The Cooler is back for Season 4! And because we're extra, our first episode features civil rights activist and Pod Save The People host DeRay McKesson! We talked about his powerful new book On the Other Side of Freedom, what it was like to spend 400 days protesting in the streets, everything he's learned from the X-Men, and why that vest means so much to him.
On the importance of his signature blue vest
"I continue to wear it because it reminds me that what we went through happened. I think about what it was like in St. Louis when it was illegal to stand still. I think about the nights that I hid under my steering wheel. I think about the night we ran from tear gas and rubber bullets and pepper spray. You can get a little removed from those actual experiences and forget that they happened, like they become these sort of distant things that you remember, and I just never want to forget. That was so real to me and it changed my life and the lives of so many other people. The vest keeps me grounded and keeps me whole in that way."
On the difference between an ally and an accomplice
"Both love you, right? Allies love you from a distance; accomplices love you up close. There are people who get it. They're like, Injustice is bad. Let us figure out what to do. And that's sort of basic; that is 101, I'm at the party. What accomplices do is say, Here's actually what I'm willing to put on the line so that we can get to a different sense of justice on the other side of freedom... I know a lot of allies who show up to the random rally, they go to the brunch, they are back row at the talk, and then you're like, Well, what are you going to do about it? and they're like, What do you mean 'do'? I came here. That's not it. That is Awareness 101.