S4E7: Bion Bartning | Pro-Human Approach to Addressing Racism
This week our host Henry got the opportunity to sit down with Bion Bartning, the co-founder of EOS Products, best known for their iconic egg-shaped lip-balm. Bartning is also the founder of FAIR, the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism. In this episode, he speaks with Henry about the work that FAIR does; attempting to change the narrative surrounding our approach to confronting racism.
Bartning founded FAIR a year ago, and as the President of the organization he works to advance civil rights and liberties for all Americans, by as he describes, promoting fairness, understanding, and humanity.
“Our approach at FAIR is to focus on addressing the real issues of racism, the real issue of intolerance, through what we call the pro-human approach, and the pro-human approach is at its core, really treating other people, viewing other people and viewing yourself as a unique individual first and foremost.”
The initial idea for FAIR was spawned after Bartning’s decision to take his two children out of a well-known, privately funded school in New York City. Here he describes the alienation he and his family felt after asking questions about the school’s changing curriculum. To Bartning, our general approach to destructive ideologies like racism, shouldn’t be a left or right issue.
“This is not a partisan issue, this has nothing to do with people being Democrats or Republicans … this is just really about philosophically what do we want to be teaching our kids. Do we want to teach our kids to see themselves and other people as interchangeable members of identity groups, or do we want to teach them that they are unique individuals, other people are unique individuals? Racism is real and the way you overcome that is by connecting with other people on a human-to-human level.”
In the eyes of Bartning, the American people need to be able to choose from more than just a caricature of what a Republican is or a caricature of what a Democrat is. If people think about what resonates with their values and not necessarily where they land on the 50/50 split, we could achieve more progress according to Bartning.
“I think that there is opportunity through the judicial process and through the political process. I think education is really at the core of this and I think people seeing positive alternatives that resonate with them.”
To hear more from Henry’s latest interview with Bion Bartning, including Bartning’s future plans for an organization like FAIR, be sure to listen to list week’s episode of Keeping it Civil.