Ifetayo Harvey is the founder and board president at the People of Color Psychedelic Collective. Ifetayo’s experience of growing up with her father in prison brought her to drug policy reform work at the Drug Policy Alliance. In 2013, Ifetayo was the opening plenary speaker at the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Denver, Colorado. Ifetayo briefly worked at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies in 2015 where she was inspired by Kai Wingo’s Women and Entheogens Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Ifetayo worked at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) for five years because of her passion for ending the war on drugs. While at DPA, Ifetayo penned the piece Why the Psychedelic Community Is So White in 2016 and began organizing other folks of color and allies in psychedelic circles. Ifetayo comes from a family of seven children raised by her mother in Charleston, South Carolina. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Smith College in history and African studies.
INCLUDED IN THIS EPISODE (But not limited to):
· Breakdown Of What The POCPC Is
· Whiteness Controlling The Narrative
· Racism in Drug Policy
· White Fragility
· The Need For POC To Have Healing Spaces Apart From White People
· The Benefits Of Psychedelics – And Risks
· Stories Of Racism In The South
· Theory Vs. Real Life
· Internalized Superiority & Internalized Inferiority
· The Student Loan Forgiveness Hypocrisy
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· OverviewBible (Jeffrey Kranz)
· Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed (Documentary)
· Leaving Hillsong Podcast With Tanya Levin
· Upwork: https://www.upwork.com
· FreeUp: https://freeup.net
VETERAN’S SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS
· Disabled American Veterans (DAV): https://www.dav.org
· American Legion: https://www.legion.org
· What The World Needs Now (Dionne Warwick): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfHAs9cdTqg
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You’re listening to the sex drugs and Jesus podcast, where we discuss whatever the fuck we want to! And yes, we can put sex and drugs and Jesus all in the same bed and still be all right at the end of the day. My name is De’Vannon and I’ll be interviewing guests from every corner of this world as we dig into topics that are too risqué for the morning show, as we strive to help you understand what’s really going on in your life.
There is nothing off the table and we’ve got a lot to talk about. So let’s dive right into this episode.
De’Vannon: Ifetayo Harvey is the founder and board president at the People of Color, Psychedelic Collective, y’all. I love the name of that organization so much. I believe, I’ll say it one more time. I said the people of color, psychedelic collective. Fat’s experience of growing up with our father in prison ignited the spark that has led to this amazing individual’s body of work in the area [00:01:00] of drug policy reform.
Please join us today as we discuss politics, drugs, and how racism and whiteness plays into all of.
Hello, all, all my beautiful souls out there. I appreciate each and every last one of you and the time that you take the tune into the sex drugs in Jesus podcast. Well, if today we’re gonna be talking a lot more about drugs than we are gonna talking about the Lord, hallelujah. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Jesus didn’t do a little hit of something back in his day and you know what I mean?
Just cuz it ain’t written, don’t mean it didn’t happen. Hallelujah, tabernac and praise. So the day I have with me, lovely, lovely, lovely darling, lady by the name of Epi Atta darling, and she is the founder of the People of Color psychedelic Collective. Ain’t that a fucking mouthful? I’m gonna say it again, [00:02:00] y’all.
I’m say it again y’all. The people of color, psychedelic collective. My homeboy, Jay Schiffman, over at the Chooses Struggle podcast told me about this individual here and I felt like Dracula as we getting close to Halloween, I need to just sink my bangs into her. And today I have her. How are you
Ifetayo: Oh, I’m doing great now that I’m talking to you. Oh, how are you doing?
De’Vannon: fan? Fucking fantastic. And you know, I’m on this whole new like drug discovery journey myself, and what I’ve been doing is working hard to siphon off out of my mind. The voices that I realized that were present affecting me that I didn’t know. And what I mean by that, Voices from the military, voices from the church, voices from my parents’ house.
You know, I’m thinking, I say for instance, I used to really look [00:03:00] down upon drugs, you know, and things like that. Well, you know, I thought about it. It was like, okay, where the fuck did I get that from? Was that due to personal discovery? Was that what they told me? You know? And so many of the voices in my head I’ve been finding lately, even as I’m approaching 40, you know, it’s still, you know, what they told me.
And it’s not actually my own voice. I’ve been angry about it. I’ve been pissed off about it. I’ve been up about it, I’ve been down about it. And so I love the work that you do. And it’s so on tempo at the times right now, is this resurgence? You know, psychedelics is coming now. You started this back in 2017.
And and so just tell us about. What in your words, the people of color psychedelic Collective is and why you started it?
Ifetayo: Yeah, so people of Color Psych Collective, we are a non-profit doing education and community building for folks of color interested in learning about [00:04:00] psychedelics and ending the war on drugs. And so since we’ve started, we’ve done panel discussions, We’ve had a conference, we had a retreat and of course this covid started happening.
We’ve done online workshops on varying topics. And the reason why I started was because I was tired of seeing whiteness dominate the conversation on psychedelics. And I was also tired of people trying to have conversations about race where they were afraid to speak directly on race and . Okay. I wanted to make a space for people to be able to.
Talk about those things without having to worry about, Oh, what is this white person gonna think? Or, Oh, is white fragility gonna get in the way? Because a lot of times it does. So that was part of my motivation. The other part was [00:05:00] prior to me creating my organization, I worked at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which is also a mouthful.
People call it maps. And they do clinical research on psychedelics. And so I worked there for about eight months and I was the only black person there. And it was clear during my time that like working on, you know, racial trauma for black folks was not a priority. Working on even unpacking. The whiteness of the organization was not a priority either.
And even involving black folks or other folks of color in their research wasn’t our priority. And to me, in my mind, I was just like, we as black people, we have, you know, some, some of the highest rates of trauma in this country. You know, just [00:06:00] given our, how we got here, our story in this country. You know, I, I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, where we have a number of plantations, old historical sites is where a lot of us were brought through, right?
A lot of our ancestors. So to me it just didn’t make sense. , Black people’s trauma wasn’t being talked about. Indigenous folks’. Trauma wasn’t being talked about or centered in these conversations around trauma. A lot of times it center just white, middle classness. Right. I was just tired of our trauma and our pain and our healing being second to theirs, and I wanted to create a space where we could talk about our experiences of using these substances, but also our experiences of the war on drugs and how it impacted our communities and how, you know, this new narrative of [00:07:00] psychedelics.
You know, reemerging kind of leaves us out.
De’Vannon: When you, Thank you for that beautiful breakdown. So when you mention the war on drugs, I like to to talk about it a little bit so, As I understand it, something I learned. I’ve been watching all my documentaries. I’m a documentary whore. I was watching that one, , How To Change Your Mind on Netflix. And then there’s one on PBS called The History of Mental Illnesses.
And they both went over like the different psychedelics. But what they, what they made me aware of was how psychedelics were used many years ago before, I think it was fdr, Franklin d Roosevelt, I think started that initial war on drugs. Don’t quote me on that, but I think it was him. You know, And then all the clinical studies shut down because of the government policy.
And so, and now we’re seeing this resurgence of the psyche’s coming back because the war on drugs clearly hasn’t worked. And I was reading Emmi [00:08:00] Lord Emily Duff’s book about, what’s it called? Nope. I have to look that up because it’s all about like marijuana. It’s called grassroots and the rise and fall of marijuana, you know, in the book, her book and then the documentary gets into how, you know, drugs are demonized and they made it seem like people were gonna like, you know, smoke the weed and then go rape the white women, you know, and shit like that.
You know, all of our mental health issues was us attacking someone else as opposed to something happening to us. But this is the trap we fall into when they, like you said earlier, going snatch our ancestors up out of Africa where they were just happy bouncing around doing them. Teddy’s flopping in the red wind dick swinging as it should be Then here comes some people snatching you up and lo and behold, you [00:09:00] traveling internationally when you, you probably didn’t know about no fucking other nations. And so, so the narrative was controlled by the people from Caucasian
De’Vannon: so the c cassity of it all. And so I love how it’s like, I feel like we’re taking more of this power back or getting it for the first time maybe.
You know, and a lot of this is coming through psychedelics, so I appreciate the fact that you, that you started this and then you stuck with it all this time. Covid has come, you still got it going on, so I commend you on that.
Ifetayo: Oh, thank you. Thank you. Yeah. Yeah. And I think you make an interesting point about the history of drug prohibition in, in the US I will say. So it was Nixon who started the war on drugs, the official war on drugs, but even prior to Nicks and there were a lot of drug laws on the books. You know, we had alcohol [00:10:00] prohibition in the twenties and that didn’t work.
And lots of people die cuz they’re making , you know, moon shine and other stuff. And it sometimes was poisoned or, you know and you’re right, a lot of drug. Ma rooted in racism, just point blank period. I think you used the example of like the whole reefer madness talking about like the fear of you know, black men or Latino men smoking weed and going to have sex with white women.
And that’s pretty much, you know, the same for cocaine. Opium, It’s, they’ve all been all these drugs have been used to build a certain narrative around racial groups, and it’s all been built around white fear and white fragility. Yeah.
De’Vannon: fragile though it don’t take, it don’t take much to piss Karen off. [00:11:00] Not at all. Not at all. And I, look, I’m not talking about all you white people out there. I’ve had to be so much white dick in my life. Real and I intend to have some more. So it’s not all of y’all. You know who you are, Karen, probably not even listening to this type of show.
maybe you are, of you’re open minded. I had a dream like a couple of weeks or months ago or whatever, getting in this dream. It’s like the Lord was telling me I’ve been a gifted dream or so It was about like four or five. That’s how, that’s how the spirit first revealed himself to me was it was like in this dream and I’ve been dreaming ever since,
De’Vannon: but, but recently I had this dream and it was like, it was like these like conservative people, like white people were singing a song.
De’Vannon: Whenever you hear music in a dream, a good thing, especially, well if it’s melodious and.
Ifetayo: I D.
De’Vannon: but the heart song, like the heart message of it, the heart of the song was, is like they were [00:12:00] asking me like, is there a way, is there something they could do different? Is there, was there a way that they, something they could change?
And I felt like, and I felt like, you know, that there is a, now we’ve always had like, you know, even back in slavery days, the, the white defectors, you know, the, our allies, you know, But in this dream here, these were people who have been closed minded to the struggles of minorities and people who are different from them.
And it’s like, in this dream, it’s like the Lord is showing me that. Like, maybe he’s like, he’s turning their hearts or they’re changing their minds, or something like that. And so I’m, I’m revealing this dream here to say that I think that the work that you’re doing and stuff like that, even though these people might not, you know, go on the news, go on Fox News wherever, and say they’re changing their minds. I think it’s making a difference because otherwise that dream wouldn’t have come to me because I don’t, I don’t invest a lot of energy into trying to change conservative people. I focus on the people they have hurt, [00:13:00] and so I really think that what you’re doing is going a long way.
Ifetayo: Well, thank you. Thank you. That’s, that’s, that means a lot especially, you know, caring or connecting that to your dream. Cuz I’m really into dream meetings. And yeah, it’s, it sometimes feels like our country’s progressing into old ideas or outdated ideas, but I, I still have hope that, you know, that’s not the case for a majority of the people, even though sometimes the kids feel like.
De’Vannon: Yeah, that’s why it’s good to take a media purge Sometimes I just don’t
Ifetayo: Oh yeah.
De’Vannon: for like a few days and just detox a media detox.
Ifetayo: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm.
De’Vannon: So the services you provide, I’m gonna talk about ’em from your website, beautiful website, y’all. All that information will go in the showy [00:14:00] notes, as it always does. And then they’re, they’re on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, all of that will go in the showy notes.
You know, you have like community building, education, arts and culture. So do kind a person like walk into like your office and receive some sort of service, or are you mainly doing outreach, like on the ground? What is it?
Ifetayo: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. So interesting. We are remote based. We’ve always been remote based since before the pandemic. I live in New York and I’ve been in New York for about six years, and I have folks in DC Chicago go. Colorado and California, and Portland, Oregon. So we don’t provide any direct services partly because a lot of these substances are illegal.
So we cannot legally, I mean, in some states, , well, I would say [00:15:00] decriminalized, but in some, in some states it would be decriminalized. But we can, we can’t do like psychedelic therapy or like a healing ceremony officially under our organization. But we do connect people, you know, if someone like reaches out to us and say like, Hey, I need help.
We can connect people to other services practitioners and other resources out there. And you know, before the pandemic we would go to different cities. Events and, you know, do discussions. Theres, so, like back in 2018, we did a kind of like a partnership panel with the DC Psychedelic Society and the Philadelphia Psychedelic Society.
And we talked about patriarchy and psychedelics and that, I mean, much needed conversation. So we’ll do, we’ll do things like that. I hope in the future we’re able to do more direct [00:16:00] services. We’ve been really focused on building our capacity as an organization. So like we recently incorporated as a non-profit and we’re waiting for our 5 0 1 C three to come in and we we received our first grant last year.
So yeah, we’re, we’re, we’re slowly building toward that. And I I put emphasis on the slowly because. I think that there’s this trend in the site up space for everyone to wanna start their own group and just be known for psychedelics and . That’s cool, but it’s not sustainable. There’s a lots of, you know, different people out there and, and psychedelics are powerful substances.
And I am in no rush to, you know, I don’t wanna say I’m, I’m not in a rush to give people psyched dogs. I mean, I’m not doing that, but I’m just not in a rush to do that because I know that they’re [00:17:00] very powerful substances and it, they take some preparation and and it’s also not something to play around with.
I, I believe in building a strong container of care for folks if you’re going to hold space for them. And I think you do that by being. Prepared. So studying and also just being ethical. So, yeah.
De’Vannon: You all, I might have to get your Portland Connect and your New York connection referral cause I’ll be in Portland at the end of the month dealing about doing some on the ground research.
De’Vannon: And I have some jet blue miles that I need to burn. And from New Orleans down here where near where I live, they Jet Blue only goes to New York Fort Lauderdale and Boston.
And I’ve been all three of ’em already, so I may need to come fuck with y’all in the, in the end. Why?
Ifetayo: [00:18:00] Yes.
De’Vannon: So, so you mentioned a couple of other organizations that you partner with.
De’Vannon: You had mentioned maps already. I noticed that I dropped the donation on y’all earlier. You.
no. No problem honey. But, and I’m not, I’m not really bragging about that.
But when I did it, the, that, like the thank you page said like maps and everything like that. So are you still connected directly with.
Ifetayo: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Yeah. Funny how that works. We are fiscally sponsored by maps. So before, I would say from 2017 to 2020, we were I believe we were, yeah, we were incorporated as a non-profit. And when we got our grant, we were kind of in a time crunch because they were like, We wanna give you this money and we’re going to offer you a match component, a $10,000 match.
So we’re like, Okay, well we don’t have a 5 0 1 C [00:19:00] three, so how do we do this ? And they’re like, Oh, well, if that’s the case, we may not give you the money. . No, I’m just kidding. They didn’t say that. But we had to figure out like, how are we gonna do this? And so maps, we looked at a couple other organizations maps had the internal infrastructure set up so we could do that quickly and be able to receive our grant fully.
So in a way I kinda, I kind of look at it as like . It’s kind of like, Oh yeah, y’all owe us this, you know, so it won’t be forever. But you know, it’s, it’s for now.
De’Vannon: Yeah. Well, congratulations on your 5 0 1 3 C status. I, I know it’s there. I just know.
De’Vannon: And y’all for, for those of you who don’t know, MAP stands for Multidisciplinary association folks, Psychedelic studies. I didn’t know this much research in this much [00:20:00]organization, this many organizations was built around this.
You let the news tell it. You know, you let the media tell it. Everything about shrooms and all the different psychedelics is just the devil. you know, that’s not, that’s just actually not the case at all Now. Now I mentioned earlier some of the pillars that you mentioned on your website, community building, education, arts, and culture.
I love a quote that you have on there from arts and culture. Then I wanna talk about the art show you did in 2021. Now you said, quoting from the website along with policy and education, art in all its forms, brings about cultural change. End quote. What does that statement mean to you?
Ifetayo: Well, to me it means that, Cultural change is just as impactful, if not more impactful than policy change. I’ve worked for a few organizations that do policy advocacy work, and I, I don’t do policy advocacy work. That’s not my day [00:21:00] job. I’m more of a digital communications person. But I’m not very motivated by policy work cause I don’t like politicians.
And I think, I mean, yeah, politicians aren’t to be liked either, right? Like we treat politicians like celebrities and I mean, fuck celebrities too, but yeah, we treat them like they’re our friends and it’s like, no, like screw those people. So and I think. Honestly, Bureaucracy’s gonna be the death of a lot of us.
Like bureaucracy in this country just stops a lot of progress from happening. And the way that our political landscape is set up in this country is just, it’s just a mess. So . So that’s that. I do believe, I do believe that policy can change people’s lives, but I do think cultural change can be more impactful.
It can be more fun, [00:22:00] it can be more engaging. And at my day job, I work for a caregiver advocacy org. We have a culture change department. And so what they do a lot of times is work with influencers, celebrities, artists, musicians, actors, actresses, and get them to kind of look at our issue a little differently and maybe speak on our issue, work with us, some of the folks.
In the culture change department. They also work in Hollywood writer’s rooms, so getting our narratives on TV shows in film. And I, I do think that work like that gets people talking a lot quicker. I often find that policy is very jargony and not easily understandable by the average person. And I do think that’s partly done by design But I’m also, you know, I’m a, I’m a child of music [00:23:00]education. I grew up you know, in South Carolina studying music since I was a kid. And it had a huge impact on my life. And I feel like what I’ve been noticing is. That’s kind of fading away as a part of our education in the US music and arts education.
And so something I’m, I’m very passionate about overall, I think that, you know, when we get, you know, people who, with influence speaking about our issues, whether it be a celebrity or just a community leader, people start to pay attention. People start to think about it differently. Unfortunately, that’s just how our society works.
We need a celebrity or someone with influence to speak on our to speak on our issue. And, you know, I, Hmm, Yeah, I think that, [00:24:00] that’s all I’ll say on that.
De’Vannon: We’ll love it. And, and y’all can check out a video that has to do with this art show on the website. There’s lots of videos on the website and and, and of course, obviously on their YouTube channel. I love how, you know, your videos bring so much of your work to life. Can you talk to us about like the, the, the education leg, because on your website there’s like you speaking at. These different conferences and things like that, there’s the one conference that you spoke at you know, according to the website, you woke up with a stomach virus that day or in a food poisoning. You had food poisoning that instead of canceling it, you, you took a seat and you went on ahead and you let the Good times rollers, where, say, down here in the Cajun land, Leslie Le Bon. So, so, so, so talk to us about, about your, your speaking engagements and how, what it’s been like to travel with your message.
Ifetayo: Yeah, yeah. That particular speech you’re [00:25:00] referencing was last year in Vegas at Meet Delic. And that was an interesting event because it was like very industry side. And so I was speaking about how we need to move beyond just the notion of wellness and how wellness has shortcomings. I think that along with the resurgence of psychedelics in the media and just in our communities in general, we’re also seeing, you know, a lot of talk of varying healing modalities.
And while important, I think we, we could sometimes use wellness as an escape from actually organizing. Improving our communities. And I think that there are a lot of people in the psychedelics space who, who think that by taking psychedelics, they’re going to be more [00:26:00] involved, more liberated than other folks without any, doing any political work or community organizing or building or that kind of thing.
So I’m often, you know, the person in a lot of these events and conferences, kind of reminding people that like structural oppression exists and psychedelics aren’t coming to change that. Because I think that for a lot of folks, they just think like, Oh yeah, just take psyched dose and boom, that’s, you know, and I wish it was that easy, but it’s not.
So I, I have to remind people that. Sure you could legalize, psyched dogs or decriminalize psychedelics, but are you integrating those substances into a burning house? Cause I mean, look at our healthcare system. Look at, I mean, just to say of our country in general. I’ve also given talks on like why the why people of color need our own intentional healing spaces away [00:27:00] from white folks.
And for a lot of people, this is just common sense , obviously, we, you know, people don’t wanna heal in the same places or with the same people who hurt them. And a lot of times when we do try to have complex conversations around race, whiteness gets in the way and detracts and sinners itself and makes everything about them.
So a few years ago I gave a talk in Oakland, California. at the Women’s Visionary Congress, this is in 2019. And so I was giving a talk about why p POC and digital healing spaces are necessary. And you know, I’m basically saying what I just said about how whiteness the tracks from our healing and all that.
And it was a very powerful speech. I’m not saying that to brag, but I’m just I’m saying that to say like, I noticed people [00:28:00] had a very strong reaction to what I was saying. Like people did not, they were just like, Oh shit. Like, damn, you know, . And at first I initially, I told the some of the MCs at the event, I was like, I don’t wanna do q and a, cuz I don’t feel like dealing with any white nonsense.
Right. And the person I’m seeing, there’s a mix up and she took questions anyway. And so I was like, Okay, I’ll, I’ll answer one or two. And this white guy John Gilmore, I believe he’s a, he’s a board member at maps or donor maps, some rich white dude He basically says like, Oh, well what if I start a Whites only conference?
Wouldn’t that be racist? And I was like, Well, that’s already how maps this conference is. So you wouldn’t really be doing anything different than what you’re already doing. And [00:29:00] if you want to compare POC and facial healing spaces to like whites only segregation in the us that’s, that’s on you. That’s . And yeah, he thought he was being cute and he wasn’t.
He, there’s actually a video of you wanna watch it, of this whole moment happening, But he felt real dumb after he said that. So
De’Vannon: Honey, you opened the library on his ass. Mama RuPaul would be so proud of you. The library was open. So y’all, what she’s talking about is like basically how, how did I learn this in college? Like it doesn’t really, it’s not gonna benefit us if individual parts are whole, but the sum total isn’t whole. Kind of like that. So if, if a few of us are making it, but everybody else isn’t making it, then we’re all still fucked.
Ifetayo: [00:30:00] Mm-hmm.
De’Vannon: you know, But so like in the future, how I know. So, so psychedelics isn’t gonna solve everything overnight, instantly. Is there, Can it benefit us getting further along as a.
Ifetayo: Hm, mm-hmm. . I think that it can, but with a lot of caveats, I think, well there’s this, okay, there’s this notion in this psychedelic space, a lot of researchers, a lot of just advocates in general or over height, the benefits of psychedelics and totally under height, the risk associated with psychedelics.
So I’ve been in meetings with people, I’ve been on panels with people who are like, Oh, psychedelics have a low risk profile. What does that mean? does it? Like, what does that mean? You know? There have [00:31:00] been plenty of people who’ve, who’ve been traumatized by using psychedelics. There have been people who killed themselves, or people who killed their families while using psyched.
Right? So it’s, it’s kind of messed up to kind of present it as, oh, this, it’s safe. The, the risks are low, or, Oh, it’s super dangerous, like you’re gonna die to do it. Like, we have to give people realistic information. And so that’s why I say caveats. Psychedelics aren’t for everyone. There are certain people who can’t take it, whether they’re pregnant, you know, they might be on a certain medication, they might have a certain disability where it’s hard for them to take psychedelics.
A lot of people, you know, in this country are poor. I grew up poor in the US and you know, my mom’s a single parent of seven kids. She could not afford to take off a day to go do some mushrooms or go to a retreat. So those are [00:32:00] those things I just wanna acknowledge are real. But can psychedelics help people in general and with trauma and move our, move our culture forward?
Some, I think, yeah, it does have that potential under the right conditions. Something that people say in the psychedelic and harm reduction space is set and setting, which is like kind of a harm reduction monster that people use or they’re referring to the place you’re in, the setting and the place you’re in also in your mind and in life in general and who you’re what to say that you should only use second of substances in a place where you’re comfortable and with people you trust.
And I think that also applies on a macro level too. Psychedelics have the potential to yes, move us forward create better mental health options for folks given the right set and setting. [00:33:00] If we don’t have universal healthcare, how much forward is it gonna move us if psychedelic therapy’s outta reach?
For most folks, if psychedelic therapy’s the only thing legalized and recreational use to psyched dust is still legal, then people are still going to be arrested. So I believe that we have to make the conditions right for psyched ups to have a positive impact because if not, it’s just going to be, you know, done into our already existing circus.
And I don’t think that will necessarily make a lasting, impactful change.
De’Vannon: right? So you’re saying if, if you gonna do this shit, do this shit, write, know, realistically cover everybody and be sure everyone has access to it and dribble the shit around and henpeck at it.
De’Vannon: [00:34:00] So, so I wanted to to echo, so, you know, when, when she says like, poc, that’s like people of color, like, like that’s what that the elder people
De’Vannon: would tell me, like the stories of the things that white people would do to them when they were younger. Now these people were born in like, say like, teens, twenties, 19 teens, twenties, thirties, growing up in the south here in Louisiana. I got called a nigger once,
Ifetayo: All right.
De’Vannon: there were other, like, I got called like a, like an a or monkey by this white boy one time, you know, in school, you know, things like that.
De’Vannon: Didn’t happen so much that I would say like, that cemented my perception of white people because I’ve also had a lot of white people open doors for me in my life, whereas the black people stood in my way. So I was like at a juxtaposition in a crossroads and not really understanding some of the things, you know, some of [00:35:00] the trauma that the elders still held onto.
But now that I’m older, I get how hard it can be to really heal of some things. And I would tend to stick with you even if, if you don’t want it to. And I never could get it, but I get it now and I don’t hold that against them. And so they would tell us how they’d be walking to school because, no, the black people didn’t have cars.
You know, they didn’t have backpacks cuz they took like strings to just tie the books together and the white people would zoom by them in their cars and run them into dishes and stuff like that, you know, and try to, you know, and just, you know, You know, just mean shit like that. That doesn’t make any sense.
You’re already in a, in a, in a nice vehicle. They’re on the street walking to the same place you’re going, You’re even not even gonna offer to, to r pick them up and take them. That’s, that’s not bad enough. You’re gonna try to run them over on the way just for shits and giggles, and, and that sort of shit.
And now these people are like in [00:36:00] elementary school, low grade schools when this is happening. And when they grew up into worse racism. And, and then this trickles down into people who, you know, into, even in my generation. And so this is why, you know, you know when, when my guest here says that black people don’t need to be around white people sometimes when we heal, this is why
Ifetayo: Yeah. Oh yeah, a hundred percent. And it’s, I’ve been in like those racial justice trainings with white folks. And for me it’s really frustrating when I have to witness a white person, like realize that black people are people for the first time. It’s really frustrating. And I, and I know a lot of white people, even some black people will be like, Oh, well what’s the big deal?
Like, why can’t you just, you know, be in this racial justice training together? And I’m like, It’s no, like, this isn’t, this to, for them is theory for us. It’s our [00:37:00] lives. And so, you know, what you were just sharing about the elders in your family know, stuff like dealing with those races attached is something that I grew up with.
You know, my mom was born in the fifties in North Georgia. and she also told me stories of, you know, the night riders or you know, white people shoot a or cops beating up family members for no reason. Even my grandma, my grandma will be 86 this year. She , Her memory is amazing. But she was telling my sister that when she was a kid, Yeah, white kids used to call the niggers too.
And she’s like, Yeah, we pulled our pants down at ’em . So we, I think we as black people have to realize that like, yeah, this trauma shit is real. It’s in our parents, our grandparents, it’s in us too. [00:38:00] And if that means, you know, letting your white friend know that, Hey, I wanna talk about this. I’ve had white people try to talk about, you know, mass incarceration with me or, and you know, other things that.
Hit close to home to me. And I don’t like talking to him about it because if it’s not something you experience, you aren’t gonna have the same perspective as I do. Right. Just like I don’t have the same perspective as my dad is, you know, he’s someone who’s actually been in prison. I wasn’t. So, I can only share it from my perspective, but a lot of people will use these topics like incarceration as just spotter for conversation and or to look cool.
And I’m just, I’m, I don’t, that’s not why I do this. Yeah. And a and a lot of people will say that, you know, they’re [00:39:00] against their war on drugs or they’re against this, they’re against that. And I think on an intellectual or academic level, a lot of folks are, But when it comes to. on the street. It’s a lot different.
So I, that’s why I think it’s so important for us as black people to have our own space. And other folks of color too, because we’re at a different level when we talk about these things. We’re like in the senior seminar course, the white kids are in the one on one freshman course when they talk about it.
A lot of them think that they’re on our level when it comes to talking about this stuff, but they’re not. And even, you know, I know my organization called the POC Psyched Collective, but same goes for a lot of non-black people of color too. Some of them just, some of them are racist a lot. Some of them are more racist than the white rednecks I grew up with. [00:40:00] So, yeah.
De’Vannon: Oh, those are those Mexicans for Trump and shit like that, and the damn gay Republicans and shit.
Ifetayo: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’d be like, Why are you so damn racist? Like, what is, where is this coming from? You know? But yeah, it’s, it’s a real thing, so,
De’Vannon: Well, I think a lot of it gets back to what I was saying at the top of the show about how like the voices, you know, in my head, they mimic themselves as being my own, but they’re not, you know, a kid isn’t really just born racist. Somebody taught his little as that shit, you know, You know. But they haven’t yet come to a point where they go, Maybe the elders in my family were wrong about a black person only being three fourths of a person.
You know, They haven’t reconciled their own voice yet, you know? Cause no logical person with a heart and a soul can look at, you know, things that happened in our country now and then in the history and [00:41:00] make the, make it logical. But when people’s parents tell them that a black person is less than you, that Mexican person is less than you, that gay person is less than you, that gets ingrained in them.
And it’s, and I and I, I’ve studied hypnotherapy. I’m a licensed hypnotist. It is difficult. To upo, somebody’s upbringing. You know those, that those voices out of their head. Now some people, some white people I know can’t fucking stand their families. They’re like, I can’t racist sons of bitches. You know, I know some white people who, who have such white guilt, they’re just like, God damn, and I was born the wrong raise.
These white people ain’t worth shit. And it stars my family up. They all burn in hell.
De’Vannon: Who am I to argue with them? Know they family. I do.
Ifetayo: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Yeah. And I think you know what you’re saying [00:42:00] about the voices in your mind, like not always being you, but maybe mimicking you. Goes to show that a lot of this stuff, whether it be drug propaganda or white supremacy, takes a lifetime to unpack. You know, like a lot of times people, when they come to like an event I’m speaking at, they’re like, Oh, well how can I get involved?
I wanna do something. And I’m like, I, I’ll tell people to slow down. I’m like, Just, y’all need to read first. , y’all need to read and learn first, because we all have that intern. Jaga, we all have biases against people who use drugs, especially people addicted, especially black drug users. And we also have internalized white supremacy, like black people do.
We have internalized inferiority and white people. They have internalized superiority. And it, it kills me when I, you know, see why people who, they don’t necessarily say this, but they act like they’ve done the work [00:43:00] on anti-racism and they’re good. And it’s like, no, this is a, this is a lifetime of work.
And then some, you know, so you should never stop learning
De’Vannon: Knowledge is power. And as you’re saying that, I was thinking about it, I was reading this report cuz I follow like the the decriminalization of the drugs in Oregon because I think that’s one of the most miraculous and great. That’s happening in my fucking lifetime, and I cannot wait to get there at the end of the month to show my ass.
But one of these cops was whining because they were like, The power’s been taken for us. The streets are just running rampant with drugs and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I’m all like, Bishop, you already, they’re already running rampant with drugs. Stop being a drama queen. And what he’s really whining about though, is his ability to be superior over people for having a chrome of dope or a half a tablet, half a Phoenix or whatever, and throwing a black boy in jail for one fucking pill, you know, for 15 [00:44:00] months or whatever.
They, they can’t do that to us anymore. So they’re trying to act like, you know, the, the city’s just lawless outta control, but really they hurt. They bud hurt, they hurt probably just cuz they can’t dominate us and they ain’t got the power no more
Ifetayo: Yep. Yep. That’s, that’s facts. That’s facts. And yeah. There’s, there’s so many like. Unfounded Narrows being pushed right now in a lot of major cities. Here in New York, it’s the homelessness and the crime epidemic apparent, like quotes around that . But yeah, people there. I, so I worked on the campaign in Oregon.
My old organization, Drug Policy Alliance funded that campaign. And so I was working the night that it got found or that the bow initiative got passed. And it was really crazy because being online and seeing people’s reaction to it, [00:45:00] they were just like, what? Like people could not believe that it was real.
And that was so fascinating to me because for a lot of folks, like my mom who’s, who’s 66, she never thought that she would be able to walk into a dispensary and buy weed. That was not the thing she thought about in the seventies, but she was my age. And now it’s the thing in some places. So, yeah, it’s, it’s interesting and I think a lot of people are losing their shit over the fact that, yeah, they don’t have power over us anymore.
I mean, look at how many people reacted to the whole student loan forgiveness program that Biden in and out. People are mad. People are mad that black people have a chance at getting further in. That we have less barriers to go to college, that we have less barriers to get opportunities that makes people mad.
And a lot of the progress that’s hindered in this country is because of that. [00:46:00] Cuz white folks do not want us to have the same opportunities as them. That’s why our public transit infrastructure in the US sucks. That’s why people are okay with defunding public education because anything that benefits poor black people, , they don’t care about, they’re okay with increasing police budgets because that means there’ll be more of them to keep us in check.
De’Vannon: As the Lord said, amen and amen system. I mean it in the most non churchy way. But, but as the Lord said it, you know, in the Bible, you know, freely you have received, bitch freely give, I’m adding the bitch to it. Jesus didn’t say that, but he probably thinking it. it, they, people are coming from a very, very bitter place when they bitter energy, whatever you wanna call it, negative space, LDL below, whoever.
The shit ain’t good when you have made it and you’re gonna be particular about how the fuck somebody else makes it. So maybe you didn’t get your [00:47:00] student loan forgiven, but I bet you somewhere in your life somebody gave you some shit you didn’t really deserve and you took that shit, scooped it on up and I throwing off into the sunset and, and, you know, and ain’t never even looked back.
And you may not have even said thank you. And You know, so this is how people become hypocrites and stuff. The sort of stuff Jesus preach. Again, you may not think you being hypocritical, but the Lord remembers that time when, and even though you may have forgotten it, so the fuck what? I don’t care my forgiven because I’m a 100% disabled veteran.
I was praying, Lord, just wipe it all out for, you know, I don’t care this, just let it go because I’m not a bitter broken bitch. And so I’m not sitting around here trying to find ways to be mad at people’s progress. You know? Then half the politicians bitching. I love how the White House read them for
Ifetayo: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. That was funny.
De’Vannon: you wanna, wanna complain about them getting this forgiven, but you got a few hundred thousand forgiven.
Ifetayo: Yeah. Right, right. [00:48:00] Yeah,
De’Vannon: 10,000, but you got half a million. Bitch, go set on your ass somewhere.
De’Vannon: have several seeds,
Ifetayo: yeah. They’re proud to be hypocrites. Like they’re tol. It’s like no moral compass. Just, and then the crazy thing is, is that they’ll say they’re Christians and it’s like, and you know, it’s funny, I didn’t grow up Christian. I grew up in South Harris, so I was around a lot of Christians, but I didn’t grow up Christian.
And there’s so many people who give Christians a bad name like that, who I’m just like, This is not what Jesus was about. like Jesus, Jesus was about. You know, like you were saying, giving freely, he fucked with sex workers. You know, he hung out with us gays. Like he, he was not about all this shit that they make him seem about, and he probably spoke some weed too, or did some shoes, I don’t know.
De’Vannon: Right. That’s cause it’s not written. No mean it didn’t happen. There’s a whole [00:49:00]30, the 31st, 30 years of his life isn’t really, really recorded. After he ran away from his parents in the temple, he didn’t really run away, but he was like, Y’all, I got shit to do. You know, So who fuck knows what he did. And so I think he experienced life personally. Yeah.
I wanna talk about before we wrap it up, I wanna talk about some of the good things. So, so what have we talked about so far? Some of the stigma surrounding psychedelics, A lot about what your organization does because I want everyone to go to your website. I’m having my assistant add your website to my resources page.
Ifetayo: Well, thank you.
De’Vannon: yes indeed. Any time, my dear. Because I was inspired to go on a psychedelics journey when I watched you know how to change your mind on Netflix and the history of mental illnesses on pbs. I was watching how the veterans and everything like that who have been struggling with ptsd. I’m a veteran with ptsd, you know, all this psych drugs, they give us the VA to shit don’t work, it just be having us like zombies.
And I’m watching these documentaries. They did two or three MDMA trips and they haven’t had the [00:50:00] ptsd, PTSD problems since. So I’m here for it for the veterans. I’m here for Joe Bidens trying to get the M D M. Legalize, even if it’s just at the clinic level, bitch, I will take it because I have been locked up in the mental hospital for some of these veterans before I got four felonies and I’d probably been in the mental hospital about 4, 5, 10, 50, 11 times too.
You, if, if MD a is what it’ll take for some of my fellow veterans to stop imagining the square tiles on the floor moving and shit like that. The shit that I witnessed when I was in there and shitting all over the floor and whatnot. Bitch give him his goddamn M D M A now. What have you witnessed in your, in like, I know y’all don’t give the drugs to people cuz you can’t and stuff like that, but have you heard of any stories where somebody was this way and then they got better after doing the psychedelic therapy?
You know, with, with a therapist or in a safe space, any positive tells, You can tell.
Ifetayo: Yeah. Yeah. I’m happy to share a little about my [00:51:00] story psychedelics, but in general, you know, I’ve heard people so many stories of folks saying that psychedelics have helped them with body image issues. Depression, ptsd, anxiety, O c D all kinds of things. For me personally, I got into psychedelics when I was in college.
I was really depressed my senior year. And I was dealing with suicidal thoughts. I felt just passively suicidal. And it was my senior year, so, you know, when you’re a senior, like turn up, you know, everybody’s trying to be that . And for me, the depression hit me hard, like really, really hard that year.
And it was debilitating. And, you know, I was, I had been in therapy for some time and I got prescribed like, well be shrimp. And I decided not to [00:52:00] take it cuz I, I was a little scared, I was cautious. My mom’s also like a herbalist and they get a homeopathic stuff, so she’s like against all that stuff.
And so that’s how, that was my upbringing. You know, I have a lot of friends who, Take antidepressants and it works really well for them. So I’m not, I’m not knocking it. But for me, I was, I was scared. , they said it would take away my sex drive. I was like, Oh no. Hell now
So, so it was kind of crazy looking back at it.
So basically I had interned at the Drug Policy Alliance as a media intern. I started writing about my experience of my dad going to prison and being deported, and they invited me to their conference to speak. So I spoke my first time really speaking in an audience that big. I like broke down in tears.
It was [00:53:00] really cathartic for me. And, but at the same time, I knew I was under all that, I was still depressed. So I went to this panel on like end of life. End of life anxiety and p and psychedelics. So they were talking about treating people with like terminal illnesses like cancer with L S D. And I was like, Huh, this is interesting.
For some reason I related to it, so I was like, I’m gonna go and do some mushrooms. So I went back to school after the conference and I was talking to my friends cuz I knew they dabbled in psychedelic. I was like how do I do mushrooms, ? At that point I only tried alcohol and wheat. I was so sonner in college.
I, I still am. And so they’re like, take three and a half grams, maybe put in some peanut butter cuz they taste kind of nasty. And then they’re, then they’re like, yeah, [00:54:00] like go in the woods or something. Like go in nature. Oh yeah. Have a sitter too. So I got my, I got my friend to, to sit for me and I ate the three and a half grams of mushrooms and went on a walk in the woods on this nature trail.
It’s really beautiful, overwhelming, at the same time. Experience. It lasted about eight hours for me, and it felt like a jolt that I needed in that time, like being really depressed and suicidal. I felt like I had this jolt just being like, ah, you know, like, of like release, but also happiness and beauty.
Like it was showing me the beauty of life, why we’re here. Yeah, it just, it, it just showed me a different side of life. It reminded me of my childhood imagination. Like we were in the woods and like the, the trees were glistening. The. The plants were talking [00:55:00] like, it, it just felt very surreal. I was, I was kind of freaking out.
I was like, This is too much. So me and my friend, she took me back to my room and I felt a little bit better there. I was like, less freaked out. But yeah, it, it helped me see myself in a different context. When you are depressed, you’re so used to a certain narrative that you have about yourself. It could be, Oh, I’m stupid, I’m dumb, I’m worthless, blah, blah, blah. when you take mushrooms or some other psychedelic, maybe you’re seeing yourself from a, like, like, you’re basically seeing yourself from a different person’s perspective, like almost from the outside. And it helps you have a lot more compassion for yourself. Like you see yourself as a person, not as like,
You. So I think that can be helpful [00:56:00] for anyone who’s stuck in a rut, whether it be depression whether it be, you know, just bad habits that you’ve been trying to break for a long time. Yeah, and it, I mean, and the most important thing was that it just made me feel really happy. Like, I was laughing, like I never laughed before like giggling like a baby, you know?
And that was really important because when you’re depressed and down, your body forgets what it’s like to laugh, like. And when you laugh like that, it’s like, whoa. Like that feeling is so amazing. And when you’re on Trus, you, I mean, for me at least, I laugh, I laugh a lot. things could be really, really funny.
You could also go from crying to laughing, like in five seconds, , just like that. But I think that’s beautiful too because that’s how life can be. You know, things can be good. One minute and boom, things can change and you have to adjust and you have to [00:57:00] keep going and learn how to adapt with all those things.
And for me, my, that’s kind of what my work is about. You know, we’re all adapting, we’re all changing, but we can also use these substances as tools to change our worlds and help people like, help people with disabilities, help people who, you know, are born without certain privileges. A better place for them.
De’Vannon: See the Lord is giving us everything we need right outside nature and how, how dare the white man tried to, to tell us something’s wrong with these things that just grow naturally. Shrooms and weed and the, the fucking mold on the wheat that they make the fucking l s d out of and stuff like that. It’s all line naturality.
It’s organic nun gmo, gmo, all of that. I’m sorry. You went through all those things. You went through being depressed during, during what’s [00:58:00] so supposed to be such a happy time, but I’m glad you got your breakthrough. Yes. From those documentaries I watched, it seems like they were suggesting that these psychedelics have the power to rewrite like the, the neuro connectivity of the brain.
So like, like you’re saying, when you get, when you get sad and you get stuck in that ruck rut where you’re teaching, where your mind learns how to be sad, and then these psyched dealers can remind your mind what it’s like to be happy and rewire the way you process information and process life. So it can give you a whole new framework to work from. So,
De’Vannon: and I didn’t really get into the types of psychedelics because I was watching like, I think on your YouTube channel of, I think it’s in the intro video on there, you had this panel of people like y’all, y’all if Fatal, Ifta loves her panels, he loves a panel.
De’Vannon: It is good to have all those perspectives.
But the [00:59:00] one you had, they were going over all the different psychedelics and I knew about the Melin and the, the celli and the ganja, you know, and all that. But then they started going down. He was like, But it’s like, you know, designer, now you have all these different wands. And it’s like, so I was like, Oh shit, I don’t
De’Vannon: but y’all go to the website to learn more about the different types of psyched dials. Listen to their, the information or YouTube channel she mentioned like dismantling the patriarchy. There’s information and in other shows she’s gone on, on her website that mentions. That, that you can access through the website that I would put in the show notes.
Grief loss to death and harm reduction, things like that. You know, that you mentioned all of these are potential benefits for psychedelics when it’s done right and in the right setting. I’m so happy that it’s coming back around cuz all this Ritalin and shit, they got kids on calling them adhd, whatever the fuck that is.
You know, all this medicine that they’ve had us hopped up [01:00:00] on, all it is is legal drugs. We should be able to have our shit, not just what they tell us is okay because they haven’t so,
So I’m gonna let you have the last word. Say whatever is you want to.
Ifetayo: Oh man, you . I, I’ll just say you’ve been an amazing host. I, I was not expecting this. You’re awesome. You’ve like, I do a lot of podcasts, interviews and you’ve been the most fun. So I
De’Vannon: Well, damn. Thank you. Thank, I’ll take, I’ll take all
Ifetayo: Yes. Keep doing. You Don’t change. And thank you to all your listeners. Check us out www.pocpc.org. Thank you for having me.
De’Vannon: Absolutely. Thank you very much. Fat Tayo. Thank y’all so [01:01:00] much for listening and we’ll see you next time on the Sex Drugs in Jesus podcast and tell them don’t listen to nobody but show self.
Thank you all so much for taking time to listen to the Sex Drugs and Jesus podcast. It really means everything to me. Look, if you love the show, you can find more information and resources at SexDrugsAndJesus.com or wherever you listen to your podcast. Feel free to reach out to me directly at DeVannon@SexDrugsAndJesus.com and on Twitter and Facebook as well.
My name is De’Vannon, and it’s been wonderful being your host today. And just remember that everything is gonna be all right.