Mickey Guyton Hung Up on Jana Kramer’s Podcast, But What Happened Next Is More Important
Mickey Guyton broke into tears and abruptly said goodbye to the Whine Down podcast when Jana Kramer's husband, Michael Caussin, said something ignorant. What started as a well-meaning show of support and an exploration of race relations in America quickly unraveled into an illustration of the unspoken divide between two communities.
But Guyton came back on — this time with her husband, Grant — and by the end of the call, the group had not only patched things up, they'd made real progress in their personal lives, if not the lives of listeners. Comments on Kramer's social media show fans who found a bit of themselves in Guyton or Caussin, for better or worse.
Kramer and Guyton have been friends for years, and the idea to have Guyton as a guest on the latest episode of Whine Down was born out of Kramer's desire to show support for Guyton, a 36-year-old black woman, after the death of George Floyd on May 25.
It's when they begin talking about the history of racism that things go downhill, with Caussin wondering why Jewish people aren't as angry and violent as black people in 2020, despite suffering many of the same injustices through the centuries.
"Look at their skin color, though," Guyton points out.
"That doesn't matter ... their religion was their skin color, essentially," Caussin responds.
"Would you want to grow up in the world as a black person?" Guyton asks a few moments later.
A tense exchange results, as follows:
Caussin: To answer your question, no, I wouldn't have a problem with it. Again, the grass may seem greener, right? I can't say because I haven't experienced it. I'm sure there is African Americans who haven't experienced any of that. Maybe their parents have, but I bet you there are kids that maybe haven't.
Kramer: Are you saying that's not —
Caussin: 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: Well, your best friend is Jason, he's an African American. Have you ever asked him that question? And by the way, I'm just —
Caussin: Yeah, we haven't talked about it in a long time, but I haven't -- but he's never expressed any of that to me. But I mean, so again — I'm just saying that playing the odds, there's somebody out there that hasn't been subjected to it.
Kramer: And Mickey, you're saying —
Guyton: You know, honestly, this conversation has been very heavy for me. To hear someone say that "I highly doubt that all black people have experienced some form of racism or oppression" —
Caussin: It's just a numbers game. It's not a racial game, it's a numbers game.
Guyton: I'm gonna have to get off of this call. You cannot say those things. You cannot.
Caussin: What am I saying that's disrespectful? All I'm saying is that there is a possibility. Is there a possibility?
Guyton: You know what? I got that. I got it. I don't approve this at all. I don't approve this.
She hangs up, but returns to the podcast with her husband after a private conversation with Kramer. After a commercial break, Caussin talks about his own experiences being a minority in NFL locker rooms, seemingly brushing it off before Guyton returns.
Caussin's response defines the second half of the podcast, during which he apologizes and works to understand Guyton's point of view. Her husband, Grant, admits to joining the conversation to protect her from further ignorance, but is touched to learn the former NFL player's heart is in the right place.
The exchange at the 18-minute mark is uncomfortable to read and listen to, but not unlike so many that begin and end before progress has a chance to be made. Fortunately, Guyton hangs in there as Kramer and Caussin ask genuine, if naive, questions about the black experience in America. Some were submitted by fans of the podcast, available on iHeartRadio, Apple, Stitcher and other places podcasts are found; readers can stream the June 1 episode of Whine Down at PodBay.
Kramer and Caussin recently celebrated five years of marriage. She's best known for country hits such as "I Got the Boy" and "Why Ya Wanna."
Guyton scored a Top 40 hit called "Better Than You Left Me" in 2015, and has recently released several singles with strong social themes, including "What Are You Gonna Tell Her?" and "Black Like Me." Her husband, who is also black, is a lawyer, and at the very end of the podcast, he shares a firsthand experience with police brutality.
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