Stories - True Stories Shared Live

Welcome to Tell Us Something. All of the stories are shared live and without notes. We hope you enjoy.

This week on the podcast, Molly Bradford and I revisit her story of harvesting a doe. I figured that, it being hunting season and all, now is a good time to share our conversation.Join us as we talk about hunting, motherhood and storytelling, then listen to the story as she shared it on stage.
This week on the podcast, Mike Calucchia talks about the dogs that he had in his truck for his story. We also learn about his aspirations to be a painter and hear about how he learned to cook from his Italian grandmother. After our conversation, you can hear the story as he shared it on the Tell Us Something stage.
I spoke with Karla Theilen in late June from her temporary home in Tuba City, AZ on her day off from taking care of COVID patients in the Navajo Nation. After our interview, stick around to hear her story “Guardian Angel Obstacle Course”.
In this episode of the podcast, I chatted by phone with Arthur Weatherwax, a Native of the Blackfeet tribe, about his story, and the experience that he had telling it. Arthur has a traumatic brain injury, and listening to a guy who had to re-learn everything about life, I mean everything...it’s really something. His perspectives made me reflect on how I live, and reminded me to seek out joy, celebrate gratitude, and to laugh. I hope you’ll reflect some too, after listening to us chat.
We chatted about life during a pandemic, about storytelling and about how the meaning of a story can change over time, revealing itself with a new perspective. And we talked a lot about white privilege, and how we often don’t even realize that we have privilege. Come sit down with us and listen to our conversation.

Transcript : Interview and Jenny's Story 'Getting TIPSEE'

i’ve had yeah all those things happen as
a white guy
and haven’t been pulled off no yeah i
mean
i’ve had a burnt out headlight before
yeah
i’ve uh run a red light cop was right
there
probably probably exactly probably they
exactly probably i didn’t
they’re like now thinking about what
they did to me that day that
made me do this and checking on my eyes
yeah probably they were
racist and i didn’t realize i didn’t
notice last time on the tell something
podcast
ibrahim mina and i were talking about
getting pulled over by the police
that really stuck with me and i’ve been
thinking about it a lot
this week i talked with jenny buchmann
phelps about that very thing
welcome to the tell something podcast
i’m mark moss
thanks for joining me as i take you
behind the scenes at tell us something
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shop so i talked with jenny buckman
phelps by phone
we chatted about life during a pandemic
in storytelling
and about how the meaning of a story can
change over time
revealing itself with a new perspective
we talked a lot about white privilege
and how we often don’t even
realize that we have privilege come
sit down with us and listen to our
conversation
hello good morning how are you
i’m all right how are you doing good
good we we’re calling it the corona
coaster here
oh yeah that’s that’s it i’m glad you’re
back to work
yeah yeah me too how
how long were you closed six weeks
oh my god well um
i hope that people are being safe when
they’re coming in and stuff
i would say most of them
think that they are um
for some reason i think that people
assume that they don’t need to wear a
mask when they’re coming in because
maybe they’re so familiar with
us and somehow the virus has become
become something that like bad people
get um
i jokingly call it the new life because
it feels like it’s a moral
failing if you get sick um and so
they’re like oh
you’re nice and and shower so
i’m sure you’re not sick and i’m not
second michael that’s not really how it
works like let’s both wear a mask
just call it a day at the time of the
interview
governor bullock had not yet mandated
mask requirements statewide
i just re-listened to your story
i remember you being super nervous so
nervous
how did you how did you get past that
oh i feel like i’ve been faking it till
you make it for
my whole life um and so
i tend to do that in situations i
i somehow managed to pull it together
like on game day
i can get it done and figure it out but
i
i was a mess on the inside for sure the
whole time
but you pulled it off and you were
really funny
oh thank you like
do you remember that part do you
remember the successful
pieces of yours oh yeah you know when
when you start getting feedback from the
audience that’s definitely
a fuel to keep going and
i knew my story was funny like i
intentionally chose that story
because it is a light-hearted story
i didn’t feel like i was going up there
and exposing anything
and so that felt safe to me that’s my
comfort zone
so i knew if i could at least get some
good one-liners in there that
people would laugh at least a little bit
and so that was really
really nice well you held your own
i mean you you crushed it on the stage
thank you yeah i actually wanted to talk
to you a little bit
just with the relevancy of our our
current our nation’s current situation
yeah one of the feedbacks that you gave
me
after telling my story is that you
thought it was a good opportunity to
bring to light that this story
is essentially only able to be
light-hearted
because i’m white and
we we talked about that and i’m
embarrassed
to say it but i think it’s important to
say it that
i was really i really didn’t want to do
that i really didn’t want to say
because i’m white it was
i didn’t think about trying to get out
of a car as an officer is approaching me
i say that now and it sounds so
ridiculous that i would think that
that’s an okay thing to do
but i totally did and it is 100 because
i am
i am a white woman i feel like i’m
i’m pretty safe in a lot of situations i
don’t feel safe
in others obviously because i am a woman
but in that situation it felt
very comfortable to just open the door i
just didn’t think that he would think i
was threatening at all
and i got some interesting feedback
from that after i did say that in the
story and it’s such a
tiny little thing all i say is you know
because i’m
a white woman in montana i just go to
open my door
and i did have a number of people
tell me that you know other than that
part where you got a little political
um they didn’t think that that was
funny because the story is funny and it
wasn’t it wasn’t meant to be funny you
know you and i had
had talked about that and
it kind of makes the whole story like
the whole story would be different if i
was black
or if i was brown absolutely and so
that is something i thought about a lot
recently
tell me about that
you know putting a license plate on my
car that even draws attention
in the first place i knew it i knew that
license plate would get attention
why would i do it if i didn’t you know i
was an 18 year old girl with an awesome
car
i wanted people to notice
[Music]
and i just i’m not sure that minority
people would do that
yeah i just don’t know
i can’t imagine that they would in that
way
you know not in one where
like you know it said tipsy i thought it
was funny because
tip over easy and alcohol you know
yeah i didn’t think i would get pulled
over all the time for it but i didn’t
know
what i was insinuating when i put it on
there sure
and so it’s yeah it’s just something
that i’ve thought about
and i i have had
you know people of color that i have
relationships with that i’ve grown up
with
and there have been situations where
i’ve seen them
treated differently and throughout
you know different stages of my life you
hear kind of
think like oh that’s an isolated
incident or
you know that person’s ignorance or
whatever and then other times it’s just
so much more
subtle and i wouldn’t even be aware of
it
until that person that was with me kind
of drew my attention to it and it’s like
oh that’s why they talk to you like that
or that’s
you know i just didn’t i didn’t know
i don’t know about you but i i took
spanish for seven
years which is crazy but i never lived
anywhere
where i could speak it with anyone and
so
i i can i cannot carry on a conversation
i can barely understand people
i can muddle through you know asking
where the bathroom is
and i kind of feel like being a white
person in montana is similar to that i
don’t have a lot of interactions with
other cultures and
i feel like i can talk a big game about
being
being an ally being you know not racist
and i always want to try and portray
that
but you never really know what to do so
i’m trying really hard to read
up a lot more about it because i don’t
think i should be like asking these
questions as people i don’t think it’s
their job to
educate me so i’m trying to take
advantage of the material that’s out
there
and i’m trying to make donations right
now
where i can because i feel like that’s
the most valuable
gesture that i have but
i’ll tell you what my experience is
right now around that and
because i’m on a similar journey and i
agree with you it’s not
the job of people of color to educate us
yes
it’s our job to check our privilege and
not just be not racist but to be
anti-racist
yes yeah and and also
to give them the mic whenever possible
yes
and so grandstanding on social media
about how anti-racist you are is not the
same as
educating white friends and
helping them be anti-racist if they’re
racist or calling them out when they’re
being or you know like
and i have uh
some people of color across the country
who are like you’re right it’s not our
job
but we will help you when you need it
and here are the resources do your
homework first
and then if you’re confused call us so
if you want me to send you those
resources i can
sure we’ve got an awesome uh
bookstore here in helena montana book
company
and they’ve been posting a ton of
material on their instagram account
um different books and websites and i
think that’s been
really great my my 12 year old and i
actually read
the hate that you give earlier this year
and it’s it’s very good and it’s all
from the perspective of a teenage girl
and my daughter’s 12 and
i’m so glad that we read that because
she was able to look at
the content coming from some media
sources
and have a much more discerning eye and
realize that those
those sources were trying to make you
feel a certain way
and depict these people that are
protesting in a certain way
that isn’t accurate right and is very
skewed
and i really i was really impressed that
she actually thought about that and her
and i have had a number of conversations
about it
and yeah it’s a really good book i
highly recommend it it’s
a lifelong journey yeah it is
when you told your story i know that was
an uncomfortable piece of it
what was the focus if we were to pull
that remove that piece
from your story what would have been the
purpose of you telling it
just to entertain people
yeah so the purpose of me telling that
story was to entertain people
the purpose of me getting up and telling
a story
was to try and give myself a goal
and accomplish it do something scary
i think that we kind of have to flex
that muscle
on a regular basis to keep our life
fresh
and exciting and i think that’s a really
great way to do it is to do something
that scares you and that is that’s
something that has just
it’s really fulfilling and i love it
when people get up and share stories and
honestly having people share stories is
one of the ways that i feel like i learn
more about myself and the lens that i
view
my world through is you know
understanding other people’s
experiences and hearing them say it and
i love that they can get up and share a
story
and nobody’s asking you questions the
story doesn’t get deluded by other
people’s feedback you’re just getting
this
this story from someone and you can sit
and process it
and to hear somebody tell a really
emotional story
in real life is really powerful and i
wasn’t
at a place where i wanted to do that
i just wanted to get up and tell a story
that was pretty funny
and the scary part for me was just doing
it
the people that get up and tell these
really raw emotional stories are
amazing and i really really really value
their
their courage
jenny buckman phelps was born and raised
in east helena montana
as a young woman she headed west like
the gold prospectors before her
and settled in helena jenny has been
doing hair and listening to stories
for 11 years she lives with her husband
colin
daughters grayson and grier and her dog
lane
she told a story in front of a live
audience on may 9th 2019
at the myrna loy in helena montana the
theme that night was
getting away with it jenny calls her
story getting tipsy
have you ever been in a relationship
where your friends love them your
parents love them
they treat you well but when people ask
you about it you’re just kind of like
oh yeah they’re great they’re so nice
it’s 2004 i have just graduated from
high school
and i’ve been in a relationship like
that for three and a half years
with a dodge neon
and that three and a half years of
safety
reliability affordability
is gone the second that i see the jeep
wrangler
i’ve been working at this point for two
years at the
golden corral or as my dad like to refer
to it
the gilded trough
and i’ve been stashing sweaty greasy
ones and fives in piles of hundreds
under my bed
and this is the day that those are gonna
come out
my parents had probably hoped that i
would spend that money on something a
little bit more responsible like
my education but as soon as i saw that
car i just had to have it
and it’s days that i’m now sitting in
front of the
salesman and he finds out that i’ve just
graduated from high school
and i’m sure some of you can relate to
this as soon as people find out that you
are moving on to a next stage of your
life they have this need to give you
advice and all i want
are the keys but instead he tells me
about a way to get out of traffic
tickets
and i was like that’s it sounds really
improbable that you could get away with
this
but it’s interesting nonetheless so
i get the keys i’m in the car
and i’m sure some of you have felt this
when you fall in love with a car it’s
not the car
it’s who you think you’re going to be in
the car
and i am awesome my hair
just casually blows in the wind i look
down
on people that can’t go on places
potholes mean nothing to me
and it feels amazing and all these
people are waving to me
and it really i realized that it’s other
jeep wranglers
and i was just like oh me
well yes and i casually wave back
and i’m part of this club and i’m
starting to notice all these other
drivers and cars the wranglers nothing
else
and they’re a group of very clever funny
people
and there’s a lot of stickers that have
a general theme of
you know you’ve always wanted a topless
model or
sometimes i go topless and then
i really like the ones that were put on
the vehicle upside down and it says
if you can read this please flip me back
over
and i’m starting to plan out my license
plates because this is the first time in
my life i’ve ever wanted vanity plates
and so i’m like you know these guys are
really clever and funny
i need to come up with something that
like plays on the jeep
and i come up in all of my 18 year old
wisdom
with tipsy t-i-p-s-e-e
because it tips over easy which seems
obvious to me
and i go in and i’m getting my license
plates
and the lady is like
are you sure this is what you want to do
and i’m like yeah i drive a jeep
wrangler
and she’s like okay
so i leave the office with a bullseye
and i put it proudly on my car
it is maybe a week and i’m pulled over
on the side of the road
the lights are flashing behind me and
i’m just kind of
sweating and because i’m in love with
this car i haven’t noticed
its faults to the full extent and one of
them
is that the driver’s side that i should
be able to zip
the window unzip the window it doesn’t
work it’s zip tied shut
and as i’m collecting my driver’s
license and my insurance and my
registration
i’m kind of realizing like oh no like i
need to be able to talk to the guy
and so in a move that felt comfortable
to me
as a young white woman i just start to
get out of the car and immediately it’s
ma’am get back in the car get back in
the car get back in the car and so i
like
shut the door and i’m just like oh my
god okay so i’m waiting
and he comes over and he starts pounding
on the plastic
and he’s like oh you know get the window
down and i’m like i
i can’t i’m can’t do it
and so he opens the door and
he’s like do you know why i pulled you
over like no sir no
he’s like well you were going 35 miles
an hour
and i’m waiting for the rest of it he’s
like in a 45.
and i’m waiting for the rest of it we
have reason to believe that you
are under the influence now
it is 10 a.m on a tuesday morning
i am driving to work and all these
people are passing by and did i mention
that my jeep is teal
it’s noticeable so i’m just embarrassed
like all these people are driving by
this is my parents are gonna find out
and i’m having to stand on the side of
the road
in the hot sun and do this
and try and walk in a straight line as
i’m like terrified
and eventually i get to go back into the
car because i am not drunk
and i get a ticket for obstructing the
flow of traffic
and i am upset but i start to think
about the advice that the salesman gave
me
and the salesman told me that if i get a
traffic ticket
i go into the courthouse and instead of
paying it i say i can test
and then the police officer has to show
up at a later date with me
and he has to testify to the events and
sometimes police officers will have
better things to do in their day
and they won’t show up to those and if
they don’t show up you get to leave
so i try this and it
works and i
can’t believe my luck and i leave
and it’s not long after that that i
am again on the side of the road and
again i’m being questioned about whether
or not i have been drinking
it is dark this time i had not used my
blinker
to go around a vehicle and so
i’m sitting there waiting and i can see
the officer kind of like shaking his
head a little bit
and i get a ticket for failure to use my
blinker
i do the same method
and it works and i don’t have a ticket
and i’m complaining to my dad at this
point like god i have to drive so
safe and he’s just like
yes i’ve brought this on myself
and it couldn’t have worked out better
for my parents
ticket number three has me asking
are you pulling me over because of my
license plates
and the officer is like well it doesn’t
help
but i take my well-worn path to the
courthouse
and again no points no fine i get a
leave
at this point in time the jeep and i
decide to take our traffic violation
spree
on the road and tickets
for ticket four and five are in butte
silver bow county
and then six is in beaverhead county
and at this point it’s like kind of fun
a little bit because i’m like
it doesn’t matter pull me over and i’m
like so
you like that license plate it’s pretty
funny isn’t it and they’re just like
whatever
and so ticket seven
is rounded out back in lewis and clark
county
and eventually i do have to
part ways with the jeep because if an 18
year old girl
in a teal jeep wrangler with tipsy on
the license plates
isn’t a target enough what would happen
if i could
put a car seat in the back of it
[Music]
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I sat down with Ibrahin and we talked about life in Venezuela, his experience with racism there, and in Europe, when he was traveling. We compared that to his experience with racism here in the United States, talked about his experience with the police in Missoula, Montana and he shares his message of love with us.

Transcript : Interview and Ibrahin's story “What’s Wrong with my Skin?”

[Applause]
[Music]
welcome to the tell something podcast
i’m mark moss thanks for joining me as i
take you behind the scenes
at tell us something to meet the
storytellers behind the stories
thank you to our title sponsor the good
food store
today i sit on the deck socially distant
from ibrahim mena
ibrahim is from caracas venezuela he
holds a bachelor’s degree in education
and a master’s degree in journalism he
has more than 10 years experience
teaching at the primary secondary and
university levels
he was honored as teacher of the year in
caracas in 2014.
ibrahim lived in malta europe for a year
and a half
and traveled to missoula in 2016 to
teach at missoula international school
he loves dancing riding and traveling
ibrahim shared his story at
telesomething on march 18
2019 to a sold out crowd at the wilma
in missoula montana the theme was
stranger in a strange land
when i sat down with ibrahim we talked
about life in venezuela
his experience with racism there and in
europe when he was traveling
we compared that to his experience with
racism here in the united states
and talked about his experience with the
police in missoula montana
and finally he shares his message of
love with us
when i came here exactly well i used to
visit europe and i
already saw how was
it yeah when i was in
spain i remember one time i was with my
suitcase and someone
is came to meet out to me that go back
to your country
um beside that i saw uh
things that happened but noah’s in the
ua the u.s
is this is a real real problem here is
is is is
you can compare with what is going on
yeah anywhere else yeah anywhere else
and i didn’t know about that until i
face
that and because people don’t talk very
much about that
well at the beginning i just noticed
that people here talk a lot
about being white being black being it’s
it’s just
part of their daily conversation
something that i didn’t hear
anywhere else not even in euro no even
people talking about being
what kind of scholar for me was very
shocking when i
uh was when i was filling in
paperwork i always had to talk about my
race my because it’s not in that
good care before to me anywhere
also something very difficult for me to
pick
because i in venezuela had been called
the entire life
negro or negrito anything
it’s normal they can call you negro and
i don’t get offended about that because
there is not a racial connotation about
that
but here they made me choose between
latin and african-american and i don’t i
get lost because i don’t know what to
pick a young african-american because i
was born in america
and i am a person of color but i also
i’m latin is and it’s something
how the should i define myself here
yeah exactly it’s weird yeah yeah
so yeah when i first experienced
the races in here very strong was
that guy that stopped the car and
started screaming and shouting that i
was a black rack and
i don’t even remember what else he was
saying
he was definitely i think he was
someone that was out of his mind
he wasn’t a normal person i mean he was
probably on drugs or something
he wasn’t normal i got scared because i
said people here is allowed to have guns
and as this is a
very peaceful place
missoulian had no idea how blessed
you are i came from a country that you
cannot be
like you can relax yourself never you
have to be always looking around because
it’s
super dangerous but i never felt a
particular target but here i have
discovered that i
am part of a very
very small minority and a very
particular target
because i am living in a city where
everybody is white
and yes i am black and also
it started making me like
the feeling i got rid of when i left
venezuela
it came back uh here in missoula once i
realized i noticed that this happened
yeah because i mean i don’t feel
always worried as i was in venezuela but
i
still don’t feel any more as safer as i
used to think i was uh walking around
the street here because
yeah definitely i feel safer when i am
with someone now
but yes definitely this experience has
brought that
stress to me i always had that feeling
sometimes when i hike
i feel if something happens most of the
people
also when i when i see a police
car it really made me nervous all the
time
despite off i had to say that
always when i had met a police in
missoula the police here had been super
nice
all the time i had i had been pulled
over three times two or twice
well you know the first time
when i went over i didn’t have a
driver lice and from here i have my
driver license
from venezuela was my like
my first month here and
i it was so confusing for me i didn’t
know what to do when
the yellow error
because we don’t have that in venezuela
a yellow error that is
flashing it means nothing for me
you mean for the light in the traffic
light there were a yellow arrow so i had
to close and i had no idea
so i weighed the first time and it
didn’t get green
it was always yellow and i didn’t know
what to do
so i crossed
but then the police was behind me and i
thought they were stopping me
and they but they they didn’t do
anything they didn’t even
gave me a warning they were just nice
they were
asking me why i was diving
and i after i explained everything they
they just let me
go yes they actually made me
the dropped the the the
alcohol test and i didn’t i wasn’t
drinking
they made me stand up and because it was
a
halloween night but i didn’t drink
anything it was and i
they checked my eyes a lot and i said i
used contact
lenses it was i was cold they were
i don’t know i didn’t feel they were a
rook to me and anything yeah yeah
and the next time they stop me uh
yes in a in a in a bridge
coming from the school i passed five
miles over the sp
and i am someone that is always caring
about fp
and that happened and they immediately
stopped me but
uh nothing happened they told me and
uh yes next time don’t do that
they didn’t give me any fine for that
and the other time they just told me is
because the light
of my car went off and
he just notified me the he didn’t even
get me anything
yeah i’ve had yeah all those things
happen as a white guy
and haven’t been pulled off no yeah i
mean
i’ve had a burnt out headlight before
yeah
i’ve uh run a red light was right there
and they didn’t pull probably probably
exactly probably they exactly probably i
didn’t
they’re like now thinking about what
they did to me that day that
made me do this and checking on my eyes
yeah probably they were
racist and i didn’t realize i didn’t
notice because in venezuela
this is a problem we are so missed
there is no way that uh i mean it
doesn’t happen
people here is so segregated white and
black and
it’s super segregated and it doesn’t
happen in venezuela
when you see in social media and some
people a lot of people
like defending what is not possible to
defend like people being really
mistreated
just for the fact of being black and you
see a lot of people
uh defending what is uh
no defendable you say wow there is a lot
of
work that need to be done in this
country but
i also understand that they are they
have a lot of
anger inside because i don’t
i didn’t grow up and i don’t have that
anger in me
but when i read as the most i read i get
more angry
yeah and i try to control myself because
i believe
that the way uh me brian
the way us me as a person of color
that i can the contribution i can give
is through
love because i don’t i don’t find
another way to do
i’m a teacher
and this is the way i i i i believe and
i was
and i i had been really researching and
i said what
what i can do because i i believe that
these white people
for example in the us these kids are
growing
with very little exposure and and
i wonder what can i do to make this this
country better
to make this place very for the next
generation
what is in my hands and i identify a lot
that i can do
for the first time is being present
i was uh being present in this in this
place
as a role model but i had a different
mind because i grew up in a different
situation
i i told them i’m a teacher and
right now i am working with white people
why kids
so what i can do well i have to work for
making these kids to be allies to be
a acceptance to be
open-minded and as a teacher i always
question what should i do what should i
do every day
so love yeah so i think being present
um giving love to the kid i teach
is my first contribution you know
i’m being a role model so uh they are
growing up
thinking that someone with my skin color
are able to be their teachers because
their parents
choose
me to be their teacher so this is
another message
and every day i always
bring it up i always bring conversation
being racist about being a sexton
and in the classroom that conversation
has to happen every single day
i don’t rest in my mission or
making uh helping this kid to grow up as
a good person
and i bring it up so i have a lot of to
do
in this community and
i think that growing up in venezuela and
not in a place where i
uh like here also
taught me that i ca that people can be
a white black a different color i have
an
an excellent relationship friendship
and that’s also my contribution that
what i can
what i can do i remember that you asked
me about
what uh what would i say to people that
to be good better alley well i would say
that to be better alley
for if you ever find yourself in a
c in a situation that
you see someone that is being mistreated
because of their skin color
make sure that the person that is near
me 3d is safe and is good
instead of engaging in fights
that son is not productive i think this
is bringing us a lot of problems
when when i read what people said from
one side to another um
sometimes people trying to realize they
get
they engage in not productive
conversation
this week that became a fight um
trying to prove the other right and
that include is to insult
the person try to marry the person
feel that they don’t know what they are
talking about but
it doesn’t really seems to me that it’s
productive
because it doesn’t really gain people to
the side we want i i want to stick with
the message of love
despite something is difficult when i
share my story one of the most powerful
i receive
a letter from someone that he explicit
that he’s in favor of wielding the wall
but he is also sorry about what happened
to me
and i think he said that
people that is here should be treated
with respect and
that he he preferred to have me as a
neighbor and i
i and i was thinking what if
if my my message was
another one if my reaction
to what happened to me
would have been totally different with
anger
math and
probably i wouldn’t have that reaction
from
this kind of people because i think this
is becoming something like people
want it’s a social problem
that people is elevating uh
as a political problem and
yeah instead of focusing on the social
problem a lot of people are focusing
is they’ve trying to defend
a police party instead of defending the
the problem and yeah
hi let’s start
this telling you that i am super glad
very glad that i have survived
officially
three years three winters in this
land
i am not going to talk about my first
experience
in the snowball though my history began
in january 4 of the year
i was grocery shopping with
a friend of mine her name is ismara
her and i went to the grocery shopper
i told her
that i was going for another side of the
top and she went to another side of the
shop
when i was looking at the shelf
suddenly i felt someone that was coming
as is natural i put myself out
letting that person pass but
that person didn’t pass
i wait he didn’t pass
i started thinking that he was trying to
provoke me
so i left and wait
for about a minute so that person passed
he didn’t pass he stayed exactly
in the part of the ale where i was
and i started looking at the shelf
so kneading to buy some sponge
i went back to the place where i was
and i started looking at the shelves
choosing the kind of sponge i wanted to
buy
well that person
told me that those sponge
were good for me that i should use them
to take a shower and
use them as much as i can to take my
skin
off i was speechless
a lot of things happened in my mind in
that moment
my mind was
super confused i felt vulnerable
i didn’t know what how to act
and i remember in that moment a very bad
experience happened to me
last spring when someone stopped his car
and he started shouting at me super mad
i was super scared because he told me
that i was a black rat
and i shouldn’t leave
having leader experience reading help me
because i learn
about races by news
by book by teachers but living
this kind of experience feels super
different
so i went immediately to
see where my friends mara was
i told her what happened she was
very sad at well she told me that she
was worried about herself because she’s
from venezuela as well
but she started coming
calming me down she told me you
are a great person and if that person
know you very well
she wouldn’t do that he wouldn’t do that
so
she started telling me beautiful thing
about how
the person i was and making me feel
better
i was so sensitive so i left
but still left here for a little bit and
continue grocerying shopping
i was thinking what should i do i have
to do something with this
this is not right i was
feeling mad at the entire situation
and super frustrating because
i didn’t know what to do like i have
literal knowledge about racism and i
also was
frustrated with my english at this point
i think you have realized that my
english
yeah need to improve a little bit so
i started thinking should i go there and
ask
what’s going on what is wrong with my
skin i like that
or maybe having a conversation to drive
him
to understand that there are more things
that
we have in common that the one that we
have difference
i didn’t do anything i just
went to line up and after a while
someone passed with a few items in
her hand and i let her go
well she was super grateful
after a little while another old lady
came to me and she told er
she have a few items as well and i let
her
go she couldn’t be
more grateful really she started talking
to me
telling me that she really liked the
kind of person i was that she
was looking around if someone offered
that and she was so happy actually she
told the cashier
that
i was so nice and this is the kind of
person we need
here i wasn’t talkity
at all she asked me many questions but i
couldn’t answer
i was very quiet in that moment
but she doesn’t have any idea that she
brought me back
to the real people the majority of the
people
i know and i feel like people is here in
missoula
she brought me back to
that beautiful paradise i
taught when i first arrived here
because that’s like what i remember was
missoula
beautiful landscape a bunch of hippie
that smiled to me when i am walking in
the street
people that stopped me in the super
in the store and try to have beautiful
conversation with me
in the bar that’s the real people
i really
appreciate in missoula also
those that from the very beginning
support me when i arrived here people
from missoula international school
the best environment i have ever had
students my boss
parents a lot of them present in this
place now giving me support
well after paying ismara and i left
i started the car i started driving
but don’t remember anything else
but my friend is mara on my side
a deep silence
a big sight
[Music]
maybe 100 thousands
of stairs coming out of my eyes
thank you
[Applause]
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mark moss me brian
the way us me as a person of color
that i can the contribution i can give
is through
love
[Music]
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I’m excited to bring you stories from the archives and a behind the scenes look at Tell Us Something. In this new series I’ll sit down with a storyteller every week, and we’ll talk about what they’ve been up to, go more in depth with their story and get to know them a little better. The first episode of this new series features Ibrahin Mena. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so that you don’t miss any of the episodes and I look forward to you joining us for some good conversation. The first episode drops 7/21/2020