Xavier Woods is now speaking out about the unrest in the United States and his personal experience with racism.
Following the murder of George Floyd, an African American man who died at the hands of Minneapolis Police, many protests have arisen to speak out against police brutality and racial inequality and as such, many celebrities have taken to their platform to speak up.
On a Twitch stream, later uploaded to his UpUpDownDown YouTube channel, Xavier Woods was given time to try and articulate the way he is feeling at this moment. A very emotional Xavier began to explain his family history with quelling social unrest and how he feels raising two children in this current environment.
“I grew up in Georgia, in Marietta [but] spent the first couple of years in California, in Inglewood, and [when I was about seven years old, moved to George and was there for the majority of my life. So when we lived in Inglewood Lee, we lived on the street that was like one street over from where the Bloods and the Crips were. We were there during the Rodney King riots, during all of that stuff. My dad was in the military and he was one of the people who went and calmed down the Bloods and the Crips,” he began. "So, knowing that my dad has been in this fight, like mentally, physically, my mom, my grandma, like so much my family has it really puts an interesting spin on things, because for me, my dad told me when I was much younger, when I was a tiny child, he told me that there's gonna be people that don't like me purely because of the way that I look, purely because of the color of my skin. Unfortunately, there's not always a lot that you can do to change someone's mind about you.”
He continued, “So he explained that to me and I didn't really understand. I didn't get it as a kid, but then throughout my life, he always made sure that I understood that I had to work twice as hard as some people in order to get treated the same. And no, not love situations, not even the same. So when you do everything that you possibly can, you know, you educate yourself, you learn to be an athlete, you learn to play an instrument, you're in AP classes. You're doing everything that you can and you're doing it because you want to learn these things, you won't understand these things. But then at its core, I realized through a conversation the other day that because of the way things are, my entire life, I've had to spend trying to figure out how to present myself as non-threatening. If you haven't been in this situation or understood something like that, it's a lot. It's a lot because even though someone might hate me, the onus is on me to deal with it, not on them. There's no pressure on them to deal with their hate and their pain while in my house, as a child, I had to have this talk. I had to get this talk. My parents had to give me this information not so that I could be smarter, not so that I could do better, [but] so that I could stay alive. That was the first goal in our house was survive amongst people who might not want you to survive and the fact that I have to now turn around and give that same talk to my two sons more than two decades later, it should not be like that when a group of people is saying, 'please stop killing us.’ If your response is anything but, 'yes,' if it's, 'but, well,' that's the fundamental problem.”
Xavier Woods would go on to say that he wants to see all of this stop. Further admitting that he's already far too concerned with the Coronavirus because he's raising two young children and now, he has this perpetual thorn in his side too.
“I want this all to stop. It's been happening for too long. It's not just become a problem now. It hasn't just become a problem. The last 10 years, 20 years has been a problem since black people were brought to America," he continued. "Everything that we have done is always just asked to not be executed. On armed people getting murdered in the middle of the street, people being shot 41 times by undercover police while they're just trying to get into their door. Sleeping in your bed, where you're supposed to be safe, people busting in the door and shooting and murdering you and people seem to not care or when people hear about it and their response is, 'well, what were you doing to make that happen?' Why is it on us? It's always on us. I hate it and I'm terrified with the Coronavirus because I have a three-year-old and an eight-month-old, and now I have to also worry about the fact that the country, the society hasn't changed enough throughout the lifetime of my grandfather, and my father, and myself, that my kids are going to have to deal with this, too, that... to be able to look someone in the face and not care about…”
Xavier would lose connection in the stream briefly and after allowing former AEW commentator, Goldenboy to speak on the issue, Xavier would once again speak about the fundamental concerns that he has had throughout his life because of this generational issue.
“Well, people clearly have to be not listening, because if you listen to someone explain using not even videos and pictures, using only words to explain. So. If you are walking down the street and someone sees you, and they immediately clutch their purse because they're immediately terrified of you. That does something to you. It makes you think, 'what's wrong with me?' As an adult, I've been through enough situations where I'm confident enough. I know how to deal with it. I understand it. I've been in this situation before. I know how to handle it and know which way to move. But for children. We simply want to exist. But if a young black child can't simply exist. How does someone hear that and say, 'that's okay. Well, it's not my kids, so that's fine.' Well, if it was happening to your kids, I would want to stand up for you because that's not right.
“If I am able to tell you, ‘hey, years and years and years ago, I know you had nothing to do with this, but years ago when we were climbing this ladder, the person that was above me broke six rungs on purpose and expected me to still get to where they were. They said, ‘well, we started in the same place. Everything should be fine. You have the same opportunities that I do.’ No. Someone years ago purposely broke these rungs. Now I'm not saying that you did this. All I'm saying is, can I get a hand to stand on the same level as you are and people turn their hands away and say, well, if I give you a hand, I need to get higher too. People are only asking to be treated as equals. There is nothing saying that we are trying to become some entity that is in power in ruling over all. We just want to be able to walk down the street and not and not have people terrified.”
Xavier would go on to question what kind of talks are being had opposite the one that he is now forced to have with his children one day.
“If we have to have those talks in our homes about how to stay alive and survive, like makes me curious, like what kind of talks are people having in their homes that's perpetuating this behavior? And if that's the case that people are just teaching hate in their homes, there's no law that can change that. What are we supposed to do against that? So when people make sure that people understand what's happened when they go on the platforms like this or if they're out in the streets, if they're on Twitter, on Instagram, if they're wherever they are and people are there and they are able to literally hear them, but they don't do anything, that's what frustrates us because that means you've heard it, you've internalized it, and you simply do not care. That's what hurts the most. But when someone like [the host], like you said, you're here. You want to be a part of the conversation. You want to understand. That's so much more of a helping hand and a comforting hand than a lot of people realize.”
Xavier would conclude by saying he doesn't have all the answers and he knows people are tired but encouraged them to just keep pushing forward.
“Just anybody who's hurting, and I know that a lot of you are, I am too. Do your best to educate the people around you whose ears are open to it and do your best to shield yourself from as much hate as you can. Listen to any type of information you can about anything that's going on, learn your history, learn where you came from, learn why this is happening. Understand that it's not an isolated event. This is something that we have been screaming, screaming from the mountaintops about for I don't know how many years. I know you're tired and you're tired, but we just gotta keep pushing. We just keep pushing and hope to figure something out. I'm sorry that in this position I don't have more of a concise 'what should we do?' Because honestly, I don't know. I don't know. I'm trying to tackle that myself. So know that you're not the only one who's hurt, scared, confused and all of the above and reach out to other people and hopefully in unison and together, we can do our best to get through this and try to figure out an actual way to change the foundation that is clearly, clearly rotten and has no business having any type of house on it.”
Xavier Woods is one of many WWE Superstars that have spoken out about this issue. Perhaps most notably, The Rock spoke out about everything that is going on and challenged the leaders of our country to show more compassion and forward-thinking. You can read his full comments at this link.
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