Conversation with the Magnificent Monisha Harrell
Release Date: 04/15/2021
Hacks & Wonks
Crystal is joined by Amy Sundberg, author of Notes from the Emerald City, and Dr. Shannon Cheng, Chair of People Power Washington to talk about public safety in Seattle and King County. They also discuss the People Power Washington Voter Guide that details where Seattle and King County candidates stand on public safety issues.info_outline Week in Review: July 23, 2021
Hacks & Wonks
Today on the show, Marco Lowe, Professor at Seattle University’s Institute for Public Service, joins Crystal to discuss recent polls that have come out about Seattle’s mayoral, city council, and city attorney races, the importance of understanding poll methodology and margin of error, and our government's responsibility to fight climate change.info_outline Supporting Art and Cultural Space: Conversation with Vivian Hua of NWFF
Hacks & Wonks
Today Crystal is joined by Vivian Hua, Executive Director of the Northwest Film Forum. They discuss Vivian’s path to leadership in the film forum, Vivian’s film Searching Skies, supporting emerging artists in the pandemic, and the need for long-term cultural spaces.info_outline Week in Review: July 16, 2021
Hacks & Wonks
Primary ballots are in mailboxes now! Today former mayor of Seattle and Executive Director of America Walks Mike McGinn joins Crystal to discuss the front runners in the mayor’s race, how candidates need to be making the case to the public in these remaining weeks before the primary, and the psychology and emotion that drives Seattle’s voting decisions.info_outline Seattle, Pay Attention to Pierce County! A Conversation with Pierce County Council Chair Derek Young
Hacks & Wonks
Pierce County Council Chair Derek Young joins Crystal to the differences in funding for transit in King and Pierce counties, how Pierce County is absorbing those who can’t find homes in King County, how the Pierce County Council is investigating police misconduct, and how one governs as a Democrat when there is a real Republican presence.info_outline Week in Review: July 9, 2021
Hacks & Wonks
This week Erica C. Barnett of PubliCola joins Crystal to discuss what’s going on in Seattle’s mayoral race. Additionally, they cover the potential firing of two Seattle Police Department officers who participated in the January 6th insurrection, and the punitive nature of our state's work release program.info_outline Toshiko Hasegawa on the Power of the Port of Seattle
Hacks & Wonks
Today Crystal is joined by Toshiko Hasegawa, candidate for Port of Seattle Commissioner, to discuss how the Port of Seattle can modernize and prepare our region for a greener future. They cover economics and equity, improving air quality and health of South King County residents, and how the Port can encourage fair treatment for workers.info_outline The Brady List: Officers with Credibility Issues
Hacks & Wonks
The Friday Week in Review show will be back next week, as we enjoy the long weekend. We are airing a show with Melissa Santos talking about her excellent reporting on Washington's Brady List.info_outline Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, Candidate for City Attorney
Hacks & Wonks
Candidate for City Attorney Nicole Thomas-Kennedy joins Crystal to discuss why she has chosen to throw her hat in to the ring, what it means to be an abolitionist, how solving poverty will do more to alleviate crime than harsher punishments, and how Nicole’s experience as a public defender would inform her views as City Attorney.info_outline Week in Review: June 25, 2021
Hacks & Wonks
Today Crystal and Heather Weiner discuss the coming heatwave and how we can support our unhoused neighbors in the heat, Uber paying a wage theft settlement, AND the organizers of Cap Hill Pride submitting a fragility-infused complaint against Taking B(l)ack Pride.info_outline
Today Crystal is joined by the legend that is Monisha Harrell to talk about public safety and policing bills in the state legislature, Bruce Harrell’s run for office, and mainstream Seattle politics finally realizing that there is more than one Black leader in Seattle.
As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com.
Learn more about the passage of Initiative 940 last fall here: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/initiative-940-modifying-law-regulating-police-use-of-deadly-force-holds-strong-lead-in-tuesdays-returns/
Read about how previously fired cops end up back on the force here: https://crosscut.com/news/2021/04/how-fired-cops-win-their-jobs-back-arbitration
Read the recent Crosscut in-depth report on cops with credibility issues still working in Washington State (by friend of the show and previous guest, Melissa Santos): https://crosscut.com/news/2021/04/nearly-200-cops-credibility-issues-still-working-washington-state
Learn more about the bills discussed on the show today here: https://southseattleemerald.com/2021/03/12/ground-breaking-police-accountability-bills-pass-the-house-await-senate-consideration/
Follow all police accountability bills before the legislature this year here: https://www.seattle.gov/community-police-commission/current-issues/state-legislative-agenda/bill-tracker
Crystal Fincher: [00:00:00] Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm your host, Crystal Fincher. On this show, we talk to political hacks and policy wonks to gather insight into local politics and policy through the lens of those doing the work and provide behind the scenes perspectives on politics in our state. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes.
We are thrilled today to be joined by Monisha Harrell. Thank you for joining us, Monisha. Well, I just wanted to take some time to actually read your full bio, which I'm indulging myself in doing. Because a lot of times we hear about people - we see you in one capacity or another capacity. Lots of people know you're the Board Chair for Equal Rights Washington, you've done work around politics and around legislation and policing, but they don't know the full story. And I just enjoy, especially for women and people of color, just to really understand what you've done and what you've been involved in.
So let me tell you who Monisha Harrell is. She's a Seattle native, Board Chair for Equal Rights Washington, and she chairs the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund. She served as a fellow for Lifelong AIDS Alliance, co-chair of the Capitol Hill LGBTQ Public Safety Task Force. She's an appointee of the City of Seattle's 2017 search committee for a new director of police accountability and co-chair for the De-escalate Washington Campaign Committee, requiring deescalation training for all law enforcement officers in the state in 2018. The Stranger named Monisha one of the smartest people in Seattle politics - I concur - in 2013. And she was most recently honored as the Greater Seattle Business Association's Community Leader of the Year for 2018.
As chair of Equal Rights Washington, Monisha helped lead the work to ban conversion therapy for minors in Washington state, pass an updated uniform parentage act to support LGBTQ families, and banned trans panic and gay panic as legal defenses for violence against the LGBTQ community - still such a critical issue. Harrell was recently appointed in July 2020 by Governor Inslee to serve on a task force to provide recommendations for legislation on independent investigations involving police use of force, and recently completed work as a member of the Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson's Hate Crime Advisory Working Group. In 2019, Monisha participated in a leadership exchange program with the American Council of Young Political Leaders, supporting LGBTQ community advancement in both Thailand and Malaysia.
Monisha owns and operates a small marketing firm, Rule Seven, focused on offering community-driven outreach and engagement. She has an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and an MBA from the University of Washington Foster School of Business. In 2017, she was named the University of Washington Consulting and Business Development Center's Alumni of the Year.
Man, Monisha. <laughter> You - that's Monisha, and I have admired Monisha and watched her just do her thing and impact policy and politics and life for a lot of people - we were just talking, for a decade plus now. And just seriously, one of the smartest people in Washington politics - in politics period. If you want to figure out a successful path for whatever you want to do, Monisha can make that happen, so I am just thrilled to have you on the show today.
Monisha Harrell: [00:04:10] Thanks so much, Crystal. It's hard to believe it's been a decade of working together. It's amazing because one, I don't feel that old, but I learned so much from your leadership in those early phases, particularly of politics and really learning how to navigate political circles, particularly as a young Black woman. It's been a great decade together and looking forward to many, many more decades ahead for us.
Crystal Fincher: [00:04:48] Absolutely. I mean, you've gone global with your influence and advocacy, so I'm just watching and cheerleading from the sidelines over here. But what I wanted to talk about - something you're involved in - in a variety of ways and have been, are the policing bills going through the legislature right now, the entire conversation about what we need to do and how we need to change that. I guess starting off, and just a recap or overview in what is happening in Olympia right now? There was lots of fanfare going into the session in response to demands from community that we finally take action to stop some of the abuses and the violence that we have seen from police, and just the absolute lack of accountability in so many spaces. What is on the table to address that right now?
Monisha Harrell: [00:05:48] Yeah, absolutely. I'll start back with Initiative 940, De-Escalate Washington. That work was really - it was really interesting because there wasn't a lot of political will around it back when that work was beginning in 2016 and 2017. There were a lot of people in positions of power who really believed that the work around police accountability was being kind of blown out of proportion. Communities of color, particularly Black communities, have often been the canaries in the coal mine when it comes to, "No, please listen to us, this is important, and this is serious." And the great thing about the work with De-Escalate Washington was it hearkened back to "The Four Amigos", right? Communities from different segments of the state coming together and saying, "We're going to use our collective power in order to create the change that we know we need to see." And people said, "If you pass Initiative 940, you'll have people leaving policing in droves. You'll never have enough police to be able to fill all the spots." And here's what happened. We knew the public was with us. The public wanted reform and the people spoke, and the people spoke loudly. Halls of power weren't ready to address policing issues that our communities were.
Fast forward to last summer, to George Floyd. And if we had voted on De-Escalate Washington last summer, the numbers would have even been higher. But we knew that that initiative was just the beginning. We knew that there is no one single piece of legislation - to be candid, there's not 10 pieces of legislation - that are going to solve the problems that we need to solve around police accountability.
And so, 940 was a start. And the tailwinds of last year gave us the political power to be able to go back to legislators who were like, "Our districts are basically up in arms. What do we do?" And then we had their ears - "Okay. We've been trying to tell you what to do. But now that you're saying, what do we do? Here's the package." And that's where we ended up this year. I'd love to talk just a little bit about some of the package that was offered and some of what's moving forward.
Crystal Fincher: [00:08:28] Yeah. What is in that package? I mean certainly, we did see protests and just people sick and tired of seeing over and over again, violence against - disproportionately - people of color. But certainly dramatically impacting the disabled community - I mean, communities far and wide, this is affecting all of us. And then no accountability afterwards. It just feels like this lawless attack on community, where we are actually powerless. If someone who's not wearing a badge commits a crime - that should never have happened, but when it does, there is accountability. But if you have a badge, it's just completely different. How is that being addressed with legislation?
Monisha Harrell: [00:09:20] The interesting thing that we learned, and I'll say it over and over again, there's no one piece of legislation that's perfect and that will fix everything. One of the things we learned from Initiative 940 was - we passed a law that required de-escalation training for all law enforcement officers in Washington state, that required an independent investigation for lethal use of force incidents by law enforcement. And what we found is that - we expected, naively, officers of the law to follow the law. But without teeth, Initiative 940 was ineffective. It was legally put in place, but we found that there were so many police departments and law enforcement agencies that weren't following it. And so, that's not a mistake that will repeat again. That is something that we learned from that.
And so, this year's police accountability legislation shows, actually, that we've learned and we're beginning to put teeth in some of what is being passed as legal. I'll kind of start with Senate bill 5051, sponsored by Senator Jamie Pedersen. That bill has a pathway for de-certification for law enforcement officers that have histories of misconduct. Prior to this bill, and as it stands right now - we haven't passed it yet - but prior to, if you have an officer that's got a history of misconduct in one department, well they basically can just say, "Well I'm about to get in trouble for all this stuff over here, let me go 10 miles down the road to that police department." And then they get a whole clean slate. The investigation at the previous department - it ends - and over at this new department, they have a brand new record and they're a shiny new officer again.
And what we've found is that, it's those officers - these incidents like George Floyd, they don't just happen. Derek Chauvin, he had a record of misconduct. If in Minnesota, they had a way to begin to de-certify officers that have records and histories of misconduct, he wouldn't have even been on the job that day. So we as Washington State, we've taken that responsibility to say, "No, you can't just switch departments and get a clean record. We're actually going to ensure that your history follows your career. And if you're not deserving of a badge and gun, a state sanctioned badge and gun, then you shouldn't have a state sanctioned badge and gun." That's the gist around Senate bill 5051. It looks that it will be passing this year. It's cleared both the Senate, and then it's cleared the House committee. It's just ready to come to the Floor for a vote.
Crystal Fincher: [00:12:20] That's really interesting, and on that issue, certainly, it is a big problem where officers can just department hop, to escape their past. And they do successfully escape them.
Monisha Harrell: [00:12:35] Look at Ian Birk, right? Everybody said that the John T. Williams shooting was unjustified, and what did he do? He left Seattle and he went to Shoreline. So again, 10 miles north, and he's got a whole new career.
Crystal Fincher: [00:12:50] Yeah. It's a big problem. It looks like that's going to pass. Is there anything else that looks like it's also going to pass?
Monisha Harrell: [00:12:58] We surprisingly got a really sturdy slate this year - not that there's not more to do - but another one and I'll relate it again back to the Chauvin case and George Floyd's death. We have Senate bill 5066, which is duty to report and duty to intervene. What that bill basically says is - if you are an officer and you see another officer using excessive use of force, you now have a duty, a responsibility - a legal responsibility - to intervene in that excessive use of force in order to save that person's life. So unlike in the case of George Floyd, where you saw officers standing by, it would now be illegal for them to just stand by and watch another human being be murdered, when they have the power to do something about it. That originated in the Senate and is ready to come to the House.
Another one passed both chambers yesterday - it passed the Senate last night, which was House bill 1054, which is law enforcement tactics bill. And again, I'll go back to the George Floyd case just because it's such a good example of all of the things that can go wrong and that have gone wrong. But in House bill 1054, it will ban choke holds and neck restraints, as well as a few other police tactics - no-knock warrants, in the case of Breonna Taylor. It would ban those police tactics for all law enforcement officers in Washington State. These are good practices. These are good policies. They're not theoretical, because we can point to the real life cases of where, with this in place, we would have saved lives.
Crystal Fincher: [00:14:56] It certainly appears that those bills do have legs and that they are an improvement over current policy. I don't think that there's many people who are earnestly trying to address this issue, who don't think those are improvements over good policy. It is - just looking at the conversation and where we are now - is so much different than where we were 5 years ago, 10 years ago. And even just in the public conversations around the idea of reform, they're like, "Okay, we're actually over reform. It's time to transform and to reconfigure, to fundamentally revisit how we address the structure and function of public safety and policing. Down to examining - why do we need an armed response to the wide variety - to everything, really, right now - and how do we change that? And do we need police to respond, period?
And models of community-based alternatives to an armed police response or a police response, period. And people saying, "We don't have the time to keep tinkering around the edges and for incremental change in the public safety process, because people continue to die." Even when it's not the worst case scenario with dying, people are having their civil rights violated, their lives turned upside down. Even if they're unjustly arrested because they were over policed and now they're saddled with legal bills and missing work, just to get out of something that they never should have gotten into. Looking on the front end -
Monisha Harrell: [00:16:50] Yeah.
Crystal Fincher: [00:16:50] Can that be addressed in the legislature? How do you see that? How do you address that?
Monisha Harrell: [00:16:56] There are so many people in this fight, and in this battle, right? I'm one person, one type of person. I always say when you're a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. I'm a policy person, so I'm dealing with it from a policy perspective because that's where my expertise is. I am grateful, grateful, grateful for the folks who, maybe they're not the policy person, but they put the boots to the ground and they protest. They give us the wings to be able to do this policy work, right? I have had many great and wonderful conversations with Nikkita Oliver, and we have a different approach to how we show love within community and how we do this work. You need all types. You need all types of leadership to be able to step up and step into the places where they provide expertise to do it.
We don't talk enough about things like, do we need an armed response? The answer is no, we don't always need an armed response. In fact, there's probably very few times where you actually need an armed response to a certain situation, particularly because, and this is where Nikkita and I will probably agree, a lot of times 911 is called after the incident.
Crystal Fincher: [00:18:22] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
Monisha Harrell: [00:18:22] So you don't need an armed response when the incident has passed. Now we have different approaches for how to get there. But I think what we're working for, I think ultimately the vision of what we're working for in community, is very similar, right? We need less policing, right? We need more resources so that there's a requirement for less policing. We need more money into education and social services, so that we can spend less on what is called criminal justice. I don't think anybody is disagreeing with all of those things. We don't want to spend our money punitively. We want to be able to pool our resources into what lifts us up, not what holds us down.
What people may think are very different people - we're actually not that different. We're just working from different angles. We have different perspectives and we have different strengths. You need all of those different strengths to be able to come to the table, to be a part of the conversation, to figure out where do we go and how do we get there, right? What I'll also say is - you made me think of it with the choke holds - it's not just that they cause death. We're talking about the scars that they leave on communities. If you cut off somebody's oxygen for a minute, you may not leave them without life, but you leave them without brain.
Crystal Fincher: [00:20:04] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
Monisha Harrell: [00:20:07] Seconds without oxygen is brain death. So maybe they are still walking of this earth and their body is living, but you've left them with mental impairment, permanent lifetime mental impairment. That's what we're talking about, right? There are better solutions and we have to be willing. We have to be willing to work towards those better solutions.
Crystal Fincher: [00:20:32] We do. And I appreciate, just you addressing that in your response and talking about - people have different expertise and are in different lanes. And that we need all of those lanes. We need all of those lanes pushing, in order to actually get change accomplished. Pushing in just one of those is not sufficient. I think we have seen, in a variety of situations - that okay, if people are only paying attention in the policy sphere with no connection to community, with no mandate from folks in the community and in the streets - that that leaves people in a position where they don't have power on the inside. And if we're only talking about what's happening in terms of protest and community engagement, then turning that into policy or impacting the institutions that really, whether we choose to or not, we have to engage with in our daily lives - that there is no change made there. And that things stay as they are, and the status quo is unacceptable.
So it really does take pushing by people in politics and policy, and community organizations engaging in meetings and on the street - to get it all done. And there are so many conversations about, "Well, which way is better? Either or. Do we do this or do we do that?" And my response to that is always, "It takes all of it." We make a change when we are pushing in all of our different lanes to get that accomplished. I appreciate your lane, it's necessary. I appreciate the lane of people who are in the streets and holding power accountable that way, because that is a lever of accountability and necessary. It just takes all of it. We can't just say - we can't do part of it. It's unfortunate that people who are being harmed have been the ones who've had to mount up and lead in fixing the issue. That should not be the case, but unfortunately, that is the situation that we're in right now.
Monisha Harrell: [00:23:05] Absolutely. It's always been an and. It's always been an and. You need Rosa Parks and Medgar Evers. You need Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King. You need James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry. You need and, and a call-out, right? And we need our allies. Sometimes you're going to be the leader, and sometimes you're going to be an ally - and if you see a situation, the best way to get this work done is to join in community with others, where sometimes you're going to be the leader and sometimes you're going to be an ally, but you have to add your strength in order to change these systems. Because these systems - power will never concede itself, we know that. We hear that over and over again. Power won't concede itself, but if we work together, we can do anything.
Crystal Fincher: [00:23:55] Absolutely, and I'm glad you brought that up because that is actually one of the things that I personally appreciate most about you - is that you're always willing to be an ally. People see when you're out in front, but I have been able to see several opportunities across several policy spheres, and in community, in organizing, supporting, where you've just been like, "Hey. However I can help, however I can support. I know how to do this and the other. I can make a connection." You have always offered yourself as a resource and as an ally in supporting. I know that has been instrumental in so many things happening in so many different areas. Just the amount of policy that you have been involved in across the sphere - in campaigns, elections, ballot initiatives - the list is long that people know about, but where you have been really supportive and instrumental in your knowledge has been helpful, that list is much more broad.
Monisha Harrell: [00:25:02] I've had so many people invest in me, right? It's a requirement. It's a requirement to be able to give back, because - I never know what the story is that people think of me or see of me, but I was born to two teenage parents. My mom was still in high school - I'm in the 1976 Garfield yearbook in the little nursery that they had there, right? And yet, I have still had people who have invested so much in me, who have given so much of themselves, so much of their time, their energy, their wisdom, and I feel the responsibility to pay that forward. I really do feel like, despite the hard times, I have been incredibly fortunate. The only way for me to show that, my love language, is paying that forward to other folks.
Crystal Fincher: [00:26:03] Well I've been a beneficiary of that, I appreciate it. I know many others who appreciate it. And yeah, I'm just thankful.
Now, I do have to ask you about your uncle. I don't know if people know your last name is Harrell. You share a last name with Bruce Harrell, who is a former Seattle City councilman. He was briefly the mayor.
Monisha Harrell: [00:26:36] Five days.
Crystal Fincher: [00:26:36] Five days. And now he is running, for the second time actually, running to be Mayor of Seattle. And he has caught my attention.
Monisha Harrell: [00:26:48] Yeah.
Crystal Fincher: [00:26:49] Principally for a couple of statements that he's made on this subject of policing. One, when he - I think it was when he was announcing and he was talking about the subject of policing - and said that the first thing he's going to do, is have officers watch the video of George Floyd and sign a pledge saying that that's unacceptable. And then last week, few days ago - time is running into itself for me. But within the past week, said another statement, "Hey, if I'm mayor and we go a week without having a shooting or a murder of a Black person, we're going to go to the precincts and high five the officers."
Monisha Harrell: [00:27:43] Yeah. So here's what I'm going to say. He is actually quite smart and he is good for sound bites, right? He gives a sound bite that gives people something to talk about. You have to get to the bottom of - but what is he really getting at? What is he actually talking about? And what he's talking about is culture change, right? We have to have a culture change in policing, and particularly at SPD, in order to be able to effectuate real change. And it's an example of a thing that would be done, but not the only thing done. It's an example of, how do you ensure that if you're going to invest in an officer, if you're going to invest training in an officer, education into an officer, support into an officer, that you have a baseline to even start with.
And so, watching the George Floyd video - it shows - can this person even admit at a baseline level that that is wrong? If they can't admit that's wrong, then any amount of education or training that we try to put into this person is going to be wasted. They're not who we spend energy on. It comes out sounding really simplistic, because it's a sound bite versus what you're actually getting at, which is not everybody is suited to be an officer. And we have to admit that. We have to admit that there are people - not everybody is suited to every job. And how do you just, at a baseline level, root out who is not suited for that job?
And so you get this over simplified example. But it's actually - as an example, it shows you what kind of conversations we have to be willing to have. We have to be willing to say, "This person is not suited for this role. We are not going to expend education and resources into trying to train this person for something that they are just - we can't teach this value. If you can't see this and say that's wrong, there's no amount of sitting you behind the desk and training you, that is ever going to get you to the point where you realize that that's wrong."
I get it. It's definitely something that people talk about, but hopefully they also kind of get to the deeper issue around that, which is we have to determine who has the basis, who has the heart, to do public service and public safety, be a servant leader in that way. And who just, it's not a job that's a fit for you. It's not going to be a job that's going to be a fit for you. And we need to move you on.
Crystal Fincher: [00:30:38] I appreciate your perspective and context around that. That certainly is a conversation worth having, and one I think that we should. I'm looking forward to the full, robust debate about policing in Seattle overall, from all of the candidates and evaluating who is best suited, in terms of the ability to lead, and enacting the policies we need with a sense of urgency that it requires. I'm looking forward to that continuing throughout the place. And what else I appreciate about this, is that we have a number of people of color running. We have more than one Black person in the race. We have some of everybody. I've said this before and I think is useful - we aren't all the same. We are not a monolith. We have different opinions and different approaches and we have the opportunity...
Monisha Harrell: [00:31:34] Thank God people are realizing that, right?
Crystal Fincher: [00:31:36] Right.
Monisha Harrell: [00:31:36] Thank God we don't have to all be the same person anymore.
Crystal Fincher: [00:31:40] Yes. For those candidates whose perspectives I find myself aligned with and others where I don't, I do think that it is useful for the wider community to see a range of opinions and perspectives addressed, because that's absolutely true and valid. We know that. We've known that, but sometimes the wider community has a harder time engaging. I feel like it's been in the past year or two, where they stopped referring to people just as "Black leaders."
Monisha Harrell: [00:32:19] Right.
Crystal Fincher: [00:32:20] That's okay, we don't elect Black leaders. For other people, they use their title. For this person, it's "Black leader." Is there anything else to the story? Or they'll just be like, "activist."
Monisha Harrell: [00:32:33] It's always funny, because I was always like, "When did we vote? When did we ..."
Crystal Fincher: [00:32:35] Right.
Monisha Harrell: [00:32:36] And that - to be candid, that's annoyed me, beginning from the '80s. When I started kind of thinking about it, they would say "Black leader" and then they would have somebody talking on the news and I thought, "Well, who elected them to speak for all of us?" I appreciate the fact that there's more nuance these days. I have to give some credit to social media for actually allowing us to have more of a voice, because if we were relying on mainstream media, we'd still have just one Black leader. I'm grateful that we get to have a few at this juncture. I get to be on this program with one of our Black leaders, so I'm happy that we get a full ... Look, this is radio, so y'all can...
Crystal Fincher: [00:33:24] I am not claiming that title, just to be clear - I'm a political consultant with a podcast. That's it.
Monisha Harrell: [00:33:30] Look, I want people to understand - Crystal and I have a deep, deep respect for each other, but could not be more different. Crystal is on this radio show looking fabulous right now, and I'm sitting here in some Adidas sweatpants. So I just want you all to know that there is many, many ways to be, and we deserve the humanity to be able to be all of those things and the entire robustness of how that shows up.
Crystal Fincher: [00:33:57] Oh my goodness. Okay. Yes, all of these things.
Okay. We're in podcast only time and not in the airtime on the radio. Let's just be real - I'm here. I just got into wigs, y'all. They're so simple and easy and wonderful. <laughter>
Look! I threw on this wig. I'm looking at Monisha on this online chat - weird seeing each other, just we're not putting out the video on the podcast - but I mean, look, it's just a wig. It's just a wig and I have my other wig that you saw that I was wearing yesterday in the meeting that we were in about something else. It's totally - it's a different color. It's a different length, but they all take about two minutes to put on...
Monisha Harrell: [00:34:43] I'm just saying ...
Crystal Fincher: [00:34:44] ... and look like I actually did something.
Monisha Harrell: [00:34:45] ... you look ready to go out. And I look ready to go take a nap. <laughter>
Crystal Fincher: [00:34:49] And what you see, is just the very top. Look, you don't see the below the screen situation happening right now. It's not consistent, I'll just tell you that. It is not consistent with what this appears to be. And even this is optimized for two minutes. Just in the interest of realness, I think you probably spent more time getting ready and prepared than I did today. I'm fairly positive about that.
Monisha Harrell: [00:35:19] Not in this Zoom world. In this Zoom world, I only gotta dress from the shoulders up. <laughter>
Crystal Fincher: [00:35:24] That's the situation. And that's probably more information than you bargained for, podcast listeners, but there you go. That's real. This is where we're at.
Well, I appreciate you taking the time to join us and talk to us today. I appreciate you, Monisha, period. I appreciate you addressing your uncle's comments and providing some more context and the basis for a useful and necessary conversation. Just thank you.
Monisha Harrell: [00:35:56] Yeah and I appreciate being here. It's always a pleasure to talk to you, Crystal. And I listen to your show, I'm a big fan. I like Hacks and Wonks, and I hope more people are listening, because they will learn as much about politics from you as I have learned from you. So it's a great opportunity.
Crystal Fincher: [00:36:18] You're too kind and I appreciate it, but thank you everyone and enjoy your day.
Thank you for listening to Hacks and Wonks. Our chief audio engineer at KVRU is Maurice Jones Jr. The producer of Hacks and Wonks is Lisl Stadler. You can find me on Twitter @finchfrii, spelled F-I-N-C-H-F-R-I-I. And now you can follow Hacks and Wonks on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts. Just type in "Hacks and Wonks" into the search bar. Be sure to subscribe to get our Friday almost live shows and our mid-week show, delivered to your podcast feed. You can also get a full text transcript of this episode and links to the resources referenced during the show at officialhacksandwonks.com and in the podcast episode notes.
Thanks for tuning in. Talk to you next time.