Back in America

Back in America header image 1
September 12, 2020  

Don’t miss the two live interviews on Sept. 14 and 16th

Monday at 3 pm EST with Derrick Cobb a singer, model, and performer.

Wednesday at 1 pm EST Majid M. Padellan known on Twitter as @BrooklynDad_Defiant!. Majid who has over 260K followers is an anti-Trump political commentator.

The event will be streaming live from Linkedin, Twitter, and the podcast Facebook page.

 

Facebook @backinamerica.podcast

Twitter @Back_in_America

Linkedin @Berteloot

 

 

September 4, 2020  

Part 2/2 - Eric Marsh, Black Activist on the George Floyd’s Mural

Eric_Marsh_Sept_20207r5ly.jpg

Back in America is a podcast exploring America's culture, values, and identity.

After my interview with Cadex Herrera a lead artist of the memorial mural of George Floyd in Minneapolis, I asked Eric Marsh a Black community leader and activist in Philadelphia what he thought of controversy around the mural.

Some black activists, including Keno Evol, the executive director of Black Table Arts, have voiced their concern about the fact that Black artists had not been invited to participate in the mural creation. 

September 4, 2020  

Part 1/2 - Cadex Herrera Lead Artist of George Floyd’s Mural

cadex_herrera_Cover69j5j.jpg

Back in America is a podcast exploring America's culture, values, and identity.

The death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a Minneapolis police officer has triggered protests against police brutality, police racism, and lack of police accountability. Three days after Floyd's death a group of artists painted a mural on the Cup Foods building at the corner where George Floyd was killed on May 25. 
The artists started at about 7 a.m. on May 28 and finished the mural at  5:30 p.m. the same day. 

George_Floyd_Mural29e23p.jpg

Most of us have seen an image of the mural since almost every American TV station live-streamed the George Floyd funeral whose backdrop was a digital version of this mural.
Inspired by this work, artists across the globe started producing similar tributes to George Floyd, and a digital database of such art has gathered a repository of 1324 pieces of art so far.

In this episode, I speak with Cadex Herrera a co-artist behind this iconic memorial mural of George Floyd. Cadex immigrated to the United States from Belize when he was 19. Today at 45, he works as an elementary school behavioral specialist and social justice art is his passion.

Cadex can be found on Instagram 
His website is www.cadexherrera.com

He recommended the following book and movies:

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 

The Platform
FOUTAISES (THINGS I LIKE, THINGS I DON'T LIKE)

 

Episode's Transcript

August 30, 2020  

Trailer Back in America August 2020

About Back in America

Back in America explores the American's identity, culture, and values. 

 

In this podcast, journalist Stan Berteloot explores American life stories from his French perspective and questions the way we understand this nation.

 

​Each episode explores why and how Americans do what they do. While easy and entertaining to listen to, Stan doesn't shy away from difficult and personal questions and explores issues from different angles and perspectives. Every topic is game; politics, social issues, climate crises, gender issues, racial issues, sex, and diversity... and everything else in-between.

Provocative ideas for inquisitive and open-minded listeners. 

 

Read the episode's transcript

The Trailer

These soundbites are taken from 12 episodes of Back in America, recorded between November 2019 and August 2020. They are representative of the diversity of the guests and of the topics addressed.

 

Here are in order of appearance in the trailer the list of interviewees.  

Eric Marsh

Eric is a Black activist and social worker in Philadelphia.

We speak about being a black man in America; the impact of slavery. The impact of Trump election; consumerism.

Sheri Kurdakul 

Sheri is the CEO and founder of VictimsVoice an app that provides a legally admissible way for victims to document abuse incidents.

Sheri speaks about her father’s abuse that started when she was a toddler, her recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD, and how she reclaimed her life to become who she is today.

Denis Devine

Denis Devine a 46 years old man from Fishtown, Philadelphia. Denis, an ex-journalist, is the organizer of Dad's night a monthly meeting of men.

For the last 6 years, Denis' Dads Night has brought together dads from his neighborhoods at different bars.

This safe space allows men to address topics related to dad-hood, dads-related cause, and non-traditional understandings of masculinity.

Elan Leibner

Elan Leibner is the chair of the Pedagogical Section Council of North America and a teacher at the Waldorf School of Princeton. Elan grew up in Israel, lived in a kibbutz, and moved to the US at the age of 23. He was a class teacher at there for 18 years, before directing the Teacher Education program at Emerson College in England.

John Lam

John Lam, is the principal dancer at the Boston Ballet.

His parents immigrated to California from Vietnam. He grew up in an underprivileged household and discovered his love for dance at the age of four.

Imani Mulrain

I met Imani at the Kneel for justice protest in Princeton.

She was one of the speakers. She is a Prospective Molecular Biology Major at Princeton University.

Gil Lopez

Gil Lopez is the founder of Smiling Hogshead Ranch an urban garden in Queens New York. 

The Smiling Hogshead Ranch started 9 years ago as a “guerilla garden” on a set of abandoned railroad tracks. After many backs on forth with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Gil managed to secure a lease.

Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Price

Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Price talks to Back in America about the current racial unrest, about meritocracy, the values, culture, and identity of this country. We speak about the separation between the military and the government and of the current administration.

Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Price is known for his published research on terrorism and counterterrorism. 

Mark Charles

Mark is a candidate running as an independent for president of the United States. A man who's not white, not black but a dual citizen of The United States and The Navajo Nation.

For three years he lived with his family in a one-room hogan with no running water or electricity out in a Navajo reservation. He dreams of a nation where 'we the people' truly means 'all the people'.

Richard Heinberg

Richard Heinberg is a Senior Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute and one of the world’s foremost advocates for a shift away from our current reliance on fossil fuels.

Erden Eruç

Erden Eruç, a Turkish-American adventurer, is the 1st man to do a solo a circumnavigation by human power. He has done it on a 24-foot ocean rowing boat. He & his wife Nancy Board joined Back in America to discussed the challenges and the mental health issues experienced by Erden upon return.

Louise Kekulah

In July 2020, according to the census bureau, nearly 25 million people would not be able to pay rent in the next month and almost 30 million people said they didn't have enough to eat.

Without federal intervention, housing experts and advocates warn of an unprecedented wave of eviction in the coming month. Louise Kekulah is a woman who grew up in Liberia, Africa. Moved by herself in the US as a child. Had a baby, graduated from Rutgers, and now works as a counselor for families at risk of losing their children.

 

August 6, 2020  

Housing Assistance Series 2/2: Carol Golden - Housing Initiatives of Princeton - US Politics, Social Issues and Housing Situation

Carol_Golden_Cover_2_bt7md.jpg

This part two of a series on housing assistance. I am publishing these episodes at a time when nearly 25 million people reported they will not be able to pay rent in the next month and almost 30 million people said they didn't have enough to eat.

In this episode, I talk with Carol Golden the chair of Housing Initiatives of Princeton and also a member of the affordable housing Board of Princeton. 
If you haven't listened to episode one of this series I encourage you to do so. 

Carol and I talk about US politics and the crossroad at which is America according to her.

She regrets the lack of government social safety nets and blames the current situation to a "loss of devotion to public education and to the antagonism to teachers and public schools. 

As the chair of Housing Initiatives of Princeton (HIP) Carol talks about the challenges facing HIP, its successes, and upcoming initiatives such as an emergency rental assistance program HIP is working on.

 

Transcript

 

August 6, 2020  

Housing Assistance Series 1/2: Louise Kekulah - From Liberia to Princeton

Louise_Kekulah_2_74t5h.jpg

In July, according to the census bureau nearly 25 million people reported they had little to no confidence they would be able to pay rent in the next month and almost 30 million people said they didn't have enough to eat.

Without federal intervention, housing experts and advocates warn of an unprecedented wave of eviction in the coming month and one far more devastating than the 2008 crisis.

Today I am releasing a series of two episodes on housing assistance.

In this episode, I speak with Louise Kekulah, a woman who grew up in Liberia, Africa. Moved by herself in the US as a child. Had a baby, graduated from Rutgers, and now works as a counselor for families at risk of losing their children.

The fact that Louise is very bright and highly driven probably explains how she managed to do so well. Yet, she says that the Housing Initiatives of Princeton has changed her life and allowed her to bounce back and secure a better carrier. You will hear Louise mention Carol. 

In part two I then speak with Carol Golden the chair of Housing Initiatives of Princeton and also a member of the Affordable Housing Board of Princeton.

Transcript 

 

July 22, 2020  

Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Price - Afghanistan, Counterterrorism, Seton Hall University… America will be (see episode note)

Bryan_C_Price_Cover_2_7mncg.jpg

 

In this episode, I talk with Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Price about the current racial unrest, about meritocracy, the values, culture, and identity of this country. 

We speak about the separation between the military and the government and of the current administration.

Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Price is known for his published research on terrorism and counterterrorism.  He holds a B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy in U.S. history, an M.A. in international relations from St. Mary’s University (TX), and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University.

Bryan and I talk about leadership -- he is the Founding Executive Director at the Buccino Leadership Institute at Seton Hall University. 

During the interview, Bryan shared a story that exemplifies George Washington’s leadership skills, he then asked: “You can probably guess some individuals that that are in power today. What if they were the George Washington at that time? How differently would our country have a look like?”

I ask him if he thinks that the military will escort Donald Trump from the White House should the president loses the election and refuse to leave his office.

bryanprice026-a.jpg For my guest, American is a dream, not a reality. Yet he believes that American is the greatest experiment of democracy that the world has ever known and that's a worthwhile cause to fight for. 

 

 

Book List

Alexis de Tocqueville -- Democracy in America

David Lipsky -- Absolutely American

Ron Chernow -- Washington: A Life

 

Facebook

Twitter @BryanPrice7

Top Mental Game

 

Transcript

 

July 6, 2020  

Cecilia Birge - Anti-Asian racism during the Pandemic - Growing-up in Chinese Labor Camp - Student on Tiananmen Square protests

Cecilia_Birge_Cover_1_bim0g.jpg

 

While President Trump has been calling the Coronavirus the Chinese virus and while the US is facing unprecedented protests against police violence and racial discrimination, Back in America is examining how these events have affected the Chinese Community.

In this episode, I speak with Cecilia Birge a former Montgomery, NJ mayor, a form bond analyst on Wall Street, now a head coach and a member of the Princeton High School Speech and Debate Team.
Cecilia shares her experience organizing fundraising with the Chinese community to help local first responders.
For us, she revisits her childhood in Chineses labor camps. As a student in Bejing during the Tiananmen Protests, she talks of her fear at the time and the turmoil in the city.
Today America is her home and the way she talks about this country and understands it help us see America in a different light. 

Transcript

 

June 18, 2020  
June 4, 2020  

Part 1 - Mark Charles - Native American 2020 candidate Asks does ‘We The People’ includes everybody?

 

Mark_Charles7n8zk.jpg

Transcript

Part 1/2

I am Stan Berteloot and this is Back in America, a podcast where I explore American's identity, culture, and values.

My guest today is a candidate running as an independent for president of the United States. A man who's not white, not black but a dual citizen of The United States and The Navajo Nation.

For three years he lived with his family in a one-room hogan with no running water or electricity out in a Navajo reservation. He dreams of a nation where 'we the people' truly means 'all the people'.

Yet as we prepare to celebrate Memorial day he reminds us of the “ethnic cleansing and genocide” the United States carried against the indigenous peoples of this land.

Welcome to Back in America Mark Charles.

 

Transcript

 

Books and Movie Recommendation

Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery
by Steven Newcomb 

Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery
by Mark Charles, Soong-Chan Rah

Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action (2005)
Director: Roberta Grossman

Somebody's Daughter by Rain 

 

June 4, 2020  

Part 2 - Mark Charles - Native American 2020 candidate Wants ‘We The People’ to Mean ‘All The people’

Mark_Charles7n8zk.jpg

 

Part 2/2

I am Stan Berteloot and this is Back in America, a podcast where I explore American's identity, culture, and values.

My guest today is a candidate running as an independent for president of the United States. A man who's not white, not black but a dual citizen of The United States and The Navajo Nation.

For three years he lived with his family in a one-room hogan with no running water or electricity out in a Navajo reservation. He dreams of a nation where 'we the people' truly means 'all the people'.

Yet as we prepare to celebrate Memorial day he reminds us of the “ethnic cleansing and genocide” the United States carried against the indigenous peoples of this land.

Welcome to Back in America Mark Charles.

 

Transcript

 

Books and Movie Recommendation

Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery
by Steven Newcomb 

Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery
by Mark Charles, Soong-Chan Rah

Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action (2005)
Director: Roberta Grossman

Somebody's Daughter by Rain 

 

June 3, 2020  

19 Year-Old Princeton Student: Being Black in the US is Like Suffocating

Imani_Mulrain_1_bubzh.jpg

 

The death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Memorial Day after he was pinned down by a white police officer, has sparked protests across the United States and even abroad.

In France, the event has even revived anger over the death of Adama Traore a black Frenchman who died in police custody 4 years ago. Some 20,000 people demonstrated in Paris on Tuesday.

I met my guest at the Kneel for justice protest yesterday in Princeton.
She was one of the speakers.
She is a Prospective Molecular Biology Major at Princeton University. Welcome to Back in America Imani Mulrain

She recommends watching the following video 
how to financially help BLM with NO MONEY/leaving your house (Invest in the future for FREE)

 to help the Black Lives Matter movement

 

Transcript

 

May 28, 2020  

Update: A Native American Candidate to US Election - Subscribe to our Mailing list

Hello Back in America's fan!

I hope that you are well and safe wherever in the world you are. This is a short update about the podcast and myself.

The podcast is doing very very well. I am receiving amazing feedback and have some exciting interviews lined up.

On a personal note, we've moved over the memorial day weekend and we are living among boxes. Since my wife my 3 daughters and our 2 dogs are all sharing the same roof 24/7 I struggle to find a quiet space to record...

Anyway, I want to find a way to engage more with you and this is why I would like that you go to backinamericathepodcast.com or the Facebook page Back in America and that you subscribe to our mailing list for exclusive content.

Once part of the list, you will receive, from time to time unique content and opportunity to influence the conversation.

Also, I am very excited to announce that I will soon release an interview with Mark Charles a Native American who's a candidate for the US presidential election. Rember to subscribe to the mailing list.

Stay safe
And share your love for this podcast!

May 14, 2020  

John Michael Greer an American Druid on Americans Individualism, Societal Collapse, and the Values of the Frontier Period

JMG_Cover98449.jpg

In this episode, I speak with John Michael Greer (JMG) an author and blogger in the fields of nature spirituality, and the future of industrial society.  He is the author of more than fifty books and a blogger.  He lives in Rhode Island with his wife Sara.

Our conversation takes us to the suburbs of Seattle in the 70s. We discuss Druidry since JMG is a druid and ecology.

John is one of the leading minds, in the US, behind the concept of societal collapse.

He was quoted on this topic back in 2008. In 2016, he wrote Dark Age America: Climate Change, Cultural Collapse, and the Hard Future Ahead. Since then John published eight books and countless articles on collapse.

Collapse means that our fossil fuel-based civilization, cannot sustain itself and will fail.

As our world is going through unprecedented pandemic and is bracing itself for what might be also an unprecedented recession.

John’s blog can be found at https://www.ecosophia.net/

Here is a link to his books on Amazon https://amzn.to/3cANDom

April 23, 2020  

Gil Lopez: Guerrilla Gardening in Queen, Resilient Communities and the Power of Radical Ideas 

Gil_Lopezbm71b.jpg

A few words before this episode.

Gil who's interviewed here has been laid off since I recorded this episode and the NYC Compost Project and the curbside compost collection in NYC, for which he worked are coming to pass. Curbside compost pick-up will end on May 4 and the Compost Project will be completely mothballed in July, he told me. 

However, Gil’s spirit is still high.

“I’m doing okay,” he wrote to me. “I was laid off last month but I received my first unemployment check today. 

 I’m am blessed beyond words to have my community garden to go to and be outside in the sun and soil basically whenever I want”.

Now, on my side, I am sheltering in place with my wife and three daughters. We never expected to have Zoe, our 21-year-old at home with us again and are enjoying this extra time with her.

I hope you, my listeners are well. Please stay home and stay safe! 

 

 

In this episode, I am on the phone with Gil Lopez the founder of Smiling Hogshead Ranch an urban garden in Queens New York. 

The Smiling Hogshead Ranch started 9 years ago as a “guerilla garden” on a set of abandoned railroad tracks. After many backs on forth with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, they managed to secure a lease.

Today the Ranch is an agriculture farm and community garden by day, and a social club and cultural venue. 

-- Gil, I have read that you see the more important effects of community gardens as being psychological, off-setting mindsets of commodification and enhancing ideas of community.

The coronavirus is devastating our economy, deeply impacting our way of life and putting a stop to production and consumption. It is a costly reminder that in order to survive our communities must transition to a more resilient model. 

 

Here are Gil’s recommendations

Book

Basic Call To Consciousness 

by Akwesasne Notes 

 

Documentaries (YouTube)

HyperNormalisation: by Adam Curtis

 

The Century of the Self

April 16, 2020  

Share My Meals - Princeton Non-Profit Keeps Restaurants Open During the Pandemic to Feed Those in Need

Isabelle_Lambotte7hkre.jpg

In this episode, I speak to Share My Meals's President and Co-Founder Isabelle Lambotte about her vision for Share My Meals Inc. The non-profit was initially created to fight hunger by recovering meal surplus from corporations and Universities cafeterias.
Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, Share My Meals's volunteers are working non-stop to feed the community in need.

Councilwoman Michelle Pirone Lambros from the Municipality of Princeton comments on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on restaurants and businesses in Princeton.

Two restaurant owners Michele Moriello of La Mezzaluna, and husband and wife Amar Gautam and Amanda Maher owner of The Meeting House a new restaurant in Princeton are sharing their experiences. Both restaurants have decided to keep a reduced team and to partner with Share My Meals to cook meals for the families served by Isabelle and her team of volunteers.

Patty Yates, is an African American community leader and a Share My Meals recipient. She talks of the need of her community and explains how she redistributes the meals received from the non-profit to her community.

 

Visit Share My Meals at https://sharemymeals.org/

 

April 2, 2020  

Jessica Baxter - Princeton High School Principal - Adjusting to remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic

Jessica_Baxter8so9g.jpg

I am Stan Berteloot and this is Back in America. Today I am speaking via Skype with Princeton High School Principal Jessica Baxter.

Jessica, as most school leaders across the globe, is faced with the challenging task of adjusting to the reality of the Coronavirus pandemic.

When the school closed, initially for two weeks on March 16 putting in place remote learning was only part of what had to be done. The staff at PHS had to ensure that every kid had access to a computer and the Internet. Curriculums had to be adjusted for kids to learn online.

Strategies had to be put in place to ensure well being of students.

Jessica, when we prepared this interview you told me that you are reassessing and re-planning what you do, not day to day, but minute to minute.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with Back in America and to share your experience keeping Princeton High School strong for the students and their families.

Jessica's book suggestions

Daring Greatly, by Brown, Brene, Ph.D. 

Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, & Identity
by Winona Guo, Priya Vulchi

March 19, 2020  

Richard Heinberg: on building resilient communities - transitioning away from fossil fuels - Coronavirus - Collapse (effondrement)

Richard_Heinberga61lv.jpg

I am Stan Berteloot and this is Back in America. Today I am speaking with Richard Heinberg a Senior Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute, and one of the world’s foremost advocates for a shift away from our current reliance on fossil fuels.

Richard has written for many publications including Nature, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, The American Prospect, Public Policy Research, Quarterly Review just to name a few. He’s been quoted by Reuters, the Associated Press, and Time Magazine, and has appeared on Good Morning America, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Al-Jazeera, and C-SPAN, NPR and others. Leonardo DiCaprio’s called on Richard’s expertise for his documentary the 11th Hour.

Richard, I wanted to speak with you about a topic that’s increasingly present in Europe and which is making its way into North America that’s the concept of our society’s collapse or l’effondrement has it is now called in French.

The idea is that the process by which basic needs (water, food, shelter, clothing, energy, etc.) are no longer provided (at a reasonable cost) to a majority of the population by services regulated by law. 

As Pablo Servigne puts it, collapse is both distant and close, slow and fast, gradual and brutal. It involves not only natural events but also (and above all) political, economic and social shocks, as well as events of a psychological nature.

Collapse means that our fossil fuel-based civilization, cannot sustain itself and will fail. 

People that study how societies collapse believe that tomorrow is going to be very different from today. That no green energy and no technology are going to save our way of life. Not even the concept of degrowth will work since we can’t force humanity into stopping production and consumption, especially in developing countries. So yes, they say, we are running into a wall.

But what’s interesting is that that same person, those that a convinced that we will sooner or later collapse are also full of hope. They say that we have to do everything we can today to smoothen this collision. We have to decelerate, we have to put on our seatbelt and prepare everyone for the shock.

They are convinced that preparing for the world to come will give us hope as we work to create for a better society, more collective and resilient.

 

Richard's List of Books

Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market
by David Fleming

Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It Hardcover
David Fleming

 

And here is a link to Richard's many books

 

 

March 12, 2020  

Ron Menapace - Homestead Princeton - From Pharma to business owner: Challenges and opportunities in America

Ron_Menapace96ren.jpg

Matt Dubberke, Ron Menapace, Fernando Freitas from Homestead Princeton

Ron Menapace owner of Homestead #Princeton talks about his experience from corporate America working in sales for a #Pharma company to creating a home décor and furniture store in Princeton. He shares his challenges competing against large online retailers and the commoditization of furniture as well as his fears of a business slowdown due to the #Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Princeton Homestead is a furniture and home décor store specialized in custom barn wood furniture located in the heart of Princeton, on Palmer square. 

Ron's dad was a carpenter, after a degree in Sport Management Ron also had a stint at woodwork, fixing and refurbishing furniture. Yet he went on to work in sales for a large pharma corporation. 12 years later, however, he and his wife Kristen decided to follow their dreams and, in 2011, opened what was then called the Farmhouse.

 

February 27, 2020  

Trailer - Back in America - A podcast questioning our understanding of America

Stan-3-800.jpgTrailer

Hi, my name is Stan Berteloot. I'm a French journalist living in Princeton, New Jersey and I'm the host of Back in America.

In this podcast, I explore what makes America, America. To do this. I've met with black activists, abuse survivors, men questioning traditional masculinity, business people, teachers, gay dancers, and politicians

"Well I love America, I think they're very few places in the world. Where are young foreigners can come And be established on a completely equal footing to people who grow up in the culture"

"At no point in time in the history of this country was a black man allowed to be fully seen and to fully represent himself as a man"

"To be American to me is to make your dreams truly come true I mean, I dreamt of being a principal dancer. being gay and married to a man and having children. That was my dream when I was little."

"I was 12. We were also expected, just as we would have if we had been in Mexico is to help contribute to the family and so we went to work in the fields."

"We were all sold a lie that holding in our feelings and not sharing them not talking about them equated with manhood"

"My father was a nuclear engineer and while he was a brilliant man. He was also a monster. My abuse started very young when I was a toddler."

"This young lady. Fade in a meeting which was right on the money. You always talk to us about living in the past or can we get away from the past? How can we get away from the past when the past presents itself in the present?"

In this podcast, I want to understand why people do the things they do. What drives them? And how this culture and this country, is influencing them. Don't miss upcoming episodes of Back in America.

Subscribe now wherever you get your podcast!

 

Play this podcast on Podbean App