Episode 17&18: Jerry Jones - "A Mosaic of Understanding" (Pt 1 & 2)
I’ve known Jerry Jones for a while. No, not Jerry Jones, the owner of Dallas Cowboys. But rather this Jerry Jones, who is far less famous, who has been a long time expat over the past decade and a half. I first met Jerry, who was then living in China, at a Families in Global Transition conference where we hit it off and ended up having some really great conversations related to the expatriate experience.
The awesome thing about Jerry is that he’s generally not afraid to have difficult conversations. Jerry, who is an intercultural consultant, spends much of his time amongst other things helping expats transition and unpack whatever has unknowingly, creeped into their proverbial suitcases as they navigate whatever international adventure calls them. As you can imagine, when you start talking to people about their biases, challenges and assumptions, it can make for some uncomfortable discussions.
On his own blog, Jerry has written about white expat privilege and racism, and we decided to have some of those same difficult conversations here. As the white expat father of two adopted children — a young Black male son and a teenage Chinese daughter, these aren’t the conversations you can’t really avoid.
In Part 1, we discuss the challenges he’s seen new expats have in integrating into a new culture, what it means to unpack your own privilege in its various forms, the difficulties of talking privilege with those who have it and his sensitivity to appropriately discussing racial injustice with his children.
In Part 2, we explore how his daughter has navigated identity as a Chinese adoptee living in China, the misconceptions of adoption and why it is important to listen to the unheard.
So yes, it took us two episodes to do it. But it was worth it.
- The need for expats to unpack their own biases, challenges and assumptions when it comes to moving to a new place (11:29).
- Recognizing your own internal biases and privilege & the challenge in discussing with others about theirs (25:36).
- The difficulty in explaining the George Floyd murder to his young Black son (41:03).
- Jerry’s experience of witnessing microaggression that spurred a moment of rage (49:08).
- Contending with White saviorism (2:25).
- Dealing with the assumptions surrounding adoption (10:00).
- Why the privileged need to sometimes shut up and listen (35:01).
To hear the full episode, click below or listen wherever you get your podcasts.
White Expat Privilege, The Culture Blend:
Yeah, But You’re Not Black, The Culture Blend:
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