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Episode 99

Geek Interview: Being Black and Nerdy with Justin Williams

00:00:00
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00:51:58

October 16th, 2020

51 mins 58 secs

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About this Episode

Justin Williams from Super Tangent podcast joins us to get into the nitty gritty of being Black, being nerdy, living in Alaska, and raising a biracial daughter in a racist society. We talk all things politics, pop culture, and the all-important intersection of the two.

About Justin Williams

Justin Williams is the host of Super Tangent podcast, a podcast about politics and nerd culture, freelance audio engineer, and dad to the cutest daughter in the world (and she's named Diana - after our awesome Diana Prince!? Probably!) He's from the Alaskan north which had a huge influence on his obsession with nerd culture... sure, what else can you do when it's dark half the year?!

About Being Black & Nerdy

We start off by getting the important news out of the way: pens suck, nerds are awesome. And on this [super] tangent, we get into the nitty gritty of being Black, being nerdy, living in Alaska, and raising a biracial daughter in a racist society.

Justin nails it on the head when he says we're getting angry at the wrong things. Black people are getting murdered every single day, but we're out here getting pissed that Robert Downey Jr wore blackface in one of his movies (which Justin thinks is hilar, btw!).

So what do we do instead? It's not about cancel culture and jumping on that train to say so long to people like RDJ - y'all just missing the point. There's so many bigger issues out there! It's about banding together and enacting positive change, not following the herd and stumbling into confusion.

Why not, instead of using these moments to cancel someone, we take them as a chance for education? Unless you're beating your head against a brick wall like the disaster that is JKR, it's always worthwhile taking these moments to help someone else learn from their mistakes.

Justin shares why NOW is the time we HAVE to increase representation in pop culture. Yeah, there's an argument that can be made that comics, especially, have always been on the forefront of pushing progressive actions, but we have to do more. Like, representation shouldn't be this wildly revolutionary thing, right?

If we're not representing every type of person this planet of ours has, we're pretending these people don't exist! For goodness sake, the world is wildly diverse, there's so many different races, genders, cultures, abilities, etc etc etc - we want to see them! We actively WANT to see the incredible, diverse people in our media.

What matters even more than seeing diversity in pop culture is that you create accurate representation. Justin talks about that representation balance and what happens when you get it wrong: you create toxic media.

On a lighter note, Justin also shares what it's like watching the 2016 Ghostbuster's remake with his daughter. This is heartwarming, beautiful, and offers such a refreshing perspective on a film that routinely gets shit on. Thanks, Justin!

Did you LOVE this convo with Justin? We did! Justin is the legit best. Let us know your fave Justin moment in the comments and make sure to give him a follow on social and to check out his podcast!

Quotes

"It's easy to get on the cancel culture train and feel like you're fighting for something, when in reality you're just missing the entire point."

"You don't just want to not offend someone, you're representing an entire people."

"Accurate representation is just as important as representation conceptually because you can do it wrong and that is toxic."

"Life isn't all about Black Lives Matter. It's not all about police brutality. Sometimes it's about kicking back and fighting for what's right in your own way."

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Find Justin Williams Online
Find Justin Williams on Facebook | Instagram | YouTube!

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