The New Day‘s podcast, Feel The Power, is usually upbeat and funny, but in the latest episode, the team gets serious about the issues that have inspired thousands of Americans to protest, donate, and speak out over the past couple of weeks. In “A Conversation About Racial Injustice,” Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and Big E, joined by Sporting News combat sports editor Andreas Hale, talk about the death of George Floyd, their own experiences with racism, and more. It’s a moving conversation and one that Woods hopes some listeners can use “to educate yourselves on someone else’s life experience.”
Woods opens the show, which runs just over an hour and eight minutes, by priming the audience for a more serious episode than usual, saying the podcast is “normally tons of laughs and stuff, but we’re not really laughing right now.”
Early in the show, Big E talks about watching the video of George Floyd’s death, saying “I can’t think of anything that’s hit me like this… I haven’t been able to get this out of my mind.” He continues:
It’s not the first time and it’s not the second time… 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.
It was videotaped. It was clear as day. That bothers me. That hurts me to my very core, to my soul, that this is what it took: two days of anger and frustration, and people saying this has to be enough. How long can we allow this to happen?
Kingston brings up the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, echoing Big E’s statement that he “could have been any of us.” He says part of why he related to Arbery, who was killed while jogging, was because he recently started running in his neighborhood and that videos like those of the deaths of Floyd and Arbery are “scary, especially when you have kids.”
Kingston goes on to talk about a reply he saw to a post “condemning all of this:”
Somebody had written, ‘Oh, well, make sure you raise your kids right and they shouldn’t have to worry.’ In theory, that should be the case, but that has nothing to do with anything. You could be the best person in the world, the best scholar or the best businessman, at the top of your class in whatever it is that you do, and the fact that you look at certain way will trigger somebody to pull up on you in a van with guns.
The New Day and Hale go on to think about experiences with racism as children and teenagers, black families independently having “survival conversations” across America, feeling like they have to work to be seen as “non-threatening,” and more. Big E talks about the need for education about racist incidents in American history that aren’t widely known about, something he also tweeted about recently, and says “I don’t have all the answers, but what I’m asking for at a very minimum is empathy.”
Kingston comments twice during the episode that he’s encouraged by the amount of people who aren’t black talking and taking action. “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,” he says, and later adds “This is the closest thing I’ve seen to being the beginning of that change. I just really feel now more than ever that this is the start of something.”
Woods says he thinks part of why Floyd’s death inspired so much action is that the coronavirus pandemic slowed the world down, which caused people to stop and think more than they usually would. He closes the episode’s conversation by encouraging people to have their own, urging listeners to “talk to your friends, talk to your families, and keep the conversation going.”