Mickey Guyton and Jana Kramer have been friends for years, so naturally, Kramer invited Guyton onto her podcast, Whine Down, this week in an effort to have a meaningful conversation about race in America. Kramer hosts the podcast with her husband, Mike Caussin, and the trio's well-intentioned discussion escalated to a series of ignorant comments by Caussin that caused Guyton to leave the call. The conversation had moved to discuss the history of racism, where Caussin wondered why Jewish people do not feel the same as black people in 2020 because of the injustices they too have faced.
"Look at their skin color, though," Guyton said, while Caussin responded, "That doesn't matter... their religion was their skin color, essentially." The country singer went on to ask the former NFL player whether he "would want to grow up in the world as a black person," in which he replied he would not have a problem with it at all. "Again, the grass may seem greener, right? I can't say because I haven't experienced it. I'm sure there are African Americans who haven't experienced any of that. Maybe their parents have, but I bet you there's kids that maybe haven't. [...] You're telling me there's not one African American that has gone through life and hasn't experienced living without having experienced racism?"
Kramer interjected sharing how her husband's best friend is Jason, an African American. "Have you ever asked him that question?" she asked. Caussin replied that the two "haven't talked about it in a long time, but I haven't — he's never expressed any of that to me. I'm just saying that playing the odds, there's somebody out there that hasn't been subjected to it."
"You know, honestly, this conversation has been very heavy for me," Guyton told the couple. "To hear someone say that 'I highly doubt that all black people have experienced some form of racism or oppression,' that is—"
Caussin went on to call it all a "numbers game" and not a "racial game." The remarks left Guyton stunned as she told him, "I'm gonna have to get off of this call. You cannot say those things. You cannot." The emotion felt by Guyton prompted Caussin to ask, "What am I saying that's disrespectful? All I'm saying is that there is a possibility. Is there a possibility?"
An emotional Guyton replied. "You know what? I got that. I got it. I don't approve this at all. I don't approve this." After a private conversation with Kramer, Guyton returned to the podcast with her husband, Grant, who is a lawyer and joined the conversation to support his wife. The second half of the podcast saw Caussin attempt to understand Guyton's words and apologize to the singer for his comments, which Guyton tearfully explained discounted her experiences and those of other black people.
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After the episode aired, Kramer used Instagram to reflect on her experience recording with her friend, writing that "it is apparent we have a lot to learn." She shared that she "debated even airing" the episode because of "how it all went down and the raw emotions and hurt caused" but decided that "not airing it would continue to feed the problem."
Kramer also posted a clip of Guyton's recently released song "Black Like Me," which details Guyton's experience growing up in America as a black woman. "If you think we live in the land of the free / You should try to be black like me," she sings in the chorus.