Ah! What's up? Everybody joining us on this live stream.
This is Ball is live politically.
Live stream of the ball is left podcast part of the crossover Media network.
Ah, we are joined today by Alex, the founder of Of Cross Over.
The host of I mean, what off the record? We've got Lakers Central, the crossover podcast A my missing anything.
I know. This is the big three.
I think I'm having some trouble here in your there.
Alex? Stephen, are you Are you here on the ****led? Yeah, it's ****le.
It's ****led over here too.
It might be an input issue.
I'm not hearing you at all.
Yeah, you hear me? Now? There you are.
Eso Alex, founder of crossover, host of Laker Central, host of the crossover podcast.
Ah, one quarter of ah, of the record.
How are you, man? Thank you for joining us.
Um thank you, Brian.
Thanks, Stephen, for Let me jump on here, man, and just probably just rant a bit.
Open floor, the open floor.
There's a lot to rant about.
And when when you mentioned coming on, there was nothing better I could think of as faras.
Ah, what's happening right now And you're your perspective and all this stuff and especially with what you built in what you're continuing to build with crossover, um, it's it's gonna be very valuable.
So we're excited to have you here.
An, um I don't even know where you guys want to start.
Uh, I don't know if there's like we can start with.
I think we could start with unequivocally Ah, the police air murdering people.
Um, and it's not, It's not violent.
I mean, it's violence, but, um, there's no other way Teoh to state it truthfully then to say, Ah, the police are legitimately murdering at will.
And I think I think there's a lot of stuff with statements, especially from owners.
And I mean, there's a lack of statement from owners, but especially with like a lot of these people in high places in sports, where they love to dance around the fact that the police are murdering people and and that is a direct result of those, I think it's those powers knowing where their money comes from.
And since we, me and Brian are blessed to be a part of a you know, an organization that at the roots of it, are, um, aware and care about these sort of things.
I think it's very valuable to say the cops are killing people and that's it.
And that's how it is, you know? And I think everybody should say that.
I think every statement should say that on, and I think any of them that doesn't You have to really ask yourself why, and I think we know why.
But yeah, I think that's a great place to start because, ah, I think we should start with that statement.
The cops are murdering people, and it's really upsetting that the man, the cops have always been murderers.
I don't know if there's ever been a time where cops didn't operate with impunity, and the only difference now is their cell phone footage of like a number of these interactions.
So, you know, I mentioned to Brian yesterday, I'll be 39 next week, So I was born in 1981 and for a decade or so of my life, Um, like, I remember Zach Morrison having a cell phone on saved by the bell like that certainly was Ray.
Yeah, but there was a mean cell phones weren't what they were back then in eighties and early nineties, and so these interactions took place.
Um, I myself have been stopped by the cops.
Been forcing it on the ground, was actually accused of robbing a Burger King when we were nowhere in the area.
Um, my uncle in the nineties was beaten by the cops here in Maryland.
Rodney King style.
Um, my wife's grandmother's house has been ran into a number of times because the cops said we're looking for her brother.
They beat him up.
Um, and these are the stories that don't get caught on camera.
Right? So I try to tell people, Yeah, Saltillo black person.
And if they themselves haven't had a bad interaction with the police, somebody they know it's had a bad interaction with the police, and it creates this dynamic in that you're supposed to be able to trust these men and women to protect and serve.
And the truth is, you cannot trust them.
Um, when I was born, I grew up in a predominantly white area and my grandmother, who I was raised by my grandmother and grandfather for the 1st 15 years of my life made it abundantly clear.
Your black, all your friends are white.
And if you guys are out doing something stupid, you're probably gonna be the one that gets in the most trouble.
Like there was never any mincing of the words.
You know, they made it very clear that maybe my white friends might have been ok.
Might have liked me.
Their parents may have felt uneasy about them hanging around a black kid.
Um, I'm gonna share this on you guys.
Episode of said this on off the record.
My grandmother told me as I got the puberty, you start liking girls.
She flat all said, Do not get caught with a white girl by yourself.
She made no bones about it.
Like if it came down to who side people we're gonna listen to.
They weren't gonna listen to mine.
So these are the kinds of conversations that, like our parents, have to start having with us literally from day one.
Like, you know, if you look any other kind of way, maybe you're talking about the 12 threes and a B C's.
While we're being taught how to navigate America and that's that creates this amount of burden that I don't know of any other race.
You understand what that really feels like.
So, um, let me stop talking until I can collect my thoughts.
But that's just I'm just gonna start there.
Yeah, I think I think that's very important to to acknowledge, because exactly what you're saying here is that while other kids have the have the safety and security and privilege to go to school and learn what they're supposed to do, there's an entirely added layer, if not multiple layers of survival.
You know, black youth and the navigation of a culture that has been targeted at you since the very beginning, right? And a I think that automatically sets up.
Um, you know, people, you know, privilege Children at an advantage and and be the thing about this, that really and it's in.
There was, you know, there is prevalent here in L.
I mean, it's probably in all of America, but, um, one of the things about L.
A and this kin, you know, project out to all of the U. S.
Is that in the nineties when there was in the early nineties when there was a sweep of, um and I think this has to do with the 1994 crime bill, which Joe Biden had a big hand in writing.
Um, Yep, there was a massive sweep of arrests across L.
A and and across the U. S.
And, you know, obviously the majority of those were black men.
And so, while we sit here and understand that this is a unjust, targeting black black people.
But the thing that is a little bit under the radar is that set up a ripple effect of black Children growing up without parents, without fathers.
And when you think about that and in the the lack of resource is that is that is pretty much created from this, like single sweeping action.
And, um, and then what you're talking about this added layer of survival.
It's just com pounding, you know, stacking on top of each other of this huge disadvantage that does results in, um, well, I think the disadvantage when when when black people are rising up and taking what is theirs and making their voice heard saying, you know, this is what's happening.
This is what's going on.
It's it's exposing a crack of like, you know, the or it's exposing, um, the releasing of white control or or or or you know, like like projecting it into the future.
Like perhaps white people in this country are losing control of everything they had in.
The problem with that is that if a white person lashes out, especially a white cop, and lashes out in a murderous fashion, there's no consequences here, you know, And it's and it's really upsetting because, like you're saying, there's just there's it's just the inverse.
There's consequences for every single action that you have made and will make going forward.
And it's it's and it's just it's just completely lopsided in culture, and it's so, um, it's we're just really upsetting to see It's that lack of, um, accountability and consequences for the police that really make this thing even worse, right? And so, um, black neighborhoods are over, policed completely over policed.
And like I said, I grow white kids.
And every time, you know, I grew up in eighties and nineties where, you know, the crack bill was it was a thing.
Um dare was a thing.
Nancy Reagan on TV.
All this nine cents, right? Your brain on drugs.
I remember those things.
Um, but I also remember thinking, OK, this is directed towards L.
A Baltimore, D. C.
And I remember thinking at the time I lived in Frederick, Maryland.
I mean, like all the white kids were doing drugs, harder drugs and smoking weed acid coke.
They were committing crimes.
They were acting a fool.
And I remember thinking, like, if they were a few shades darker, like, people would be jumping all over them and they'd be in a ton of trouble.
Um, our neighborhoods being over policed and underfunded.
So, to your point, you've got this crime bill that happens that takes away a huge swath of black man black fathers, right? And I'm a big believer in that jail does not make anyone be better when they come out of jail.
Like our current system does not incent you toe.
Once you come out of jail to be better, you go in your caged.
You're treated as an animal.
You will come out just like an animal.
I think in the movie blow.
Um, Johnny Depp.
Playing George Young makes a really great ****ogy, he says.
I went into jail with the Ah, a bachelor's degree in marijuana, came out with a PhD in Coke or something, like in cocaine or something like that.
Like Like that's jail.
You don't They don't send you to jail to get better integrate back into society.
They put you in there, you just get worse, right? And then, you know, black women are left to raise the Children on their own black, you know, black mothers and black grandmothers.
Like I said, my grandmother and my grandfather and my grandmother was there.
She was very much like my mom.
My mom was there, but, like, it's hard to explain how much like I had two moms and so like and my dad wasn't there, not because he was locked up it simply because, um, my grandfather would say, My dad was a pretty boy and he was out running the streets, and he was.
I'm the first of his kids.
He made like three more, and I didn't meet him until I was 17 and met him again at 25 I haven't spoken to him since and I'll be 39 less than a week.
So black women are left to raise these kids, right? But then, even if a black file there were a black man wants to help, many social programs don't even allow them to be in the house.
Right like that in itself is crazy.
Eso there's these all these layers of, like, fundamentally tearing down black people.
And in this country, you know, I live 40 minutes outside of D. C.
In just a couple of years ago, the National African American Museum was finally built, and I love that place.
Like, um, it's hard to sometimes walk through.
Um, but I would encourage anyone to force yourself to walk through and see what you know.
Our people had to indoor when they were forced to come here.
But one thing that always jumps out to me is that the African American Museum literally sits in the shadow of the Washington Monument, and George Washington heads 179 slaves.
So every time I go past that monument, I'm like, I mean, you know, that museum is great.
But then there's a shadow of this guy that, like America loves who not only had 100 79 slaves, but when he become became the first president, you couldn't have slaves more than six months in Pennsylvania, which is where he lived your pride to the White House being built.
So what did he do? Every six months, he sent slaves back to Mount Vernon and brought new slaves.
And so he can cir***vent the laws in Pennsylvania.
What does the current president do? Cir***vent all little close that's supposed to be in place to govern, right? And so for me, not only is there an issue with how the police behave and treat us, but there's this it there's this holding up of all these figures throughout history who are trash there, trash.
And it's too simple to say, Well, we're all not perfect, because through this world, not, but like some of these people that America holds up are just literally the worst of the worst.
I don't care if they fought the British.
I don't care if they built this.
They own people.
They ****d people like, Why are there monuments to them? I don't understand that.
And that's not to raise anyone from the history books, But that's also not to make it seem like they're better than what they really were.
They were opportunist, and then they were trash.
So I'm ranting again, but breaks away.
Yeah, I mean, this is what we're here for, and I think I think there's value in these rants, right? And And I think one thing that you're talking about that's very important is why are these people Why didn't why is there monuments of these terrible people that have violated human rights since the beginning of this country? And the answer to that is this is exactly how this system is supposed to work, you know? I mean, so it's not.
It's not a broken system.
I mean, it is if you're black and it is if you're poor.
But this is exactly how it is supposed to work.
This is exactly how the police are supposed to work.
This is exactly how fear is how we are supposed to be governed and black people are supposed to be governed.
And so So that is what is so upsetting to me about the monuments thing is that these monuments are up as a celebration of these exact injustices that were that, you know, we see every day.
And so when when people make the argument of you know, this is history, don't rip it down.
It's like, OK, this is history.
But for who? You know, like who? Like, you know, the victor writes history.
That's that's what everybody knows, you know.
And so you really understand that like, and that's my problem.
We talked about it on on ball is left a bunch.
But that's my problem with any idea of reform.
I don't want reform in any way here, you know, And again, I'm not speaking for everybody here. I'm speaking for myself.
I don't want reform.
I don't want reform implies that the system was inclusive to everybody and or works properly in the first place.
You know, from my perspective, you know, again for the 1%.
And, um, you know, white men in charge, like this system is working immaculately, and I think a lot of the violence we see is because there's, you know, labor is starting to act up and say things that that oh, we deserve you know, to be you know, we deserve health care.
We deserve all these things and the people in power are really scared of that, right? And that's what I've always viewed Trump as try I view, you know, the the election of Trump as, ah, last gasp of privileged white people saying like ****, we're losing control.
Look, we had a black president for eight years, you know? I mean, like, we're losing control.
Like we have to elect this, you know, cartoon figure of of the most outrageous.
Ah, you know, like fashion and eso to me.
I just think that it's very important to remind ourselves that this is how the system is supposed to work.
And if we want, You know, if if Mia's as, ah you know, poor brown dude and you, as a black man want change, it's not going to come from a reforming of this system, you know? I mean, and and that's, you know, again, this is how I feel.
But I would like to see just wipe it clean, you know, and and for me, it's like there's no it's hard to.
It's hard to imagine internal change, you know, because again, the problem with federalism is once year you know, elected to represent a demographic, you no longer represent that demographic there that I think the idea of representation is purely imaginative.
You know, Um and that's just me.
I know, I said, I said on a radical fence sometimes, But it's hard for me to understand this idea of reform and its history.
This is why you know why.
Why are you ripping down monuments? I say, **** it, man.
I say get rid of all of it.
I want toe say something about a couple of things that I brought up.
This word reform gets thrown around a lot and like there's talk about reform of, you know, we've got to reform the police department, the police system, all of that stuff.
And like Alex to what you were saying when people are sent to prison, the idea is that they're being sent there to be reformed criminals, right? Like you're gonna do your time.
You're gonna learn your lesson well above.
But that's this system that people are saying we need to Reform is very anti reform.
There is no reforming of crime because it's not profitable.
The prison system has been privatised to allow the legal use of slave labor.
So, like we talked about this yesterday, right, Alex were like this country still runs on slavery.
The thing is, is like the the oppressors have just co opted the language of the oppressed and used it against them.
So they go, OK, so this word is triggering to them.
Let's call it this.
So, like, you know, we can call it prison labor that slave labor will call it prison labor or or whatever It is right.
And it all started with the 13th Amendment. I'm not here to teach.
Everybody knows about that.
At this point, I would think, but, like, why are we expected to reform the system when the system that people want to, you know, quote unquote reform has zero interest in reform itself? And that's why I think the answer is you burn it to the ground and you put something else in its place.
You create something else, like like true care being placed for the people that commit most of these crimes that we're talking about and their crimes of of survival, their crimes that come out of being raised, as you were saying earlier in in a system that has a lack of resource is so like we're talking about like and it's that whole, you know, ethical conundrum that is like in ethics classes.
It's one of the first things that's talked about right, like, uh, stealing bread to steal your family.
Is that ethical or unethical? If you're doing something to survive that survival that, like there's no ethics and survival you were trying to take care of yourself.
And so to take somebody who was raised in a area with zero resource is and to then expect them to abide by the rules and the rules do not provide with resource is is ****ing crazy, absolutely insane.
And thats why nobody should expect reform **** reform like it's.
And I said this yesterday, and like Stephen, you just said it were like way past way past the days of reform that's over that that boat sailed.
Um, and then the other thing wartime letters like these monuments and like the word history gets thrown around so much within its history, right? It's like we can't erase our history.
I've literally never walked past a monument and suddenly understood what happened.
I've never walked past a statue of been like, Oh, I understand that this came from this period.
And both like the That's bull****, like there's no connect like like you don't learn those things without reading about it.
And nobody's saying, Get rid of history books.
Nobody's saying, Get rid of the text What the whole thing is like It's not history.
It's It's this glorification of those people that set these systems up, and that's why that **** has to go.
History is an interesting thing because, you know, people want to hold on to these monuments, and but you know who is? History's been erased.
My history has been a race, you know, hard.
It is for me to backtrack and figure out who my ancestors are.
It's incredibly difficult.
I've done it back as far as, like, 200 years, but I know people like white people in my profession who could go back like every generation to win.
Their family person immigrated here like that's but I don't have that luxury.
And what's crazy about this country, I mean, is a number of things crazy about this country where one thing that's crazy about this country is America loves to celebrate the American revolution, right? Fought against the British.
The British was was taxing, imposing their will.
We hate the king, blah, blah, blah, right.
At the same time land was stolen from Native Americans and slave labor was forced to build up this country at the same time when you were crying that Britain or it's someone across the Atlantic Ocean was somehow making your life worse, right? Like anyone can't see the ridiculousness and what we celebrate here and what was actually going on behind the scenes.
And that's a struggle for me.
Like America likes to hold up the American dream and that, you know, we're fighting for equality and things for better.
And America is justice trashes and is all the third world countries around the world that they pretend that we're better than like eso.
You know how, like there are some people from around the world, I think, like every American is like beautiful one rich.
But when you get here, you realize No, they're mostly poor and broke.
The porn fat like Americans look like everybody else is just that you know, TV and movies and media portray us as being like, gorgeous and wealthy.
I America is really just that their world country like that's really all it is.
There's so many issues here.
And so the system is working exactly how the founders wanted it to work.
Powerful white men have all the power I just read this morning.
Jeff Bezos is up to $200 billion.
Think he's made 87 billion during the course of this pandemic.
Right now, I'm a believer that if you create something, you have a right to monetize it.
But I'm also a believer in is that everyone pays their fair share of taxes.
We know that man doesn't pay any taxes, right? He just He's building a facility right outside of Virginia in Crystal City.
They gave him the land.
I don't understand why you give a man worth $200 million land, whatever.
But the thing about this, this place is that, like we champion these people who quote unquote come from nothing.
And he was given $250,000 on his parents.
My parents didn't have $250,000 and give me to start cross over any other business that my wife and I have started.
We were very fortunate.
I thank God my wife, my mom, was a swell off, as she was in the later years of her life.
But like we're literally one generation away.
No, we're like, we're a few months, probably a few months pay away from not being middle class, and that is crazy for us.
Hard is my wife, and I have working is hard in my mom and my wife.
Parents have worked, but we champion these people like they built something from nothing.
When the truth is, they didn't.
And then, in the case of Bezos, you know, during a pandemic, I know a number of his workers were given, like a $2 raise, but they I believe they took the Rays back, and it's like there's there's the way funds.
The way wealth is allocated in this country is a problem the way the way the criminal justice system works. The problem.
You mentioned that the prison systems privatized is basically slave labor, and every time in this country, black and brown people take a step forward.
The country knocks us back two steps, right? So Lincoln emancipated slaves, right? But then you have.
But then you have, you know, people pushing back on that, right? Like supposed to 40 acres and a mule.
I believe General Sherman issued that order and then we know how that it didn't happen.
I don't have 40 acre storm.
You'll write. It didn't clearly didn't happen.
Civil rights bill gets passed.
Jim Crow gets enacted.
Right Then after that, then you have red line and gets an act.
Gets an active president.
Obama gets elected.
Trump been, gets elected like every time.
And and even with President Obama, I can't I can't convey what it felt like for me and my My wife was then my girlfriend.
When he was elected, we were in our apartment and like the feeling that it brought saying that man get elected president.
And I knew that, like the president's don't have, you know, complete power in this country.
It's supposed be a balance and all these different things.
But like the symbolism of that man looking like Ideo setting in that White house, a house built by slaves like that, that meant something to us.
And I'm also well aware of, even though we consider him in my home.
He's a black man as far as we're concerned.
He's also half white, and he had to be as perfect a black man as there ever came to be elected president.
I mean, no amount of missteps during his time running for office if he acted one third the way Trump acts, there's no way to where he gets in that office, right? The country has this weird way of every time people takes that forward, the country knocks people right back.
And to you guys point, you could throw around the term reform.
Or you can say no.
This system just socks and we need a new one, like so I mentioned American Revolution.
All the things that those white folks back then were fighting for all their ancestors basically turned into the exact same thing that they claim to be have been fighting against three or 400 years ago.
Like you've got this.
You got this this class of people who are the Meg elite, politicians or billionaires and they control all the resource is they control the decisions.
You know, I believe in voting.
My ancestors fought the vote, so I vote.
I typically vote for the lesser of two evils.
That's how my life works.
I don't get the head like the perfect candidate, uh, and we do.
And like I said in this house way love Barack Obama. Michelle Obama.
Um, but we don't get perfect candidates.
And so I'm left to think, you know, where we going to go after this? Like every other week as a black dude shot made, you know, on laying on the concrete, this calling camera, I I honestly thought guys remember when the rights or the protesters Charlottesville happened and that white dude rammed his car and killed that white woman.
And so I've been to Charlotte number of times.
I cover a number a number of bank branches and employees there in Charlotte.
So I remember thinking when that happened.
Okay, it's okay for these cops a Q and these these militias to kill black dudes, black women as well.
When you kill a white woman, that's gonna make the country stop.
Like I thought that that would be like a weight can't care one of her own right.
And it didn't stop anything.
And I'm just like, OK, well, we need to stop trying.
Teoh, you know, stop trying to convey how we feel to people like Mawr to their morals.
We need to stop trying to pull at their heartstrings.
They don't care.
They simply don't care when a police chief comes out in for notion says, Well, if these people would have been out past curfew, they wouldn't have got shot.
Really? So no, not the 17 year old, the minor that had a semiautomatic.
He's not the problem.
Is people being out for the past curfew? That's the problem.
I'm like, who elects these people who puts these people in power.
And the truth is, this is the system that the majority of America want once this is the system that America wants, and I don't I don't know if in my lifetime it's ever going to change.
So So, yeah, I mean, a couple things there like it? I don't I'm not an optimistic person.
I know I've said that a lot.
I don't know if I would say this is the system that the majority of America wants.
I actually think that majority of people in this country are leaning to the left and want to see change.
I think the problem is the amount of power in this country is so concentrated to such a small amount of people that the people don't have the power and like, that's the problem, right? And like that's why you know, it's a really cliche saying like power to the people.
It's like, Yeah, because I think the majority of people would absolutely push for change on this right.
And like I do think like when you look at the population in this country and you know it is typically on the coasts, they are very much like, No, this is not like we want toe move forward from this.
We want to move on from this, Um, white people are no longer the majority of this country.
And so But the problem is, the power is concentrated in the hands of the white elite, right? And so that's that's what the problem is.
Um, and like the what you were saying, like the history of, like, just everything, like one step forward, two steps back, like that's what I almost feel like, you know, the phrase or term systemic racism gets thrown around, and a lot of people you know they aren't knowing.
Kind of think systemic.
Racism is like police brutality, and it's like that's such a like a section of what it is like that you could literally get rid of the police force and your fight to end Systemic racism is not over.
It's built and everything.
Like to your point when you're saying you have a hard time tracking back your history like it's built into like last names.
There's a reason why you don't see many white people with last name Washington or Jefferson, and it's because those names came from those very famous country slave owners.
Right? Like this is typically took on the last name of the slave owners.
That's why that's the case.
Like it literally built in the way people are named little in the way cities are built.
And we see it here, like in California.
So they're building here in L.
A. They're building a new metro line.
Um, that goes from L.
A X that meets up to another Metro line were here and you know, I I live.
I live here in South Los Angeles, South Central.
They're putting the lineup on Crenshaw Boulevard.
It's one of the only metro lines that's on the street.
It's not under the street, and it's not on its own path above the street.
They're literally taking away part of Crenshaw Boulevard toe.
Put that train to run through your taking away one of the main valves that moves through this area and you're putting a train on it and you're cutting down the amount of space people have to move around it, and it's sitting on top of everything.
It, like, literally comes down to that in the Bay Area, where Stevens from, there are certain freeways that Big 18 wheeler trucks are not allowed to go on because a popular because of pollution issues.
And so, if you literally look at that map of the freeways that they're not allowed to go on, they go through the white, affluent neighborhoods.
So those trucks and all that pollution is not allowed to go through those neighborhoods that go through East Oakland in the bottom part of West Oakland and all of that, and they go through those areas because the city planners have said that's an okay area to go pollute, right? And so it's not just in the police, all of that.
It literally the entire ****ing system has to be burned down and start over again.
It's like it, and that's I don't know.
I'm myself here, and it's probably not my space to rant in, but it's just like to me, like the police brutality thing is like a slice of the pie of what needs to change four for any of this to truly end.
It's about having compassion for somebody that doesn't look and sound like you.
And people have a hard time having compassion for somebody that doesn't look and sound like them, right? So you mentioned that metro line running through South Central, So I My wife is from Prince George's County in Maryland.
Prince George's County is the wealthiest black county in America.
Yet somehow, some way, it's the wealthiest black county in the country.
Yet it has one of the worst crime rates, and when the pandemic it it was one of the worst places hit by the pandemic in Maryland.
I'm thinking, Wait, how could this wealthy, affluent place suffer so much like comparable to maybe a similar wealthy white neighborhood, they would have all the resource is they have what they need it.
But this place, despite being a wealthy black area, is struggling as if it's a poor black area or poor anything area.
And I feel like that's because that's how society wants these things to operate.
I guess this is This is just lack of compassion, man like he's.
So here's something things like we have to think about that I think about when I'm out in my day to day life.
So there's a bank in Virginia, Um, that offered me.
This was a year ago.
Yeah, I'm like, two years ago, the largest salary I've ever had in my life, and I remember getting that offer and thinking, Wow, like this.
This is pretty cool.
It was like 30,000 more than what I had made the previous year, and I'm like this.
This is amazing.
This is one of things I've worked for and also thinking at the time that bank was actually established with slave money from George Washington.
Who the hell has to think about that when they're making a decision about the career right? Like there's like an ethical conundrum for me, like it's a lot of money and I have a family and I and I want to do well.
But like this bank was literally founded on slave money.
And those are things that like I I think about when I'm out in about thinking about where I'm gonna work or where I'm going to shop it or in all these things.
And it's like those air increased burdens that everybody else just doesn't have to deal with like And there's just all this stress that comes with that that people just think.
Stephen Brown you mentioned this yesterday.
Like the bootstrapping people love to talk about bootstrapping like Dr King said, Man like it's a cruel joke to tell somebody, but I'll bootstraps to pull up their boots, and this country does a whole lot of that, like work hard, go to school, do all the right things like there's no guarantee anything is gonna work out for you if you do the quote unquote right things.
So it's just it's It's I never I guess I said this just a But I just never thought that, like I'd be dealing with some of the same things that my grandfather was dealing with.
And when he's told me stories of what it was like, he was even born in 1938 and he tells me stories about the land that he lived on that was a slave land and how the dude that owned the land at the time wouldn't allow.
I think, his dad to go to college because his dad was hoping by Graham, my grandfather's mom, Um, Graham, my grandfather's grandmother, paid for you.
Pay Brenton whatever the owner Lamb was like.
If you go to school, I'm gonna evict her and all this stuff and, like just impeding progress or my grandfather's, you know, family like it, that amount of trauma that he had to grow up within that you know, he still probably deals with on some level today.
Like That's why I say, I don't know if this is even gonna get better in my lifetime because we've come a long way.
I got do remind people like the civil rights movement was just like 60 years ago.
Like there's still people alive.
Like my grandfather was 80 years old.
That remembers what it was like before that, like we've got so much further to go.
And the way the things are the rules and the laws and the class system and all these things are rooted within American culture.
I think we're several generations away from you know what? I don't think there's ever gonna be equality.
I don't think there's ever gonna be equality.
Um, and that's a hard pill to swallow.
But I just don't think there's that we're gonna be equality in this country.
And I mean, I think I I personally think that a part of that is because, I mean, I think most of it is because of the culture.
Um, and this culture like that, you're talking about where there's this idea that's pitched that if in capitalism, if you come to this country as an immigrant or whatever and you make the right movements, you you are in that you make a few strategic decisions and be smart and do this, you will break into, you know, the middle class, and then eventually the upper class There there is a thing of vertical movement.
Well, a I mean, we know that that's bull****.
But be that, um, ideology, other rises like everyone but you.
There's there's a individualistic nature to the capitalist ideals where it's you against the world.
It's you against this.
You can do, you know, you went when In fact, if we look at this country as a whole and especially in, like a global economy, there's no reason that there should be.
You know, l A should have the biggest homeless population.
There's no reason that people should be sleeping on the street.
Brian talking earlier about the idea of ethics.
Well, if you know, can you Is it ethical to steal bread? If you're feeding your family? **** that.
I say **** that.
Because ethics Onley exist in relation to resource is there is plenty of resource is in this country.
So I don't even think, you know, and I and I understand the argument.
But if you if we can look, just, you know, one layer further, that is an invalid argument.
There are Resource is here.
Nobody should be having this ethical conundrum of like, Oh, I have to steal this.
But I have to feed my family's and same thing that we talked about.
You know, we and what a lot of you know balls left is about is You know, I do consider myself someone that cares about human beings.
I can I care about the well being of everybody.
I'm a firm, firm believer that no one is saved until everyone has saved.
But on top of that, I spent my life navigating **** that I have to I have to think about just like you're talking about how you know, you got a raise in the salary, but you have to think about where the money is coming from.
What? What the industry is and, you know, like, do I think people that work for Jeff Bezos are terrible.
People know, because the thing is in a system that that believes in human rights and in a system that cares about human beings, we wouldn't have to navigate this stuff, you know? I mean, we that, like us having these internal, these internal conundrums.
And sometimes it goes as far as the internal violence against yourself.
Like what? In my like, What am I doing? Like, Why am I a bad person? Am I not? That is a product of our environment, and it doesn't.
And this is what I mean when I want to go further into reform for are further away from reform and just break it down.
Is that like that internalization of conflict is a product of our environment, This idea that like I am a human if I make the right decisions, I can get ahead in this life? Well, that makes sense.
I guess if there's like Super Limited resource is but again in this global economy and we're talking about the U.
You know, I mean, we we have one man that we know his name, who can fix all these problems.
So it's like it's not fare like like.
And when you talk about equality, I do agree with you that it's going to be a huge long process, and unfortunately, I think that it has to do with this ideology in the first place.
I can do this. I can do this.
And and and and the the other thing is like the other rising of everyone else.
When you think of yourself as opposed to the group, you know, a lot of these successes that we have are high article, right? Like like I can only get ahead by, you know, stepping on this person and you know Oh, you know, I care about the person, so I want to do it as gently as possible.
But, I mean, let's be honest here, you know, were set up for for ethical failure were set up for, um, humanist like degradation where were not allowed to bring everybody with us Or, you know, I mean, and it's not our faults.
And here we have this this all pervasive system that if you don't give a **** about human beings, you're successful and and you, you know, can sleep well at night or whatever.
I mean, I'm guessing they can.
But if you dio, you are riddled with conundrums.
If you do care about people, you go to sleep every night being like ****.
I have to do this.
Why do you know why did I do this? Is it okay to do this like there's no its all pervasive.
There's no escaping this this this like ideology.
And so I think a lot of it will have to come from, you know, the communal structures, the conversations And once those get strong enough, I mean the complete breaking of like ideals, you know, and another thing I wanted to say about earlier is a is a lot of these power hierarchies are are, um I want to say human nature, but human nature under this umbrella, right? So, like, you know, if there's one thing I always think about, and it's a well known thing, it's called the Stanford Prison Experiment, wherein a psychologist lead this experiment where he took his class, Divide them in half.
You guys air the prisoners and you guys were the guards.
And we're talking about make believe experiment.
Everybody knew what was going on, and it got violent within days.
You know, in that power, that power, and this goes with a lot of federalism.
I think once you get power, you no longer look at human beings the same way again.
It's the other rising.
Once you have a gun in your hand, you no longer view other people the same as before.
When you had that, you know you have this.
It's a it's a it's a power right And and I think too often power is, um, is ah you know, it's like the word power is sometimes synonymous with like a positive thing.
As as in, like, gaining something.
But but I think that should be broken, because when when you get power, you no longer look at the people around you.
The same, right.
And we saw it with college students, you know? I mean, that knew what they were doing.
So now you get into this culture idea of like, Oh, you went too far.
You know, it's like, you know, a few months of training, you know, for whatever.
Okay, you're a cop now.
You did the push ups.
You did the pull ups.
You took the classes, you could do CPR.
Here's the ****ing gun.
Go out and and do your job.
These people no longer looking human life the same.
So for for me and you saying like, Oh, my God, this person got shot in the back seven times.
It's It's It's barbaric.
These people literally don't look at human life the same as we do, and it's really disturbing to me.
And that is like, that is a part of this systemic structure, the systemic violence and the systemic racism.
You know, it's it's it's really it's really a huge like, like me.
And you are sitting here saying Jacob Lake out shot in the back, you know, and and my stomach hurts thinking about it.
Those I I can say confidently that those people don't react fundamentally in their bodies, the same to violence as ideo, you know, because they sit in a position of power culturally, um, and and physically with weapons, you know, And And once you have that, you look at the outside beyond your body, beyond your physical structure, differently and it and we've seen it proven in controlled experiments, you know? Well, that's why I think the system like, you know, we keep saying it's not reform.
It needs to be completely replaced.
And And this a lot of this, you know, like we talk about the conundrum that we live in, right? Like like our knowledge of this and and this consciousness that we have that leads us to these ethical conundrums.
Um, and Stephen, this is something that you and I have explored on the short the show before.
But it's like the system literally creates the mental health crisis that most of this country lives in.
And this is something in that book by Mark Fisher, Capitalist realism where, like this new generation of of you know, people dealing with depression and anxiety.
It's your prescribed medication for it.
But nobody is looking at the root cause of it, and the root cause of it comes from this system that has put us in these ethical conundrums, like the stealing bread for your family thing.
The real ethical conundrum is what happens to that bread when it's not purchased or stolen.
You get spoiled and thrown away, right like it goes bad and nobody eats it.
That's the true, ethical like issue with that whole equation, and that's why I like it's you have to get beyond the system that we're currently in because it's made to make us depressed and like, have to choose like you, said Alex, the lesser of two evils.
Whereas we can completely get together and re imagine a situation where there isn't a lesser of two evils where the resource is are allocated toe everybody where nobody is left wanting, right, nobody's left in need, and so that's like I don't know that it's it's such a overwhelming thing to think about because we've been raised in it right that it is hard to imagine life outside of it, but I think that's where we are starting to move.
And that's why seeing things like and I'm not, you know, intentionally trying to bring it back to sports because of the show and what we do.
But like, that's why I think it's important that we start to see things like entertainers like basketball players striking right, going on strike and going.
No, we're not ****ing doing this right.
Like it's It's the step towards the larger consciousness of thinking outside of the current system.
Today we were talking about, you know, the decision that the players are gonna you know they're gonna return to the court, I believe on Friday, and I tweeted this earlier, but I just said they're ****ed if they do, and they're ****ed if they don't.
Yeah, like those players air in one of the more unique situations in the world.
They are, um, they represent, you know, the top 1% of income earners in the black community.
They fund a number of programs personally, they're responsible for a number of their family members and things, you know, being able to live well at the same time, they're all black men, and they've got social media saying one thing.
They probably got their family saying another thing.
They've got them, the owners and sponsors saying another thing.
They're being pulled in so many different directions to try to make the quote unquote right decision.
And I just believe, like all those players need to do what's best for them for they need to look at their families first, the larger community second, and then make a decision on what they're gonna do.
Whatever decision that they make, they need to be willing to support that decision to move forward.
Um, yes, it's sorry.
Go ahead, go. Please, please go.
I was going to say, like I mean, we keep talking about what the players were doing, and it's great, but like I feel like the louder conversation needs to be.
When are the ****ing owner is going to do something like I've just seen? So like, it's literally the to L.
The two teams Alex that you and I cover are the two teams that were like We're not playing, we don't want to play, um, and which is great and it's crazy cause those teams have the most to lose, really, at the end of the day, but like and we keep, you know, applauding them for doing what they're doing.
And did we literally had Zion Williamson? It was months into his career in the MBA, paying for Arena Workers salaries when this, when the season shut down and the owners worth billions like, when are the ****ing owners going to step in and do something like And you know what? The team I cover bombers done some really good things.
But former, you're also the richest owner in sports making.
And you know, everybody's like he made a statement against racism.
That's so ****ing ba*****t level of what Steve Balmer should be doing the like anti racist post is for the people that are working their 9 to 5 jobs, right? Doing that stuff like that, that's OK.
Do you literally have access to the most powerful people in this country? And you are one of them having that much money? **** your post.
Go do something meaningful.
Take your billions of dollars and go do something with it.
Otherwise, you're not about it.
You're not about it.
I'm sorry, but like the owners do not give a **** until we actually see something happen.
One thing I do want to say about this, though, and I think about this a lot to you and and sure, in a resource driven economy we do.
It would be great if these owners did something.
Another thing I think about, though, and I do agree.
I do agree that, um, the owners need to do more, obviously.
But another thing I do I think about and this is more recently is when when you know the the oppressed are looking to the oppressors.
I don't think that's a that's true subversion, you know, And I don't want and I don't want, um I don't need I mean, I don't want maybe I need, but I don't want to look to the rich white men for change.
And that's what I'm saying is like, How can we ask these, you know, socio paths to help our movement when our movement is what they've made their billions of dollars on top of or are our labor, You know what I mean? And so so that's what that's what I do feel a little weird.
And and another thing it does is it takes power away from the people, right? It takes We're sitting here and we're seeing okay, Like, the players are doing all this stuff. I do.
And this isn't to say I disagree.
I do agree that, like, it shouldn't be on the players.
But I don't want to sit here and look to these billionaires for their help.
I don't want them to see.
I don't want to sit here and say, Oh, change is only going to come on the back. That's a ****ing Batman.
You know, I mean, that man, the ultimate capitalist in the world, you know, I'm not here to what I want to do is look horizontally out in my community and say like, there is power here, OK, we don't need bomber.
And we don't need these ****ing billionaires, because guess what? That's how that's how we got here in the first place.
You know, and and the thing with with pro sports in the n b A.
And what you're talking about, Alex with, you know, professional athletes are the 1% of of, you know, black America my problem with that is and I've said this on our show before.
When you're market like if we sit back and think about the most publicized and marketed form of vertical movement in the US for black people, we think of pro sports.
We think of entertainment industry.
We think of meat, me no music acting, and that is by far the least likely to happen.
So when when I'm sitting here thinking when were sitting here thinking up like, Oh, what's the number one form of vertical movement for black youth? And the least likely things come to our mind that is strategic to me, that is a method of holding an entire population down.
And and that's why I think I mean, I understand as that athletes are humans and like, believe me, I'm all about it and I love it.
But I want to take that equal attention and power and social and cultural way and might give it to our communities and say, Oh, we can support each other and we can help each other out because we have to look.
I mean, the players are a part of that, I would say I think the players are a part of that because they they are the labour in this situation when I mean and and and me and Brian also talk about the cultural currency that they have, that is like super valuable, very valuable for any movement.
But But yeah, I want I want to And this is just me, I think, Maura, about like, I'm done.
Depending on these owners, I'm done depending on.
And this goes for politics to I'm done.
Depending on, you know, this system that is propped up on, you know, insufficient wages and unhealthy, you know, uh, labor practices, you know, like they're not going to give it to us.
The billionaire's heir not going Teoh give anything to us and and, you know, I think the MBA owners air talking about donating a million a year like that's nothing that's absurd and spilled.
Inoffensive amount of money.
Yeah, No, that's That's a really good point, Stephen.
That's, um, that's a That's a super super insightful perspective on that.
And that's definitely something I'm going to sit with for a little while because I like that You're totally right about that.
Um, and like, you know, your point to the politicians.
Like, I think that a lot of times, especially like, you know, left leaning people can stand politicians.
And I think that that could be problematic.
Like you and I both wanted Bernie right toe.
Make it through the primaries.
But at the same time, Bernie refuses to say that he wants to defund the police.
And it's like, if you're if you're not on that fight, then you're not with us.
Like then then cool.
Like, move on, get out of the way.
Um and and that's, you know, I think that the left can kind of stand those things to their own detriment at times.
And so you need to keep the forward motion at the forefront.
And anybody who doesn't represent that needs to get out of the way.
But, um, yeah, I'm thank you for saying that.
Do, Because I was That's a really, really good point.
Um, we're almost at an hour here.
I figured we can We can probably wrap it up pretty soon.
Dude, thank you so much for joining us, man.
Um, this was awesome.
I really appreciate you speaking, giving your perspective, taking the time to talk to us.
And on top of that, dude, thank you for starting crossover and letting us into that family.
This has been amazing being a part of this and growing this with everybody and, you know, yesterday jumping on with some of the other hosts on the network was was awesome getting toe, like, really speak to them for the first time on Dhere.
Hear their stories and all of that.
So, um, Man, Alex, I'm gonna kind of give you the floor to closes out here.
Any final thoughts? You have anything you know, you've got a bunch of shows and and so much that you're constantly working on your one of the busiest people I know.
So, um, you know, feel free toe plug.
Say whatever, man.
The floor is yours to close this out here.
We'll look shout out to you, Brian.
And you, Stephen, for allowing me to come on my on your show and thank you for for even wanting to be a part of crossover.
Um, I think it's a novel idea, and there's a number of things I'm trying to tackle.
So I am incredibly, along with having a 95.
I've got like this other 95 that I'm trying to make work, so thank you guys for being a part of it.
I'll say this, I guess, is my parting words.
There's, Ah, I've stayed away from social media the last couple hours because everyone's arguing about what the NBA players shouldn't shouldn't do, and I've just opted to kind of back up and leave it alone.
I'll say that regardless, if the NBA player strike or not, I would argue that that impact would still be minuscule on the larger issues at hand.
Whatever the players decided to do.
If you want to force at least quickly force billionaire billionaires hands a good part of the country needs to walk out of their jobs for a whole week.
And what ****s stop the Amazon employees, the bank employees, all these.
All these regular people like you and I walk out of your job for a week, let half the country do that, and that might actually force change rather than what 300 players saying they won't jump on TV and play.
So I'll say that part And I did want to say the fact that Zion Williams Williams and a first generation millionaire had to go and pay for employees of the Pelicans.
When Gail Benson has billions of dollars.
That infuriated me.
But we're building something here across over.
I'm not doing it alone.
Every single host, that's a part of every single podcast or or the host that are doing live streams.
We're building something here and it for me.
I've always said, um, they wouldn't give me a seat at the table, so I'll build my own **** table And that's what I'm trying to do and with like minded people.
I don't expect us toe agree on every single point, but I expect it to be like a common threat of decency amongst everybody that ops to kind of push this thing forward.
And I think there is.
And I think it's value and sharing these unique stories that everybody has because you know you don't have to be famous toe have impact words.
You could just be a regular person off the street and you could have something impact to say.
I think that all the different host have impactful things to say, and they're trying to make change within their little bows that their little slice of the world.
So I'm appreciative of that.
Um, those who listen to this or watch this I started out. I do host Laker Central.
I'm a huge Lakers fan.
Um And then, you know, there's off the record me and three other three of my childhood friends that we jumped together and decided to a podcast.
And then there's the crossover podcast, which is mawr 60 minutes style.
Me going one on one with people from all around the world from different backgrounds.
And so I'm I am incredibly blessed to be able to do this.
I'm incredibly fortunate to have a white that is super supportive of me trying all these different things.
Um, many people are, you know, I talked about they're afraid to get married.
They don't, you know.
It will feel like that might give up a sense of themselves, or they might have to, like, get permission.
I've never found marriage to work that way.
My wife is super supportive of what I want to do, and I am like why I supported her, what she wants to do, She She's a mental health condition she left one of the most well known hospitals in Maryland.
It's one of most well known in the world, but she worked in Maryland, one of the most well known mental hospitals in the world.
She left that because of the stress at her job, and she opted in the middle of pandemic to start her own cup.
And I am incredibly.
I admire her for doing so taking that on but by saying, Look, this is too much.
This company is not doing everything that they need to do.
I'm gonna take this in my own hands, the skills education.
I haven't and do this and help people in a way that I think they need to be helped.
Um, no, she did not need my permission to do so.
I'd rather her be happy.
And us miss a few payments on bills, then for her to be unhappy and us lived the quote unquote American dream.
So, um, those are my parting words, Alex, Thank you so much.
I I can't really besides letting us in and giving us a platform to yell and rant about our thing.
Um, it also is very Ah, the whole build your own table thing is very inspiring to us.
And so it is something that, like we think about a lot.
And it's good not just for us, but for everybody to have, like, a new example of that in front of them.
So you're doing God's work is I would say so.
Thank you so much.
And thank you, everybody.
Ah, we will be back with our You know, we dropped an episode yesterday.
Ball is live where we talked about talked to a good friend of our Sam Boston.
So be sure to check that out.
Check out all of Alex's shows.
Ah, and we will see you next week, either in audio or video form.
Thank you for joining us.
Thank you, everybody. Oh, yeah.