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Designing Women S3 E2 - Sugarbaker v. Brickette

Updated: Apr 9, 2023

Julia running for office = an entire episode dedicated to a classic “Julia rant” – and we are here for it. Any guesses how much the political debate has changed since 1988? [side-eye emoji]


Stick around for this week’s “Extra Sugar” where we take a closer look at homelessness in Atlanta, and what you can do to help here or in your neck of the woods.


Some good reads to dig deeper:


Ways To Help


And promised reads:


Come on, let’s get into it!





 

Transcript

Hey, Nikki.

Hey, Salina.

And hello everyone.

Welcome to Sweet Tea and TV.

Hey, y'all season three, episode two.

But first, but first, are you ready to do a little James Lipton?

Oh, shouldn't have phrased it that way.

Are you ready to talk a little James Lipton questions?

Yes.

OK.

So this one, I think it's gonna be hard for you, honestly.

Oh Good Lord.

What is your favorite curse word?

I do cuss a little actually.

You don't get the tiktok reference.

Oh, no.

Well, it depends on your algorithm.

I think everybody knows this one.

My favorite curse word.

This one's gonna be hard for me.

Do you want me to step in and just tell you mine?

Yes.

Do you want to take a guess?

Staff?

How dare you love that truth at me?

So, um I'm gonna stall for some time here for you.

Uh I learned something about the F word actually.

Well, my whole life, my whole, at some point in my life, I learned that it meant for unlawful carnal knowledge, but that is not true.

So I don't know.

Rather it's a term whose origins are likely Germanic uh slipped in to slip in.

It's not also not good terminology there, but uh it slipped over into, in, in the English language a long time ago, like 15th century.

And then it's just pretty much always been taboo and at some point in time, like, they just made that up as if that's a truth, but it's not, I have to remind myself of that a lot with a lot of curse words that they're just words.

Do you know why it doesn't make sense is because there was, there wasn't such a thing as an acronym in the time period they try to get into.

So like I think we talked before that we just kind of find language interesting.

So I, I thought that was kind of fascinating.

Um I'm gonna tell you why I do like the F word.

OK.

So may OK, fine.

Maybe it lacks decorum as Julia herself might say but it's, it, it isn't disparaging like a lot of curse words or gross like the word for poo, you know, which incidentally I think is my favorite cuss word.

You nasty girl.

Um But it's also versatile which I think a lot of people talk about.

But for instance, it has like uh these, it can fit in for a wide variety of situations.

So uh you could, you can say it with anger, but you can also say it with happiness or sad or sadness, excitement, you name it and I who doesn't love versatility.

It's true.

I feel like, so I had friends when I was in college who use the F word, like every other word.

Um, but I feel like it's more common now to hear people using it.

Like I've been just in places normally I wouldn't be used to hearing it.

Like, I don't know, you're just out in a big crowd of people or, like, I've heard it at the grocery store with kids shopping and people just say it just out of nowhere.

I don't know.

Yeah.

I mean, I do think we all need to step up our vocab.

Yeah.

I mean, I just feel like versatility is great.

I think it's nice to have a word that you like to use, but that's used a lot.

Well, I think it should be well placed too.

So, I mean, I'm, I'm a big person on that.

We've talked about that before.

My grandfather is a preacher.

I respect that and I respect the fact that they, they just don't like it.

I just want to take like, the, I don't understand why there's the morality in it.

To me it's more just like a manners thing.

I think the morality thing actually that, that show the history of curse words.

I have to actively remind myself that yes, that using a curse word does not make you a less moral person.

I have to remind myself of that because that is so ingrained in me it's gotten interwoven into something at some point, but it literally has nothing to do with that.

It has nothing to do with any of it.

You know, who didn't curse Hitler?

Oh, really?

Oh, I didn't.

So, I just, like, I think, like, we have to just, and I'm not saying if you do curse, you're some amazing person or something.

But I'm just saying like, the two have nothing to do with each other.

I'm waiting for someone to fact check me on the Hitler thing.

But I have a reason for thinking that I swear his favorite curse word is probably the S word like mine.

Do you want to tell me why?

That's your favorite curse.

It's just the one I probably would use the most because I say shoot a lot.

But when I get really angry about something, the other one slips out.

Um I just use it a lot.

The F word is one that I do not use often.

Um But when you do, it's a boy.

When I do it's, it is, it is intentionally placed.

It's a tippy top day for me.

I use it.

I use it with real purpose.

But I'd probably just like if I drop something, the the other one will probably is more likely to pop out sugar, which it feels like we have to talk about the Southern connection.

I don't know if this happens regionally, but I feel like Southerners are really good.

About replacement.

So I replace a lot.

I do too.

But sometimes it is not because I don't cuss because I cuss but it's just more of like, it's just happened over the years and I sometimes I just think it's more fun.

I say cheese and crackers a lot.

So I say crunchy fudge sandwiches.

Oh, that is what that is.

That is my like non curse word, curse word.

I don't even know what that's replacing just everything because crackers is instead of saying fudge, you say crunchy fudge sandwiches?

Oh, ok.

Ok.

It's usually angry.

I follow you.

All right.

Look, I, I think that James Lipton might be on to something that man knows what he's doing.

Sure.

Oh, I guess I don't know.

Why don't we get into the episode and I'll be over here Googling.

We can only Google one at a time.

Yep.

You.

OK.

20 20.

Oh, that's sad.

How did I not know that you?

Probably a year.

2020 was A rough year.

Yeah.

So it was 2021.

So it was 2020.

I probably did know you're right.

So season two episode, season three, episode two.

It's confusing.

Season three.

Episode two, the candidate Hulu says Julia is asked to run for the office of supervisor, but her outspokenness may cost her the election air date.

November 21st, 1988.

Why don't we call this one?

Well, Salina named it Sugar Baker versus Briquette.

That sounds like a novel idea written by L BT and directed by David Trainer.

So our top three general reactions, stray observations, would you like to lead with a general reaction and or stray my general reaction to this one is that there's a question mark at the end, but the most political episode so far, you know, we're steeply in politics.

It felt like L BT had a lot on her mind.

Um like she was reacting to things going on real time in 88 similar to the play that we saw um 2020 a year in review or whatever.

So I got to thinking and um like what was going on in her head space at this time and then it hit me.

Um and by hit me, I mean, then I googled Um and it was also the 1988 presidential election where Papa Bush beats Michael Dukakis about two weeks before this aired.

So, I mean, so it would have already been in the can but still it was, that explains a lot, context is important.

I think there was a lot of political rhetoric going on at the time.

Um That was really out there and I think what we wind up finding out when, when we start talking about references and stuff is that a lot of the things that they're debating about were in the ether at the time.

So that was my first general reaction.

What do you have Oh, that's super smart.

Context is important.

Mine, so I think it's sort of related, um, that the whole concept of the Terminator tirade just like any time we get Julia railing on something, I really tend to enjoy it as a person who tends toward the dang it, I probably should have said whatever.

I love hearing.

Julia say it in real time.

And I'm like, hm, that's what I would have said.

You were smarter.

You're plenty smart.

I just love living vicariously through her.

That's what you would say if you were scripted and have the time to write something down.

Have someone else say it.

I feel like my other general reaction is that we have to remember this episode was written by someone who is a liberal democrat.

Um, or at least I assume she is based on everything we've talked about what we know about the show.

Yeah, I mean, I, well, who knows?

They could have tons of conservative Republican best friends.

Uh, but I don't, I, I don't think they're going to, uh, write the most balanced narrative for a conservative.

So I just, I'm, I'm gonna throw that out there.

But on the other side of that, Was it not wild for you to hear the same talking points we hear today.

But 34 years ago, we could turn on the TV, right now in this room and it wouldn't take us long to hear one of these gems.

I wrote some of them down.

OK.

They're trying to rekindle some of those lost values of family decency, patriotism, reclaim America from the Kooks and the weirdos.

Ok.

I think it would have been unusual to be this inflammatory in the eighties.

It's not, now, I think that's pretty normal.

Uh, not afraid to say we believe in prayer and the pledge of allegiance does not, uh, belong in, uh, or excuse me.

And the Pledge of Allegiance does not belong in America's classrooms because it does feel like I wrote that one down.

What I'm trying to say is he was arguing for prayers and he was arguing for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Like it was, you know, the most important thing in the world going on, return the streets back to the people who pay for them as a policy for homelessness.

And the idea that the Equal Rights Amendment or the, er, a will destroy the American family and my favorite myth that it will put women on the front lines of war.

So that was my other really big general reaction.

Did you have a reaction to the fact that they asked Anthony to mentor Julia but not to run.

I am now, I don't, I don't know why I was, I was like, offended on his behalf that he's, like he said, at some point, like, um, you know, I'm knowledgeable about the topic I'm up on the issues I think is how he worded it.

Um So they asked me to mentor you, but then we wouldn't get a Julia Tira.

But yes, I, I totally see what you're saying.

Short trip to Anthony, I will say though, maybe we'll see a different side of Anthony as the show goes on.

But he also seems like someone to me who may not want to be pushed out front, he might want to be turning some of those gears in the background.

Could we not have just alluded to the fact that they asked him and he declined?

That would be like it would have been nice for him to say, you know, they, they asked me if I would run, but I think you'd be a much better spokesperson.

So why don't you do it and I can help mentor you.

Do you want to stop talking about this episode?

No, no, I'm angry.

Can you tell that?

Uh but it's like low key angry.

Yeah, I mean, it's as angry as I can get about a 1988 show.

Well, hey, let's keep talking about it.

Um Now are any other general reactions or I also my other, I'll say this one's probably more general than stray, but I also think it's a little odd that they didn't exploit Julia winning this action for the purposes of a season arc, like exploring her trials and tribulations is what do they call it?

She's not a commissioner, the supervisor.

Is that a difference?

Between like 80 sitcoms and now, like, maybe shows are more likely to have an arc now than they used to.

Definitely is the case.

And it just felt like, man, this could have been such a thing to follow.

Like, imagine how many Terminator tirades we would have had if she had been in this position.

Right.

It's just weird to me.

That's fair.

Um, so I had, I had like three stray observations.

Uh, Dixie Carter is going to be singing soon.

Oh, like a musical's worth.

Oh, yeah.

Yikes.

So I'm like, I, I was like, scared.

I was like, who?

And I was like, oh, no.

Oh, we're gonna be doing like, Mama Mia in the middle of the season.

Um, t Tommy was addicted to Snickers bars.

I'm addicted to Reese's Holiday treats.

It goes eggs, trees, pumpkins and anything filled with Reese's pieces.

I didn't have any Reese's eggs, any Reaser eggs.

This Easter did you want one?

I did.

But then I got sick.

I got some downstairs.

Oh, yeah, man.

I, I would, I would part with one for you.

I don't know.

That's tough.

It's up to you.

That was super straight.

Um, my last one is also about the same conversation though.

That happens early on where Anthony's explaining his political background.

So, of course, it has to do with his unfortunate incarceration.

Um, but we, because he wasn't a person before that, that, that's right.

Totally correct.

We hear about someone new from Anthony's unfortunate incarceration.

A Mr Willie Big Razr Wilson, he beat him about the head and ears with the pipe that sounded intense.

So, maybe scarier than T Tommy.

It sounds like it for sure.

Why haven't we been talking about Big Razor Wilson?

She showed her cards too soon by introducing us to T Tommy.

And now we've got to invent another mythical creature.

Beating him about the head and the ears.

That was intense.

That's a bad day.

Yeah.

And then we just kind of glossed over it.

And I was like, I know, and I had this horrifying visual in my head.

Yeah.

Like the HBO Prison Show or whatever instead.

Yeah.

Uh, any stray observations you want to talk about?

Let's jump on into what we liked.

What did you like?

So, the biggest thing I liked is that, um, Julia did something in the debate that I love as a, like I can see all sides of every argument I really can and I don't necessarily agree with all sides.

But I'm like that person that is like watching a debate like a tennis match.

And I'm like, oh, yeah, that was a good point.

Oh, better point.

Oh, shit.

You know, like back and forth, back and forth.

But she did it when the asked her how she would feel if she was attacked and raped during the seven day waiting period for her handgun.

And she said just as bad as he would feel if he was molested and shot by someone who didn't have to wait seven days.

And I just love that sort of like, point counterpoint where it's just sort of like both can be true.

Like both situations could be true.

And so now you sound bad now you have to decide which one sounds worse.

I just, I like that and I think that whole debate sort of was done that way and I wish I could be that person that thought so quickly on my feet.

That could do that.

Yeah, I see both sides.

I can't articulate both sides very well.

Well, you can analyze it though.

Yeah, maybe.

And that's a skill.

Yeah.

Something, uh, other things that you liked that was, I mean, that was it.

I really, I thought the entire debate was really nicely placed.

I liked it.

It was written really, really well.

Yeah, I did, I really did hate that guy.

Commissioner Briquette.

I really didn't like him.

Yeah.

He, but you made a good point that I wasn't thinking about and it's hard again, context is important and I have to remind myself and I did not while I was watching this and taking my notes that we're watching something that happened many, many years ago because it felt so current, it felt so of the moment.

Yeah, I mean, literally, I hear so many of these arguments still today, but I do have to remind myself that there was one person that wrote this episode and there was one point of view that was shared and, but I've also watched Fox News and I don't know that it was that far off.

Yeah.

I, so I liked a lot of things about this episode.

I'll try and move it a nice clip.

Um, but Anthony and Charlene singing and dancing together towards the beginning.

I just love that.

I'd like to see them as a little duo, uh how they bring Anthony in for this one.

Uh But now I feel differently because I kind of, I it still felt like a step up for me but, but for me because normally he's the guy loading the baggage or making deliveries and then this one, he's coaching Julia, he's the mastermind behind it all.

Yeah.

And so I like that more, but I totally agree with what you were saying that like he also doesn't get the shot at being the candidate and that's messed up.

Um Suzanne's commentary throughout uh on getting her hair done on the commissioner's viewpoints.

Uh I wrote some of these down just because I didn't write them.

Now I typed them.

Uh but do you know who did the roots today?

Mr Donny himself?

Mr Donny doesn't even touch roots, but he did it for me because of who I am and what I stand for.

And so in a very political episode, I just loved that, that was something that, that's what she would be, that's what she stands for.

Um, and then there have to be all kinds.

Yeah.

Well, I loved it.

It was one of my likes, but she also says about briquette.

I mean, what did that guy say anyway?

Don't give bums money.

Women shouldn't have guns.

So, what, I just, I don't agree with anything that she said but she said it.

Well, she had some good comedic timing and that I can appreciate.

Um, there's a lot packed into this episode.

There is a lot, Anthony's impression of British Royal accents was also everything that whole back and forth was very funny.

Yeah, I'm not even gonna attempt it because it's just like too much but watch the episodes y'all and it's just, it's really funny and, you know, who else had a really great one back in the day?

Tiny tunes.

They used to do a British.

They would, they had like a Charles and Diana on that was also everything.

Um, ok.

And then Anthony has this fantastic line about Julia becoming unhinged at the debate.

But, but what they don't know and what kind of has me concerned is that before you can make him mad, he'll make you mad.

And then you'll go off on one of your machine gun hellfire and Brimstone dad tribes, the whole podium will go up in flames.

We'd have to run and drag you off the stage and then people will begin to think that you, you're just a big mouth man.

Busting liberal PICO nutcase.

I just thought that was really good.

That may be what happened.

Yeah, I'm never gonna be able to get to it fast enough, but Julia's business suit set in.

This is awesome.

It's when she's deciding that she's gonna run, it's a matching pattern skirt and jacket set with an emerald green top underneath and a gold feather pin with a green jewel in the middle.

And man, she looks stunning.

Um, can't show it to you, but it's somewhere in my picture.

I won't make you wait before this episode.

I was like, bring up the picture, bring up the picture.

That's how well that went.

And then I, I'm so can I share Julia remarks when she goes on a tear?

She was like, can I share Julia doing what?

Um I was thinking you seem to have forgotten the phrase separation of church and state.

But the one thing I didn't forget was just how divisive and dishonest and distasteful.

Someone like you can be.

I've sat here today and listened to you pander to these people, but you don't actually care about them or you wouldn't be sitting here reinforcing their ignorance and prejudices.

You heard that callers?

She just called you ignorant and prejudice.

I do not think everyone in America is ignorant far from it, but we are today probably the most uneducated, under read and illiterate nation in the western hemisphere, which makes it all the more puzzling to me why the biggest question on your small mind is whether or not Little Johnny is going to recite the pledge of allegiance every morning.

I'll tell you something else.

Mr Briquette.

I have had it up to hear with you and your phony issues and your Yankee duty.

Yankee duty.

No, it's just for you.

Nicky.

You Yankee doodle yakking.

If you like reciting the pledge of allegiance every day, then I think you should do it in the car, in the shower, wherever the mood strikes you.

But you don't try to tell me when or where I have to say or do something or salute anything because I'm an American too and that is what being an American is all about.

And another thing I am sick and tired of being made to feel that if I'm not a member of a little family with 2.4 Children who goes, uh, just to see Jerry Falwell's church and puts their hands over their hearts every morning that I'm unreligious, unpatriotic and un-american because I have news for you, Mr Briquette, all liberals are not kooks more than all conservatives are fascists.

And the last time I checked God was neither a democrat nor a Republican and just for your information.

Yes, I am a liberal, but I am also a Christian and I get down on my knees and pray every day on my own turf on my own time.

And one of the things I pray for Mr Briquette is that people uh will with power will get good sense and people with good sense will get power and that the rest of us will be blessed with the patience and the strength to survive the people like you.

In the meantime, it was long but God, it was well written.

It was really well written and I do a terrible Julia but darn it, she just moves me and I guess L BT moves me.

And when you're talking about arguments, I think that's a really strongly written one.

Um because it really pokes at a lot of, a lot of bull crap.

Honestly, There was a whole thing about the pledge of allegiance that I feel like maybe I've like, I missed an argument somewhere in 1988 because that was a girl.

Oh my gosh.

It was so like she just kept coming back to it.

It was, it was happening at the time.

Did you look at it up in your references?

I looked up the pledge of allegiance more in the context of something that she said about the history of the pledge.

I did not look into why this was like up for debate and why it was like the biggest, it honestly felt like the biggest talking point I just kept hearing from her was that she hates being told to do the pledge I think, yeah, she like L BT.

That's L BT right there.

Don't you think I get?

It must be because I, I grew up in the going to school in the 90s and we did the pledge of allegiance every day.

So there must have been a debate that was lost somewhere.

Uh Yeah, so I, I did look into it.

I found it and we can talk about it in references.

Um And we also tacked on a moment of silence after 9 11.

So we had the moment of silence and we had the pledge.

Um So what about uh other things that we want to talk about that we liked or we wanna skip on to dislikes.

I'm ready for dislikes if you are what you got.

Well, I didn't like that.

Julia didn't win the election.

I wrote down that entire last bit after because I have news for you, Mr Briquette.

It's crazy to me that after all those points she made that somehow it was a landslide loss for Julia.

They have a title card at the end.

That's a, that's a picture of a newspaper and Julia lost in a landslide and there was nothing un rational in what she said.

Nope, she basically, when have people been the conservative perspective, um that America is a land of freedom and personal, right and gun rights or people rights.

So she basically said, like you all have that we should have the right to choose.

I don't know that I agree with it necessarily.

I don't have a problem with the pledge but maybe there's something I missed somewhere along the way.

What I do know is my daughter still does it.

Um, but yeah, there was just seemed weird that she didn't say anything inflammatory or offensive there, in my opinion.

No, I don't think she did either.

But I don't, I don't think that I don't think people always uh select a candidate based on uh rational thought for sure.

So I just have to point out that if you listen to those words and then choose to vote for someone else.

It was, yeah, it was wild to me.

Yeah.

So again, TV, show making a point.

But I think that's how uh how elections, how certain people who are in trial right now got elected.

I have no dislikes, no dislikes zero.

Who dislikes I really like this episode.

And on that note, are you ready to rate the sucker?

I am.

No, we added the whole who won the episode and who lost the episode?

And I think my rating got lost in there, but I'm ready now.

Um So what do you have?

I think I used this category Last year for another one.

Maybe.

What is it?

Well played debates?

I think you did too.

I think I did.

Well, you can use it twice.

Consistency.

Yeah, I give this 14.

I think it was a well written episode.

Um, I really did not like Commissioner Briquette, which is a choice.

That's a choice that was made when they were writing the episode, casting the episode, making that character.

Um, it's a choice.

They could have gone another way and maybe made me like him more like Reverend whatever in the religious episode where I didn't totally hate that guy.

Um, so this one, this was super easy for me because I was like, this guy seems like a real tool.

Can't do this, man.

Um, they could have made him a little more someone that I like that resonated with me and maybe the, the episode would have landed differently with me.

Julia's final diatribe would have landed differently with me.

Um, and maybe that's why they made the choice they did.

Yeah.

I don't think she wanted him to be likable.

I don't think that's, uh, the headspace that she was in.

Um, I gave it a five out of five machine gun hellfire and brimstone diatribes, which I like, I really wish I could get that on a shirt.

Um, but I was just, I've already said this but I was just really impressed with the writing in this one, especially during the debate.

I thought Suzanne was hilarious and well used in the episode.

She was almost like a friendly foil to Julia.

Um, and no unnecessary b plot which I think, oh, that's a good point.

You know, this.

Yeah, this to me was also L BT mastering that 22 minute space that she has to play with, which isn't a lot like.

So I'm just thinking back to even that they had all of that conversation around the British Royals and everything.

I'm like, how did they fit all that in here?

But they did and it landed with me.

Um Let's talk about who won the episode, I guess for me it would be Julia, even though she didn't win the election.

I felt like she made some really valid points and I feel like, and maybe this is a woman judging another woman.

So my perspective will be different.

She didn't strike me as like a crazy woman.

Like, you know, like a she wasn't crazy, she wasn't unhinged, she wasn't emotional, she was just passionate and she, everything she said was rational and valid and I appreciated that because I think it's really hard to, for a woman to speak the things that she said and not seem any of those other things that we like to put on women.

I think her tirades are poised because she just holds herself like almost in this, I saw some old pictures of Katherine Hepburn and they really remind me a lot of one another and they just like their posture is different.

Like Julia has swagger sweater on swagger.

And so I just think even when she, even if like, I think if I did that it would not come off the same way.

But when she does it, it works.

Right.

Which is maybe why they nominated Julia to run instead of Anthony because I don't know how Anthony is under pressure, but maybe she seemed like a, she and Maybe in 1988, Anthony doesn't get away with saying the same things, although she didn't either.

That's true.

I don't know.

Uh, I also nominated Julia for winning the episode.

You're right.

I mean, she doesn't win the seat but in my mind, she won the debate and that's how LBT wrote it to happen, right?

Um who do you think lost the episode?

The poor people of Atlanta, they have to be served.

I love your uh your uh larger.

Yeah, I mean, you really, like you're thinking about the universe of people and I think that's amazing.

Isn't that what it's all about?

It's all about the people, the peeps.

Um I, I chose Mary Jo, I think her TV is about to go out and that just sucks.

And then us maybe because we're still hearing the same arguments all these years later.

So I think we also lost, that's true.

We lost the episode and just life.

True.

Just like Let's uh dig into these references because man, we were really lots of references, uh 80s things.

What do you have the Quote where Charlene said whatever happened to decent names like Tiffany and Shannon, how 80s is that.

That's fantastic.

And then there was the whole birth of Princess Beatrice which accompanied that statement.

That was all very 80s.

Yeah, I'm gonna roll through these.

This is the big eighties one I thought uh the TV, at Mary Joe's was Mary.

I mean there were Rabbit e there was a whole thing going on.

Yeah.

Uh, calling assistant secretaries.

We've gotten that one before Readers Digest.

Mary Jo on Anne's ability to distill things.

I know Readers Digest is still around but it its very eighties.

You read Reader Digest.

I don't.

Ok.

I used to love it in the eighties.

Uh Ju just kidding Readers Digest.

I don't know.

I might have to look into getting a subscription.

That's the kind of news I can read Brief Distill Susan Suzanne's version.

Um We get another uh reference to Julia as the Terminator which belongs to the eighties.

I'm sorry, I know you did one outside of the eighties but the one, you know, that's the first one.

Julia's reading glasses, man.

I should have taken a picture.

They're always really big.

I mean, I, I don't understand how I haven't caught these babies before but her whole face disappeared behind them but they don't look bad on her.

Not in the way they would look bad on me.

Yeah, beautiful but Julia, she carried, she carried them.

Um So Charlie mentions the Leave it to Beaver remake.

She is referring to the reunion movie.

Still the Beaver.

Still.

The Beaver just can't in 1983 which was followed by a series that ran until 89.

It was about the adult Beaver cleaver, his family and friends.

How in the heck did that even happen?

We must have just been, I think we were in this period where we were longing for the sixties again, maybe.

Huh?

Well, it's the same thing that's happening now for the 80's in the nineties.

Yeah.

Uh, that's why you have seen that Leave It To Beaver Show.

That sounds terrible to me.

Was there a movie too?

There was a reunion movie that kick, no, no, no, no, no, not a reunion movie.

Like a, um, oh, like how they redid Brady Bunch like that.

Love those movies.

Yeah, I thought there was one like that.

I feel like I'm remembering something different.

Maybe I'm thinking of Dennis, The Menace.

Oh, maybe it's all the same.

We watched a lot of Leave It to Beaver in my house.

Oh, really?

Uh, I think I've maybe seen one episode.

It wasn't for me if, uh, I'm sorry, it just too perfect or something.

Um, briquette refers to the concept of reviving the Equal Rights amendment.

I feel passionate about this one, so I'm gonna have to talk about it a little bit first for anyone who doesn't know the, er, a is a proposed amendment to the constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex.

The, er, A was introduced in 1923 nearly 100 years ago and was finally passed in 1972 but it also needed to be ratified on June 30th 1982.

The extended deadline lapsed and the, er, a stalled just three short three states short of ratification.

So from my reading, a lot of people thought this was the final nail in the coffin, even though it winds up officially getting reintroduced in 1983 and then again from 85 to 92 every year.

But I imagine this is what briquette is referring to.

Um, for those who don't know to this day, the er a is still not ratified even though uh we now have the number of states needed to ratify it and we've had them since January of 2020.

The long story short, do you know about this?

Ok.

The long story short is that its status remains in limbo until Congress the courts or the US National archivist um budgets.

So we'll link to an article so that you can read the details for yourself.

Uh More importantly, the article also outlines steps you can take to help if you feel so inclined.

But this is one of those moments, I remain frustrated by our home state of Georgia and the South because when you look at the map of those who haven't ratified the, er A, we are highly overly represented among the states Um So there you go.

So there was a fair amount of focus like we talked about about the pledge of allegiance.

Here's what I found that connects to why that was such a sticking point for L BT.

Um it was a wedge issue in the 1988 presidential election used by Bush against the Caucus.

Um who he called out for vetoing a Massachusetts bill that would have required public school teachers to recite the pledge.

Um, so the reason he didn't, or the reason he vetoed it is because he felt like the bill violated free speech.

Um, but Bush used this as an opportunity to pin du caucus as a quote unquote liberal and it worked, it was a real, it was a real sticking point for voters.

Um, I have, I have an article that we can link to about it, but it was just one of these things that's like, not really important but really got blown up at the time.

Yeah, that feels like an issue.

Maybe I wouldn't have chosen to blow up my, my entire approach to the presidency on, uh, what, what do you mean?

Maybe would have picked a different issue to lean into on if I were too caucus.

So he didn't.

Bush did well, he or did he?

It sounds like he, um, well expressed his, well, the reason he didn't, it was like this bill that happened in Massachusetts was ahead of all of this.

Bush brings it out or his, you know, campaign does.

And, um, I, I think the article is just citing the reasons that Du Caucus did veto that bill.

But it's not, I don't think Du Caucus was, like, out, like, at the podiums, like, and I vetoed that bill.

I'm pretty sure he probably wanted this issue to go away.

So, um, I mean, I'm not like a, I, I don't know anything else about Duca.

This was the second thing I ever knew about him, one that he ran in 88.

And then this, we looked into two totally different things on the pledge.

I looked into that too.

It being written for Children.

I still don't understand the, I still, I looked into this for a while as long as I could handle.

Um and I still don't understand the issue.

So I did find on the American legion website that it was written by Francis Bellamy.

It was first given wide publicity through the official program of the National Public School celebration of Columbus Day, which was printed in the youth's companion of September eight, Um it was sent out in leaflet form to schools throughout the country.

The original words were different.

They made some changes in the 20s to specifically reference the United States because it didn't even originally reference the us.

Um but no form of the pledge received official recognition by Congress until June 22, to when it was formally included in the US flag code.

The official name of the pledge of allegiance was adopted in 1945.

And the last change in language came on flag day 1954 when Congress passed a law which added the words under God after one nation.

The part I found most interesting was that the pledge was originally said with what's called a bellamy salute, which looks an awful lot like the Nazi Party salute.

So they changed it to the handover of the heart.

I thought that was interesting.

I mean, it was apr stunt, the pledge of allegiance.

Oh, yeah, that's what it was written for.

It was written to sell, I, I don't know how this got knocked out of my notes but like it was, it was written for the magazine to sell magazines and then everybody got a free flag with it.

Like, so, I mean, really, like people assigned the importance to it later on and then kind of like every time that we go through this bump in history based on what I read, um where we're kind of like focusing inwards and we're getting into this like more nationalist little stint of time.

Then everybody gets really like, uh I wanna say crazy about it.

Say up in arms about it.

They're, they're very excited.

It's certainly very important.

Like it was like the founding of America or something.

And so I think it's just important for people to understand exactly what Julia was saying.

It's like, it was just like, like a little, basically the extent of a little poem that was put in a magazine.

Like, so probably not something to get, like, terribly excited about.

But you know what people do, they get terribly excited about things.

It just sucks because I think this is one of those issues that's tough for me because I feel like it is important for us as Americans to, like, express our Americanism in some way, like to make a commitment to our country.

Like, why would we not pledge ourselves to our country in some way?

So it's tough because I see Julia's argument but I'm also sort of like, I kind of like that my daughter does it in school and that she's saying I'm an American.

I didn't know how they did it in my country anymore.

So apparently they do that shocked us.

I think it probably differs depending on where you are.

I know I've heard of places where that hasn't been a thing since, like we were in school.

Um, I mean, I think if you're jazzed about it, that's great.

But I don't think you should have to do it.

I don't think you should, but I don't think you should have to do anything.

So that's just kind of my basic stance on why you should have to pay taxes.

That's what I'm saying.

You're here.

Um, so do do you want to move into Southern things?

I think my Southern thing is something that's in my references we should talk about so I save it for there.

Ok.

Um, I just wanted to say that they call this station W T GB, the new station.

Uh, I mean, they probably were using fake call.

It looked it up and I couldn't find it.

Yeah, I think it would have been W S B W A G A or W W X I A sorry.

All blind over here.

I can't see anything.

And then the front of the newspaper at the end says the Atlanta Courier.

Uh the front page is how we learned Julia lost.

I just thought it was nice and super realistic that a city level commissioner seat got the front line of the paper like that.

Our front page.

That absolutely makes sense.

It happens every day.

Even in 1988, it was a big deal.

I also have one more southern thing.

Uh Zip do.

That's in my references we need to talk about.

That's the one and I'll shut up and I'll let you.

No, you can go into it.

It's fine.

Uh uh Well, you want to start us off then because I don't sure.

Uh it's a song that was in the Disney 1946 live action and animated movie song of the South.

It was sung by James Basket.

Um for zip, the film won the Academy award for best original song and was the second Disney song to win this award after when you wish upon a star from Pinocchio in 1940 in 2004, it finished at number 47 in A F I's 100 years, 100 songs, a survey of top tunes in American cinema.

I think the reason this is in your Southern section is because the movie it comes from Song of the South and probably the reference that Anthony was making by offering to sing it.

Um I'm gonna be honest, I did not know the movie Song of the South existed until maybe a handful of years ago.

I've never heard of this movie, but I definitely know the song zip do.

Um It's just wild to me because I am Southern.

So Song of the South.

Um like I said was a live action animated musical drama film in some ways, people think it was really groundbreaking because it was one of the first to combine live action and animation on the same film.

Um It's based on the collection of Uncle Remus stories as adapted by Joel Chandler Harris and it stars James Basket as Uncle Remus.

The film takes place in the Southern United States.

Um Disney says it's during the reconstruction era, but originally, um to some viewers, it looked as if it was taking place precivil war.

So on a plantation um with slaves.

And so that was, it was a Lightning Rod issue for some people because they saw it as a glamorization of slavery because they thought that so James Basket was black, a black actor.

Um He's playing Uncle Reus, which is um a storyteller who is a former slave.

Um And so people were thinking they were sort of um making slavery look amazing.

Then even when they clarified that it was reconstruction era that does not really help the issue because um then the narrative becomes that these former slaves are happy go lucky living on their former plantation and they're grateful to their former slave owner for giving them this opportunity.

I, I will let you give you, you're sort of, I'm sure you have things to add, but I will say um there's a podcast called, you must remember this that covered this in like six episodes is way more than I could ever do at justice here.

We're not going to Do six episodes right now.

I don't think so.

Um Beyond, just to say this is a movie that existed, it has come back out a few times.

It is not notably in the Disney Vault, probably forever will never be on Disney Plus, but they have re-released it as recently as 2000.

I mean, it's uh 1988 and maybe a little more recently than that.

Um One more thing I'll say though is that uh it premiered at the Fox Theater here in Atlanta and that Walt Disney stayed at the Georgian terrace right across the street after the premiere.

Oh, really?

He actually left the premiere.

He ended up not staying.

Um, he was notoriously like, devastated by the criticisms of this movie.

He thought he was doing the right.

I'll say people think he thought he was doing the right thing with this movie.

Yeah, because I think I read that there was like, even when they, there were people around the making of the movie that were like, is this the best idea?

There were several people who advised him otherwise, but it's still, well, we still have it.

Yes, it's very layered.

It is fascinating.

Like I said, that podcast did six episodes.

I think I'm through like episode four and listen to it right now.

I had to because actually I think it was my husband who told me about this movie.

I was like, this can't be real.

There's no way there's a Disney movie about the south and then the more you dig into it, you're like, who thought this was a good idea?

Yeah.

I mean, I do love zip.

Do.

I mean, that movie wouldn't even be a glimmer of a thought today, you know.

Um, I mean, maybe for some people but it wouldn't realistically be considered.

Right.

Well, and I think, I think that, uh in addition to people around Disney, like being like, uh maybe it'll maybe do something else, you know, uh, like after the movie comes out, there's also controversy, the NAACP said in a statement that um quote unquote in an effort neither to offend audiences in the north or South.

The production helps to perpetuate a dangerously glorified picture of slavery.

Uh The film unfortunately gives the impression of an idyllic master slave relationship, which is a distortion of the facts, which is what you're saying before, but like, just not even that, that was being said, but that the NAACP is coming out and saying that too.

I think kind of shows that like even that, like some people might be like, it's just a movie but it's not, it's not just a movie, like it's not and it's so layered.

Like, even if you start with the Uncle Rema stories and Joel Chandler Harris who was a Georgian, he was from Eatonton.

Even when you start there, like the crux of where this came from.

Um They say that he took those stories from Retellings, he heard of slaves and didn't credit them and told what probably amounts to the whitewashed version.

Now that's a tell us all this time for sure.

Sure.

But I say that to say that it's, again, it's layered in um probably a lot of people thinking they're doing a lot of right things by, you know, like I'm gonna give uh and these were published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution originally.

And then Disney worked with his family after he died to secure the rights to it, to use the stories in this movie.

And you could still go to his house.

I almost, when I wanted to do historic preservation, I almost got a job there.

So I, you know, I think I grew up on those stories, you know, I mean, I, and I, maybe it's because I'm from Georgia, but I remember those being, like, somehow baked into, like the classroom or something at some point.

So I remember my mom telling me about them, but I don't, I don't remember learning about them, Georgia, Georgia in the 80s and the 90s.

Um but I mean, I also remember liking them, it was about a bunny kids like bunnies.

So, you know, um and they were sort of, they're not that different than like Wiley coyote kind of stories.

And so this podcast actually talks about that a little bit about how, um and then it goes into like, um, roots and minstrel shows and how, like, actually the early cartoons have their roots in minstrel shows and they bring up looney tunes as an example.

Um And so it's, it's all layered and interrelated.

Yeah.

Well, maybe I need to check out this podcast, maybe y'all need to check out this podcast.

And I was going to say we could have done an extra sugar on this.

But honestly, this, um this woman that does this podcast again, did I think it's six episodes.

It may be even more and dug into it like two depths I would never think to go because I didn't even know this movie existed.

Um But it does, it was the branding still used for Splash Mountain at Disney World.

Um They are now rebranding it.

I believe it's going to be princess and the frog themed, which incidentally is the first Disney movie to feature a black princess.

Um So it's sort of like a flipping of the script and trying to revise that history and narrative.

You know what's so crazy?

Like, I know I've been to Splash Mountain and I don't even remember seeing any of those characters.

They play zip duda or played, I guess during the ride.

I've no, I don't think I've ever ridden Splash Mountain.

Um And then yeah, the illustrations are like drawn on the signage.

I think we did see it when we went to Disney last year.

They had the ride closed because they're redoing everything.

But I think we did see a rabbit.

Yeah.

Oh, I believe, I believe it's there.

It's just like I didn't even, you didn't even register.

I think that's maybe how they got away with it for so long.

I think you're right because it wasn't, so it wasn't outwardly song of the South.

It was just this cute little rabbit.

Yeah.

Well, I, so I think we're, I think I linked to the article for show notes.

Um So like where I found a lot of this and it talks about that podcast that you're listening to.

Um I, the other thing I just want to mention is that while this things about this story were problematic, not everyone felt that way at the time when it was released, including African American actors who appeared in the movie.

Um I mean, it's, you can understand why people who appeared in the movie are more likely to come out and say that.

But I do think that that is kind of another part you're talking about it being multiple layers.

It's a very layered story.

There was a whole episode in this podcast about that very issue about how um about their feelings, those actors feelings on the roles they played and then their community's feelings on their feelings.

It reminds me a lot of them, we talked about Bo Jingles and he's brought up in the podcast too.

There you go.

Um Full circle.

Yeah.

Uh and in 1986, when you were talking about the last time it was released like in theaters, uh it made 17 million.

So, yeah.

So probably why L BT is thinking about zip do around this time when she's jotting down stuff.

So probably, yeah, in the podcast they brought up um the like how it's considered one of the um most lucrative movies made in 1947 or whatever year it was.

And she says, but that's nonsense because that's taking into account um how much it made in each one of these re-released.

So she talks about Disney's approach to the vault and how they put these movies in the vault to create a scarcity effect so that they can trot them out 10 years later and make more money off of they're so smart.

Um And it like that offends you don't go see like if you, if you don't want to buy into it, I totally understand, but I think it creates this scarcity in this moment.

It creates a moment around things.

All that to say that's how they made so much money off song of the South was by trotting it out every 2025 years.

So that, you know, she said in her lifetime, she's actually seen it twice once when she was four with her mother and once again as an adult in her like late twenties or early thirties.

And as you can imagine, her experiences were very different on both viewings.

She remembered loving it as a child, watching it as an adult and seeing how it falls apart.

It's got all the right packaging for a little kid.

Um I think I've only ever seen it in my sing along tapes that I used to have V H S when I was little and I had a bunch of them.

Um And uh so definitely Zip Dodo was on one of those.

It may have even been like the flagship song from the video.

Um But I'm glad that you looked into it too because I do think we're a Southern podcast.

L BT doesn't always give us a lot to work with, but just with this one little phrase, it just felt like something we needed to mention because it is literally from a movie that is supposed to, you know, that is set in the South here in our home state.

And then on top of that is built around stories that were published by a man who lived right here in Atlanta.

Um And so those feel like all and then there's obviously all the controversial things around it that are this this other side of living in the South that we often talk about and the part that we've uh that we've pledged to not ignore, so we've hit on it.

Um I that was all for me in Southern references you want to talk about uh just broader references.

Now, that was uh one of them.

And then I also wanted to talk about Deo, which I refer to as the beetle juice song all comes full circle.

Um But it's also called the Banana Boat song.

It's the song they sang at the beginning of that.

So do I just love the way you say that?

Do.

Um It's a Jamaican folk song.

It's the signature song of Harry Belafonte sung in the Calypso style.

Um I found an article on History Daily dot com that said the song most likely originated around the turn of the 20th century when banana trade in Jamaica increased.

It was sung by workers who loaded shipping vessels with bananas down by the docks.

The dock workers typically worked at night to avoid the harsh heat of the day.

Then when daylight arrived, they knew the boss would come to tally up the load so they could go home.

Um So that's the origins of the song.

Also, Harry Belafonte had a um had a relationship with the song and had some feelings about it that are probably worth looking into.

Um But he, I think this song in particular was credited with, uh and I didn't write any of this down, but it was credited with like this um introduction of the Calypso style to um America into American music.

And so he was sort of groundbreaking in that and then everyone started doing it and like, at this point in time, everyone had sort of this like Calypso Jamaican sounding song.

Um And he had a reaction to that and changed his music style because he hated hearing it so much.

Yeah, I get that from an artist point of view.

If everybody's doing it and you want to move on.

I, you know, he just, he's still alive.

He just turned 95 in March.

So I just wanted to mention that because so many times we're like, are they still alive?

I mean, like, and it just, and he is kind of this huge figure.

I think one thing that sort of struck me as I was watching the episode is like, so exactly what you said we get this at the top, like Anthony's singing it.

They're laboring.

Um, and then we get it at the tail end again.

And I was like, why, you know, you too, well, you're talking about Calypso music and that just doesn't really have anything to do with this episode, right?

Like in, in and of itself.

But so, but I, she's got to be doing it for a reason.

She didn't just, maybe I'm like, well, the rights may have been easy to get beat come out at uh 85 84.

Capitalizing on Beetle Juice.

Uh I, I think it's possible this was an L BT nod to social change and justice and Beatles Juice, of course.

Uh It was 1988 1988.

OK.

Uh But I, I think you will because you're talking about like the song itself was about the daily struggles of Jamaican laborers.

So it is a socially conscious song and I read in one article saying if you were listening to Belafonte back in the day, like according to this New Yorker article, you were making a political statement and this whole episode is making a political statement.

So I wonder if some of that was brought in for that reason.

Otherwise I just, I can't fathom, I mean, it's a cool song I just explained to you.

Beetle juice came out the year.

This episode came out, I hear you.

And I think she was like, oh, yeah, I like the way you say that.

Ok, we'll let you have it, Nikki.

It's because of beetle juice.

You want to talk us through cut lines.

We didn't have any this time.

There were none.

I don't think there were any.

Well, how would you cut any?

I know because if you did the next thing really wouldn't make sense.

You lose a lot.

Well, that's it.

Then the next episode, I'm gonna give my plug before the next episode.

Episode three E P phone home.

As always, we'd love everyone to follow along with us and engage Instagram and Facebook at Sweet Tea and TV.

Our email address is at Sweet Tea TV pod at gmail dot com.

Our website is www dot sweet tea tv dot com.

And like I mentioned on our last episode, we now have a support us page with lots of different ways that you can support the podcast if you'd like.

And a super easy and free way to support the podcast is to give us a rating or a review wherever you listen to the podcast.

So other people can find it and we'd appreciate it and we'd appreciate it.

And, uh, well, so I'm taking your job away from you right now and I don't know why it's fine, go for it.

I wasn't doing it.

Justice.

Apparently you are absolutely doing it justice.

My brain is just scrambled into 1000 eggs.

Um On this week's extra sugar, we're gonna be talking about homelessness in Atlanta.

Uh But we're also talking about it a little bit more broadly than that and how people can help.

So, sounds good.

You know what that means?

What does that mean?

We'll see you around the bend.

Welcome to this week's edition of Extra Sugar.

So there was a ton of ground covered in this episode's political debate between Julia and Commissioner Briquette.

But in thinking about Atlanta, one topic that really stood out for me was the topic of homelessness.

Um Nikki, uh per usual, I'm just gonna stay right from the top if uh you have any questions as I go through, jump in, if you think there's anything where Like, I'm just leaving a giant old hole, like let me know.

Um but so the designing women episode is set in Atlanta in 1988.

But what I wanna do real quickly is flash forward and talk about what homelessness looks like today.

So I'm gonna go ahead and share 2020 data because it was the last count not impacted by COVID 19.

But we can link to newer data for those who are curious according to the us interagency council on homelessness on a single night in 2020, roughly 580,000 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States Six in 10 or 61% were staying in sheltered locations.

Emergency shelters are transitional housing programs in nearly four in 10 or 39% were in unsheltered locations such as on the street in abandoned buildings or in other places not suitable for human habitation.

2020 would have or was the fourth consecutive year that homelessness increased nationwide?

I couldn't find anything that readily was just like here's what it's like in the region.

But it seemed to me that given we're a southern podcast, it would be at least a little helpful to talk about what's going on in the South.

Uh take this with a great assault.

I did some math.

Oh no, I tried my best.

Um but using those 2020 state breakdowns From what I could tell, there were 124,916 people experiencing homelessness on a single night in the south or to put it another way.

Roughly one in one of five people experiencing homelessness were in the south.

So not an insignificant number in Georgia.

Specifically that same year, there were 10,234 people experiencing homelessness in our home state.

Atlanta mission estimates one third live in Atlanta, that was 2300 people.

And last year alone, more than 7000 people sought shelter there, I think just to stop and say that's what makes these counts.

So incredibly challenging is it's not like you get like your homeless card.

And I mean, these are people like facing all kinds of different situations and probably bouncing in and out of maybe the may be a system, maybe not a system anyways, it's, the counts aren't perfect.

So I think the other thing to say with all of these numbers is even when I'm doing math or not, to some extent, I think these tend to be conservative.

I would also be remiss to not say Atlanta has seen a decline in homelessness.

In recent years.

Last year, they reported a 25% decrease since 2015 for anybody thinking well, it's probably because of COVID.

Uh that probably does factor into something as large as 25%.

But I'm pretty sure I saw articles where they were already seeing declines before that was the thing.

There are a lot of stereotypes about homelessness uh that it's a choice that these individuals are lazy that they're all uh facing addictions.

These myths range from the absurd to flat out wrong Atlanta mission also reports that of the people they serve every day, 81% have experienced physical or sexual abuse.

58% report symptoms of trauma.

57% have a chronic medical condition.

55% spend their free time alone.

46% are under um or unemployed and 28% report drug or alcohol abuse.

Unfortunately, sometimes life is a series of unexpected events.

Take Jason, for instance, a US Marine Corps veteran, his wife Liz and their son.

So they moved here to Atlanta to take care of Jason's sick mother.

When both his mom and grandmother died within months of each other, they found themselves virtually homeless overnight.

After a family member unexpectedly sold the house, they've all been cheering things snowballed from there.

Their son was taken into foster care.

Jason couldn't access his va benefits without a phone number or the proper documentation and he and his wife struggled to find employment without a permanent address or identification.

The good news is that they were able to get back on their feet and reunite with their son with the help of Hope Atlanta.

Uh They are a local organization committed to fighting homelessness and incidentally where I found this among many other stories.

The other thing I wanna talk about this is based on something I read in Bloomberg City lab.

Um They have an incredibly detailed article about understanding homelessness in America.

So I wanted to kind of walk through some of that and I'm not gonna change a lot of what they said.

So I want to give them credit up front, especially because I think these are really important points to everything that's at play here because it is a very complicated situation.

Um But I, I don't want anyone to think that I like tracked all this information down in all of these different areas.

Uh Nikki, do you want to take any guesses about when the first major wave of urban homelessness occurred in the US.

Hm.

It would have been around the industrial revolution.

That's a good guess.

Um, it's wrong.

It was, it was a very good guess.

It was actually after the civil war.

So there's lots of veterans and millions freed from slavery and they were struggling to find permanent housing.

Um, this is also a point where things like poverty, race and the criminalization of home homelessness start to intertwine.

Uh We have vagrancy laws that were enacted as part of the Southern black codes which allowed the arrest of anyone who appeared to be unemployed.

Um So I think there was just, there was a lot of stuff starting up and it goes back that far.

But for the next 100 years, homelessness looked very different than it does today.

I think this is like, I, I, I don't know if even stereotype is the right word here, but maybe it is.

But if you picture like even in cartoons, I saw this depiction of a man, he's got all his belongings tied up in a bandana to stick and he's, you know, got that five o'clock shadow and, and, and his clothes look a little older, that kind of thing.

Um It, it, it, this was largely men who were often seasonal workers migrating between cities and work sites, hitching rides and often staying in skid rows.

Now, I'm not, This is where skid row comes from when we think about out in California.

But these were in many different places.

And that term actually meant short term dormitory style hotels and lodging houses, um, which was news to me.

Uh, but by the 1980s, we had what was referred to as the quote unquote new homeless, more likely to be women, families and minorities, especially African Americans.

Uh, they're also less likely to be sheltered than ever before.

This transformation started in the 50s and 60s with seemingly well intentioned policies which actually now that I'm thinking about it here in the moment, feels like that connects back to some of the things we're talking about in the episode, these things where people think they're doing a good thing, but there's like a backlash.

So first we have urban renewal and regulations, you know, these are meant to decrease crowding and improve living conditions, but it also wound up reducing a significant amount of lodging houses and other other unsubsidized affordable housing, especially in minority neighborhoods.

We also get effective antipsychotic medication and improve psychiatric practices during this time period.

But this progress uh also aided in the deinstitutionalization of mental health patients.

And so what we get is the shuttering of psychiatric facilities, meaning that hundreds of thousands are suddenly left vulnerable to homelessness.

Then there's a deinvest in public housing and other housing programs.

This was very startling to me, the US Department of Housing and urban Development better known as hud their budget has never reached 50% of its 1978 budget normalized for today's dollars.

Wow, that is incredible to me and not in the good way.

Uh There was a growing service class of people living from paycheck to paycheck due to deindustrialization.

And then during the 80s, we also saw the beginning of reduced public assistance for families.

This and issues like that'll sound very familiar to today.

Mass incarceration, the AIDS crisis, drug epidemics, lack of access to medical care and exponentially increasing medical costs.

Those and or their aftermath are all something we see today.

Um we also have gentrification and strict zoning rules that creep up and they compound all of these other things.

All this to say for someone to boil homelessness down to choice or a series of bad decisions is a gross oversimplification of an incredibly complicated issue.

So I lived in downtown Atlanta for several years and I saw a lot of chronic homelessness and I also saw the influx of homelessness after hurricane Katrina.

You know, I mentioned this because I'm not sure how many of our listeners have been around people experiencing homelessness on a regular basis.

Um I will tack on that.

I think this is an additional challenge.

It's the old out of sight out of mind issue for so many in the country.

On the other hand, if you are a city dweller, I don't wanna say it becomes normal because it never became normal for me.

But I do think you get used to it.

Neither one of these mindsets are really helpful for change.

So I, I think that's a good segue of talking about my experience in Atlanta to talk about how we can help and how anyone can help, how you can help.

Uh First if you encounter someone experiencing homelessness or if they ask you for help.

Remember kindness as AJ C columnist, Nidra Rome, put it, whether the answer is yes or no to a request for help, communicate with respect and decency.

Consider what it means to any of us to be looked in the eye and treated like a human being, not ignored as if we don't exist.

And she's exactly right.

Neighborliness and grace are so very important in our daily walks of life, but especially in this situation, which is it, it's just different.

Um There are several ways to give and we'll link to these.

But a few options are the National Alliance to end Homelessness, the National Homelessness Law Center and DePaul USA.

If you're local to Atlanta, Atlanta Mission and Atlanta children's Shelter are a few options.

Not everyone is from our neck of the woods, but you can easily find places in your community to give online.

Just be sure to practice due diligence.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who are terrible everywhere.

So just use the same normal common sense that you would online And if you just realize that you don't use common sense online, I think that was your reminder.

Yep.

Uh Money is not the only way to help.

You can donate food goods and other requested items to organizations who serve the homeless or donate your time, contact community based organizations where you live churches and other places of worship for volunteer opportunities.

This episode of designing women was a good reminder.

34 years have gone by.

Um our political leaders are still fighting over the same things.

Let them fight.

Progress starts with you and it starts with me and it starts with us and that's this week's extra sugar.


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