James Corden‘s bandleader Reggie Watts broke down in tears while talking about the state of the country after George Floyd‘s death.
James opened his show speaking about his privilege as a white person.”As you’ll all know, on Monday of last week a black man named George Floyd was murdered by the excessive force of the police. If it was a one-off event, it would be an appalling, horrific tragedy that should shake all of us to our core. Yet this was the latest in a string of killings of unarmed black citizens by white people. Breonna Taylor was shot by police in her own home. Ahmaud Arbery was going for a jog when he was shot and killed by two men. And sadly, there are so many more victims that I could mention.”
He continued, “Surely, this is a time for me to listen, not talk. And then I realize that that’s part of the problem. People like me have to speak up. To be clear, I’m not talking about late-night hosts, or people who are fortunate like I am to have to have a platform. I’m talking about white people. White people cannot just say anymore, ‘Yeah, I’m not racist.’ And think that that’s enough, because it’s not.”
James then welcomed in Reggie, who said, “Ah, crazy, I don’t know, feeling so much simultaneously, it’s crazy. I was fortunate to grow up in a place where I was pretty protected by my parents when it came to forms of racism that happened in my neighborhood. My mom was a fierce fighter and would get out of the house and get in people’s faces about, you know, people calling me the N-word or whatever growing up and being different and stuff. So I feel really grateful that my parents and my father fought so hard to make my life feel normal and to have me grow up feeling like I’m a human being rather than I’m a demographic.”
He continued, “And just going back in my history, my father growing up in the Midwest and being in Vietnam and not being able to get a job when he got out of the Army because he was black,” Watts continued. “And the economy wasn’t doing that well and he had to reenlist, got sent back to Vietnam. And then when my parents got married their marriage wasn’t recognized in the U.S. because of laws prohibiting interracial marriage.”
“I have this history in the black community in the Midwest that I don’t access a lot because there’s a lot of pain and emotion there,” Reggie continued as he became emotional. “So it’s hard and so much is happening. And I want to use my platform for good. I go in and out, you know? It’s tough.”
You can find out more about the Black Lives Matter movement with regards to Hollywood right here.
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