why is this all of a sudden happening? And when you really learn history, really learn how deeply rooted racism is in our society is when you learn this is not new. This happened then. This happened now.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:55):
And that's really what I took from this, is this wasn't really a... I don't super love history. I'm not going to lie. I just don't love history because I'm like, oh, that's been there, done that. And obviously, actually, the older I get, the more I realize we have to know our history because it literally repeats itself. And literally, what this film was showing us, this wasn't history. This was today. We have not changed since that time. And it was just so fascinating to me to see this, especially in kind of today's world to see how this is still common. The police are still misusing power, are still getting away with literally murder. And now, my eyes had opened up.
Beth Demme (09:39):
Part of what happened in this story of the Groveland Four is that the US Supreme Court said that they were entitled to a new trial. And so the sheriff, Willis McCall, was transporting two of them back, so that they could have a new trial, and he pulled over to the side of the road and told them to get out and shot them.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:07):
He told them to get out. He told them to get out to fix his tire.
Beth Demme (10:11):
To change his tire, yeah. So they got out, and he shot both of them executing one of them. The other one survived, but he was going to claim that they were trying to escape, even though that wasn't true. And the survivor was able to tell part of this story, but he was never held accountable for that in any way.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:35):
And he shot the first one too. There was four men. The first one, they were running after him, and they just shot, filled him full of bullets is what they said. So he essentially killed three of them. What happened to the fourth? I'm trying to remember.
Beth Demme (10:54):
Well, the first one that was killed, that was just 10 days after the initial incident, after the accusation happened, and it was basically a riot. It was a lynching, but they didn't lynch him. They shot him. And I mean, hundreds of times, they shot him, and then there were the two in the car. And then the fourth one actually ended up going to prison because he took a plea deal.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:25):
Oh. So he was in prison.
Beth Demme (11:26):
He was the one who was very young.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:28):
That's right. Yeah. And what was also interesting is I've never really known a ton about the NAACP and why it's so important, but that was something that I really got to hear the history and the importance of it within this documentary. And then hearing the story of Thurgood Marshall, that was so interesting to me because I've, of course, heard his name, but I couldn't really tell you much about him, but there's kind of a great little history story in here, and I was so proud. I was like, "Yes, he made it to the Supreme Court. Yes, there is good in this world." And I was like, "Wait, no. That's not current today. Hold on."
Beth Demme (12:02):
Right. Another name that comes up in this story that was new to me is Harry Moore, who was an activist of the NAACP and who was trying to continually keep the names of these men, these unjustly accused men, and kind of before public officials saying that they needed a new trial. And eventually, the KKK bombed his house and killed he and his wife.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:30):
Beth Demme (12:31):
I know that there must have been other stories like that. There must be other people like Harry Moore and his wife who were murdered. No one was ever charged with the crime in their death. So I just wondered how many more stories must there be like that I don't know because I wasn't taught them and because I wasn't taught to be interested in them.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:55):
Yeah. That brought up, that reminded me when you said that, this case at the time, it was huge. This was like the George Floyd of the time. Everybody knew about it. There was news reports everywhere. Actually, isn't that why Marshall got involved with it was because it was becoming such national news? I think they said that he was getting so involved with it because that was important to the firm, was to have some of these big coverage in not a bad way. Just, that's kind of the nature of what he was doing, is you need to be seen in the public.
Beth Demme (13:34):
Yeah. And the NAACP is self-funded. They needed to raise money.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:37):
Beth Demme (13:38):
And so when there's a high profile case and people care about it, they will tend to contribute to those causes. And so-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:43):
Beth Demme (13:46):
... it sounded like he sort of had a general policy against criminal cases, where-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:52):
But he'd take on-
Beth Demme (13:53):
... I don't remember-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:53):
He would take on one or two or something that were of utmost importance. But basically, this was a huge case that everyone knew about, but we don't know about.
Beth Demme (14:05):
Like George Floyd.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:05):
Yeah. But we don't know about it, which makes me realize the importance of me telling my niblings about the George Floyd case, because they were alive when it happened, but I don't know that they are aware fully of what happened. But this is why we have to tell these stories. We have to keep these stories alive and tell... I think we've all done probably a good job of talking about 9/11. I think probably most kids know about that, even that weren't alive. I mean, I know I've mentioned it to my niblings in the way that they can understand. But this is of utmost importance, is to have these stories continue from every American, not just the black community, from every American because this affects every single American.
Beth Demme (14:55):
And because it's not ancient history, right?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:56):
Beth Demme (14:56):
We're still living out the effects of this. And the failure to know these stories creates a different reaction when you hear about George Floyd's murder, right?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:08):
Beth Demme (15:08):
If you think this has never happened before, you feel very differently about it than when you know this just keeps happening.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:16):
Beth Demme (15:17):
You have to know the stories to know that this is just continuing to happen.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:21):
And one thing I definitely took note of during the documentary was Charles Greenlee. When he got out of prison, I think it was... He got out on parole after serving 27 years, I believe. He had a really good attitude when he got out of jail, which I can't even... In my mind, you're wrongfully accused of something, you are put in jail for 27 years, I have to assume when you get out, you're a shell of a person which actually is something that was described of Irvin when he was released at 41 years old. He was described as a shell of a man, which is what we would expect, but it's also just so heartbreaking to hear.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:04):
But with Charles Greenlee, he kind of looked at things as bad things happen, but he decided he was going to live life and enjoy every moment of life. And I just thought that was... When they talk about that in the documentary, I just was like, wow, wow. This is such an inspiration to kind of see how he was able to look at life in a way that I don't know that I would be able to. It's kind of like when he was Latricia was talking about Joy. I'm like... And Joy, when she knows there's racist all around her, I was just like, "Wow. Okay. My life is not bad. I think I can figure this out. Okay."
Beth Demme (16:41):
Yeah. Charles Greenlee was only 16 years old when he was arrested for this crime that he didn't commit. And they had proof that he couldn't have committed the crime because he had been picked up for loitering or vagrancy and was in jail when it supposedly happened. So they knew that he was not at the scene or near the scene or anywhere near the woman who made this accusation. That is one place where I'm... I have to say, I'm not done with the book. Like I said, it's a lot to get through. And they didn't talk about it in the documentary, but I am curious about what life was like for the woman who made these false accusations, these false allegations. There's pretty good indication from what I know so far in the story that she was the victim of domestic abuse and maybe also child abuse. And so I don't know that she fully had agency in this, but there's a part of me that's like, what happened to her? And how is this story told in her family?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:40):
Yeah. And that makes me think that she was forced to say these things. The evidence doesn't stack up that this happened. And it never got a fair trial, so we never really will know that... But I do want to know more of her story of why she told that. Although to me, that is separate from the bigger story here, obviously about these three, four black men or these four black men that were wrongly accused, didn't give fair trial, but that did leave me questioning. So if you find out more in the book, let me know for sure.
Beth Demme (18:17):
The real focal character even... And we'll put a link into this in the show notes, but even on the cover of the book, it's Sheriff McCall, right? It's this person who exercised tremendous power and really was motivated by white supremacy in all that he did. And I mean, obviously, in murdering prisoners as he was transporting them, but he was allowed. He was elected again and again, basically because he suppressed black people. He oppressed black people, and that was beneficial to the economics of the area. And so he was elected again and again, even after he did these despicable acts. And it was known that he did these despicable acts, and he was investigated by the FBI and all of these things. It's like, I started to say, in that day and age, I really want to limit it to history, even though I know that it's not limited to history, right? But it was like white power keeps white power in power.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:25):
It's not history. The KKK is still around. Nazis are still around. White supremacists, oh my gosh. I mean, all of these things are still around. It's still happening today. So that's why I think this history is so important because things did move forward at that time, which was slowly. I mean, the fact that they were only parted in 2019, I mean, is just mind-blowing, which also was interesting. They were pardoned by the current governor of Florida who was basically a carbon copy of our previous president of the United States. So it's a little funny that a white supremacist pardoned these four men.
Beth Demme (20:10):
Yeah. And I don't know procedurally exactly how it happened. I mean, in the documentary, there's a clip of him at the clemency board doing the announcement, but I think a lot of the work happened actually before he was elected.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:21):
I think so. Oh yeah. I think he just stamp the paper or whatever.
Beth Demme (20:26):
Yeah. But uncovering this story leads to uncovering more stories that I didn't know, like just in the last few years, I had learned about, and I think a lot of us had learned about, the massacre in Tulsa, right?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:42):
Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Beth Demme (20:43):
But it turns out that we had a similar thing happened in a place here in Florida called Rosewood where we had a black community and there was an accusation that someone in the community did something to a white woman. And so the white folks, led by the KKK, went in and destroyed the entire town and destroyed this entire African American community. Again, I didn't know that. I had to study Florida history. That's part of the curriculum requirement in Florida. And I didn't know that. I didn't know that that happened. I didn't know that that place existed because there is a limited amount of time that you have to teach history classes, and they have to pick and choose what they teach. I get that, but to not know any of this, for me not to have learned any of this is really disheartening.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:37):
Yeah. I was listening to a podcast the other day. UF, the University of Florida has a podcast, and actually a new friend of mine was on it, and that's why I listened to the episode. But the episode was about UF is doing an oral history of basically the black experience in Florida, and they-
Beth Demme (21:55):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:56):
... really wanted to hear from the people that experienced themselves through their own words, and they wanted to record these because they specifically were focusing on integration and people that were in high school when integration happened, forced integration happened, which also is something I've learned is there is integration, and then there's forced integration, which were two very different things. Those people are getting up in age, and so UF really wanted to make it a point to interview black people that experienced integration and all types of racism in Florida, and they're collecting them. They're making all these oral histories available on their website, and they're going to do more with them, but right now, they're just kind of hours and hours of audio that you can listen to, which is really cool.
Beth Demme (22:46):
Yeah. I don't normally like to endorse anything from that school being a Seminole and all.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:52):
Oh my gosh, Beth. Oh my gosh.
Beth Demme (22:54):
But I am deeply interested in the black perspective on black history. And so I definitely would want to check that one out for sure.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:03):
Beth Demme (23:03):
I mean, we're just continuing to learn, right? These are hard, uncomfortable truths. And sometimes, I get pushback from folks in my family or folks in my social circles, and they're like, "I just think you're trying to make me feel guilty," and I'm like, "I'm not trying to make you feel any way."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:21):
Exactly. You choose how you feel.
Beth Demme (23:21):
I'm just trying to make you be educated.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:24):
Beth Demme (23:24):
Just want you to have the facts. And then if you do feel guilty, I think that it's appropriate to go, "I wonder why I feel that."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:34):
Beth Demme (23:35):
Because maybe it is pointing to something in you that does need to change, kind of like if you hear someone say, "Black lives matter," and your reaction is to think, "I'm not black. They're saying I don't matter." No, that is not what is being said. It is just a statement that those lives do matter. It's not saying anyone else doesn't. Just saying we've been acting like black lives don't matter. We acted like the Groveland Four didn't matter because they were black. No, those black lives mattered, and black lives matter today.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:06):
Well, and then the story of the Groveland Four illustrates that the country is set up for white people to matter more. You can't look at, you can't see the outcome of this documentary and not take that as the conclusion that that is what was set up, is McCall, who murdered three of these black men, went on to have, I think, four more terms as sheriff of Groveland and still was in standing order when he retired, was allowed to retire, is not in jail, like a murderer should be. And I'll shit on that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:48):
And so that the story shows you that you are saying that this old gross white man, his life matters, and these three, well, four basically, men that he destroyed don't matter. And that is why black lives matter, because for too long, we have shown that white lives matter more, and that's not okay. And every life should matter the same, but they don't. They don't currently, and that's why we have to continue to reiterate that black lives matter.
Beth Demme (25:27):
Even in the fact that we don't tell these stories, it's because on some level we have not felt like black lives matter. Black lives didn't matter enough for us to tell the story of the Groveland Four or to tell the story of Rosewood. Right? It didn't matter. So it wasn't included in the stories that we told each other culturally or that got told in school. And all of that lets racism live on. All of that feeds racism.
Beth Demme (25:54):
And this really shouldn't be a surprise to any of us because we all know that history is told by the victor, right? The group that loses doesn't get to go publish the history about it. The people who continue on are the ones who tell the story. White people, having been the majority, have been the ones to tell the story, and we have not done it in an inclusive and thorough way.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:25):
But these stories show us that white people have gone, put in a lot of effort to be the majority. They have put in effort. I mean, we have these countless stories of just people being murdered, and that happened to Groveland, is after the accused rape happened, they just went and burned down houses of the black community. They just went and burned down houses. The KKK did it just like, "We're going to do it because we can." And that is white supremacy right there. And sadly, I mean, that's still reality for black people, is to not fully trust, when they walk in a room of all white people, that they're all going to treat the black person the same as they're treating the white people.
Beth Demme (27:10):
Right. But we, white people, want to act like that's the black person's fault-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:14):
Beth Demme (27:14):
... or that's the black person's problem. No, this is a problem that white people need to fix.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:21):
Yes. So as we've been talking, I actually thought of something that I feel like might be relevant to today's episode. So I hope I haven't told it before. I don't think I have. So two months ago, I had a car accident. I was at a stop sign and waiting to go, and there was a truck in front of me, and the truck backed up into me. He must have been too far forward. And I'm in a MINI Cooper, which is a very small car, and he was in a very big truck, and he backed right into the front of my car. And I will tell you, oh, I was with my mom, and I was very mad. I was-
Beth Demme (28:01):
Understandably. I get mad when people ran into me too. Yes, yes.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:05):
And just sitting, minding my own business. And so I assumed who was in the car based on the type of truck. Just kind of living in Tallahassee, we have certain people with certain vehicles. And so luckily, the guy did get out of the front of the car, and the instant I saw him, I was still mad, but I had another change in me all in a very split second. But he got out of the car, and it was a black man. And instantly, my first thought was, I need to make sure to treat him with respect and make sure that he knows that I see him as a full person, and I'm not judging him for the color of his skin, but I see that he's a black man, and that's a good thing, and he's a human being just like me. There was a part of me that realized I wanted to actually go above and beyond to show that I see him, see him in all of him. And again, it happened really fast, but I-
Beth Demme (29:14):
And can I interject here? Because I think that, just from hearing you tell the story, you didn't just want him to know that you saw him as a whole person. You wanted him to know that you were not going to use his personhood against him. So like the woman in central park where she got upset because he was like, "Hey, put your dog on a leash," or what. I don't remember the fact pattern, but she was like, "I'm going to call the police and tell them a black man is..." She was using his personhood against him. And you wanted this man to know that even though you were mad, rightly so, you would not do that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:42):
Yes. And yeah, I didn't want him to think I was going to be a Karen basically. And so I said, "Pull over! Over here!" So we pull over, and he gets out of his car. And we exchange insurance, and he was very nice. And everything went really fast though, and I'm not familiar with car accidents because that doesn't happen to me often. But anyways, my mom was with me. So she was calling the police as I'm getting his information. And I was about to get his license and phone number. And then when he found out that my mom was calling the police, he said he had to go, and he was like, "I got to go. I got to go. You have my insurance. I got to go." And he left. And again, it all happened really fast, and I was like, "Mom, where'd he go?"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:29):
Basically though, in that moment, as he's leaving, I realize I was like, oh, I wonder if he is concerned that the police were going to come, and he was going to be a black man with two white women and what was going to happen. And so there was a part of me that was like, I get it. I get why he left. I was still frustrated that he left because honestly, when the police got there, they were no help because they're like, "Where's the guy?" And I was like, "He left." And they're like, "Well, we can't write up a report because we don't have enough information." So the police were useless. That's another story.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:07):
So there was definitely some... I would've never thought before the rioting and everything that a black man would be concerned that the police are being called because they are seen differently by police than white people. I would've never thought that before. And I did think when my mom told me she was calling the police, I did think like, "Wait, he's a black man. They may treat him differently, and I don't want that to happen." But then I also didn't know what else to do because it was an accident. I thought you need to call the police.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:40):
And so I told this to some friends, and they were like, "Oh, he just left. He was like, I don't want to deal with or whatever." And so then I started to like, oh, maybe he did just leave. And then people were like, "Maybe he committed a crime, and that's why he left." And I was like, I don't know. He was really nice. I think he was just concerned that his day was going to get way worse by the police being there and because he's not fairly seen, like I'm fairly seen by the police.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:07):
So anyways, long story, but I had his insurance, which happened to be the same as my insurance company, and they were able to contact him and he said, "Yes, I hit her car." And his insurance is covering my car accident. He told the truth. And again, that fully reassures me that, yeah, I think he left because he knew that the police would not treat him the same as they would treat me and my mom there, and that's something that I would have never been able to understand, even if I had told that story to a black person, they tried to explain to me, "Well, we're not seen the same by the police," I don't think I would've understood that if I hadn't lived through the George Floyd riots and all of those things. So I definitely see my view changing, and I do like that. I like that I am more informed, and I can try to understand someone's perspective and how it could be different than my own.
Beth Demme (33:08):
We really have nothing to lose by continuing to learn, right? The more we learn, the more we kind of open up our perspective on these situations, like the one that you were in, and open up our perspective on each other. We really have nothing to lose by continuing to learn.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:23):
Knowledge is power.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:28):
We have a ton of fun making this podcast, and we love knowing that you have fun listening. Some of you have asked how you can support us in this work. Well, actually, there is something you can do. We're now on buymeacoffee.com. You can go there and become a monthly supporter, or just buy us a one-time cup of coffee or tea for staff.
Beth Demme (33:47):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:48):
To show our thanks for your support, we put PDFs of our questions for reflection, as well as pictures, outtakes, polls, and more. Your support helps cover production costs, like professional transcripts we have made for every episode. And by the way, those are always available on our website with a link in each of the descriptions of the episodes.
Beth Demme (34:05):
One of the great things about Buy Me a Coffee is that you actually get an email when we post new content. You can go straight there, and you don't have to deal with ads or being bombarded with other content. You see exactly the content you are looking for without a bunch of distractions.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:19):
We post once or twice for each episode, and we're excited to get your feedback as members of our Buy Me a Coffee page. There's a support link in the description where you can find out more and a sign up.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:34):
Okay. So this is something I wanted to mention. Last week, we got way more downloads on our podcast than typical, and I went and looked to see what episode, where people listening to. And what I found out was somebody downloaded all 120 episodes, and they either downloaded them and/or listened to them, or at least downloaded them. And so I don't know if this is a real person or if it was some kind of bot that did this, but if you listened to and/or downloaded every single episode a week or two ago, please call us and tell us because gold star. That would be awesome.
Beth Demme (35:14):
Gold star for you.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:14):
That would be awesome.
Beth Demme (35:15):
Gold star for you, my friend.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:17):
And that would be really cool. And if you've listened to more than 10 episodes, I would also say gold star because that is pretty cool. And I would invite you, if you have listened to 10 or more episodes, to give us a phone call. We have a voicemail line that you can leave us a voicemail and let us know if you've listened to 10 or more, and let us know what your favorite episode is and what kind of episodes you'd like to hear more of from us and what kind of conversations. And you can call us at (850) 270-3308, or you can text.
Beth Demme (35:54):
So my husband and I went out of town and left our daughter at home alone for the very first time ever overnight.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:02):
Beth Demme (36:03):
We left her alone.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:03):
She's been on the episode. She's been on the podcast. Woo-hoo.
Beth Demme (36:04):
She's been on podcast, and she's going to be out again soon.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:07):
Maybe. Will she still be on after you tell the story?
Beth Demme (36:10):
Yeah, she's still. So she's 18 years old. She turned 18 a month ago. Leaving her alone overnight should not have been a concern, and it was not a concern, in fact. I mean, totally trusted her. There were no inappropriate house guests or crazy parties or anything like that. And she was in communication with me the entire time that I was gone, but one day, I get a text message, and she's like, "Hey, I think I'm going to get that other ear piercing that I talked to you about." Now, I had no memory of having talked to her about this. And she was like, "Yeah. Remember, I want to get the daith of my ear pierced." D-A-I-T-H. I had to Google it. I was like, "I don't even know what this is." So-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:54):
Did she do it? Did she do it?
Beth Demme (36:54):
She's 18, and she's got her own money, and it's her own body. And I was like, "As long as you don't get this pierced or that pierced," because there are some piercings that I think are gross. So she was like, "No, no, no. I'm just going to get-"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:04):
Oh my gosh. You just told her what to get. If you're telling her not to get certain ones, she's definitely going to get those.
Beth Demme (37:09):
So she was like, "No, I decided against those. I'm just going to get this other part from my ear pierced." And I was like, "Okay. Have fun. Send me a picture." And then it was either the next day or two days later, she's like, "Hey, my best friend and I, we're going to go get pedicures and have brunch today." I actually had agreed to pay for that because it was a birthday celebration for the friend, and it was like my birthday present to the friend. And she's like, "We have canceled our pedicures, and instead, we're going to go get tattoos. See when you get home."
Beth Demme (37:40):
So then she's texting me about what tattoos she's going to get. It ended up that the thing they chose was kind of a spur of the moment decision once they were there and they were talking to the tattoo artist, but they made a good choice, and it does look pretty. It looks appropriate. It looks nice. It looks whatever. It looks cute. But I was just like, wow, the first time that we leave her alone for a few days, and she gets an extra piercing and a tattoo. Way to be 18, right? Blaze that trail.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (38:11):
At the end of each episode, we end with Questions for Reflection. These are questions based on today's show that Beth will read and leave a little pause between for you to answer to yourself, or you can find a PDF on our Buy Me a Coffee page.
Beth Demme (38:21):
Number one, what have you heard today that made you think? Number two, do you think America still has a lot to learn about racism? Why? Number three, reflect on what you were taught about racism and what you know now. Is it different? And number four, why do black lives matter?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (38:46):
Discovering Our Scars Podcast is produced by Beth Demme and Stephanie Kostopoulos. Thanks for joining us.