When reconciliation is based on gaslighting

What is it about some humans that makes them brush their wrongdoings under the carpet and gaslight people into “moving on”? What happens when those gaslighters are enabled by members of the community who were wronged? That’s what we’re getting into in this week’s issue.

The subject matter’s on the darker side, but while there’s violence, there’s a seeking to understand the people who are so quick to want to move on. The pandemic was so mishandled in so many ways here in the UK that there were lots of occasions when our then PM kept telling us, the public, that what the public wanted, was for us to stop talking about what the government screwed up.

Now imagine someone you thought had your interests at heart started agreeing that now is not the time for people to face consequences, but for us to all move on and forgive. Multiply that by the value of a childhood, and you see my point.

In 1997, a gang of older white teens beat a young boy into a coma because he was black. All he was trying to do was put some air in his tyres. One of the attackers was from a family with mob connections dating back to the days of Al Capone. Black religious leaders started calling for reconciliation between both parties, which is where our reporter steps into the story.

Yohance Lacour in his early 20s, living in his dad’s house on the south side of Chicago, writing plays, trying his hand at journalism, and selling drugs to make ends meet. The young boy’s beating and the subsequent rhetoric around it was a major sticking point for Yohance.

Now, after serving a 10-year prison sentence for dealing heroin, Yohance returns to Chicago to track down and confront not only the religious leaders who called for reconciliation, but the man pinpointed as the ringleader in the young boy’s beating.

The podcast is called You Didn’t See Nothin, and it’s just wrapped up. The minute I’m bringing you is from the penultimate episode, and it’s a mess. It starts at around 31:11 in my copy, and in it, Yohance confronts the mob-connected ringleader from the beating. The show’s producer accidentally dials the guy’s dad who they’d been in contact with, but the son won’t pick up the phone or talk to Yohance.

Meanwhile, the dad’s on the phone and hears everything, and claims that his son might be too intimidated. It’s tense and chaotic, with Yohance describing the anger and frustration he felt as emotions from the past come flooding back

The show’s a mix of memoir and investigation. I’ll let you know now that, as with most podcasts like this, there’s no resolution. But it’s a great listen, and very much about the journey rather than the destination.

On a lighter note, this is issue 20 of The Big Minute! I’ve got lots more shows in my queue to review, but do keep ‘em coming. Also, if you want to hear the clips I mention – or you just want to give your eyes a rest – you can follow the Big Minute podcast.

Alright then. You keep listening (to that or to anything else!), and I’ll do the same.

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