Ep. 5 Transcription – Unconscious Racism

Music:  00:00:01

Intro Music

Sarah Dittmore: 00:00:05

Hi friends. My name is Sarah and you’re listening to The Beginner’s Mind, a podcast about all things yoga-ish. I am beyond excited about today’s episode. It definitely lies on the “ish” side of the yoga-ish theme of this podcast. I think we don’t even mention yoga till like minute 30, but the issues discussed in this episode I think are really relevant to the issues that the yoga community faces in regards to race and racism. In this episode, I am interviewing April Harter. April Harter is an antiracism therapist who helps white people break the rules of anti-racism in order to be authentic in their interrelational relationships. And so in this episode we’re talking a little bit about what unconscious racism is, how it comes to be and how it informs the way we engage. We being white people like myself and how we behave with people of color and non-white individuals. We’ll also talk a little bit about how these patterns can be seen and why they are seen in yoga communities, as well as how yoga can actually be a tool for helping us work through the traumatic experiences that inform our racist beliefs. I learned so much with this interview and it was such a joy talking to April. She’s doing some really important and really interesting work and I’m excited to share it all with you. So without further ado, let’s get curious.


Music:  00:01:37

Transition Music


Sarah Dittmore: 00:01:37

So I am here with April Harter and, April, do you want to take a moment to just introduce yourself and what it is you do?


April Harter: 00:01:45

Well, I’m kind of a Jack of all trades, but my official title is I’m a licensed clinical social worker and really I’m a feminist therapist and I’ve decided to really focus my life on the psychology of racism. And I very much see the psychology of racism as a dismantling of the, uh, a part of dismantling the patriarchy. So that’s really what I focus my work on.


Sarah Dittmore: 00:02:13

And how did you get into that?


April Harter: 00:02:17

Uh, I got into this work, well, you know, as a longtime feminist, as a longtime feminist social worker, I mean racism is something that, and even just as a social worker, it is about oppression, right? It is about marginalization. So within social work it’s very, within the field there are a lot of ethics and guidelines and duties that really try to encourage us to advocate for those who are marginalized and oppressed. What I didn’t expect was oddly enough, like advocating for white people to do a deeper work. So in other words, most of my career is really about advocating for POC. Uh, and for those who don’t know who POC are, it’s people of color. Um, and I still do, but partially through the work that I do as well. I got into this work after, uh, Charlottesville. I started up a Facebook group and I wanted a bunch of therapists to kind of get together and we were going to tackle racism, because I was noticing that when I moved from Texas to Colorado, I noticed that a lot of the white psychotherapist were perpetrating unconscious racism. And the point is it’s unconscious, right? So like they, they didn’t know. So they kind of thought they were all kinda hunky-dory. Especially in Denver, you know, they really think they’ve arrived. And so, but that’s not how the POCs pyschotherapists saw it, you know, they were like, ah, you know, I talked to these white folks, like they’re just like, yeah, we’re so this and that. And then I talked to POC, they’re like, they’re like, yeah, white liberals. Yeah. That are our colleagues. They do racist stuff and they have no idea they’re doing it, and I was like, whoa. So I noticed that chasm, you know, that racial divide within my field. And I felt that that was not, it really wasn’t holistic because we’re really ultimately supposed to be here for everybody. I mean, obviously we have our own niches, you know? But the point is is that it was unprofessional behavior for these white psychotherapists and not explore their unconscious racism.


April Harter: 00:04:22

I honestly just assumed I really did. I assumed there were resources out there for them because I, I just thought, yeah, of course there is resources. So I started like, like any typical social worker going, Oh yeah, let me find resources. And then just like give them the resources. Right. And what ended up happening was that I didn’t see any resources that really got to the core issues. It was just an instinctive thing. It was long before I created my method, it was just like an instinct thing. Like this is not like, I don’t know how to put my finger on this. This is not going to work. That’s what prompted me to start really doing one on one work and later group work and coaching because I was like, well, for social workers, when, when we’re, wherever we’re doing social work, if there are no resources available, like we have to kind of do it on our own. This is how we’re trained. We don’t just not do it. We’re like, oh, there’s no resources. Okay. You put your, pull your sleeves back and do it.


Sarah Dittmore: 00:05:22

Create the resources.


April Harter: 00:05:24

Yeah, you create the resources. Right? Yeah. So that’s really, I didn’t expect to, it was something I was addressing a need.


Sarah Dittmore: 00:05:32

And that need being sort of helping people recognize and work through their unconscious racism is my understanding.


April Harter: 00:05:40

For sure. For sure. And, and you know, I the need at the time just working with these white psychotherapists and really my objective at the time was to prevent them from perpetrating unconscious racism with their patients. Right. Because that would elevate the standard and not like harm them. You know, we’re supposed to do no harm. You know what I mean?


Sarah Dittmore: 00:06:01

Right. A social worker should not be triggering to you. Like that’s defeats the purpose.


April Harter: 00:06:07

Right. So, you know, I’m trying to go, okay, we need to like do our duty and like fix it. But eventually I opened it up to when I started working with business coach, Annie Chansler, and Annie told me, she said April, like, I really think you need to open this up to like all white people. And I was just sorta like, I don’t know. I was, I was insecure about that at that time. You know, you want to stay within your people, you know, like I wanted to help the therapists. Cause like that’s, those are my people. I know who they are and me and we get, we, we know each other’s language and, and we get each other, and Annie was like, um… no, you need to help all white people. I was like, I was like, I don’t know how to do that. But that was again before I created the method. Yeah. So I suffice to say, um, I started actually doing what every other anti-racism educator does and I’m sure they’re gonna be pretty pissed hearing this, but I really don’t care. Cause it’s the damn truth, which is that, uh, 99.9% of anti-racism educators teach performative allyship and they teach what I call the rules of anti-racism. I did the same thing. It’s not like I’m trying to act like my stuff doesn’t stink. Like, Oh look at me, I’ve never done that. I like, no, no, no, no, no, no. Been three, done that.


Sarah Dittmore: 00:07:26

And what does that, what does that mean? Like what, what is performative allyship?


April Harter: 00:07:30

So performative allyship is when you, it’s, it’s the best way to relate it is in a relationship. It’s like when you meet somebody and okay… let’s set up the scene, I feel like Golden Girls, you know, Sicily 1923 or something. It’s just like imagine that you’re in a relationship and you have been burned before. And like, you’re like dating this new person or you’re going on a blind date, whatever, you know, and you’re establishing a new relationship and maybe, um, maybe the person that you’re dating has kinda like whether it’s the same demographics and I mean anything, race, religion, any kind of like identification, it’s like very similar. Even like their mannerisms or their beliefs, their values. It’s like something about even the way they communicate it like reminds you of the relationship that you were burned in before. There’s something that remindes you of that, right. And so when that happens and we’ve all, there’s not, I don’t care, there’s not a single human being who has not done this me included, right? And I mean it like I’ll be the first one to say yes, raise my hand. I’ve done that. Which is when we’ve been burnt like that, which in clinical terms is PTSD, right? And trauma, right? Um, we, when we haven’t healed from that trauma, we are going to not start for the relationship from scratch. We are not going to give that person the benefit of the doubt, what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna like set up some conditions in the relationship. You know, you can’t do this but you can do this. You can do that. Can’t do this. Now on the surface. Cause you know that I don’t do surface. But on the surface, let me tell you what everybody thinks. But like, isn’t that’s setting boundaries? No. Really superficial. So it’s like you don’t even know this person. You don’t know for sure what’s going to happen and you’re setting all these rules and conditions and what does that do? Well, it really messes with intimacy and it messes with vulnerability. It means you can’t be vulnerable, you can’t connect. It’s connected to conditional love. You’re really setting up a foundation with conditions. And what that means is, is that you’re already sabotaging the relationship and then it becomes like this little endless cycle. So going back to performative allyship, you know, we’ve got that little foundation covered, so, so now let’s go ahead and take that same concept and apply it to interracial relationships. With interracial relationships, if a POC, now I’m gonna get on both sides, so if a POC, of course, 99.9%, has experienced racial trauma, right? And if they haven’t healed from that racial trauma, they’re going to potentially start, of course, the interracial relationship with a white person or white passing POC, and they’re going to set up all of these conditions. So when you go onto Google, white folks, when you go into Google and you’re trying to be like a good white ally, right? There are some umpteen blog articles that say, here are the 11 steps that you need to do to being good white ally. And I’m like, that’s performative allyship because what is it doing? It sets up a condition. So then here’s what happens to the white people. They read that they keep on reading, stuff like that, and then they’re like scared to be a human being. They’re like, I’m scared. Like so on the outside they’re following all these anti-racism rules. I’m being a good white ally. If I do this, I act like this and I do this. And then it’s like they’re walking on pins and needles. They’re like, I still feel like what I’m doing is racist. I feel like no matter what I read and say, I still feel I got that racist bone in my body.


April Harter: 00:11:15

What they do is that they get into what I call the cycle, the cycle of performance of allyship. And what I do is I try to help these white folks get out of that Matrix, which is the cycle of performative allyship. And unfortunately 99.9% of the anti-racism educators, whether they be social media influencers, or like Rachel CarGel, you know our Layla, like all of these things that they teach are all performative allyship. They’re very famous, but they’re teaching performance of allyship, you know, bless their heart. But from a clinical perspective, you’re teaching people conditions. And what’s happening is that these white people, they then get into an emeshed relationship on social media where they’re like, I’m trying, I’m trying. I’m trying to be a good white ally. And that’s when they get into this cycle. And you know why the cycles so tough, Sarah? Because what it does is it fuels shame. I’m sure many of the listeners know my professor Bernay Brown, hell, who doesn’t? Uh, she was one of my social work professors in college. I took at least five courses with her. One of the things that I’ll never forget is that she said, you can’t, you know, April, you can’t change, she told all of us, you know, you can’t shame somebody to change. I will never forget that. So that’s what really snapped me out. It was actually Bernay’s work that snapped me out of that performative allyship and me teaching performative allyship. Because I noticed on Instagram when I got on the scene that a lot of the people that were famous were publicly shaming and humiliating white people and making examples of them. So I thought, okay, if I can be a little aggressive online, a little shamie, but I didn’t realize how unhealthy that was. So I did it for a very like, really brief time, like really brief, not like even major, just like really brief and I’m here to admit my mistakes, you know, why did I do that? Because I hadn’t healed from my racial trauma. And mind you, it’s a continual healing process. But it’s like, when I mean healed, healed enough to be functional to help white people. Where I can like, you know, get things in perspective, practice compassionate detachment, like to have that, but also set boundaries. So when I see a lot of is racial battle fatigue, uh, from the influencers and they get, they get burned out and they shut down. And then when that happens, the white people kick into saviorism and they feel terrible. You’re like, I really hate myself. Once again, I said something racist. So that’s what I mean by the cycle. It’s like, you know, it’s saviorism is performative allyship. As a matter of fact, all of the seven signatures that are the core foundation of my risk of the 42 racist century patterns, almost all of them actually are performance of allyship.


Sarah Dittmore: 00:13:47

Right. Yeah. I mean it, it strikes me too with that performance allyship, how you can kind of have those, what you’re talking about of you know, I perform all of these steps and I still feel like I’m not doing enough or I’m not, you know, anti-racist enough. Or on the flip side what I experienced myself and with my like colleagues at in college was oh I’m doing all these steps so I’m definitely not racist as I can’t be racist because look at how good of an ally I am. You know? And it’s kind of acts as like a sheen over the real issue.


April Harter: 00:14:21

Absolutely. And those are racist defense mechanisms. So that’s like, you know, I didn’t coin the term racist defense mechanism but they are racist defense mechanisms. And that sheen, I like that word that sheen is kind of, it is like teflon. It’s like, what is that teflon doing? Well it’s defense mechanisms. Cause, what are we trying to defend? Well we’re trying to like defend ourselves from the shame. So then white people when they go into these racist defense mechanisms, it actually, what they discover is that they cannot hold space for their own shame. That’s what happens. When they react in a racist defense mechanism. You know how like we always say like in the anti-racism field, like you know, don’t take up space. So it’s like the ideal would be, let me tell you the ideal, the ideal would be a white person understanding emotionally where that racism comes from and that they can’t hold space for POC unless they learn to hold space for themselves. And for the POC, like these influencers, they struggle to hold space for white people because they, in my honest straight up observation as a clinician, they have not healed from their racial trauma yet. Not enough to be able to be helping white people. So what happens is that you get into this situation where you have two sides of the coin and both sides are very traumatized. Both have a lot of emotional issues and it’s hard to sort out what’s what.


Sarah Dittmore: 00:15:48

So you mentioned sort of, you know, the way that this performative allyship covers up and redirects the attention from the actual shame and unconscious racism that white people are experiencing. I wonder if we can talk a little bit about where that, you know, I want to say where that comes from and I want to kind of dive into that a little bit of there’s the obvious societal racism and you can look at some people and say like, oh, they want to, you know, raise a confederate flag. Obviously they’re racist. How does that unconscious racism show up in communities and individuals who live in a world where they really believe that they’re not in a racist society or not in a racist family or are racist community?


April Harter: 00:16:36

When you have communities that, first of all, now we need to like break it down. So what happens is, is that white people experience racial triggers. Okay. And what is a racial trigger? A racial trigger is basically anything that is about race or racism, whether it be like, whether it be, for example, a black person’s skin could be a racial trigger, a book that you’re reading about black history. It can be a racial trigger. Anything that evokes like cognitive dissonance and that cognitive dissonance is um, as when we look into the context of racism, right? Cause cognitive distance can be applied to many things. We’re looking at cognitive dissonance within the field. The psychology of racism. It means you’ve experienced a racial trigger and you’re feeling a really huge emotional discomfort that has to do with self image. There is a disconnect between the way that you see yourself and the way that others see you. Okay? And like even the way, like the way you see yourself is like, oh, I don’t want to see myself like that. So In communities, so I’m going to get a little social-worky too, so that when you talk about communities and then the individual, we’re getting into social work, we’re getting into the macro and the micro. Right? And so the micro would be the individual. Even the mezzo would be like the community and the macro would be like at the federal level, within the context of the United States. And how does that all play? Well this gets into also some hot debate, but I think I’m right. I think I’m like a 110% right. So I’ll tell you what first I’ll tell you what is again mainstream and then I’m going to tell you what I know in my heart.


April Harter: 00:18:20

Mainstream anti racism education is that the macro came before the micro. That we live in a racist society, therefore it’s the racist society that like produces the individual that’s racist. What I’m going to say is that the original way that racism started was really the individual and actually power the individual and the family unit is really where it all begins and society merely represents a bunch of individuals and families. That’s what it represents. When we don’t see that, when we don’t realize that it’s really about the micro and the little micro family units, when we don’t look at it that way. And we only look at it from the macro perspective. It makes it, you know, Sarah makes it very difficult to make it palpable and real because it’s almost like this thing where if you all, if we only do the macro, wouldn’t you agree? It feels pretty overwhelming. Like how can I make a difference as a white person? How can I do my part when I’m dealing with this beast of racism? So in reality it’s not that we can’t do macro advocacy, it’s just that what’s missing is the micro. So it becomes lopsided and that’s why why people can act in performative allyship. Cause then they do all this political stuff. But in inside their heart they’re still battling which shame they’re still battling with guilt. And you kind of alluded like you ask like where does that come from? It varies per person. But what I will tell you is that in my experience working with coaching clients, it is absolutely rooted in the patriarchy and the patriarchal family units. Because it has to do with my way or the highway. It’s about punishment and reward. It’s about dichotomist black and white thinking. It’s, it’s also about negative reinforcement, you know, if you don’t act a certain way, like I’m going to punish you. And that’s just very unhealthy parenting. So would you agree that a lot of people in our country have been not exactly parented that well?


Sarah Dittmore: 00:20:12

Yeah. Well, and, and realizing too that like exactly what you’re saying might not be the immediate literal version that comes up in your mind. You know? Cause I immediately think like, well my parents didn’t like punish me in like a really bad way. But then it’s still that relationship. It’s still okay. Yeah. I wasn’t like physically or mentally abused or anything, but if I did something that wasn’t okay, then there was a negative reinforcement of that action, you know? So also understanding that it doesn’t have to be the most extreme representation of what you’re saying.


April Harter: 00:20:46

Exactly. It doesn’t even have to be like physical abuse. And even some parents, for example, they may not actually react with emotional abuse, but they can set a boundary. But a kid may even perceive it as like you’re attacking. It could be many things. It could be many things. But what I will tell you though is that most of my clients have had some type of adverse, uh, what is it called again adverse child something or other, I can’t remember the term again. But basically they’ve experienced some type of childhood abuse or neglect or like the normalization of dysfunction at home happens a lot in our society because that’s the cycle of violence that, because that’s like, we struggle like violence in our, and again, racism is a form of violence. So then how does that all like fit in? Because when we go through the method, my coaching clients, they learn their racist signature pattern. And so then what we do is feminist consciousness raising. Um, and, and it’s very much like feminist consciousness raising is deeply psychological merging the personal is the political. Cause that’s my ideological underpinning. Very much so. And so what they realize is they start to realize how their unresolved trauma is connected to their racism. But first they have to be able to identify their racist signature patterns. So let’s say externally they’re going into racist denial. Why? Cause they’re, they’re defensive because they’re ashamed. They’re ashamed on a deep subconscious level and then they might back it up with racist intellectualizing saying, well let me show you why. Or they may say no, but I do a position, I’m with surge. So how can I be a racist? Like people will go into these defense mechanisms. And so I, I kind of think what you’re asking is, you know, how do you get out of that? And how do we apply that? Well, the thing is is that the way that I teach is through motivational interviewing. So motivational interviewing is not about shaming and, and I also combine rehabilitation and I very much, and this gets really heavy for the listeners, it’s about to get real heavy. I’m like, I was already heavy and it’s about to get extra heavy. Warning to everybody listening to this is going to be highly like your cognitive dissonance is going to go way up. But I promise you, I say this with love in my heart because this is like, you need to know the truth.


April Harter: 00:23:03

I started noticing this year when I was almost done with some of my coachings for the year. And I started noticing that the white people, I was helping, like I was watching some, some kind of documentary about criminals on Youtube. And I notice I’m like, wait a minute. Oh my gosh. Like I was watching um these people were, you know, they were, they were getting help to rehabilitate from their crimes. And then I, then I discovered that in the UK hate speech is actually against the law. You can actually go to like, you know how we have our little viral videos in America, people get really upset about it. Did you know that in the UK if you would record something like that, that individual will actually go to jail. So that’s how backwards the United States is talk at that level all the time. I mean, we were a big time slave, you know, plantation country and white people kill, you know, indigenous people. I was like, I mean it was just the racism, rampage violence, right? Same way they were the colonizers, but they’re all like about 10 steps ahead of us. And so I was like, wait a minute. They see hate speech as a hate crime? And do something about it? But then in, but then in the uk what they do is they rehabilitate their prisoners. I started to realize like, oh my gosh, I started to connect the dots. Racism in America is a criminal psychology rooted in narcissism. Because when you look at like criminals that are violent, whether it be low-level crime or like high level crime, they lack empathy, right Sarah? Like they lack empathy. They go into defense mechanisms. Oh I didn’t really do that. I mean like, like recently, what is it, R Kelly. Oh I didn’t rape those women. I don’t know what you’re talking about. They liked it. Or Donald Trump going into defense mechanisms, you know, grab em by the pussy, but then says, oh no, they wanted that. That is a hallmark trait of narcicisstic reaction are these defense mechanisms. Okay?


April Harter: 00:24:49

And so with racism it’s a particular type of bigotry and then the reaction is a defense mechanism and it’s a narcissistic reaction. But when you look at the history of our country and even throughout the world, like when you look at racial exploitation, we’re looking at laws that have been passed that were very racist and very violent. And essentially from my perspective, straight up and it’s just the bottom line. Criminal behavior was normalized. And that’s kind of like, so the way that I see white people when I’m working with them is that white people are essentially have been, you know, slavery and all that, killing people. Totally criminal behavior. But at one point that’s totally legal, right? And so white culture has been nurtured to normalize criminal behavior and that clearly delineated between the United States. By guess what Sarah? The first amendment. In the UK, it doesn’t protect someone from acting in violent ways cause you will have a consequence, right? Whereas in the United States, oh no, you have a right to act racist. That’s your opinion. So in the United States, violent behaviors like that, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia. It’s like a god given, right to every tried and true, good spirited American.


Sarah Dittmore: 00:26:09

Right. I mean even like how many of us grew up with that sticks and stones may break my bones bullshit. Like, you know, we literally grow up learning like, oh, words can’t hurt people. Like thoughts can’t hurt people. It’s only actions. But they can and that’s a real form of violence.


April Harter: 00:26:26

It is a form of violence. And where I would say that the UK, that if I was there and I needed, I would give them, you know, a proper professional consultation. I would say look like. But there’s a loophole in this law because you’re saying that the only way that these hate crimes, these hate speeches are criminal is if it’s been proven intentional. Kay Back to America. Now you understand why there’s police brutality and why we have a bunch of black men and black women, black folk in prison system, and why there’s so much racial discrimination. Because the unconscious racism is permitted. It is enabled, normalized and unchecked because there’s never been really a full breakdown of the psychology of racism that I have basically created. I mean, I’m sure there will be other theories, other things, but we need to be able to understand the psychology of racism so that we can properly address it. Now, my approach is also not a punishing approach. I believe that there need to be consequences, but at the same time, if a white person wants to rehabilitate. So that’s what I mean by rehabilitation, I essentially rehabilitate criminal behavior. And there’s a lot of people be like, oh, that’s extreme. No, no, no. You’re experiencing cognitive dissonance in a state of racist denial. Like you are reacting. And even though people don’t realize they’re doing that, but it’s very on point. So it really helps us. It really helped me Sarah to see that those examples in the UK and to see how the United States, and when you look at the history, we’re always behind in humanitarianism, we’re constantly behind the times. And my second book is really going to be really try to work hard to persuade that we go ahead and take that out of the first amendment. We need to. Violence should not be a first amendment right. I do not believe that because it’s violent. It harms people. With racism specific again, but we can even go back to, I mean that’s why Kavanaugh got to become a supreme court justice. He was elected to be sexist and rape Blasey Ford, and then he got to the highest court in the land.


April Harter: 00:28:25

Now what would happen in the United States if it was not a first amendment right to say sexist things? That you could not do cat calls publicly. You know what if those things were against the law? I think it would lead to a lot of protection for women, a lot of protection for the LGBTQIA community, a lot for people of color. It would be taken seriously. Right now from my perspective, what we’re doing is that we’re only dealing with one half of it, which is the political aspect, but there’s always going to be a psychological motivation for the politics that occur.


Sarah Dittmore: 00:28:59

Right. The people create the politics. It comes from us.


April Harter: 00:29:02

Exactly. That’s why the personal is the political, so it’s like, you know when we, when we got people that go into that racist denial, it just keeps racism alive and well.


Music:  00:29:18

[Transition Music]


Sarah Dittmore: 00:29:18

Welcome to the studio shop. I want to thank Shut Up and Yoga for all they do to support this podcast and make it possible. Shut Up and Yoga is an independent digital magazine and collective of yoga teachers, writers, and illustrators. It’s a practical, visual, and funny magazine taking a humorous approach to dissecting popular ideas on health, yoga, and self-development. At Shut Up & Yoga, we believe in quality over quantity and honesty over being liked. Our mission is to use words and art to question, inform, educate, challenge ideas, and debunk myths. So in addition to this podcast, which obviously is wonderful, there’s also wonderful articles that really dive into some yoga topics and yoga issues that we believe need to be talked about. We also have two books in the library for modern yogis with more to come soon and those are available at shutupandyoga.com/books. In addition, one of my new favorite offerings is the Facebook group. If you go to Facebook and type in shut up and Yoga Forum for modern Yogis, you’ll find a group where we’re having really exciting and interesting conversations about all things yoga. The community is growing. We’re almost up to a thousand members and the conversations happening in there are awesome. I procrastinate every day by spending far too much time responding to articles people are sharing, questions people are asking, and just the general discussions that are happening in that space. You can find the link for that in the show notes below. It’s a really great way to get involved in some of these conversations yourself and have your voice heard as well as learning from the voices of other people in the yoga community. In addition, you can find all these podcast episodes as well as transcriptions of these episodes at shutupandyoga.com/podcast. And of course while you’re there you can check out some of the newest articles and conversations that we’re having. Also, if you or someone you know would be interested in having your own ad appear in this section of the podcast, you can reach out to me directly at sarahditmore@gmail.com. The link is in the show notes below and we can talk about what is involved in having your ad here. It’s a great way to promote yourself and your products or services to the yoga community at large and it would be an honor to partner with you. On that note, let’s get back to the show


Music:  00:31:48

[Transition Music]


April Harter: 00:31:48

We have to have, when it comes to the law, we needed to have the 1964 act. We need to have these laws that protect those who have been oppressed. Because guess what? If these people psychologically don’t want to like deal with their stuff, they’re going to keep on harming the innocent. That’s not ethical. That is, that’s injustice and that’s the criminal part. I’m essentially doing like forensic social work and rehabilitating white people who have vicariously through their families and communities unconsciously learned these racist behaviors intergenerationally. Because in the law like those with power where these white people that legalized criminal behavior and so white people think that if externally that that they don’t do those things, that it’s not going to affect them psychologically, but they still have like that residue of criminal psychology rooted in narcissism. As much of you’ve probably heard like my colleague Dr. Joy DeGruy, who wrote post traumatic slave syndrome, black people struggle with intergenerational racial trauma because of slavery. I like to call it with white people intergenerational racist perpetration where it’s like we’re talking the normalization of this criminal psychology.


April Harter: 00:33:00

So here’s the thing. If we have a proper psychology of racism established within the scientific community, because really that’s my goal ultimately is to get my phd either in social work or psychology and really get some serious grounded qualitative and quantitative research conducted. Because we really need to start looking at this seriously. Because you know, in the court system, if we cannot assess clinically that unconscious racism, the laws will not change. You gotta be able to prove it, which I’m willing to do. I’m here for it. So like it all starts with my book. Like it all starts with my method and really I plan on really actually taking that method then and doing trials, you know, doing, creating assessments, proper clinical assessments and interventions and treatment plans for racism. And I think it’d be really cool if that happens. Like let’s say that you have, for example, a skinhead. Someone’s committed a hate crime in the United States and let’s say that we use my, like my treatment, um, and then they are in group therapy and then they together get to the heart and root or the racism, which could have been them being the child witness of domestic violence and like all kinds of like, you know, psychological trauma. They heal from that and then they understand and connect those dots. And what do we do? We prevent hate crimes. Right now, and again, it is with this, any, anytime you’re dealing with a criminal, it, the most effective, preventative way really is rehabilitation and not punishment. But as you know, in the United States, we continue to legalize the death penalty, we continue to be cruel. We continue to be violent and people feel righteous and indignant to murder and kill people who have perpetrated. Now do I think that they should be in prison? Absolutely. Like I think that someone was murdered somebody. I think that unless they have properly rehabilitated, if they don’t show clinical evidence, I mean over a quite an expansive time, they should not be reintroduced to the public. Why? Because that is dangerous to the public. You know, that just makes sense. But again, everybody gets into this whole thing of punishment and reward. So really, Sarah, you can apply that whole puncher war thing back to family and almost apply it to almost anything related to like power dynamics and the law and politics. So when we’re talking about that racism, we have a long way to go in the United States to stop normalizing racism. But I have found the United States, if you can scientifically prove something, there’s a lot of power in that. And that’s really my goal. You know what I mean? To really get that properly done. But for now, I’ve got to start somewhere, right. Um, so my trials were honestly like straight up, like my coaching. Right. But in my career I didn’t do therapy. What I did was, is that I had, I provided them psychological education, which is the meat of the racist signature method. Then I had at the time had them sign waivers saying if this becomes too overwhelming that you need to go see a psychotherapist or someone that’s gonna help you process. But in the future it’s all going to be one. There’s not gonna be any here, you go to a therapist, it’s just going to be all of it. And then once the education happens, we’re going to get into treatment, which could involve, I’ve got great ideas. One of them is yoga!!


Sarah Dittmore: 00:36:23

So I do want to, uh, you know, this is technically a yoga podcast. So I know some people are going to be like, what the fuck, where was the yoga? So I want to take it in two directions. I want to hear what you have to say about yoga as part of the treatment. I also want to talk about looking at, you know, as you said, this can be applied to any community and this, these patterns. And so I want to look at the yoga community, which you know, has its own racist behaviors and a lot of them. And uh, look at why in this… I think it’s really interesting that we’re in this community where, um, the whole point is nonviolence and doing the self work and like, uh, you know, taking the time to do the work to see what blocks you have and all these things. And yet race is not a part of that conversation. And so I’m interested to look at that as well.


April Harter: 00:37:13

Well, you know, when you said nonviolence, the first thing I thought, of course, is ahimsa. Within the yoga community, and by the way, just to give you a little bit of background on yoga about me. Um, I’ve been practicing yoga since I was probably a good 21 years old and I turned 40 this year. So like yoga has always been a part of my adult life. I wish, I certainly wish I could have been interested as like, as a kid, I love the kids do yoga now. Like I love that. But I started as an adult and there was just something about yoga that emotionally like, I mean I can look back on it now as a clinician and go, wow, like it grounded me. It reduced my anxiety, it helped center my mind. So how does yoga, so yeah, let’s talk about the community. So I don’t think that the yoga community, I think the yoga community isn’t so particularly racist in the sense of like we’re just the worst of the worst, you know. In fact, I would say that, I’m an equal opportunity critiquer I mean it’s like not just the yoga, it’s just white people, right? So it’s white cultural psychology. Racism is unfortunately a part of white cultural psychology. And so within the yoga community there is a lot, it all started as you know, and I love that you like you all talk about cultural appropriation because that within my method would be the rejection of whiteness. So that’s like, you know, cultural appropriation is an example of that. Really from my, from from assessment, you know, when people from India started coming over and you know, teaching yoga of course it’s helpful, you know like it’s super helpful. When you think about it like just from the beginning, you know, the yoga community in America, just the whole, you know, Yoga alliance or like you know, certification. From the very beginning there was like a foundation of white people who, because at the time there wasn’t anything but performative allyship to do. And so really I kind of look at as well, but this is all so relatively new. There really wasn’t anything that could have been done at that time to prevent that because like I said it runs so much deeper. So like within the yoga community, I just see it as like, actually I see it as huge potential because yogis are ripe for going deep. They want to go physically and emotionally deep. I mean, if they really love yoga, like they’re going to be into that. I tend to see the White Yoga community as ripe for transformation. Now they just need to see it as a part of their yoga. Like they need to see it as part of their yogic practice deeply going into their, uh, their wounds, uh, so that they can heal. Now the yoga, the reason why it’s really helpful is because yoga, I’m sure lots of folks know this, but I just gotta go ahead and put it out there, which is that yoga, what it does is it balances the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous system. That is the fight or flight response. So that’s why when people practice yoga, they are training their hearts. They’re training their mind. That’s why they say the heart and the mind, we want to create balance. Because we are working on that fight or flight response. Now when you connect that to racist defense mechanisms, right? This is why the power yoga is so powerful in processing. Because let’s say that you do yoga, so this is ideally how I would have my treatment. Let’s say that I had a week retreat right before we would get into the psychoeducation, digging into the racist signature patterns, we would have yoga because that emotionally regulate the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous systems so that we can go ahead and travel deeper into the psyche with less resistance because that has to do with the cognitive dissonance. Because when a white person goes into cognitive dissonance, they go into fight or flight, which is why they do the defenses to begin with. So if you do yoga first and really strong, good yoga and there, as you know, after you do yoga, we’re going to be a lot more receptive because we’re not in that fight or flight mode. And that way when you get the psychoeducation light bulbs will go off and you’ll be less defensive and it means more healing will occur inside.


Sarah Dittmore: 00:41:20

Well and what’s interesting about that is, you know, I’ve done some, some research into not personal research, but you know, reading research of the way that yoga not only gets you into the parasympathetic nervous system, but it actually teaches you like retrains your brain. So that in the future when you are triggered into the sympathetic nervous system, it’s easier for you to pull yourself back. So it can be consistently paired with that in the sense that anytime someone starts to feel those defense mechanisms come up, they would have that coping tool of their brain to sort of say, oh that’s a defense mechanism. I’m going to pull myself out of that.


April Harter: 00:41:58

And they can practice loving, compassionate metta for themselves instead of going into shame and going into that performative allyship shame cycle. Cause then they go, oh like let me hold space for myself because what are we doing when we practice yoga? We’re holding space for our bodies. Neurologically holding space. We are physically holding space holistically. And what did I just say? White people need to learn to hold space for themselves to be compassionate. When we’re looking at like political activism, when we fail to do the inner activism, the inner work, that means that it’s empty because we do not have compassion for ourselves, but we’re giving out what we do not really legitimately have inside our hearts. So then that’s when like as a white person, they go, they kick into saviorism. So saviorism racist saviorism is a reflection of a white person who actually feels very emotionally disempowered and they project that onto POC and those are toxic. Those are toxic narcissistic qualities. Why are they narcissistic? Right? They’re narcissistic because with narcissism there is a need that is not being filled in one’s heart, but when you attend to those needs, you can neutralize narcissism. So what a narcissist will do, will use others to process those feelings and stuff, but that’s not what they’re supposed to do. And that comes back full circle to when POC get very offended and say you’re taking up quote, “space”. Well white people do need to take up space but in a space that’s specifically for dealing with that narcissism, otherwise they are going to leak that narcism publicly. And so like people fail to hold space for their own feelings and get wrapped up into their image. They get wrapped into external things and do not actually feel powerful deep inside their heart. This has to do with the prevention of corruption. That’s why to me yoga is very powerful because I think that when a, when a person practices yoga, they’re actually holding space for themselves. They’re actually preventing the corruption of themselves because then they’re holding space for their needs and listening to their needs and not trying to get it from somebody else narcissisticly. Like for example like I think there was a, I think it was a posting on Instagram with shut up and yoga with like, like this whole culture about let’s just be all be happy and…


Sarah Dittmore: 00:44:12

Yogis cried too, I think was the title of it.


April Harter: 00:44:15

There you go. So like my thing would be like, yogis get pissed too. In addition to like that sadness, you know, like a lot of times anger is like actually on the outside, like of the sadness, right? Um, especially with a boundary violation. So I think that what is taught a lot of the time, people get confused, and I understand this, we also have a society that is taught to not listen to our anger. And we often, especially as women, we often dissassociate from our anger. That’s why women, we often bottle up our anger, right? Because we’re taught that we should not express that anger. Anger in that sense when we’re going, okay, like isn’t my issue is it not? Yes and no. As in like at that point it’s a matter of discernment. The differences is if somebody has actually, if you know the red flags of abuse, like for example, how I talk about on my Instagram about anti-racism influencers who enable and ebbed bullying white people, calling them out, this whole call out culture stuff, it’s ridiculous. It’s totally unethical. Totally not productive. Because think about it like they’re already feeling ashamed of themselves. They hate themselves because they’re white and they hate themselves because they don’t know how to stop their racism and then you’re going to compound that like, no, that doesn’t help. It’s not helping white people. You’re not holding space for white people. And the white people then don’t hold space for themselves. They just go back in circles. Well see, here’s the thing. Like in that sense with anger, if someone has violated you, so I’ll take this in that context. If it’s a white person, I’m so glad I’m talking about this because a lot of white people get really confused too about like these anti racism influencers and when they become abusive and lash out and have their white followers like straight up attack them. You know when they say racism things on Instagram, first of all, it’s not going to stop racism. That’s just flat out bullying. Like that’s just number one. And so white people will disassociate from their anger of being picked on because they think they deserve because they’re white and racist. Like I deserve to be treated like this. No. White people who have been bullied by an influencer do need to be angry because they were violated. Now the problem is that they could react in a racist defense mechanism. That’s what kind of get’s them in trouble. So it’s kind of 50/50. Some of these white people, they actually, some of them don’t actually say something racist. They’re just trying to learn. They don’t actually say something racist at all, but it’s the reaction that’s racist and that’s when they get the pile. That’s when they get steamrolled. That’s what happens. Cause then they go into racist denial or they go into racist intellectualizing or perfectionism. They go into those one of those RSPs and it’s like and RSPs for those of you listening are the racist signature patterns. Like they, they break and they react in RSP and then they go, oh you see, look, this person’s so racist. See? So this is what all white people need to do when they’re in anti-racism spaces. They need to figure out whether or not the influencer can hold space for them. Because what the influencer is often going to say is, I’m not here to hold space for you. Okay, well then don’t go learn anti-racism from them because they’re not going to be able to hold space for you and they won’t be able to help you explore. I have heard a lot of white people say, oh, but Layla Saad or 2080 thing and like other people, they’ve actually helped me in so many ways. No, they’ve helped you learn performative allyship and emotionally it feels really that you fit in with all these other people, but the thing is then why are you still on Instagram learning? Because if you learn how to, why are you so obsessively following 20 influencers? And they also, I’ll tell you a lot of them to feel really guilty that kick into saviorism. “I got to follow this. I got to follow Rachel Cargle. I gotta follow these people. They don’t learn anything, but they feel that they still have to support these women. You know why? Because they’re kicking into saviorism. You don’t stay with a doctor that can’t help you. They also do that because here’s another myth I hear, oh, but this is a lifetime of work. I’m so sorry. That’s the biggest one. That’s another red flag. Whenever you see an influencer say white people, this is a lifetime of work and I’m just sitting there like touching my, my temple. Like ohhh. And I have to admit initially it was I had to process the depression of seeing that level of like incompetence. I had to process that. Seeing people just literally just fall off the cliff and I’m like, Oh God. No! Don’t fall off the cliff!


Sarah Dittmore: 00:48:33

It’s like watching a horror movie where you’re like, don’t open the door.


April Harter: 00:48:39

So like when the white people, this is what they do when they get on Instagram. Because what does Instagram do? The first thing they do right? At home, they could’ve done some racist and the first thing is, “Oh, I hear if I follow these influencers that’ll help me with all these free resources.” And then they go into this cycle and what does Instagram do? They type in anti racism and they’re screwed. The moment that they like step foot on Instagram, like they’re screwed, right? Like they immediately get initiated into the performative allyship. And then by the time they get to me, they’re very burned out. They’re like, I tried everything that they told me to do and I’m still getting yelled at and shamed. I’m still not able to stop by racist behavior. And that’s because it’s behavior and a lot of these people are not behaviorialists. I think it’s good to express, for example, your melonin and express your blackness. That’s fantastic. But don’t act like you can help white people because this is really deep. This is psychological. If it’s too hot, get out the kitchen. But it’s very hard for these people to do this because now they’ve gotten fame. Now they’ve gotten money. so they don’t understand that like I better walk out now. This is not to say that they couldn’t develop the skills. They could, but they’ve already now become famous. So for them there’s no need to go back and learn. And I have noticed that. Like they don’t really go back and go, okay, I need to like maybe brush up my skills or something. Get out of the performance of allyship. So what I hope Sarah is that after I publish my book that these influencers can now go, wow, you know what, this was deep and we didn’t know it. And um, maybe there’s certain aspects of anti-racism, like I certainly think that they would be very good for like things that aren’t psychological, anything that’s not psychological. I think they’re perfectly competent to do that. But when they’re trying to like kind of like mess around with the brain. I’m like, no. Like you really need to know what you’re doing. And that’s my goal is to really help educate white people to understand that racism is indeed a behavior. You really want to work with people that have a psychological background. And that’s why later on, you know, once I get 500 patrons, I’m creating the psychology of racism podcast. And I’m going to be interviewing, you know, all of my colleagues who do work with both the victims of racism and the perpetrator. We need to take this seriously now. We can’t just make it a trend and like this and that. We really need to make this really serious now and not just a hobby that any POC can pick up because that’s unfortunately the trend I’m seeing on Instagram.


Sarah Dittmore: 00:50:59

It’s like when web MD became people’s solution for medical issues. It’s like you can’t trust someone who hasn’t dedicated study to the psychology to handle your mind. You know?


April Harter: 00:51:11

That’s the reason why there’s always been so much drama on these Instagram profiles because people basically they opened up a can of worms that they couldn’t contain. So all the POC that are listening to this that are considering doing anti-racism work, like I highly encourage you to go ahead and see a psychotherapist. Of course, I highly recommend pairing it with yoga as well. That certainly helped me. Go and process your racial trauma. You know, there’s like the therapy for black girls website. There are many clinicians within my field. People can help you and you need to process that. I mean, that’s got to go down. That’s very important to do that before you start trying to help white people. Very, very important. And it’s important to understand that if you’re going to help white people, it’s about holding space for them and it’s not about you. Even if you’re teaching history about racism to white people, like very important to process that because otherwise the white people are going to trigger you too much and then you’re going to react defensively as well. When we have interracial conflict, we have white people who react to racial triggers in racist defense mechanisms and we have POC that react and they either get super aggressive or they get really passive and they don’t assert themselves. And so express the anger if it’s something very, very wrong and violating. Very important express that anger. And I think that’s what’s happened on a lot of the Instagrams is that like the POC, like they express that anger. A lot of white people what they do is they are desperate to learn how to stop acting in racist ways. And the reason why they get into social media is because they’re trying to get their feet wet. They’re trying to racially integrate online.


Sarah Dittmore: 00:52:48

Yeah, I mean that’s definitely something I’ve been, I’ve definitely done and I think a lot of it comes from almost a fear of like, well, I want to learn how to be not racist before I actually surround myself with this community. And I, I think that that’s definitely part of it. You know?


April Harter: 00:53:05

It is like really altruistic, Sarah, to say like, I don’t want to harm, you know, POC, like I want to have friends with them. But here’s the thing, you’re gonna, you’re gonna act in a racist way unconsciously. Like you’re going to make a mistake, you’re going to make quite a few mistakes and it’s going to be really hard. The thing is, is that racial integration, there’s a balance. Some people say there needs to be that racial segregation because white people, unless they deal with their stuff, they shouldn’t be in POC spaces. I’m a believer that white people do need to be in POC spaces, but both sides need to heal. I think that what’s happening are unrealistic expectations. Because we really don’t understand the gravity, the severity,and the depth of what we’re dealing with. We just think it’s something we can kind of learn and then get over it.


Sarah Dittmore: 00:53:54

Right, I can read an article and then I won’t be racist.


April Harter: 00:53:56

Right! Or I can, or I bought books by a psychotherapist on you know, how to overcome PTSD from domestic violence and that’s all I need. No, like you need an intervention. In my mini ebook, the path to anti-racism, I talk about the steps to anti-racism and the first step is the awareness phase. Now most white people get into the awareness phase, but that’s basically as far as they get. So what is the awareness? The awareness is about like you’re basically immersing yourself into the anti-racism community. You are like, you know, going on Instagram, following the influencers, you’re reading books from black people, you’re reading, you know, you’re following native Americans. You follow indigenous folks, you, you know, you’re immersing yourself, right. Now that is a good thing. That’s only step one. People get stuck in that and that enables racist perfectionism and racist intellectualizing. The awareness also has to do with the fact that you’re aware that you’ve acted in racist ways. Now you want to learn how to stop. But most people get stuck in the cycle of performative allyship, which is read and learn and follow influencers. That’s only step one. If white people get to a point where they try to get an intervention, which is like a one on one or group interaction that explores that racism. Unfortunately at that point they then often again get hooked up with someone who points out racism, which is even originally what I used to do. But then how do you truly stop it? Like what’s the solution? So that’s the awareness phase and getting the intervention.


Sarah Dittmore: 00:55:18

So what does the intervention phase look like ideally? Like what should people who are going into trying to go into that next phase do to, to find that?


April Harter: 00:55:26

Well the intervention phase means that this is where we explore that unconscious racism. Because basically when you’re in the awareness phase and if somebody doesn’t like point it out to you, you kind of make the assumption that you can figure it out on your own. There are some things you can figure out on your own, but there’s also going to be things that you probably can’t figure out on your own. So they need a third party. So like say, well hell, we can talk about yoga. It’s like similar thing. Like I think practicing yoga at home is very good, but at one point or another several times you need to go to a teacher because they need to adjust you. You think that you’re going in like the right way and it’s like, but you don’t see what’s your ankles doing in the back. Like you know, you know, so like you need to go to a yoga class so that you can have a professional that can give you a proper alignment. You’re deferring to the professional and you’re recognizing that you need a professional and you can’t do this on your own. When white people think that they can do their own intervention. Like, like on their own by reading. That’s as ill informed as trying to do yoga on your own for the rest of your life. It’s just not going to work like at some point or another. You need to get it, you need to have somebody there to help you see. But you cannot see, it’s like a racism adjustment. Like you’re saying, oh like this is your blind spot. Like people want to like deal with racism like they want to do yoga. Like it’s like it’s a competition. Instead of slowing down , like we gotta slow down. And an anti-racism influencer says you’re hurting us. So like you need to do it fast. And I’m like, well I hate to tell you folks, but these white people, it’s gonna take them a minute. Like I know you’re in panic mode right now dealing with PTSD, but these white folks, they need like proper interventions. And it’s slow. They’ll get there. They’ll get into that pose. But that muscle needs some time to stretch over time.


Sarah Dittmore: 00:57:11

Yeah. Well and to stick with that yoga metaphor, it’s like how often in yoga are we like you need to sit in the discomfort so that you can identify where it’s coming from and heal it. It’s the exact same idea.


April Harter: 00:57:22

Exactly. And so yeah, that’s the intervention. That’s what it is. Somebody’s merely pointing out that racism helping you, you know, to see where your blind spots are. And then the last step of it is the resistance. The resistance is really about, and again since we have yogis listening like, and even maybe some non yogis who are just curious. This is when we get into a yoga practice of consistency and we’re always going to regress. We’re always gonna have bad days. We’re always going to have, but like coming back to it. So basically it means that when you incorporate anti-racism, you’re doing the resistance plan. It means that you’re doing the deeper emotional stuff too. The resistance plan is when white people now they know their, they know their blind spots. Now it’s about healing that unresolved trauma. Because if you haven’t healed your unresolved trauma, you’re just going to know you’re going to be aware of blind spots. But then you’re not going to be able to explore the trauma behind it and heal behind that for it becomes normal. So if someone’s practicing yoga and like let’s say that they haven’t practiced yoga in a month or something, I think that a yogi that has has really gone deep is like, well I haven’t practiced for a month because I had other things to do and they really don’t beat themselves up about it in shame. They’re like, you know what, stuff happens. They practice compassion for themselves. That’s like so like loving, right? Like I’m not going to be hard on myself versus the yogi that starts to shame themselves inside and negative self talk. Right? So if you don’t incorporate the deeper elements of the emotional stuff, knowing your blind spots are once again just going to be about enabling the perfectionism.


April Harter: 00:59:05

I say that with white folks about as far as they usually get are noticing the blind spots and then when they screw up and they don’t act a certain way, they beat themselves up and they actually don’t get better. So it’s not, I think the reason why everyone says it’s a lifetime thing is because you just don’t finish it. So if you keep on like going back to step two, you’re right, it could very well be a lifetime anti-racism thing. I was told one time, well in my latest batch, um, they kind of looked at me and said, well April, like they get confused the first two coaching sessions. And they’re like, wait a minute, like, April, you’re teaching love. And, and they’re like, well we don’t think we deserve love cause we’re white. And I’m like, how can you love a person of color if you don’t love yourself? How exactly does that work?


Sarah Dittmore: 00:59:55

I mean it comes cause it’s the same issue, right? You’re still saying I don’t deserve love because of the color of my skin.


April Harter: 01:00:01

That’s right. So it’s like, the way to stop narcissism is through self-love. So when we go through the method together, we start with the racist senator patterns. It’s almost like we reverse engineer it. So let’s look at those racist behaviors. Now we know the core feelings behind them that are driving them. And once they know the core feelings, memories of trauma start surfacing, like oh, I have all this unresolved trauma I have not dealt with. And that at that point, like if they were very skeptical, skeptical about seeing a therapist, they’re just like, oh my God, I really need to go to therapy. And then when they go to therapy, that’s when they’re doing their resistance plan. The best combo is that physical grounding and that psychoeducation and working with a psychotherapist.


Sarah Dittmore: 01:00:46

I think that’s really interesting. Sort of the, I, I’m really interested to see how it develops as you bring it into this, this next stage, because I do think that partnership with therapy and with the grounding yourself is really necessary so that it doesn’t just become another tool of like making white people feel better about themselves, you know?


April Harter: 01:01:06

Exactly. But you know that in America we struggle to even take our mental health seriously. My goal, exactly. In, in this stage, it’s multiple stages. I mean the first stage is to really, and I did, I stopped coaching, just dedicate myself to embracing authorship. I was so used to just saying, okay, I’m going to provide a service. I was like, this is so much bigger. So it’s like okay it works. And I’m like, okay, I need to write this book. And then after that, uh, I’ll probably be writing my second book, which will be addressing that first amendment stuff I talked about. And then I’ll create a certification program after the first book and I’ll, I’ll like train the trainer and then I can go ahead and start that phd, you know, that would be really good. And then we can get some real scientific data to back up my method, which I have no doubt at all that it would be fantastic.


Sarah Dittmore: 01:01:58

So for so for the people who are listening who are stoked on it and are like want to make you make you a best time or a New York Times bestseller, how can they like follow along with this journey and stay involved?


April Harter: 01:02:10

They can follow me on Instagram. What I really, really need help with is I really, the goal is really to get more patrons. Because the goal is to get 500 patrons because I don’t need to tell you this. A podcast is a lot of work. And so my thing is with the podcast, I need about 500 patrons financially for it to be worth the blood, sweat and tears of creating the kind of podcast I’m trying to create. Cause trust and believe me it’s going to be like totally into it getting professionals. I definitely need the financial support. Why? Because the reality is I’m definitely at this point like very much kind of like a starving artist. It would really like, I’m just getting my hands here like please, like if you’re listening to this podcast and and you downloaded my mini ebook and you’re like, I really like, what I’m hearing here and you support me like, please go to my patreon. Please like, go to my Instagram, click on my patreon link.


Sarah Dittmore: 01:03:00

All these links will be in the show notes as well. If you’re listening to this, just click the show notes. It’ll all be there.


April Harter: 01:03:05

Also, I created a youtube channel that is free. So the two freebies, which I totally am for freebies like there’s the mini ebook. The path to anti-racism is totally free. Um, and also the youtube channel. Also of course Instagram. I teach all the time on Instagram on my lives and my posts. And then for Patreon what’s a big deal is that now I’ve converted my coaching, my $3,000 coaching program into a, in the spirit of embracing authorship, I have converted to a self coaching program, self-guided program. When people join at the $25 tier, they have access to the seven week, the same information that all of my other coaching clients learned for only $25, like super cheap. Then they can go ahead and start dialogue within the little chatting community cause it helps when you’re learning your RSPs to have other people there to support you along your anti-racism journey. And then for me, I’ll like pop in once or twice a week, give a little feedback. So yeah, I mean, so that’s the thing. And, um, you know, whether they donate a dollar or up to 25, I I’m so happy for any support that I can get.


Sarah Dittmore: 01:04:15

Amazing, April. This was such a great conversation and I really appreciate you being willing to talk with me and share all of this and just, yeah, I’m excited to keep these conversations going and hope that people will take the initiative to reach out to you and get involved cause this stuff is important.


April Harter: 01:04:33

You know, this was a lot of fun and I really love the yoga community POC and white alike, you know, yoga is such a beautiful, uh, spiritual, emotional, psychological practice and I just am happy to like be here and you know to add that little yoga spin from a fellow yogi, you know, on this work.


Music: 01:04:58

[Transition Music]


Sarah Dittmore: 01:04:59

Thank you so much to April for talking to me about all of this. It was such an interesting conversation and I’m still processing some of the things I learned and some of the things that came up. If you want to connect with April, you can find all the links she mentioned in the show notes below. You can also connect with me and share feedback or thoughts on this episode by visiting @TBMpodcast on Instagram @The Beginner’s Mind Podcast on Facebook or emailing me directly at sarahditmore@gmail.com. Again, all of those links are in the show notes below. If you found this episode interesting and are enjoying the content of The Beginner’s Mind, you can tell me so by rating reviewing and subscribing. It’s with your support that this podcast is possible. In addition, April has an interview that we published on shutupandyoga.com so if you’d like to read more, you can visit shutupandyoga.com and look for the April Harter interview.


Sarah Dittmore: 01:05:54

I’m planning on shifting. I’m considering shifting from every other week episodes to weekly episodes and am planning to publish the next episode on September 18th as kind of a trial run to see how sustainable these weekly episodes are. I just want to bring you guys more content. And honestly I’m having so many interesting interviews that I just can’t wait to share and it’s killing me to have to wait for a whole week. Or a whole two weeks. So I’m planning to try out weekly podcasts for a while and if it’s too much I’ll go back to every other week, but we’ll give it a try, see how it goes. So next week I’m going to be beginning a conversation on ethical treatment of yoga teachers. It’s going to be a couple weeks that we talk about this. We’re going to be talking about it from all different perspectives. I’m interviewing a bunch of teachers on some of the issues with the way yoga teachers are employed, now I’m interviewing some studios on how a studio can design itself to be more ethical in the way they treat yoga teachers. And I’m also discussing some of the unionization movements that are going on in the yoga community and why teachers unionizing might be a way to give teachers a greater voice and elevate the standards of yoga as a whole. So we’ll begin all those conversations next week. So make sure you’re subscribed so you get that content. And until then, stay curious.


Music:  01:07:19

[Closing Music].