Another Mass Shooting And More Calls For Action
Speaker 1: 00:00 The nation reacts to another mass shooting. Speaker 2: 00:03 The consequences of all of this are deeper than I sick suspect. We know by that, I mean the mental consequences, Speaker 1: 00:11 I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS mid-day edition. Unaccompanied children at the Southern border will be housed here in San Diego. Speaker 2: 00:29 Justin, we would want for any of our children to do everything we can to ensure a safe and compassionate location to help facilitate them through what is a very difficult time in their lives. Speaker 1: 00:39 And social justice advocates are calling for the removal of a downtown statue plus a cross-border love story and an excerpt from the port of entry podcast. That's ahead on midday edition, Colorado has a tragic history of mass shootings, and that history continued yesterday. When 10 people were fatally shot in a Boulder supermarket. Last Tuesday, eight people were killed by a gunman at three spas in Atlanta, Georgia, and the last week there have been seven mass shootings as calls for legislative action reverberate around the country. So does our morning here's president Joe Biden. Speaker 2: 01:26 The consequences of all this are deeper than I suspect. We know by that. I mean the mental consequences, the feeling of anyway, just and through too many of these Speaker 1: 01:40 And here to talk about the psychological consequence of all this is Shiva guide. She is a clinical psychologist at the Naval medical center here in San Diego, and she is also a survivor of the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. Shiva. Welcome. Speaker 3: 01:56 Thank you so much for having me Speaker 1: 01:58 First. I want to ask what impact does back-to-back terror like this have on our collective psyche? Speaker 3: 02:06 Well, I think there's no question that we're, you know, we've been sort of, um, experiencing as a, as a world, as a globe. We've been experiencing a mass trauma and, um, unfortunately, you know, there is a cumulative effect and especially when all of the environmental stressors just don't let up and, you know, that's, that's been largely due to this sort of ongoing pandemic that we've found ourselves in, then people don't ever get an opportunity to sort of bulk up on their resources. And, you know, I think we're also in the midst of, um, an experiencing a mental health crisis in this country. I think we have been actually even prior to 2017. Um, I think that at least in my mind, you know, 2017 sort of made it, um, painfully clear that we just don't have enough mental resources for any kind of mouse. She, you know, certainly at an event that was at the level of the Las Vegas massacre, but now with the COVID, um, it's just, people are under a tremendous amount of stress and there's been some ongoing research, although I think it will be a few years before we really see the impact in terms of things like suicidality suicides, um, you know, and that sort of thing. Speaker 3: 03:24 But we already have, you know, clearly seen increases in domestic violence and substance abuse and, you know, just, uh, worsening and exacerbation of mental health generally, especially for people that had preexisting mental illness, even prior to all of this, no, those people are specially at risk Speaker 1: 03:43 As a psychologist and someone who survived a mass shooting. What can you tell us about how mass shootings affect the mental health of those directly impacted? Speaker 3: 03:53 Well, I mean, they, they not only, uh, affect people who are directly, um, you know, were in India event themselves, but they can affect all of the people close to that person. You know, it's sort of a vicarious trauma. And so I would say the same thing to, to friends and family of those trauma survivors. Um, you know, I know in my own case, I didn't really have any symptoms in the first couple of weeks. I think I was in just such a state of shock. And then about two weeks in the triggers started rolling in and, and, you know, I was very triggered by things like light and sounds and, you know, um, thoughts about it and everything, but, um, th the path of healing and recovery is different for everybody. One thing that's really important for the public to understand is that trauma is, is something that many, many people, and right now, in some sense, the whole world has been experiencing and natural recovery is the most common outcome. Speaker 3: 04:50 So the majority of people cover, again, people with preexisting mental illness, you know, people who struggled with anxiety or depression diagnosed or not, um, maybe at higher risk after a traumatic event. And so that they would, I would recommend that they be very mindful and seek out professional help. Um, you know, people can start to have symptoms within a few days and within a few weeks, and within a few months, there's really no formula. But I think that in a, in a sort of very simplified way, um, what I can say is that PTSD, for example, which a very small percentage of people will develop after a trauma is really, um, a disorder in which we start to think differently. We tell a different story. So our worldview suddenly shifts. And because of that, we start to engage in a lot of avoidance behaviors. So my, my advice to people who have, you know, experienced this, first of all, I'm, I'm so sad. Speaker 3: 05:50 It's, it's just absolutely heartbreaking. Um, but the important thing is to talk about it with people, to you, and if you're having sleep problems to see a doctor get that addressed, you know, there are a lot of resources online, um, after route 91, uh, we put a resource everything's free, it's called route 91 therapy.com. And there was a book that I had put out one year after the mass shooting that was really for people with any kind of trauma or mass shooting trauma. And the reason is trauma. Um, the mechanism of, of trauma is the same, regardless of what the trauma was, whether it was child abuse or domestic violence or natural disaster or combat, um, it functions in the same way to change the way we view the world. And then to lead us to behaviors that slowly start to just take the things that we value in love away from us because of that avoidance and ultimately that isolation, which then can lead to hopelessness and, you know, potentially at, at its far extreme to suicidal thoughts or behavior. Speaker 1: 06:58 Right. And, you know, she, I want to pivot just a little bit, you know, uh, already people have started to link mental illness to yesterday's shooter in Colorado. The same was attempted with the shooter in Atlanta. What is the consequence of doing that, Speaker 3: 07:13 Of linking the events? You know, I think that, um, you know, it's, it's, unfortunately for people who've been through it and, you know, news of a new, uh, of a new mass shooting can be very, very triggering. It's also, you know, um, a very scary thing, but we have to take a step back and recognize that mass shootings are still in, in terms of things that can happen in life. They are very rare events. And, you know, the chances of experiencing two in a lifetime is very low. I can't say 0% because, you know, within that year of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, there was yet another, and there were some people that were in both and very sadly. Um, but you know, um, one thing is that, you know, we tend to place more value when an event is high stakes and, you know, it's sort of a, uh, processing that our brands go through. Speaker 3: 08:12 We try to sort of jump to the fastest, easiest conclusion, um, and because it's frightening and because it is potentially so fatal, we start to generalize and say, wow, this really is a more likely event. And I'm not by any means minimizing, um, this, this, this horrific type of event, but we have to sort of keep it in perspective. And that's important because in recovery, um, one of the things that helps people is to sort of stay on track with the story they tell. And if, if, for example, the people who are involved today, you know, in the mass shooting in the grocery store, if they start saying, I can't go to grocery stores, grocery stores are dangerous. Every time I see someone like I might get shot every time I'm in a crowd, I might get shot. We start to generalize that fear, which prevents us from ever going out and having repeated corrective experiences that would give us evidence the alternative. And that's really important in recovery Speaker 1: 09:11 For more resources on all the, all this you can visit our website, kpbs.org. I've been speaking with Shiva guide, a clinical psychologist at Naval medical center, San Diego. She is also one of more than 20,000 survivors of the mass shooting at the route 91 music festival in Las Vegas back in 2017. Shiva, thank you so much. Speaker 3: 09:31 Thank you so much. Take care. Speaker 1: 09:38 Hundreds of migrant children will soon be coming to San Diego to be temporarily housed at the San Diego convention center. The new federal health and human services, secretary Javier Bissera as San Diego city and County leaders for help over the weekend. Here's board of supervisors, chairman Nathan Fletcher, Speaker 4: 09:56 Just as we would want for any of our children to do everything we can to ensure a safe and compassionate location to help facilitate them through what is a very difficult time in their lives. Speaker 1: 10:06 KPBS reporter max revealing Nadler is covering the story and he joins me with more max, welcome, good to be here. What can you tell us about the unaccompanied children who will be coming to San Diego? Speaker 5: 10:20 The unaccompanied children who are coming to San Diego are asylum seekers who have been, um, arrested by border patrol at the Southern border. Uh, mostly in Texas for the past couple of days. And even in some cases, weeks they've been held at crowded border patrol facilities that are not supposed to hold, uh, children or really anyone for longer, long periods of time. And now they've been really stretched to their capacity at some cases operating at over 300 to 400, a percent of their capacity, even in normal times, not to mention in the midst of a pandemic. So this is the result of a, of an increase of unaccompanied children specifically. Speaker 1: 11:00 So is the need for housing, these children, the result of an increase in unaccompanied minors coming to the U S borders. Speaker 5: 11:07 Yeah, there's been a huge increase since the end of last year. And over the past couple of weeks of people crossing the border, specifically unaccompanied minors, some of them who had been sent ahead from their family who have been waiting in border cities for weeks and even years in some cases. So this is a huge uptick. It's comparable to other moments in time in the United States, but not anything that we've seen, uh, at least in the past two years Speaker 1: 11:35 And who will be caring for the children while they're at the convention center. Speaker 5: 11:39 So this is going to be completely controlled by the federal government. The County will support in any way it can. Um, but right now the federal government will be the one making the decision, usually a contract out, uh, some of the operations of facilities like this. So details are being figured out, but it won't be the County itself. Speaker 1: 11:57 One San Diego immigrant advocate told the San Diego union Tribune. He hopes that facility will resemble a school and not a detention center that would further traumatize children. What do we know about the conditions of the facility and the care they'll receive all there? Speaker 5: 12:13 Yeah, so, you know, right now the focus is on these border patrol facilities that people are being held at. And a lot of other immigrant advocates have said that people can be released really quickly from these border patrol, um, facilities directly to family members, even in some cases where they've been separated from family members who are not their legal guardians beforehand. Um, and, and so they crossed with somebody that they knew, the conditions that these detention centers are, have been a subject of focus as well for immigrant advocates outside of the border patrol, um, contexts. So these are office of refugee and resettlement facilities. And like this one ones that are being run by HHS health and human services. So we don't know, uh, exactly what the conditions will be like in this specific detention facility. Um, it hasn't been set up yet. We know when it was being used as a homeless shelter, it had mixed reviews from people who were being held there, who felt that they couldn't leave. That felt that it wasn't adequate for, for holding as many people for as long as they were as being held there. But again, they're going to kind of reconstruct the entire space, create a playground, um, that they said, but the children can't leave. So it is a holding facility and that people are going to be held for quite some time. And that's something that advocates have become kind of, uh, upset about that they're not being given to sponsors or family members as quickly as possible. Okay. Speaker 1: 13:38 How long are the children expected to be at that convention center? Speaker 5: 13:42 Yeah, so that's what really raised a lot of eyebrows was that the estimate was given 30 to 35 days and what's happening at the border right now, isn't necessarily a crisis of, um, you know, th that, that the government can't find sponsors or family members. It's just the, the time that it now takes to clear do a background, check on those family members and sponsors and get these kids, uh, you know, out of a holding facility and into, uh, their family's hands. So right now the government is expecting 30 to 35 days, which is quite a while for people to spend time here. Speaker 1: 14:18 And, you know, there are hundreds of migrants waiting to request asylum, currently living in a camp at the San Diego border. What do we know about when the us will begin to process their asylum request? Speaker 5: 14:29 That's been really, uh, difficult to gauge because the Biden administration has not really announced when asylum will be restored along the Southwest border, as it deals with the higher numbers of unaccompanied minors and people crossing the border, especially in Texas, they've really told people to go back, um, to, to stay in central America. And that will be the, where they could apply for asylum. But of course you cannot apply for asylum, not in the country that you're applying for asylum. So that's the problem for a lot of people that are already here in Tijuana is they're being told to go back. They're being told to wait when really the only way that they could qualify for asylum is somehow stepping foot into the, into the United States. And honestly, they're, they're really willing and ready to do that in any way possible. I've been speaking to KPBS reporter max gridline Nadler, max, thank you very much. Thank you. Speaker 6: 15:28 The COVID pandemic has created a number of unsung heroes from the person who delivers groceries to your door, to the mail carriers and sanitation workers who work every day to keep the wheels of society turning. And of course, first and foremost, healthcare workers, especially those in the hardest hit areas of our country. A healthcare leader from the South Bay is now receiving recognition for her work on a Mel Goza of San Ysidro health has dealt with some of the worst of the pandemic, and she's among three women honored by the mana de San Diego organization during women's history month. Joining me is on a male GOSA. She is vice president of external affairs for San Ysidro health and on a congratulations. Speaker 7: 16:14 Thank you. Thank you very much, but I don't really feel like this is an award solely for me. It really is an honor of all of our frontline workers that have been dedicated this entire year to not only taking care of the lives of their close ones, but really the lives of our communities that have been hardest hit by this terrible, terrible disease. Speaker 6: 16:34 So when the number of COVID cases started to rise at San Ysidro health, how did your organization respond? Speaker 7: 16:42 We responded right away. I still remember vividly, uh, we call it Friday the 13th, March 13th, when we, as everyone else got the call to action, which was to shut down to pivot and to start more than anything stopping the spread, no one knew what was going on. All we knew is there was this mysterious virus that was coming and causing a lot of just illness and catastrophic illness at times. And so we, as an executive team came in on Sunday right after, and we had a look at what we were going to do with our operations. So we had a stop and put a pause on our dental care and pivot right away to telehealth. And since then, we've been very busy working through our tele-health line, but also opening back up for in-clinic visits. And as a result, uh, we've seen an increase in, in treatment. However, what we have done is offered a lot of support, uh, not just in healthcare Marine, but we also converted some of our clinic sites into food distribution sites. We saw firsthand what it means not to have food on your table for your children, not to be able to make a rent payment, uh, not to be able to even provide basic necessities, such as food and clothes for children. And so we just continued to rise to the challenge and help as many families as we could Speaker 6: 18:11 Tell us about the choices that some of your patients had to make between feeding the family or risking infection. Speaker 7: 18:18 So what we've found is in many of the families where we operate, where we serve, we were working really with the essential workforce. So many days we were speak to our doctors in the clinics, and they were still treating, uh, people who were riding the trolleys to go to work, because as they spoke to their patients, especially many who are high risk of dying really of infection, they said, well, if I don't work, I can't provide food for my children. And so they took that daily risk of working as grocery workers, janitorial, um, healthcare, many who weren't able to work from home. And what happened was many of our families also live in multi-generational overcrowded housing because the working families that we have as our patients are cost burdened with the cost of housing here in San Diego. And so when they had to decide if they were going to either be homeless or be hungry, many of them chose to be hungry, to be able to live and provide not just for their children, but we're working with many Latinas are the sandwich generation. Those that are caring, not just for children, but also their parents. And so these are seniors that also have had to need the care that we provide as well through our program for all inclusive care for the elderly. So for us, we felt we had so much to really work for throughout this pandemic, not just the immediate prevention of catching COVID, but for those families that were infected with it, how are we able to provide the care for the seniors, the infected person, and also the children. Speaker 6: 20:01 Are you anticipating in terms of longer term needs of the community in recovering from this pandemic, Speaker 7: 20:08 There's going to be a great need for a lot of mental health services. We have been working closely with our school districts and they've informed us that they are working with children that have lost grandparents because of this pandemic and parents too. And there hasn't been any kind of intervention there to help the children right now, when we hear about what the biggest need is for children so far, what we know is definitely educational needs. What we've found is many of the families were already experiencing the digital divide and many were having a really hard time accessing internet. But if you dig deep, what we have found more than anything is the need for mental health and the need to be able to grieve like a child and to be able to understand what it means to go hungry and to really work with this generation of children that have been hit the hardest by this pandemic, because they're going to deal with scars that are going to last them for a long time to understand why they were without resources while they were watching television and saw their children with resources. How do you reconcile that? And so we have a lot of children living with trauma from this experience and seeing many external factors impact their lives that they couldn't control. Speaker 6: 21:30 I see anything positive coming out of this long, terrible experience for San Ysidro health and the commute. Speaker 7: 21:38 Absolutely. I am just amazed by our providers of care. I am so inspired by our doctors, our nurses, our behavioral health specialists, or therapists or dentists. They courageously went into work every single day to rise to the challenge right now and seeing now vaccination efforts to take place. I recall going into our alcoholic, a new clinic that we were able to, uh, have ready to go by the end of last year. And I encountered a patient, an elderly patient who said that the only reason she came into the clinic was because during her tele-health visit for her chronic illness, the doctor told her I can't go to sleep at night, knowing that you haven't been vaccinated. And she said, I have not gone out for anything, but I love my doctor. I trust my doctor. And so I called my daughter to come and get me out of the house. Come get my first dose. And I'll be back for my second. But I do not like being out of my house. Speaker 6: 22:44 Tell us about this honor from monitor San Diego organization. What does it mean? Speaker 7: 22:49 None of the San Diego is extremely important right now, more than ever right now, Latinos face historic inequities wages have gone down, uh, right now, 42 cents for every dollar. What mill makes as what Latinos bring home, as well as their life expectancy has gone down 1.9 years because of this pandemic, we need to intervene and do mine at the San Diego. We're preparing that next generation of leaders to break this cycle of poverty and to turn these trends upward, we encouraged all young girls to run for office, to be at the policy-making table and to work hard, to get these trends upward. Ana, thank you so much for speaking with us. Thank you, Marine. And thank you, Monica to San Diego for this great honor and platform to talk about all of our work together. Speaker 8: 23:42 [inaudible] San history center Speaker 1: 23:46 Has opened a companion exhibit to its celebrate San Diego black history and heritage. The new exhibit focuses on black San Diego homesteader. Nathan Harrison Harrison was a man who was freed from slavery from Kentucky who lived in a small cabin on Palomar mountain, starting in the mid 18 hundreds, KPBS arts and culture reporter Beth Huck. Amando explores how archeology played a role in flushing out the life of Harrison and in challenging ideas about local history. Seth malleus is an archaeologist, but on a certain level, he's just going through. People's garbage. Speaker 9: 24:22 It wouldn't be glamorous if I went through your garbage, but boy, is it authentic? Whenever somebody writes something down, they're aware of a future audience. And so that a lot of bias goes into that. But when you take out your garbage in the morning, you're not expecting that my students and I are going to quickly jump on it and do a lot of research on it. Speaker 1: 24:39 Seven years ago, Maleo started going through Nathan Harrison's garbage from more than a century ago to try and figure out who this San Diego legend might've been since there was little documentation about his life outside of a vast archive of photographs. Harrison was famous as San Diego's. First black homesteader says Tina's are poor vice-president of community engagement, education and collections at San Diego history center. Speaker 3: 25:03 One of the things that we're showing through this exhibit that he was one of San Diego's first tourist destinations. People would make a track, a three-day journey from San Diego to Palomar mountain to come and see him and bring provisions and different gifts and things like that. I think he was probably good at telling a story and entertaining, Speaker 1: 25:22 But Harrison had overcome incredible obstacles before obtaining his freedom and becoming one of San Diego's most photographed residents. He was brought West from Kentucky as a slave and in the late 18 hundreds made his permanent homestead on top of Palomar mountain. That's where malleoli owes a San Diego state university professor of anthropology found Harrison's cabin along with 50,000 artifacts. But what Molly has discovered in June of 2004, didn't look like a cat. Speaker 9: 25:50 There wasn't a cabin standing there. It was, it was waist high weeds, rattlesnakes, scorpions, you name it right out of Indiana Jones. Speaker 1: 25:57 This is where garbage becomes buried treasure with each new unearth Deida malleus was able to create a more vivid picture of Harrison. Speaker 9: 26:05 The man, we found a little iron cross, a little pendant that is highly personal and very specific to Nathan Harrison, but it also tells this bigger story that Catholics were persecuted against during this time. So think about this for a second. He's African-American, he's married to an indigenous woman and he's a converted Catholic. All these things put them in the cross hairs and it was a very dangerous situation. And so that's my response to why are you spending so much time on just one person and just one person's garbage because it's such a robust story, a story Speaker 1: 26:41 That supports as refills, how African-Americans Speaker 6: 26:44 Have had to navigate a world of inequities for Harrison. It involved the kind of dual identities that we now call code switching. Those were very purposeful identities and there was sort of the public persona. And then there was the private persona when conceived in 2019, the exhibit was going to be a hundred year anniversary celebration of Harrison, but Maleo says the black lives matter movement transformed the exhibit into something deeper. Speaker 9: 27:09 A lot of the Nathan Harrison story is about all the challenges he faced in terms of structural inequity. The fact was so he was brought to California as a slave. And what that meant was when California entered the union as a free state, he stayed a slave, the white owners weren't forced to give up their property. And that's what slaves were seen as. So he and thousands of others like him stayed a slave in this free state we're opening in 2021. And now these issues asking that question, do ethnic minorities still face these sorts of struggles in terms of structural inequity, do they need to put on an act to get by? Those are things that Harrison was dealing with over a hundred years ago. And that's a key part of the story now, but Speaker 6: 27:57 One part of the story is being kept a mystery, Speaker 9: 27:59 The big punchline to this exhibit. And I'm not going to give it away because you have to come down here to see it, but it's how archeology revealed a big secret about Harrison's identity. Speaker 6: 28:10 So your invitation to play Indiana Jones awaits you at San Diego history. Center's latest exhibit on Nathan Harrison, Bethlehem Mondo, KPBS news, San Diego history center's exhibition. Nathan Harrison, born in slave died. A San Diego legend is currently open to its in-person visitors with an additional online component. The statue of former San Diego mayor and California, governor Pete Wilson in downtown San Diego is once again the target of social activists, the group of social justice advocates Monday demanded the statue be removed from its location at Broadway circle, near Horton Plaza park. The statue was removed last October, but returned to its original spot by its private owners. Last December Wilson support for anti-immigrant legislation and his stand against gay rights has made his statue offensive to many in the social justice movement. And the controversy over the statue is just one of several efforts to remove tributes to historical figures with offensive legacies. Johnny has Benjamin Gonzalez. So Brian, a professor of political science specializing in racial and ethnic politics at SDSU. Thanks for having me now, this statute seems to be in a revolving door now here, gone and now back again, can remind us why Wilson is such a controversial figure. Speaker 10: 29:44 Well, he's controversial for a number of reasons. I think the, the most prominent and the most well-known was his support for proposition one 87, which would have denied state benefits to undocumented immigrants, including, uh, public education and healthcare. Uh, Wilson was an advocate for prop one 87. He also ran a number of ads that could be characterized as, um, at least anti-immigrant in his 1994 campaign. And so this is a big part of Pete Wilson's legacy. And one of the things that he's very well known for Speaker 6: 30:22 And why are we seeing this renewed effort to have the statue of former governor Wilson removed? Speaker 10: 30:27 Well, I think it's part of a larger national and in fact, international movement, uh, to look at a lot of these statues of historical figures, um, both those who are long deceased and those who are, who are still around as Wilson is, and, um, and consider their, their legacies and what they mean to communities other than either the majority community or the white communities, either in cities or States or nations. And I think that's an important conversation because for most of American history, uh, we have a record statues and tributes, uh, to political leaders, um, and politicians who, uh, frankly have really complicated and often very negative legacies on race, um, legacies that have done significant damage, uh, to nonwhite communities in this country. And I think that legacy, um, and that conversation is a very important one to have, Speaker 6: 31:26 As you mentioned in supporting prop one 87, Wilson helped stir up a great deal of anti-immigrant feeling that you could argue exists to this day, but does a statue like this represent that ideology or the entire public life of the person? Speaker 10: 31:43 Well, I think to some, it is going to represent the, you know, the complete public life of the person. Um, on the other hand, too many within the Latino community in California, um, Wilson's legacy is prop one 87. It is something that was meant to, um, uh, you know, damage the undocumented community in this country and to deny basic services, not only to undocumented immigrants, but to undocumented children, to deny them a basic education. And I think that's incredibly problematic for, um, you know, for a state like California. Uh, and that is something that really, you know, the community should be involved in and there should be a community discussion of these kinds of monuments to leaders like Wilson Speaker 6: 32:28 Lately. We've seen the former Hennepin Rose Serra high school in Tierrasanta officially changed its name to Canyon Hills high because of Sarah's treatment of indigenous. What does a name change like this accomplish? Speaker 10: 32:43 I think it signals something. Um, it signals that the concerns of the indigenous community is being taken into consideration and it signals a greater inclusiveness, um, having the names of individuals like Sarah, um, who did, uh, you know, whose missionary work and the forced conversion of indigenous communities, um, significantly harmed a number of indigenous individuals, as well as the community, as a whole, um, changing that name signals, um, at least an acknowledgement of the complicated legacy that this country has on race in regards to every community of color that exists in this country. And so I think the changing of names, the removal of statues that signals that the concerns of indigenous communities or Latino communities or black communities that they're being taken into consideration. And I think if we want to move forward as a country, that is something that we have to do, and those are conversations as uncomfortable as they may be at times. Those are conversations that we have to have. Speaker 6: 33:55 What about the argument that removal of names and statues as part of so-called cancel culture, that it disappears history. Speaker 10: 34:02 It doesn't disappear history. The history is still there. And frankly, most people who are looking at statues are not considering the history or the legacy either of Sarah or Pete Wilson or anyone else. If we want to truly recognize history, then we need to include the complicated legacies of not only men like Sarah and Wilson, but also the founding fathers in the history that is taught to our children, not only at the level of, um, universities and colleges, but also in K through 12 education, that is not a racing history that is teaching, uh, that would be teaching students the complicated history of this country and they history that is more inclusive of the, uh, the sins of the past, not only on the part of individual leaders, but on the part of the American political system more broadly. And so it is not canceling history that is often, uh, you know, a strong man that is put out there, uh, to elicit outrage on the part of some. It is to say that we need to look at the complete legacies of these individuals. And we need to find a way if we want to erect some kind of, um, monument to them, a way of acknowledging the complicated past that these individuals have. And also that perhaps there are individuals who have more inclusive legacies that we should be erecting statues to instead of individuals who look to exclude, um, communities of color in this, or, Speaker 11: 35:38 Um, or undocumented communities, uh, and, and, and other, um, groups that are marginalized. Speaker 6: 35:45 And just for the record, governor Wilson, by the way, has made no comments so far over this statue controversy. I've been speaking with Benjamin Gonzalez. So Brian he's professor of political science, and that specializes in racial and ethnic politics at San Diego state university professor. Thank you so much for speaking with us. Speaker 11: 36:06 Thank you for having me. Speaker 6: 36:12 This is KPBS mid day edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heinemann Jesse Dainer and Pamela Figaroa are a young couple who just celebrated their year anniversary. This past Valentine's day. The occasion is extra special because these two actually live on opposite sides of the U S Mexico border fence. In normal times when there's not a pandemic, it's hard enough to navigate a cross border relationship, but these two have managed to stay connected. Despite the fact that Figaroa can't easily cross the border because of COVID-19 restrictions in a new episode of KPBS, his port of entry podcast hosts, Alan Lillian Thall talks to Dainer and Figaroa about how their shared love of learning languages brought them together and how they're not letting the partially closed border, keep them apart. Speaker 11: 37:05 So Jesse and [inaudible] love story is a modern one because like lots of couples these days, they met through their smartphones. Speaker 12: 37:14 So the app, right, the app that we met on was called tandem. So I just thought maybe I'll hop on this app and in our conversational it, and maybe I'll, I'll be able to get better. And, um, it asks me what are the languages I would like to speak? And I put Spanish on there, um, because I could still get better. And yeah, Speaker 11: 37:32 Same for Pamela. She got on the language exchange app to improve her English by chatting with a native speaker. [inaudible] so tandem basically just connects you to people who speak the language you want to learn. You can communicate with each other through text or voice chat. It's super simple. And it didn't take long before Jesse and Pamela crossed virtual paths. Speaker 12: 37:58 I was at my friend's house and I got a message. And it was from Ms. Pamela herself. And she reached out to me. And just from that moment, we started talking and her default picture was still one of my favorites because one of Pamela's best features externally is her best curve is her smile because she shows all, I don't know how many teeth you have, but all 60 something teeth or all 50 something teeth and all of her gums. And she's, it's just so contagious. Speaker 11: 38:35 [inaudible] um, [inaudible] Pamela is saying here that they had a lot in common and they just clicked. All it took was a few messages back and forth, and then came that day to a solena cover band concert in San Diego, then a few dinners. And a few weeks later, the two were officially a thing, but then the pandemic hit that border separating the two lovebirds COVID made it a lot more difficult to cross start again, Speaker 12: 39:11 Midnight tonight, all non-essential travel across the Mexican border will be restricted. Speaker 11: 39:19 So when those border restrictions came down last March, because of COVID 19 Pamela who used to cross easily with a tourist visa and can visit Jessie, as often as she wanted, she suddenly couldn't cross the border at all anymore. At least not the way she used to. She used to just drive or walk into the U S through the port of entry in the cafe. But now, because of COVID restrictions, people with tourist visas, like Pamela can do that. Eventually though, Pamela figured out a border, [inaudible] saying that instead of driving across the border, like she used to, she flew across instead, see airports have never really closed down completely in Mexico. And the U S so I'm alive, flew from Mexicali all the way down to [inaudible], which is even further South than Mexico city. And then she hopped on a flight from Guadalajara back up to LA, where Jesse met her. And then they drove down to San Diego. It's a really nutty and roundabout way to get to the us, but it worked as a us citizen. Jesse is actually not supposed to be crossing the border right now, either because unfortunately visiting a girlfriend isn't considered essential travel, but he's still crossing to see her anyway, Speaker 12: 40:59 The first few months were you, when Trump was like saying that the board has totally shut down? Like, I know people, I know a lot of friends of mine who they're like you shouldn't, you can't cross. Right. So were you scared of crossing the border? Did you do research and what was your relationship to cause I know, obviously you want her to go see Pamela. I think the first couple of times I just went, I was just like, you know, whatever's going to happen. It's going to happen. And that I could afford to stay in Mexico for a little bit, Speaker 11: 41:24 Jesse and Pamela say, they're not going to let the border squeeze, keep them apart. Speaker 12: 41:32 Have y'all talked utero plans Speaker 11: 41:34 Like post pandemic or not like [inaudible] without a border between you. Speaker 12: 41:41 I think our future plans will be to travel and then living wise, I don't think we've thought that far ahead. Um, but I love part of what attracts me so much to Pamela is she is just so I've just never been cared for so much by someone that's not my mom. You know what I mean? And, and that's the thing that blows my mind. It's just like, man, like you are a really good person. Like you've really a loving person. I can feel that. Speaker 11: 42:13 Okay. So Jesse just mentioned his mom there and it actually brings up something really interesting because Jesse is half black and half Mexican. He was adopted and raised by a white family from the time he was a baby, but he does have a relationship with his biological mom. So he's got this very dynamic, cross border, cross cultural identity. And I wanted to know if he thought maybe that part of his past has anything to do with why he ended up in a cross-border relationship. Is that a, your, your mom is from Mexico, your biological mom is that part of the reason you were attracted to Pamela? Speaker 12: 42:49 The connection I see, which I think a therapist could make is, um, you know, we're always looking for something. We're looking for our parents in our PR and our partners, right. And our significant others. And I was like, well, you know, how does Pamela fit into that? And it's, uh, Pamela's a lovely new Mexican lady, like my biological mom. Um, and she's a strong, educated educator in her country. And that's what my, my adoptive mom was. I see a lot of my adoptive mom and Pamela and Pamela. I find her sometimes she's like, I'm sorry for being this. I'm like, no family. I'm like, well, if someone dates a teacher, like they understand that you're going to be a student in your relationship. I love it, man. I don't have any problem with a woman. You know, telling me I could do this better. I could do that better. And I'm Pamela, Pamela fits right in that. And I, I love her for it. Speaker 6: 43:40 And that was Jessie Dainer and Pamela Figaroa talking with port of entry, host Alan Lillian Thall to hear the full episode, get port of entry for free online at port of entry, pod.org, or find it wherever you are, listen to podcasts.