A Conversation With Queen Shon'ae
POLITICS 10/06/2039 10:47 AM ET
A Conversation With Queen Shon'ae
by Andrea Jasevicius

CC0 1.0 Untitled by monaemillermusic | Writer image: CC0 1.0 Untitled by Rosado | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only. Image changes released under the same license as the original.
Shon'ae has been at the forefront of civil rights globally for twenty years.
Queen Shon'ae - better known as the Administrator of the National Civil Rights Agency - is the public face of human rights in the United States today.

A graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law, Shon'ae has spent her career helping define concepts of liberty and justice around the world. She is a Professor Emeritus, having taught at Harvard, Princeton and the University of Chicago. Her work on the neurological underpinnings of auto-selection and group identity has reshaped the debate on assisting minorities to achieve their destinies.

Prior to accepting her current role, she lectured extensively around the world and served on the boards of Zundium, Bosker-Crisp and Create Justice, where her collaboration with activist LaTawnee Easton helped produce the Sovereign Black movement.

She is the author of three books which have reached the New York Times bestseller list and currently guides the Wennstrom government in all things socio-justice.

Shon'ae agreed to speak with HuntCour on a range of topics regarding the NCRA's role, CHURC and the concepts of love and justice in America today.

AJ: Thanks for meeting with us today.

QS: My pleasure.

AJ: Can we begin with your thoughts on justice in America today?

QS: I would say we're getting there, but there's a lot of work still to do. The National Civil Rights Agency is at the forefront of a movement which has finally become a goverment priority, which is the true integration of enormously diverse societies using a common thread of compassion and a just framework for understanding.

AJ: What are the challenges America still faces that the NCRA can influence?

QS: We're getting a lot of static through some parts of the system, a real reluctance to change on the part of certain communities. Whether that's a generational thing, a cultural thing, a geographical thing, a religious thing, is difficult to say but we're pushing very hard to get those people to understand that minorities are important. They need and deserve acceptance and affirmation and this country was built on the backs of minorities - whether you want to talk about slaves or even Irish, Italians, Latins - people who have contributed to the fabric of this nation. The primary goal of the NCRA is to facilitate that acceptance and affirmation.

We're trying to utilize the state CHURCs very efficiently in deploying our policies on the ground in a careful, sensitive way, but sometimes that just won't cook the dinner [laughter].

AJ: Can you elaborate on what CHURCs have to do when the people on the ground won't or can't be brought around?

QS: I can give you a few contemporary examples we're battling right now. There's a situation unfolding in a suburb of Phoenix, where non-People of Color are fighting local Hispanic shopkeepers who are charging micro-reparations to non-People of Color.

AJ: For readers who are not aware of micro-reparations...

QS: Sometimes a business will charge a percentage more for goods or services to individuals based on some or all of their non-CoUNTA identities. So, one firm may charge white people a little extra, another may charge straight, legal residents a little extra.

The charge varies between 5 and 20 percent ,usually, and is at the discretion of the business. Some firms keep the extra money they make, and some will choose to donate to a cause they identify with.

In that instance in Phoenix we had to send CHURC officers in to speak to the local community and let them know that micro-reparations are lawful and that abuse of CoUNTA shopkeepers will not be tolerated.

AJ: What other examples can you give?

QS: We have a tricky situation in a Memphis suburb which is essentially trying to set up a sovereign white neighborhood. We've had to station CHURC officers within the neighborhood in order to assure the security of African-Americans living there.

A dispute brought to us by students at NYU over species discrimination was just recently handed off to CHURC New York. The students - who identify as vampiric - have claimed discrimination over having to attend classes in daylight. They claim the college has fostered an atmosphere of repression and so CHURC's role will be to facilitate a solution.

AJ: CHURC is seen to be the enforcer but it sounds more like a conciliatory role.

QS: Exactly. Exactly. We're trying to not be the cops - sometimes you have to be - but our role is to help reach agreements for communities.

We had another recent example I'd like to share: about a week ago a church in Michigan attempted to excommunicate a family which self-identified as a loving family. They arranged multiple meetings with the church leadership but were unsuccessful in reaching an agreement, so the family contacted us to help facilitate a solution. CHURC Michigan is in the middle of that right now, trying to help an agreement be reached which enables the family's right to worship to be respected.

AJ: Is religion, I'm guessing one of the major sticking points for certain people?

QS: It's been a major fulcrum for discrimination for a long time. And one which we've been actively trying to penetrate. There is a lot of shielding for religion in this country but it doesn't just shield the good aspects of it, it also protects the negative functions of religion, which can be to divide and harm people based on lawful choices and immutable identities.

AJ: I have a feeling that you're referring to Congressman Corneo's bill - the Right To Worship Act. Among other examples.

QS: Among other examples. But yes, H.R. 64 is a good example of an institution resisting a compassionate reponse for the sake of traditional prejudices. Also, when the Supreme Court overturned the Defined Religious Contributions Act in June '35 it was kind of a signal to us that the religious lobby is not going to go quietly.

AJ: How can the NCRA fight that kind of obstacle?

QS: Well, for one thing we can appeal to existing law. In the case of the family trying to hold on to their freedom to worship, if the church won't negotiate we can point to California's law legalizing loving family relationships - which has not even been challenged in court - and suggest that what we know they feel is their freedom of association should not trump a family lawfully practising love. That "freedom" has been a noose hung around a lot of necks for a long time.

Now the church knows that its freedom of association can be challenged on the grounds of the family's legal activities - which if affirmed by the Supreme Court, suddenly legalizes loving families nationwide - so that's a gamble for them. Or, it can be challenged because the church does not operate in a legal vaccuum. It pays no taxes despite occupying space which is serviced by police, a fire department, utilities infrastructure and so on. With that kind of government support, it should expect to abide by a minimum standard of treatment toward people acting within the law.

AJ: Issues of identity and sexuality are moving in a positive direction in this country. Is the NCRA confident that these larger prejudices (religious, cultural, geographic, etc) can be overcome eventually?

QS: Absolutely. We're a nation of heroes and we stand up for what is right. And you're correct: there is a trajectory of history which is leading toward justice. In the past twenty years we have won instant marriage and divorce, we have won plural marriage and a functional system to sort out the beginning and end of those relationships. We have legalized marijuana. We have legalized the intimacy market.

We're fighting the same fights now for forms of alternative love but the thing is, we've fought the same fight against the same people on different battlegrounds, and we've won every time. So our push for liberty resounds to success and the other side knows that.

AJ: Can you talk a little bit about opposition in light of last week's Wall Street Journal piece on the weaponry CHURC officers have to carry?

QS: I read that piece. It is precisely the kind of opposition we are fighting against. I don't want to go into the specifics of the NCRA's defense policy yet again, but let me just say that this is not a passive occupation. Changing people's minds sometimes involves confrontation - the kind of confrontation which sometimes places our people in situations of danger.

AJ: Oklahoma City '37 springs to mind.

QS: We lost eight people defending the rights of a student group, and I vowed that we'd never put ourselves in a position of vulnerability again. It was sort of a case of "we're right, and we're prepared to bring the full force of the federal government in fighting for what's right".

We've been very transparent about the fact that some of our personnel carry automatic weaponry and sidearms and wear bulletproof vests. And that each of the state CHURCs possess more intensive weaponry should the occasion ever arise that we need to defend ourselves or American citizens who are being placed in danger.

AJ: But in some ways it seems the opposition is sort of dying down. For instance, Kaley's Law breaches have trended downward each year since it was introduced.

QS: That's right. The majority of people have gotten the message - or didn't even need persuading in the first place - that speech can be harm and harm will not be tolerated. And those who don't want to get the message are diminishing in number. That's encouraging. It shows that our policies are working.

But we're not sitting on our victories, we're taking active steps to reinforce them and continue. Today, we rolled out our Hate Reaction Teams, which will recruit locals to engage other community members who may be in breach of Kaley's Law. So, we're getting the word out even further, that we are protecting Americans from hatred and bigotry.

AJ: What do you say to Americans who suggest their right to freedom of speech is being impinged upon?

QS: I'd say that if you want to make hateful, harmful remarks you had better do so in the privacy of your own home.

AJ: Changing direction, can you talk a little bit about the rumors that the NCRA will be taking over college Student Judiciary Councils?

QS: Good question. We've had discussions with AUSG (American Union of Student Governments) and their response has been positive. It's sort of acknowledged by all sides that SJCs are doing a fantastic job and if they had the imprimatur of the federal government then their role as adjudicators of justice on campus might be under less scrutiny.

AJ: Are you referring to state governments?

QS: That's one source, yes.

AJ: Lastly - can you talk about the Sovereign Black situation? Is the NCRA happy with the progress made in the past five years?

QS: I would characterize our stance as assertively content. Twenty-one cities across the nation have a Sovereign Black Neighborhood which is a revolution in race relations in this country. But there is so much more to do. We work very closely with SBN leaders including National Sovereign Black Neigborhood Association President Marces Kabwela Brookline and our vision is to see a SBN in every city and town in the United States with a significant African-American population. We're in an advocacy role, monitoring and assisting the forty-three communities currently pursuing Sovereign Black status.

AJ: Administrator Shon'ae, thank you for your time.

QS: My pleasure.
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