All Episodes

February 24, 2024 155 mins

All of this week's episodes of It Could Happen Here put together in one large file.

You can now listen to all Cool Zone Media shows, 100% ad-free through the Cooler Zone Media subscription, available exclusively on Apple Podcasts. So, open your Apple Podcasts app, search for “Cooler Zone Media” and subscribe today!

http://apple.co/coolerzone 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mark as Played
Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
Al Zone Media.

Speaker 2 (00:03):
Hey everybody, Robert Evans here and I wanted to let
you know this is a compilation episode. So every episode
of the week that just happened is here in one
convenient and with somewhat less ads package for you to
listen to in a long stretch if you want. If
you've been listening to the episodes every day this week,
there's going to be nothing new here for you, but
you can make your own decisions.

Speaker 3 (00:26):
Welcome to Dick It Up and Here, a podcast about
things falling apart and putting it back together again. I'm
Mia Wong, I'm with Garrison and it is my singular
honor and pleasure to introduce our guest, doctor Julia Serrano.
She is the author of many books, excluded Making Feminist
and queer movements more Inclusive, Sex Stop, How Society Sexualizes us,

(00:48):
and how we can fight back Outspoken, a Decade of
transgender activism and Transfeminism, and most famously Whipping Girl, a
new edition of which is coming out in March. Doctor Serrano,
welcome to the show.

Speaker 1 (01:00):
Hi, thanks for having me.

Speaker 3 (01:02):
Yeah, I'm really really I'm really happy you can join us. So, okay,
Whipping Girl, I think is really one of quietly the
most influential books of the twenty first century, to the
extent that in kind of classic trans woman fashion, I
don't think. I don't think people realize that the ideas
that it introduced have an origin. So for people who

(01:25):
haven't read the book, and you should, this book is great.
I guarantee you have seen its influence. If you've ever
heard someone like who's not trans referred to as sis, like,
that's that's from this book. The concept of misgendering is
also from this book. The word trans misogyny like also
from this book. And this I think gets at something

(01:48):
from the twenty fifteen second edition preface that you wrote,
which is something I've been wondering about, is what is
it like to sort of experience writing a book and
have it just ripple across society like this.

Speaker 1 (02:03):
Yeah, it's uh.

Speaker 4 (02:05):
I was very much hoping and you know, as I
was writing it, I was hoping that I thought that
it would resonate with a lot of trans female and
trans feminine people and I hope trans communities more generally,
and the book this is something that a lot of
times people who pick up the book now, in like
the twenty twenties don't necessarily realize is that nobody was

(02:25):
reading anything about trans people outside of feminists and LGBTQ
plus communities, and so I was basically just speaking to
those groups, and I thought it would resonate with some people.
But yeah, definitely, it kind of went out into the
world and did a bunch of stuff that I wasn't
necessarily expecting. And I'm very glad that the book has

(02:48):
kind of touched a lot of people's lives and changed,
you know.

Speaker 1 (02:53):
Kind of societal.

Speaker 4 (02:55):
Understanding and quote unquote discourses about trans people.

Speaker 5 (02:58):
So yeah, it it must be kind of bizarre, like
being twenty years ago writing about you know, caniche term
like cis and now the richest man in the world
thinks it's like the most evil word.

Speaker 4 (03:15):
Yeah, it's quite bizarre, and I do want to definitely
kind of clear this up, but I kind of make
this clear in the preface. So I didn't invet like
sis versus trans like a that's like a prefix that
has existed a long time. Yeah, and uh, I've since
seen other people like point out, oh, this person was
using it in nineteen ninety something, or some German writer

(03:39):
like coined cis vestism or something like back a million
years ago. So what I will say is that when
I when I put out the book, I was inspired
by Emi.

Speaker 1 (03:47):
Koyama, who was and is an awesome.

Speaker 4 (03:50):
Activist intersex activists, who who's written a lot of really
influential trans related essays over the years. And it was
from her blog that was the first time I saw
SIS and trans and the idea of SIS sexism.

Speaker 1 (04:05):
And at the time, it was while I was.

Speaker 4 (04:07):
Writing the book, and it really I was like, oh
my god, this is kind of the overall idea. I
was talking about all these different facets of basically double
standards between trans and non trans people, and so I
kind of grabbed on to it, and I was really
worried about it actually because nobody, almost nobody was using
those terms. It was very niche at the time, and

(04:27):
so the book popularized that language. And so now it
is kind of funny every once in a while seeing
yes overreactions by SIS people to the idea of SIS
being a slur or whatever. So yeah, and so yeah,
so that's definitely something that is kind of is the
one thing I one thing I did coin in the

(04:49):
book that has kind of also taken a life on
its own is trans misogyny.

Speaker 1 (04:54):
So that is something that kind of originated with.

Speaker 4 (04:57):
This book and particularly a chap book that I wrote
in two thousand and five that some of.

Speaker 1 (05:02):
Those essays became chapters of the book.

Speaker 4 (05:05):
And yeah, and so there are other ideas that kind
of are out there, Like I think it was one
of the first I think it was the first book
to talk about like the idea of sis privilege. Misgendering
as an idea was out there, but I kind of
dove into it a little bit deeper. So yeah, so
there are definitely things I was doing at the time
that I didn't know whether they'd be to abstract or

(05:27):
how they'd be taken up.

Speaker 1 (05:28):
And so, yes, it's been very interesting.

Speaker 3 (05:31):
Yeah, I wanted to talk about misgendering a bit because
I think it's become this word that just means not
saying someone's pronouns correctly. And I think that's at the
very best, like an incredibly reductionist and of simplified version
of the analysis that you were presenting. So I guess
I have two questions here. One, can you briefly sort

(05:51):
of talk about what you were trying to get at
when you sort of did your analysis of the process
of gendering, And two, what do you think about the
way that it's kind of become flattened into this I
don't know, kind of weirdly narrow thing in modern discourse.

Speaker 4 (06:09):
Sure, and a lot of the misgendering definitely dovetails with
the idea of passing, and a lot of my kind
of diving into it in a particular way came from
critiques that I had and other trans people had as well,
but I kind of, you know, put them together in
a particularly in the Dismantling I think it's dismantling sexual

(06:30):
Privileged chapter where I kind of go through all these
steps that lead to miss gendering, because I think people
talk about trans people passing and also the people will
talk about other marginalized groups passing is whatever dominant majority group.
The term obviously had long been used with regards to
people of color passing as white and in kind of

(06:53):
white racist you know, us and other societies. So it's
an old term, and a big problem with it is
that it makes it sound like we're doing something active,
that trans people are actively trying to deceive other people.

Speaker 1 (07:06):
With huge scare quotes around the word deceive.

Speaker 4 (07:10):
And I really wanted to highlight to people that actually
all of us very unconsciously and very compulsively gender every
single person we meet, or at least that's how we're
socialized to be. And you know, you can work towards
getting you know, overcoming that, but I wanted to really

(07:31):
highlight the fact that we see people, we automatically gender them,
and that puts people who do not quite who your
presumptions are wrong about. It puts us in difficult situations.
It's a double bind where do you reveal what you
supposedly really are or do you just allow people to

(07:51):
read you that way? And it works out very differently,
for instance, between trans and say CIS gay people, because
when CIS gay people talk about passing as straight. Their
passing is something that they know that they are not,
Whereas for a lot of trans people, people read me
as a woman and I understand myself to be a woman.

(08:12):
There's it's a very different dynamic because it's not like
I'm not hiding anything, but people are presuming what I'm
really passing as is I'm passing a CIS gender and
people are assuming I'm sis gender when the trans is
the thing that I might need to or feel like
I need to clear up, or other people might put

(08:32):
pressure on me to either tell them that I'm trans
or be accused of deceiving them. So that's a little
bit of kind of how I was approaching it when
I started working on that idea and really stressing the
idea of you can't understand miss gendering unless you understand
that we make assumptions all the time, we gender people

(08:55):
very actively, and you know, so trans people are often
just reacting to that and dealing with that double bind.

Speaker 3 (09:05):
Yeah, and this is something that I think is interestingly
discussed in the book about like kind of this this
issue with some with some of the sort of prevailing
gender theories, which thought of which to think about sort
of like femininity and gender is pure performance. But you know,
and this is I think, like the argument that you

(09:26):
were making that I think is really interesting is that
something that I think is is very obvious to trans
people is that so much of gender is how people
perceive you and how you know and stuff that like
you don't have any control over. It's how people sort
of gender you. It's how people like construct a gender
around you in ways that you don't really have control over.

Speaker 4 (09:48):
M yeah, and that was a big thing. So in
kind of I was writing the book in the mid
two thousands, and so the nineteen ninety is when Judith
Butler publishes Gender Trouble, which Butler never said all genders
performance are all genders drag, Yeah, but that is, but

(10:10):
that those are like slogans or sound bites that other
people took from their book, right, and they were very
popular at the time. There's also there's a famous sociological
article about doing gender, and so people were very focused
on the way in which we create gender by doing

(10:31):
it particular ways, and a lot of the slogans within
trans communities were sort of like, oh, well, you know,
I just have to do my gender differently, like more transgressively,
and that will like tear down all of gender. And
I felt that there was you know, that is an
aspect of things. And most of us, whether trans or cists,

(10:52):
most of us have had the experience of maybe trying
to perform our genders in a particular way in order
to like, you know, not you know, in order in
order to get by in the world, in order to
not be harassed by other people.

Speaker 1 (11:09):
So we've all had that experience. So while that's true, there's.

Speaker 4 (11:13):
The other partner of that dance, and that's perception, and
we're all perceiving people very actively, and we're like projecting
our ideas and meanings onto them. And I felt like
that was being under discussed at the time, and that
was not only a huge part of Whipping Girl, but
that's become a part of a lot of my other books,

(11:34):
like including my most recent book, sext Up, How Society
Sexualizes us and how we can fight back. One way
that I would describe that book is it's talking about
sex and sexuality not from what people do, but from
how we perceive and interpret sex and sexuality, because there
are a lot of unconscious ideas, often really horrible ideas,

(11:58):
really hierarchical ideas that are kind of built into the
way we view the world. And interrogating that and so yeah,
that was a very big part of both of The
Been Girl and then my writings since then.

Speaker 3 (12:11):
Yeah, I think I think that is something where things
have gotten better in terms of in terms of how
we think about gender, which I don't know, like things
aren't perfect, but it definitely it definitely improved things.

Speaker 1 (12:23):
A lot agreed We're going.

Speaker 3 (12:26):
To take an ad break, and when we come back,
we're talking trans misogyny. We're back. Yeah. So the other
thing I wanted to sort of talk about was I think,

(12:47):
in like exactly the opposite process that happened to misgendering,
trans misogyny has become a lot more expansive than your
original sort of kind of narrow conception of it. And
I think this has been changing a lot, especially in
the last about half decade or so. So I was

(13:07):
wondering what you think about the way that this concept
has kind of taken on a life of its own
in recent years and what it's been doing since.

Speaker 1 (13:16):
Yeah.

Speaker 4 (13:16):
So I feel like trans misogyny that there are a
lot of different dialogues and discourses about it coming, like
people coming from different perspectives with it, and some people
feeling like the world is doing things that I never
suggested it was doing. It's kind of hard to know

(13:37):
like where to actually come in on this, But for me,
when I was first writing about it, I was first
just noticing that a lot of the quote unquote transphobia
that I was facing when people know as a trans
woman was actually a lot of it was just misogyny,
and a lot of it targeted like kind of my
femininity rather than my transness, and so I wanted to

(14:03):
write about that, and kind of the way that I
framed it in the book was, which I think is
a really useful kind of model for thinking about it,
is that there most of the types of sexism that
feminists have described over the many years fall into two
sort of camps, one of them being oppositional sexism, which

(14:24):
is the idea that men and women are kind of
perfectly opposite, mutually exclusive sexes that have different interests and
attributes and desires, and so a lot of transphobia and
homophobia are kind of like built into this idea that
men and women are completely distinct. And then the other
one is traditional sexism, which is the idea that femalists

(14:46):
and femininity are less legitimate than malness and masculinity. And
a lot of cis feminists have kind of viewed all
of that as just sexism, right, But when you break
it down like that, it makes it clear that the
double bind that a lot of feminists have talked about
is actually kind of these two different forms of sexism.

(15:08):
So if assis woman acts appropriately femininely so appropriate with
scare quotes. If a SIS woman acts femininely, she'll be
seen as appropriate, but she'll be dismissed because femininity is
dismissed in our culture. So that's the way that she'll
be delegitimized. Whereas if she acts in ways that are

(15:29):
coded as masculine, if she acts assertive or aggressive, then
people will malign her for being kind of a barrant
or deviant. Right, and so oppositional sexism helps keep traditional
sexism in place because you can say that maln is
and masculinity are superior, but that only works if you

(15:49):
can also make a clear distinction between you know, those
people and people are female and feminine. And so I
think this plays out differently. And I want to be
really clear about this because some people have interpreted trans
misogyny to mean that transmeild trans masculine people don't experience misogyny,
which is something I've never said, and obviously the fact

(16:11):
that oppositional sexism is a form of sexism, and obviously
transmeild transmasculine people experience that. But also depending upon how
you're viewed by other people, I feel like the same
double pind that affects this woman affects transmeild trans masculine
people differently, where there's this tendency, like in a lot

(16:32):
of anti trans discourses to dismiss transmasculine, especially transmasculine youth
as being merely girls quote unquote who are like, you know,
misled or seduced by gender ideology, right, And there's a
lot of real anti feminine and anti misogynistic ideas in

(16:53):
there in addition to the fact that it misgenders.

Speaker 1 (16:57):
Transmeld transmasculine people.

Speaker 4 (17:00):
Then if trans mail trans masculine people, when when they
experience transphobia, there's often you know, like they're scene as
deviant for kind of breaking that role, but often the
maleness or their masculinity themselves are not, you know, denigrated

(17:21):
in the same way because being male, being masculine are
seen as good in our culture. It's just that if
you trans male, trans masculine, it's like, well, you're quote
unquote just a woman, so you can't do it. So
I think it plays out in this very you know,
complex way for a lot of trans mail trans masculine people,
I think for trans female and transfeminine people, because our

(17:45):
crossing of oppositional sexism also involves us kind of moving
towards the female, towards the feminine, that there's kind of
those two forces intersect in a way so that it's
like exacerbated. And some of the ways I talk about
this in Women Girl is that, well, we live in
a world where masculinity is seen as natural and femininity

(18:06):
is seen as artificial, and since trans people are also
seen as artificial compared to sis gender people, a lot
of times we're viewed as doubly artificial. Furthermore, the idea
that women are seen as sex objects whereas men aren't
seen as sex objects often are transitions or gender transgressions

(18:27):
towards a female towards a feminine are presumed to be
driven by sexual motives that can play out in all
sorts of ways. Whether this is the idea that we're
like hypersexual or promiscuous, or that we want to be
sexualized by other people, or you can see it a
lot with the kind of the transgender predator is often
coded as like a man who either has some kind

(18:51):
of fetish or perversion or is just literally deceiving people
to get into women's restrooms to do something horrific. So
those are some of the ways that it plays out.
I feel that sometimes people view it in a cut
or dried way that either they'll assume that trans misogyny
means that trans montal, trans masculine people don't experience misogyny,

(19:14):
which again is not what that's about. Or sometimes people
will like try to make really clear distinctions. There's kind
of language like trans misogyny affected versus trans misogyny exempt.

Speaker 1 (19:28):
Are the terms yeah.

Speaker 4 (19:30):
TME and TMA, which are not terms I've used and
which or that I didn't coin them.

Speaker 1 (19:36):
They're not in the book.

Speaker 4 (19:38):
And I think that when I first saw that language,
and I've seen people use it in a way that
appreciates the fact that some people are non binary, so
it's a non identity based a way.

Speaker 1 (19:49):
Sometimes this can play out in a really cut or
dried sort of manner that.

Speaker 4 (19:56):
You know, sometimes you know, whether it's intended this way
or not, it can make it seem that, like, you know,
just boiling down a really complex experience, people's complex experiences
with different types of sexism into some people are privileged
and some people are marginalized, which I think is a
more general problem that happens kind of throughout all social

(20:21):
justice movements, so yeah.

Speaker 5 (20:23):
And trans people are not alien to having complex experiences
be boiled down to three and four letter acronyms, so.

Speaker 1 (20:33):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (20:34):
I mean I.

Speaker 4 (20:36):
Did this in Twitter form, so it was like a thread,
so like now people can't access threads unless you.

Speaker 1 (20:44):
Have an account with Twitter. And it's from a couple
of years ago.

Speaker 4 (20:48):
But one of the things that I talked about was
I wrote this essay about ten years ago about how
CIS and trans is kind of a useful Those are
useful terms, but sometimes people fall in between CIS and trans,
and sometimes they can be used in a way to
talk about different double standards, like CIS people are treated
one way, trans people are treated another.

Speaker 1 (21:09):
But sometimes it can be used in.

Speaker 4 (21:10):
Like a sort of reverse discourse way where it's like,
you know, SIS people of all the privilege, trans people
of none of the privilege, and it can be used
to kind of create this strict dichotomy that ends up
excluding and invisibilizing some people's experiences. And I feel the
same thing as happening with TMME and TMA. So I
don't think that those terms need to necessarily be like,

(21:34):
I don't think there's anything bad about those terms per
se in and of themselves, but I think sometimes they
can be used in ways. And part of why I
reference this the SYS and trans essay that I wrote
many years ago. It appears in my book Outspoken. I
forget the complete title right now, which is but the

(21:56):
reason why I bring that up is so sometimes what
happens is that when people learn about SIS sexism, SIS
people might be like, oh, I face the sexism right.
If I'm a woman and I don't shave my legs,
I'm facing se sexism. And so then trans people say, yeah,
but it kind of plays out differently for us, And

(22:17):
so sometimes in order to stop people from kind of
making those claims, which I think it is true that
you know, a woman not shaving their legs, or if
a man decides to put on a dress one day,
regardless of whether they're SIS or trans, they could experience
sis sexism or transphobia, but it plays out differently for

(22:37):
people who are actually members of that marginalized group. And then
so then the marginalized group makes a distinction even sharper,
and it just kind of becomes this uh, escalating situation
where the language and kind of battles over it become
even more intense in a recent piece, one of the
most recent pieces, if you go to like my medium

(22:58):
site where my essays as we are now is, it
talks about the trans mass versus trans discourse in terms
of what I call the cultural feminist doom loop, where
the doom loop refers to kind of these ideas where
everyone like both sides are trying to talk about the

(23:19):
reason why their experiences are legitimate, and then that seems
as though the other sides are not legitimate, and then
that kind of cascades in a way that ends up
not being very productive but takes up.

Speaker 1 (23:32):
A lot of energy on places like Twitter.

Speaker 3 (23:37):
Yeah, and I think I think that's something we've still
seen about one trillion times, variety of toxic ways. But
what isn't toxic is the new third edition of Whipping
Girl coming out in March with you can ask your
local bookstore or pre order now. And Yeah join us
tomorrow for our discussion with doctor Serrano of the Anatomy.

Speaker 1 (23:58):
Of Moral Panics.

Speaker 3 (23:59):
This has been a could happen here. Trans people are great,
welcome to it could happen here. I'm your host, Mia Long.

(24:19):
I am happy to be here once again with Garrison
Davis and doctor Julius Serrano, the author of, among many
other works, a new edition of Whipping Girl coming out
in March, so kind of pivoting a bit. One of
the really bleak aspects of being trans in a hostile
world is that we've we've effectively been forced to become

(24:41):
experts in the architects of our own extermination. And I
think that's a lot of what kind of the new
afterward to the upcoming twenty twenty four to thirty edition
of Whipping Girl is about. So, I guess I wanted
to ask, what do you see as the biggest shifts
in sort of the struggle for transliberation beat between the
end of the sort of Mitchfest like fighting overrom Mitchfest

(25:04):
era that you wrote like Dream, which you sort of
wrote the second the forward, the preface of the second edition,
and then the stuff that's happening now is the sort
of third edition is coming out.

Speaker 4 (25:16):
Sure, I think a huge aspect of transactivism from my
perspective of like first coming to trans communities in the nineties,
a lot of nineties and Zero's era transactivism was overcoming
basically people's ignorance, their lack of awareness about trans people

(25:37):
and so and this is one of the things that
you know, Whipping Girl, for example, there are a lot
of bad ideas about trans people that had been circling,
lating for a long time, especially with the culmination of
Janis Raymond's book The Transsexual Empire the late nineteen seventies
nineteen seventy nine, I think, and that influenced a lot

(25:58):
of people that say, places like Mishfest that had trans
women exclusion policies. And I felt like during the nineties
through the Zeros, we were constantly making gains that was
largely due to people learning more about us and then
recognizing basically shared goals, shared things in common. I think
that trans people are marginalized because of you know, mainstream

(26:22):
assumptions about sex, gender sexuality, and those assumptions also hurt
LGBTQIA plus people more broadly, they hurt you know, in
a sexist world, they hurt you know, cis women, you know,
all women, all people who move through the world perceived
as female feminine.

Speaker 1 (26:39):
So we all have this kind of shared thing that
we're working.

Speaker 4 (26:42):
Towards, and I feel like that was where a lot
of the progress was happening. And I think what really
changed in the mid two thousand tens, especially two year
twenty fifteen, which is literally the year after the so
called tipping point time age declaring the transgender dipping point

(27:02):
was when it was the beginning of what I would
describe as organized anti transactivism, where it wasn't just that
people didn't like us or they detested us, but it
was where there was actual coordination between different groups. In
the afterward, I describe there's the social conservatives and far

(27:26):
right who have always been anti LGBTQ plus who took
an even more intense focus on trans people.

Speaker 1 (27:37):
There were groups that at.

Speaker 4 (27:40):
The time that I wrote Whipping Girl, the term turf
wasn't around, of the term gender critical wasn't around. Now
we would call them gender critical or trans exclusionary feminists.
They've become kind of a part of that, and both
those groups working together.

Speaker 1 (27:54):
In a lot of ways on policies.

Speaker 4 (27:56):
I think one of the things that the average person
might not know, if you're not like really in kind
of highly aware of trans communities and issues, is that
probably behind the scenes, the anti transparent movement has probably
made more of an impact than any other group, and
they are very much like the anti vax parent movement,

(28:20):
where it's a lot of people who are from their standpoint,
they're just concerned about their children, they want what's best
for their children, but they actively seek out and often
get involved in you know, websites, social media forums and
sometimes actual activist campaigns that buy into a lot of

(28:42):
ideas that of children being indoctrinated into gender ideology or
being infected by social contagion. And there's all this pseudoscience
that rose out of that. So I would say that
that was the main difference, that there's this organized campaign,
and this campaign has just grown and grown and grown
to the point now where it's just this astoundingly large

(29:07):
moral panic that the types of things that like thirty
percent of people in our country believe about trans people
is abhorrent.

Speaker 1 (29:16):
But that's kind of how it played out.

Speaker 3 (29:19):
Yeah, I mean, there's there's been a lot of a
lot of very common, weird pseudoscience myths that sort of
came out of that. I wanted to talk a little
bit about quote unquote rapid onset gender dysphoria because that's
been all over the place. Me There's like a New
York Times article talking about it, like two weeks ago,

(29:41):
and it's I don't know, really been a fiasco, especially
given how unbelievably tenuous the stuff they sort of faked
or not as say fake, like unbelievably tenuous to like
quote unquote study they did that got retracted.

Speaker 4 (29:57):
Was Yeah, and this is something that I actually saw
developing firsthand and then did research on in twenty nineteen.

Speaker 1 (30:07):
So let me frame this.

Speaker 4 (30:09):
I'll tell like my personal a short version of my
oral history of this.

Speaker 1 (30:14):
So it was around.

Speaker 4 (30:16):
Twenty seventeen that I first heard the idea of children,
you know, becoming trans because of social contagion. And it
just seemed to come out of the blue. And it's like, what,
you know, it's gender identity is not contagious. If it was, like,
you know, trans people would have infected way more than
like the less than one percent of us that actually exists.

Speaker 5 (30:39):
Not a very effective contagious go yees rising like no,
like yes, yeah, exactly.

Speaker 4 (30:49):
It's like, once you start looking at it, it seems
kind of ridiculous. A lot of it was because well,
you know, you know, my kid was hanging around a
transpersoner started watching videos on YouTube, and now they're trans.

Speaker 1 (31:02):
It's like, yeah, well, maybe they.

Speaker 4 (31:04):
Were hanging out with that trans friend and watching the
YouTube videos because they are trans and they just hadn't
come out yet, or they're just they're still figuring.

Speaker 1 (31:13):
It out anyway. So in twenty eighteen.

Speaker 4 (31:16):
Is when the Lisa Littmann paper on rapid on set
gender dysphoria came out, and I wrote this essay at
the time talking about all the things wrong with it.
And then in twenty nineteen, I'm like, where did these
ideas come from? And I should say that rap it
onset gender dysphoria is basically transgender social contagion wrapped up
in a medical sounding diagnosis.

Speaker 1 (31:36):
Okay, so if you read.

Speaker 4 (31:38):
The initial descriptions of transgender social contagion and the description
of rapid onset gender dysphoria, they're basically the same. It's
that kids are infecting one another. But the idea of
rap it on set gender dysphoria was meant to describe
this quick infection of transness that supposedly was happening, and

(31:59):
sowenty nineteen, I basically did a deep dive. I'm not
an investigative reporter, but that's kind of what I did
into like, where the origin of this was, And basically
all of this kind of came down to the website
Fourth Wave Now, which often worked in coordination with two
other anti transparent websites. So Fourth Wave Now is an

(32:19):
anti transparent website, arguably the very first one that came out,
and a parent posted the idea that her child was
like being infected by transgender social contagion, and it's almost
definitely clear. Now I will leave a little caveat even
though I think the evidence is pretty strong that that

(32:41):
was Lisa Marciano, who's anti trans therapist, who's very very
involved in anti transactivism right now, Okay, so and like
all everything points to that being her, and she also
seems to have in some capacity worked with Lisa Littman.
So basically the first paper about rapet on sitt gender

(33:03):
distory that came out was not Lisa Littman's, it was
actually Lisa Marchiano's, which came out twenty seventeen. So it
basically kind of grew from these anti transparent websites it
really quickly within six months. Not only was Lisa Littman
doing her survey, Lisa Littman being someone who has no
experience in trans health ever before then just decides to

(33:23):
go in and only survey parents from an ant from
three anti transparent websites, and it gets taken very seriously
just because the media fan the flames. A lot of
these groups were very excited to have something that seemed
to be a case study on their side. The paper
was heavily critiqued when it came out. There are now

(33:47):
and I described this in an all nine SI have
it's free if you google my name, and all the
evidence against social contagion it's in there. There are now
ten papers that have tested the idea of rap it
on at gender dysphoria and or social contagion and found
evidence that contradicts the hypothesis.

Speaker 1 (34:08):
So it's still being.

Speaker 4 (34:09):
Talked about that Pamela Paul. It was an alped that
looked like an article in the New York Times. It's
not the first time Pamela Paul and or the New
York Times has done this. They've seemed to have a
particular acts to grind against trans people and putting out
specious articles suggesting that gender firming care, especially for trans youth,

(34:34):
is bad, when actually all the evidence points to the opposite.
So yeah, that's a brief discussion of rapid ons at genders,
for which I think is the most popular of these
kind of pseudoscientific ideas, But there are definitely others that
are like about like four or five others that I

(34:55):
could get into, and I do get into in the
Afterword and in some of my other writings.

Speaker 1 (34:59):
But yeah, and.

Speaker 4 (35:02):
You know, I don't use the word pseudoscientific lightly. Basically,
there's like science, which is where different research groups try
to answer a particular question and if they all get
similar answers, then that becomes okay, well, that seems to
be established. Now let's work from there and ask more
questions and do more studies. Junk science is when you

(35:26):
do kind of a crappy study that doesn't really interrogate
all the possibilities, that either doesn't use controls or you know,
only looks at you know, a bias sampling size or
a bias sample or small sample sizes, and comes to
a conclusion that.

Speaker 1 (35:45):
It wants to come to. That's junk science.

Speaker 4 (35:47):
And then pseudoscience is when multiple independent groups all find
something different to what you're saying, but you keep touting
the thing you're saying is science. And that's definitely where
our gd is right now. Same thing with one of
these ideas that I talked about way back early and
Whipping Girl, and I've written other, you know, both academic
papers and online essays about this concept of autoginophilia, which

(36:11):
is this really old theory that just like it's kind
of like this zombie. It doesn't matter how many groups
find evidence to the contrary. It jibes with what basically
certain you know, gender disaffirming practitioners, practitioners and researchers and
anti transactivists. It jobs with what they want to say,

(36:33):
so it just kind of continues to be out there.

Speaker 3 (36:37):
So yeah, yeah, I mean something that Garrison we were
talking about before, this is the extent to which the
extent to which the rapid Onset Gender is for you
study is almost exactly the same study as the first
anti vax study like it has it has almost exactly
the same It's the same thing where you find a
group of people who think their kid has autism because
they were got vaccinated, or you find a group of

(36:57):
people who think their kids are trans because social contagion
or something, and then you asked them about it, and
then you report the results of the study and it's like, well,
now and you report the results of you asking the
people the thing that they believe, and now it's a study,
and it's it's I don't know, it drives me insane
the extent to which he is literally exactly the same thing.

Speaker 1 (37:19):
Yeah, I mean that was something.

Speaker 4 (37:21):
So I didn't know this until h Bomber guy, who's
Auber who does really good investigations and video essays, and
I saw his autism and so this is something that
you know. I remember, I'm old enough to remember the
Wakefield paper being in the news, and then you've heard
lots of people debunking it, and then it's officially retracted
and basically all you know, the scientific field has settled

(37:45):
that it's like vaccines do not cause autism. A lot
of that is just like a coincidence of the time
that you first start noticing that children maybe autistic is
like right around the time after they've had vaccinations. But
but yeah, it wasn't the h Balmber guy video that
he talks about that the Wakefield study is a study

(38:05):
of parents, not the children, a study of the parents,
and the parents already had were already suspicious of the vaccines,
and so they said Oh, well, it happened right after
they had these vaccines, just like rapido ont sat genders
for it happens. Oh, it happened right after. You know,
one of my child's peer, their cheer peers came out

(38:26):
as trans.

Speaker 1 (38:27):
It's like, yeah, maybe they're connected. Maybe that's why they're
good friends.

Speaker 4 (38:30):
You know, most of my friends, you know, like when
I go out and stuff like that, you know, a
huge chunk of my friends, way higher than the average person,
are trans people. And it's not because any of us
infected each other. It's just that you have that thing
in common. You also, really importantly, when you're part of
a stigmatized group, being around other people who won't stigmatize

(38:51):
you often because they're part of that same group, that
can be really freeing and really supportive.

Speaker 3 (38:57):
So yeah, yeah, Sy, we need to take another AD break,
but when we come back there will be more. I
don't know. I'm really kind of blowing the AD pivots
on this one. I'm very sorry, and we are back,

(39:24):
so I guess speaking of moral panics.

Speaker 5 (39:27):
Speaking of social contagions.

Speaker 4 (39:32):
Yes, moral panics are always very socially contagious.

Speaker 3 (39:36):
Yeah, it's really truly, really truly, they have described their
own ideology and they've projected it out to everyone else.
H So, one of the things that you talk about
both in the Afterword and in sext Up is about
the relationship between stigma and contagion and how it's this powerful,
incredibly powerful force for moobilizing moral panics. Can you explain

(39:59):
sort of how that works?

Speaker 5 (40:01):
Sure?

Speaker 4 (40:02):
Yeah, so, And this was something that when I was
first working on sex Up, it wasn't kind of my idea.
I didn't think I was going to write about the
concept of stigma that much, but it really ended up
being very central the more kind.

Speaker 1 (40:14):
Of research I did into it.

Speaker 4 (40:16):
And so I think most of us are familiar with
the idea of stigma in terms of like feeling embarrassment
or being made to feel lesser than other people because
of some aspect of your person, right, And there is
that aspect of it that's often called like felt stigma.
But then there's the way that other people view stigma, right,

(40:39):
And so you know, people weren't necessarily stigmatized in that
way themselves, they might view people who are stigmatized in
particular ways. And one aspect of stigma that I learned
a lot of this from psychologists. I think it's Paul Rosen,
I know the last name is Rosin, and also Carol Nemerov,

(41:04):
and they both worked together and they had other colleagues
who worked on this. But a lot of this comes
from this really unconscious idea of contagion that seems to
be it's like pan cultural. It's just kind of a
way that people tend to view the world kind of
like a lot of people and a lot of cultures
have essentialist views. Contagion is sort of along those lines.

(41:25):
It's often described as a type of magical thinking. And
the idea is if something in your mind has this contagion,
if you get too close to it or you interact
with it, it can like permanently corrupt or taint you.
And so it has this kind of contagious like property

(41:45):
in people's minds, and so people often view groups who
are stigmatized, especially groups that are highly stigmatized, as essentially contagious,
where that stigma that they have could rub off on you.

Speaker 1 (41:59):
If you get to close to them.

Speaker 4 (42:01):
And so this happens like when I was really young,
the idea of like if you were friends with the
trans person. A lot of times people or even someone
who is gay back then people be like, oh, so
what are you? You must be gay too, right, It's
almost as if that stigma would then like kind of
migrate to you. And that's a lot of why stigmatized

(42:22):
groups face a lot of ostracization in society. And so
so this idea of contagion has been around. I think
groups who are lesser stigmatized one of the ways that
that plays out is they're viewed as less contagious. So,
you know, when I was really young, the idea of
if you had a trans person in your life, people
would really question you. Whereas by the time I came out,

(42:44):
you could have a trans friend and that would be fine.
It wouldn't necessarily be contagious, unless, of course, you were
interested in them, and then that stigma would If you
were like attracted to them, then there's that stigma. And
I think that stigma plays a lot into kind of
dynamics of and I write about this and sex stuff
that the whole idea of like fetishes and chasers and
all that. That's basically all the stigma that contagent stuff

(43:08):
playing out in different ways anyway, So I also think
that and I write about and sextup I think people
view sex and stigma as really closely intertwined, such that
I think people view the average person views heterosexual sex
as a stigma contamination act, where the males the corrupting

(43:30):
force and it's the woman who is corrupted by sex,
which is why you know virgins are pure. But then
once a woman has sex, she's like, you know, she's
become contaminated or tainted, and she has a lot of sex,
then people view her as like ruined, right, So that
idea is bell in there, and I think this combination

(43:54):
of viewing sex and stigma is kind of intertwined leads
to this sexual predator, the sexual predator stereotype that we're
seeing play out in really strong ways with trans people
right now. But actually, if you look throughout history, like
a lot of marginalized groups like deal in different ways
with the sexual predator trope.

Speaker 5 (44:16):
And so.

Speaker 4 (44:18):
I think this really clearly plays out with the kind
of what I call the groomer explosion that started in
twenty twenty two, where you know, people were accusing trans
people being groomors before then, but it really exploded in
twenty twenty two. And if you listen to what people
are saying that they're using the word groomer, which sounds
like a sexual predator thing, Like there's a real thing

(44:40):
of grooming children that sexual abusers do, but they're using
it against trans people in a way that has nothing
to do with that. But what they're talking about is corrupting,
you know, so their children who are presumed to be
sisgender and who often I think this is why a
lot of these anti trans discourses continue to paint like

(45:04):
trans children as being girls, right like, because then it
kind of plays into these feelings of like, you know,
transgender people are the adult men corrupting young girls. It
plays into a lot of people's view like messed up,
messed up heteronormative views of sex and fears of you know,

(45:26):
sexual abuse, child abuse being a very real thing that
people greatly misinterpret it so that the people who are
the usual perpetrators, which are usually you know, by and large,
straight men who are like adults who are close or
sometimes even family members of the child in question. But

(45:50):
like when they say grooming, they just mean corrupting or contaminating.
And I think that both grooming and social contagion, I
think both of these basically play off of this stigma
contamination idea. Right, the kids are pure, but then transgenders
like a type of coudies that if one kid becomes trans,
then they spread it to the other kids. And so yeah,

(46:10):
so I feel like it plays a really big role
not only moral panics, which amosol. Moral panics are there's
some kind of corrupting force that is often attacking otherwise
pure and innocent children. Sometimes it's technology, right, and so
people will be like, oh, we have to ban you know,
social media apps, you know, because it's hurting the children.

(46:34):
Or it could be transgender people who are the things
we need to ban because they're corrupting the children. But
I definitely think that both these ideas of stigma and
contagion play a big role in the way in which
moral panics, why they resonate with a lot of people,
even though they don't make any rational sense if you

(46:55):
just think about them kind of.

Speaker 1 (46:58):
From a very realistic, yeah, practical point of view.

Speaker 3 (47:02):
And we have to go to ads, but we'll be
back in a second, and we're back.

Speaker 5 (47:18):
This is something that you mentioned briefly in the afterward,
and that's something that we've reported on, is how a
lot of this groomer thing that started in twenty twenty two,
and a whole bunch of this kind of modern wave
of transphobia is mirroring a lot of the anti gay
stuff from like the eighties that was pushed forward by
a lot of like evangelicals meant into just like mainstream

(47:39):
conservatism and specifically how it functions as this. Yeah, this
is sort of like moral panic and even social contagion.
The way homosexuality was treated as this thing and this
sort of social contingent aspect is so common now. I mean,
even the way we've already alluded to Musk, even the
way he mentions like the woke mind virus is exactly

(48:01):
this thing and as it really is like moral panics
and stuff. Right, this was kind of predated by the
critical race theory debacle, which then got you know, turned
into the groomer thing, and now exactly and now it's
even changed again. And these moral panics can have like
devastating results in terms of pushing forward legislation that outlasts

(48:23):
the actual moral panic. But the actual things themselves are
very short lived. They don't seem to have very much
like staying power as as as like cultural moments, they
move on so quickly, Like no one talks about critical
race theory anymore. You don't even hear this sort of
groomer rhetoric as often as you did two years ago,
and it's being replaced by new versions. And yeah, like

(48:44):
Mia said, the DEEI thing is the current current thing
that is wrecking American society if you ask about maybe
one third of population. But yeah, how do you feel
about like the life cycle of these morals and how
they relate to like the social contagion aspect.

Speaker 4 (49:03):
Yeah, yeah, no, And I agree with what you're also
all the things you're citing that, Like, I think these
are all different variations of kind of the same idea.
And I do really appreciate the idea of the woke
mind virus as being kind of like the perfect like
the exemplar of this and that you know, people were,

(49:23):
you know, people were complaining about, you know, stuff being
woke for a while, and you know it is usually
it's often coded as something that's woke is like anti racist,
or you know, is something like it's very much associated,
you know, infused with like when people complain about wocism,
a lot of times they're like they're racist or there

(49:46):
or at the very least. They have fears about kind
of the corruption of pure whiteness being corrupted by increasing
you know, people of color and and you know, like
making game in society. Right, But the woke mind virus,
because no one could really explain what woke is because
then it keeps shifting and it refers to trans people

(50:07):
or critical race theory, et cetera. Yeah, and the woke
mind virus is like perfect because that's how they think.

Speaker 1 (50:16):
It all works, Like it's just this thing that infects people,
specially children.

Speaker 4 (50:22):
And the way in which there is a recent thing
just today, I think it was Ackerman, the billionaire has
been involved in a lot of this DII stuff, complaining
about his child being infected in college with Marxism, and
Elon Musk had similar issues with his trans daughter like

(50:43):
becoming pro marx or anti capitalists, and so they just
assume that, like, no, my child was pure, but now
they're infected. It's like, well, maybe there are other ideas
out there that are better than your idea. Yeah, and
maybe that's.

Speaker 3 (50:57):
All it is.

Speaker 4 (50:58):
But yeah, so I think in all of these cases, yes,
I think that there's this idea of a contagion or corruption.
Often involving children, and it is. Yeah, a lot of
the moral panic, a lot of the literature, like the
social sciences literature, all moral panics. They often describe them

(51:19):
as fleeting. You know, this one, the anti trans one,
isn't fleeting enough right now from my perspective. But people
will tend to kind of move on, like the Satanic
panic of the eighties, you know, like that was a
really big deal and then all of a sudden it
was just gone and no one ever talked about it again.
I think the difference here is that a lot of

(51:41):
these moral panics are really tied together with what's happening
in the country more generally, with anti democratic and authoritative,
you know, views coming from you know, particularly the right
wing of the country. You know, like one of the
to major political parties is really pushing a lot of

(52:05):
just generally across the board. You know, they're against feminism,
they're you know, against people of color, against LGBTQ plus people,
and I think it's all wrapped up into the same thing.
I think that while individual parts of the moral panic
may go away, they may talk about critical race theory
for a bit and then shift to trans people being

(52:28):
groomers then shift to DEI but I think a lot
of this is they're all intertwined. And actually, I think
that's like the last couple of paragraphs of the afterward,
I talk about that as a potentially good thing, because
even though it's been a horring time to be a
trans person, with all the anti trans legislation and all

(52:48):
the anti trans news stories, all the pushes back on
gender firm and care, despite all that, I think the
good thing is that I think there are clear sides here,
and I think, well, this wasn't true early on in
the anti trans backlash in the like late twenty tens.
I think most people realize now that all these things

(53:12):
are tied together from like kind of you know, the
right wing perspective in this country is just against all
these things. You know, they want a white, Christian, straight
minority of people running everything about this country, and so
I think the rest of us really need to recognize

(53:33):
that and work together to defeat that.

Speaker 3 (53:36):
Yeah, I mean, I think I think that's a pretty
good place to end on. Do Let's you have anything
else that you wanted to make sure you get in.

Speaker 4 (53:44):
No, I mean I feel like we touched we covered
a bunch of the book past, present, and hopefully future
being better than the present right now.

Speaker 5 (53:54):
Hopefully hopefully hopefully.

Speaker 6 (53:56):
Yes.

Speaker 3 (53:58):
So okay, where can people find a the new additional
Whipping Girl and be you and your work on the
internet and or other places?

Speaker 1 (54:09):
Sure? Yeah, so the book should be available.

Speaker 4 (54:12):
So it's available for pre order right now, so you
can do that through like, you know, online places. I
often suggest people go to the Seal Press, my publisher,
because they give lots.

Speaker 1 (54:23):
Of options there.

Speaker 4 (54:24):
But you can also go to your local independent bookstore
and say, hey, I'd like the pre order this book
and they will do that for you. So the book
will be available everywhere and should be in stores starting
in March. As for me, my website Juliuserando dot com,
particularly if you go to the writings page there, I
have like literally links to everything I've written online over

(54:46):
the years, so it's kind of a clearinghouse of free
writings of mine. There are also links to my books there,
and then if you're looking for me on social media,
I'm at Julius Serrano on most platforms that I'm at.

Speaker 3 (55:00):
I don't know how much stronger I can possibly recommend
reading Whipping Girl. It had I don't know it had
an enormous impact on me when I first read it,
and yeah, it will it will. It will do good
things for you if you read it too.

Speaker 5 (55:16):
Yeah, and it's all still incredibly relevant. Like I was
breezing through like fifty pages just to refresh my memory
this morning, and I'm like, oh wow, so many of
the like intercommunity trans discourses that are constantly happening have
already been addressed, like twenty years ago, so many of
like I all the time I spend trying to write

(55:36):
about like trans misogyny of like, oh I I forgot,
this is already like all like written down, Like I
spent so long writing about the Daily Wire movie and like,
oh this is hardly all this work has already been done.

Speaker 3 (55:49):
I can just like stop.

Speaker 5 (55:52):
Oh man, Yeah, cannot cannot recommend enough.

Speaker 3 (55:57):
Yeah, thank you, thank you so much for coming on.

Speaker 4 (56:00):
Yeah, thank you all for the kind words. Yeah, thank
you for having me, and uh it was great and
thanks for all you do too.

Speaker 3 (56:08):
Oh, thank you.

Speaker 7 (56:23):
Welcome back to it could happen here, your favorite podcast
for a daily dose of dystopia. I am once again
you're a guest host, Molly Conger. Today I'm talking to
a good friend of mine in one of the brilliant
minds behind the melting of Charlottesville's Robert E. Lee statue,
Doctor Julane Schmidt, is going to tell us a little
bit about the history of the statue, from its planning
and placement to its current state, melted into ingots in

(56:45):
an undisclosed location. I'm joined today by doctor Julane Schmidt,
a professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia,
the director of the Memory Project at the University of
Virginia's Karsh Institute of Democracy, and a steering committee member
at the Swords in da Plowshare's project. As both a
scholar and an activist, doctor Schmidt has been a leading
voice in the Charlottesville community for racial justice and against

(57:06):
the Confederate monuments that once stood here. The Swords into
Plasher's project announced back in October that they had successfully
dismantled and melted down the bronze statue of Robert E.
Lee that once loomed over the Market Street Park and
downtown Charlottesville. Thank you so much for joining me today
to talk about the past, present, and future of that
hunk of bronze.

Speaker 6 (57:25):
Thanks for having me Mollie, it's great to great to
talk with you about this.

Speaker 7 (57:29):
I don't think i've called you Professor Schmidt since two
thousand and eight, when I took one of your classes.

Speaker 6 (57:33):
It's been a while. It's been a while. Yeah, yeah.
Now we just call each other comrades, you know, because
we're out there on the streets and in city council
and you know, doing the things.

Speaker 7 (57:45):
So before we get to the final fate of that
melted bronze, I want to ground this in the history
of that particular object. Right, This isn't just any Confederate monument.
This is the statue that made Charlottesville household name, the
statue that brought unite the right here, the statue that
killed someone. It's a statue that had history in that
park for a century before it came down, and before
it was removed. You led some really incredible walking tours

(58:06):
of the downtown parks to try to tell the story
of the way those statues existed in those spaces for generations,
why they were there, what they meant, what impact they
had on the landscape and the people in the community.
I think I went on about a dozen of those
walking tours, and I learned something new every single time.
So can you talk a little bit about the political
atmosphere in nineteen twenty four when that statue first went up.

Speaker 6 (58:28):
Yeah, well it should, you know, just kind of to
back up a little bit, like the history of Charlottesville, Virginia.
At around the time of the Civil War, over half
of the population of the local population was enslaved in
Charlottesville and surrounding Albmarle County, and black people were actually
the majority of the population of Charlottesville until about eighteen

(58:49):
ninety and then it has been on this steady decline
you know, since then. So to think about it, if
you look at the history of reconstruction in charlott Pottsville,
black people came out and registered to vote and got
politically organized very quickly in the eighteen sixties already and

(59:10):
were very influential in electing a black delegate from Charlottesville
to go to the Constitutional Convention. This is when in
order to rejoin the Union, all of the former Confederate
states had to get their state constitutions up to snuff,
and so Virginia, as did the other former Confederate states,

(59:30):
you know, had a constitutional convention. In our delegate from
Charlottesville was James T. S.

Speaker 1 (59:38):
Taylor.

Speaker 6 (59:38):
He was a black man from Charlottesville. He'd been in
the United States Colored Troops, and he had a coalition
had coalesced around him of some progressive whites or savvy whites,
you know that through their lot with him and former
enslaved people and went and you know, and represented us
and put you know, Charlottesville in the mix for starting

(01:00:00):
a new state constitution in Virginia, for finally getting public schools.
You know, that's one thing that we can think, you know,
all those reconstruction governments around the South, you know, forgetting
us those public schools that we wouldn't have otherwise had
that we didn't have before.

Speaker 1 (01:00:15):
You know.

Speaker 6 (01:00:16):
So I say all that backdrop that if you read
the historical sources of the time during reconstruction and post
reconstruction in Charlottesville, the white elites were quite upset with
the state of affairs that had emerged after the Civil
War in which formerly enslaved people were in leadership competitian

(01:00:37):
political leadership, you know. And so when you look at
the history of you know, then finally as as the
new you know, there was a reconstruction era constitution that
started all those wonderful things such as you know, public schools,
you know, and voting rights for black men, you know.

(01:00:59):
But then as the Neil Confederates or their Confederate sympathizers
start to get the upper hand again at the end
of reconstruction, and in Virginia that's you know, more or
less in the in the eighteen eighties, you know, and
then there's this steady imposition of Jim Crow, you know,
that's going into you know, in Richmond they put in
their giant General Lee statue in eighteen ninety, you know there,

(01:01:21):
and then in nineteen oh two there's finally there was
this final push that pushed black people out of political
office in Virginia, and in nineteen oh two, a new
Jim Crow state Constitution was put into effect in nineteen
oh two. And so you have to when you think
about all of these statues being installed, we have to
see it as this it's really resentment politics, you know,

(01:01:45):
that's come about. That is if you look at these
speeches that are delivered at the installation ceremonies of these statues.
And this is where I'm getting to our General Lee
statue in Charlottesville specifically with this, you go back and
look at those at the occasion for the day and
these these installation ceremonies, they were a time for the

(01:02:10):
neo Confederate organizations, the hosting organizations in our case, the
United Daughters of the Confederacy, the United Confederate Veterans, and
the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Okay, we're the hosts you
know for this event. And this is a two or
three day occasion. So there's like delegations coming in from
all over the state, you know, and you know there's
this build up you know, in the days ahead, you know,

(01:02:33):
leading up to the installation. This was in May of
nineteen twenty four, you know, so you see, oh, this
delegation has arrived from Roanoak and now the governor is
coming in and now this and now you know, and
so you know, the town is just a twitter. You
know that this that they are hosting the statewide reunion
of the United Confederate Veterans. And there hardly are anymore

(01:02:56):
at this time. They're you know, quite elderly at this point.
So there, you know, there's why this you know, uh celebration,
and this is also an annual meeting of the Sons
of Confederate Veterans. And so the fact that little Charlottesville
is hosting a statewide reunion, you know, of the state
wide of all the chapters you know, of these neo
Confederate veterans is a big deal. And then and then

(01:03:18):
you know they're doing this, you know, and within this
context is when the unveiling of this statue is occurring,
you see. And so it's this, it's this whole build
up of kind of lost cause nostalgia, which which is occurring.
And in the speeches at the Lee statue unveiling ceremony,

(01:03:41):
it's very instructive to listen to what is being said.

Speaker 5 (01:03:45):
You know.

Speaker 6 (01:03:46):
You have, of course, you know, kind of local dignitaries
and statewide you know dignitaries are there. The the national
Commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is there. He
gives a speech. He was also a clansman, you know.
You know, so this says something there that you know,
nineteen twenties Charlottesville, you know, elites were not averse to

(01:04:07):
rubbing shoulders with a known klansman, you know, who had
been invited to give a speech. You know, other invited
guests one was a minister who was a graduate of
the University of Virginia, and it was you know, just
kind of revealing, you know what he said in his
in his speech, you know, when he was talking about

(01:04:28):
he said that that the days of reconstruction were worse
than war.

Speaker 5 (01:04:33):
You know.

Speaker 6 (01:04:35):
You know, so this right exactly, Yeah, does beg the question,
and that yeah, goes without saying, of course, that this
is you know, almost exclusively a white audience and you know,
the white school kids. School has been canceled for the day,
the university as classes you know, canceled for the day,
and you know, the businesses are closed. I mean, this
is just you know, quite the community event that's going on.

(01:04:57):
So yeah, so reconstruction was worse than or you know,
we're celebrating today, you know, the you know, the spirit
of lead, the regeneration, you know, of our values, and
you know, there's just a lot of of conversation in
these in these inaugurations, ceremonies, you know, for the unveiling
of these statues that harken to rebirth and regeneration and

(01:05:21):
and you know, and also you know kind of recalling
you know, the days of old, you know, and the
and the values. You know of our veterans, you know
who are now you know of course in dwindling number,
you know, these Confederate veterans who are there. And so
this and as I said, there's been this whole build
up you know, for days and days, you know, I mean,

(01:05:41):
of course for the planning committee, this has been going
on for weeks and months, you know, the fundraising and
you know, reserving you know blocks you know at the
hotels and you know, and all guest houses and all
this kind of thing, you know, banquet halls, et cetera.
You know. But it's it's also revealing that this installation
ceremony for the statue, it is book ended with clan

(01:06:03):
activity and uptick in clan activity before and after the
installation ceremony. And why while we don't have well we
do know, but you know one one clansman who you know,
the the Commander Lee, no relation to the General Lee.
But uh but the president and sons sons of the

(01:06:25):
Confederate Veterans, you know. But but to just see all
of this uptick in lost cause nostalgia and then these
these acts of intimidation of you know, clan rallies, clan
posters that were you know, put flyers around town, you know, uh,
and this sort of thing. It just it they're the

(01:06:47):
atmosphere of intimidation. You know that this must have been
for black residents you know of the time. Uh, you know,
it just it really gives you pause, you know, just
just seeing how public space was commandeered, you know by
these people, these Neil Confederates, you know, to kind of

(01:07:08):
relive what they considered, you know, kind of the glory
days you know, of the nation, you know, and the
kind of values to which they want to return, you know,
and this sort of thing. So yeah, so this is
going on, you know in the nineteen twenties, as you know,
Charlottesville is you know, locked into Jim Crow by then,

(01:07:28):
you know, and we're twenty two years into that Jim
Crow State Constitution. You know, this is the mail u
you know, in which in which this is taking place.

Speaker 5 (01:07:38):
Now.

Speaker 6 (01:07:38):
Of course, Black people have their own institutions, you know
that they've founded, namely churches, the Jefferson School, African American
what's now the African American Heritage Center, but the Jefferson School,
which was a school for black children, and the founding
of the High School of a Black High School. So

(01:07:59):
this was you know, the the black community had its
own nodes of organizational strength, you know, and goings on
that were happening even as you know, there were these
pressures going on with the consolidation of Jim Crow. Should
also mention that, you know, at this at around the
same time in the spring of nineteen twenty four was

(01:08:22):
the passage of the Virginia Racial Integrity Act. And this
was the kind of the codification of the so called
one Drop Rule, which designated anyone with a perceived ad
mixture of African American or Native American ancestry to be

(01:08:45):
designated as colored, you know, and kind of bifurcating the
population of Virginia into two categories, white or colored. And
so this is also occurring, you know, in nineteen twenty four.
There's a very you know, there's very much of a
legal you know, kind of strengthening, you know of in
terms of the tools that are being used to separate

(01:09:07):
the races quote unquote you know, and what we're seeing
then in the parks, you know, in our public spaces
were you know, kind of designating what we're well not
public spaces, I mean, they were you know, kind of
designated you know, almost shrine like you know as white spaces,
you know, and that this is it's a kind of

(01:09:31):
broadcasting of who's in charge, is what's going on?

Speaker 5 (01:09:35):
Right?

Speaker 7 (01:09:35):
I think you know today the sons of Confederate Veterans
very much separate themselves from the clan, right, there were
a heritage organization. We're not the clan, but you were
talking about this sort of clan activity leading up to
the unveiling of the statue, and its actually just looking
back this morning at some of the archival newspapers from
that week. And so when the day the statue was placed,

(01:09:55):
you know, a few weeks before the unveiling, it was
still covered, it was shrouded, you know, it's leading up
to the big day. So that in the front page
of the Daily Progress the day that the statue was
put in the park, that little snippet appears in the
newspaper right next to a headline about cross burning. These
things are happening on at the same time, right, And
there was a big clan march through town that week,

(01:10:16):
and I think one of the it's easy to forget
that these historical moments were experienced by people whose words
that we still have, like people who were living in
this moment. I think one of one moment in your
historical tour that really has stuck with me all these
years is an anecdote about John West, who is for
the listener as a man who was born into slavery
and this era was one of the largest black landowners

(01:10:39):
in the area, was a successful businessman. And when the
clan marched by that week, you know, they're wearing their hoods,
you don't know who they are. It's you know, it's mysterious,
it's intimidating. But he knew who every single clansman was
because he was their barber, and he recognized their shoes.
And that just feels so intimate to me, right that
he's he's looking at the shoes of these men that
he knows, and then tomorrow they're going to come in

(01:11:00):
for a shaven a haircut and he has to say,
you know, yes, sir, thank you, sir.

Speaker 6 (01:11:03):
That's right, that's right. And so if you can just imagine, like,
you know, and here you know John West. You know,
so here's one of the most you know, influential Black
residents of Charlottesville at that time, and he has to
live Yeah, in this you know that there's this this
atmosphere of intimidation that you that, yeah, his clients are
coming in, you know, they're coming in every ten days

(01:11:24):
or fourteen days to get a get a trim, get
a you know, touch up, you know here and there,
and yeah, and and he knows that these you know
that that these are you know, the folks who are
kind of maintaining you know that this this public order,
you know that is so uh you know that you know,

(01:11:47):
you better not step out of line. And so just
to have one's public space, you know, be demarcated, you know,
in such a demonstrative way, you know, in a monumental
you know literally yeah exactly is it really illustrates what's
going on, you know, and even in you know, relationships

(01:12:09):
like that, you know that are so like you know,
intimate a barber and a client, you know, and knowing
you know, what your clients are up to, you know,
and how you better stay in line.

Speaker 3 (01:12:21):
You know.

Speaker 6 (01:12:22):
It's scary.

Speaker 7 (01:12:33):
That's what that statue was here right for almost a century,
So skipping ahead that century right when the statue finally
came down in twenty twenty one, so not too long ago, right,
So the city solicited proposals for what was to be
done with it. Right, A lot of cities put them
into storage or moved them to battlefields or museums didn't
want them. People say, well, why can't it go to
a music museums didn't want it, right.

Speaker 6 (01:12:56):
Yeah, So because of my I get pulled in on
a lot of different statue statue related consultations, let's put
it that way. And I was on the George Rogers
Clark Committee at the University of Virginia when the university
was trying to decide what to do with a very
hideous I called it the Genocide Trophy. It was a

(01:13:19):
statue of the George Rogers Clark, the conqueror of the Northwest.
It literally said that on the facade, you know. And
so we were in consultation with native tribes. We were
contacting the various tribal nations who suffered the onslaught of
the so called Northwest Campaign. So these tribes that are

(01:13:40):
in what is now Illinois and Ohio, et cetera, you know,
and just asking them, you know, would you like to
kind of weigh in, you know, on this, and you know,
really sad, genocide is a real thing some folks who
are just no longer there, you know, or you know
were you know, became such a remnant, you know, as
they were so decimated that you know, they kind of

(01:14:00):
you know morphed into you know, other tribes others were
you know, went on you know, later on to you know,
to uh, Oklahoma or other places. You know, just dispersal,
you know, really was you know. You know, so we're
in this you know, kind of year long process trying
to figure out what to do with UVa's own statue there,
you know, also a gift of Paul Goodlow McIntyre, you know,

(01:14:21):
the same donor who gave the least statue to the city,
gave this s. George Rogers Clark statue to the university.
And so in doing that committee work, we made appointments
with all the big players, all the you know, and
here we are, We're from the University of Virginia, you know,
and we've got this you know, big big monument here,

(01:14:44):
you know, the Smithsonian, the you know, and you know
we talked to not about this one, but in another instance,
talk to you know, the Civil War Museum's battlefields, you know,
I mean, we contacted all the responsible you know, the
folks who are going to curate this in a responsible way,
you know, because you know that's it is a monumental

(01:15:05):
work of art. You know, it has stood here for
a century. It does have historical value of a sort,
you know. And I mean and you know, and as
someone who has you know, teaches history and research's history,
that's my that's my inclination. My initial inclination is, oh, yeah,
well we should preserve I mean, that's you know, kind
of where I go to. But the problem is it's

(01:15:26):
a very practical one. This is a material object that
is taking up space, literal and figurative space in the world.

Speaker 7 (01:15:34):
It's six six thousand pounds.

Speaker 6 (01:15:36):
Yeah, yeah, the very materiality of it. It is taking
up space, and you you have to figure out what
space is it going to inhabit. This is a very
practical question. If it's not in your park anymore, where's
it going to be. We contacted all these museums, you know,
and in several you know, different consultations I've been a

(01:15:57):
part of where we've been trying to get rid of statues.
Nobody wants them, nobody responsible wants them. And you know,
and even if they did have an inclination to want
to just the expense of it. You know, who wants
to reinforce their floors to put a you know, century old,
you know, artistically not exemplary, you know, monument in it,

(01:16:22):
you know, and then care for I mean, museums have
very limited budgets. They're nonprofit organizations. Why should they be
expending all this energy? I love the My my colleague
Aaron Thompson from John Jay College and Cuney, you know,
she's an art crime professor, and she said, you know,
she talked with somebody at the Smithsonian who said something

(01:16:43):
to the effect that, you know, we're not America's attic
for racist art. You know, that's that's not our role.
It's like, you know, it kind of does throw back
the responsibility to individual communities too. It's like, you know,
you have a part to play in this.

Speaker 3 (01:17:00):
You know.

Speaker 6 (01:17:00):
And so anyway, yeah, so we tried to do the
responsible thing. We contacted all the responsible actors out there.
They don't want them, and so then the question becomes, Okay,
the city also doesn't want it sitting on its back
lot for forever in perpetuity. You know, they've got things going,
you know, they've got equipment there, They've got things that
you know, this shouldn't be sitting there.

Speaker 2 (01:17:21):
Where is it going to go?

Speaker 6 (01:17:23):
Again? This is the material object that exists in the world.
It is a problem, you know, like what physical space
is it going to occupy? We're just such brute practicality here,
and I don't think people quite get what it means
to deal with this. And the only people who want
it are the very people who shouldn't have it, you know,
who want to take this object that's caused us so

(01:17:45):
much pain and to make a shrine out of it,
you know, that would continue to attract bad actors, you know,
and that it would you know. And I'm a religious
studies scholar, so when I use I don't use the
word ran lightly. I know what kinds of activities you know, uh,
these engender you know, and the sorts of emotions that

(01:18:07):
are you know evoked, you know, in the ceremonies around
you know, objects that are that are held to be sacred.
You know that that attract you know, kind of devotees,
you know, and so you really have to think about
what does it mean to be a responsible ethical actor?

Speaker 3 (01:18:22):
You know.

Speaker 6 (01:18:22):
It's like now we're we're in grown up world now,
it's like, okay, exactly want you know, it's like there
is a material object, where are we going to put it?
It's like have an adjunct car, what do you do
with it? You just let it sit in your driveway
and make your neighbors mad at you.

Speaker 7 (01:18:36):
Right, And these Confederate statues are sort of the the
the junk cars of the Lost Cause, right, because they're
not rare, right, like, you know, especially right after Unite
the Right, a bunch of cities, all of a sudden,
we're like, we got to get rid of these things.
And so suddenly the market is flooded with Confederate statues.
Where are you going to put them?

Speaker 6 (01:18:53):
That's right at that and that is the question. And
they are And I've used this this metaphor before, the
the metaphor of toxic waste. You know, it's not responsible
to say, oh, we want to get rid of our
toxic trash here and then ship it down the road
to the next town and say, okay, well we're done

(01:19:14):
with that. That's not responsible to make that next town
have to deal, you know, or maybe there maybe there
were some people in that town that wanted it, you know,
but that's not fair to the other people to have
to breathe in that air and it brings that water
that's that's poisoned by this. That's not that's not being responsible,
you know what I mean. So it really is an
ethical question, you know, what what space these toxic objects

(01:19:42):
are going to inhabit. And so we were unable to
find any responsible actors who would take this on. And
so then it kind of it's like, well, I guess
it's kind of on us. We have to you know,
like the Smithsonian. It's like, we're not the attic for
your racist trash.

Speaker 3 (01:20:02):
You know.

Speaker 6 (01:20:02):
It's like it's really it's it's on us. It's on
communities to figure this out, you know. And if there isn't, uh,
you know, some sort of organization that can responsibly curate this,
you know, and care for it, then you know, we
really need to think about it. And in the case
of this Lee statue, of Charlottesville's Lee statue, you know,

(01:20:23):
there are about I think there are about sixteen monuments
of Lee, like kind of equestrian monuments of this sort,
you know, in the country. I can say with confidence
that all of the others are of better quality. In Charlottesville.

Speaker 7 (01:20:39):
That's it's such an important point, right because this is,
you know, an important historical piece of art. And that's
true of some of them. Some of them are legitimate
pieces of but this one is not.

Speaker 1 (01:20:50):
No.

Speaker 7 (01:20:51):
I mean, it was like he was smuggling hams in
his sleeves.

Speaker 6 (01:20:54):
Oh well yeah, so yeah, it's it's terrible. It's really
a case The Lee statue from Charlottesville is really a
case of too many chefs spoiled the soup. You know,
they the guy, you know, they the original sculptor, Schradie,
you know, was commissioned to do this, this this work,

(01:21:16):
and he got behind on the commission because he was
finishing another another work of his, which is generally regarded
as his magnum opus, which is a monument to General Grant.
I just love that. It's just sorry you got to
wait and working on my best piece.

Speaker 7 (01:21:34):
Ready finished a beautiful statue of Grant.

Speaker 6 (01:21:36):
And then he died, And then he died. He died,
and and supposedly it might be apocryphal. I kind of
like this tale that supposedly when he's on his deathbed TRD,
he's on his death bending and he's still thinking about
that unfinished lead. Probably he's like, oh, mind the you know,
mind the cloth, you know, keep.

Speaker 7 (01:21:54):
It damp, you know, keeps the plaster wet, right.

Speaker 6 (01:21:56):
Yes, keep the plaster. He'd made a maquette, he'd made
a model, play model of the Lee statue for Charlottesville
for that next commission, the unfinished commission. And he dies
and so now it's like, well, you know, this is
a problem, you know, for for the philanthropist and the
community or the community leaders of Charlesville who wanted this

(01:22:17):
Lee statue. So they find they find a ringer, you know,
this young guy, you know, Leolntelly. Interesting, you know, Italian
immigrant in the twenties, which is kind of interesting, you
know when you think about, you know, all the hate
that was being.

Speaker 7 (01:22:31):
Whipped before it towns were white, right, that was.

Speaker 6 (01:22:33):
Before Italians were white. But he was, yeah, kind of
direct from Italy and from a sculpting background. So maybe
they made a little exception for him, I don't know. Anyway,
so this young guy, you know, Leo Lintell, he takes
over and you know, he probably need a little more practice.

Speaker 1 (01:22:50):
I don't know.

Speaker 6 (01:22:50):
It just didn't turn out well.

Speaker 7 (01:22:52):
It went to the Lego tail on traveler like a
chunky No.

Speaker 2 (01:22:56):
It's just yeah, there was.

Speaker 6 (01:22:57):
We had a sculptor from around here who himself works
in bronze and dusk monumental work, and he kind of
just kind of came and looked at it and he
was just you know, just everything's out of proportion. The
gauntlets on the glove are too thick, you know, the
sword is too long, the tail is too fat, I
mean in his head. Yeah, that Lee's head on top

(01:23:22):
of his shoulders. It just looks like, you know, kind
of like almost like Transformer toy or something. I mean,
it's just really weird, you know, proportions. It's just it
just really was not very well executed because apparently the maquette,
the model that had been made, just was completely destroyed.
The model, the original model by Schrady, was completely turned
to dust, and so Lintelly, the successor sculptor, had to

(01:23:43):
work from the drawings that that that remained, you know,
and you know, it just didn't didn't really go very well.
And here's the thing that even the Boosters at the time,
that is, you know, the folks that were planning the
in for the installation of the leaf statue in the
nineteen twenties themselves did not think it was very well executed.

(01:24:07):
We have diary entries from the Master of Ceremonies of
the installation ceremony, RTW Duke's and he says, he writes
in it's like day or two before the installation, he says,
went on a walk, you know tonight, you know, went
by the park, you know, saw the Lea statue.

Speaker 7 (01:24:25):
I do not like it me either.

Speaker 6 (01:24:28):
This is the guy who's please damn see this unveiling
ceremony in you know, the next day or two.

Speaker 7 (01:24:36):
How embarrassing.

Speaker 6 (01:24:37):
Yeah, and there's op eds even, you know. Also they're
saying like wow, you know, that just doesn't look good
at all, you know. So and these are the these
are the support these are the Neo Confederates, the one
it there. And they've they've noticed that too many cooks
spoiled the soup, you know. And then apparently the murmurs

(01:24:58):
were sufficient that one of the speakers at the installation ceremony,
I can harken back to that, you know, at the
Lee installation ceremony, you know, I guess felt compelled to
address the complaints that were apparently circulating. And he said,
you know, I'm talking about the proportionality problem that I

(01:25:19):
mentioned before, that just so many it's just very disjointed,
you know, so many parts of the of the monument
are out of proportion to other parts. And so this
speaker at the installation ceremony said, you know, there are
those who say that the pedestal you know, upon which
the Lee statue is, you know, is set, is too small,

(01:25:41):
But I say the world itself is too small a
pedestal for general Lee.

Speaker 2 (01:25:49):
Just like oh yeah, good say it's it's yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 7 (01:25:54):
I mean the whole thing, the plinth was too small,
the statue was too large for that tiny park. It
just it was never a good spot for him.

Speaker 6 (01:26:01):
It was never a good spot. So anyway, all that
is to say, it's a very it's a very poor
work of art, just just an aesthetic.

Speaker 1 (01:26:09):
I mean.

Speaker 6 (01:26:09):
And I'm not one that wants to remove, you know,
kind of any moral considerations from aesthetic. There are some
people philosophers who want to parse that out and this
sort of thing. But even if you believe you could
do that, which I do not, you know, it's just
really a not It's like having a high school art project.
A C I give it a c it's a high

(01:26:30):
school art project.

Speaker 7 (01:26:31):
That it's not worth saving, right, No, Like even if
it had not been this sort of lightning rod in
our community, right that, even if this were a you know,
a beautiful piece of art that was worth saving, I
don't know, I don't know. There's there's two separate concerns, right, Like,
it's not beautiful enough to put into a museum regardless,
but then also preserving this object in any capacity just

(01:26:55):
allows it to sort of continue to be this lightning rod,
like you know, for it's sort of asking about, well,
what's the problem with recontextualization. Why can't you just put
it somewhere else? And I think that's sort of a
broader conversation about these statues in general. But for our statue,
for that Robert E. Lee statue, right that it had
become sort of a pilgrimage site for vigilanti violence.

Speaker 6 (01:27:17):
Oh yeah, And I don't know that like just out
for the listeners in radio land, just for folks out
there listening that even after the twenty seventeen Unite the
Right rally, this statue stood for another four years in
our part while we had to wrestle through legal issues

(01:27:37):
legislative and judicial entanglements that prevented Charlottesville from removing that
statue even after the Unite the Right rally, and during
that time, that four year interim. It's crazy to think
about it, Huh. For ye that for four years after
Unite the Riot, it was still there.

Speaker 7 (01:27:56):
Like this statue made everyone else realize they needed to
get rid of theirs. But because of state law and
these lawsuits, we were still stuck with ours.

Speaker 6 (01:28:04):
Charlottesville was still stuck with it. And there were and
these you know, different groups, some of the same constituencies
that had attended Unite the Right continued to come and
make their pilgrimages to the Lee statue and to antagonize
community members by putting up their propaganda near the statues

(01:28:25):
and even uh you know, going to the fourth you know,
the the crash site on Fourth Street where a neo
Nazi drove his car you know, into a crowd of
of Charlottesville counter protesters and killed community member Heather Hire.
These these uh fascists you know, who would make their
pilgrimage to Charlottesville, would make sure and still do upon occasion,

(01:28:48):
uh go to Fourth Street and put up their propaganda there.
As well as if to kind of further antagonize the
community out of sight of our trauma, you know, And
so it was very clear that this statue would just
wherever it would be, it would continue to be a
beacon for these people. And so really it was just
kind of a question of responsibility. Knowing this, knowing that

(01:29:12):
no responsible historical or artistic institution has the capacity or
desire to take it in, what does one do with it?
And that it's not an exemplary piece of art. There
are fifteen other monuments that are of better quality of lee.
We're not going to forget him, you know, if this
particular specimen goes missing, and the way we see it,

(01:29:36):
we're doing the art world a favor because as I've said,
it was really you know, not a very good, well
executed piece of art. So, you know, with in considering
all of that, you know, in seeing in prior removals,
for instance, the Johnny reb the Courthouse Confederate soldier statue
was removed, and there was kind of no plan in

(01:29:57):
place about where it would go, and so it ended up,
you know, getting sent to a battlefield that is maintained
by a group of Confederate leading folks that seemed to
favor kind of lost cause interpretations of the war. So
we'd seen that happen already the year before in twenty twenty,
that when there isn't a plan, it's one thing to

(01:30:20):
remove it, but then where does it go? Again, this
is a physical object that exists in space, in physical space,
where is this material object going to go? If you
don't have a plan, then bad things can happen.

Speaker 7 (01:30:32):
The least resistance the past, the least resistance is just
if someone says I will pay to move this, and
the city is paying to store it, then that's an
easy answer and you can't let that.

Speaker 6 (01:30:41):
Many take it, right, And so that that went. So
when the County Aldmarle County removed the Johnny reb statue,
the Confederate soldier statue from in front of the courthouse,
and I think that was September of twenty twenty, and
we saw how quickly that got sent to this battle
field that is, you know, maintained by these you know,

(01:31:02):
kind of lost cause type folks. That's when Andrea Douglas
and I and Andrea Douglas is the director of the
Jefferson School African American Heritage Center here in Charlottesville. We said,
you know, we still do not have the legal authority
to remove Charlottesville's Lee statue, but we anticipated that that perhaps,

(01:31:27):
you know, in the in the coming year, we might
I said, we need to start making plans now about
what can have, what where the statue should go after
its removal, because otherwise, the same thing that happened to
this Johnny reb to this Confederate Soldier statue just kind
of getting sent down the road, you know, to whatever

(01:31:47):
entity organization that wants it, the same thing's going to happen.
And we need to have a plan in place in
order to kind of capture that so that so that
it doesn't just kind of continue to circulate to do harm.
So that was our motivation. So we kind of, you know,
in September of twenty twenty, that's when we really you know,

(01:32:07):
put the pedal to the metal on starting the planning
of this, you know, and we and mind you, we
did not even get permission until I think it was
April the first of twenty twenty one, when finally the
Virginia Supreme Court ruled in favor of the City of
Charlottesville in our efforts to remove the lea statue.

Speaker 5 (01:32:26):
You know.

Speaker 6 (01:32:26):
So this was you know, six seven months before we
even knew if we if we could do this, but
we said, let's start making plans. And so we started
having these kinds of conversations you know, with battlefields, with museums,
with foundries, you know, just you know, just learning, you know,
kind of the nuts and bolts, you know, what are

(01:32:47):
the possibilities here? And it turns out it's very complicated.

Speaker 7 (01:33:05):
Right, So, I know there'd been sort of jokes around
that it was going back over some of the public
discourse over the years that we've been sort of joking
as a community for years like why don't we just
melt it? Why don't we just melt it?

Speaker 6 (01:33:15):
Yeah?

Speaker 7 (01:33:15):
But when did that become a real idea? Like when
did it? When did that sort of coalesce into something
that felt possible?

Speaker 6 (01:33:24):
I think, you know, in September twenty twenty, I think
when the Johnny reb statue was removed and it went on,
you know to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation, you know,
and they have this horrible plaque that they're putting up
that talks about how these men died for Virginia, you know,
and It's like they died for thirty eight percent of
Virginian's were enslaved at that time, So how are you

(01:33:45):
saying that they died for Virginia. Also, this is from
Alba Marle County. The majority of people here were enslaved.
So did how did the people supposedly represented by this
statue die for Virginia fight for Virginia?

Speaker 3 (01:33:57):
You know what I mean?

Speaker 6 (01:33:57):
So we just like that was so disturbing, you know,
in September of twenty twenty, when that happened, that's that's
really when I just really started working in Earnest, you know,
calling foundries.

Speaker 7 (01:34:09):
So the idea was always melting.

Speaker 6 (01:34:11):
I mean, it wasn't until then because see this is funny.
When this whole controversy started in twenty sixteen, when Ziona
Bryant brought up her petition, you know, to consider removing
these statues. The position of the activist then was just
move the statue. Go back and look right at the
signs and at the T shirts and it says hashtag

(01:34:33):
move the statue. We just wanted it move. Just take
it from the Central Park and put it out in
McIntyre Park where there's more space. Don't have it downtown.

Speaker 7 (01:34:42):
I mean that was kind of like that was the edgy,
you know, and then they should have taken the opportunity
back then.

Speaker 6 (01:34:51):
See right, exactly that was the opening bid, and you
should have took it.

Speaker 3 (01:34:56):
You know.

Speaker 7 (01:34:57):
Just these that offers not on the table anymore.

Speaker 2 (01:35:00):
Yeah, exactly that that.

Speaker 6 (01:35:01):
That would have been good. It would be in Martin
mctre part on the outskirts of town. So and so,
you know, when the when you know, the city appointed
this Blue Ribbon Commission on Race Memorials in Public Spaces
to have a series of public meetings to hear from
community members what they wanted to have happened with the statues.
Should they be removed, should you know, what should happen?

(01:35:23):
And you know, and this Blue Ribbon Commission, you know,
hands their final report to city council, you know, and
then city council takes a vote, you know, Charlottesville City
Council in February of twenty seventeen, and surprising many people,
not some of us who were in the know, but
one of the council members said, yes, I would like

(01:35:44):
to propose a resolution to remove the lead, not just
move it, not just recontextualize it, because that's you know,
if you go back and read that report, it's actually
fairly there's a couple of different suggests like well you
could move it, or you could just do this, and
you know, and city council woman, you know, Christian Zaka, said,

(01:36:05):
I would you know, make a motion to have it
removed completely, you know. So it's like, whoa, Okay, we're
you know, we're making steps, you know. So it was
it was about, you know, it was getting from move
from move the statue to remove the statue, as in
take it away, you know, And then it really wasn't
until after all the strife, you know. I mean, I

(01:36:28):
think there were some people all along who's you know,
would say tongue and she go, oh, we should just
melt it down, you know, or you know, she'd you know,
but but the thought it was just so you know,
talk about there's much talk of overton windows these days.

Speaker 2 (01:36:40):
You know, but they're just they're just.

Speaker 6 (01:36:44):
When that was being said, it was always in a
kind of jocular manner like oh, of course that could
never be but or we should melt it down. It
was this kind of offhand right, It wasn't serious because
how could that ever be, right, I mean that right,
Really that was behind. But what it takes is somebody
taking that seriously and like going through the practical steps

(01:37:06):
of what would that look like? And so that's what
I started doing in September twenty twenty. It's like, I
keep hearing people say that they want it melted down.

Speaker 1 (01:37:13):
What would that look like?

Speaker 7 (01:37:15):
What do you like physically do that?

Speaker 6 (01:37:17):
How would this happen? I'm a humanities person. This was
breaking my brain learning about alloys and you know, compositions.

Speaker 7 (01:37:24):
Here it becomes an engineering problem.

Speaker 6 (01:37:27):
It really did. Yeah, and I did. I consulted with
you know, metallurgist engineers, you know, folks at various foundries
you know, to to you know, consulting and say, well,
you have to do this, you have to you know,
consider that. I mean so yeah, it was really in
the fall of twenty twenty when you know, kind of
in Earnest started having conversations, you know, with with foundrymen

(01:37:52):
and with engineers, with folks that work in bronze casting,
you know. But most of the time people didn't want
to talk to us. Right when they found out, oh
you want to do something with this with the staff,
Oh no, they just you know, they were they didn't
want to be involved in any controversy, or we would

(01:38:12):
get someone who was on board with it, Yes, we're
going to do it. And then for instance, you know,
the company got sold and the new owners were like
want nothing to do with it, you know, or they
won't call us back anymore, or no, or you know,
I mean just things just kept coming up. So it
was hard to find anyone who would just engage in

(01:38:34):
a serious way about the questions. And then even when
you could, it was kind of like, you know, you'd
get somebody for a little bit, and then it was like,
you know, like the fisher, It's like the fish would
swim away, you know, kind of I don't know it
just you know, So it was it was a lot
of different conversations with a lot of different people, you know,
along the way to figure out like what are the

(01:38:55):
you know, literal and figurative nuts and bolts of doing this.
You know, I learned a lot, you know about standard
width of trailers eight and a half feet did you
know that?

Speaker 2 (01:39:06):
Yeah?

Speaker 6 (01:39:07):
Eight half feet yep, right right, you know, and you
know fifty three feet long, and you know, and you know,
kind of what kind of what's the hauling capacity, what's
the payload? You know, how do you balance the load?
You know, what is duneage? I mean you're just like
all these things, you know that that just the very
practical steps that one has to take to melt a statue.

Speaker 7 (01:39:32):
And so it seems like, you know, the conclusion that
you reached was this object can't keep existing because the
fact that it does exist will always be a problem.
So that this is the decision was made that it
needed to be destroyed. But what was sort of the
process of thinking through what do we do with it now?

Speaker 2 (01:39:51):
Right?

Speaker 7 (01:39:51):
Like, what is this sort of the vision behind not
just yeah, you know, taking the statue down and putting
up a different piece of public art, but a different
piece of p look art that is physically repurposed. Right
that you've you've remediated this material, right right?

Speaker 6 (01:40:06):
Yeah, well we we prefer the word transformed, you know,
to to destroyed or or I mean it is it is,
you know, definitely, it is you know kind of morphing
the material is taking the materials, you know, these raw
materials and you know, transforming them into kind of usable

(01:40:28):
you know, kind of ingots, brick sized, you know, pieces
of bronze. So that they can be made into something new.
It's not that we hate art. We want art, right.

Speaker 7 (01:40:39):
You know doctor Douglas's her background is in art, right.

Speaker 6 (01:40:42):
Yes, doctor Douglas is an art historian, exact. I mean,
we are the two most unlikely people to be in
charge of such a project. I mean, I'm a religious
study scholar. It's like I've spent years of my life,
you know, studying you know, how people, you know, make
make sacred values, and specifically how they gather around material

(01:41:03):
objects that they regard.

Speaker 7 (01:41:05):
I don't think that's unlikely at all, right, that this
was an object of veneration for a very harmful cause.

Speaker 6 (01:41:12):
I mean I seventeen years, you know, researching a book
about a very beloved four hundred year old effigy of
the Virgin Mary in Cuba. You can see my book
up here. Well, there's a Cuban fly. This right here
is my book.

Speaker 1 (01:41:29):
I'm going over too far.

Speaker 7 (01:41:30):
Yeah, I see the Virgin Mary back there.

Speaker 6 (01:41:32):
Yeah. Anyway, so I yeah, so that's that's my book
up here. Yeah, right here, this is my book, Kachita's Streets.
I mean, if somebody, oh, and you know, and this
has happened before. There have been folks, you know iconoclass.
If somebody went and destroyed her image there in that
shrine in Cuba, I would be obsensed. I would just

(01:41:57):
I would be beside myself. I mean it'd be like
somebody killed you know, a family member. I mean, be
on the next plane to get you know, you have
to console people. I mean a four hundred year old
you know, it would just be terrible. You know, it
doesn't have all the hate wrapped into it that these
you know, statues do in this sort of thing. So
what I'm saying is I understand that people have very

(01:42:18):
tender feelings toward these material objects that they have had
experiences around them that have bound them together. Religiare you
know the binding that's the original you know root Latin
root of religion. You know, it is to bind, you know.
I get that. And so yeah, I'm not a reflexive iconoclast.
You know, I'm a Catholic. I'm a you know, I'm

(01:42:42):
also a you know, participate in these African inspired religious
practices and stuff that you know that put a lot
of you know, emphasis upon you know, sacred material objects.
So I am kind of I mean, it is kind
of weird that me I would be involved in this,
and that, you know, and doctor Douglas, you know, but
it's precisely because we know the power of these things,

(01:43:06):
and the we're eyewitnesses to what happened here. You know
that we know the power of it, and so how
to be responsible for it, and so to take something
like that that was so harmful and to be able
to use its materials to transform them and to make
something that's meaningful and beautiful and that expresses our community's

(01:43:27):
values and that includes people rather than kind of sets
people apart, you know, or kind of you know, symbolizing
moments in our history where you know, over half the
local population was completely debased, you know. To be able
to take the material that that was part of that

(01:43:47):
and transform it into something else, it's just it's just
seemed like it just has so much potential, you know.
And and and then the name of the project is
Swords into Plowshares, which comes from a verse from the
off at Isaiah that they shall turn their swords into plowshares,
they shall turn their their spears into pruning hooks. So

(01:44:09):
we'll take these implements of destruction and of violence, and
we will transform them into instruments of of to cultivate
you know, sustenance you know, uh, you know, you know,
nutrients you know, for a community. I mean it just

(01:44:30):
you know, to just to just really transform it, you know,
from from something so ugly you know, into something beautiful,
you know. And we just thought, you know, let's let's
take the chance. Let's try and do this. Let's do
something that's never been done before, because none of these
statues have ever been like I don't think ever completely
the Confederate ones anyway, have ever been completely destroyed, you know,

(01:44:51):
like this. Most of them are just in storage somewhere.
And we said, let's let's take this chance to transform.
Let's be responsible first of all, and not send our
talks waist down the road to another community, and let's
try to do something transformative, you know, for our community.
And maybe this can also move the needle, you know,
in a national and international conversation about art and the

(01:45:14):
reparative values you know, potential reparative values of art you know,
and community building, you know, and so in our you know,
we're the swords into Plowsher's project. We're hoping to put
out a request for proposals, you know, to artists this
year in twenty twenty four, which is the one hundredth

(01:45:37):
anniversary of when the Least statue was installed. You know, ideally,
you know, fingers crossed, if you know, it would be
wonderful if we could have a completed statue in twenty
twenty seven, which would be the ten year anniversary of
the Unite the Right rally, you know, to to you know,
to have something else to give back to our community.
You know, that's a blasting value that, you know, and

(01:45:59):
for us, it's important that we write our narrative. There
were people who attacked us, you know, who tried to
kind of imprint on us, you know, some sort of
narrative about what we were about. And it also kind
of you know, reverberated in a you know, national and
international way. And we're really taking control of the narrative here.

(01:46:20):
We're saying, you know, we we are going to say
who we are and we're going to express that. You know,
and we do value art, you know, we want it
to be an art that reflects our values.

Speaker 2 (01:46:34):
Right.

Speaker 7 (01:46:34):
I think this is a recognition that art does have power.
It had the power to harm, It had the power
to to bring great harm to this community. But it
was you know, that art was harming people just by
existing in that space, even before you unite the right.
And now those same materials have hopefully the power to
bring some repair. Yeah, So it wasn't it wasn't just

(01:46:55):
the practical you know, I think you were saying. It
started out a sort of a practical question is what
do you do with this large object? And so the
practical answer is you reduce its size, you melt it down,
You remove it, and you melt it down. But it's
not just practical, right, there is there is incredible symbolic
value in using that material, that metal, right. I think

(01:47:15):
in some of the articles you all talked about as
it was melting there were impurities in the metal. So
as this statue is being melted down, the impurities are
being extracted from it. It's being purified, and now it
can be repurposed. That's really beautiful, Yeah it is.

Speaker 6 (01:47:30):
Yeah, the slag getting pulled off the top and just yeah,
just it was incredible, you know, to see for sure.

Speaker 7 (01:47:38):
And so at this stage you guys are soliciting community input.
I think there's a sort of a community survey out
about sort of what parks people frequent, how they're using
the parks, how they're engaging with the parks, and you
said this year there'll be a request for proposals for
artists to sort of put forth their vision for this bronze, right.

Speaker 6 (01:47:55):
And this is it's nice because this is all coinciding
with the city if Charlotteville has for some time wanted
to do a renovation of of its downtown park. So
this and this has been a long time coming that
there are you know, sedated, you know, all of this
drama with the with the statues, but it's just really
a nice opportunity to just kind of for the community

(01:48:17):
to just kind of take stock. It's like, Okay, we're
you know, we're whatever, you know, going on seven years
out from Unite the Right. You know, we're eight years
out from you know, Zionist initial petition. You know, you
know this this statue has been you know taken away,
it has been melted, and it just feels like a
literal and figurative clearing of the land. You know, it

(01:48:38):
just feels like, you know, people have asked, you know
sometimes it's like oh, there's you know, all that empty
space at the parks, and I was like, yeah, isn't
it nice. It's just kind of like I mean to
just kind of I think it's nice to just have
just push the pause button for you know, in terms
of things that are there for several years, and just
kind of allow our our minds to open, you know,

(01:48:59):
just like the the space itself and to just imagine
what that space can look like. I think it's really
instructive and I wish more communities could have the opportunity
to do this. Actually, yes, but you know, for instance,
taking that survey you know that that community members in
Charlottesville are doing now about you know, yeah, how do
you know? Where where do you what parks you go to,

(01:49:22):
what activities do you engage in there? What do you
like you know, what would you like to see more of?

Speaker 1 (01:49:26):
You know, this sort of thing.

Speaker 6 (01:49:27):
It's it's great to you know, to consider this. You
know that this is something that has been you know,
America's uh uh you know, the United States is uh,
you know, public parks has you know, been something that
you know, since the nineteenth century. Is something that's that's
been a real gem, you know in some of our
our public spaces, you know, in some of our cities,

(01:49:49):
and you know, and this is something to you know,
to celebrate, and it's it's nice to be able to
kind of take stock to really, you know, think about
how public spaces can express our professed values, you know.

Speaker 7 (01:50:03):
Instead of sort of reacting to hate, like taking a
moment to envision not our reaction to or you know,
what we don't want, but think about what we do
want in that space exactly what would what would serve
our community? And I think that's sort of where the
project is now, right, just sort of envisioning a positive
future rather than trying to remediate a negative past.

Speaker 6 (01:50:24):
And it's so nice because I felt like we were fighting, fighting,
fighting for so many years. You know, we're in court,
or we're protesting, or we're going to lobby at the
General Assembly or now we're going to city council. I
mean there was just you know all, you know, so fraught,
and so now it's just so free to like, oh,
to be able to imagine, you know, and to be
thinking forward, yeah, and constructively creatively. That's a great feeling.

Speaker 7 (01:50:49):
So how can people sort of keep up with sorts
into plow Shares, stay up to date on the project
and its progress, and more importantly, how can they support
sorts into plow Shares.

Speaker 6 (01:50:58):
Yeah, so you can visit Sipseville dot com. That's s
I P C v I L l E dot com.
So sip Cville that's Swords into Plowshires Ceville. And we
have occasional updates there with news stories about what we're
doing and upcoming meetings which will be happening at the

(01:51:20):
Jefferson School, uh, where we'll be you know, kind of
presenting results of of you know, surveys that we've done,
you know, and uh and also visiting speakers who will
be coming to talk about, you know, what what does
art mean in public spaces? You know, So we'll be
able to kind of you know, talk with uh, you know,

(01:51:43):
some experts that have come in, you know, to advise
us on you know, how to think about about what
we want in our in our in our parks going forward.

Speaker 7 (01:51:54):
And can people make donations to s I P on
the website, Yes, on the website, there is a portal
right there on Sipseyville dot com.

Speaker 6 (01:52:02):
Definitely welcome that as well.

Speaker 7 (01:52:05):
And those donations go towards for the the ultimate creation
of this piece of art. Correct, right, It is not
cheap to work with that much.

Speaker 2 (01:52:13):
More it is not.

Speaker 6 (01:52:14):
Yeah, so we're we're you know, putting together you know,
fun to pay the artists, you know, for the commissioning
the artists.

Speaker 1 (01:52:20):
You know.

Speaker 6 (01:52:20):
We're also applying for you know, grants from foundations and
this sort of thing too. But of course there are
other expenses associated with uh, you know, processing materials and
yeah and all that.

Speaker 7 (01:52:32):
So yeah, so that is s I P C V
I L L E dot com slash donate to make
sure that that artist gets paid. Absolutely well, Juliane, thank
you so much for joining us today and looking forward
to seeing our our new beautiful piece of art, hopefully
by twenty twenty seven.

Speaker 6 (01:52:52):
Yeah, yeah, it's great. Well, thank you for your interest, Mollie,
and thank you to all the listeners and supporters out there.
Means a lot to us that you know, your interest
in us and your support appreciate it.

Speaker 7 (01:53:05):
I think we all love those photos of Lee's melting face.

Speaker 6 (01:53:10):
It is icon I gotta say, it's iconic, you know.
I yeah, we'll always have that, have that memory.

Speaker 7 (01:53:20):
Thank you so much.

Speaker 2 (01:53:21):
All right, A welcome back to It could Happen Here
a podcast where the host Robert Evans, one of the

(01:53:42):
hosts has recently recovered from a terrible, terrible sickness by
by engaging in some fascinating experiments with thera flu, largely
using a friend's diabetic needles, just shooting it straight into
the veins My co host today, Garrison Davis, have you
ever ever shot flew medication into your veins?

Speaker 5 (01:54:02):
Garrison, No, I've only shot one thing into my veins.

Speaker 2 (01:54:06):
Well, speaking of shooting, today's episode of It Could Happen
Here is about a shooting. And before you are like,
oh man, I don't really have it in me to
listen to a horrible story about people dying today, don't worry.
Nobody gets shot in this story.

Speaker 5 (01:54:20):
Thank God, miraculously no one gets shot, Like against.

Speaker 2 (01:54:24):
All odds, it's stunning that nobody got shot. This is
the tale of a police officer fucking up, not worse
than any cop has ever fucked up, because again he
didn't kill anybody, but fucking up in a way that's
like more baffling and incompetent than I think I've ever
seen before. It's probably the most embarrassing and certainly the
most embarrassing, and not even really malevolent, just like outrageously incompetent,

(01:54:49):
but I'm gonna let you take over from here, Garrison.

Speaker 5 (01:54:53):
So, yeah, we are going to be talking about in
acorn involved shooting today, happened, that happened in Florida.

Speaker 2 (01:55:01):
Finally we know what the A and A cab stands for.
That's right.

Speaker 5 (01:55:08):
So we're gonna we're gonna play some clips here, but
I think it's important to set the scene so you
kind of understand what you're hearing. So this cop walks
up to his patrol car, there is a suspect locked
in the back.

Speaker 2 (01:55:20):
Sunny day, Houston suburbs, big houses, wide streets.

Speaker 5 (01:55:24):
Yeah, now something happens as the cop is about to
open up the door. He then dives onto the ground,
does two like action roles, double barrel rolls, and then
starts shooting at the car and starts yelling to another
officer who's in the area. And I think we'll just
we'll just play the rest here.

Speaker 2 (01:55:43):
Yeah.

Speaker 5 (01:55:44):
The first clips about thirty seconds long, and then I
just have a few shorter clips kind of that have
kind of stitched together that just just to get a
sense of like what he's saying and what he's communicating
after he opens fire on this patrol vehicle.

Speaker 2 (01:55:57):
So here is here? Is that audio far Jeff Jukes,
Burt Chuck's burd.

Speaker 5 (01:56:08):
You know.

Speaker 8 (01:56:15):
Oh, I'm that, I'm here.

Speaker 2 (01:56:21):
What I've done? He has the car?

Speaker 5 (01:56:25):
Now you shot the car.

Speaker 9 (01:56:28):
Oh, I'm I'm good. I'm feel weird, but I'm good.
I might have hit my best. Okay, it might hit
my best.

Speaker 1 (01:56:45):
I don't know.

Speaker 5 (01:56:50):
I'm not.

Speaker 1 (01:56:52):
Okay, I don't know.

Speaker 5 (01:56:53):
I I like it.

Speaker 8 (01:56:57):
Jess me, I got you remote to me, Jesse, come back, mark.

Speaker 3 (01:57:08):
You right back, dude, my head.

Speaker 1 (01:57:16):
Let's get further back, further back to the back.

Speaker 2 (01:57:18):
All right.

Speaker 5 (01:57:19):
So that was a lot of gunfire. Again, it is
shocking that no one died because it's not immediately evident
if you just watched the video. But there is somebody
who's trapped in the back of that car, and there's
multiple officers shooting at the car.

Speaker 2 (01:57:34):
And here's the thing, the guy. The distance the guy
is shooting from. God from when I watched the video
last I would estimate maybe about twenty yards, probably even
shorter than that, maybe sure, maybe more like fifteen. It's
medium to maybe medium long range for a handgun. For
a full size handgun like that, I'd say it's about
medium range. So a competent shooter should be able to
hit a target about the size of a human torso

(01:57:57):
at that distance with most of the but he is
not that. When I say competent, that is somebody who
is bracing themselves and who has two hands on the gun.
He is shooting like a character in an action movie.
And I cannot imagine. So a lot of those rounds
did not even hit the truck. I imagine they went
flying into a neighborhood where we can hear children playing yes, Yes.

Speaker 3 (01:58:18):
So the.

Speaker 5 (01:58:21):
Officer who encountered this acorn, which we will get to
in a sec was named Deputy Jesse Hernandez. He been
a cop for almost two years, and we'll learn more
about his background as we as we continue on with
this little story. The second officer, well not officer, but
a sergeant of this Sheriff's department named Beth Roberts, and

(01:58:44):
she's been a cop since two thousand and eight, so
she has a little bit more experience under her belt.
So let's kind of explain what happened here. So there
was a series of calls that happened earlier in the
day about a vehicle who was kind of driving erratically
around a nearby neighborhood honking its horn kind of just
like making a lot of sounds at like three am.
The suspect was described as a black mail in his

(01:59:04):
late twenties. And then a few hours later, a separate
call was made by someone talking about how her boyfriend
has been refusing to return her vehicle and has been
sending her threatening text messages. So this caused police to
go to this girlfriend's house. She showed some of these
threatening text messages and they were talking with this woman

(01:59:26):
when her boyfriend approached the scene. So the suspect approached
the police in front of his girlfriend's house. Deputy Hernandez
himself did a pat down to search for weapons and
observed a more thorough search once the suspect was handcuffed.
The missing car was located a few miles away, and
Hernandez was on his way back to the car to
do a tertiary search of the suspect, who is currently

(01:59:47):
locked in the backseat with handcuffs. And then as Deputy
Hernandez passed the passenger side door in acorn fell onto
the roof of his car, which is barely barely audible
in it. The bodycam video that we have access to.

Speaker 2 (02:00:02):
So you would not notice it were you not listening
for it.

Speaker 7 (02:00:06):
No, no, So.

Speaker 5 (02:00:07):
Three days later, Deputy Hernandez was interviewed by two investigators
as a part of the Office of Professional Standards investigation
into this incident of discharge gunfire and this this interview
in this report is probably one of the most telling
things about how police psychology operates.

Speaker 2 (02:00:26):
And wow, okay, so.

Speaker 5 (02:00:30):
I'm gonna read through a few quotes here from Deputy Hernandez.
He talks about how, quote, I'm about to reach for
the door handle and simultaneously I hear to at the
time what I believe would be a suppressed weapon off
to the side. I definitely heard this noise about the
same time I felt an impact on my right side,
like an upper torso area. I feel the impact. My

(02:00:52):
legs just give out. I don't know where I'm hit.

Speaker 2 (02:00:54):
I think I'm hit. I'm struck. I roll back. I
rolled to the briving like he's the hard boiled detective
and a novel.

Speaker 5 (02:01:04):
I rolled to the back of the car. Now I'm
stuck in the street, and I knew where the fire,
where the shots came from, I or I believed where
they came from. It was right there as I'm reaching
for that door handle. So I'm laying behind the car.
I'm yelling shots fire, shots fired, shots fired. I returned
fire once I could get cover behind another vehicle that
was parked in the driveway there. So when asked to

(02:01:24):
describe what he felt, because he's not just claiming that
he heard a sound, he's claiming he felt like he
got hit.

Speaker 2 (02:01:32):
Yeah, he felt an impact. He felt an impact and
his legs went out from underneath him. Yes, which again
in the video, he clearly does a double barrel roll.
He doesn't. That is not I have seen people get
hit and drop. They did not do double barrel rolls
like a little action stow.

Speaker 5 (02:01:50):
Yeah, yea, yeah, yeah, he says, quote, it felt like
an impact to my upper torso around here, and he
motions up to his right shoulder on the right side.
It was like a sound impact, like almost that quick.
I guess I just loved hit the phrase it was
like a sound impact.

Speaker 2 (02:02:07):
Yeah, I think he's saying. I think what he's saying
from reading it is that like we're missing some of
the body language that he was going to It was
like sound and then like moving his hands to get
sound impact, hearing the sound, and then he got impact.
I think he was actually trying to which is not
like them, which is actually not in person. Probably very awkward,
but yeah, it does. It comes across weird and so

(02:02:29):
more more funny than sound impact. For again, any corn
that's falling on a roof, we have quote, my legs
weren't working the way I wanted them to be working.
I think I yelled at one point to Sergeant Roberts.
I think I might have been hitting.

Speaker 5 (02:02:42):
The leg or something along those lines, because I was
struggling to get cover. I think at one point I
reached up to touch my head. I think I still
had the sound in my head. I wasn't sure if
I had been hidden the head. I was getting a
funny tingling around all sides of my body, and I
think some of that money just been adrenaline. Putting together

(02:03:04):
the fact that what I just heard and the impact
that I felt. I've never been shot before, so I
don't know what that's like or you know, unquote great
oh man, So he is. He's unsure if you would
be able to notice if he got shot in the
head or not, which is kind of interesting. I mean,

(02:03:26):
I'm sure he could get grazed, but like, come on, buddy, yeah.

Speaker 2 (02:03:29):
Yeah, I mean it's one thing. It is true that
like you can be hit like an armor and not
be sure if you've gotten a hit because it didn't penetrate.
But you would also not mistake a corn shrapnel hitting
you reasonably for a bullet Like That's simply not a
mistake a reasonable person is going to make.

Speaker 5 (02:03:49):
So the investigator asked him, like if there was any
other sense that there could have been gunfire, like if
you saw any like shattered glass coming from the car,
and Hernandez said no. When asked why he decided to
stop firing, Hernandez said that he stopped firing once he
emptied his clip, moved to cover behind it nearby Tesla
end quote, didn't observe any rounds coming back at me.

Speaker 2 (02:04:13):
Just just great, because why there's the.

Speaker 5 (02:04:18):
Hernandez claim that he was never able to see the
suspect while in the patrol car.

Speaker 2 (02:04:22):
And Hernandez remained behind.

Speaker 5 (02:04:24):
Cover till other deputies arrived and was rushed to a hospital,
where only then he was informed that he did not,
in fact to get shot.

Speaker 2 (02:04:31):
It's amazing he made it all the way to a hospital.
So you had a lot of chances. You had a
lot of chances to not fuck that up.

Speaker 3 (02:04:39):
Man.

Speaker 5 (02:04:40):
As soon as the other cops arrive on the seat,
he's like, I don't know, I just I just feel
so weird.

Speaker 2 (02:04:47):
Yeah, buddy, you you had an adrenaline drop because you panicked,
Like that is why you feel weird.

Speaker 5 (02:04:53):
Like a lot always this like mirrors the police fentanel things,
how they can like talk the themselves into feeling into
like feeling symptoms.

Speaker 2 (02:05:03):
Yes, but all right, So.

Speaker 5 (02:05:08):
Hernandoz hadn't been a cop for very long. He had
He had no prior law enforcement experience before joining this
Florida Sheriff's department, but he did attend to West Point
and served as a Special Forces Infantry officers in the
Army for ten years. So one could maybe assume that
the deputy's outrageous behavior was the result of some kind

(02:05:28):
of PTSD.

Speaker 2 (02:05:29):
From serving as Special Forces. But maybe maybe I could
kind of explain some of what's going on here. I
had multiple people when I posted this on Twitter, be like, oh,
this is maybe people with like PTSD shouldn't be.

Speaker 5 (02:05:40):
Cops, And I had to be like no, no, no, Well,
see the funny thing about that is that he never
actually served in combat.

Speaker 2 (02:05:49):
No, this guy flew a fucking desk, yeah, which like
you need that in a war. But like this, this
man did not have any combat trauma that caused him
to react this way.

Speaker 5 (02:05:59):
You know, like I I've had I've had PTSD. You know,
I've certainly gotten like I can get really jumpy with
certain sounds.

Speaker 2 (02:06:08):
Yeah, that is not that six months Carriod where fireworks
made us all very unhappy.

Speaker 5 (02:06:12):
Yeah, or like keys dropping was the big one for
me because it sounded like a tear guest canister rolling
on his bottles.

Speaker 2 (02:06:19):
But you know when in the many times that I
had bottles fall near me and set me off, or
that fireworks went off near me and set me off,
I was often carrying a gun and what I never
did was empty it vaguely in the direction of a car.
So he never saw combat.

Speaker 5 (02:06:35):
He did claim that he was aware of what suppressed
gunfire sounded like, and he affirmed that the noise he
herd reminded him of suppressed gunfire.

Speaker 2 (02:06:45):
I'm sorry, bro, what the fuck?

Speaker 5 (02:06:48):
Under questioning Herd, Eda said that he did not perceive
any other sounds, visuals, or physical indicators. Of gunfire besides
the initial tapping sound and his upper torso feeling. In
the interview, he was asked why he decided to fall
onto the pavement, and he said, I'm not sure if
it was adrenaline or just what, but the numbness of
my legs and realizing, Okay, I'm going to be on
the ground, but also realizing the windows are right there,

(02:07:10):
you know, I'm I need to be on the ground anyway,
so I'm not exposed. So yeah, and that that just
kind of led to my legs just kind of gave
out on me. Fascinating. He then was asked to explain
the two action roles he performed on the road, and
her dad replied.

Speaker 2 (02:07:27):
Uh rnx. At the same time, what was I supposed
to do? Pretty much?

Speaker 5 (02:07:32):
He said, uh the rolling kind of reaction to what
was going on and realizing like, my legs are not
working the way I need them to work right now,
but I can roll over to the next vehicle. So
that's kind of where I was trying to get to
unquote sure, okay, okay, bro. So after his little action roles,

(02:07:55):
this is where he started yelling shots fired and he
emptied his clip into the car. And told the sergeant
that shots were coming from this vehicle, and she began
firing in the vehicle as well. At what point Hernandez
tried to move off to the side because he was
concerned about being shot by the other cop. He says,
when I was done engaging the vehicle, I was trying
to get off to the side over there because I
was worried about possibly having possibly me being in her

(02:08:18):
line of fire.

Speaker 2 (02:08:19):
Now sure, this is this is the first reasonable threat
that he has expressed. I would also be concerned about
them shooting me in that instance.

Speaker 5 (02:08:28):
Yes, So, after Hernandez's initial explanation of events, the investigator
showed him video stills of an acorn coming into frame
and bouncing off the roof of his car. I'm just
going to read directly from the from the report, quote,
Deputy Hernandez asked acorn. Investigator Hogan answered acorn, I'm quote amazing, amazing,

(02:08:52):
an amazing sentence.

Speaker 3 (02:08:56):
This is.

Speaker 2 (02:08:58):
This is so perfectly how you would like script it
in a really good police procedural comedy, Like if you
had some A game writers on the team, and it's
it's gonna take some really good you'd need like the
wire quality actors to pull those lines off. Bunk and
Bunk could have pulled them off right, Like.

Speaker 5 (02:09:16):
There's two more lines I want I want to get
to before before we take an out of break here.
When asked if the sound he heard could have been
an acorn instead of suppressed gunfire, the deputy answered, quote,
I'm not gonna say no, because I mean, that's but
what ten second pause and speaking. What I heard three
second pause and speaking sounded almost like twelve second pause

(02:09:37):
and speaking in credit. But I heard sounded what I
think would be louder than an acorn hitting the roof
of the car. But there's obviously an acorn hitting the
roof of a.

Speaker 2 (02:09:45):
Car unquote amazing. Uh.

Speaker 5 (02:09:50):
The investigator then had to ask her, ed, does if
he was in general familiar with the sound of acorns,
which must be so embarrassed?

Speaker 2 (02:10:00):
That is that is that is a low point in
your career, that is Hernetta said that he was.

Speaker 5 (02:10:08):
He was then asked if the sound could have been
what led him to believe the car theft suspect shot him,
to which the deputy answered, it could be seven second
pause and speaking, but I don't think so, but it.

Speaker 2 (02:10:21):
Could be uncorked.

Speaker 5 (02:10:22):
Great so then Hernandez's lawyer said that they could maybe
watch the video again and see if see if the
acorn striking matches the time that he says that he
heard the sound, And then they deliberated for a little bit,
and ultimately Hernandez refused to watch the video a s
second time once he was told it was an acorn's

(02:10:45):
I mean, yeah, come on, what's there to do?

Speaker 2 (02:10:48):
Understandable? No, that's that's that's going to really do some
damage to your self esteem right there.

Speaker 5 (02:10:53):
Less than a month later, just a few days before
a second interview was scheduled, he quit the job.

Speaker 2 (02:11:01):
So you know what first decision he's made them, I
mean yeah, like, what what else can you do? At
this point? This story starts with a bad cop, but
it ends with a good one.

Speaker 5 (02:11:10):
Like imagine returning to work and everyone's gonna call you
like the acorn guy, like you can't, you can't.

Speaker 2 (02:11:17):
It's just an anytime there's like a there's like a
fucking acorn tree anywhere near you get like you okay, man, okay,
do you need to take him?

Speaker 3 (02:11:24):
Take it?

Speaker 5 (02:11:26):
Did you call this hit.

Speaker 3 (02:11:29):
There?

Speaker 2 (02:11:30):
Watch Out? Watch Out one hundred, one hundred times a
day guys would be getting on his radio being like
I just saw an acorn. Dispatch.

Speaker 5 (02:11:38):
You can get on a possible acorn, uh negative negative,
that is a pine cone.

Speaker 2 (02:11:43):
No need for assistance, just some gunfire. We're good, We're good,
not an acorn repete. We're safe. See is safe? No
acords insight.

Speaker 5 (02:11:53):
All right, let's let's take an out of break and
we will return to hear about Sergeant Robber recollection of events.
Welcome back to Acorn Cop streaming now on the Discovery Channel.

(02:12:17):
Two cops, one acorn. No survive, Actually no, thankfully everyone survived.
This would be much less funny.

Speaker 2 (02:12:25):
We would not be laughing about this now. There is
some permanent psychological damage done to the guy who was
shot at but not shot and that is unjust and sad,
yet not enough that we are not willing folks. You
have a right to laugh at something like this, you know,
even if there are some consequences to it. That's just
keeping yourself sane in this world.

Speaker 5 (02:12:44):
So, Sergeant Roberts was a member of the shaf's department
for fifteen years. She has a bachelor's degree in criminology
from the Florida State University.

Speaker 3 (02:12:52):
So that's cool.

Speaker 5 (02:12:53):
She's been teaching at the Criminal Justice Standards and Training
Commission for ten years. So I think one thing that
led to some of them thinking it could have been
suppressed gunfire is that in the threatening messages that the
suspect had shown to or had sent to his girlfriend,
included was a close up picture of this dark kind

(02:13:15):
of gray cylinder pressed up against the center of the
dash in his car. Less than two inches of the
cylinder were visible. No parts of a firearm could be seen.
But they believed that this was a suppressor, and the
victim said that he owned a suppressor. So I think
that that is one thing that happened in the interview
kind of or in the like exchange leading up to

(02:13:39):
this incident. But no one got any confirmation that he
had a gun on him. Again, he was searched two times.
There was no gun found on him. It is possible
to like hide a gun on you, It is much
more difficult to hide a gun with a suppressor like that.
Is that is a pretty a pretty big object.

Speaker 2 (02:13:55):
They are larger like it. Basically doubles are more than
doubles the link of the firearm, and it also does
so in such a way that makes it difficult to
carry in a concealed fashion.

Speaker 5 (02:14:08):
So when Sergeant Roberts was collecting an affidavit about the
stolen car, she said that she heard quote some type
of noise and shortly thereafter Jesse, who's Hernandez screaming? Shots fired?

Speaker 2 (02:14:20):
Quote.

Speaker 5 (02:14:21):
It was loud enough that it got my attention and
made me think we're about to have a fight with
a prisoner or the suspect. Either he's escaped somehow and
Jesse's in a tussle with him. I can't tell you
exactly what it was, but it made me look and
then immediately heard Deputy Hernandez screaming. Shots fired.

Speaker 2 (02:14:37):
So Sergeant Roberts ran out into the street. Quote.

Speaker 5 (02:14:40):
I saw that Hernandez was down. He had his gun
point to the back of his patrol car. I was
drawing my pistol and my magazine that was in my
meg pouch. Somehow flew out again. Amazing police work.

Speaker 2 (02:14:50):
These guys, incredible stuff. That's someone who never practiced.

Speaker 5 (02:14:55):
Yeah, at which point I thought there was a malfunk.
I thought that I dropped the magazine. Somehow I hit
the meg release on my firearm and that that was
the magazine that fell out. Turns out it wasn't. It
was the one from my meg pouch. Uh huh, at
which point I think I fired. So you just have
magazines flying you freak out and start pulling your trigger.

Speaker 2 (02:15:17):
Yeah, I will say that last part extremely common experience.
Police officers are not well trained, and most of them
in terms of combat stuff, and most of them do
not shoot regularly. When the FBI's done studies of like
people who kill police officers, and they nearly always train
way more often than the police officers they kill trained.

(02:15:38):
It's very Most cops are not putting one hundred and
fifty rounds a month downrange, and like, I fire three
hundred rounds a month in training, and I'm not particularly good.
That's what I consider like minimum level of competence. And
so it is extremely common in police shootings for the
officer to say I don't know how many I fired,
or I fired two shots and they fired seventeen. That

(02:15:58):
happens fun Oftentimes, even more than that, people will reload
and not realize that they reloaded and emptied the second
magazine because in an actual violent situation, and it is
for that lady, I will say that she just knows
that her partner is emptying his firearm. Yeah, so for her,
she's this is less unreasonable, right, It is more complicated
for Sergeant Roberts. But I think it also points to

(02:16:21):
some of the inherent problems with policing. Oh good god.

Speaker 5 (02:16:26):
Yes, and the way police are trained, Like the how
quickly it was for her to start firing at a
suspect who's locked inside of a patrol car, who she
knows has been searched multiple times, and.

Speaker 2 (02:16:36):
Who she has not seen shooting.

Speaker 5 (02:16:38):
Yeah, she she has not seen any gunfire, she's not
seen any evidence of that, she's heard one man screaming.
And how quickly they decide to use lethal force is
I think very notable.

Speaker 2 (02:16:48):
Quote.

Speaker 5 (02:16:49):
I fired at the vehicle because I saw Deputy Hernandez
down on the ground and he tells me that shots
are fired and he's hit, and it scared the hell
out of me. I thought I was watching him be killed,
which is Yeah, it's to like how they are trained
to constantly be in fear for their lives, their fellow officers' lives. Quote,
it was the patrol car that was where the threat
was coming from. I'm thinking we've we missed the gun

(02:17:10):
in the pack down. Somehow he shot Jesse from the
car and Jesse's down shots are being fired. I couldn't
tell you exactly where they were coming from, but I
fired because of my concern.

Speaker 2 (02:17:19):
On grit and you get. This is a thing that
does not get represented in fiction. People don't like to
talk about it. This happens with soldiers too. I have
a friend who was shot in the leg by a
fifty cow by one of our fifty cows one of
his guy's guns, because they were told anyone from this
building over that you see on the thermal scope is

(02:17:39):
an enemy. They saw him on the thermal scope and
they lit him up. It was just a series of
bad calls being made and nobody checking to confirm. Because
you're in an actual chaotic, dangerous situation, checking to confirm
is there actually a threat in that area? They're just shooting,
you know. It's people panic all the time. It's one
of the problems with sending people with gun into neighborhoods

(02:18:01):
like this is part of why the way we do
policing is such a bad idea, because there's no way
to train out all of this. You can train out
acorn guy, maybe maybe, but they didn't. But you cannot
train out people panicking and doing things with guns that
can never be taken back.

Speaker 5 (02:18:16):
Well. And one other aspect is like Hernandez starts firing
his gun very shortly after he's yelling shots fired. Like
getting that linear cause of events can be tricky because
like you are hearing gunfire at the same time you
were hearing him yell shots fired because he is shooting.
And Roberts said that she wasn't sure if she or
Hernandez even shot first, Like all of your memory in

(02:18:36):
these instances can get really kind of blurry, like like
all of these like high stress scenarios, it actually can
be hard to remember the exact manner of oh, yes, easily, yes,
she said quote I'm seeing him on the ground yelling
shots fired.

Speaker 2 (02:18:50):
I'm hit. I'm hit.

Speaker 5 (02:18:51):
I thought I thought I saw a deputy get murdered.
I was close enough to see his facial expression that
was fear, anxiety, it was it was horrible. I'm seeing
him kind of trip fall, stumble something behind the vehicle.
At some point he's able to kind of post up,
but he was stumbling, crawling on the ground. I don't
know how to explain it. He wasn't standing up straight,
he was not in a tactical position. He was off

(02:19:13):
as momentum, he was off balance, he was standing behind
that car. It did not look like he was in
control of himself.

Speaker 2 (02:19:20):
Yeah, no, yeah, that's like what she is saying. I'm
not going to say this is like a good response,
But it makes sense to me that she reacted the
way she'd most people would write, which is why most
people should not be given firearms and legal immunity to
do whatever with them, right, But most people would have
reacted in a why broadly similar manner without training, you know,

(02:19:41):
without training and experience.

Speaker 5 (02:19:42):
Now, there's one way that she describes his kind of
like weird stumbling on the ground quote. The auditory tone
in his voice was terror. The best way to describe
it was like watching a baby to raft trying to
walk for the first time, trying to.

Speaker 2 (02:19:58):
Get the out of the road. That is that is
going to echo in his mind until the day he dies.
So maybe dressed stumbling learning to walk for the first time.
Do you know what else is learning to walk? I

(02:20:19):
don't know.

Speaker 5 (02:20:19):
That doesn't really now, do you know what else could
perceive acorns as a threat to business.

Speaker 2 (02:20:27):
Oh yeah, we I mean, the one thing all of
our sponsors agree on is that acorns and all trees
should be eliminated in the interest of better profit margins.
So dangerous kill the natural world, live free. I want

(02:20:51):
to know one other thing as I'm talking about, like
why they I'm not surprised they reacted this way, and
what it says to me about like how I think.
Like I think that a group of moderately competent civilians
with concealed firearms would have responded better than both officers
in this situation. Large not for the reason that they're

(02:21:11):
more smarter or better trained, because they probably aren't, but
because they go through the world carrying a gun knowing
that if anything they do with that gun, they're legally
accountable for every shot fired they're accountable for, which is
a different mind state than what police are trained to do,
which is the instant you feel endangered, you should draw

(02:21:31):
and be prepared to shoot or shoot immediately, because nothing
matters more than you getting home, and you have qualified
immunity on your side, right.

Speaker 5 (02:21:39):
Yeah, which allows you to interpret a very quiet tapping
sound as a lethal threat to your life. Now, Sergeant
Roberts said, that she did observe Hernandez move himself into
kind of a kneeling shooting stance on his left knee
with his right foot planted in front, but still quote,
it seemed like his motor functions were not off running

(02:22:00):
properly from what I saw. He told me again, shots
her fire. He's completely out in the open. No one
would think that's a good place to take a knee
to tactically fire. So he was still trying to respond
in some way, but still very very baby draft coated.

Speaker 2 (02:22:12):
It seems yeah, yeah, I mean, that seems like a
constant thing for this fella.

Speaker 7 (02:22:17):
So.

Speaker 5 (02:22:18):
Roberts also admitted that she did not ever see the suspect.
She could not see inside the patrol car and she
couldn't hear anything coming from that area. Quote, if there
would have been something going on in that vehicle, I
don't know if I necessarily would have heard it. Was
I hearing or seeing the windows be blasted out. No,
I couldn't see the right side of the vehicle. But
based on the circumstances, I'm thinking that somehow he shot

(02:22:39):
Jesse from the back and it had struck him some
way somehow. I don't know if the individual's gotten out
of the car and it's on the other side, you know,
like he's escaped somehow. I couldn't see if the door
was wide open. I don't know if he's gotten out
and they've had a little tussle. Is he's shooting from
the back of the car. All these things are going
through my head, but the main thing is that he's
in the back of the car. He's got a gun,
and we missed it, and somehow he shot Deputy her.

(02:22:59):
Now so she also couldn't remember who shot first, but
she denied the notion that she started shooting because she
thought Hernandez fired his gun first. She was confident in
her her own use of gunfire before before she could
tell that Jesse was firing.

Speaker 2 (02:23:18):
Yeah, interesting quote.

Speaker 5 (02:23:21):
The threat was someone had shot him. We had an
armed suspect in the back of the vehicle. Jesse was shot.
I'm watching him, you know, fumble on the road. How
do I give him more time? How do I draw
the attention to me? How do I save him? I
thought I was watching him get murdered. The tone in
his voice, look on his face, the physical reactions. I'm
thinking we missed the gun and this is it. How
do I get to Jesse to save him. She she
talks about how she quote couldn't let him be shot

(02:23:42):
again again, as all of this is like so confident
that that that this has happened, and they're so confident
in their own use of force. She was also concerned
that if the suspect got away, other people's lives could
be in danger, like his girlfriend who was nearby and
the friend who was talking to police about their domestic issue. Quote,
there was a threat in the back of the patrol car.
I had a deputy that was on the ground that

(02:24:04):
was still a threat to Jesse's life. I needed to
provide him some sort of cover or bring the attention
to me. I'm watching him die. I've got to do something.
I've got to do something. There's that just like overall
constantly throughout this interview with the Professional Standards Investigation, she's
just constantly saying how she thought that this man was
gonna die. That's why she responded the way she did.

(02:24:25):
Like she talks about how she can't render aid if
there's still a threat, she has to like get regain
control the situation.

Speaker 2 (02:24:32):
All of those are reasonable things to say, Yeah, all
of those are reasonable things to say in a real
gun fight.

Speaker 5 (02:24:38):
Yes, it's just a little bit less less valid with
the en shiting incident. Is an acorn falling on a roof? Yes,
and you're shooting directly at a man who's your own
big car been searched two times and is wrapped inside,
who has handcuffs on.

Speaker 1 (02:24:56):
Like.

Speaker 5 (02:24:58):
So, Yeah, After both cops spared off this large valley
of bullets, they both repositioned behind cover, called in more backup,
and Roberts tended to manage the situation and the other
individuals in the area and eventually check in on Deputy Hernandez. Quote,
the threat was still a threat until we were able
to remove him from the car. Again, they're not viewing
him as a person, They're viewing him as a threat.

(02:25:20):
Like that is that is like he's no longer like
a human being.

Speaker 2 (02:25:23):
He is he is a threat. That is what he represents.

Speaker 5 (02:25:26):
Now.

Speaker 2 (02:25:27):
Yeah, well, and that is that is how they're trained
to talk. And that is, by the way, like in
a court of law, how you should talk, right, you don't.
You would not say, if you were involved in the
legal defensive shooting, I shot to kill. You would say
I shot to stop the threat. That is like how
people are trained, because that's what plays best in the court.

Speaker 1 (02:25:45):
Yeah.

Speaker 5 (02:25:45):
No, she all of her interview is very polished. She is,
she likes very she's she's been a caught for fifteen years,
like she is. She knows what she's saying here.

Speaker 2 (02:25:54):
Yes, she's been coached before. Yeah, she's she's aware.

Speaker 5 (02:25:57):
So after they were able to get to cover, she
called in more resources. Quote, that's when we were able
to treat it as more of a barricaded armed suspect situation.
This poor dude, Yeah, like what do you do?

Speaker 2 (02:26:09):
Like you're hanging in the back of the car like everywhere,
like like it seems like this guy is guilty of
having a little bit of having an emotional breakdown with
his partner and doing things he should not have done,
none of which the penalty for is getting shot at
while strapped into a car.

Speaker 5 (02:26:25):
Yeah, he stole his girlfriend's car, He sent her threatening messages.
He was described as being abassive in the past. Yeah,
there's bad things, but that doesn't mean you can get
executed by police because they hurt an a chord Like, No,
that is.

Speaker 2 (02:26:38):
Not that is not what our society has deemed the
punishment for those options for those behaviors should be so.

Speaker 5 (02:26:45):
Roberts closed this interview by saying, quote, I don't think
there's anything funny about it. It just went from zero
to one hundred within the drop of a hat. I
know we talk about it all the time, but when
it does, it does. And she's talking about how, like
how fast the situation escalates, like from a very standard
interaction towards you're now multiple people are shooting, like this
is it happens so quickly. It went from the zeer

(02:27:08):
to one hundred within the drop of the hat.

Speaker 2 (02:27:10):
Yeah, that's that is what happens with shootings.

Speaker 5 (02:27:13):
She knew that Hernandez was prior military and when in
training Hernandez was training on her shift, she described him
as quote a very squared away person, somebody that if
they tell you something, you don't question it. I wanted
Jesse on my shift. When I observed him in high
stressful situations, he reacted appropriately. He wasn't afraid to respond

(02:27:34):
and he's I think that last part is certainly true.
He was not afraid to respond well.

Speaker 2 (02:27:38):
And this is why, again, when the response for a
lot of people when I would talk about this to
them is suspecting it had something to do with his
military training that he responded this way. Soldiers aren't trained
this way. Again, this is soldiers contrained in the field.
But soldiers are generally trained to not air on the
side of opening fire blindly because war crimes are a

(02:27:59):
thing they're concerned about and they have a sense of
professional pride against Again, not to say that they do
not kill innocent people. They do all the time, because
that's what war is. But this is not the way.
So this is police training. This guy's bias towards reacting
this way is the result of police training, not special
forces training.

Speaker 5 (02:28:18):
She kind of reaffirmed her trust in Hernandez as a
person who was like reliable, saying when they were on
night shift during training, quote, he acted appropriately, He did
not lose control of his emotions. I have a lot
of respect for him. Actually, when he tells you something,
it's not something like are you sure you know he'd
tell you something and that's what's happening, or that's what happened.
I don't think there's anything malicious about what he did.

Speaker 2 (02:28:39):
I'm not mad at him.

Speaker 5 (02:28:40):
I'm not upset about it because I truly believe that
he thought that's what was happening, unquote, which is again,
it just I'd be pissed you almost, Like I don't
know if I was tricked into almost killing someone.

Speaker 2 (02:28:53):
I don't understand this reaction. Like it's this thin blue
line shit, right, Yeah, they have to group together so
so hard. Yeah, it's it's and it's like this guy
got you into a situation where you could have shot
a child, Like I would never forgive someone who put

(02:29:15):
me in that position for no good reason, right, Like,
it's why that's such such an insane response to me.

Speaker 5 (02:29:22):
So she has to keep affirming that he has like
a good judgment, and it's it's so bizarre.

Speaker 2 (02:29:26):
No, he doesn't, like he very clearly doesn't. You'll watch
the video. It'd be one thing if like they were
under fire and he shot and his bullet went wide
and hit a civilian and it's no, that's like absolutely,
it's just a horrible accident. But like his judgment wasn't bad.
It was just a terrible situation. This is so different,
like and that she's still going to bat for him,

(02:29:47):
says everything about cop cops, cop brain.

Speaker 5 (02:29:50):
Yeah, there's a few lines that I want to read
before we close. Out here that are in the conclusion
of the of the report can't wait. They describe her
and his legs as quote, stopped working correctly. I think
it's just a really funny way to phrase it.

Speaker 2 (02:30:06):
I would describe his brain that way.

Speaker 5 (02:30:07):
But yeah, his legs weren't responding as he intended. But
there was no evidence to support anything impacted Deputy Hernandez.
No defects are found on his uniform or his blistering
vests support the impact Hernandez. It's response was not objectively reasonable,
so they they ruled that Hernandez's response was not objectively reasonable,
that it was not appropriate.

Speaker 2 (02:30:28):
Positively surprised about that, but they.

Speaker 5 (02:30:30):
Found Sergeant Roberts's response as being reasonable because she believed
Hernandez has been shot because of his tone of voice,
his stumbling, attempts to move and stand up, and it's
apparent quote lack of control over his body.

Speaker 2 (02:30:43):
Yeah, I would not call it. I wouldn't say her
response is reasonable. I would say her response is what
I would expect most people to do.

Speaker 5 (02:30:49):
No, or it is reasonable in terms of how police
procedure operates, like she followed the correct protocols for interacting
as a police officer.

Speaker 2 (02:30:59):
Yeah, I don't believe under the laws she would have
been found liable by any court.

Speaker 5 (02:31:04):
No, they said, quote Robert's found out Hernandez to be
a reliable depity that she could trust. She had no
reason to doubt what Hernandez had been telling her. She
described the auditory tone of Hernandez's voice as terror, the
look on his face as being quote consistent with being
in feary. I love that kind of cop speak, consistent
with being in fear.

Speaker 2 (02:31:23):
Yeah, he looked scared. Yeah, amazing. I I do want
to go over one thing before we come out, because
this is again something I've been asked by people, and
you know, maybe this is actionable. If you ever found
yourself handcuffed in the back of a police car and
they start shooting at you, you should know how this
guy survived because reading the interview with him, he was like,
as soon as I realized they were shooting at me,

(02:31:44):
I like flung myself down sideways and laid flat. I
think in front of the seat. He might have been
on the seat. I would get in front of the
seat if you can. But the reason he survived is
that handguns number one, police carry hollow points in their handguns.
Which is a bullet that has a hole in the

(02:32:04):
slug the thing that goes into somebody. And the reason
why you make a hollow point is that a hollow
point expands immediately upon impact, so it doesn't penetrate as well.
It will not go through armor, and it will not
go through objects very well. But when it hits meat,
it expands and so instead of going through a body,

(02:32:26):
it stops and it imparts all of the force from
the bullet into that body, so it is better at
stopping people. But what that means is when someone is
shooting at something like a car and shooting into the
back of a car and you have that whole reinforced
trunk and backseat of a police car to go through
those nine millimeters, rounds are unlikely to penetrate very far.
So if you are laying down in front of the

(02:32:47):
seat or flat on the seat, your odds of not
getting hit are pretty good. Like he had, I'm not
surprised he survived having done what he did. You know,
if you're sitting up and you've got body parts that
are like view of the windows, you're very likely to
get hit. But because he did what he did, he
essentially saved his own life, is what it's my interpretation

(02:33:09):
of what I've read.

Speaker 5 (02:33:10):
Yeah, no, I mean it's it's it is a terrifying
scenario that there was. There was an instant recently of
this officer who made his first ever arrest. He had
two suspects locked in the back and he got distracted
about driving. He drove his car off the road into
a lake, and both of.

Speaker 2 (02:33:29):
The suspects drowned. Jesus fucking Christ.

Speaker 5 (02:33:32):
Like this is this is like all these things point
towards just inherent problems with the policing system.

Speaker 2 (02:33:38):
Cops bad, avoid at all costs.

Speaker 5 (02:33:40):
It's terrifying, Like it's it is like these people can
just act like this can kidnap, people can do all
these things and face basically no repercussions at least turn
ind as is no longer a cop, which is good,
but like that doesn't fix any of the underlying problems
with training that cause people to react like this in
the face of a squirrel armed with an AI corn

(02:34:01):
being the most dangerous thing that you can encounter.

Speaker 2 (02:34:04):
Yeah, it's very bad police work. Avoid cops.

Speaker 5 (02:34:09):
Yeah, yeah, pretty much pretty much. So, Yeah, that is
that is what we have to say on the acorn
involved shooting.

Speaker 2 (02:34:16):
Yeah, great stuff.

Speaker 5 (02:34:17):
Watch out for acorns, Watch out for droops. Also dangerous.
They can fall off a tree. Yeah, pine cones can
sometimes be lethal.

Speaker 2 (02:34:25):
Oh they call those the widow makers.

Speaker 5 (02:34:28):
Eyes on the sky, folks, You never know.

Speaker 2 (02:34:31):
All right, bye, Hey, We'll be back Monday with more
episodes every week from now until the heat death of
the Universe.

Speaker 7 (02:34:42):
It Could Happen Here as a production of cool Zone Media.

Speaker 1 (02:34:44):
For more podcasts from cool Zone Media, visit our website
cool zonemedia dot com, or check us out on the
iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Speaker 7 (02:34:53):
You can find sources for It Could Happen Here, updated
monthly at cool zonemedia dot com slash sources.

Speaker 1 (02:34:59):
Thanks for listening.

Behind the Bastards News

Advertise With Us

Follow Us On

Host

Robert Evans

Robert Evans

Show Links

StoreRSSAbout

Popular Podcasts

Death, Sex & Money

Death, Sex & Money

Anna Sale explores the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation.

Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know

If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

Connect

© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.