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November 23, 2022 13 mins

Charles Lewis: Welcome to First Person Cville — the podcast. I’m Charles Lewis, your host, and also the co-host of In My Humble Opinion from 101.3FM.

Today’s episode features writer and librarian Katrina Spencer and is based on the essay she wrote for First Person Cville called, “Public Violence, Our Trusty Companion.”

"Public Violence, Our Trusty Companion" was written following the May 2022 Uvalde shooting at Robb Elementary in Texas. The audio prepared to complement this written piece was recorded preceding the November 2022 shooting at the University of Virginia.

Katrina was born and raised in Los Angeles and has lived in Charlottesville for about two years. But her thoughts about public violence are timeless and global — they apply to everything from the Rodney King beatings in LA in 1991 to the Westgate shopping mall shooting in Nairobi in 2013. To the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017. Or bomb threats called into our local synagogue. Or recent shootings across town.

Figuring out how to deal with violence…might just be what it means to be a person right now.

In this episode, you’ll hear Katrina talk about what it’s been like to grow with public violence as a constant but unwelcome presence. Along the way, she started to notice that the news media prescribed emotions for everything from pop culture icons to mass shootings. Today, the amount of public violence and emotions she’s told she’s supposed to feel have left her overwhelmed.

A quick warning: because Katrina’s talking about public violence, some of this content might be difficult to listen to.

Katrina takes it from here, starting with growing up in LA in the early 1990s….

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