Surly Voices: Gasparilla revisited, U.S. Supreme Court, social hierarchies

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Condescending pilots dressed as pirates, a potential new nominee to the United States Supreme Court, and a broader look at the lens we view society through. Hosts Amina, Donna and Liz covered it all on this week’s episode of the Surly Voices podcast.

Listen to the full episode here:

Revisiting Gasparilla

After delving into the checkered history of Tampa’s infamous annual Gasparilla Festival, the Surly women revisited the topic and shared their stories on what they witnessed this year. Most notably, Donna shocked her co-hosts with tales of the things she overheard in her car as she drove for Lyft over the weekend. Not surprisingly but disappointing all the same, the things that were said were not only classist and condescending, some of them were downright racist.

Blood-alcohol-content aside, the things that were said only solidified the fact that the dark and racist past of the Gasparilla Festival is not just the past. It is still happening, even if it isn’t as systemic as it once was. They planned to attend the Knight Parade on 2/12/22 and assess Krewe diversity first-hand.  If they can find balcony access, they will live-stream from the parade.

U.S. Supreme Court Nominations

After U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced his intended retirement last week, the uproar surrounding his potential successor generated buzz on both sides of the aisle. President Biden’s pre-election pledge to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court drew derision from Republicans, and chiefly from Ted Cruz.

Cruz said on his podcast that the nomination of a Black woman would be “offensive,” and unfair, noting that they make up a small percentage of the population, so more-qualified white candidates would be overlooked in the process.  The hosts discussed why Cruz’s reasoning was flawed and noted that, until relatively recently in the nation’s history, Supreme Court Justices were all white males.

The One Race and the Culture of Hierarchy

In discussing the link between the downright terrible things said during Gasparilla and the sexist and racist comments by Ted Cruz, the Surlies looked to the broader cause of these issues.

“Culture, I think, encourages people to need to be above someone else,” Donna said. It is in the inverse of the concept of Ubuntu, the Swahili term meaning ‘humanity to others’. At its heart is the notion that ‘I am because we are’, that all people benefit from the good of society as a whole, and that kindness to others breeds kindness back.

But in today’s society, individual superiority has become a prize and a goal. And the sense of individualism, racism, sexism and all of the other isms, the Surly Fems say, comes from the root of capitalism. Today, all things are meant to serve the capitalist mind, radicalizing things that are necessary to survival such as rest, leisure and self-care.

But, these superiority complexes come from an unfounded place in the name of science. In truth, there scientifically are no ‘other’ races. Donna herself studied anthropology and agrees: the one race that exists among us is the human race.

One caller to the show prompted the hosts with a mantra they all agreed on:

Kindness can be seen by the blind and heard by the deaf. 

Kindness is universal.