Beltway Banthas Episode #36: Race, Representation & Reconciliation

by Beltway Banthas

Today on Beltway Banthas, Swara and Stephen reconcile a dispute! Representation and diversity on screen is the hot topic of the day and it’s more charged than ever. We discuss a disagreement had off the air in total transparency. Our goal was to better understand some feelings about identity politics in pop-culture.  

The reason we say feelings, and not arguments, is because there is a time for for both. People seek to be understood, listened to and not disparaged for the feelings they are trying to explain. On Beltway Banthas we want that to be something we can take on, perhaps while many in Star Wars fandom and on social media struggle to communicate on this topic.

This episode was a delight to do. Hard at times, but rewarding. All we ask of you the listener is be gracious–to the hosts – and to other fans–as we all attempt to open these dialogues.


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Politics and Star Wars fuse together on this unique and fascinating show! Beltway Banthas is your place for insightful political commentary featuring the galaxy far, far, away. Beltway Banthas is a Star Wars podcast about the intersection of fandom and the things that drive daily life. For hosts Stephen Kent & Swara Salih, one of those things is politics. Star Wars draws from our world’s politics just as much as it contributes to it by influencing policymakers, journalists and thought leaders.

On the show, you’ll learn about the politics within the Star Wars universe, from Alderaan & Naboo’s monarchies to the function of the Senate on Coruscant. In between episodes we feature interviews with real world change-makers, and talk with them about how Star Wars impacted their lives and view of the world.

Stephen Kent lives outside of DC with his wife and daughter. He works at a political non-profit that does outreach to millennials. He enjoys political podcasts, cosplay, and making jokes that only he thinks are funny. Connect on Twitter @Stephen_Kent89.

Swara Salih is a true believer, in both The Force and the importance of politics. As an activist, writer and aspiring Jedi, Swara came to Beltway Banthas as a listener and is now with the show full time. He’s a Data Analyst working to get city governments to use data better. Connect with him on Twitter @SwaraSalih1.

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