Julie Lalwani and Courtney Gilbert

Recorded December 21, 2019 Archived December 21, 2019 39:34 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby019518


Julie Lalwani (42) talks to StoryCorps facilitator Courtney Gilbert (28) about experiencing racism in middle school and watching her mother defend her, and later in life experiencing racism in her workplace and needing to defend herself.

Subject Log / Time Code

JL remembers experiencing racism as a 7th grader on report card day.
JL recalls how her mother confronted the situation.
JL describes a racist incident that happened to her at work as a financial advisor when her clients verbally assaulted her and spit on her.
JL explains her initial reaction to the abuse from her clients.
JL remembers getting into an argument with a friend shortly after the incident.
JL describes the moment when she finally recognized herself in the mirror.
JL compares her current self to her 7th grade.


  • Julie Lalwani
  • Courtney Gilbert

Recording Location

Yuma Art Center


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00:06 Hi everyone my name is Julie lawani I'm 42 years old today is Saturday December 21st of 2019 and we are in Yuma Arizona and my interview partner and I hope new friend her name is Courtney

00:20 Thanks Julia my name is Courtney Gilbert I'm 28 years old today's date is Saturday December 21st 2019 we are in fact recording in Yuma Arizona I'm here with Julia can you help me say your last name Julie lawani Julie lawani and we will be friends after this conversation to start can I ask you Julie how you identify racially so I was born in this country but my parents are from India I'm a first-generation indian-american it's funny you asked me that I was when I originally signed up for this I was going to talk about the importance of laughter and then

01:04 A couple of things happened in the last recently and I just decided I'm going to talk about something that maybe a little bit more heavy but maybe something that my future self. I'd want her to know and that's stuff about races. Absolutely. Can you talk about your first experiences with your identity your racial identity early's how you were aware of it outside of yourself while I was in the seventh grade and I it was it was it was report card day and it was going to be a good day for me because report card day when you're the top student in the class happens to be one of the few times you feel like a hero versus maybe the awkward kid in the back, right salute report card day is going to be a good day. I remember the birds were singing and you know, the wind was just caressing my face and everything was going to be an amazing day and I get there and I watch each of my classmates periodic proceed to go and get the report cards of my name wasn't called. So finally the Miss Walker my teacher she raises.

02:04 Hand and she said did anyone not get their report card and I raise my hand and I said Miss Walker. I didn't get my report card and she said will Julie you didn't get your report card because your parents didn't pay your tuition. And in fact, we don't believe that your sister and you are the kind of people that belong in a place like this that escalated very quickly in front of the entire class. So I remember something bad happened, but I didn't really understand what I was more concerned about catching hell from my mom not having my phone right because everybody else at least one be so I was waiting for verification. So I went I went home and my mom's back was to me she was cooking dinner. She was wrote issues making Roti, which is like an Indian chapati. You're a friend and she was rolling it and she's in this beautiful yellow canary. Sorry, and she said you always your report card as a mama. They didn't give it to me and she said you loved stop lying.

03:04 Where's your poor guy? She always thought I was up to no good and they didn't give it to me. They said because we didn't pay the tuition. I don't deserve it and they said that we don't on and I don't belong there in a place like that. And as soon as I said that I remember seeing her mom my mom's back muscles tense up she turned off the gas. You said Julie put your shoes and socks on get in the car right now. She went to the bedroom. She retrieve something and off we went to the school. So, you know how sometimes when you're a kid you think that your your cuteness? Will you be appreciated by your parents not to lie. And you know, sometimes there are times when you need to be quiet about to happen. It was that kind of thing as I get there. And as soon as we get there, we see the principal and Miss Walker who those who are best friends and my mom says I need to speak to you and she's of the principal says, okay. No problem Julie you sit in the in the waiting room and my mom said no.

04:04 My daughter needs to hear this. So we going to the principal's office. She closes the door my mom sits down and out of her purse. She retrieves this little silk or velvet pouch and inside it is this beautiful emerald Ruby and diamond necklace and matching earring set that this was the last piece of jewelry that my nonno so my grandfather gave me or gave her before he passed away and it was also the only thing of value left in the house because everything else and I mean everything else had gone up as collateral for the bank loan. That was basically propping up my dad's business which has been struggling for 10 years, right? Absolutely. So we're sitting there and my mom pulls us out and she says this is worth about $13,000. I think we owe you about 1800 in tuition fees for Julie you keep it and if we don't pay our bills by the end of the semester UK

05:04 This and you will have been better off with us not being able to pay our bills, but then she said but if you ever disrespect my daughter again, if you ever make her feel like she is less than because she's different if you ever hold her responsible for something that no child in this country is ever held responsible for she said I need you to know I will make it my mission to destroy you she says if I have to go on national TV and tell everyone exactly who you are. I will do it. She says if I need to build a spaceship and go all the way to Mars until everyone on that planet and this planet who you are. I will do it. She says because I'll tell you something the two of you are not parents and you're definitely not indians because if you were you would know we don't let this kind of thing go So Courtney, obviously needless to say we got my report card that day. Did you get that?

06:04 My mom put me on an aggravation installment plan actually because of that stupid but I remember thinking of thinking about that last night because I'm such a huge Mama without so much rabbit eating and for your mom to speak truth to power and to be there with you having this conversation. I think she's exactly she told me that's exactly correct. She taught me this amazing lesson to embrace being different and I'm going to be honest with you. I didn't accept that. It's a struggle. Yeah. It's it's cuz it is so difficult to be different let alone.

06:47 Let alone embrace it, you know, and I remember that you know, after that it was seventh grade and I went through high school. And then I'm I have to tell you Courtney on mobile. I'm ashamed to admit this but so in India fair skin is really prized and there is a multi-billion maybe half a trillion business there where you know, you didn't like where they bleach skin makes their skin and I'm I'm ashamed to tell you that I bought into that that I bought into the idea that I needed to somehow rub away my indianness and I should have remembered I should have learned that lesson when I was in the seventh grade. I should have learned that lesson that my mom taught me such a hard thing to accept such a young age. I think he just really wants your differentness to be sameness, or at least the somehow just become

07:47 Normal, and it's it's difficult because even though you see I see so many Indian women are Indian men like the standard is house how fair you are. It's it's all about that and you will see some celebrities. I mean we're talking really big names who who do so much to who profits so much from that same concept and I remember, you know bleaching my skin for a couple years because I was thinking somehow I'd be more beautiful if I was less Indian, basically and

08:21 And then I would say probably about.

08:25 Six months ago or so I decided I was going to do it anymore and

08:32 And you know who I have to say actually not a few months. It's further back. But you know who I have to thank for me not bleaching my skin. It's the most unlikely person. You would go. I'm so excited. No guests guests. Do you get three guesses? Okay and get one actually saw.

08:57 Beyonce no, no, no. No, but that would be a more empowered to actually Donald Trump. Okay. Yeah what you wouldn't guess honestly that he would an inspiration to write but you talk about that actually Donald Trump and a few people asking me if I knew Osama Bin Laden and if I was a terrorist yo, cuz the truth is is I'm not what you would call a card-carrying Indian right? So I don't go to Temples. I don't know how to cook and I but I also didn't I didn't learn how to appreciate being different while I'm in this country either. So I did not embrace my roots, but I did not Embrace Americana. I didn't write it. So it was like it was 2016 and you know, if that was around the time when Donald Trump it became obvious that he was

09:50 He was going to really gain some traction orange 70 year old man, right on the TV and not you know, what this terrific comb over. Right and I'm thinking of myself, you know, there is no way that he is ever going to get elected. There's no chance right because his his his rhetoric is so divisive and what he has to say is so bizarre and off and just horrific that I think there is absolutely no way this is going to happen, right we all agreed with you and then I changed jobs and I find myself in Trump country. So this happens to be a certain area of Arizona that is very die hard Trump and it was June it was in Phoenix and it was an absolute scorcher. So it was like, you know, I don't know if you are super familiar with likes Arizona or particular Phoenix Summers, but the Summers here are so hot that you know, when you when you hold your hands to the you know, the the safe.

10:50 Buckle, you know when you try to buckle up, like it'll the Buckle will burn your hand because it is so yeah, it's so hot and you know, it's the time when like the air conditioner doesn't come on quick enough and you know if I have asthma but even if I didn't have as my so hard to breathe it's almost like, you know, like a guardian of trying to breathe. It's like like the gargoyle is clawing on your breath because it's just so hot and it's just filling your lungs with this like he tinh Duc stripe got you so I'm in I'm in Arizona. I'm in Phoenix I should say, it's June and it's it's hot of Earth covered that right. It's it's hot. I just can't say it enough for anyone who lives in Arizona. I'm telling you they can feel mine. And so I walk in and it's the Oasis of my office because it's 74u00b0 in there and I've got two clients waiting for me who I've never met before. So I took a couple and the wife is in her mid-sixties and this is going to sound a bit harsh. But whatever is she she's

11:50 Her mid-sixties and she's one of those women whose like decked out in you know, like what is considered fashionable, but somehow it's not fashionable on her if that makes sense. I completely understand and this is also not very kind but it's there's a reason why I'm being unkind to this woman will become clear. Hopefully like she she's one of those women who was taught I think her whole life that she's beautiful. Right? So maybe as a woman of color I find those women particularly tiresome anyway, so she's sitting there next to her husband and he's got his Bible with it and I'm a stockbroker. So it's unusual to bring your Bible to the financial appointment very unusual. But but if it takes all kinds, you know, I'm and it was totally fine. Right? So I Usher them into my conference room and after you know a little bit of small talk we start to go over their portfolio and the wife chimes in and she says, you know, the previous the previous financial advisor. He went to our church and I was like, okay well good for you. I mean it I didn't really think too much about it.

12:50 Racism we're trying to talk business and she said do you believe?

12:59 And I remember thinking believe I said believe in Jesus and she says well our church talks a lot about Muslims and how they are out to destroy Christians and how their Quran mandates that they kill Christians and so that so that they can join Muhammad in the afterlife as well. You know, that's great. But we're here to talk about your finances, right? So, you know, I don't think that you know, and if you don't think this is going to be the right fit for you, that's okay cuz you know, I had been asked so many times in this particular area where people live in this particular area in Phoenix where I started to you could sort of see the conversation going down this road. So I've been asked that week at least two or three times if I had new Osama Bin Laden wrestling and you know what I have to fire them obviously cuz I'm not going to work rights not going to work for them and stuff. We not going to work for me and then like, you know, I said, you know if this is

13:59 Right fit. That's okay. Honestly, it's absolutely okay. Well, I hope you find somebody else. Maybe someone who goes to your church. I don't know whatever and and then her husband says do you read the Bible and I said, you know why you don't like no. No, I don't. I'm not, you know, we're not going to we're not going to talk about the house about you know, his wife. She lunged at me and proceeded to spit on me. So she hit me in the face and it hit like my neck and I think my collar is well, and she sort of Screams out Trump sees you for who you are you are an evil terrorist who plots against us, but we will prevail apparently we is her she won't he will win apparently, that's Trump. I don't know where God I'm not wasn't quite sure and you need to go back to where you came from God Bless America and she screams this out. I'm wearing my conference room right now. We're in the conference room in my office in Metropolitan Phoenix, and she

14:59 Sing at me I have this woman spit all over mine and verbally and physically a sales and so I walk out and I say to my system call the police, right? And so and and the assistant was her sitting there. She couldn't understand what was going on. And I said give me a napkin she didn't have any of course. It's always a way right whenever you need some time today and everything, right? And so I went to the bathroom and there were a few women in the queue ahead of me and I I was just sitting there and it was just standing there and I don't know why I didn't say something but I was just I remember standing there. It just kind of waiting to wipe off someone's hate off my face and and I felt for some reason all this shame and amongst the thickness of this like the banal, you know bathroom conversation. I'm just standing there alone. And I finally get to the stall a close the door and I just start crying right and you know, I'll be honest with you.

15:59 I couldn't figure out exactly what I was crying about first first. I thought maybe was losing a client because I'm a stockbroker who finances about money, right? We can't be losing clients left and right because of the color of my skin, right and then I thought we had lost so many because the color my skin or my gender and it wasn't that right. So it wasn't that entirely and then I thought well, what is it then and and you know, I think I thought is it because someone spent on me and you okay, I guess it was partly that too but it was something else too. I couldn't quite put my finger on it if that makes sense. It does make sense. Yeah. And so I saw it finally, I wipe it off I get to the mirror and my makeup is smeared from her spit and I'm splashing cold water on my face and hoping it's just kind of wash this off of me to wash her off of me and I said wipe off my face. I see someone I don't recognize so I know this might I don't know this might very well make all the sense in the world to you. But at the

16:59 Time it didn't make sense. I was looking at myself. She's Indian, but I don't recognize her brown hair brown skin, that's me. And I'm telling you Courtney. I didn't know her and you know the police, and you know, they seemingly were more sympathetic towards her than I saw that eye-roll it's always of a right. You know, she got a warning quit spitting on me and I was told to this is hilarious like be aware of who I'm speaking to. That's what the police told me.

17:33 And I was like whatever, you know, I don't I don't even care. I remember like ordering a pizza on my way home and just drifting into like a food Oblivion and just whatever. I just didn't speak to anybody. I went to bed. It didn't matter and

17:50 You know the shame lingard though.

17:54 And after a while it started to retard into bitterness as the weeks passed and more and more clients as like as a cuz I kept having to fire people because there was just so many issues with the color of my skin and I have to be on to the same to be in this Twilight Zone where you know where you look in the mirror and you don't recognize yourself staring you don't recognize the woman staring at you and you know, any you think to yourself like who is this? Like, you know, you know what have I always been in the dark and you know, I am going to be honest with you. I don't believe in ghosts. I don't believe in astrology or any form of the Hocus Pocus. I might be the only Indian, you know, who doesn't even do yoga like I don't I don't I don't believe in any of it. But I'm telling you my face was changing as I was looking at it and it was it was morphing into something and I didn't know what it was, but it was changing and I could not stop it and it was like I was having this crisis and In This Crowd

18:54 With no one to talk about there was no one to talk to about this. It just it was happening and it it I couldn't control it. I couldn't stop and I couldn't do anything and as a result, I was becoming increasingly withdrawn and you know, and then people would reach out and I never would respond and then a friend of mine came all the way down or came all the way up. I should say from Tucson add to my office and confronted me cuz she had called me a bunch of times and I never responded. So this is my very wise very old. Very nice. Very honest white friend, right? And she said what the hell Julie what's going on with you? And I said, you know, I'm going to answer your other the last person I want to see right now and I said you should just probably go and she said why because I'm going to call you on your bullshit and I have to tell you my temperature I can feel my blood pressure starting to ride and she's I said my bullshit I tell you you would have no bulshit if it bit you on your ass I said you're in my office.

19:54 And just get the fuck out honestly, like I don't care and and she said we'll just try me she says if you got something to say then just say it at least have the courage. This is at least have the courage to tell me why and I was like courage. Yes. That's an interesting word for a white woman to be telling me right now. What the fuck do you know about courage? You've spent your entire life enjoying the privilege of being a white woman? You have been taught that your feelings goals and body matter you have been treated as if you are the standard for beauty in the world, no matter how unattractive a white woman is she is still considered more beautiful than most women of color. You have been raised to think that you that if you want something it is your right to go for it. You have been nurtured to believe that it is your Birthright to run the world. You have the privilege of treating races.

20:54 Like it's an academic question. And I said your sense of entitlement extend so deeply that you think you are old and explanation for why I don't want to speak to you and I said who the fuck are you to demand anything from me? How are you better than me more worthy than me more beautiful than me. So just so do me a favor take your white ass and get out. Get out of my office. Get out of my life. I don't I am not your pet to trot out to make your liberal sensibilities feel better and at the door when it's shutting on your ass. I want you to remember that the courage of a thousand white women could not touch the strength and determination of one woman of color, but unlike you I'm not white so we don't expect anyone to give a shit.

21:46 All of the color

21:50 Drained right out of my friend's face. I wasn't screaming at her and I I remember just Courtney just collapsing on the floor and I just started crying and it felt like it felt like this like Rush of emotion that was lifetimes in the making and all I could do was his week for all of the waste of time. I have spent thinking I was less than because I'm an Indian woman and it was as if the world vanished and all that remained was that the two of us were in this empty room outside of time and space.

22:25 And she sat next to me and tears were streaming down her face and sweetly. She says you're right.

22:33 I have been given a lot at your expense. I know that the world may think that it's fair skin is preferable. But for whatever it's worth. I've always wished I had your skin. I've always wished I had your eyes and your hair and you know, she said even those of us who believe that racism is wrong, we still exhibit signs of privilege and it's our responsibility to listen and support you and so that you can curl courageously find your voice and she said I am so so sorry for how you've been treated. Absolutely. She just sat there and she just sleeps with me. Yeah just weathered so much at that point. There was no they're pointed right and she if you can imagine it was sort of like this words were like a large glass window shattering into a hundreds chart. That's what it felt like with her words like to my heart and it was the first time in months that I felt like I was left alone and

23:33 I could breathe and it wasn't her. It wasn't her apology that matter as much as

23:42 The fact that she gave me space to have anger at her for how racism had wreaked havoc on my life and she met my Justified anger and visceral hate with compassion and kindness and she stood with me as I condemned her her family and her history.

24:03 And not because she deserved it. But because she believes that racism is deeply unjust.

24:10 And you don't have to tell you like later on that night. It was another food Oblivion night on the side. Like I ate so much cheese and Chocolate Wafers. Looks like really cheap ones that you find Walgreens, you know, like I and I I looked in the mirror and

24:24 You know to my surprise I recognized it to my face that I hadn't recognized months and it was then I realize that you know racism exists, but it hurts the most when you believe it and racism thrives when we internalize it and it it triumphs when you experience it and choose not to fight for your life and those who are like you and that, you know racist racial bias. I feel like doing absolutely agree with you. I mean racial bias is almost like this. This spell right is kind of an enchantment that has you know, that it that kept me from living and loving and exploring who I truly am absolutely and the greatest Prejudice. I think I've ever experienced was the voice in my head that was screaming out of me all the time saying I'm not good enough as I am and that I needed to bleach my skin and feign interest in things like barbecuing ugly sweater Halo.

25:24 And Desperate House Housewives Of God knows where I honestly I'll tell you like Indians don't think about that stuff at least not Indian do Indians that I want to spend time with and remarkably. It was a white woman's kindness that broke the spell that allowed you to be kind to yourself. And yeah, and you know, she didn't do it. She didn't give me her identity, you know, cuz frankly nobody can do that but her compassion gave me the space to start to reclaim it and it was the first step in my process to recognize that it was anger anger at the Injustice of racism anger at the world to perpetuated these lies and most importantly anger at myself for all of the amount of time. I had wasted in believing it right and you know, I know before we were talking before the Mike started, you know, I wasn't sure if I should tell this story because there are parts of it that I'm not I'm not really so glad she did this like really favorable light on myself and you know, it's possible. I mean your kind but it's possible other people won't

26:24 The fact that I have done things that aren't aren't as woke as they should be and you know, but what I'm sure of is that racism is enslavement of the Mind and Spirit and then I'm here to say unequivocally that I choose to no longer be cornered or marginalized and I refuse to submit to the tyranny of those who believe that I am less than that. There is no negotiating with the with racist none. I'm absolutely sure there is no point in it and that I'm also sure like like I'm sure there is no way to to negotiate with racist. I'm also sure that there will always be softer less dramatic ways of tackling institutional institutionalized by its way, but I got to tell you Courtney that's not me know. What is wrong today was it yesterday and will be tragedy tomorrow and you can choose I believe to work within races or within racism or within prejudiced or you can choose to live your life fighting it and I

27:24 Call you Courtney right now. I chose the fight.

27:28 Beautiful

27:29 Beautiful. I can only say that your awareness and and the time that it took is so Universal has so many other people of color and your choice to live boldly into not make racism a part of your lights and not make it a companion to not make it a standard that you hold yourself against to Everyday is a kind of Liberation. That seems so unseen but it's so tangible one that you said that you were able to see yourself again clearly after so many years and there's people countless and scores of people who have the same experience. So I commend you for making that stuff and choosing yourself and choosing your presence in your life in the space. How wonderful that's really kind of wonderful. You're right. It's really freeing. It can be scary at times cuz it's super inconvenience. I think it's super inconvenient to point out racism and I

28:29 I think it's everybody's job when they see racism or second to call it out right there. You don't wait for a convenient or more or less, you know unpleasant moment you do it right then and it's it's really unpleasant and I think truthfully my culture is not very good at

28:46 There is something in in in Indian culture where it's always just blend just make it work just make it work. And it's I think it comes from the almost 400 years that we were enslaved by the British as we were taught that standing up for ourselves would be met with so much punishment Island that we learn to just deal with it and deal with it and then make it live right and so even now when I've wanted to talk about this topic and you know women's groups or with a bunch of Indian women or whatever because there's so much that we we we limit ourselves, but when we don't talk about unpleasant things I think like we can't see what's possible if we're not willing to look at the stuff that's holding us back and it's interesting to me that most most of the times they don't want to talk about it. I don't I don't know if that's been your experience, but they don't want to talk about it. They absolutely don't want to

29:48 I don't know why I'm laughing about I don't know what else to do, except it's ironic like a bit like, you know, like when you know, it's like it's how I laughed like when Trump's hair moves back and forth to demand so but I just is there is something so bizarre to me when women won't talk about sexism or racism. I just don't I don't understand what that's about like surely the whole point of of doing things is to be in the moment and deal with unpleasant things, right?

30:20 Julie I wanted to ask you a question in the beginning you were talking about this experience that your mom like came in and defended you and later you're talking about you defending yourself. Can you kind of put those two versions of yourself next to each other and explain like who you are now? Yeah, that's really that's really great question Leo. I don't what's changed obviously like quite a bit of time. But you know when I was younger I waited for other people to defend me. I didn't feel like I was in a position to really

31:05 I know I'm thinking of myself and I was in the seventh grade. She's really sweet. But so much of your identity lies outside of yourself wait to be affirmed and you look for those markers and you wait for people to point at you and say it like that's the representation. That's the thing like you exist as an example of as opposed to like finally getting to a place where you are from yourself from the start and you don't wait for validation. Yeah, cuz you don't know a lot of ways I do so you might have my reaction to being spat on very very it's very similar to how my mom react but you reacted right then with me it took a long time to get to that point. But I think it's it's one of those things where it's sort of like when you're a child and you wait for people to make things, right? And then you realize as an adult that no one's coming to save you. So it's time to do it for yourself and it was a really dark time truthfully when I when I start

32:05 For myself or when ice when I yelled at my friend, but she doesn't feel like I was standing up for myself, but that's what I was doing. I didn't feel that I had anything to lose I felt so alone and so lost. Where's when I was a kid. I felt like I had my mom and we were are we are going to be okay cuz we were you know, we were kids and we didn't really think too much about it. But then when I was an adult and I have a mortgage and I see the world passing me by and I can't figure out what's holding me back and then I

32:42 I see I see my friend and she's asking something of me and she is seemingly everything that the world wants and I'm none of the things that the world wants and I just don't give a shit anymore. I just don't give a shit. I don't care if I don't care if she didn't like me I didn't care if she didn't talk to me again. I didn't have anything to lose because I didn't feel like I had anything and then by standing up for myself and I think having the space because of her compassion.

33:12 I think I was able to give myself finally that my mom gave me just as a mom. You know, she said no one's going to push around my daughter. And so I guess I guess I was saying no, I'm just going to push around me became your own Advocate. I think that's the blessing that we had mentioned earlier where your mom really demonstrated to you kind of advocacy for oneself and one's being and one's presence in the world and like you said like those lessons take a while. He takes his stick and to practice and when you do you coming to a whole new set of being in a whole new way of being yeah, and it matters to have that kind of muscle but it's as hell it's awful like any muscle is an absolute Nightmare and I remember. I remember I remember I couldn't talk to anybody. I couldn't hear anyone's voice which was a disaster cuz I was trying to run a business and I and your I'm listening to people talk and all I can

34:12 And that the but the dialogue in my head was so unkind and it wasn't their fault. Yeah, I had no patience for anybody and I have no patience when I was driving it. I didn't want to hear from anybody. Now my poor assistant remember she would be like to one take this call and I will give her this look and she would know that you need to deal with this and that was basically her her her her job for a couple of months and then it broke and then I could finally appreciate my humanity and so I could appreciate other people but I think when you're when you feel like you don't have anything

34:48 When you feel like you're Your Existence is barely tolerated.

34:55 Listening to anyone

34:57 Who is loved is is Onyx it's it's it's it's it's just so cutting. Yeah, it's so cutting to listen to you know, when you see like this like white kid like so well looked after and just so nurtured and taught to think that the whole world is for them in my field is filled with white men. So I left and right all I was seeing where these well nurture man and these, you know men who were so we're so at ease because they didn't have this is a terrible internal fight so they can be happy. They could make jokes you can make jokes on you and middle of a pain on the side of the world world's leading and then someone says make a joke and be happy and so like I would be angry and presentations. I was angry and every I think we all like a lot of big part of maturing as a person of color is like coping with anger related to a world like you said that doesn't value you.

35:57 And that's like you said like the spell in the cars in this kind of like Insidious poison of racism where you just grapple all the time and you're just always feeling obviously not welcome in the world. But then you start feeling unwelcome in yourself and your emotions and then you feel so trapped and you're seeing everyone else kind of thriving you're just like it's because it's for you already in like there's nothing here for me and then ran as a woman, I think we're taught to also believe that anger is very unfeminine. And so I was also so it's always so I can you know, I was always maybe a more forthright child, but I was I didn't want to be that Angry Kid and I definitely want to be that angry woman, you know when I said, I didn't want to hear that. I didn't want to be a coloring outside the lines with my with my conversation every goddamn day and so but it turns out I'm so grateful for anger. He has to work it out.

36:57 Very productive as much as it can be exactly it is without a doubt. I think one of the best tools anyone ever going to have in their tool kit because it's the it's the sledgehammer because without the sledgehammer, you're not going to get out of the prison like the time it's going to take to find a key or to try to Chisel your way with Super Save the spoon and that's not going to happen. You need sinus biting off somebody's head because someone told me to be kind during that angry. That poor lady. I should probably send her some flowers, but like but I call my God so but yeah, I think you need a sledgehammer to like break the walls get out and then

37:39 And then whatever happens after that, it doesn't matter cuz at least you can breathe. You know, you get your breath back. Yeah, you get your you get a chance to actually value your brown right because you're alive right? That's so that's one of the big greatest signs are most obvious Signs of Life is breath in and if your stifled if your captive if you're trapped, it's it's it it feel it felt like being alive felt like a curse and

38:06 It wasn't it wasn't having an anger was what got me there.

38:11 So yeah, go anger.

38:17 Like I said earlier Julie, I just commend you on yes coming into your own choosing yourself choosing a new way of being a new perception and I'm happy that you were able to use angry, but I'm happy even more happy that you don't have to live with it anymore. You don't have to live through it anymore. But I think this amazing place to be you're right. I think it's like it's it's when you walk outside and you you breathe the air and it feels good. It actually it feels good. And I think racism unfortunately is here to stay but you know what you don't have to let a then yeah and you can also find it yet and every day that I think a person of color or anyone chooses to live in a state of kindness in spite of racism is is the sledgehammer now, you know,

39:14 Julie thank you. Thank you.