Welcome to this week's episode of the intersections on the spectrum podcast intersections on the spectrum podcast is the brainchild of Doug Blecher and Kelly Bron Johnson created to discuss intersectional issues within the autistic community and give visibility to commonly marginalized, repressed, underrepresented, or erased identities and issues. We aim to introduce you to the people and stories you didn't know about, but needed to hear and hope that by seeing yourself represented in the community, allows you to feel seen.
Doug Blecher (00:38):
And today we're thrilled to welcome Tre Ventour-Griffiths. Thanks so much for joining us today.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (00:46):
Thanks. Thanks for inviting me.
Doug Blecher (00:48):
Wanted to start out and just learn a little bit about you and the identities that you would say you're most connected with?
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (00:57):
I think before, like before I started, exploring autism and things like that, it was mainly do my cultural identities. So my family of Caribbean or Caribbean origin. So my mum's parents are immigrants, into Britain from Island of Grenada in the Caribbean. And my dad's parents, similarly from Jamaica and both sets of my grandparents, migrated to Britain in the 1960s, late fifties, early 1960s, as part of what we in Britain, we called the Windrush generation. I'm not sure how much British news you get in United States, but you might have seen stuff around the Windrush scandal where the government has been supporting members of our generation back to the Caribbean, after being here for 50 odd years and more working and paying taxes and so forth and building families, and my grandparents part of that generation, um, thankfully they've not been caught in the, what we call the hostile environment here, but that's based, that's basically the context around, Windrush and that, that was what I'm always connected with prior to finding out I was, autistic and sort of exploring those things.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (02:19):
So in addition to that in 2016, I went to university doing my undergrad degree, which was in creative writing and it was being around creative people in that environment that I then found that I possibly could be on the autism spectrum. And then I began to connect with that identity since 2016. So doing so and being from a culture that is a British as well has me sort of thinking about many different types of things. So yeah, there's probably quite a lot to unpack there. So Caribbeaness but also black Britishness, but also autism as well. And I was, I got, and I was diagnosed as a childhood dyspraxia. S there's that side of it too, to consider. So there's, there's quite many, there's quite a few different identities there. I'm not sure I could say if I connect with one more than the other, cause they they're all, they're all part of me and I don't want to say that it's, I feel more connected to one then the other one. They they're all together. They all, they're all, all in tuck together.
Speaker 1 (03:33):
I love that. That's the intersectionality of it all. So I have really have a lot in common in the sense, you know, my father, um, a lot of my family left Barbados, in the fifties and sixties, , half of them came to Canada and half of them went to England. My father was actually enlisted into the British army. He was recruited directly from Barbados at the age of 21 and, and went to, to England and, you know he stayed for six years, but he goes, um, you know, he didn't stay, he ended up, he ended up staying because he said it was, there was too much, too many racial issues. He didn't feel safe. You know, when my father left Barbados and got to England, that was the first time anybody had ever called him the N word in his life. Cause that's not something that we do in the Caribbean. Right. And so, so it was a huge, I guess, um, wake up call about the rest of the world. Yeah. So, I still have cousins over there. Have my, my great auntie died a few years ago, but I still have my, my second cousins up there, in England. And like you said, they've been there since 1960, whatever. So yeah.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (04:45):
I mean with my family as well, like my grandparents ended up here, but they've all had siblings that are still in Caribbean and some of them are actually in America, in Canada as well. So one part of the family went Britain and other parts, the family went to the Us in Canada. So that's that's whole, this cousins I have not been met ever. So that's that considered as well.
Kelly Bron Johnson (05:09):
You should come over, come on over <laugh> but yeah, I, I find that, you know, the Caribbean, we tend to go all over the place. We tend to, to spread a lot and, and yeah, and, and go into, you know, most of them went into nursing or things like that. We've, you know, we've had good stable jobs and we've had
good lives in other countries and it's ridiculous to try and say, well, now go back. It doesn't make any sense. Anyway, let's, <laugh>, let's, let's move on a little bit from that. So right now, Tre you're a race educator and we're interviewed by the guardian back in 2020 to talk about your experience with black lives matter UK. So what was your role with black lives matter UK? And how did you see this movement in terms of those were disabled and black?
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (05:59):
I don't actually work with the organization, Black lives matter. It was more to do with like the sort of slogan and people in my community and so on. So that's how I got into it. I got, they had contacted me through, a group called black lives matter Buckingham. And Buckingham's a town in the, in the Midland, in the UK and myself and another colleague were interviewed by the Guardian. And we were two of, I think, 50 people, young, black, British people, interviewed by the Guardian at that time. And through that, through that process, it began to dawn on me already had thinking about it already sort of confirmed that when it came to Black lives matter and the media And I still feel that within that demographic, within that marginalized demographic under the category black, there's still in terms of who gets, who gets the spotlight.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (07:10):
It's still very it's still a very privileged arena. I think it's very much cisgender to start with, able bodied to varying degrees and so very male as well. Cause when George Floyd, um, was murdered in 2020, the, that equal outrage was not given to murder of Breonna Taylor, which I, which I found really horrific in, in that, in that regard, but also, uh, when Derek Chauvin was convicted that I think it was that same day or the day after yeah, a young woman in, I think it was one of the Southern states was killed by the police when she'd called them for help. After a domestic domestic abuse disturbance, she was scared of her
boyfriend. I can't remember the person's name. But it was it, I think it was on the day that Derek Chauvin was convicted.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (08:09):
She was, she was killed by a police officer. She was like, she was 15 years old as well. So she was still a child at that time. So I think when it came to intersectionality and so on, more could be done, in our communities, I think to start thinking in that, in that regard. But I know in a US context, quite a lot of the victims of police brutality are disabled, but when it comes to the, how the media portrays that they don't, they don't talk about the disabled element of that, of that, of that narrative. Does that, does that make sense?
Kelly Bron Johnson (08:45):
A hundred percent. Yeah. And, you know, just speaking as, as being in Canada, that's, it's a huge problem here too as well, where we have people asking for wellbeing checks and they get shot by the police instead mm-hmm <affirmative> um, yeah. And I think it's not only thee lack of attention to, the fact that the person is disabled. There's this huge stigma where then we go, oh, well the person had a mental health issue. As if then that meant that they were dangerous or that they deserved to be, to be shot. And that's, that's the furthest thing from the case. Right.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (09:24):
<affirmative> I think there as well, we talking to think about what we mean by disability and what people's perceive as disability as well, cuz think about mental health conditions well that, that they can disable you and they do many people. Um, so if you've got an, if you are an got an, if you've got anxiety and you have an anxiety attack in street and the police officer sees you, they might look at you a certain way cuz if you're black and you have anxiety and you have a breakdown, in of the street, they might see that as an intimidation possibly. But then yeah, a lot of the, I think it was, I saw an article, I said, I think 50% of black police brutality victims in the states are to varying degrees disabled. Elijah McClain, 2019, was autistic. Eric Garner, I think it was diabetic. So when you think about disability, it includes chronic health conditions and mental health issues as well. So I think when it comes talking about disability and, and disablement, I think we need to sort of reevaluate the, the whole that term and, and what it means essentially. And not it doesn't just people who are physically disabled, but invisibly so as well
Doug Blecher (10:48):
Now, Trey, you recently wrote, an article in a fantastic publication Neuroclastic, you know, it, it was a long essay. I think maybe one of the longest one I've seen in Neuroclastic. I think a reading time of 90 to 150 minutes. So, your article, which is, autistic while black in the UK masking code switching and other nonfiction, what do you hope people learn when reading about these nonfiction?
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (11:21):
I think it, I need to say that there isn't one singular experience of, autism let alone blackness. I think when it comes to black lives matter example, a lot of the stories are American and people then start the people then start to think that the black experience in America is the universal experience. And that's sort based on TV shows that get made and films that get made as well. But when it comes to black, British cinema, there isn't a lot of choice to choose from. Then you look at the, a black breadth of experience that experience that portrayed on film and TV for black American audiences. And for a lot of people in the UK, America is still the reference point for black, for blackness, on screen. So I think in
terms of these sorts of articles like autism, I think it's important that people see that yes, there are black people with autism outside of America as well.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (12:26):
And even within a US context, the TV shows they get made about autism are still largely white and cis gender as well. So yeah, I think that's the main point was that there is no singular autistic narrative, just the same as the same singular, black narrative and someone else who is also from Britain and is also black and autistic might have a complete different experience to me. And that's the point not, not to homogenize experiences. And I think that's basically what I was trying to point out in the essay in many different ways.
Kelly Bron Johnson (13:03):
You just brought up a, a really important point, I think, that there's no, I wanna say like, not a surprise, but it's, it, it should be almost like no secret that the media, that British media might use, US black media or experiences on racism as a way to distance themselves and say, well, oh, well, we're not like that. We're not like those Americans, you know, and it's a way to absolve yourself of this idea of, well, we're not racist like they are, or we're not racist at all. Right.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (13:43):
Yeah. Yeah. Um, I think one of the biggest examples of that is, is police. When in Britain, people say, oh, at least British police don't have guns as an example. But then we also seen Britain that British police officers will still brutalize you and they have done. And in the past, people have died in police custody even without guns. So I find, I actually find that more scary that they can, they have the capacity to kill you without a gun. Guns make everything, every situation, even more dangerous, but because they have, they're managed to brutalize people without them. When I see police in the street, I do, I do think twice. And there's been an instance recently. There was the, I'm not sure if you got it in America, but there was the UK case of child acute, um, where this, she was, she's a London, she was a London school girl and she was, reportedly smelling of cannabis.
Speaker 3 (14:44):
And the teachers in the school, called the police and the police then, stripped, searched her, without informing her parents first. And now this child is basically traumatized. And that's basically state sanctioned, sexual assault in a, in a, in a school where meant where you meant to feel safe. But then since that incident, there's numbers of other incidents of the similar kind of come to light specifically in London and the metropolitan police. And in, in your context with the equivalent of the N Y P D in terms of measure, or the LAPD cause when it comes to police, once in America, the two, force that come to mind that are the, the really bad ones, at least the ones that get fitted in media is either the N Y P D or the LAPD.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (15:37):
So in British context, it's definitely the London metropolitan police are seen as the bad ones, even by other police forces. So yeah, so the child, the child acute case would come to mind. So there was a lot of, at least we're not America when it comes to racism, but in some cases, yeah, we are just on, on a different level, but we are, we still do similar practices within police, but yeah, there's a lot of exceptionalism in the UK when it comes to police violence. And when you tell people that we are, we
actually are like America in many ways, they get a bit upset and that's when the comes out. And I'm sure you're quite familiar with that as well in the, in the US context.
Kelly Bron Johnson (16:24):
Yeah. I mean, we, I think the parallels make sense between like the London police and although, you know, I'm Canadian, so it's different, but at the same time, like the, just comparing just cuz of the size of the, the population of the people that they're, having to serve. I don't, I don't really feel like the police actually serve, anyway, but that's a whole other, <laugh>, that's a whole other conversation <laugh> but I mean, even, even us as Canadians, have this exception, an idea as well that, oh, well we're not like the US. And I'm like, well, if the US is the bar that we're the standard that we're supposed to be holding ourselves to, then it's very, very low and why can't we do better?
Doug Blecher (17:08):
And I can say being here in the states, I know you mentioned LAPD and the N Y P D here in Cleveland, Ohio. There's been a, I mean the Cleveland police force, there's been a lot of misconduct and police brutality, so it, yeah. You know, every city obviously.
Kelly Bron Johnson (17:29):
So let's, let's talk a bit more about intersectionality, because that's the whole, that's the whole point of our, of our podcast. But so, we know that like we talk about intersectionality and people have heard about it, but not everybody still has a good understanding. I find of the, of the history. So in your opinion, how far can we trace intersectional experiences of black and disabled communities?
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (17:59):
Well, I'm sure people are familiar with, Kimberly Crenshaws work who, who came up with, she came up with the time and actually published. I think it was the Chicago legal, in 1989. But in practice, I think it, it goes back much, much further. Where you find writing about, for example, black women writing about experiences as black women in print. For example, I've found that in terms of like slave narratives as an
example, so someone like, Harriet Jacobs, I think she had an 1861 book called instant in the life of a slave girl. And though she doesn't use the term sexuality, you can, you can see that she's talking about race and racialized, gendered violence within the context of plantation slavery, in America. But in terms of disability, particularly, what I found was the 1831 book, the history of Mary Prince, what he does specifically talk about being disabled under British, colonial enslavement in the Caribbean.
Speaker 3 (19:18):
And she talks about how, how the scars on her back essentially just disabled, who the act of enslavement, carries Syon, he's a, academic in the, in the states at university of San Antonio, actually published an article this year. I think it's called, I wanna find it now actually find it. And she does explore, this history of Mary Prince , but yeah, in terms of black disability, I'll say Mary Prince could be a starting point 1830s was still within the rebate offices, slavery here. But where, where you find race and gendered violence, that's intersectionality in, its pure form where the two things compound each other, where black women were sexually assaulted and raped on plantations by white masters. And so on that, that is inter that is intersectional violence, um, on a mass scale.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (20:31):
Cause it was, it didn't just happen to one person. It was also industrialized to the point where, children of the enslaved were enslaved were born into that system themselves. So yeah, I think in terms of black disability, you could start it with colonialism and slavery, and the invention of race, which, which sort of does intersect with, , not only slavery, but also for example, before Africans ere trafficked, it was indigenous people working on working those plantation under colonialism. And some of which would've been, would've been disabled by that very system of the capacity to, to label so on. yeah. Ableism and racism. You, when you find one, you find the other, that's how I think that's how intrinsic linked both these, these systems are together. I'm still, I'm looking for that article that she's published. it's called Mary Prince's back and her critique of antislavery sympathy. If I send you the link, would you, would you share it with your colleagues and so on?
Kelly Bron Johnson (21:55):
Yeah, for sure. We can stick it in the show notes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You brought up a, a good point too, about like you said before, before Africans were, were stolen. It was the indigenous people that were.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (22:11):
Kelly Bron Johnson (22:12):
Used, a slave. So I know like in Barbados there was the Arawak windy Indians that were, pretty much just like completely completely killed through yeah. Labor through slave labor. Um, but they were there on the island before, , and they were, or they were brought from a different island actually, but they, they were not able to, to tolerate the climate and the work. And so there, they were completely made extinct.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (22:41):
Yeah. I think when it comes to ableism as well, that we need to also consider that most of us would become disabled over our lifetime. And I think COVID did open that conversation a lot to many people, especially to people that considered themselves quite active before the pandemic. And then they got COVID and then they got long COVID and they saw they couldn't do as much and had to reassess how they moved through the world and so on. And, so I think through things like that, people, I think quite a few people I know have began to reevaluate what they see as valuable in life and so on because of the pandemic and because they had, cause if they had bad, long COVID. So when it comes to disability, ableism, people don't aren't dis born disabled, they could become it through others, do other, through other things. And people forget that. I think a lot of the time
Kelly Bron Johnson (23:44):
Then these people don't want to about it, but I think that's yes, acquired disability is actually the most common form of disability. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Yeah. And what, you know, I, I bring it up in my talks that I give the most common acquired disability is actually lost of vision. And again, something scary that something scary that people don't want to think about <laugh> and we have to, we have to understand that, the technology that we're used, the way that we're, we are currently living our life, we can make it easier for everybody because it's high likelihood. Everybody will become disabled at some point in their life. So,
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (24:21):
And you don't actually have to be disabled to experience ableism either. It's, something's done to people and I've seen it quite a bit in states in terms of the numerous institutions that suddenly unionized together cause of like unhealthy workloads. So how, how capitalism disableds through the capacity to labor you yourself might not see yourself as disabled, but cause of how the system is constructed, what it does to you and what it does to work places and so on, disabled numbers of people and then you unionize and then that's your, that's your sort of fail safe against it? I think the, one of the biggest cases of that was Starbucks unionized, and also Amazon, where the CEO of Amazon made billions during t the pandemic. And the people that worked there were basically on poverty line essentially. And they basical essentially unionized together \ in the face of that. And yeah, and capitalism does, does disabled in the literal sense. Also you don't actually have to be disabled to experience it as well, which shocks a lot of people too.
Doug Blecher (25:35):
Now get getting back to your essay. You wrote about how terms like eugenics and colonialism bring up images of a begon era, but both ideologies never went away. They just kind of became normalized.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (25:53):
Doug Blecher (25:53):
So I'm wondering, in what ways do you see those ideologies especially being normalized since the beginning of COVID?
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (26:03):
I think the things like colonialism come with capitalism and during COVID, it started people started, it started COVID started people saying, oh yeah, I need to, I need to do less. And now seeing what, what life is about and stuff. And then towards the middle of the pandemic, people got a bit tired of that and they wanted to get back to their old lives. And then I saw a lot of things to do about hustle culture. You know what I mean? Like just getting value from overworking and people tweeting about it on Twitter, and not really holding the wide system accountable as to why you need to work so much. Essentially and colonialism, comes with capitalism. Capitalism came with, the idea of slavery slavery wasn't done the capitalist reason and then capital then racism and capitalism sort of became in indistinguishable from each other.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (27:10):
So I think when it comes to colonialism in the money, first century capitalism and capital system that we live in is one of the biggest legacies of that. And for me personally, colonialism, isn't over it. It's, it's still happening, through, through these very, very violent systems of control and domination. Police as another example, police today would be slave catchers in the 19th century. And then you, then you take these people and put them in jail where they can be what, you know, in the US context, at least they can be making things for like, corporations. So then now they're profiting on slave labor, but within the, within the really, really precarious, loopholes in the law. So yeah, in terms of colonialism, they're still seeing it, Palestine as well, ethnic cleansing in, Palestinians. So that stuff was like, our ancestors saw that when they were colonized in, in Africa and in the Caribbean stuff, but because it's the 21st century, there's probably, that's supposed to be more progressive.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (28:24):
We don't, we don't, we don't talk about it in that context, but, yeah, colonialism is still happening in the, in, in today. And it's probably worse cause now, now we've got everything that I, I had in 21st century plus Twitter and computers and all that technology. And yeah, I think, I think it is a lot, I think it's a lot worse. It seemed, it looks a lot worse cuz now we've got unfettered access to tech and find that I felt really terrifying. And in terms of eugenics, I think I saw it rise how Britain treated the disabled in that regard, but their lives were just expandable essentially. In terms of COVID, measures weren't put in properly. And then the government is now talking about leveling up essentially, in Britain today, pet pounds a gallon <laugh> so, I'm not sure if you forget much UK news, but they're now calling it cost of living crisis.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (29:28):
But it's more of a, it's more of a, it's more like a cost of existing crisis cause nobody is actually living. They they're they're existing, from, from point to point. So I think, as far as gen X's concerned if, if you are not, if you are not being you, you you're, finished essentially. It's, it's really difficult in the UK now eugenic is hanging out. And as far as disabled people in terms of autistic people as well, ABA he probably, on the ongoing criticism against ABA, you don't actually have to call it ABA it to be a problem. If in, in schools, for example, when autistic people's behaviors be corrected to a more neurotypical, acceptable just sort seems as acceptable that behavior correction, could be seen as eugenic in the 21st century. And schools I think are very bad at this are very, are very, bad for this. I think, yeah, it, it does, it does play out in numerous different ways, but we don't, we don't call it eugenics. We call it something we call it cure even or something, something so somewhat something like that. But yeah. Does not answer your questions.
Kelly Bron Johnson (30:47):
Yeah. It it's great. You went into a lot of interesting, a lot of interesting points there. You know, this is, that's the thing, it's the, all these issues or colonialism and capitalism and everything have been kind of just it's the it's the system, right? It's it's the system that has been designed that way. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and so we're all kind of stuck operating under this system. And like you said, you can call it whatever you like, you can give it a different name. You can kind of, like you can the same Polish, a turd it's it's still a turd <laugh> right. It doesn't doesn't change it. So, that's, that's pretty much what it is. And I think the more that we are aware of it, that we're, often unconsciously just kind of going along with the system, but also also being cognizant of when we are, benefiting from the system, cuz all of us will have a certain amount of privilege. It will still be benefiting this way. We can't dismantle it until we, until we acknowledge those two.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (31:52):
Yeah. But I think trying to, especially disabled people, I like, and that idea of curing disabilities, sometimes it is out and out, like for example, spectrum 10 K stuff was very public and violent. And if you were following any of that on Twitter, you build just a mass boycott of spectrum, 10 K mm-hmm <affirmative> where they were saying that it was researched and to the benefit of autistic people. But they didn't actually consult. I don't think they actually consulted any of the autistic people for it either. And they were trying to use autistic DNA for wellness and that that's just a slippery slope. Like we've seen this before, don't you watch Jurassic park. It all goes, it goes picked up <laugh> but yeah, the, yes, the spectrum 10k project, ABA conversion, anything like that. It's not called eugenics because that gets people thinking in the, in a very historically based way. But when you cut, when you look at it more
deeply, it, it basically is. And autistic people have been very vocal about that. And if you wanna know anything about autistic people and activism, just go on Twitter, <laugh> do a key word, such respect and play on Twitter and you'll see you just say what we think anyway. So
Kelly Bron Johnson (33:17):
<laugh> oh, there was also the, the amazing non apology that was given, for that. Um, and I remember, Baron Cohen had said something basically to the effect of, that he, he never said these things and that if he did it's because we misunderstood him and I was like, wow, you're just gas lighting.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (33:37):
Kelly Bron Johnson (33:38):
The whole autistic community now. Thanks. Right. Not that you published papers or anything beforehand, but no, you didn't mean that doesn't make sense.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (33:47):
Yeah. That's not a problem as well. Like the gate keeping of academia is, is there. So like you get, you see all these papers about autism, but by, I mean, less than 1% of them are by autistic people, which then creates the, the further violence that these papers are, seems legitimate forms of knowledge, but they're not actually by autistic people, which is we're very problematic in itself.
Kelly Bron Johnson (34:12):
Yeah. And I, I find even when, we, even, when the results of a particular study are positive or to me should be interpreted as positive, it's still interpreted in a negative way. GreatOne, my favorite one for that one was, I actually have at somewhere cause I was doing research on it recently, but where they found that autistic people had, uh, very high moral standards, even they maintained their moral principles or values. Even when they say it came at a disadvantage to them. So for example, they had them like donating to charities or like, you know, fake charities. But part of the study was for them to kind of, handle money in a certain way and give to charities that they believed in. And then, anyway, the point was that the autistic people, unlike the neurotypical, people did not, steal money, did not take money for themselves, even though it would've benefited them.
Kelly Bron Johnson (35:10):
And rather than interpreting this as, hey, autistic people are extremely principled and, and moral and honest, uthe researchers interpreted it as, it's a moral failing because we didn't, we didn't try to benefit ourselves, from taking money that, that, that wasn't for us. Yeah. When let's say we were hungry and we could have used the money, that kind of thing. And I was like, this doesn't make sense because, you know, if it's the case that we are so honest and so, have such high moral standards, isn't it, us that you want in positions of let's say financial controller or, in politics perhaps in government, like in banks, maybe, maybe those are the kind of people that you should be putting in control of finances. Yeah. If we've been proven to have such amazing high moral standards, we're not gonna steal from your company. So this is a benefit. So why this is a benefit to all of society. So why would you see it as this is a, some sort of failing?
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (36:18):
Yeah. I think it's sort of with that you sort of damned, if you do damned, if you don't like when it comes to policing of autistic behaviors, sometimes it could be, seems arrogant and have an of superiority just for being ourselves in the workplace. And when we are, well, when we aren't mean people, it, I dunno,
I've had it been interpreted that way where it, it doesn't, it doesn't help me to be mean to people and it shouldn't help other people to be mean to people. But then if you, if you're not and you don't behave in the right way, then get stigmatized for it.
Speaker 1 (36:54):
Right. It's not, it's not joining in the, the, the it group who is basically yeah. You know, busy gossiping about or ostracizing somebody else. Cause it's gonna turn on you at some point as well. Anyway, so yeah. So going back to some of your work and your essays, do you have any other works that you would like to encourage with the people to read? I'm really gonna share, the study, you just, the paper you sent to us now, if you have others,
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (37:22):
I mean, I've just seen that it's payroll, but I'm gonna send it, I've got the PDFs, I'm gonna send it to you. So then you can just share it with, um, other people. But there's, I wrote a journal article last year, on race and white supremacy within, the work of Jane Austin. Cuz one of my other interest is like English literature, like film and TV studies as well. Adnd in the UK we have a, there's an organization called the national trust to own numbers of sort of stately homes like gardens and stuff like that. And a lot of these places were finance through the money made for colonialism and slavery. And many of these buildings and grounds are also the sets of Jane Austen adaptations, places she wrote about and her books, uher characters sustain themselves charge of exploiting other people.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (38:20):
But when you read those texts, they won't, they won't ever say that is worth 10,000 pounds a year or something like something like that. But then you have to start asking how do they get that 10,000 pounds a year who is, and that's million to millions of pounds in today's money. And so these characters are essentially colonialists and slave trader I think Mansford park is probably the only book that says it outright, cuz it is about slaverynd so, and also the, recent Sanditon as well, which was adapted, um, by, ITV and I think masterpiece PBS. But the, when you read Jane Austen's books, not just Jane, but just the English can literally can in general, a lot of these characters got their wealth out of colonialism and slavery, cuz you can't generate that much money in, in that period of time and not be expoliting someone.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (39:22):
It has to be either the exploitation of black in brown people in the global south based like India and the Caribbean Africa, or you are looking to think about the workhouse and the working class poor and things, things like that. But then you read those books and everyone's having a jolly time <laugh> so and no one and no one talks about it. Like, so that's that my journal article was about that it's called national trust in Jane Austen's empire of sugar. And it was part of a cluster, um, with Dr. Carrie CNA, he wrote the Marilyn Prince article, and also a journalist Amanda, Amanda Ray Prescott, who writes on this sorts of stuff like race and racism, Imperial dramas for, bipeople like Deni geek and other, applications and also Bianca Hernandez's Knight was part of it as well. I think her article was, was about antisemitism as well.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (40:23):
within Austin, Amanda's article was about, race Mason within the Sanditon fandom, which had a whole heap of really harmful things on Twitter. If you go and Twitter and type and hashtag a pineapple gate and that should, that should, that should, show you a lot of what's being said, around Sanditon and there was a pineapple and how it was being used as racist imagery against black and brown fans. It was really, really, horrific and her article goes into that. And I think, Carrie's article basically argues just because someone is anti-racist that doesn't mean they're anti-slavery, Bbut yeah, that's one of the things I I've written in the last, it was last year. It was the end of last year. Um, then I also another article, with a, company called media diversified, where I unpacked my master's dissertation, which was on the, um, black soldiers doing the first war war, and the 1919 race riots in Britain, which I'll send you all the links for these. So you can, you can share these around. But yeah, I've done quite a bit of academic writing. And more recently I wrote a long essay about the Jubilee. Did you get any, you asked me you're talking about the queen Jubilee.
Kelly Bron Johnson (41:58):
Yeah, well I do we do in Canada for sure. Yeah so I wrote a long essay, much like not as long as the one best autism one. But, , it was basically accounted narrative to the basically propaganda being padded by the English press about Jubilee and saying how great it was essentially that's what they were saying and how great it was. And I basically did a historical breakdown of the monarchy and colonialism and slavery, cuz there would be no empire projects without, without the one keeps complicity in it. So I, I unpacked that and it did upset some people as well. The people that I would thought wouldn't get upset cause these people are supposedly left leading socialists, but they still liked the queen. So <laugh> yeah, so that, that was June. That was so, yeah, that was last month. So last month and month before. Um, but yeah, I've done quite, quite a bit of good for writing, but I, I don't have time anymore cause I'm starting a PhD in October. So <laugh>
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (43:09):
Now lastly, Trey, you mentioned, um, your interest in TV and film studies. So as someone then watches a lot of TV in film, I'm wondering, give any, TV or film recommendations for us?
Speaker 3 (43:23):
Okay. I recently watched, um, a film called Coda I'm not sure if you saw it. T he main character is a hearing person, but her family, she was born in into, into a deaf family. So it's sort of how she navigates that identity of being in a family where she's that can hear and a lot of the activities she likes to do after hearing people. And yeah, it's, it's basically how much her family depend on her and sort of how she's stuck between staying and going. Cause her family depend on her at the same time. She's a young person and she wants to live her own life and has her own aspirations as well. So that was film was called Coda. Then I also saw, I saw the Netflix version of Persuasion of based on the Jane, a Austin novel.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (44:19):
And again, that came out in the last few days and it's the backlash to it's been huge cuz apparently it's not, it's not like the book. So that means it must be bad. So that's there, there's a lot of, purism I guess, going around in terms of what Jane Austen fans around the Netflix persuasion adaptation. But again, that version was also aimed at gen Z slash millennials. So a lot of the language choices are made me that way. So the, some of the elder Austen fans don't like it, cause it was it's basically, it's not for them and they can't seem to understand that, but this was aimed at people, gen z sladh millennials. So its quite
funny to see quite a lot upset, um, and gate keeping as well, but he was who Austen is, Austen is for and who it isn't for.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (45:13):
I watched light year as well. The toy story spinoff, which I found, I found that really good, but yeah, I've watched quite a few different films. I watched Thor love and thunder as well. I quite enjoyed that. Cause I didn't like, I didn't like that very much. But I liked to love and thunder, but yeah, there's been quite a number of different types of films that I've seen recently. Not sure. Like what else, what sorts of films do you guys like watch if at all?
Doug Blecher (45:48):
I like a lot of different types of films, usually films that make me think, film, you know, films like that.
Kelly Bron Johnson (46:12):
I actually don't watch a lot of, of, of films at all. I will watch some series of, of shows and things, but I, I don't tend to be able to for that long <laugh>.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (46:25):
Yeah. I mean, as far as TV shows, I watched everyone, which I thought was good a lot better than people were saying it was. And then I also watch, I like this us watch if you watch this as us. Um, and it had this last series and I thought one of the main characters, um, Randall Pearce was like autistic was coded autistic, which I found really interesting in terms of like a black male perspective on TV and he's an adult as well. And I find a lot of the autistic presentations on TV, often children and how that sort plays into that infantilization of autism, that as soon you reach adulthood, it stops existing. That's basically what they're saying on, on TV that there are no such thing as autistic adults, but then, Randall Pearce I think would be considered coded autistic, within the frame of this as us and when, when you watch it and you see sort of things that you has to contend with and so on, I think it does fit that, but yeah, I, when I'm not doing academic work and stuff, I do like to do watch films as well, but just escapism, especially on so much of the, sort of the anti-racism stuff and the sort of social justice stuff takes a lot out of you and just wanna go and do something that doesn't thought <laugh> for a couple of hours.
Kelly Bron Johnson (47:50):
Yeah, exactly. Self care. We need the self care we've gotta, yeah, we can't be surrounded by that kind of energy all the time.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (47:59):
Doug Blecher (48:00):
Well, Trey, we really appreciate you joining us today. Thanks so much for the great conversation.
Tre Ventour-Griffiths (48:05):
Oh, thank you.