“Justice, Rage and Peace” Transcript

Guest: Eric Ward

(Listen to the audio on the episode page.)

Betty Teng: Welcome to Mind of State, a podcast for both political junkies and armchair shrinks. I’m psychoanalyst and trauma therapist Betty Teng.

Jonathan Kopp: And I’m political communications strategist, Jonathan Kopp. Join us as we welcome experts in politics and psychology to consider this, the state of our nation through the state of our minds and the mind of our state. Hi, Betty.

Betty: Hi, Jonathan. So, Jonathan, it’s a few weeks out of the election and I can say the exhaustion is truly setting in. I think there’s some people that I’ve talked to and my patients, and I’ll admit to myself that I’m done. I’m so done.

Jonathan: Yeah, you know, I think you’re not alone. There’s plenty of people who they’re exhausted. They want to get in bed or maybe they just–

Betty: I don’t want it. I don’t want to turn on MSNBC. I don’t want to hear a pundit. I don’t want to read a headline. I don’t want to think about a poll. I don’t want to. I don’t want to.

Jonathan: Yeah, no, I get it. And at the same time, there’s another group out there who doesn’t want to stop fighting, right. We’ve been in a fight or flight mentality for the past four years. And the notion that all of a sudden the election is done and it’s settled and Joe Biden’s going to be president, so stop and lay down your arms is anathema.

Betty: Yeah, yeah. And that is psychologically organic, meaning you can’t just shut that down overnight. You know, it’s a very defensive mentality. You’ve been protecting yourself and on both sides, you know, everybody’s been up in arms. And so the shift is hard. I think it’s very hard.

Jonathan: In every cycle, political activists, campaigners, we have to shift from campaign to government. We have to shift from fighting to building. And that’s really hard. But in this moment, we know that if we don’t buckle down and focus on the work to be done now, on inclusive building constructively, then we’re going to squander the opportunity and suddenly we’ll find ourselves four years from now saying, what was that for?

Betty: Yeah, I mean, and we can see that. I can see we don’t have much time to even take that breath, but we actually don’t have time to keep fighting like this. I mean, it’s too much. And it also drains, this has been incredibly draining. I mean, within the pandemic, no less. But this election has been utterly depleting. And here we are. We’ve got to, you know, this government has got to deal with the pandemic and an economic crisis, a referendum on racial injustice, and there’s a lot of work to be done.

Jonathan: But at this moment, keeping focused on the agenda, keeping focused on getting some wins, keeping focused on pulling this country back together is all the more important.

Betty: It’s a hard negotiation on how we walk the middle line. And that’s exactly why I invited this next episode’s guest, Eric K. Ward. Eric is a nationally recognized expert on the relationship between authoritarian movements, hate violence, and preserving inclusive democracy. In his 30 plus year civil rights career, he has worked with community groups, government and business leaders, human rights activists, and philanthropists. He currently serves as executive director of Western States Center. He’s a senior fellow with the Southern Poverty Law Center and Race Forward, and he’s co-chair for the Proteus Fund. Thanks for joining us on Mind of State, Eric.

Eric Ward: It’s so great to be with you both. Thank you for inviting me.

Jonathan: Eric, you know, for the past four years or maybe longer, but certainly in the 2020 election, we have been locked in this struggle, this debate between the rise of authoritarianism on the one hand, and the urge to maintain and protect and preserve our participatory democracy on the other. It’s a struggle that we’re seeing, of course, in so many other countries all around the world. What I’m wondering in speaking with you is how do you see the relationship between the rise of authoritarianism on the one hand and the rise of hatred and racism and bigotry on the other?

Eric: There’s such a symbiotic relationship between the politics of authoritarianism and the scapegoating or dehumanization of people, and one of the reasons is that authoritarians build their political worldview or their narrative myth around the idea of being under attack, under the idea of an existential war that demands a strong response almost to, some of the language that I often hear is, the language by authoritarians, that society has been contaminated or infiltrated. This is some of the language that gets used. And being able to tap into already existing forms of dehumanization just makes sense. And particularly if you’re Donald Trump, who I believe had leaned into a fully fledged authoritarian program, you don’t start that demonization or identification of an enemy by picking a broad target, for instance, folks who are left handed. All of us know folks who are left handed.

Jonathan: You’re speaking to one.

Eric: Right. You’re hearing from one right now. We all know someone who is left handed. And so, you know, when an authoritarian or Donald Trump and Trumpers come out and say we’re being invaded by left handers, we’re all like, well that’s ridiculous, because I know Joe, right. He’s left handed. I know Christiane and she’s left handed. So you have to look for smaller groupings and, you know, smaller groupings in American society are immigrants, Muslims, Jews, LGBTQ, African-Americans. It’s an easier grouping because they are socially alienated already in our society because of historical forms of racism and other forms of prejudice. So this is why you see it. But it’s critical, authoritarianism is not successful unless it has an enemy in which to point society’s emotional anger and anxiety towards.

Betty: And I have a question about what you said about narrative, because these authoritarians or people who have this propensity seem to have, what comes about in a lot of our conversations, that narrative need, like a need to find the easy target, right. But what in your view, having worked 30 years in investigating and studying and working with even these groups, what is their need to find a demon?

Eric: So it’s interesting. I actually have the same question, Betty. What are the ultimate drivers? Because I feel as a society, when we understand these drivers, we can attempt to interrupt them, right.

Betty: That’s exactly right.

Eric: Or replace them with healthy drivers in our society. And so I wrestle with this. You know, over the last four years, of course, like everyone else, most Americans and folks living in American society and those impacted, I think we all have been doing a lot of thinking about what are these drivers. And my sense is this. There is the driver of demographic anxiety. Something is changing in the society fairly rapidly, or the society has experienced a significant form of loss or societal level trauma and that this triggers a feeling of scarcity. Now, I’m guessing, right. I’m not a mental health specialist here. I should say this really clearly. But there seems to be the driver of scarcity, the fear of loss, whether it’s loss of status, whether it’s loss of understanding how to navigate a changing world, or it’s the sense of perceived loss that’s come from a sense of that trauma. And it doesn’t drive authoritarianism, but it opens up the space for authoritarians in our society to try to organize that anxiety into political power and that’s what I believe we saw under the four years of Donald Trump, but it predates Donald Trump, too, as well, right. We saw it at a lower level under Obama’s administration, with the attacks on Barack Obama, Muslims, and others. And some suggest that it directly ties back to the events of September 11th, that our society was significantly traumatized and our nation’s leaders didn’t seek to address that trauma except through political positioning and utilizing the tragedy to build power rather than to heal lives and communities.

Jonathan: So how does that trauma and that feeling of scarcity, which fuels racism or otherism, how does that narrow down and get focused in white supremacy and white nationalism? Because those, to me, as I’ve listened to you and I’ve read your writings, it seems like white supremacy and white nationalism are a very particular strain of racism. Could you talk about that a little bit?

Betty: And, Eric, you make a distinction between the two. So, as piggybacking off of Jonathan, can you tell us your distinction between white supremacy and white nationalism?

Eric: I do make a distinction, and it sounds weird, right. We often hear white supremacy and white nationalism. People reject the term white nationalism. Even those of us within the human rights space, as if we’re kowtowing or making nice, kind of, the visceral racism. It’s not the purpose of that. I offer a distinction because I think it helps us build proper response and building proper response maintains our agency and in the face of authoritarianism, holding our own agency, those of us who believe in democracy, those of us who believe in rights, those of us who believe in the basic humanity. So when we talk about white supremacy and white nationalism, what I’m making a distinction with, and what we make a distinction with at Western States Center, is that white nationalism is a social movement. White supremacy is a system of historic and present day policies and practices. And we distinguish from them because they don’t actually seek the same end. And I’ll explain just really quickly.

White supremacy has been with us in the United States since at least Bacon’s Rebellion, but some folks argue since the arrival of European colonialists and explorers to the Americas. White supremacy is a historic and present based system of exploitation and it was created as a narrative in which to organize society. And the narrative was grounded on a concept called white superiority, the idea that one is superior based off of their white skin and that others are inferior because of their lack of white skin. Now, the binary was white and black, whiteness being the closest to good and wholesomeness and black being the close to evil and danger. Look, it wasn’t just black folks though. The system had three pillars, chattel slavery being one of them, but the second was the theft and genocide of indigenous peoples and their lands, and the third was control of sexuality, primarily the control of women. It were these three things that allowed American society to organize itself. And it is why we are a powerful economy and country due to that free labor, due to that ability to be able to exploit such a large portion of the population.

Now, look, none of us are responsible for the creation of that system. None of us were here five hundred years ago to set this up. At most, we’re responsible in terms of the existence of that practice, that it continues to exist around us. But this was white supremacy. It was challenged, I argue, in the 1960s civil rights movement. It defeated white supremacy as the rule of law. Now, that doesn’t mean white supremacy does not still exist. But previous to the 1965 civil rights movement, white supremacy was primarily uncontested space. It is how we viewed laws, culture, and economy, through this lens, and the civil rights movement disrupts that. Now imagine for a second you are a person who was socialized and steeped in white supremacy and the belief that you were superior just based off of your white skin and that black people were inferior in every way because of their dark skin. How, then, do you come to terms with that you lost against folks you saw as inferior? It’s just simply not possible. People don’t shift their worldview so rapidly.

The answer was not going to be, well I guess black people were inferior after all. So instead, folks had to find another scapegoat. And I talk about this in an essay called Skin in the Game: How Antisemitism Fuels White Nationalism, and I won’t lay out the full piece here, but what happens through a set of circumstances is that these white supremacists who perceive this loss of their system begin to look for someone to blame. And since it’s not going to be black people who they see as inferior, they look for another target. And due to, you know, hundreds of years of anti-Semitism, they choose the Jewish community as the answer, the idea of Jews as a secret cabal. Why I say these are two different things is because what we see there is the birth of the white nationalist movement. If white supremacy is about exploitation, white nationalism is a social movement that has not yet fully come into its own, despite its heavy influence in our society.

White nationalists saw Jews as the reason that they lost white supremacy as an institution in America, as a narrative. They subsequently have blamed Jews for every perceived loss, whether it’s the gain of women’s rights or labor rights or immigrant rights or the rights of Muslims and refugees in the society. White nationalists see themselves in an existential war with the Jewish community. This is a dangerous anti-Semitic worldview because it provides only one answer to that, which is ethnic cleansing, the cleansing of the Jewish community and people of color from the United States. So while white supremacy is about exploitation, white nationalism is a growing movement that seeks the removal of all people it perceives to be non-white from the United States, and that can only be done with violence. The goal is not to go back to the, I’ll be crass, but to the days of Gone with the Wind, despite the rhetoric of Make America Great Again, MAGA. The goal is not to go back to the days of slavery or the days of exploitation. It is about an all white ethnic state.

Betty: And so, Eric, do you feel like they are subsets or Venn diagrams to each other, like the white supremacists then, therefore, are not necessarily all white nationalists, but they may overlap, because that would be very interesting, because there are some people seeking ethnic cleansing and violence in a very extreme state. And they see, like, a whole system, like of nationhood of white people only. And white supremacists want to, sort of, have, as you said, maybe the days of Gone with the Wind. But in your observations, do they overlap or are they recruiting, are the nationalists recruiting supremacists, so to speak?

Eric: Yeah, well, one of the things we know in the real world is that a vision, narrative, and desire, when it meets with reality, will often shape and evolve in different ways. What I described to you is the writings and thinking of the main theorists of the white nationalist movement. And sometimes we forget that, you know, I sit within a human rights social movement, particularly in the progressive political left of that human rights movement. And sometimes we think we’re the only folks who know how to form social movements. We understand our ecosystems, our think tanks, our activists, our policy makers, our researchers, and our cultural makers. But when it comes to the white nationalist movement, for some reason, we think it’s all driven by individual behavior. That this is a movement that is driven by hatred. And what I like to remind folks is the white nationalist movement isn’t tapping into anti-Semitism or, quite frankly, racism or Islamophobia or any other form of bigotry because they’re out there wanting to spread anti-Semitism. They’re tapping into anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry because it’s useful for organizing.

You don’t, as an organizer, you don’t organize communities around things that you can’t motivate them around. Alinsky in the Rules for Radicals, one of the first stories he talks about, is organizing folks around the stoplight, a stoplight in their community, because that’s what folks cared about. What the white nationalist movement gets, better than the rest of America, including the human rights movement, is just how prevalent anti-Semitism and racism and other forms of bigotry are in our society. I often say, Betty, these hate groups don’t come to town bringing bigotry into our communities. They simply organize the prejudice that already exists in those communities. And it means one of the best ways that we can inoculate our communities is by addressing those deeper underlying issues, right, the alienation, the trauma, the demographic anxiety. It makes our communities less susceptible to political theorists who are grounded around an exclusive idea of what American democracy should be, a scarcity model rather than an inclusive democracy that’s people-centered, transparent, and accountable.

But I think you’re right. All to say, we have lots of stereotypes about the white nationalist movement. We see them as folks in rural areas with a gun rack, drinking the six-pack of beer, and the shotgun rack and the antlers. We think dropout, rural, poor. And certainly that exists because that exists in America, but it’s not a movement that particularly disproportionately attracts the working white poor or even people of color or even women. Who it predominantly attracts are upper middle class and upper class white folks disproportionately. A study that was done by Professor James Aho, a sociologist at the University of Idaho, one of the, still, the most comprehensive studies of the white nationalist movement. He did it in the 90s, just to give you an idea of how long ago that was. And what he found is that the white nationalist movement in Idaho had a higher level of education than the general population of Idaho as a whole, had a higher level of income than the general population of Idaho as a whole, and was more politically active. And so the truth is the white nationalist movement, except for the fact that it is disproportionately upper and middle class in its ranks, it looks just like America. And I think that tells us something about the social movement, which is it looks just like every other social movement in America. It, however, has a vision of being an all-white America and there is only one way that that happens, and that’s through violence.

Jonathan: So if the movement on the right is one of homogeneity, the challenge on the left then is more complicated because you’ve articulated in your 21st century civil rights movement conversation that we need to see Black Americans and Jewish Americans and Muslim Americans working together and understanding that the forces that are out there hating them are unified against all of them, and so is the fact that white supremacy, that right movement politics is unified, does that drive the factions on the left apart or together?

Eric: Yeah. So I think, it’s hard, I think it drives the left, it fractures the left, and I think this is one of the challenges that I wrestle with. And you can hear me doing the uhh uhh right now as I’m talking, because that’s how much I actually wrestle with this question. Here’s what I think. The white nationalist movement is only successful in America due to the collapse and the inability of the left and progressives in this country to show that it can lead a consensus, a political consensus, in this country. I think we only effectively stop the white nationalist movement if we are able to break out of our bubble, and that’s hard in authoritarian moments. We talk about some of the impact of authoritarian moments, and one of the impacts of authoritarian moments is the hardness of authoritarianism, the purity that is demanded by authoritarians.

And we think then, we are impacted by those larger dynamics happening in our society, but none of us escape this moment. None of our movements, none of our organizations and institutions escape this moment without being negatively impacted by that authoritarian thinking that was evasive in almost all of our waking life over the last four years. And it’s possible that it has put us in a position where we think the only way to respond to this hardness is with our own hardness. And the only way that we can respond to the purity that was demanded, the fanaticism of purity by the other side, is with our own purity. And those, the problem is neither hardness or purity open up space for the heterogeneity that you were describing, Jonathan. It closes off the oxygen for that type of complication. It also undercuts one’s ability to keep a focus on what is important.

For four years, you’ve had first an authoritarian leaning government, and then in its final stages, an authoritarian government, that politicized everything. There was no space to discuss values. One had to stake out first a political position and one only knew who they were in agreement with based off a political position, off a partisan political position, rather than in individual’s or organization’s values. Values became not very important. So I worry. I worry a little bit that the toll of the four years, the exhaustion of the four years, the horrifying months that occurred over these four, each month was more horrifying than the next, has exhausted progressives and the left in terms of its willingness to lead the entire nation and not simply engage in building power for power’s sake. I don’t know if that makes sense.

Betty: It makes a lot of sense and what you point to is something that I think about with regard to what you were saying about trauma. If you don’t deal with it, if we don’t heal from trauma, which you very accurately said about 9/11, that we answered it with political, sort of, responses, but we did not heal the nation in terms of going through it, facing it, feeling all the disparate and paradoxical feelings of hurt or blame or these kinds of things, then it goes under the surface. It festers. And we have had another guest, Pauline Boss, who’s a psychologist, say we are a nation founded on unresolved loss. So you might say that we have had traumas unresolved going back to 500 years ago. That’s what you’re measuring.

And so now, authoritarianism offers this binary, this pure path. It’s a fantasy, that narrative. We know how to do it. We’re going to do it. We’re the son of God. We have all the answers and it’s clear. But that’s not life, as you put it. Reality is unclear. But I think we’re in a fractured, vicious cycle where on one side and the other, you’re both fighting the, as you put it, break shiit down, blow shit up rather than build it up, and I’m curious, to you as somebody who’s worked in this space for 30 years, as you’ve said, how do you face this hatred and not get sucked into this non-thinking eye for an eye revenge kind of mentality? Because I think that’s our exhaustion. It’s, we feel each side under threat and you just, you can’t think there. You’re only going to react and strike out and we can’t create an inclusive democracy out of that.

Eric: You can’t build. I think that is really well said. I think something happens where it’s one of the hardest moments where we stand right now, and I worry about this before I say it. What I worry about is we’re missing the long arc in this moment. We’re thinking in very short durations of three months, in steps of three months or one year, rather than, I think, steps of ten years and trying to look out 60 or 70 years. Where do we want to be? How I try to maintain balance for me is I think about here we are in 2020. And it was a hard 2020 and it’s not over yet.

Betty: So hard.

Eric: But I know 2020 is fundamentally better in this country than 1920. And I absolutely know 2020 is better than 1820 in this country. And that doesn’t mean that I think everything is marvelous. It doesn’t mean that I’m ignoring the inequality and the injustice that exists in our society. What I’m noting is that we’re in a better place. Now, why are we in that better place? Are we in a better place, I’ll just say this right now, as a person on the left and progressive, are we in a better place because capitalism made this a better place? I’m skeptical, though it had its own roles that I’ll acknowledge. Is it in a better place because folks who were bigoted decided like, oh it’s time to to be in a better place? No. It’s in a better place because folks like me and folks like you and folks like the folks listening really struggled for generations, hundreds of years to get us to this point. And one of the things that the impact of authoritarian thinking does on our movement is, because of that purity, we look back and we disregard the work that people died to get us to this point. They died for it. They were beaten for it. They were ostracized for it. They were persecuted for it in ways that I can’t even imagine. And so we have to be cautious.

If we are building a society that cannot acknowledge the work that got it to this point, how do we acknowledge the work that it’s going to take to get us to 2120? And what type of democracy do we want or what type of society are we saying we want in 2120? And so I feel like that long arc thinking is really important. I also think this is critically important. Look, I will just say, life has been unfair for the majority of Americans, the majority of people of color and other marginalized communities in this country, the majority of the world. Life is unfair. It is harsh in ways that are unnecessary. It is costing in ways that are unnecessary. That has benefited a smaller grouping of folks in our society who have benefited from that privilege, whether they are male, whether they are straight, whether they are white, in lots of different ways. But the truth is that we’re not seeking revenge here. That’s not, that shouldn’t be our goal ever.

And I realized I grew up in a pretty harsh punk music scene that I loved. But it was very violent. It was anxiety producing. It was likely traumatizing in a lot of ways, but probably less traumatizing than the world around me at the time. And I came to believe finally, not too long ago, 10 years ago, maybe a little bit longer, that sometimes you don’t get justice. And part of healing is trying to hold the loss that sometimes you have to let go of justice to get peace. And, not all the justice, doesn’t mean like we give up accountability, but it means that at the end of the day, is our job, is what we’re doing, is it all about holding people accountable or is it about providing the world that we say people should live in? And I’m no longer sure that those two things are necessarily synonymous with one another.

Those are some of the bigger questions that I wrestle with right now. At the end of the day, sometimes loss is loss and we have to help folks mourn that loss, understand that we can’t ever have that back. It’s not coming back. We don’t get our messed up childhoods to do over again. And sometimes you just have to understand that it’s gone. You have to mourn it. You can acknowledge it was unfair, but you can’t keep seeking it at the cost of the rest of your life. And if I could backroad that comment to our movements right now, that is what I would be saying.

Jonathan: I guess the challenge then is, look I’m not advocating that we seek revenge. This shouldn’t be about vengeance or settling scores. I agree with you that we need to act like winners and keep our, you know, our eye on the prize. But isn’t it important for the future to not settle scores, but to create some accountability, to recognize that we as a society don’t find certain behaviors acceptable and lay down a marker so that we don’t continue to, if we turn the other cheek every time, if we go high when they go low, does that ultimately benefit us or do we have to actually create some form of accountability as we go?

Eric: It’s the risk and I don’t know if we’ve ever done it. I don’t know if, maybe outside of South Africa, I think about South Africa. I was an anti-apartheid activist. I think about the years between 1985 and 1995 in South Africa, I don’t remember the exact number, but I think something like, somewhere around 18,000 or 24,000 South Africans were killed from political violence in those 10 years. Two thirds of them happen in a two year period between the release of Nelson Mandela and the passage of the South African constitution. I think about the different ideologies and tendencies in play, from the ANC to the Afrikaner Party to military and police intelligence services to Azania, I think about just the bloodshed that happened. And I, as an activist at that point, I remember hearing the news that Nelson Mandela was going to be negotiating with de Klerk. I remember hearing that news and I think about this because there’s so many lessons.

So as an activist in the United States, I felt betrayed. I felt initially, and who was I to feel betrayed? It was not my lived life each and every day. I had no basis of experience to, kind of, judge what was the right move there, what was the long arc that was trying to be achieved. And yet I found myself just with this feeling of betrayal. And it probably took 10, 15 years to realize the hard choice that was made there. And the hard choiceless choice. Nelson Mandela and de Klerk had to decide, did they relegate South Africa to a generation of civil war? One of the things that happens in political movements is we’re very nonchalant about political violence and what it means. And what I think is that these were two leaders who were not nonchalant about it at all. I think they did the calculations and realized whether it was a generational civil war or whether it was 40 years of grinding through the last vestiges of apartheid South Africa, that it was going to take the same amount of time to get to the same point. The question was how many lives were they willing to lose over it?

And there were so many attempts to overturn that negotiation. And I just think at the end of the day, yes, historical memory and truth and reconciliation is so critically important. And I understand, I mean, I’ve grown up black in America, I understand the rage. I have that rage. I feel it. It’s always there below the surface. But that rage is never going to be fed. It’s just, it has to be replaced with something. And at the end of the day, I just realized for Mandela and de Klerk, the truth was this: you don’t negotiate peace with your friends, you negotiate peace with your enemies. And negotiating peace with your enemies is about ensuring that all people have a better life and, yes, that takes a lot of courageous risk. It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable.

Betty: On both sides.

Eric: On both sides.

Betty: And as a last thing, Eric, you know, you’re talking about this rage and it’s something that I’ve been really curious about through reading all your writings. Like rage precludes thinking. It’s a psycho physical response. It’s a physiological experience. And you have used it to fuel your work. It’s clear. How do you think with rage and how do we do this now, here, as we go forward and try and repair the last four years, the last 15 years, you know, whatever brought us to this point?

Eric: Yeah. So here’s what I think. I mean, my rage has definitely fueled my work, but mainly because I don’t want other folks to feel that same rage. I’m not building, I just am not down for building a world where my measurement of how amazing folks are is how much rage they can express. I just, you know, folks who have actually experienced or been around real rage, who do wish that on? You don’t wish that on anyone. So I think this. I’ve tried to look at it in three different ways. What folks get to do in life is one thing, one thing in the pursuit of inclusive democracy. Whether that’s racial equality or gender equity, whether that’s, you know, dealing with the disparities of wealth in a society, whether it’s strengthening participation. All of us get to pick one thing, whether it’s taking care of our elders, which also would lessen the scarcity mentality in the society. Imagine if we were a society that knew you wouldn’t be, the odds are not 75 percent that you’re going to be warehoused in the last 10 years of your life, and ignored and shunned and treated less than.

So I think about all the things folks can do over these next four years, over these next 60 years. And what I say is you just have to do one thing. You don’t have to do everything that I’m doing. It can be one song. It could be a piece of art. It could be, you know, just do one thing. If everyone did one thing, rage would not be such a heavy driver within our movements and it would connect us in such substantial ways. Not everyone needs to be a politico. I’m a politico. I like politics. But that’s not everyone’s gig and it doesn’t have to be. I’m also not an amazing gardener. It’s not my passion, but there are people who are. That is what feeds them in life. And I think, what I want to say is, you find that one thing that feeds you in life and then you figure out one thing you can do with it that speaks to your values in this world. And I think we would all be stunned by how quickly our communities were transformed.

Jonathan: Eric, thank you so much for sharing your inspiration with us and for sharing your time with us. We appreciate you coming on Mind of State and we wish you the best.

Eric: I appreciate you all. Thank you so much.

Betty: Thanks for joining us on this episode of Mind of State and thanks again to our guest, Eric Ward. To find out more about Eric’s work, visit WesternStatesCenter.org.

Jonathan: If you like this episode, you’ll find plenty more on Apple podcasts or anywhere else you get your podcasts. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at Mind of State Pod. Our website is MindofState.com.

Betty: Mind of State is produced by Alletta Cooper and Jenny Woodward. Special thanks to our co-founder Thomas Singer. I’m Betty Teng.

Jonathan: And I’m Jonathan Kopp. Join us next time on Mind of State.