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Bio for BLM discussion

Updated: Jul 5

Wrote this hoping it might be useful for a discussion on Sam Harris' thoughts on the current protests and unrest. The discussion will be on Heterodox Americana a lovely podcast by Raphael and Angie.


Hopefully useful specific bio:


Half-Mexican (white looking) military/airline kid raised by Californians mostly in Texas.

Came to Philly on a biochemistry scholarship so I could continue playing jazz in a big city.

Left biochemistry in my third year to pursue a degree in Jazz Trumpet Performance from Temple U.

Formed a jazz/hiphop band with freestyle rappers.

Learned to freestyle rap from local Philadelphians and have been making solo, jazz-based hiphop beats and freestyle rapping over David Brooks’ political quotes.

I listen, daily, to one or more of these podcasts: Wall Street Journal Politics (Potomac Watch), Pod Save America, NPR Politics

I have been humbled by people of all races, cultures, and political views in nearly all walks of life.


Bias acknowledgment: I meditate at least once a day using Sam Harris' Waking Up app.

Relevant moments in my life:

1st grade - Learned about race while playing with the black family of my dad’s colleague at the Air Force Academy. Discussed this with my family a few years ago and someone said, “Well, they’re different.” to which I pushed back.

11th grade - The Mormon base player noted that all of our heroes were black people: Miles Davis, Michael Johnson, Clifford Brown, Carl Lewis. We were white Texas suburban kids.

In jazz school - Trying to figure out if you can tell in a recording if a jazz soloist is white or black. Wondering if/how white people can swing and why there’s tension there.

Continually - trying to develop a rapping style that isn’t just imitating my favorite rappers styles who are mostly black.


I marched in the black lives matter march June 6th and kept 6ft apart from everyone and wore a mask the entire time.


Privilege: I consider myself ridiculously privileged even among my own siblings. I am quite grateful for my good luck and hope to use that for as great a good as I can in my lifetime.

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