Why is there so much anger attached to discussions of systemic racism when Christians are commanded to care about the poor and the marginalized. Jacob Henson of Mild Man Music has been writing about this and he shares his thoughts on this edition of the NPE Podcast.
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Jacob Henson Video Podcast Transcript
[00:00:00] NPE Open: [00:00:00] we’re talking, religion and politics on the nonpartisan evangelical podcast. I could stand in the middle of fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voltage. Okay. Challenging the mindset of the partisan evangelical church and asking the question. Is God really a conservative, Republican, and does God require his followers to be podcasting worldwide on the NPE network as NPE podcast.com.
This is the nonpartisan evangelical podcast
with the nonpartisan evangelical
himself. Your host, Paul swearengin
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:00:42] all right. I am Paul glad you’re with us on the podcast today. I’m still sheltering in place. I haven’t quite got comfortable with going out just yet, but I, I got invited out to have lunch with somebody for next week. And so I’m still in negotiation of wherever, whether I’m going to do that or not. But as [00:01:00] of today of recording this on June 3rd, I am still hanging out.
In the house and hope you’re doing great wherever you are. As we move in the, in California into phase three. And what I want more than anything is for my son to be able to play baseball. So that’s what I’m looking forward to more than anything, but hope you’re doing well wherever you are, and have a fun discussion for us today.
one of the things I love to do in particular is give. A place and a voice to people that have something interesting to say. And particularly people that maybe have a little bit different message than, than our normal evangelicalism Christian message. And particularly if they’re like really outstanding young millennial adults.
And so today I have. All of the above a young man. And I say that in the most unpatronising way possible, Jacob, Jacob Henson joins us today. And Jacob is a young man who grew up in Fresno. My hometown here, actually went to our church until [00:02:00] he met a beautiful woman from Spain and ended up moving to Madrid where he talks to us from the day.
And he’s a musician, a business owner, and just a really awesome guy. So Jacob, thanks for joining me today.
Jacob Henson: [00:02:12] Thanks for having me Paul
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:02:13] how’s life in Madrid today. Well, tonight, I guess for you
Jacob Henson: [00:02:17] tonight. Wait, now it’s night, but you know, it’s, it’s great. Today. We went and had some good barbecue with some friends.
We had a very typical American day actually hamburgers and pool. So we’re happy
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:02:30] fairy. Nice. Well, and, and are you guys opened up again? How is, how is I know Spain was hit very hard by the virus, right? Yeah,
Jacob Henson: [00:02:39] we were hit very hard and, we, yeah, very hard. And, you know, because we are a little bit smaller than the States.
I think we’re about 25% bigger than California, so not much bigger. it was very isolated. It was very, you know, condensed. And so we are just now opening up again. We’re allowed to visit people in groups of 10. We still are not allowed to eat in restaurants. only if they have terrorists [00:03:00] like outside seating.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:03:02] Ah, and so you are a restaurant tour. So how has, how has the restaurant business been for you through all of this?
Jacob Henson: [00:03:08] We made one of the best decisions about a year ago, which was to invest in our delivery services. when our main, our main, you know, goal was to have the best experience in the restaurant for our customers.
And we decided to really make an effort and delivery not really paid off because. people being at home all day, they ended up ordering a lot of foods. So, we were able to survive and, in a way flourish, because of delivery. So we’re doing good.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:03:35] Congratulations. Y’all I wonder what innovation is going to come out of all of this.
Hmm. particularly like in the church world, I’m thinking the church, this, this ought to be one of the most innovative times ever for the church, you in a whole lot of industries, huh?
Jacob Henson: [00:03:49] Well, I mean, especially in the church, because I feel like in the church, at least the church that, you know, my father in law is the pastor that you’re taking, what you hear in Madrid.
And, one of the very few evangelical churches that we [00:04:00] have. and Madrid and he, you know, they, the innovation that I’ve seen this in the last month to two months now they have online services. Now, you know, they’ve had to, it’s just, that would never have happened. Had this not happened. And so, you know, there’s always a silver lining in everything, you know,
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:04:18] so we had churches opened this past Sunday.
There was a hundred person limit, but some violated that and went farther. So when our churches reopening in your place,
Jacob Henson: [00:04:30] they are now allowed to have, I think, I think it’s a maximum. It depends on the size of your building. I know our services only. I think they had 20 people in it and physically, and it was almost as like, is it even worth it?
But, especially, you know, what happens the elderly pass by? Cause they just don’t. Get clued in on what’s going on and they want to come attend church and they have to be turned away.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:04:53] Oh, well,
Jacob Henson: [00:04:54] unfortunately these are not the tech savvy people that know how to get online and watch the service. So my advice [00:05:00] is, you know what, let the elderly go physically to church and all we can watch it from home for now.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:05:03] Yeah. No, I’ve kind of enjoyed watching church from home to be on a street, watching
Jacob Henson: [00:05:09] church, tell me, stop drinking my coffee, listening to the sermon, you know, cause here, here at the church, you know, it’s not like an American church where you can kind of hold a coffee in your hand and then have the other hand raised up when, during worship here, it’s like, you just don’t drink coffee during the, during the service
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:05:25] and all that’s tragic.
Jacob Henson: [00:05:27] Yeah, it is challenging. I’ve been scolded more than once.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:05:32] Oh, wow. Well, you can, you can maybe bring that Americanization to them at some point. Well, I wanted to chat with you. I I’ve been following your stuff on Facebook and isn’t this a great world where we can stay connected across the Atlantic ocean.
And, and particularly you’ve had some, I thought you had some great stuff to say into the coronavirus and the other things, but from, from your perspective as an American kid, living overseas, as we’ve, we’ve been into the events of the last few weeks [00:06:00] and, and racism and systemic racism have become such a, an unimportant thing.
That’s that we’re all talking about. I thought your insights were really good. And so what first, like what sort of prompted you to, to speak out and start to hit these? And I should say we also. Posted one of your posts as a blog on the nonpartisan evangelical firstname.lastname@example.org. So people can read that there, but I don’t know what prompted you to start speaking out on the issue of racism.
Jacob Henson: [00:06:30] definitely. It was not, it was not because I don’t want to say it took courage because really it was seeing other people like yourself, step out, start saying things and, You know, I feel like a lot of, a lot of what we, what I’m saying is I feel the freedom, you know, there’s been this thing inside of me for a very long time.
I’m very active on Instagram. That’s my main social network that I use. And, it’s, it’s you see immediately when you post something, the reaction [00:07:00] people have and, it makes it really helps define what you decide to share and what you don’t share. Because you’d rather just not deal with having to explain.
It’s exhausting having to explain yourself so much. I know you probably understand that having to constantly explain yourself, I have to do this for myself. And in my case explained myself in two different languages constantly. And so, when Facebook it with Facebook, I read it every single day. I’m one of those few millennials that maybe that actually continues to use Facebook, but I, I rarely post.
And it got to the point where I said, Hey, here’s a place where I can post in one language. I don’t have to worry about the other language, just Spanish. I can speak to people that I know. I don’t have to in, I don’t have to worry about, always other things I’m having to manage than I do on, you know, like I do on Instagram.
So I just posted something and, you know, with the support I got from it, it just empowered me to keep doing it. And now I’m at [00:08:00] the point where I just really don’t care what people think about me. You know, I, I don’t really have much to lose. And, but with that being said, it is in, this is probably another conversation.
It is emotionally draining. Having to see people that you know, that, you know, if you could talk to them in person, you could explain yourself. But on Facebook, it’s just like so hard, but I made a decision that this is so important what’s happening right now that. I’m all in. Hmm. I’m rolling.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:08:30] And that’s good to hear.
and I, I think, and you’re right, I’ve had to have some offline conversations, cause things do get difficult in texts. But when I talked to my friends that are in our communities of color here in Fresno and in central California, you know, they say, man, having a. A white person, a person of privilege, a person that lives on the North end of our city, which is, which is where the upper upper class tend to live.
[00:09:00] It just means the world to them for me and I, and I’m nobody of great import, but just people like you and me that looked like you and me speaking out means a lot to people who live in those marginalized communities.
Jacob Henson: [00:09:15] Exactly. And that, I think that is the main trigger is. That’s the main reason why I feel like I want to post these things that I’ve said is because of the reaction that I’ve gotten from, you know, black friends that are, encouraging me saying thank you so much.
It means so much that you’re saying that when I always felt like as a white person, my words meant nothing. You know, even the fact that I just said the word black is something new to me,
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:09:39] is that right?
Jacob Henson: [00:09:40] Yeah, because I always felt like I had to be so careful with how I explained a person of color, so I don’t want to offend people.
And so I was always like, is it appropriate to say African American? Is it like, what do I, and then, Oh, do I do this new POC thing that people are putting? Like, what do I do? And I just decided to use what they are [00:10:00] using, you know? And, And I’m not afraid of saying that, you know, this is a black and white issue, or this is a black person’s, you know, because that’s, that’s not, that’s what, the language that they’re using, you know,
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:10:12] and obviously you don’t call a black person, an African American in Spain.
What do they call them in Spain? I’m sorry to even use the word
Jacob Henson: [00:10:20] kind of do I think they would call them black. Well, they would call them AF Afro Americano. Like they would say there’s something similar, but I mean, the truth of the matter is, is when we can, this is semantics, but it’s like, They are just as much American as we are.
I mean, they’re just as much American as we are, as in, since we are probably more European than they are African,
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:10:42] right.
Jacob Henson: [00:10:43] I mean, literally think about how much of a European culture has affected and infiltrated the United States that we still to this day use. There’s very little African culture that exists in the United States.
And I’m saying these are people who are Americans. And somebody even left a comment yesterday on one of your posts saying [00:11:00] that it’s so unAmerican, what these people are doing like it. And I said, you know what? That, and I didn’t comment. I’m glad I didn’t comment because my comment was going to come out really harsh.
But I just, I feel like what they was saying was these black people, aren’t American by doing this, I feel like if it’s a white person doing it, they would never use them and use the term American.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:11:21] Yeah.
Jacob Henson: [00:11:22] It’s like as if the black people have to earn their Americanism. And so, I don’t know, it’s just like, there’s a lot of this going on and every day I’m just learning something new.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:11:31] Yeah. That’s so good. And even, you know, even with some of my friends I’ve been talking to, they, even that word American is difficult. Because American means white European. And some of my Latino friends would say, my, my ancestors have lived here longer than yours. So why are you the definition of America?
And so that word is even difficult for some of them. It’s
Jacob Henson: [00:11:56] a wake up call because I mean, even here in Spain, the [00:12:00] Spaniards, so you’re a Spaniard would say w I’m American, but a Latino would say that we’re North American. Because to them, all of the Americas. Is American and we are just North Americans and they are South Americans, central Americans.
Right. It’s all semantics.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:12:20] Yeah. And I think one of the things that’s really important about what you said, even about the word black people get all upset about political correctness and peacefulness and all that. What I have found is if you try. If it matters. I did an interview with a young woman from the queer community, and I didn’t even know queer was a word we used, but, and, and I had gone to an event and they had asked me what my pronouns were and I had never understood this idea of pronouns.
And so they had to explain to me what my pronouns were as a, what was, I mean, I’m a cyst. Male gender male or this gender male. Yeah. And, but the thing was, is I [00:13:00] was like, man, how are we going to remember all this stuff? And what she said is, you know, we we’d actually don’t care if you get it right. Just if you try, it means it means so much.
Jacob Henson: [00:13:09] it’s a hard issue.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:13:11] Yeah. So let’s not get so hung up on. PC and being upset that we’re having to learn these things just, just lean into it and say, how can I, how can I best honor you as a human being? I think that’s good. so this is, your, your post today. I’m gonna just going to read the very start of this, cause I thought it was so good.
You say, who should I believe a white person that tells me racism is not real or a black person who tells me it is or wait, should I get out the racism handbook and make sure I check off all the boxes, do an in depth study. Make sure I collect enough data. Should I count every sin, a black person has done and hold it against him as a way to prove that he gets what he deserves.
Should I cry when I see the destruction of our targets and Walmarts, but turn my head. When a black person [00:14:00] asks me to care about the inequality and destruction that is dealt upon them every single day. Wow.
Jacob Henson: [00:14:09] Yeah.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:14:11] Tell me about that. What were you, what were you feeling and all of
Jacob Henson: [00:14:13] that, what I’m feeling is I’m seeing, I’m seeing it’s something I’ve never seen before.
Paul I’m seeing, an entire people group crying out. And asking us for help. It’s that simple? They’re saying, and more than ever, they’re asking white people to partner with them. . And I just feel like there’s a, a big invitation for us right now. And it’s easier than ever for a white person to be involved.
What’s something that benefits the black community before. There’s always this, like, you know, how do I say the black, there was never this stuff. Like, I feel like more than ever. The black community is like, come, come as you are a white person. I [00:15:00] don’t care if you don’t know everything about me come as you are.
And let’s get this figured out, you know? And I just feel so empowered by that and I have nothing to lose in. So when I post that, I am what I’m feeling is anger and. Anger, because
a lot of this bad energy that I’m feeling is coming from the white community, my friends, my family, and I’m all about having good arguments. I mean, you and I could sit here on a podcast and have really great debates about topics that are really fun. You know, really fun to talk about. And, and then later go out for coffee and be just fine.
Even though we disagree on things, this is the one topic where I’m like, if we disagree on this, really changes things. It really does. And it really
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:15:59] so change [00:16:00] is how you, how you look at that person.
Jacob Henson: [00:16:03] Yes, because there’s so much anger attached to this. And so I have to really, so yesterday on the post that you just read, if you go to the, through the comments, you see one of the, people commenting, I mean, just the first two lines of that, just it’s so racist what he said.
And I almost wanted to say an in response, you are a racist. And I didn’t say that because what I, my anger wanted me to say. This comment is so racist and that would just get what I really want to do is win him over. And I have to remember the best part, the best strategy I could possibly have is leaving the door open so that at some point he can, he can come back in and be a part of what we’re trying to do.
And so I let him spout. What I feel is hate is ignorance. And I try to be really careful with my words and how I respond, because I want to keep that [00:17:00] door open and I don’t want to push anyone away. And that’s one of the tragic things I think that is happening is movement is there’s so much anger that the scene is either you’re with us.
If you’re not with me, I’m not with you. And I’m saying, you know what? You guys aren’t with me right now, but I hope sometime in the future you will be. So I have to state what I believe. And at the same time, leave the door open for you guys to come through it. At whatever point in time, you guys wake up to what’s going on, you know,
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:17:28] now, and racism is such, such a horrible thing.
None of us want to be called a racist. None of us are okay with being called a racist. And so I think we do have to be careful. And in some ways you can, you can throw a word around so much. It becomes sort of ineffectual, but at the same time, I think what I’ve been learning is how damaging this language is.
You know, I had somebody on my comment thread yesterday, say the problem is those people won’t get off the couch and get a job. And I, I just can’t say [00:18:00] that. I can’t sit without saying, Hey, that’s not okay. That’s, that’s not true. And it’s very damaging. And I even had a friend call me yesterday and he’s like, man, I’m watching the comments on your page.
And, and I’m just broken. I’m broken. I can’t, I don’t know if I, I don’t know if I can have any hope anymore, if this is what white Christian people, how they respond in this moment. So I think we do have to, I love that. Leave the door open and, and so I never just say, Hey, you’re a racist, but I am now at a place where I’m going to say, Hey, that’s not okay, what you just said.
And are you willing to hear that that’s really painful for a whole bunch of people?
Jacob Henson: [00:18:39] I’ve seen you do that. And I’ve actually seen some of your comments. I’m like, wow, Paul’s not holding anything back right now because you know, people, obviously the digging into you, you know, and at some point you have to defend at least if not yourself, defend the cause.
You know what you’re? And so it’s, but that’s the exhausting part. The [00:19:00] exhausting part is not responding to people. It’s how do I respond? How do I do this? So that I don’t regret what I say tomorrow. Because I can’t afford to be wrong right now. Like I can’t afford to leave a comment or state something that I’m going to regret in 24 hours, because that will actually hurt what I’m trying to advance.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:19:19] Yeah.
Jacob Henson: [00:19:21] And that’s the, that’s the exhausting part.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:19:24] What I, what, I, I think what, I let’s start saying my biggest fear. I don’t know if that’s the right terminology, but I guess right now I’m more worried. Of my friends from communities of color saying, wow, Paul, you’re trying to preserve your place. You’re you’re trying to, you’re protecting your space right now because frankly, that’s what I did for a long, long time.
Particularly as a pastor of an evangelical church, I felt. Like, I couldn’t really say what was in my heart to say, because I would lose people from the church or [00:20:00] it would, and I would put it in other terms of, it’s not fair. They’re not there. They’re not ready to hear that. And, and right now I just, so now I feel like I have some making up to do to say I’m more worried about offending my friend from the marginalized community than I am my, my buddies in the, in the areas of privilege.
Jacob Henson: [00:20:21] Yeah, I would imagine it’s harder for you much harder. I mean, I’m so far removed physically. Yeah. From the United States. I, that honestly has also helped me in two ways to have perspective. I I’ve been in Spain through several major elections, so they didn’t back to when Obama first ran for office, I was here this whole, the whole summer leading up to the election.
And, so I’ve seen several different, political things happen from far away. Now I’m seeing this and the perspective is a lot bigger, but also there’s no attachment. Like I don’t have to leave my house [00:21:00] tomorrow. Well, actually, no one is allowed to leave your house tomorrow, but aren’t allowed to leave my house.
I can’t leave my house tomorrow and I’m not going to see somebody on the street. That’s going to be like, dude, what do you mean by that? How could you, you know, so you’re having to probably start dealing with that and that’s. More power to you for sticking to your guns. I had the benefit of distance, you know,
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:21:23] but, and I guess I also have the real privilege of actually getting to talk to the people who feel oppressed and, and get the, get the, the, the payback of them saying, thank you, you know?
And, and so it has it’s, it has. It’s good. And it’s bad. How does your faith play into all of this? Where, where does. Where does your faith system and faith belief play into you speaking out about racism?
Jacob Henson: [00:21:49] Yeah. It’s very interesting. If you look at everything I posted recently about, you know, what’s going on, and none of the posts have I mentioned God once and I didn’t do that on purpose [00:22:00] because what I do when I express myself, I compose everything in my notes app on my iPhone.
Because I think composing and Facebook is dangerous. So I post, I compose everything cause I have to delete things I have to read. You know, we really think about what I’m going to say. I’m thinking it’s hard, right. Thinking it’s very hard. So
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:22:18] I think you’re smarter about that than me. Sometimes I have to go back and do the
Faith about injusticeJacob Henson: [00:22:23] Yeah. So I do it there. I’ve learned that. And then I copy and paste it, but, my faith.
Is intertwined with justice. You know, it, God is. So to me, the spirit, the Holy spirit and everything that has to do with God and what Jesus did on this earth has to do with, like you said, helping the marginalized, but it has to do with correcting an injustice, which was the greatest injustice of all. In all of history, which was, you know, just the destruction of sin and then connecting us with God again.
[00:23:00] And I feel like right now, if you look on Facebook, there’s this big disconnect with people accepting what it’s true. Everything’s everything you read. There’s always a subtext of is this true? You know?
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:23:17] And so that’s really,
Jacob Henson: [00:23:19] it makes things tough, but it makes things really tough for the church for Christians, because now when you post something.
Is that really true? Anybody can post a Bible verse, but is that really true? What they’re saying? And so now everything a Christian says it’s been, it’s been being questioned. And I just think that people know I’m a Christian. My actions speak so much louder than my words right now, even though my actions are words and I feel like God’s heart is breaking right now.
For the black community. It does not mean that God’s heart does not break for other people. It does not mean that God has turned his face away from white people. I’m [00:24:00] just saying that there’s a time and space right now where this is opened up. And I feel like God is saying, do something, do something. It’s almost like a test.
Do this. If you can’t do this, which is something that’s so obvious and necessary. Then what can you do? Are you even useful to me?
Are you useful to me? If you can’t even look at a person of color and say, I’m listening to you, I care more about you then right now than my own things. If you can’t do that, then how can I trust you to do anything? And so that’s where I’m at right now.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:24:39] That’s big. I just, so being a Christian, I think Jesus came to model the life I’m supposed to lead and walk and do my best to walk.
And what I see that he did it, you know, his, his mission statement was he came to give sight to the blind and set the captive free and declare the year of the Lord’s favor. [00:25:00] And so to me, what that looks like for us in today’s modern, Jesus came to break a religious system that was keeping people from being able to get to God.
There was, there was a, you know, people knew they needed to connect to God and what their religious system told us, told them is you have to follow these commandments. You have to pay this time. You have to do this, you have to do this. You have to do this. And, and those that do that better than you, you are going to be socioeconomically better off.
Then those that don’t. And so there was a, a spiritual justification for poverty and for wealth. I think we’re in a very similar, very similar time in history where we’ve created a Christianity that says, yeah, it’s all about Jesus providing the way to God. And then all you have to do in the midst of that is, is be Republican, be anti, okay.
Most people wouldn’t say be Republican. They would say the anti-abortion be anti gay marriage. Don’t [00:26:00] sell cakes to gay couples and be angry if somebody forces them to do so. You know, and these other things that we’ve placed. On top of the gospel or in between. And those are the things that I think God, God hates.
I think he hates us keeping people from having a free relationship with him more than he hates somebody doing any of the sins. We would list as the, as the biggest sentence. And so I feel like this is a season where I get to decide like, Jesus, am I, am I going to sit with the Samaritan and the tax collector, which I’m not saying our marginalized communities are bad people.
I’m saying they’re the ones that. The religious power class is looking down upon. And am I willing to lose my reputation sitting with them? I think the wonderful opportunity today is I get to find out, am I willing to do that? Like Jesus did.
Jacob Henson: [00:26:49] That’s exactly right. I mean, Jesus set the example of, I mean, he was showing his disciples as he was doing, look what I’m doing, because you’re going to have to go do this too.
[00:27:00] I mean, you’re being not Paul. You’re going to go back to Rome. And hang out with them. You know, you guys are going to have to go to Galicia. You have to always different places and speak to people you don’t like. And that I think is also the accent. You know, one of the missions that Jesus gave us and he was showing that with the Samaritan story with, the lady at the, well, this is everything he did had to do with, obviously with Mary.
No Magdalen. And like, this is like, everything had to do with look who I’m caring for right now. I’m not caring for the Pharisees because according to them, they’re fine. I mean, literally go ask the fairest. She’s they’re gonna tell you they’re fine. So they don’t need me. And I mean, he didn’t say it just like that, but that’s pretty much what he
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:27:44] said.
He said, yeah. You don’t need a doctor there. They’re
Jacob Henson: [00:27:48] not saying they don’t need a doctor. And, and you know, that’s, I mean, if, if you’ve been a Christian, a long period of time, a serious Christian, you know, that easier things are for you in life, the less you need God. Hmm. You know, [00:28:00] and that’s why, you know, one of the other things is so hard for a rich person, you know, to get to God.
It’s not because money is bad. It’s because we don’t have that feeling of need. We don’t worry about where the food’s coming from. We don’t, you know, so. I feel like Jesus also showed us even. There’s never a good time. I always tell people to, I, lot of people ask me when should I have kids? You know, like you have you, cause here in Spain, I’m considered a young father.
You know, we had my first child when I was 26 people who don’t have kids until their mid thirties, you know? So I tell them, I said, you know, you guys, there’s never a good time. Like. There’s never, it’s always going to be a sacrifice. You have kids when you’re in your twenties, you have to sacrifice a little bit of your youth, but Hey, by the time you’re in your mid forties, those kids are old and now you can still have so much life to live steel, or you went to a little bit later, but then you’re at the peak of your career and you want to dedicate [00:29:00] every single day.
You have to go to the office. And now you can’t because you have little kids. So it’s never easy. And faith is never easy. It’s never a good time to have to fight injustice. It’s never convenient. To have to fight injustice. But seeing that this to me is the best time in history, but in my opinion, it has been laid at our feet, literally without us having to do much effort.
And when I say us, I mean white people, it has been later feet. The door’s been opened wide for us to step in and make a difference to help our, our black brothers and sisters.
And that’s why I hurt so much.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:29:40] Yeah.
Jacob Henson: [00:29:41] When I feel like the church is not wanting to step into that. Cause it just is like so obvious to me, it’s just so apparent. This is what’s needed and it’s sad, man, but it’s like, yeah, these days I don’t see many people posting scriptures. I don’t see many people talking about God.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:29:58] That’s a great message that this is, [00:30:00] this is a great time in history that every conflict provides opportunity. And what is your journey been into this? Did, did you always believe this way? Were you more conservative as you’re younger, before we came on you and I talked about this concept of, of being woke, you know, how has that journey been for you?
Jacob Henson: [00:30:19] It, I think when I was a kid growing up in Fresno, for instance, is a very multicultural community. My best friends when I was young were black. I mean, I didn’t know. What racism was. I did not know until I got older. And unfortunately the way, the way I see it now is I was friends with a lot of these people at a very young age.
But then when I was in my teenage years, we grew apart because of the schools that we went to. And so I never saw them have to go through that process when they wake up to the reality of what racism is. And so I never witnessed that. one of my best friends to this day, it’s black. And [00:31:00] we’d never had the conversation about race and now I’m thinking maybe we should have, but the process that I’ve had, you know, I have to either a niece and a nephew that are half black, half white.
my wife is from Columbia and she was born in Columbia. I have a very multicultural family. And I’ve just never felt like the white people were superior in any way. I just never felt that way. If anything, cause I’m a huge sports fan. You know, I always think that we’re very inferior in so many ways. If only that could be a little bit taller, a little bit stronger, a little bit faster.
Right. And it just never clicked with me. And I’ve also seen this thing politically happened where
I don’t want to get. It’s hard because I felt like America has been dealt a really bad hand politically, but I’ve seen this thing where being a Christian has become a racist. [00:32:00] Oh, my greatest fear is that Christians are now seen as racist. If you say I’m a Christian, that means you’re racist. Yeah. I mean, it may not have had, has happened yet, but it’s going to happen because if you are a Christian.
An evangelical Christian is a good chance that you’re racist
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:32:20] people to here.
Jacob Henson: [00:32:22] Well, here’s the thing, like people we need to not be offended also. Like I’m seeing that kind of tongue in cheek. Yeah. But I learned a long time ago that the best thing you can do in life is just not be easily offended. Because that’s going to let you get so much farther, farther in life and your relationships and conversations that helps you to go so much deeper.
But to answer your question, what led me to this in a big way and what, what am I life has led me to? This is honestly poll. I think I’ve seen enough movies. I think I’ve read enough books, to not, there’s no excuse for me not to know what’s going on. [00:33:00] I recently a year and a half, two years ago, I had a experience in my life.
and it’s probably maybe the only experience in my life where I’ve experienced racism personally, here in Spain. And the reason why is to make a long story really short. I took my kids at this time. They were two and five, I think, to go buy books at the bookstore. I took them to the bookstore. I wanted him to pick up their new books.
I want them to love to read. So it’s a really big occasion. I was like taking them on a date. But educational. And I was so excited and we walk in the bookstore and the first thing I noticed that they took away the kid area with the kids can sit and read. There are still kids book, but the player was gone like, Oh, that sucks.
So I tell the girls, my oldest, let me look at this book. You look at this book. And so my youngest it’s in the ground. Look at the book, the lady that was in charge, I would say the manager of the store came up and said, can you please stop throwing books around? And I looked at her and I said, She had heard me talking in, in English with my kids.
I’m sure [00:34:00] she probably even know I was talking in English and I looked at her. I said, Oh, I’m sorry, man, but we’re not throwing books. You know, my kids are sitting in the ground reading books. So she came back another time. And this time yelling at me to stop throwing books around. And I looked like what books are being thrown.
And I got a little mad about, I didn’t say anything a third time. She came and she says, you are throwing books. And this time she was like yelling. And as I’m speaking to, I’m trying to explain that this book is not being thrown. I’m actually gonna buy it for my child. And I exploded. I exploded because she had been following me around the store.
And the only way I can explain this is because there’s a population of Eastern European people that live in Spain that have an accent when they speak, and that are treated lesser than a Spanish person. Right. And so in that moment I realized, Oh my gosh, she thinks that I’m from Romania or I’m from Poland or whatever.
And she’s assuming that because of that, I’m not educated or I’m not, I don’t know how to be in a bookstore. And so I exploded on her, another [00:35:00] man who was not involved in the situation at all, came to her defense. Oh wow. And so now I’m like the whole store was looking at me and as if I’m like the worst person ever.
I go on, I pay for the book and we leave and I told them I’m never coming back here ever again. That’s something very American to do by the way. I have never coming back to this store ever again. And then I went to Starbucks with my kids to buy a coffee, and I was in line for Starbucks and I felt like everyone in the store was looking at me.
Hmm. And I can’t express the feeling. It was just this horrible feeling that came over me. It was like the presence of this heaviness over me. And I felt like everyone was looking at me, judging me. And it made no sense at all. If you look at it from the outside, but from what I was feeling, I said, this is what a black person feels every single day.
And so I’ve never forgotten that. And so when this opportunity came to step in and be a part of this, I say, I know that now my story is nothing compared to what the black people have to go to. I completely understand that, but for that [00:36:00] small moment, I felt something.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:36:03] It’s so good to get just a taste of it, to know what it’s like.
Jacob Henson: [00:36:07] It was, Paula was horrible. And I mean, you may listen to that story and think maybe you would have reacted in a different way. It’s probably not that maybe there’s a misunderstanding, but once again, that’s what, that’s what we say to the black people all the time.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:36:21] Right. Are you sure it happened that way?
Jacob Henson: [00:36:23] Are you sure that, you know, there wasn’t a misunderstanding. And I’m tired of his excuses,
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:36:31] which, which was your post that I was just reading it’s we, we go to the racism handbook to find the explanation, to defend ourselves from, from considering ourselves part of the problem.
and, and I think, and we were talking before we came on and you were, you were, you said something really interesting that you don’t want to be woke. Hmm. It’s a, it’s a process. It’s not a, it’s not a destination.
[00:37:00] Jacob Henson: [00:37:00] Well, to say I’m woke would suggest that I’ve arrived somewhere. And I don’t feel like I’ve arrived anywhere.
I feel like I’m in the process of learning, learning several things, learning how to backup what I’m saying, how to make sure that what I say is backed up by action. learning how to communicate with people who don’t see what’s happening and don’t understand it. And so to say, you know, that concept is like, I don’t want to be associated with it because I haven’t, I haven’t gotten it.
I don’t even know if I ever will. I’d rather say that humbly say that I am open to learn and to
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:37:37] grill. Yeah. Humility, I think is a really important part of it to humble ourselves. And recently I was given a couple of words that I really liked. One was wakefulness rather than being woke. Okay. I live in, I live in a space of wakefulness, which means I’m.
I want to constantly be learning and growing. And the other one, I liked it. My friend told me that he said, he [00:38:00] said, whiteness, you know, if, if you say your white and that equates to bad, I had no choice whether I would be white or not. And so if you tell me I’m bad because I’m white. Yeah. You know, that is it’s its own form of racism, perhaps, although not with the political power behind it, which I understand, but, but I, I had no choice to be light, but I can choose to live in whiteness or not.
Yeah. And, or privilege may be another word for it. And to be living in whiteness, you don’t necessarily have to be a white person. And non white person can make that choice as well. So anyway, I like, I like those two terms that, that those are, those are talking about a journey and choices we make along the way, rather than, than a space or a, or a birthright.
Jacob Henson: [00:38:51] And I think, you know, those things, there’s a lot of good conversations to be had around whiteness around. I mean, there’s so many things going on in the [00:39:00] world of like, you know, coronavirus and what’s the elections coming up. There’s just so many issues. And I think that there’s a time to get to everything.
And my main argument is let’s take time the most time that we’ve ever taken to really focus on this issue. It’s like having a checklist of things that we have to do. Yes. There’s a lot of people suffering all over the world. We’ve got to check all those boxes up, but can we just please check this box off?
Can we, can we accomplish something with this and then move on? There’s a lot of things that we can do multitasking. And I feel like this one, we can’t multitask. We really have to focus on it. And so I think there’s a time where we’ll get to talk about okay. How, what does it mean to be white? And obviously it’s not bad that you’re white, you were born that way.
You can’t change that. but there’s going to be a new reality. Paul, there’s going to be a new America that’s coming in. I really do believe it’s gonna be a new America. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s not a negative thing at all. It’s, I’m very optimistic and I think it’s going to be the best version of America we’ve ever had.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:39:58] well, and that, and, [00:40:00] and I may not get to experience that as much as some others, cause I’m a little bit older than you, but I am, I’m very optimistic about the millennial generation. I, my, my hope in, in the boomer generation or I’m a, I’m a very old X-er like you said, you’re an old millennial, I’m an old X or, and I, and I’m wondering if we can get there and particularly if we can’t use an opportunity, like the death of George Floyd, And to me, some of the danger of the death of George Floyd is we is we try to say again, taking out the racism handbook.
Yes. That that cop is a bad guy and let’s prosecute him and let’s let him be what we crucify in this to make ourselves feel better. But, and that’s a danger and yes, all of those things, you know, should happen. He should be prosecuted and all those things. And, and boy, there’s something wrong with that guy.
But if we don’t look at it and say there’s, but there’s a system that [00:41:00] produces these people are maybe even worse, a SU a system. Let me, let me just take another cop. That’s just out there on the beat somewhere. And, and, and maybe he’s grown up in a, in a systemic racism that just, again, has that low grade feeling of, I have to be a little more wary of a black man or a Hispanic man than I do other people.
Now he’s trapped in a system. Now he’s at danger by the system because there’s something goes wrong in an interaction with, with a black man or a Hispanic man, a Latino man, if I should say, then now his life is ruined. His family’s life is significantly impact. So, so we’re not just trying to free. The marginalized, the communities of color.
We’re trying to free us all in this and get us all out from under this, this tyranny and oppression of racism, systemic racism.
Jacob Henson: [00:41:50] Yeah. I mean, it’s, I really believe that a stronger black population makes us all stronger. I mean, if I have to [00:42:00] convince, I miss this sad, if I have to go to these lands, but if I have to convince a white friend that it’s in their best interest and that’s why they should do it.
Then yes, I would like them to come with a heart and say, I want to do it because I really want to help. And I really, but if I have to, I can convince them, Hey, by doing this, it’ll actually make your life better. You know, raising up one population makes us all stronger and I will even go and say something maybe controversial.
I don’t know if it’s controversial or not, but I believe they will never be justice. The cop who had his knee onto a Floyd’s neck, there is no justice that can be done that breaks the yolk of racism that is in this country. So it’s just say that even if he goes to jail, they can give him a life sentence.
It does not fix the problem of racism in, in this country. So the thing that we’re missing from this conversation of, [00:43:00] Oh, it was police brutality, but it wasn’t racism is that does, at this point, it’s semantics because no matter what happens is cop, the fact is racism still exists. If alluding was not happening and writing was not happening, racism still exists.
And. There was something I was going to post today and I didn’t. And because time,
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:43:22] come on, be brave,
Jacob Henson: [00:43:24] honestly, just because of time. And I was trying to compose myself, but, basically it’s just, you know, you know, that you can choose to not be distracted by the riots and moving change the channel on the TV, the idea.
That the riots and looting artists attracting from the real issue, sounds like a lame excuse to not have to actually care about the real issues. Riots and looting are bad. Okay, great. I’ll move on to the real issues. So it’s like something I’ve learned over the last couple of years. It’s just this ability to [00:44:00] be a lot of things at once.
When I grew up in Fresno, California, I went to a school called Bullard talent. I think your children might have gone there. And I loved it. I was really, you know, I’m a musician, so I was really into the arts and, but I also really wanted to go into sports. So there’s this, and this is all going to wrap it back around, but you know, I would play soccer every year.
I was always in the soccer teams and I got into middle school. I really wanted to put basketball, basketball. But they had a horrible basketball team, horrible basketball coach. And so I never got into it. And there’s this always this, once you get into high school, it’s just like, you got to choose who you are, man, what club are you in?
Are you going to be one of those artsy fartsy guys, but you’re going to be jock, you know, and as an adult, I realized I want to be both. I want to love playing basketball. I love watching games with my friends and also compose songs. You know what I mean? I want to support my arts community and at the same time go to a huge stadium and scream.
Right. You know, you [00:45:00] can be both things at once. So let’s just say that you can be Helping the black community and also do other things you care about. And you can choose not to look at the looting. And the writing and at the same time care about, well, you can see what’s happening with the looting and rioting and be disgusted with it.
And at the same time care about what’s happening with the black community and people are wanting to, or coming in with illness with tunnel vision. And my only thing, my main thing I would ask was just open up your perspective a little bit. You can be discussed by one thing and pour your heart into something else at the same exact time.
And all I see right now is you’re being disgusted. I’m asking you. Okay. But also pour your heart into this issue over here, please.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:45:45] Yeah. Good, good word. And I remember, you know, the OJ trial and when OJ was found not guilty, the particularly the black [00:46:00] communities were celebrating that. And I just remember thinking a gas like this is a terrible man that slaughtered his wife.
How can you do that? And it was actually, there was a, a five part. I don’t know if ESPN did it. Somebody did a five part series on it and watching that and realizing that people were saying, I wasn’t cheering for OJ. Oh, Jay’s a horrible person, but I was cheering that a black man beat the system because the system has been so against us for so long, this was our guy getting away with it.
And, and I, and so I, you know, when we hear that, we either have to decide to be offended by it. As you were saying, I have to make a choice. Does that mean black people who believe that way are stupid? They either have to be stupid or they have to be subhuman, not, not quite as sophisticated or human as me.
[00:47:00] Or there’s something I need to hear here. There’s something really wrong in the mix that is causing people to express themselves in this way. And that’s what I’m asking people to do. Forget the offense. That’s exactly what you’re saying. Yeah, we can all agree. We don’t want our stores to have their windows crashed out, but don’t let that distract you from the cry that’s being hurt or that should be being heard right now.
Jacob Henson: [00:47:26] Yeah. I mean, I’ve even heard somebody say these riots, you know, in a bad, in a really angry tone, he’s riot to distracting from the real crises. People should just hoodlum shit. I’m like, well, that’s exactly it. If it’s distracting from the real cost, change the channel and put your focus on the real cause then it’s like, it’s almost like, are you seeing this?
Because you really care about the cause, you know, And it it’s, it’s hard, man. It’s I wasn’t, I was very young when the OJ thing happened, but I remember going to school everyday and all, all the teachers in elementary school, they were all out [00:48:00] tuned in. Like they were all, I remember going to recess one day and they’re like, Oh my gosh, just listening to see what’s happening.
You know, there was no internet at the time. So it was like, I have to listen in or turn the TV on. And so we had there’s this air about everything, you know, even those kids who don’t understand what’s going on with knew something serious was happening. So I remember that in then obviously I’ve seen the documentary since, and I hundred percent agree with you.
It’s like, we know that he did this, but got a bump black man can murder his wife and get away with it.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:48:35] Wow.
Jacob Henson: [00:48:36] What have we accomplished?
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:48:38] Right, right.
Jacob Henson: [00:48:40] Think about that, then that should mean that a black man was an absolutely nothing and is innocent. Shouldn’t be put in jail for life.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:48:49] Right. Well, and, and I think it’s a, it’s a meme with will Smith.
And so you never know if that’s true or not, but, you know, I’ve been [00:49:00] seeing this will Smith meme go around where he’s saying. Racism has something, some version of racism has always existed. Now it’s just getting now we’re just getting it on video.
Jacob Henson: [00:49:11] Yeah. It’s like he said something like it’s always been there, but now, now it’s actually on.
Yeah. Now it’s on video. Yeah, exactly.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:49:18] So how many George Floyd’s have there been. That weren’t caught on camera and, you know, darn well, if, if George Floyd wouldn’t have been dead, his death wouldn’t have been caught on camera. And I’m sorry. Now I feel like I’m sort of flipping, like throwing his name around and I don’t want to do that, but had there not been a video camera there, he would have been just another guy.
Jacob Henson: [00:49:40] Yeah. Had he not died?
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:49:41] Yeah. Just another.
Jacob Henson: [00:49:43] What if he didn’t die though? It still would have been wrong. What happened to him? So, I mean, I heard, I think a Trevor Noah was,
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:49:52] who you sound like, by the way, I’ve been trying to think of your, your accent’s very different since I knew you as a younger man. And I was thinking, who [00:50:00] does he sound like?
And I thought he sounded like Trevor Noah. Yes. You’ve got a little bit of some South African, right.
Jacob Henson: [00:50:07] Well, he, I just watching his, I don’t know if it was like a. The something he was posting, you know, he talked about, even if the thing is he died and that’s why we are so angry, but how many black men don’t die.
Yeah. And yet they’re still treated that way all the time. And I’m going to say something that may shock some people, but I’ve been racist in my life that does not mean that I’ve called people bad names. I haven’t sought it out, but I know that when a cop pulls me over in America, I know based upon the way I look and if I can just talk good, that it’ll be a great fun conversation.
And we always end up laughing. I was in a black room with a cop, you know, and I know that a black person cannot do that. [00:51:00] And, and, and it saddens me that the white community that says, just put your hands on the wheel and take your, and almost like, man, you don’t, we don’t have to, I don’t have to do that. I don’t have to worry about where my hands on the wheel so they can see my hands.
Right. And so I know, and I think why people, we all know that it’s not a fair system. And, I don’t know where I was going with that, but just, you know, I’ve been racist in my life.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:51:26] Yeah. And I think now we’re realizing in this time of wakefulness that we may not feel like we’ve been racist in our interactions with people, but just being ignorant of.
The system of it makes us a part of the racist problem. So I will give you permission to, to not have to call yourself a racist, but we have to understand that our culture is and has been for a long, long time. [00:52:00] And if we don’t. We’re going to have to stop and face it someday, or these things are going to keep happening, keep happening, keep happening.
And frankly, if you’re a Christian, I think the Bible commands you. Commands that you have to care about it. Those, that whole story about the sheep and the goats and taking care of the naked and the poor and visiting the prisoner. I think that’s all about these other people. Like we did good things and God said, nah, you didn’t take care of that.
And so I never knew you. I think those are pretty indicting stories. If we’re not willing to lean in to wanting to be a part of changing the system.
Jacob Henson: [00:52:34] The spotlight is on this right now. You know, the spotlight is here, so it’s not like we can’t say we didn’t know, this is the one opportunity, and this is why it’s so important for white people to speak up, especially in this time, because if we speak up and we make this visible, people are without an excuse to say, they didn’t know.
Nobody can say they didn’t know we are putting it out there. And [00:53:00] I really, really believed. That not only as a nation or as a race or whatever, but as Christians, we will be judged, bye. The way we react to this situation. And I know that sounds really harsh, but I really believe it. And truth is, are asking people, look into your heart and
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:53:25] yeah.
Jacob Henson: [00:53:26] You know, it sounds so child is just saved to love people, you know, But loving somebody who is not like you and who will never be like, you don’t expect a black person to have to start acting like you until you accept them. Love people, knowing that they will never be like you. Okay. Knowing that it might, your life may never look the same again, because you have to love this person.
But, you know, Jesus gave up his whole life. To save humanity. [00:54:00] And at that point in time, what was humanity? It was the, with the middle East known, the known world was not white at the time. Right. So, I mean, even if you think of a Jewish
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:54:10] Jesus, wasn’t white, come on.
Jacob Henson: [00:54:12] No, but not only that, but he didn’t say, I mean, obviously when we say humanity, he saved all of humanity, but the known world at that time was not white.
Right. As we know it today. And so back then was just going to sound weird. This obviously is a retro retroactive, but he didn’t save white people, even though he did, he did totally. You know what I’m saying? It’s like, that was not in the picture. So, and I mean, not only that, but English didn’t even exist as a language yet.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:54:37] Right.
Jacob Henson: [00:54:39] I mean the white coat, you know, today didn’t even exist yet. And we can go on and on and on about pretty much everything that white people have today comes from people. Who were not white at the beginning, but I don’t want to disparage what white people. I think that this is the time to act, and this is a window has been open to us and we will be judged [00:55:00] about what we do or don’t do and it’s time.
And it’s going to make church really difficult too. It’s going to make going back to church. You know, we’ve been out of physically out of church for a while now, and that we have to go back to church with some really big questions hanging over her head. No.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:55:18] Yeah. And look around at your church and what do the faces look like?
It’s a, it’s a very segregated time of our culture every Sunday morning is as they say. And I think we’ve got to be intentional about starting to mix those mix, the races up on in our church world, as much as anywhere else, or we get ourselves in that, in that same bubble.
Jacob Henson: [00:55:41] I mean, I went to a church in Fresno that was before I went to the river.
That, you know, at the peak of, I think it was like 600 people that went to the church. It was called community brother and I was on Clinton and Cedar annex and McClain high school. Okay. Beautiful church building brick building. And over the years, it [00:56:00] kept going down and down, went down in congregation, went down.
And when we added a woman, pastor, then it went down when the new worship leader brought the Holy spirit to us, or at least woke us up to the Holy spirit. And then it went down when, we started in homeless ministry because that required us to let people come in, that don’t look like us and don’t act like us.
And it got to the point where the homeless, well, the only ones coming to our church now we went from 600 people down to 50. That is a mass Exodus. Yeah. To go from 600 people. And then within 10 years, but under 50. And, we ended up having to shut the church down. Oh, right. What you don’t hear about, like, you know, we, there was just no way to keep going.
So, okay. I went to the river church because my mom had, I think there’s the home churches that were going on. I’m almost already involved. By wind because my church was shut down. Oh. And so my concern is now is, you know, we’re going back to church and there’s been [00:57:00] some hard conversations that we’re going to have to have and the hard talks.
And I just hope and pray that Dan has the courage and he’s, you know, he’s been speaking out on Facebook. He’s not hiding the weight. He feels about the situation.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [00:57:13] Yeah. You’re talking about Daniel Robinson, who is leading our, our church now. Yeah. And I think in some ways, And I, I look back and think I did such a poor job.
I was so afraid to really talk about these things and delve into these issues. And I just encourage us as Christians. We, we can’t be afraid to talk about these things anymore. And if it makes people leave, the interesting thing about what you’re talking about in our city of Fresno, there is, so the city started in its core downtown, and then it grew North, North, North.
Northeast Northeast, Northeast. And so. Way on the Northeast into town. There’s a street called NEIS Avenue in E S Avenue. And it’s known as church row and all of these churches [00:58:00] that used to be in South Fresno, moved out to church row. And so there’s just one after the other, after the other of churches that moved so that white people didn’t have to go to church by McClain high school anymore, which was a neighborhood that was starting to diversify.
So if we don’t think we’re part of the problem. Just drive down NIS Avenue in Fresno sometime. And you’ll see, and I don’t, I’m not condemning those churches. I’m just saying that is systemic racism. That’s what we do. Let’s keep moving away from that core and move away from those people so that our churches can be segregated.
And we just need to take a look at that and say, what would Jesus do? Would he be in favor of that?
Jacob Henson: [00:58:42] Yeah. And I mean, something I wanted to mention too, with you is just the psychological impact this has on everyone. which is, I mean, I’ve been reading a lot about the psychology of, just victims and psychology of Holocaust survivors, the psychology of people who have just gone through [00:59:00] tremendous things and I’ve had to overcome.
And one of the main things they talk about is that man. Can overcome anything is capable of surviving, even the most insurmountable odds, but the way he does that psychologically is in partitioning certain things in his life and know organizing these things. And I was just thinking how psychologically the black community is totally different than us.
And the way they process the world around them and not psychologically. I mean, literally the way you see things, you know, people say that depending on the language you speak, w do you see the world differently? And I really believe that they see things differently than us based upon the psychology that has been developed over 400 years.
And so when we say cliche things like only the father stayed at home. [01:00:00] Well, their idea of what a father standing at home is completely different. And what we think of fathers in at home looks like, and even knowing that I come from a divorced parents, you know, but like the psychology in that community of people is completely different.
Do they want fathers in their home? I’m sure or not. I don’t know. Maybe the white good writtens they’re gone. I don’t know. But the psychology is totally different. And so when we say these cliche things about black and black crime, always statistics, it doesn’t explain how they are seeing the world and how it’s so drastically different than how we see the world.
And part of us being open to learning is saying, I may never feel what you feel, but I’m open to understanding the way you see things. And I have to take your word for it. You know, I don’t know what it means to be gay. I’ve never been gay. I dunno what it means to be homeless. I’ve never been homeless, but if a homeless man tells me, this is what it’s like to live in the street, I believe him.
Right. It tells me this is what it’s like to be gay, I believe in. So why is it [01:01:00] when a black person says this? This is what it feels like we say. Ah, I don’t know about that. Yeah.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [01:01:05] Wow. That’s interesting. Well, that’s, those are conversations that we need to have. Here’s some stats for people. If you, if you.
Need some data to help. And it’s one of those where everybody will say, well, is that really true? But yeah, if so America has 5% of the world’s population in the United States, 5% of the world’s population. And we have 21% of the world’s prison population. We, we put more people in prison than Cuba, China, any other, any other country in the world per capita.
by pretty significant margin of that prison population in the United States, 32%. I think it’s about that number are black or Hispanic while they only make up about 13. Excuse me. 32% of our population are black or [01:02:00] Hispanic. They make up 52% of the prison population that their numbers are an ordinary African American women.
Black women make up half of the female prison population. So the numbers are inordinate. So we have to hear those numbers and either decide they’re more prone to crime just because they’re born with a skin color or the system is rigged against them to some way. And I, I indict no one person in that. I indict us all and we all have to take a look at that and say, we have this opportunity today to say, how does that change?
How does that change? Yeah. So, awesome. Enjoyed having the conversation with you today, Jacob.
Jacob Henson: [01:02:42] Yeah. Same. English
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [01:02:47] good for you. Well, we’ll do it again. We’ll give you more chance to talk in English. What’s tell him, tell me what’s the name of your music label and the music that you do?
Jacob Henson: [01:02:56] Yeah. My artist name is mild, man.
And you can [01:03:00] find me on Spotify, Apple music, wherever, mild man, because, I typed it in one time on Google, randomly. And the first response that can have a legalize. Jacob was a mild considered a mild man. Oh, wow. Bibles or something. I’m like, what? Like, that’s my name. I’m going with
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [01:03:17] it. Nice. Alright.
Mild man. Looked that up on Spotify. And also Jacob Henson on Facebook. What’s your Instagram label?
Jacob Henson: [01:03:26] Instagram is Jake underscore Hinson,
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [01:03:29] Jake underscore Hinson. All right. Great stuff. Well, Jacob, thanks for having the conversation. It’s just been really fun catching up with you and let’s do it again.
Jacob Henson: [01:03:36] Yeah, please.
Paul Swearengin, NPE: [01:03:37] awesome. All right. Good stuff. All right, let me stop that. Good. Did you feel good about