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Black Diplomats

News & Politics Podcasts

The world is full of black people But when the mainstream media talks about the world, we hardly ever hear from them. Black Diplomats—a podcast dedicated to international politics and culture from the perspective of people of color—is going to change that. The 45-minute weekly show will take on domestic issues like immigration, policing, and protest movements through a globalized lens. The podcast is called Black Diplomats because I believe every black person is a diplomat at heart. It’s crucial that we claim space in the global conversation because much of that conversation directly impacts us—yet we so rarely lead it. The show will have a conversational style similar to VICE, with a twist of Desus and Mero humor to add an urban flavor, making it accessible to people who aren’t used to being centered in foreign policy conversations. It will resist the impulse of network television to pander to an “all sides” mindset. I believe there is a right and there is a wrong: Imperialism is bad. Racism is bad. White supremacy is a motivating philosophy for many powerful people. Black Diplomats will be something new. American media outlets aren't interested in people of color’s thoughts on global affairs—especially those outside of the mainstream. Although I'm a Russian speaker and travel to Ukraine every few months, I struggle to find opportunities to speak on foreign affairs. We need a new venue, and it should grow with our audience, tackling new subjects, highlighting new perspectives, and giving the black perspective on world affairs the respect it is due.

The world is full of black people But when the mainstream media talks about the world, we hardly ever hear from them. Black Diplomats—a podcast dedicated to international politics and culture from the perspective of people of color—is going to change that. The 45-minute weekly show will take on domestic issues like immigration, policing, and protest movements through a globalized lens. The podcast is called Black Diplomats because I believe every black person is a diplomat at heart. It’s crucial that we claim space in the global conversation because much of that conversation directly impacts us—yet we so rarely lead it. The show will have a conversational style similar to VICE, with a twist of Desus and Mero humor to add an urban flavor, making it accessible to people who aren’t used to being centered in foreign policy conversations. It will resist the impulse of network television to pander to an “all sides” mindset. I believe there is a right and there is a wrong: Imperialism is bad. Racism is bad. White supremacy is a motivating philosophy for many powerful people. Black Diplomats will be something new. American media outlets aren't interested in people of color’s thoughts on global affairs—especially those outside of the mainstream. Although I'm a Russian speaker and travel to Ukraine every few months, I struggle to find opportunities to speak on foreign affairs. We need a new venue, and it should grow with our audience, tackling new subjects, highlighting new perspectives, and giving the black perspective on world affairs the respect it is due.

Location:

United States

Description:

The world is full of black people But when the mainstream media talks about the world, we hardly ever hear from them. Black Diplomats—a podcast dedicated to international politics and culture from the perspective of people of color—is going to change that. The 45-minute weekly show will take on domestic issues like immigration, policing, and protest movements through a globalized lens. The podcast is called Black Diplomats because I believe every black person is a diplomat at heart. It’s crucial that we claim space in the global conversation because much of that conversation directly impacts us—yet we so rarely lead it. The show will have a conversational style similar to VICE, with a twist of Desus and Mero humor to add an urban flavor, making it accessible to people who aren’t used to being centered in foreign policy conversations. It will resist the impulse of network television to pander to an “all sides” mindset. I believe there is a right and there is a wrong: Imperialism is bad. Racism is bad. White supremacy is a motivating philosophy for many powerful people. Black Diplomats will be something new. American media outlets aren't interested in people of color’s thoughts on global affairs—especially those outside of the mainstream. Although I'm a Russian speaker and travel to Ukraine every few months, I struggle to find opportunities to speak on foreign affairs. We need a new venue, and it should grow with our audience, tackling new subjects, highlighting new perspectives, and giving the black perspective on world affairs the respect it is due.

Language:

English


Episodes

Producer's Note

5/20/2021
Hello everyone, Mike here, the producer of Black Diplomats. We have a couple of short announcements this week, so I thought I’d jump on your feed for the update. Terrell is dealing with a family emergency right now, so our regular episodes are postponed for a couple weeks. Please keep him in your thoughts. In more lighthearted news, we recently received a grant from the Ploughshares Fund to do a series on the Iran nuclear deal and the nuclear program in North Korea. Ploughshares has...

Duration:00:01:11

Recognizing the Armenian Diaspora

5/8/2021
After 100 years of lobbying the US government has finally recognized the Armenian genocide, carried out by the Turkish government in the transition out of the Ottoman empire. On this episode of Black Diplomats host Terrell Starr talks to Sophia Armen, a scholar and activist who lost eight members of her family in the genocide. She is the third generation of activists in her family who have fought to keep the memory of those bloody days alive. Armen talks about some of the details of the...

Duration:00:36:41

Jewel of the Caucasus

5/2/2021
The Republic of Georgia has a storied history in the heart of the Caucasus mountains. Host Terrell Starr first went there after the fall of the Soviet Union when they were still struggling to figure out a new way of life. In today’s episode of Black Diplomats he talks about that critical time, for him and for the nation of Georgia. He talks about living in the region as a Black man, and how he found ways to connect with his neighbors. Then Terrell talks to Eka Gigauri, a native Georgian who...

Duration:01:04:43

Ukraine, Navalny, and other people Putin is trying to kill

4/24/2021
This week on Black Diplomats we’ve got a new format and new guests, but have faith - we’re still taking aim at white supremacist imperialism, and there’s nothing new about that. We’re all about giving platform to people who don’t get invited into mainstream media, and we’ve done a great job of it. We also want to broaden the foreign policy conversation by bringing in new audiences. One of the barriers for a lot of folks is basic context and geography, so we’re going to start filling in some...

Duration:00:57:59

Vets Want U.S. Out of Afghanistan

4/18/2021
President Biden announced that he wants all US troops out of Afghanistan by 9/11/21, two decades after the attack that ostensibly launched our global war on terror. As usual, we’re hearing plenty of opinions from people who’ve never been there and don’t know what they’re talking about. This week on Black Diplomats host Terrell Starr is talking to three vets who have multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Isiah James was a “door kicker” as he calls it, a frontline grunt who saw the horrors...

Duration:01:14:07

Pam Keith on Matt Gaetz and Dems in Florida

4/10/2021
There’s a lot happening in Florida right now! From whatever the hell is going on with Matt Gaetz, to the governor acting like the pandemic is over, and the state legislature trying to restrict voting. Of course there are progressives all over the state fighting back, but where are the Democrats? This week Black Diplomats welcomes Pam Keith to try to make sense of it all. Keith ran for congress in Florida and has a plan for how to turn the state blue. Her razor sharp observations of the...

Duration:00:34:01

Black Diplomats on The Power Vertical

4/4/2021
On this week’s episode of Black Diplomats we’re sharing an interview Terrell did on The Power Vertical, a podcast about Russian politics hosted by Brian Whitmore. They talk about Terrell’s op-ed in The Washington Post on Alexi Navalny, how race works in the former Soviet states, and what the US has to do to weaken Russian government interference in our society. How can we deal with urgent issues like race, without letting the Kremlin dictate the terms? Whitmore also asks about Terrell’s...

Duration:00:57:59

Georgian political crisis with George Khelashvili

3/29/2021
The political crisis in the Republic of Georgia continues. Parliament still isn’t functioning, and the accusations of creeping authoritarianism against the ruling party are getting louder. On this episode of Black Diplomats host Terrell Starr talks to George Khelashvili, an MP in the ruling Georgian Dream party. Khelashvili compares the situation in Georgia to the polarization in the United States, and he’s willing to get into details. From political prisoners to unfair elections,...

Duration:01:01:27

Georgian political crisis with Sergi Kapanadze

3/20/2021
The country of Georgia is one of the former Soviet states still fighting for autonomy from the Kremlin. With the ongoing Russian military occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, it’s not just an academic discussion. Today on Black Diplomats we have Dr. Sergi Kapanadze, a professor and politician in the Georgian opposition party. Kapanadze explains why his party has decided not to take their seats in Parliament, their allegations of voter fraud in the last election, and how the United...

Duration:00:48:09

Matt Duss has advice for Bernie Sanders

3/13/2021
Matt Duss is one of the good ones. A foreign policy advisor for Sen. Bernie Sanders, Duss is one of the folks in Washington trying to lead our government away from neoliberalism. After a career in progressive think tanks and left-leaning media, Duss started working for Bernie Sanders shortly after Trump was elected. They’ve got a lot done by D.C. standards, including the first invoking of the War Powers Resolution, to end U.S. assistance in the war in Yemen. Host Terrell Starr has plenty of...

Duration:01:01:25

Navalny, Race & Russia

3/6/2021
On this episode of Black Diplomats, host Terrell Starr convenes a panel of experts to talk about the recent decision by Amnesty International to revoke the “prisoner of conscious” status from Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Starr wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post about the decision this week, criticizing the simplified discourse in the West. In order to bring some nuance to the conversation Starr hosts Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon, Dr. Rano Turaeva-Hoehne, and Irina Kuznetsova,...

Duration:01:06:36

Rep. Karen Bass Wants Diversity in the State Department

2/27/2021
This is the episode of Black Diplomats where Rep. Karen Bass starts the soft diplomacy on Terrell, trying to talk him into joining the State Department! Bass represents California’s 37th district in Los Angeles, and is a fierce advocate for all the good things. As Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa she has regular contact with folks from the Continent and a lot of good ideas for how we can improve our behavior on their behalf. She’s involved in the Represent America...

Duration:00:48:10

Black & Asian Solidarity with Alicia Garza and Shaw San Liu

2/24/2021
Today on Black Diplomats we’re honored to host Alicia Garza, one of the three co-founders of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, and Shaw San Liu, Executive Director at the Chinese Progressive Association. They’ve known each other for many years, after meeting as on-the-ground organizers from their respective communities who were looking to find solutions to common problems. Host Terrell Starr asks them about the recent spate of racist violence against Asian people, the way divisions are...

Duration:00:53:28

Building Peace with Iran

2/20/2021
On this week’s episode of Black Diplomats, host Terrell Starr does what very few American journalists do - talk to Iranians about Iran. Iran is surrounded by nuclear armed adversaries and American military bases. It is reasonable for them to feel threatened, but that’s a perspective we rarely hear in the U.S. media, because we keep being force fed the same crewcut white boys going on about the mullahs. Today we have two Iranians and a nuclear policy analyst on to provide some context to the...

Duration:00:59:05

Turning Florida Blue with Pam Keith

2/17/2021
Pam Keith has a unique perspective from growing up in Turkey, Morocco, Syria, Brazil, and several U.S. cities, as the daughter of Ambassador Kenton Keith. She was an Officer in the Navy and a lawyer with some of the largest firms in the nation, before running for Congress from the 18th district in Florida. Host Terrell Starr has lots of questions! Their conversation went for more than two hours, so we’ve broken it up into two parts. Part one went out earlier this week. In part two they talk...

Duration:00:58:47

Impeaching White Supremacy with Pam Keith

2/13/2021
Pam Keith has a unique perspective from growing up in Turkey, Morocco, Syria, Brazil, and several U.S. cities, as the daughter of Ambassador Kenton Keith. She was an Officer in the Navy and a lawyer with some of the largest firms in the nation, before running for Congress from the 18th district in Florida. Host Terrell Starr has lots of questions! Their conversation went for more than two hours, so we’ve broken it up into two parts. In part one, they start by talking about the white...

Duration:00:56:09

Rethinking America with Malcolm Nance

2/7/2021
Malcolm Nance is a security specialist, intelligence analyst, author, military vet, and much more. He’s also a Black man in America, and a Black Diplomat overseas. On today’s episode host Terrell Starr asks Nance-stradamus to break down the missteps of the Trump administration, and what Biden will have to do to repair the damage. As two people who have a deep understanding of the history of global affairs, they put modern conflicts with places like Russia and Iran into historical context....

Duration:00:55:43

Black Diplomats on Pod Save the World

2/3/2021
Terrell appeared on the excellent show Pod Save the World, a podcast by Tommy Vietor and Ben Rhodes, two long serving members of the Obama administration. Rhodes introduces Terrell by pointing out that he isn’t just talking about changing policy, he’s helping change the whole mindset of American power. These guys get it. Rhodes talks about being in rooms where Obama was the only one who isn’t white, and asks Terrell about the importance of diversity in those rooms. Terrell points out that it...

Duration:00:27:45

Black Diplomats on Press The Button

1/25/2021
This week on Black Diplomats we’re playing a recent episode of the Press the Button podcast from the Ploughshares Fund that features Terrell Starr talking about American nuclear policy, what “healing” means for our politics, and how white supremacy colors our views of our adversaries. It’s a great episode of the PTB podcast, and a fun opportunity to hear Terrell sit on the other side of the table as a guest. An engaging podcast on nuclear policy and national security, Press the Button is...

Duration:00:32:05

The White Supremacist Insurrection

1/16/2021
On today’s episode of Black Diplomats, host Terrell Starr is joined by two military vets, Arti Walker-Peddakotla and Shaniyat Chowdhury, to talk about the violent white supremacist insurrection on January 6th, where supporters of disgraced ex-president Donald Trump brutalized Federal employees and vandalized the Capitol. At this point we’ve seen there were a lot of ex-military in the crowd, so Terrell wants to know - did Arti or Shan serve with anyone who supports this movement, and what can...

Duration:01:13:47