24-Sept-2020 – (Pre-Election) Conversation with Jen Peeples and Phil Session (Part 1 of 2)

Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.

–Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-020)

Visit Anchor or other platforms to hear this episode.

My friends Jen Peeples and Phil Session agreed to join me for a recorded Pre-Election session. This week, in Part 1, we discuss:

  • The importance of voting
  • The death of RBG
  • Installing a new SCOTUS justice – The new nominee had not been selected when we had this conversation
  • The 1619 Project
  • Systemic Racism

See podcast description for links.

Part 2 will post next week. And we are currently planning a post-election discussion as well. More info as it unfolds.

Hope you enjoy it!

2020 Voting Resources

Voting in 2020 is more important than ever before. Here are some bipartisan resources. Make sure you’re registered and have a plan to vote!

  • Google’s “How to Register to Vote” tool, that provide information by state.
  • BallotReady provides information on candidates and ballots – providing you with research to help you inform your vote.
  • Democracy Works helps people vote “no matter what”. Cut through the misinformation and confusion!
  • Headcount, where you can check your voting status, and get registered!

This year, vote by mail, vote in person, but vote no matter what!

Embrace Race: Same Family, Different Colors – Talking About Colorism and Skin Color Politics in the Family

Anti-Racism Resource – Free Webinar

Time: Sep 24, 2020 08:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Description: Colorism—the preference for or presumed superiority of people based on the color of their skin—is related to racism but can be more subtle and, for many of us, feels less familiar. Colorism, at once an interracial and intra-racial phenomenon, can be particularly devastating when perpetrated within racial groups, often within families.

Join us for a deep-dive into the origins of colorism in different racial and ethnic communities and how this pernicious form of discrimination affects our parenting and family dynamics. Journalist and author Lori Tharps joins us for a discussion about what colorism looks like – at home and in our communities – and how to raise our children to love the skin they are in.

Additional anti-racism resources are also available at this site.


Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without.

William Sloane Coffin

I remember once seeing someone post a question, “How come whenever there are multiple spouses in a marriage, it’s always one man with multiple wives?”

I am going to sound like a broken record before these marriage and family episodes are through, but anyone who has taken more than a handful of cultural anthropology courses will understand that question comes from an erroneous assumption. In fact, there are cultures where a family structure consists of one wife and multiple husbands. It’s a marriage system known as polyandry.

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Fried yellow plantains with cheese, and bonus “banana peel bacon”

I’ve had fried yellow plantains before, but recently in looking up plantain recipes, I found that these are often served with cheese as a breakfast item. So I gave it a shot.

It’s a lot like the fried green ones. You quarter and fry them on both sides. Remove from heat. Smash them down. Fry them some more on both sides. Then top with cheese. Mozzarella is recommended, so maybe the fact I used the yellow cheddar I had on hand wasn’t a fair test? Loads of folks online promoting this recipe remembered it from childhood breakfast at grandma’s, and loved it. But I used cheddar, and here are the results.

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Partible Paternity

Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we’ve put it in an impossible situation.

Margaret Mead

In this article I will be talking about something called “partible paternity.”

In short, partible paternity is the idea that more than one man can contribute biologically to the production of a single offspring by having sexual relations with the mother. This is a family structure that has been recorded in other areas, but I’m going to focus on societies in lowland South America.

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Jamaican Fried Green Plantains

Made these last night. Too good not to share.

It’s a super simple recipe that works exactly as shown. You need green plantains, salt, oil and a pan to fry them in. That’s it. I added some garlic salt, and you could season however you like, but just salt is fine.

It’s a two-step process, cut and fry. Remove from pan. Cool enough to squish (I used a rolling pin with light pressure, but you can use the palm of your hand, as shown in the video). Then, return to pan and fry till golden brown.

To me, they are like a giant french fry. Addictive.

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The Nāyar of India

Simple shifts in points of view can open doors to expansions of consciousness as easily as rigid dispositions can close hearts and minds to such elevated awareness. It generally depends on whether you allow fear and violence to rule your actions or whether you give wisdom, courage, and compassion the authority to do so.

― Aberjhani, Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays

In today’s post I’m going to talk about the Nāyar of India. I am not an expert on this culture, and it’s been decades since I studied cultural anthropology. It’s fair to say I am not an expert on any culture, except maybe the one I’m immersed in as a member. My goal with this discussion is not to make you an expert on anything. It’s not to do a deep dive. It’s to take a look at some distinctions that help us to better check our biases that manifest in mild forms of xenophobia. I hope that in some ways these discussions will raise some awareness about assumptions we make about human nature that are really culturally, not biologically, derived. In other words, which manifestations of our existence are inherent, and which are culturally derived? It’s not always easy—or even possible—to know. But sometimes what we can see as differences between cultures can give us a clue.

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Xenophobia and Diversity

“No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

I took a lot of anthropology courses in college. My degree is in Liberal Studies, which required three areas of specialization, which all had to be from different colleges within the university. The point of Liberal Studies is a well-rounded education, rather than focus on a single area of specialization. It’s a classical model of education that is based on the concept of the Renaissance Man—someone well versed in many areas of study.

By the time I gradated I had quite a bit more credits than was necessary for the Liberal Studies degree, and, in fact, it was not my first declared major.

The more a person learns about a particular topic, the more their view of it changes. With deeper understanding of complex systems, paradigm shifts are common. A composer or musician listening to a song is not hearing the same song as someone who has never played an instrument or studied music. And once something is learned, it’s there.

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Samantha & Harlan

“How lucky I am to have something which makes saying goodbye so hard.”


The latest episode of at home in my head features the story of Samantha, who is facing terminal cancer, as she copes with the idea of not being in the future of her young son, Harlan.