The New Day Talk Racial Injustice, George Floyd & More On Latest Podcast
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On their most recent episode of The New Day: Feel The Power podcast, the trio had sportswriter and activist Andreas Hale on to discuss the racial injustices that have been going across the nation for generations and how it has specifically come to the forefront since the George Floyd tragedy in Minnesota.
Hale is a close friend of Big E has written for numerous music and sports publications. He’s also been a very proactive voice for African American rights and the troubles that they face on a daily basis. After Xavier Woods introduced the show, a very emotional Big E gave his thoughts on the murder of Floyd.
“I just keep thinking, and I put myself in George Floyd’s position when I saw him be murdered like that and to have a man put his knee on his neck like that man, and I don’t know how don’t feel empathy for a man like that who’s accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill, man! He didn’t deserve to die like that! We cannot be okay with murdering us! You just can’t be okay with it cause it’s not the first time and it’s not the second time and we’ve seen it and like I said man, I’ve seen and heard these stories from my parents and their parents and their parents before them and I cannot accept living in a country where this is acceptable where it takes two days to get an arrest for this man!”
— Florida Man (@WWEBigE) June 8, 2020
Kofi Kingston added onto Big E’s feelings, stating that he always leaves his house with caution and that there’s something very wrong about having those feelings lingering in the back of his mind.
“You hit the nail on the head and that’s the scariest thing about all of these situations is that it could very well have been any of us. Seeing the video of Ahmaud Arbery, like he was just going for a run in his neighborhood. I recently just started running around in my neighborhood and to be doing something where you’re trying to become healthier, you’re trying to better yourself and here comes a car full of people and they just murder you in the street. The fact that every time I go out by myself or I go out with my family, in the back of my mind there is always a thought of, ‘Man, what if, am I gonna be next?’
“It’s almost like I’ll leave the house and almost have like a plan of action, you know, in the event of something that might happen and we shouldn’t have to live like that, no one should have to live like that constantly looking over their shoulder in fear or worry that harm may come but the reality of the world that we live in today is that it is possible and the fact that we’ve seen these images,” Kofi continues as he talks seeing all the footage that’s been floating around social media. “It hits, but it’s almost on a level of like, it doesn’t seem real but today in this day and age, seeing the videos that are going around on Twitter of George Floyd of Ahmaud Arbery of so many people, it makes it very real to our generation and it’s scary, especially when you have kids.”
Kofi also mentions how he’s seeing a great deal of proactive feedback and response from white people and white America.
“I think we’re all in the same boat here and I think it’s very refreshing in a sense to see that so many people who are not African American coming to the aid and really wanting to know what they can do. White America wants to know what they can do, you know, because I feel like these images specifically like watching this, seeing this with your own eyes and knowing that it is real and it’s actually happening and it’s not hearsay. It’s not a story that you’ve heard from somebody else. This is actually happening, it is being ingrained in your body, in your mind, you are witnessing what is happening. Seeing that makes it very real and it is not just for us, you know? It’s for anybody who witnesses it.”
“I feel like we’re hopefully on the cusp of something turning around because we’re not the only ones who have had enough. It feels good to have White America listening, you know what I’m saying, as opposed to talking about the semantics of [former NFL quarterback Colin] Kaepernick protesting and talking about it being about the flag and he’s specifically saying like, ‘No, we’re talking about police brutality and we want to bring attention to this issue.'”
Hale then touches upon the topic of how black people are vulnerable to racism and prejudice at an early age in life and then mentions how recently a women expressed her grievances of Nickelodeon “taking away her child’s innocence” by by the network observing eight minutes of silence in honor of George Floyd.
“Our innocence wasn’t taken away by Nickelodeon by choice. When we were first introduced to why we were being treated differently. It was by somebody else because we grew up wanting to love everybody. We didn’t know we were different. I know in my case, I was raised by an old Italian white woman, that was my grandmother. She tried to keep me away and wanted me the good black kid. One day in third grade I was out on the playground and a kid was singing a song: ‘In 1964, my dad went to the war, pulled a trigger and shot a “n-word” and that was the other war!’ And then he pointed at me and he’s like, ‘You’re the n-word!’ I couldn’t figure out what that meant and I had to ask, I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ And I had to ask and he’s laughing at me. He was, ‘My dad shot you. You deserve to die. We don’t like black people.’ I was taken aback. I went back and asked my grandmother, ‘Well what’s wrong with me?’ She’s like, ‘Well there’s nothing wrong with you,’ and I was like, ‘No, there’s something wrong.’
I love pro wrestling. I love black people. I don’t love having to have these conversations about why #BlackLivesMatter but honored that @WWEBigE @TrueKofi and @XavierWoodsPhD had me on their podcast for this very emotional and therapeutic conversation. https://t.co/iueds1STLi pic.twitter.com/sk8eQKmZp0
— Andreas Hale (@AndreasHale) June 8, 2020
“If somebody’s identifying a difference this early in my life, this took away my innocence and guided me on this crusade because there’s nothing wrong with us. We didn’t wake up mad. Rodney King wasn’t the first situation where black people were first upset about racism and police brutality. This has been happening for years but our innocence was taken away at such an early portion of our lives where we had to acknowledge that we were different, not because of us, but because of how somebody else perceived us. So when we have kids, I have a three-year-old daughter and I have a 14-year-old nephew and a nine-year-old niece and they don’t know anything about this until somebody tells them that they are different and once they realize that they are different now they’re confused and that’s where the anger and frustration comes from. So I think this George Floyd situation is years of pent up frustration for us, seeing nothing is happening to the people that are treating us differently just because of the color of the skin.
“I’ve never woke up and said, ‘You know what? I’m black and I’m mad.’ I don’t think any of that ever did that. I think somebody else has told us, ‘You’re different because of the color of the skin and not because of the color of who you are.'”
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)
You can listen to this very poignant episode of Feel The Power by tuning in below: