Setting foot outside your home in the middle of a Minnesota winter might make you want to run back indoors and hibernate until it warms up. But there's a group of people who don't hide from the wind — instead, they look for it. They wait for a fresh blanket of snow or hard freeze to thicken the ice on a lake so they can safely venture on to it. There are people who enjoy winter, and Minnesota has a lot to offer them. MPR News guest host Dan Kraker talks about why you might want to plan an outdoor excursion during the coldest months of the year. We'll learn about the outdoor activities that have a short window of opportunity, limited to just six weeks out the year for winter conditions to be just right. MPR News reporters share their stories from Winter Play — a series exploring how Minnesotans play outside during winter. Winter Play! Ice climbing, dogsledding and fat tire biking Guests: Randy Carlson is a snow kiting co-coordinator at the University of Minnesota Duluth recreational sports outdoor program. Claire Wilson is the executive director for The Loppet Foundation in Minneapolis. Kirsti Marohn is a correspondent in MPR News' Collegeville bureau. Regina Medina is an MPR News correspondent for the race, class and communities team. Amy Felegy is an associate digital producer and reporter in MPR News' Moorhead bureau. Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS. Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.
MPR News' Cube Critics on which movies to see and which to skip this awards season
Movie awards season is in full swing. MPR News' Cube Critics have suggestions for the movies you need to see and the ones they think you can skip. Plus, they share their thoughts about the politics behind awards shows, why some of the best movies get snubbed and whether awards shows still matter. Guests: Aron Woldeslassie is an associate producer for the American Public Media podcast Smash Boom Best. He's also the co-host of Cube Critics. Samantha Matsumoto is an associate producer for MPR News with Angela Davis, and a co-host of Cube Critics. Euan Kerr is an editor at MPR News. He's a former Cube Critics co-host, and now he produces and edits the show. Here is a list of the movies both our guests and our callers talked about in the show. The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity. Click the audio player above to listen to the full conversation. Films that stood out 'Everything Everywhere All At Once' Samantha Matsumoto: This movie is probably one of the best examples of that big, overstaffed movie and how to do it right. I had never, or so rarely, seen a movie about an Asian family where people got to feel so human and messy. Much of it is in Chinese and touches on queer Asian identity. It's so specific, but also so universal. 'The Banshees of Inisherin' Aron Woldeslassie: It's the story of two friends. And one of the friends just doesn't want to be friends anymore. The pacing has been done so incredibly, that you're both shocked and not at all surprised at everything that happens. It's very funny and it gives the viewer a sense of melancholy that I think they can enjoy. 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' Aron Woldeslassie: It was such a step outside of what we would expect from a standard Marvel film. I don't think I've ever watched an action film that was dedicated to mourning and how pain can take you to so many extreme places. 'The Whale' Euan Kerr: It is a really claustrophobic, thought-provoking film about the meaning of life, the meaning of love, relationships. It's really engaging but it's also hard to watch. 'Aftersun' Euan Kerr: This is an amazing puzzle of a movie, because very little is actually explained about what is going on other than you have a sense that there is something ominous on the horizon. It doesn't move very fast. There's no action in it. But it is just riveting. 'RRR' Samantha Matsumoto: This is a three-hour-long movie. It's an epic about these two men in colonial India. They're both revolutionaries and they strike up this friendship. When I think about movie magic and what movies can do, I think that this movie is a great example of it. Movies our host and guests thought were snubbed 'Nope' Aron Woldeslassie: I think that "Nope" was the best film of 2022. I watched it three times. It's everything that you want from a suspenseful alien film and we get some really great performances, honestly. 'The Woman King' Euan Kerr: It's a story about gender. It's a story about what was happening when the slave trade was occurring in the 1800s and the various communities' choices. This is a thought-provoking piece with a little bit of history that perhaps a lot of people don't know about. It was kind of strange that we didn't hear more about that. Listener favorites, flops Listeners called into the show and shared films that stood out or disappointed them. Here are a few of them. 'Catherine Called Birdy' It is loosely based on a children's novel by Karen Cushman and it's a medieval comedy about a 14-year-old girl avoiding marriage. Much of the story is about how she's coming of age, but it's also about her realizing in the end, she's going to get married, but she wants to do it on her own terms. It's a nice movie to look at visually and fun to watch. — Mina in Minneapolis 'Avatar: The Way of Water' I wanted to love it. I felt like they added so much military action and bigotry, and they were trying so hard to appeal to the action movie audience. It had some beautiful underwater sequences, but overall, I was disappointed. — Shawn in Bemidji 'Causeway' I loved this movie with Jennifer Lawrence. It's about a soldier returning from the Middle East with a traumatic brain injury and her adjustment to life and the friendships she develops. That movie really stuck with me so I highly recommend it. — Katy in Edina
MPR News' Cube Critics on which movies to see and which to skip this awards season
Local arts leaders give voice to underrepresented communities
Art is a wide-ranging world from food to community spaces and paintings on a wall. MPR arts reporter Jacob Aloi visited the studios of local arts leaders whose work is centered around diverse experiences and voices that more accurately reflect the people who live in the Twin Cities. Guests: Bayou Bay is an installation artist and muralist with Creatives After Curfew, a group of BIPOC and queer artists and allies who create murals to soothe, remember, build and imagine a future rooted in justice and liberation. Their installation called Affirmation Space at the Northrup King Building in Public Functionary opens Feb. 4. @creativesaftercurfew Leslie Barlow is an oil painter and muralist with Creatives After Curfew. She leads Public Functionary, an artist-led space in the Northrup King Building. The group runs PF Studios, a program that supports BIPOC and marginalized artists. @pfunctionary @pfstudios.mpls Alec Fischer is a documentary filmmaker and runs Fischr Media. His latest project is called COVID Confessions — a video series that focuses on how the pandemic affected hundreds of workers in the Midwest. Valéria Piccoli is the first-ever curator of Latin American Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and she's the chair of the arts of the Americas. Here are some key moments from the conversation. The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity. Click the audio player above to listen to the full conversation. 'Affirmation Space' and 'Public Functionary' emphasize building community. What role does the community play in all of it? Bayou Bay: As someone that's a little bit introverted, it gave me a space where I could feel safe to not only experience blackness outside of my home, but at a time when there's been so much violence and harm done to Black folks in the last 10 years. I feel like art and community gave me multiple spaces where I can express myself, feel liberation inside of my body, and create art that is not only healing for myself but also healing for others. The more community spaces we have, the more spaces we have to combat all of the trauma that our systems inflict on us on a daily basis. Leslie Barlow: Community is everything. As an artist, I find that the stronger your community is the more likely you're going to stay committed to your practice. It's so important to me to have a community that I can be vulnerable with, that I can trust and that I feel supported by. As a person who paints other people, relationships are really important. Whether you're getting to know that person with a painting or through multiple conversations that lead to creating a work of art together. Why did George Floyd's killing galvanize the creation of 'Creatives After Curfew'? Bayou Bay: It wasn't a moment where we said let's create a collective. It was a moment where we were in trauma, both Leslie and I lived a few blocks from where he was murdered. At the time, during the pandemic, I didn't want to be locked down in my house alone, I wanted to speak truth to power. Police brutality didn't stop with George Floyd. There was Dolal Idd, Winston Smith and Daunte Wright. The way the community came around the Daunte Wright mural was witnessing collective trauma. The mural was kitty corner from Daunte's funeral and I remember a car full of black women out the window saying: "thank you," and other people saying: "we love you." That was important. Leslie Barlow: Sometimes it's hard to talk about how we came together. When we sat together in this park, with artists from that area, there were helicopters circling us. I just remember the sound, we couldn't even hear each other talk because they were so loud. But there was a nexus of things that made that possible: George Floyd's murder, the isolation we were all feeling, and also that we didn't have any work. The pandemic had removed a lot of things from a lot of artists so we wanted to create a space and opportunities for people of color to grieve and process together what was happening. Why did you choose to go down the journalism and documentary film path? Alec Fischer: I spent a lot of time in middle school and high school doing advocacy work for the Safe and Supportive Schools Act that was trying to be passed at the time. Even in college, I did some lobbying work, I worked with a friend to draft legislation to ban conversion therapy, and was doing a lot of meetings with elected officials. I realized that what I was trying to do was change people's perspectives and pass things that were going to protect people in our communities. However, I was angry all the time, so frustrated, because it's such a game to some of these people. I saw that doing more of the film work could change perspectives and be a catalyst for social change in ways that I could not do writing legislation. Plus I had some talent and passion in that area, and I'm also a lot less angry doing it, I feel a lot happier. And I can have really incredible conversations with people that are inspiring to me and empowering to the community I work with and communities I reside in. And so that was a flip for me is going from politics to film was, you know, realizing the impact could be there in a different way that I hadn't realized, originally. How did you start the process of creating COVID confessions? Alec Fischer: I had conversations with friends who were in different industries and realized that no one had been doing sit-down interviews on camera with nurses and teachers. There have been a lot of written articles, audio type podcast work, but not sit-down-produced reflections for folks. I brought eight people together and individually filmed them. I thought I would just make a short film that highlighted the nurses' and teachers' worries. But then I realized there was so much more I could do if I wanted to. A week of filming turned into a month of filming, and after that month, I decided I could stop and edit for two months, to figure out what that looked like. But then I made the decision to challenge myself and see how many stories I could tell in a whole year. Twelve months passed, and I interviewed more than 300 people across 40 industries. Telling Midwestern stories has been on my heart for a couple of years now. When I first started my company four years ago, I realized that there was this huge gap in productions that were focusing on local stories, but bringing them to a national level. What is your perspective on the term 'Latin American Art'? Valéria Piccoli: It's a very sensitive question because Latin America is a European construction. It speaks to the colonization process, but I think we still lack a proper term to speak about the countries in Central and South America that were colonized by Spain, Portugal, the UK and France. When speaking about Latin America, people always think of Spanish America and they don't consider Brazil, for instance, as part of Latin America, or the Caribbean countries, which have a mix of different traditions. Your question is really tricky. I think we lack a proper term to define Latin America. Can you explain the overarching themes in Latin American Art and the decolonized perspective you put into your work? Valéria Piccoli: I think that those overarching themes are really what interests me. To think about how the Americas are at this crossroads, a mix of many different cultures and how we can think about it in relation to African heritage. African people were brought to many countries in the Americas against their will, enslaved, and that had a decisive influence on their culture. To also think about the Americas in relation to Asia, because since colonial times, we have had contact with China, the Philippines, Japan. I think that all those aspects are things that we share and have in common in the Americas. I want to build a collection and a program that showcase artists with African descent, Indigenous artists, I want to insist on women artists and talk more about underrepresented artists that can really bring to the surface the historical questions of colonization, and the historical experience of Latin America. This is a way of having a decolonial, or, or post-colonial approach added to the collection building. Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.
Local arts leaders give voice to underrepresented communities
Spending money can stem from an emotional place, and even just one month of overspending can put you in financial trouble. While it's good to develop conscious, healthy spending habits, the notion of saving money and frugality is dependent on your relationship with money — and how you value where your income goes. MPR News guest host Chris Farrell talks about emotional spending, and how to build a healthy relationship between you and your money. Guests: Sharon Powell is an educator with the University of Minnesota Extension. She's part of the Family Resiliency Team based at the Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center and specializes in financial capability and family relationships. Shannon Doyle is the financial education program manager in LSS Financial Counseling for the Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. Ross Levin is the founder of Accredited Investors Wealth Management, a comprehensive, fee-only, wealth management firm in Edina. His Gains and Losses column runs in the Star Tribune. Matthew Alvarez | MPR News MPR News guest host Chris Farrell talks with Sharon Powell and Shannon Doyle about healthy spending habits and emotional spending. Here are some key moments from the conversation. The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity. Click the audio player above to listen to the full conversation. What does a good relationship with money look like? Sharon Powell: The best relationships with money are when people are able to use money to achieve their goals. They feel that they are in control of their financial decisions, and they have the resources to cover all of their needs, and also some of their wants. That's pretty much it in a nutshell. Ross Levin: The relationship with money changes all the time. Money represents different things to us at different times. We expect what we buy to do something for us right away and we expect what we saved to do something for us later. Some of us, I think, discount the future too much and some of us don't enjoy the present enough. The key thing is really understanding what's most important to you, developing a philosophy around that, and then creating habits that will help you get to that philosophy. Shannon Doyle: It is about having enough to meet your goals and being able to make choices around your spending so that you can still save and and meet those goals. I agree it changes all the time with our status, relationship status, parental status. It's not stagnant. How can we better control our spending? Shannon Doyle: I am no stranger to impulse buying. In fact, recently, I've been struggling with bringing my phone to bed at night and then thinking: "Oh, that's right, I was going to look up this pair of shoes," and just scrolling through the retail sites, and wanting much more than what I actually needed. It's really easy to click your phone and buy something, even more than what you had planned to buy. One of the things I have to do is realize I have to charge my phone in the other room and I also take a cooling off period. I take a few deep breaths, try to put my phone down and say: "If I'm still feeling like this in the morning, maybe I can get them, but for now I'm going to delay that." Sharon Powell: Money management is like other habits that require a certain degree of self control, like exercise, health and nutrition. It also requires understanding that we all have a certain amount of willpower each day, and as we go through the day, we deplete it. It is important to acknowledge there are the times when we have the least amount of willpower, then we should be working on our decision making, as well as understanding where our weaknesses lie. There are also many tools we can use these days to help support us during those times of weakness, for instance setting up some extra steps before you can get to your money to pay for things instead of it being automatic. Ross Levin: All of us have done things in the past that we've regretted, like buying things we shouldn't have, and a lot of us get stuck in what we did. The more we stay there, the less able we are to move on with our life. I've discovered that moving on doesn't mean ignoring what happened, but trying to understand what caused it. If you stay in the past, you're a prisoner to a past decision, and you're never going to change the past. What can you control when you're thinking about your finances? Sharon Powell: Saving is something that you can always do, hopefully, even if it's a very small amount. You can establish habits that will continue to keep you in financial health. You can use very simple tools like a spending tracker to know exactly where your money is going, so things don't seem so mysterious. You can also begin to say to yourself: "Given what's going on in the economy, what should I be deciding to spend on right now? What should I hold off?" That gives people a greater sense of security and a feeling they're in control of where their money's going. It is a pretty good time for you to get a savings account. Remember whatever the situation is, there are different ways to play to your strengths, keep a calm head and try to be strategic. Shannon Doyle: I always like to tell people to set their goals and to think where they want to be in five years. If you've set those goals, and you have a metric for checking in, that can help a lot. If you are trying to save more money or pay down debt, don't check in on a daily basis. Same with retirement accounts; don't look at your balance every day. Look at those smaller numbers and celebrate those little successes. That can help you feel more in control, because you do feel like you're making progress and the choices that you're making are making a difference in your life. Ross Levin: One of the things that it's useful to understand is what control represents. In order to be an investor, you should know volatility is the fee that you have to pay in order to get above cash returns over long periods of time. The reason I say that is because if markets were inherently stable, you wouldn't get a return on them, but because markets are unstable, you have a better chance of getting returns over time. Markets will continue to grow due to inflation, dividends and economic growth and the only control that you have is how you process what you're looking at. Amazingly, savings rates are close to 4 percent, so you could have some money working there. If you want to have a mortgage, you can look at what you're paying down on that mortgage each month, so there you're going to have little wins regardless of what the markets are doing. Sometimes you're going to have big wins if you're an investor and the markets are doing well. How do you teach kids to save living in an environment with low interest rates? Sharon Powell: One thing I like to use with young people is a calculator that shows this isn't specifically about savings but anything with an interest rate. If you start putting aside money at 18, by the time you are 65, it's always a pretty impressive amount. I would go for the wow factor to start. Secondly, you can build modeling savings into the life you live with your child, pointing out to them like: "Hey, we got to go on this trip, because we saved up for it." Even doing something very obvious, like having a change jar and going together to the bank and to change out the money. It's always impressive, again, more wow factor. Shannon Doyle: I can tell you an experience I had with my daughter when she was young. When she was about seven or eight years old, I would give her $1 and we could go to the store and get a treat or she could save it. I was slyly trying to teach her about opportunity costs. At first it was really hard, she wanted her treat. I'd even put $1 in here and there just to get her motivated. The more money that was in that jar, the more motivated she got. I think depending on the kid's age, you have to make it real and tangible so that they can see that money growing and how savings builds over time. How to invest long-term money and not worry about retirement? Ross Levin: When you're in your 30s, you've got a long time horizon for which to invest. The best thing that can happen for you in your 30s is for the market to be horrible for the next 25 years, and then suddenly rebound at the time that you need your money. The key thing to remember is, time is your friend. If your 401k doesn't allow government bonds, well a government bond index was down 14 percent last year. Government bonds fall as well. Everything needs to match your time horizon, if it is long, you can accept more risk, if it is short, you need to be in cash for things that are going to pay you a lot for keeping your money safe. Shannon Doyle: One of the things that I hear most often is: "I worry I'm not going to have enough money to retire," and in this case for people of all ages. If you have a long time, you're gonna be okay, but we should consider the emotional side of it. Many people lost trust in the system and are anxious about being able to actually retire and have enough money to live off of in the future. I don't have a good answer for how to handle that anxiety, outside of really trying to normalize these conversations about finance, and opening up to others and talking about how we're all feeling about it. Sharon Powell: The only thing I would add to this great advice already is that it's important to consider risk tolerance that not everybody has to be an aggressive investor. But in order to make those decisions, I think it's a great idea to speak with a financial advisor. Even if you have a retirement program through your work, you can work with someone to help you make decisions and explain what would probably be the safest and most advantageous for this period of your life. You don't have to go it alone. Your stories of money Listeners called into the show and shared their stories. Here are a few of them. "Get a good banker" I'm 66 and a single dad with four kids. When I was 54 or 55, one of my sons and I thought about starting a business. In order to finance it, I'd have to take out a mortgage on my house, which wasn't paid for and maybe use some of my money from my 401k. I worked with two different bankers, two different banks, one in rural Minnesota and one in south Minneapolis. But both of them said at my age it is too risky to start a business. Don't do it, don't mortgage, don't cash in your 401k. I guess what I want to say is you got to trust your banker, you got to listen to him, whether you're 25 or 55. I did take their advice. We still started the business on a smaller level and it has done very well. I'm not retired, don't plan to retire, but I'm enjoying life a little bit more from the help I got from bankers. — Alexander in Rochester "I'm comfortable taking risks" I'm 64 but I had the portfolio of a much younger woman because I take more risks, and I'm comfortable with them. I've been managing my portfolio since 2006 and the more investment decisions I make, decisions come easier. I'm not cocky. Things can happen, it's gonna happen to me and to everyone else too. I remember my first $3,000 loss. Oh my god, I had a three day mope but I got over it. Now I lost $145,000 and that's the way it goes. Those $3,000 stressed me out more than the $145,000. — Pat in Roseville "It frustrates me not knowing what to do" Me and my husband, we're in our mid 30s, late 30s. Currently, we have no college loans, no car payments, just the mortgage payment. Personally, I am a saver, but I'm sitting here wanting to build a new garage and I'd love to get a new bathroom upstairs. I don't want to go and get another loan just for this but I also don't want to not have it. I also want to get rid of the mortgage payment, but interest rates are really low on that, which I understand from the Credit Bureau. It's just really frustrating for me. — Amber in Mayer "Most of my IRA is in a CD" I am very risk averse and right before I retired, I decided to put most of my traditional IRAs -individual retirement account- into a CD. I thought that was a smart thing to do and now I'm realizing when the CD matures, it'll be an incredible income that I'll have to pay taxes on all at one shot. I was hoping there'd be a way I can withdraw the money slowly, just a little bit each year so I'm not paying taxes on a big withdrawal. It is in a retirement account, just a traditional IRA. I wonder if there is something I can do to avoid paying taxes on it. — Richard in Savage Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.
How to navigate estrangement and toxic relationships
Do you have a family member who you are just not speaking to right now? You're not alone. About 27 percent of American adults say they have cut off contact with a family member, according to one study from Cornell University. So how do you decide when to cut someone off or to try to repair the relationship? And what about if you are the one who someone has stopped speaking to? Guest host and MPR News reporter Catharine Richert talks with two psychologists about estrangement and how we can navigate our most complicated relationships with family and friends. Guests: Joshua Coleman is a psychologist and a senior fellow with the Council on Contemporary Families, a non-partisan organization that focuses on research about American families. He is also the author of "The Rules of Estrangement." Lindsay C. Gibson is a clinical psychologist and the author of "Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents." Both guests agree that estrangement is a complete or almost complete cut off where one person doesn't want to be in contact with a friend or family member and the other person really does want to be in contact. Some of the pathways to estrangement are parents who were emotionally abusive, physically abusive, or neglectful; mental illness or addictions; divorce; therapists that misdiagnose and encourage an estrangement; and even when adult children feel too enmeshed with their parents. Here are some key moments from the conversation. The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity. Click the audio player above to listen to the full conversation. What were some of the common themes and ideas of estrangement you hear in your practice? Lindsay C. Gibson: I identify a pattern of emotional immaturity, usually in the people around them. It's usually like they would like to be estranged, but they haven't taken that step yet and they may never take that step. They are caught in this kind of no man's land between not enjoying spending time with the family member, actively disliking the family member and then being really victimized by the family member by emotional abuse or other kinds of disrespect. Yet, they don't feel they have the right to stand up to them or to declare their own boundaries. Instead, they feel like they've got to take care of that parent or that family member. They've got to keep the waters smooth. They also have to disconnect from themselves and suppress their whole individuality in order to have a relationship or a family bond with this other person. Joshua Coleman: A very recent study found that 27 percent of fathers are estranged from children, and they're much more likely to be estranged from daughters than sons. In my practice, divorce can be a common pathway to estrangement because one parent may poison the child against the other parent, which is what we call parental alienation. Secondly, the child may independently decide that one parent is more to blame for breaking up the family and that may cause estrangement. Divorce and remarriage can bring in new people that compete with a child young or old, on emotional and financial resources. Finally, in a highly individualistic culture like ours, it can cause the adult child to see the parents more as individuals with their own kind of strengths and weaknesses and less of the family unit that they're a part of. How does the parent's cultural mindset influence estrangement? Lindsay C. Gibson: We have all these cultural assumptions that all parents love their children, parents would do anything for their children, all these tropes that we accept as a society as being facts. It has to be proven to us that it's not a fact. Those kinds of emotional pressures we feel about continuing to be the child of a parent who has treated us badly cause so much conflict and pain. I always ask people: what if you considered your rights as a person, as an individual? And what if you took a stand toward this person, not as your mother, but just as another human being? Sometimes the child might, out of guilt, agree to spend time with the parent, sort of be there for them. We have a reversal of roles, instead of the parent being concerned about how the kids are doing in that situation, the child is now concerned about how the parent is doing in that situation. It is very common. The role of the other parent is to listen to the children about their conflicts between guilt and loyalty. Loyalty is a fine, important part of their character development, and to understand that you can be so torn and to understand why you are deciding to keep contact or not, is something that helps that child develop their own moral character, but not at the expense of their own psychological health. That's what that parent is there for, to help the child see all the ramifications of whichever decision they make. Joshua Coleman: Parents often don't understand the reasons for estrangement either because culturally they were raised at a time or in a culture where "honor thy mother and father, respect the elders" was still very much the dominant ideology, or their ideas of what constitutes emotional abuse are different, making it harder for parents to empathize. I do believe that the buck stops with parents and that parents should be the ones taking the high road to reconciliation. And it has often been a one-way street for a long time. Parents should respond with empathy and curiosity and assume that there's a kernel, if not a bushel of truth in that person's complaints or desires to cut off contact. What I always advise parents to say is: "I know you wouldn't do this unless you felt like it was the healthiest thing for you to do." So parents have to approach the person with empathy and be willing to do a deep dive, a fearless moral inventory of your own character flaws. But if the parents are trying to have a reconciliation, they have to come from the perspective of understanding, showing empathy and taking responsibility; not defending, explaining or saying they did the best they could. One of the things that is confusing for parents is being accused of emotionally abusing or neglecting their children when they were younger. There is an important study by psychologist Nick Haslam in Australia, who talks about the notion of concept creep and he found that over the past three decades, we've enormously expanded what we believe to be considered emotional abuse, harmful behavior, traumatizing or neglectful behavior. And so often, there's a very different conversation that's happening between younger generations and older generations. Have you found that estrangement is more common today than it used to be? Why? Joshua Coleman: Yes. The role of psychology, people looking at their childhoods, mental health and preservation of personal well being in orientation towards growth and happiness, have really become the dominant moral framework today. This helps people decide whether or not to keep or reject family members. It's constituted on the basis of whether or not the relationship is aligned with our ideals for happiness and growth. I think we're all just much more fragile, or much more on edge. We used to have the idea that you just don't talk about sex, politics or religion since they're potentially controversial. Now, they become these big forms of value signaling and identity markers and if somebody's on the opposite side of the party, we make all these attributions of who they are. On the one hand, I applaud the discussion about boundaries and setting limits, but I feel like we've lost our sense of obligation, responsibility, caretaking and compassion for other people, including family members. I think a lot of therapists aren't as mindful and often are too quick to embrace the whole no-contact, estrangement perspective in harmful and destructive ways. What role do human rights play in estrangement? Lindsay C. Gibson: Over the past few decades, there's been an explosion of awareness about human rights, and what human rights address is the importance of the individual and the individual's inner experience. We have defined this in terms of our human rights approach and we have accepted that people's psychological experiences are huge. They're paramount in a person's well being and mental health. So many emotionally immature parents and family members really trample on their children's mental health, self respect and human rights. They particularly are disrespectful of the child's journey to become an individual. As a consequence, they do not function as well and their relationships are not as mature and rewarding. Their success socially and in jobs is often affected by that. Joshua Coleman: While there are emotionally immature parents, there are emotionally immature adult children who are very abusive to their parents. I think we have to be careful as a society when we're saying that estrangement is a natural, positive, healthy pathway to manage relationships. The other thing we have to be thinking about, in terms of rights, is the rights of the parent, particularly a parent who is willing to empathize, show compassion, take responsibility and repair. These are adult children who weren't physically abused, molested or neglected. I think it's important to think about the consequences of that estrangement because it is not typically just between that parent and the adult child, it often fractures families significantly. We have to be very careful when we're recommending it as an option. How do you advise people who are considering cutting parents off for not respecting their identity? Joshua Coleman: If a parent is being abusive and they engage with their adult child in an ongoing, humiliating, shaming, rejecting way, whether it's around their religion, their gender identity, their sexuality, etc., it is very hard for any reasonable therapist to endorse continuing that person to be in contact with them. However, I think that you should start with compassion if you're a trans person, and you're announcing that to your parents, I don't think it's fair to a parent to immediately assume that they're transphobic. I think there's too much support for people cutting off parents who just have anxiety about gender affirming procedures. I think we should be supportive of the trans community, but also be supportive of the parents who are being asked to accept something about their child's identity that's completely at odds with their knowledge, rightly or wrongly. I do think that parents have to accept and embrace the adult child's identity because they get to decide who they are. A lot of estrangement could be reconciled or healed if the parent were to just embrace it and manage their feelings separately from that, but I also would ask the trans community and other people who are making these kinds of announcements to have compassion for the parents and educate them. Lindsay C. Gibson: My experience with my clients has been that parents hold enormous emotional power over the child, the child is still very emotionally dependent on the parent. They don't seek estrangement or cut their parents off, it's quite the opposite. They're hanging in there, suffering, having their parents treat their grandchildren in ways that they don't approve of, scared to raise their voice to step in on the parent and set some boundaries. My clinical experience has probably been a little different from Josh's, because the people that come to see me are really struggling with this, either to live with this person or without this person, so that their self esteem and their self individuality can be preserved. If a person were to come into my office and say: "I'm going to cut my parents off, I need help with that." I would, of course, want to know all about that but we would also very much talk about what the costs of that might be. I don't feel that a parent has a right to be in somebody's life or be in their children's life if they're not willing to respect and treat that person as an individual with their own way of looking at things. I just want to reiterate that I would very much encourage that person to build their strength, build their individuality by communicating with that parent, by trying to work things out and by asking for relationship repair. I always do that because if somebody just cuts somebody off and moves across the country, they don't grow from that. Your stories of estrangement Listeners called into the show and shared their stories. Here are a few of them. 'I felt like I had to make this bond because she's my mom' My mother kicked me out when I was 18, and I ended up living with my father. She was emotionally abusive, and she kept in contact with me. For years, I tried to keep the relationship going, I tried to make this bond with my mother. I felt like I had to because she's my mom. Years later, I realized that she would never take accountability for what she had done, and the hurt that she had caused me. I haven't spoken to her in like three years now. I've navigated those feelings through lots and lots of therapy, and thankfully, I've had support from my partner and older sister. She also experienced pain from my mother, so we were able to rely on each other for support. — Ally in Duluth 'I don't know anything about my daughter' Me and my daughter were estranged for 20 years after an extremely acrimonious divorce. Looking back, I know that she was most heavily influenced by her mother and her grandmother and she chose to cut me off as her dad. I waited. I wrote to her. We had a few very tense conversations, mostly via email. We would send Christmas cards or birthday cards, and I would occasionally take her out for a meal if she was in town, which was very uncomfortable. But after 20 years, she called me and said: "I'd like to see if we could have a cordial relationship," and I asked her what that meant. She said: "Well, we can sit down and talk to each other and see where it goes." So I took that and ran with it. We had a series of pretty uncomfortable conversations for the course of the first six months, and then it started to smooth out. It's been three years now, but I feel it's been a one-way relationship. I mean, if I call her she'll respond, but I don't know anything about her. I don't know who she turned out to be. My hope is that at some point, we can have a conversation about who she is as a human being. — Robbie in Minneapolis 'Being estranged from my mother was one of the best and healthiest decisions I have made' I've been estranged from my mother since the day after Christmas in 2014. She was emotionally, verbally and sometimes physically abusive. I kind of grew up my whole life trying to fix my own attachment issues and to get my mother to be the mother figure that I really wanted. I was living far away from home and on Christmas Eve there was a giant blizzard, and I didn't feel safe driving the four hours home. My mother was very upset with me, she shamed me for the last time about that and called me a bunch of names. I didn't decide that day I was going to be in no contact forever, but I had blocked her on all these things. I had actively been in therapy since I was 18 and I think I was 24 at this point. Being in recovery, I decided: "Today, I'm not going to talk to her, tomorrow, maybe I will." But now, after 10 years, I can say with confidence, although I've struggled greatly with whether or not I should try to rekindle that relationship, it was probably one of the best and healthiest decisions I have made in my adult life. — Ashley in Minneapolis 'My mother refused to acknowledge my trans identity' A couple of years ago, when I came out as trans to her, she refused to acknowledge my identity. After a while, she and my stepfather ended up moving out of state. I cut them off. It's a little bit easier to cut someone off when they live across the country from you. My father was supportive of me, but he passed away in November. That was the first time I actually heard from my mother in so long, she called me to say that she was sorry that my dad died. And I talked to her for about two minutes and haven't spoken to her since. — Gabriel in Woodbury 'My son told me his new stepmom is the only mom he needs' I got divorced and my twin boys were quite young. And for the first four or five years, my ex husband would show up on weekends, but day to day, I was really in their world. Flash forward, we both had an idea that one of my sons could be gay and we were supporting him the best we could and giving him space to be who he wants to be. During high school, my son started pushing back on me. I know that I was emotionally trying to cling to them because they were really my only family. I probably overreacted and tried too hard. Over the years, he's really pushed me away and I've only really seen him one time a year. I tried to be very flexible and open, he's even said to me his new stepmom is the only mom he needs. So long story short, this past year, we've had kind of a crisis with his twin brother and during this time of concern about his brother, he reached out to me and shared that he's really been so appreciative that I've been able to be so open and loving and just wanting to know everything about him. He does know that I tried the best I could. I was so excited about this conversation but then he went radio silent. — Shawn in Minneapolis
How to navigate estrangement and toxic relationships
Are the risks of sports gambling worth the reward?
It's been four years since the Supreme Court of the United States legalized sports gambling in 2018. Since then, 35 states and Washington D.C. have made sports betting legal for their residents and all who visit. Betting online has also evolved. If you live in a state where sports betting is legal, you can download a variety of betting apps to get in the game. If you don't know how or where to start, it's likely an advertisement will tell you: Sports gambling ads are rampant in states where it's legalized. The ads are often celebrity endorsed, make betting look easy and entice people with the possibility of winning a large amount of money. Sports gambling is not legal in Minnesota, but that might change with a bill in the Minnesota Legislature aimed at legalizing sports betting. A Minnesota poll last year also found that 48 percent of Minnesotans are in favor of legalized sports gambling. As support for Minnesotans to wager on sports grows, so does the normalization of gambling across the country. Guest host Chris Farrell talks about the rapid growth of sports betting, the mental health risks for young adults and how sports gambling can quickly spiral into addiction. For information on problem gambling, or if you need to seek help, you can call 800-333-HOPE or visit GetGamblingHelp.com. Guests: Susan Sheridan Tucker is the executive director of the Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling, a non-profit, gambling-neutral organization dedicated to improving the lives of problem gamblers in Minnesota. Rochelle Olson is a political and government reporter for the Star Tribune.
Are the risks of sports gambling worth the reward?
10 climate lessons we've learned in 10 years of Climate Cast
When MPR News' Climate Cast debuted in January 2013, it was one of the few regular programs to address how a warming planet could change life as we know it. That urgency has only grown. In 2023, climate change is one of the leading issues driving political, economical and societal change. To celebrate Climate Cast's 10th anniversary, MPR's chief meteorologist Paul Huttner talked to an elite panel of experts about how climate change has evolved since Climate Cast began. What does the latest science say about how fast the planet is warming now? What are the biggest climate change impacts here in Minnesota and around the world? How is public opinion adjusting? And how far have climate solutions advanced in the past 10 years? Guests: Katharine Hayhoe is widely recognized as one of the world's leading climate scientists. Among other things, she is a professor at Texas Tech University and the chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy. Bernadette Woods Placky is an Emmy Award-winning meteorologist and director of Climate Central's Climate Matters, a program that offers data analyses, graphics and other reporting resources to a growing network of more than 3,000 local TV meteorologists and journalists to help them tell local climate stories. Jason Samenow is The Washington Post's weather editor and the popular Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. Ed Maibach is the director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University. He also codirects the Climate Change in the American Mind polling project. Jamie Alexander is the director of Drawdown Labs, which is Project Drawdown's private sector testing ground for accelerating the adoption of climate solutions quickly, safely and equitably. Jon Foley is the executive director of Project Drawdown, a leading resource for information and insight about climate solutions. The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity. Click the audio player above to listen to the full conversation. 1. Raising our voices matters Katharine Hayhoe: When I ask people to describe what they feel about climate change in one word, the answers are: scared, depressed, paralyzed, overwhelmed, angry, guilty, anxious and frightened. Those are entirely reasonable. But unless we recognize that our choices make a difference, we're not going to fix this issue. Too often, we picture climate action like a giant boulder, sitting at the bottom of an impossibly steep cliff, with only a few hands on that boulder. We think, "why should I add my hand to that boulder? It's not going to move. It's pointless." But when we look around and see all the action that's already happening, we realize that the giant boulder is already rolling down the hill in the right direction. And if I add my hand, and used my voice to encourage others around me to add theirs, it would go faster. As Joan Baez famously said: "The antidote to anxiety and despair is action." And we can't fix this alone, but together. I'm absolutely convinced we can do it. It all begins when we use our voices to call for action wherever we live, work, study, worship, play. We can use our voices for a better future for us all. 2. Climate change impacts are more expensive than ever Bernadette Woods Placky: When we experience an extreme event, some of the impacts are obvious for the immediate toll on lives and our health. But it doesn't end after the event, especially in these communities that don't have as many resources and are the most vulnerable among us. That's where we have to continue making these connections: a storm is connected to climate change, but it is also connected to what you're already paying to recover and how that factors into your future costs. For instance, the Flood Insurance Program has gone through some major ups and downs. California and parts of the West are really trying to figure out how they're going to cover people with wildfire insurance, especially when affordable housing is already a massive issue, then you add all these extra pieces on top of it with the economy and COVID. It's affecting people who have really worked hard most of their life and done everything right out of their homes. We've gotten to a point now where the cost of taking action and leading toward climate solutions is more affordable than what we're paying in the impacts. 3. U.S. systems are not built for such extreme climates Jason Samenow: We've seen about 1.2 degrees Celsius of change. But the increase in extremes is increasing disproportionately. In other words, we're seeing a bigger change and extremes than you might expect for that amount of warming. That has climate scientists particularly concerned because if we go to 1.5 Celsius warming or even 2 degrees Celsius of warming, we're going to see these extremes continue to proliferate. Our systems are built for a climate that was a degree cooler, so the cost of trying to adapt to these extremes is going to be profound. It makes it incumbent in planning decisions to think about where we're headed in terms of the different extremes that we're facing and how they're changing. When we saw Hurricane Ida go through and you saw 4 inches of rain falling in an hour, the systems there weren't built to withstand that. We see these extremes continuing to get worse, the wildfires increasing the speed at which they spread, hurricanes like this past hurricane season — with that 15-foot surge in southwest Florida or around Fort Myers — and you add sea level rise on top of that. There's just a lot of thought that needs to be put into planning across the different economic sectors, whether you're talking about agriculture, health, water, all of these different systems are very vulnerable to extremes and they are proliferating before our very eyes. 4. Weather can solve climate change impacts Bernadette Woods Placky: One of the ways we're solving this is through wind and solar energy. That is weather, and it is dramatically shifting how we get our electricity. As the society can move as much as possible over to electrically-driven cars and transportation, and within our home units, businesses and buildings, then we power that with multiple forms of renewable energy. But again, I'm honing in on the forecasting aspect of this. This is weather powering our future. That's one of the areas where we're already seeing tremendous growth, and we'll see even more. 5. There are 5 key truths about global warming Ed Maibach: Me and my colleague Tony Leiserowitz have been conducting a poll that we call "Climate change in the American mind" every six months since 2008. One of the things that we've learned from our research is that there are five key truths about global warming. People who understand them are much more likely to be engaged in doing something about the problem. Those five key truths are: Global warming is real and the proportion of Americans who understand it is 7 out of 10. Global warming is human caused. Global warming is bad for people in a whole variety of ways There's hope actions we take will make a difference. Experts agree that global warming is human-caused, no matter what you hear about it. 6. More than half of Americans are both alarmed and concerned about global warming Ed Maibach: There's really no such thing as the general public. That never really does justice to the way people really think and feel about issues. So we used our survey data back in 2008 to identify distinct ways of seeing the global warming issue among the American people. We found six distinct categories: the alarmed, the concerned, the cautious, the disengaged, the doubtful and the dismissive. The top-two categories — alarmed and concerned — make up the majority with 53 percent. Ten years ago, fewer than 3 in 10 Americans felt that climate change was changing the weather here in the U.S. and now it's almost two-thirds, so more than 6 in 10 people who get the fact that the weather isn't what it used to be. 7. Politicians stopped denying climate change and started acting on it Ed Maibach: In the most recent election, we really didn't see Republican candidates talking about climate change and I would contend that's actually a good thing. Normally during prior election seasons, Republican candidates used to speak out against climate change, against the belief in our human-caused climate change, and against taking action on climate change. But that didn't happen in the most recent election. I think the reason why is because that doesn't play with young conservatives in America anymore. They actually would like their leaders to acknowledge the realities of the problems that we face. I think that's a really important step forward, and I hope it continues to play out. America will be a much better country. Another thing that I think everybody should keep their eye on is the fact that Congress did pass the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which is a major climate solutions bill. So a whole lot of money is going to be flowing through federal agencies to help Americans, homeowners, renters and business owners start to participate in the clean energy revolution, at a much more affordable price than they could have previously participated. My guess is that public enthusiasm for climate solutions is about to skyrocket. 8. Overall emissions have decreased since 2007 Jon Foley: At the national level, this surprises a lot of people. But the United States as a whole has actually been seeing a decrease in all of our emissions overall, as a country, by about 20 percent since 2007. Most people don't expect that to be true, but it is. Even though our economy and our population have grown, our emissions have been going down since 2007. That's true in Minnesota, too. And what's also really interesting is the price of solar photovoltaics and wind power has fallen more than anybody ever expected. Even the optimists have been caught off guard by how cheap solar and wind have gotten. Solar is now the cheapest form of energy humans have ever had in our entire history, so no wonder it's finally winning. It's beating coal, and it's going to beat natural gas in the marketplace really quickly. That's great news. 9. Big actors can move things faster Jamie Alexander: Another thing that I'm looking at is what the big actors in society, such as large corporations, are doing to help us move much faster than any one individual can. We have a lot of big businesses in the Twin Cities that have a lot of clout and influence and can really help us move money much more quickly than any one individual into climate solutions. These big actors in society can help us shift away from the source of the problem and toward the solutions. Large corporations can shift their banking practices away from those banks to finance the sources of the problem and toward climate solutions. One of the things I'm looking at up here in Duluth, where I live, is how we're going to work to transition like workers in the Iron Range, for example, and how mining is going to be. I think that's going to be a really important thing to get right. 10. Little changes can make a big difference Jon Foley: We can do a lot of things in our homes that save us money, like retrofitting our homes when we have the chance, taking advantage of tax breaks, insulating and weatherizing our homes, improving our heating and cooling systems to new efficient made-in-America heat pumps. Also small things like reducing food waste, eating our leftovers, making sure we take home the doggie bag, shifting our diets to things that are a little bit more climate friendly. We can also do the talking about it and engage in a larger conversation, not just in the voting booth, but every day about what we buy, how we talk, what we post on Facebook, what we listen to, how we chat about it. Even at work, asking questions about our retirement funds, what our company is doing about climate change and so on. We can be part of a larger democratic conversation as a society that really brings climate change to front and center but also all the benefits climate solutions bring to us too. Click play on the audio player above to listen, or subscribe to the Climate Cast podcast to hear the whole thing — Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS.
10 climate lessons we've learned in 10 years of Climate Cast
How have the past three years changed us? That is the question that the MPR News series "The Future of Us" aims to answer. The project asks how a pandemic, a police murder and a city on fire have changed us and our path forward. We've posed the question to a pastor, a former mayor, a theater director and more. MPR News host Tom Crann shares the series. He asks former Minnesota Teacher of the Year Qorsho Hassan to reflect on the future of education. And we'll chat with MPR News education reporter Elizabeth Shockman.
Nelson Mandela's great-grandson on healing racial divides
MPR News host Angela Davis is heading to South Africa for an 11-day tour of the country. She will travel with a small group of public radio listeners from Minnesota and eight other states. They'll visit historic sites in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and they'll meet people who lived through apartheid, white people and non-white people were separated and lived very different lives. Apartheid ended in 1994. Before the trip, Angela Davis spoke with Siyabulela Mandela, the great-grandson of former South African president Nelson Mandela. Screenshot via Videocall MPR News Host Angela Davis spoke with Siyabulela Mandela, the great-grandson of former South African president Nelson Mandela. Siyabulela Mandela was in Minnesota in the spring of 2022 for a month-long residency at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University. Angela Davis and Siyabulela Mandela talked about South African and American history, Mandela's experience in Minnesota and healing racial division. Guest: Courtesy of Journalists for Human Rights Portrait of Siyabulela Mandela, the great-grandson of former South African president Nelson Mandela. Siyabulela Mandela is the regional project manager for East and Southern Africa at Journalists for Human Rights. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and Conflict Resolution from Nelson Mandela University, which is named for his great-grandfather, the late former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize winner. You can follow Angela's trip to South Africa on Twitter, Facebook and TikTok. Here are eight key moments from the conversation. The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity. Click the audio player above to listen to the full conversation. Why is it so significant for you to be introduced as Madiba, your South African clan name? Madiba Mandela: It is a way to introduce myself in a very decolonial way, and that is by locating myself in the history of my people in the African continent. History shows how deep the trauma of slavery and segregation has been to our fellow brothers and sisters in the United States. That also speaks to the specific reasons why white men decided to strip us of our own identity and dignity so that we do not know who we are and where we come from. If you ask many of white folks in different states, they are configured according to where they come from. There's something very powerful about knowing who you are, and where you come from, and I stand on the shoulders of my ancestors, so I can feel myself embraced with the blanket of wisdom, that would enable me to articulate myself clearly in any particular space that I'm placed in to deliver whatever message that I'm supposed to deliver. What was it like for you to be around Nelson Mandela when you were growing up? Madiba Mandela: I could recognize the significance and the contribution that Madiba (Nelson Mandela) has made to the history of my people, to the history of my country and the continent, when I was in high school, heading to university. Growing up, I didn't really understand the fascination around this old man. All I remember was that every Christmas, he had this tradition of bringing together all children from across nearby villages to come into his house, and get them Christmas presents, some food and some entertainment. He had a very close relationship with young people. He has always been that old man who was always concerned about what people were doing, what they were studying, and what they wanted to be. Of course, surrounded by this cloud of political leaders. I didn't know they were political leaders at the time. I was a toddler in the prime times of his administration, and by the time I was able to understand, he had left the government probably 10 years ago and just engaged in humanitarian work. Carrying Nelson Mandela's name, do you feel a sense of urgency to use your youth to continue this work as a human rights activist and scholar? Madiba Mandela: Of course, his legacy and his history have an enormous influence on the work that I'm currently doing. This generation has a collective responsibility to build upon the foundation that Mandela and his generation have created for us. We're enjoying these limited freedoms, freedoms that they did not enjoy during their time. They dedicated their lives to fight so that the generations yet to come, did not have to endure the very same injustice of the apartheid regime. We, therefore, should push further the frontiers of oppression, segregation, and all forms of injustice so that history does not repeat itself. When they managed to defeat the apartheid regime in South Africa, Mandela was quoted arguing that our freedom is not complete, until the freedom of the people of Palestine, who are currently experiencing the Israeli apartheid system, and all the oppressed people around the world. In the United States, there are indigenous communities who are still experiencing the remnants of the Indian Act, the remnants of the segregation system and the infringement of rights, or the skewed patterns of economic distribution, particularly for Black people. The United States systematically uses the law to infringe on and segregate one group from another. People of color and Black people are systematically targeted by the police, killed and in prisons, the majority are Black and people of color. That is systematic racism. That is something we must speak against and hold our governments to account when they do not question countries such as the United States when perpetuating such injustices. What are your thoughts about racial disparities in the state of Minnesota? Madiba Mandela: America has been so great in marketing itself, as a model around the world, a system of democracy and a form of leadership that everyone aspires to taste the American dream. But for us who have been to America several times, it seems as though I am in the devil's house. I was socialized and raised in a very racist environment, but the kind of racism I experienced in Minnesota was completely different and you can even sense it in institutions of higher learning. I remember two encounters raised a lot of disputes about my existence within that space. I remember receiving a call from my university, back in South Africa telling me a university in the United States wanted to authenticate whether I had a Ph.D. In the second encounter, I received a call from my family saying they have been contacted by a member of the University of St. John questioning whether I was a relative of the Mandela family. That's the kind of racism that I dealt with. I've never experienced that kind of racism in South Africa. I was so exhausted by the time I left Minnesota, I was thinking to myself: "when am I going to catch a break?" because I grew up in a racist country, and I move to another country hoping I will escape that kind of racism, but when I got there I am confronted with the western racism. I'm not surprised or shocked to hear the Minnesota statistics. But what is puzzling is how America Projects itself in the world as this perfect country and the perfect nation, and yet when you go inside, you get to understand, we are better off than America. I remember we had a public discussion with a panel of academics, I was one of those panelists at the University of St. John's. The theme came from a song that questioned why slave owners appeared in U.S. dollars. One would have thought that when the country was emerging out of segregation and out of slavery, it would have done a lot of transformation. In South Africa, these are things that we dealt with because these soft powers are things that invoke that trauma. In fact, we even went as far as to ban the apartheid flag. It is unconstitutional, a criminal offense. But to have a country like the U.S. that has had a democracy for probably over 100 years, but still has the faces of slave owners in their currencies, and that continues as normal, was quite interesting. And to see an institution only discussing that in 2022, was quite disappointing. Nelson Mandela talked so much about forgiveness. Have you seen it work in your life, or what do you think about it today? Madiba Mandela: In the West, there is the tendency to romanticize Nelson Mandela's legacy as this peace-loving individual, and who was preaching forgiveness against everything else that stood in the way. And that is a false narrative. The forgiveness aspect comes within the context of the truth and reconciliation process. If we can go back, investigate and analyze what went wrong in the past, and the perpetrators of such injustices during colonialism and apartheid can come forward and shed light on the injustice, then maybe we can find ways in which we can heal as a nation, as we move forward and reconcile. In that process of moving forward, of reconciling, then we find forgiveness. Reconciliation is only possible through truth-telling. For instance, in the truth and reconciliation process in South Africa, there was an amnesty committee, which was all about forgiving those who committed these injustices, and there was a committee that focused on bringing out compensation to the victims of the apartheid regime. Here we're talking about the transformation process. We're talking about giving the land back that was stolen by the white minority back to the people, and that is where the forgiveness process comes into existence. Now that we have finally negotiated a settlement, we can then forgive them. The West notion and concept of forgiveness is that we had a negotiated settlement, we went to vote, and we forgave one another, which is a false narrative. Nelson Mandela was, in fact, a man who in the 1960s, realized that violence was a way to respond to the government that was using violence against defensiveness and unarmed people. So their own conclusion in the 1990s was to adopt a different shift than Martin Luther King's, which is the use of violence as a means to bring down the apartheid regime to the negotiation table. What the education system from the West seems to advance is the notion that you can do injustice to people, and those people can forgive you. And that is a very false narrative because forgiveness is the final phase of the process, it is not the beginning. The United States throughout its history of segregation, slavery, violence and racism never went through a process of truth and reconciliation. But yet, countries that have gone through similar systems of oppression and violence have adopted a system that will enable the nation to move forward. Nations like Argentina, Chile, and Germany. How to have civil conversations about race that promote understanding? Madiba Mandela: I did four months of my Ph.D. research in the School of Conflict Analysis, and Resolution at George Mason University, Virginia and I got to witness an academic lecture where professionals were Black and white Americans, academics, were very angry with each other, to the point where they couldn't even listen to one another and they insulted each other. That is because people have been so frustrated for the longest time, and the government has failed to provide a platform where these front frustrations are ventilated. When such frustrations are building up then you experience what psychologists call the displacement of frustration-aggression. That explains to a certain extent, the level of violence that is within American society. I think processes such as the truth and reconciliation process can actually do a long way in dealing with so much anger, and actually make it easier to address issues of race. In South Africa, we speak about race freely, and we engage with our professionals, directly on race issues. Of course, we're not perfect, we're still going through a lot of challenges, but at least we are at the level where we can engage openly on issues of race. Racism is a criminal offense, that's how far we have gone in South Africa. So it has gotten to that level that because we are comfortable engaging in race relations, we have been able to create a system in place through the law to hold those who advance racism openly to account in the court of law and even be arrested for such a criminal offense. I don't think the United States is anywhere close to getting to that level. What can we expect in our interactions in South Africa? Madiba Mandela: You'll find people from different walks of life. We have 11 official languages including the colonial language, which is English. We have created a multiparty democracy where everyone has an opportunity and a voice to contribute. But what you are also going to experience is a different perspective. We have a system that was a liberation system or movement that was not complete, it only ended with the transfer of political power without the transfer of economic power. You're going to experience a situation where even though the country has transitioned from apartheid to democracy, people are still suffering, many are still without access to basic human rights, and many are still going through their racial systems of oppression, particularly in the Western Cape and Cape Town. You're going to see how white people are so racist, and in certain spaces, they will actually question whether you are supposed to be in that space. Those are some of the realities of South Africa. But I would say, if you come with an open mind you'll enjoy it. In the midst of such challenges, we are still happy people. We still celebrate our cultures and our history as well. What are you encouraged by right now, as you think about the present and the future? Madiba Mandela: I find strength and hope in the sacrifices that were made by the previous generation. I always think that if the generation of Mandela, the generation of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and many other heroes, were able to advance their struggles in their own time, if they were able to achieve what they have achieved, and lay the foundation for us, who would then stop us to continue that fight, given the opportunities that we have. If Nelson Mandela finished his law degree while he was in prison, then what would stop me from getting as many degrees as possible to empower myself to engage more effectively in the fight that we are in today? Education is the most important tool we can use to change the world. I had to go through education before I became an activist. That is the place from which I draw my strength. It is from those sacrifices. It is from that resilience and from that spirit to fight and move forward.
Nelson Mandela's great-grandson on healing racial divides
How to avoid and cope with falls and other winter injuries
Winter activities can bring a lot of joy, but getting around this winter has been challenging. Minnesotans have seen an above average snowfall this month, but above-average temperatures have also left parts of the state covered in ice from freezing rain and a "January Thaw." Minnesotans might expect to deal with the slips and falls associated with the ice and snow, but some injuries can have profound consequences on your health. MPR News with Angela Davis talks about winter injuries with an orthopedic surgeon and a physical therapist. We'll learn about the different ways you can hurt yourself this time of year, the negative cycle that can follow your winter injury and what you can do to keep yourself from damaging your body when you venture outside. Guests: Dr. Joel Boyd is a TRIA orthopedic surgeon, the head team physician for the Minnesota Wild, the team physician for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football team and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Minnesota. He was the former head team physician for the Minnesota Vikings and an Olympic team physician. Dr. Boys was the first Black team physician in NHL history when the Wild started in 2000. Matt Neuger is a visiting assistant professor of kinesiology at St. Olaf College and a practicing physical therapist at Park Nicollet and TRIA Physical Therapy. Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS. Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.
How to avoid and cope with falls and other winter injuries