Podcast Ep 16: A Tribe Called Mash-Up

Photo credit: flickr / Marco Giumelli
Who do we claim as our own?
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Who’s Your Tribe?

Editor’s Note: This episode was originally published in May 2016. We stand by every word. We’re here for you, fam. 

Mash-Ups! Donald Trump, with his terrible and dangerous identity politics, is the Republican candidate for president. And so it feels especially important to think about our tribes right now. Where do we belong? Who do we belong to? And what do we do when one of our own goes off the rails? Are we responsible for our whole group?

In the months ahead, some politicians will seek to divide us, target us, and make us into stats, all in an effort to simplify the complexity of our Mash-Up American lives. But let’s keep in mind that our most important tribe, our big, beautiful kaleidoscope of identities in America, is the one that we create together, here, everyday.

We learned many amazing things and had fantastic conversations. Por ejemplo: Studies found that when Canadian runner Ben Johnson (pictured above) won the gold medal at the Olympics all the Canadian newspapers referred to him as “Canadian runner Ben Johnson” but when he was stripped of the gold he suddenly became “Jamaican runner Ben Johnson” in those same newspapers. 

This episode features Taz Ahmed from #GoodMuslimBadMuslim; Phil Yu, the Angry Asian Man; and Nour Kteily, professor of Psychology and Business at Northwestern. Check ’em out. 

Taz Ahmed

Co-host, #GoodMuslimBadMuslim


I want to figure out how I can be the kind of brown that’s in solidarity with being a person of color but also the kind that eats rice with my hands and speaks in Bangla.

Phil Yu

Creator and Founder, Angry Asian Man


I grew up in an era when there weren’t a lot of examples of Koreans in the media in general. I mean, I remember freaking out one time because “Diff’rent Strokes” was my favorite show when I was a kid. There was one episode where there was a random Korean story line, and I was like, what? Just being acknowledged was a major thing. Every Korean you see, you feel an affinity to, in some way.

Nour Kteily

Professor of Psychology and Business, Northwestern University


Every person has to reckon with how much their group matters to them, how they’re going to react to actions by their group that maybe they wouldn’t have engaged in themselves. Some people might respond to that by distancing themselves.

Listen to “A Tribe Called Mash-Up,” and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or on your favorite audio app like Stitcher or TuneIn. Or just keep coming right back here.

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This podcast is produced by American Public Media and Southern California Public Radio, KPCC. It is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how the NEA grants impact individuals and communities, visit

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