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September 22, 2007 – Nicole Casanova of Shift the Game

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Rob: Welcome to the show on this beautiful Saturday. Looking out the window, looking at the mountains, and I just want to say it is a blessing to be here. Folks, before we get started with the show, I want to talk about something a little more controversial, maybe slightly off topic. This Jena Six thing coming out of Louisiana this week got me thinking a lot about race and whether race is still a factor in holding people back in life. I run into a lot of people that are successful and they’re monitories and you talk to them about race and they say it doesn’t affect them, doesn’t bother them. Yet you hear on the news and you see these protests about these people that are talking about all the challenges and how much oppression they still face in modern America.

You have monitory leaders saying that there is still horrible racism, and that’s why there’s such a great divide. I don’t claim to be any kind of socialist or any kind of sociologist or anybody who knows all this kind of stuff and have the answers, but in my experience-I don’t come from means. I come from a very meager background in Metro Detroit, and those of you who know me can verify that. I don’t come from a wealthy family, but everything I’ve achieved I’ve worked for and I’ve always had the odds stacked against me. No one has ever given me a darn thing. No one has given me education. No one has given me school. I had to take it. I had to go after it. I had to make it happen for myself.

I know a lot of people that are of minority color that are very wealthy and very successful and they said the same thing. They just didn’t let people stop them. Once they decided that they wanted to be successful people, they set up goals just like I did, and the formula doesn’t sound any different than the formula that I had. They just went after it and worked their tails off. So, any of the people out there listening today, if you can tell me if I’m completely whacked, or if I’m wrong or right, give us a call: 303-713-7600 and tell me whether minorities, races, ethnicities, and things really affect and hold people back or is it just people holding themselves back. I contend that people hold themselves back because I think, and maybe I’m just crazy, but I think that if you’re strong enough, you need to say I want something go after it and work hard you’re going to achieve it.
Anyway, welcome to the show. As always, you can find us on the Web at startupstoryradio.com. Today I would like to welcome back Erin Weed of Girls Fight Back. How are you today Erin?

Erin: I’m fabulous. How are you doing?

Rob: Great. So, what do you think? Do you think that race is still such a problem in America that it holds everybody back or do you think that people can achieve things in spite of being a minority or come back from a background that doesn’t include having a lot of money? What do you think?

Erin: I really think that I know people who are successful and people who are unsuccessful in all races. I do think at the end of the day it comes down to choices, but I also know that being a woman, for example, everybody is going to have different experiences. I’m not the kind of person that is going to say that I’ve walked in your shoes and say I know how beaten down you’ve been. But I know, just being a woman-that being my only minority thing-it can hold you back, but in my case I also had some hardships-you gotta rise above it.

Rob: Well, it looks like we got a call on line one. Let’s see. Caller, are you there? You’re on with Rob McNealy of Startup Story.

Caller 1: Yes.

Rob: Hello. How are you today?

Caller 1: I’m fine. I guess I just called in because I heard you relating to the Jena Six and suggesting that the only thing that relates to race these days is somebody’s motivation to take on society and do it for themselves, and I would like to ask you about the Jena Six and the kind of chance they had given the inequality of the justice system that puts these little boys in jail for what I think has been referred to as a schoolyard fight. Actually, none of the white boys had been given any punishment of any sort. That to me seems to be pretty obvious about racism in America. I think there is a lot of it going on. I don’t exactly understand. Maybe you had a hard time growing up and you can pat yourself on the back for having accomplished a lot with a little to start with, but I think I’m white and I was given a great education and still believe…

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