Tuesday’s episode of WWE Backstage on FS1 featured a segment with Renee Young talking with Mark Henry, Booker T and CM Punk about the unrest in America following the tragic death of George Floyd. Floyd, an African American male, was killed by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, in Minneapolis last week after the officer kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Mark Henry said that he attended a peaceful protest in Austin, Texas with his family. Henry said that the protest was filled with people of all races and creeds “just wanting right.”
CM Punk was asked his thoughts on the turmoil that the nation is facing. Punk noted that while he can’t pretend to understand how black people feel, he wants white people to listen to them more.
“People talk the need to have a conversation… I’m a white guy,” Punk said. “I’m not here to pretend to understand how black people feel and I don’t think that it’s my place to tell them how they need to react.
“This country has a problem, that much I know. I’m here to tell white people that you need to listen to your black brothers and sisters and you need to understand where they are coming from. It’s hard to try to walk in somebody’s shoes or to understand where they come from.”
Punk noted the divide in the country, admitting that his concerns with getting pulled over by a police officer are very different from that of an African American. He also said that the only way to deal with intolerance is with intolerance.
“There’s almost two Americas, when I get pulled over, I’m nervous that I’m going to get a ticket,” Punk stated. “I don’t want to live somewhere where, Mark, if your son gets pulled over, he’s worried he’s going to get murdered. I’m just here to tell white people that you probably need to shut up more, and you certainly need to listen more.
“There is a problem. The paradox is that the only way to deal with intolerance is with intolerance. If you are a white person, you more than likely are privileged. Use that privilege and support your black brothers and sisters, especially now because we need it.”
Punk was again critical of President Donald Trump, accusing the President of ramping up hatred. He took Trump to task for his controversial response to the violent protests in Charlottesville, CA in 2017 where Trump said that there “were very fine people on both sides.”
“We live in a time where hatred is stoked at the highest level,” Punk said. “I don’t like things that I see, I do what I can to stop it and I’m hopefully using my voice for good. Facism and racism cannot win, and if you’re struggling to come up with a way that you can help, the easiest way to help is to combat that intolerance with intolerance. There’s no room for it.
“How I relate that to myself even though none of this is about me is the first tattoo that I ever saw in my life was a number on my grandfather’s arm,” Punk recalled as he choked up. “And he rode a horseback towards Nazi panzer tanks. Now it’s 2020 and we live in a world where a President says that Nazis are very fine people. You can’t walk that back and you can’t tell me that you meant something different.
“If you’re white, use your voice, protect your black brothers and sisters and protect the people that this country was not built for. They might say it was, but everyone has a different experience. And just listen more.”
You can listen to Punk’s comments below and check out our WWE Backstage recap here. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE Backstage with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
? WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) June 3, 2020