Paul Browning: Police Brutality, Racism, and Lack of Education on Black History
On this episode of Pro Mindset Podcast, Craig Domann and his guest Paul Browning, a former wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns and the Carolina Panthers, discuss some of the major issues that are plaguing our society including police brutality, racism, and the lack of education on black history in America.
The discussion starts off with a story about when Browning was 9 years old walking home from his friends house. Browning was almost back to his house when he was stopped by a police officer and was told to put his hands on the hood of the car. He was frisked and asked if he had been smoking or if he had any drugs on him. The situation ended peacefully but it was eye opening for Browning as he finally realized what his parents had been telling him -- that the police look at him differently, that
they are going to be threatened by him and he has to be careful when interacting with police. Browning goes on to tell another story of an interaction with police when he was with his dad and brothers. They were pulled over for having a light out on their license plate. Even with this minor infraction they were still asked to get out of the car immediately and were not informed why. They got his brothers and him out of the car but did not allow his father out causing his father to get anxious. Luckily, that encounter ended peacefully but it was another reminder that the police were threatened by the color of his skin. Browning has had 5 separate encounters with police despite having no criminal record and not performing any illegal activities.
Craig and Paul transition to discussing what people need to do in order to fix the race relations and systemic racism in our country. Browning said, “The first step to making a change here in the United States with race relations is probably just acknowledgement. Just the admission that there are race-related issues and they're deeper than just what you see. It is deeper than what the media will tell you.” Browning says that acknowledging the wrong doings by America towards black people will open up opportunities to change the problems and tear down systemic racism.
Browning goes on to talk about the war on drugs in the 80s and how that has targeted black men for years and is continuing to fuel the mass incarceration of black people. Browning says, “She's (his mother) worried she has three black sons and the statistic is one in three is going to go to prison.” Browning used to get texts from his mother when she would see police in the neighborhood out of fear they would get arrested for no reason or worse.
Turning the conversation towards the NFL, Craig and Paul discuss how the NFL handles racism and race relations. With 70% of the NFL players being black this is obviously an issue that the NFL player base feels very strongly about. Browning talks
about the NFL being a sort of safe haven and that teams worked together no matter the race to win games and be a brotherhood. He admits that this doesn’t mean there isn't racism but he didn't personally experience it on the Browns or Panthers. There were multiple issues of police brutality or the killings of black people during his time as a player. This sparked the NFL players to try to do something and Colin Kaepernick led the charge. Creating the kneeling during the national anthem as a way they could protest peacefully. Browning has talked to a Navy Seal who has laid out what would be appropriate to peacefully protest and not disrespect the flag, and kneeling was one of those ways.
When it comes to accessing how the NFL is doing currently with this situation, Browning stated that his judgement will be rendered on how the NFL handles the Kapernick. If they can admit their wrong doings towards Kaepernick and admit that kneeling is a peaceful way of protesting, then progress can be made.
The podcast ends with Browning recalling some of the black history that has not been studied enough in schools and how educating our youth about black history will help race relations. Brownings states, “Educate yourself. We need to! There are too many black men walking around who are not educated on our history. I've always been taught from a young age, know your history, know what's going on because history repeats itself.”
This podcast is eye opening and was a pleasure for us to share our platform. Pro Mindset Podcast® hopes everyone can learn and grow from the discussion, making equality among all Americans, more mainstream.