Podcast

The Breakdown with Shaun King

Join Shaun as he unpacks the most important stories of injustice, racism and corruption, but also tells you who's fighting back and how you can support and join them with practical action steps.

Episodes

  • Ep. 142 - Big Announcement from Shaun

    Dec 10 2019

    We're not giving away the BIG news in the description! You have to listen to this episode to get it!

  • Ep. 141 - White men dominate the Golden Globe nominations

    Dec 09 2019

    The Golden Globe nominations were just announced and Shaun unpacks and explains why it's a problem, and why it matters that women and people of color were left out.

  • Ep. 140 - Bloomberg just told the single biggest lie of 2019

    Dec 06 2019

    Michael Bloomberg oversaw one of the most racist policies of the 21st century. Today he went on national TV and lied, saying nobody ever told him it was wrong until last month. This lie is Trumpian in nature and must be confronted

  • Ep. 139 - Taking a personal day

    Dec 05 2019

    Shaun shares some of his story of living in chronic pain and how hard it can be to take a day off.

  • Ep. 138 - About Kamala Harris dropping out

    Dec 04 2019

    Kamala Harris just dropped out of the presidential race. Shaun discusses some of the unique challenges of Black women in politics and unpacks what her dropping out means for the race at large.

  • Ep. 137 - Impeachment, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and Mayor Pete

    Dec 03 2019

    On today's episode Shaun unpacks and explains Trump's new refusal to participate in this week's impeachment hearings, confronts the horrible new threats against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and offers a critique of both Mayor Pete and Michael Bloomberg.

  • Ep. 136 - What's next for Rodney Reed?

    Dec 02 2019

    Rodney Reed's execution was stayed exactly two weeks ago. Today, Shaun updates us on the case, and tells us new stories about people all over the country who have been wrongfully convicted. Join us with an action step that will help combat our national problem with wrongful convictions.

  • Ep. 135 - Just Checking In

    Nov 22 2019

    Unable to record a full episode for today, Shaun takes a moment to check in for a brief moment. Enjoy your weekend!

  • Ep. 134 - The new worst 48 hours of the Trump presidency

    Nov 21 2019

    As the impeachment hearings continue, bombshell testimony dooms Trump to a certain impeachment in the weeks ahead.

  • Ep. 133 - Trump is going to be impeached

    Nov 20 2019

    Yesterday was the single worst day yet for Trump on impeachment. It may be the worst day of his presidency. Here Shaun will unpack and explain two of the biggest moments of the day.

  • Ep. 132 - No you weren't duped about Rodney Reed

    Nov 18 2019

    Now that Rodney Reed's execution has been stopped, people are wondering if they were duped about Rodney Reed. The answer is no. Shaun unpacks the details.

  • Ep. 131 - Married to the Movement :: Sneak Peek

    Nov 16 2019

    A special preview episode of the brand new podcast from Rai and Shaun King called “Married to the Movement”

  • Ep. 130 - New Action Steps for Rodney Reed

    Nov 15 2019

    We have just 4 days left to save the life of Rodney Reed. Today Shaun is leading our action steps and needs all hands on deck.

  • Ep. 129 - Colin Kaepernick, Deval Patrick, and 5 Days Left to Save Rodney Reed

    Nov 14 2019

    Today Shaun unpacks and explains the NFL's decision to grant Colin Kaepernick a "tryout" 3 years after banning him from the league. Shaun also gives his thoughts on the announcement of Deval Patrick that he's running for President. And concludes with new action steps for Rodney Reed.

  • Ep. 128 - 6 days left for us to #FreeRodneyReed

    Nov 13 2019

    We only have 6 days left to save a man who is provably innocent. Today, Shaun gives updates about the state of Rodney's case and unpacks our action steps for today. Rodney's team is undeterred, and so are we. Let's keep pushing!!

  • Ep. 127 - You can't execute a man for allegations

    Nov 12 2019

    In 7 days, Rodney Reed is scheduled to be executed. Allegations that he was never charged for are now being floated out to justify his execution. That's the literal definition of a lynching.

  • Ep. 126 - Chesa Boudin elected the new DA of San Francisco

    Nov 12 2019

    Today Shaun celebrates a huge organizing victory in San Francisco and gives us an update and new Action Steps for Rodney Reed

  • Ep. 125 - 11 days until the execution of Rodney Reed

    Nov 08 2019

    We have just 11 days left to organize and fight back to save the life of Rodney Reed. Today Shaun gives new updates on how our action steps are working and speaks on the rally tomorrow in Austin.

  • Ep. 124 - Can you make these phone calls?

    Nov 07 2019

    We have just 12 days left to save the life of Rodney Reed. Today Shaun gives us updates on the case and asks all of us to make very specific phone calls on Rodney's behalf.

  • Ep. 123 - 13 days away from the scheduled execution of Rodney Reed

    Nov 06 2019

    Today we need you to make these phone calls to help save the life of Rodney Reed.

  • Ep. 122 - 14 days away from the scheduled execution of Rodney Reed

    Nov 05 2019

    The State of Texas is now just 14 days away from executing a demonstrably innocent man. We need all hands on deck. Today Shaun unpacks and explains our action steps and makes a very special announcement about his brand new book, Make Change!

  • Ep. 121 - FreeRodneyReed.com

    Nov 04 2019

    We now have 15 days to save the life of an innocent man on death row in Texas. Today Shaun unpacks our big action steps for today. Let's GO!

  • Ep. 120 - We must ALL help to free Rodney Reed

    Nov 01 2019

    In 20 days Texas is scheduled to execute an innocent man. We must all work to free him. Shaun is dedicating the next 20 days to this, but we need all hands on deck.

  • Ep. 119 - When leaders go against the will of the people

    Oct 31 2019

    Today Shaun unpacks and explains three stories from San Francisco, Austin, and Baltimore where leaders are going against the will of the people. Listen and take our action steps to fight back.

  • Ep. 118 - BANG! BANG! BANG!

    Oct 30 2019

    Legendary comedy John Witherspoon has passed away. Today Shaun plays three of his favorite clips from “Pops,” as he was often called, and speaks on the importance of laughter and comedy to get us through life.

  • Ep. 117 - Prisoners Fighting California’s Wildfires

    Oct 29 2019

    As wildfires break out all over California, the state continues to use incarcerated men to fight the fires, but then effectively bans them from ever being firefighters once they serve their time.

  • Ep. 116 - We need fewer police officers

    Oct 28 2019

    Did you see the horrible abuse by the NYPD of teenagers on the subway? One reason that happened is that New York simply has too many police officers. The whole country does. And until we drastically reduce that number, they will always find people to arrest and brutalize.

  • Ep. 115 - What's the plan?

    Oct 25 2019

    What’s the plan to change the criminal justice system? Do you know it? Read it? Heard about it? Plans do exist, but a plan is only as effective as the ability of everyday people to repeat it back to you. Today, Shaun unpacks and explains why we need to be on board for the plan.

  • Ep. 114 - WTF Zuck?

    Oct 24 2019

    Not only is Facebook failing to protect our elections, they are now knowingly, openly allowing admitting that their new policy is to allow political campaigns to openly lie and mislead voters in their ads. Today, Shaun takes us through Zuckerberg's horrible testimony before Congress yesterday and plays highlights from some of the smartest questions he was asked.

  • Ep. 113 - Bill MF'n Taylor

    Oct 23 2019

    Yesterday, an ambassador to Ukraine testified before congress for 10-hours about Trump. The ambassador's name is Bill Taylor, and we believe that Bill Taylor will become a household name one day. His testimony about Trump was that damning. Today, Shaun breaks down what makes that testimony worthy of Bill Taylor becoming famous.

  • Ep. 112 - Donald Trump says he's being lynched

    Oct 22 2019

    Earlier this morning, when Trump called the impeachment inquiry a "lynching," he was making a deeply problematic statement. While Shaun digs into just how absurd this statement is, he also addresses how difficult it is to live in a time dictated by Trump's outrageous tweets. To effectively fight for justice, we can't constantly spend our energy and time on Trump. We have too much to fight for.

  • Ep. 111 - The Watchmen

    Oct 21 2019

    HBO's new show "The Watchmen" depicts the early 1920s in Tulsa, OK in the time of the Tulsa Race Riots. The release of the Watchman marks the first time in a century that the Black Wall Street Massacre of 1921 is accurately portrayed in mainstream media. On today's episode, Shaun digs into the significance of this show, and breaks down why it took 98 years to tell the truth about our own history.

  • Ep. 110 - Texas Governor Wants to Ban Sitting in Public

    Oct 18 2019

    In today's world, we hear terms like "War on Poverty" used often, but we don't always dig into what that means. The War on Poverty is constructed out of tens of thousands of laws and ordinances. On today's episode, we examine the policies that criminalize homelessness. There are certain cities and states that are making an effort to roll-back those policies, but many politicians, businesses, and police unions are opposing these reforms. To break down exactly what that looks like, Shaun focuses i...more

  • Ep. 109 - Impeachment & Passing of Elijah Cummings

    Oct 17 2019

    The President of the United States is publicly committing crimes as we speak. While you might say that we've known for a long time that Donald Trump is corrupt, there's something unique about just how blatant and unapologetic the crimes are that he is currently committing. We can't allow ourselves become numb to this. On today's episode, Shaun breaks down just how illegal and unacceptable the actions of Trump and his administration are. He also reflects on the passing of Elijah Cummings and pays...more

  • Ep. 108 - Murder of Atatiana Jefferson + 3 Historic Endorsements

    Oct 16 2019

    Last weekend, Fort Worth police officers shot and killed 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson in her own home. She was in her house playing video games with her nephew. Since Saturday, the police officer who shot Atatiana was arrested and charged with murder. It's a horrible tragedy, and on today's episode, Shaun breaks down the nuances of this case. He also reports on three people who made an important endorsement in the 2020 presidential race.1:08 PM

  • Ep. 107 - Los Angeles DA Jackie Lacey Doesn’t Care About Black People

    Oct 11 2019

    Los Angeles County is the most populous county in the US and, while it should be a trendsetter for reform, it is the nation’s largest jail system. LA is the perfect example of why this country so desperately needs progressive district attorneys because Los Angeles DA Jackie Lacey is the opposite. Today, Shaun breaks down just how awful DA Jackie Lacey’s track record is on justice reform and the consequences of her actions.

  • Ep. 106 - We’re In a Constitutional Crisis

    Oct 10 2019

    When a sitting United States President looks at Congress and says that he or she simply will not do what Congress asks, then we are in crisis. That’s exactly what happened on Tuesday afternoon when Donald Trump declared that he will not participate in the  impeachment process. Today, Shaun breaks down just how dangerous this action is, and what  the implications are.

  • Ep. 105 - Solving the Murder of Joshua Brown

    Oct 08 2019

    Joshua Brown, a father of three young children, was brutally murdered last Friday. As you may know, Joshua was a key witness in the murder trial of Amber Guyger. Ten days after he testified, he was targeted and shot to death outside of his home. Today, Shaun breaks down this open investigation to explain exactly what happened in the courtroom whenJoshua testified and how it changes our understanding of Joshua’s murder.

  • Ep. 104 - 30,000 Tiny Justice Systems

    Oct 07 2019

    The United States does not have one justice system or one legal system. We often talk about changing the system, but in reality, we have 30,000 micro systems. Each micro system has its own set of rules, laws, and politics, which is simultaneously great news in our fight to change the status quo, as well as horrible news. Today. Shaun breaks down what this means.

  • Ep. 103 - Just Checking In!

    Oct 04 2019

    Due to the North Star moving into new offices, we will not be able to record a new episode for today. We are working around the clock today and through the weekend to complete the move. Thanks for checking in and have a great day!

  • Ep. 102 - Amber Guyger verdict and response

    Oct 04 2019

    On today's episode, Shaun unpacks and explains the 10 year prison sentence that was handed down to Dallas police officer Amber Guyger. He also addresses some of the fallout the verdict including the direct reactions of the family, the judge and a bailiff in the courtroom. 

  • Ep. 101 - They found her guilty!

    Oct 01 2019

    Just hours ago, Amber Guyger received a guilty verdict for the murder of Botham Jean. No verdict can make up for the loss and pain that the family has suffered, but even this version of justice is  virtually unprecedented. On today's episode,  Shaun breaks down what makes this case different from the countess other cases that have been denied guilty verdicts by America's legal system.

  • Ep. 100 - The case for impeachment

    Sep 30 2019

    The case for impeachment is all over the news, and Trump's reaction has been extreme. Today, Shaun breaks down the case for impeachment in the context of Trump's entire presidency and highlights the gravity of his "Civil War" comments.

  • Ep. 99 - Two urgent trials underway

    Sep 27 2019

    The murder trials of the police officers who murdered Botham Jean and Anthony Hill are both underway right now. Shaun breaks down why these two cases are SO  important in the fight for justice. We all need to be watching and listening to how these two trials go down.

  • Ep. 98 - Our phone calls are working

    Sep 26 2019

    Remember the 5 children that we told you about who were being charged with a murder that they didn't commit (ep. 89)? After that episode, thousands of you made phone calls and wrote emails. Well, largely because of you, those murder charges have been dropped. In the last 95 episodes of this podcast, we've learned a lot about what makes our Action Steps truly work. We know that the calls we ask you to make can be tough, which is why we're going to break down our tips and tricks to keep in mind wh...more

  • Ep. 97 - How mass shootings are getting little kids arrested in schools

    Sep 25 2019

    So many of the stories we hear in the news are horrendous. But too often, we don't investigate the root causes of the stories we're outraged by. So, after reporting instances of young children being arrested on our last two episodes, Shaun digs into the root cause of these stories. He breaks down his theory that events like this only happen in the United States because of the abundance of guns here.

  • Ep. 96 - 7-year-old arrested in San Antonio elementary school

    Sep 24 2019

    All over the country, black girls and boys as young as six are being arrested for minor behavior problems. On today's episode, Shaun continues his conversation on this issue by focusing on how schools nationwide are failing to implement systems and structures that better support these children.

  • Ep. 95 - 6-year-old arrested for tantrum at school

    Sep 23 2019

    The United States may be the only nation in the world where a 6-year-old child could be handcuffed, arrested, put in a police car, finger printed, and jailed over a tantrum they had in class. And that is exactly what happened last week in Orlando, Florida.  This case exposes exactly what the school to prison pipeline looks like and on today’s episode Shaun digs into the extent to which Black girls are criminalized in our schools and in our society.

  • Ep. 94 - 3 white kids beat a 12-year-old Black boy

    Sep 19 2019

    Last week, several white students brutally assaulted a 12-year-old Black boy in a locker room at their school. Today, Shaun digs into the case and breaks down the dynamics at play between parents, children, and schools. It’s not enough to watch these horrible videos and to be outraged. We need to learn from them about how to intervene and stand up for justice in an everyday way.

  • Ep. 93 - 4 New Candidates to Flip the Senate

    Sep 12 2019

    Since Flip the Senate launched one month ago, we have seen mass shootings, natural disasters, and the abysmal reaction of our government to each of these tragedies remind us how urgent our mission is to Flip the Senate in 2020. Today, Shaun reveals the next four candidates who we are going to push for and fight for because they're the right people to win their state!! Let's do this!!

  • Ep. 92 - Why I’m Still Boycotting the NFL

    Sep 11 2019

    Colin Kaepernick played his last game in the NFL 924 days ago simply because he had the nerve to have a silent, peaceful protest against police brutality and systemic injustice before each game. This season Shaun is continuing his personal boycott of the NFL, and on today's episode, he breaks down why.

  • Ep. 91 - Have you made a decision?

    Sep 10 2019

    Shaun gets asked one questions more than any other -- "How do I change the world?" To give you an answer, Shaun needs to ask you an even bigger question: What are you going to fight for? Making a conscious, honest decision about what you're going to fight for is not simple. It's complicated and personal. And all of us need to make that decision to make real meaningful change. In this unscripted episode, Shaun walks through what it takes to make that decision.

  • Ep. 90 - They made them get off of the ship

    Sep 09 2019

    After last week’s devastation in the Bahamas, tens of thousands of people are now homeless and evacuations have begun. Last night, when hundreds of men, women, and children arrived to the United States, they were ordered away. They had the proper documentation, but they were told that US Customs and Border Patrol had issued the order to not let them in.

  • Ep. 89 - The Murder Rule

    Sep 06 2019

    Have you heard of the murder rule? Most countries in the world have gotten rid of this rule. But not only is the rule still in place in most states in the US, but right now, five teenagers may face life in prison for a murder that they did not commit because of this rule. We have action steps at the end of this episode so that we can come together and intervene.

  • Ep. 88 - The Climate Crisis

    Sep 05 2019

    If you don’t care about the climate crisis, it might be the case that you don’t fully understand what’s ahead and how it impacts every single one of us – particularly the most marginalized nations and communities of the world. We need all hands on deck. 

  • Ep. 87 - Let’s change Jefferson’s Manual of House Rules

    Sep 04 2019

    Did you know that it is against the rules of the United States Congress for members to call the President, or the words and actions of the President, racist? It’s true. Let’s change them.

  • Ep. 86 - ShaunKingFundraisingReport.com

    Sep 03 2019

    A 7 person panel of experts took a deep dive into every dollar Shaun King has ever raised as a leader in the Black Lives Matter Movement including 5 years of his tax returns, 10 years of banking, and every single fundraiser Shaun has ever participated in. 

  • Ep. 85 - All of Our Action Step Victories!

    Aug 29 2019

    The Breakdown is not just here to change the news, it's here to change the world. On today's episode, Shaun goes back over our first four months to celebrate all of the hard fought Action Step victories that we've had together - including two that actually start today! Together we're making the world a better place!!

  • Ep. 84 - The Police Murder of De’Von Bailey

    Aug 27 2019

    Police in Colorado Springs shot teenager De’Von Bailey repeatedly in his back as he ran away from them. What do the laws say about this? And what can we do about it? On today’s episode Shaun dives in to the unique dangers of being Black, armed, and confronted by American police.

  • Ep. 83 - Guess how many people are dying per day in jails & prisons

    Aug 26 2019

    Most people could not name anyone, other than Jeffrey Epstein, who was killed or died in jail in the United States. While about 1,200 people are killed by police per year in this country, nearly 5,000 people die in America’s jails and prisons. On today’s episode, Shaun breaks down the conditions behind those numbers and has an action step for you.

  • Ep. 82 - Where did all that damn money Shaun King has raised go? (ANSWERS)

    Aug 23 2019

    Today, Shaun openly and honestly addresses some of the more critical questions that he often hears about how his fundraisers work and what his finances are like. 

  • Ep. 81 - @NC_Governor, Veto House Bill 370!

    Aug 21 2019

    At least 7 different elected sheriffs in North Carolina have stated that they will not cooperate with ICE. So, yesterday, in a very dangerous vote, North Carolina state legislators passed House Bill 370 which would force sheriffs to cooperate with ICE. Shaun is going to unpack this bill on today’s episode, and asks you to take action because North Carolina’s Democratic Governor Roy Cooper has the power to veto this bill!

  • Ep. 80 - When you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression

    Aug 20 2019

    Five years ago, Eric Garner was murdered by an NYPD officer. Yesterday, the police officer responsible for his murder finally was fired from the force. On today’s episode, Shaun unpacks the incredible amount of backlash from white police officers and police unions. 

  • Ep. 79 - About YOUR Mayor and Justice Reform

    Aug 16 2019

    On many episodes of The Breakdown, we have clearly laid out the sway that local DAs have over legal system. Today Shaun breaks down the role of an actor whose importance often gets overlooked — your local mayor. Many people are unaware of just how much power their mayor has over the landscape of their local legal system, so let’s dig in!

  • Ep. 78 - Jay-Z was wrong

    Aug 15 2019

    Yesterday, the NFL announced a wide-ranging partnership with Jay-Z and his company, Roc-Nation, mainly to promote music and social justice work. They made this announcement on the 3-year-anniversary of the first day Colin Kaepernick took a knee in the NFL. On today’s episode, Shaun is open about how he feels about this partnership.

  • Ep. 77 - Now they want to rewrite the poem at the feet of the Statue of Liberty

    Aug 14 2019

    In interviews this week, Trump’s head of US Citizenship & Immigration Services first suggested rewriting the beautiful poem at the feet of the Statue of Liberty, and then later claimed that it was only meant for Europeans in the first place. On today’s episode, Shaun breaks down exactly what happened in these interviews. When the administration of America is trying to rewrite what this country stands for, we need to take the time to understand exactly what we’re up against.

  • Ep. 76 - Are you racist?

    Aug 13 2019

    Do you think that you are racist? In all likelihood, your answer is no, but it’s a trick question. Most of us don’t think about what it really means to be “not racist” in today’s world. On today’s episode, Shaun is asking us to challenge our understanding of racism as he lays out a path toward better definitions of what racism is and isn’t.

  • Ep. 75 - HowWeFlipTheSenate.com

    Aug 12 2019

    Today, we are launching a 15-month campaign to flip the Senate. Flipping the Senate is a national emergency, and we need to out-organize our opponents. On today’s episode, Shaun breaks down why we need to organize like our lives depend on it, and introduces you to 7 candidates.

  • Ep. 74 - The largest ICE raid in American history

    Aug 09 2019

    On Wednesday, nearly 700 people were taken from their jobs in the middle of Mississippi’s first day of school in the largest ICE raid in American history. Words cannot describe the pain that so many people have experienced in the past week. On today’s episode, Shaun needs you to hear the voices of these people themselves. Because we can’t detach ourselves. We need to double-down to organize better and faster.

  • Ep. 73 - Just Checking In

    Aug 08 2019

    Due to a family emergency, Shaun is unable to record a full podcast for today. But he still wants to remind you to visit TheActionPAC.com and/or HowWeFlipTheSenate.com in order to register for a special phone call on this coming Monday. Stay tuned for tomorrows episode!. 

  • Ep. 72 - I need you to focus

    Aug 07 2019

    Sometimes it is hard to know whether the world is actually getting more cruel or whether we only feel like it is because we are living in the age of social media and information. Today, Shaun digs into that question. He asks us to acknowledge and accept how overwhelming this moment feels. And then channel all of our feelings into focus and determination. 

  • Ep. 71 - I had no idea the NRA did this in 45 states

    Aug 06 2019

    In the aftermath of this weekend’s deadly hate crimes, we uncovered that the NRA has been helping to write laws that ban cities from making their own gun laws for the past 38 years. Over 45 states have these laws in place. It’s time to take action against these laws. 

  • Ep. 70 - The deadliest hate crime since 1921

    Aug 05 2019

    Right now, we are living in the age of the deadliest hate crime in 98 years. And people are asking what we can do about it. To really understand what we can do, Shaun needs us to zoom out. On today's episode, he gets historical and talks about how human history follows a trend of having high-highs and low-lows. Shaun makes the case that we are currently living at an extremely low point in history. And today, Shaun is going to tell you about the path he sees for us to start climbing out of this l...more

  • Ep. 69 - 10-year-old Charged with Felony Assault for Dodgeball

    Aug 02 2019

    If you have ever played a game of dodgeball, you have seen kids get hurt, end-up with bloody noses. You know that it happens. Last week in Michigan, a ten-year-old boy was charged with adult felony assault for accidentally injuring another child in a school-sanctioned game of dodgeball. Shaun breaks down the larger problem in America’s school system that this case exposes and ends with an action step for us to take together.

  • Ep. 68 - Court rules that white men are now a protected class of minority

    Jul 31 2019

    A protected class is a legal phrase designed to protect oppressed and marginalized groups of people. Can we agree that no one in America has more privilege thant a white, straight, cis, man? Last week, a court ruling determined that white men are a protected class. It is outrageous. On today’s episode, Shaun digs in to the case and the ruling to break down exactly what happened. 

  • Ep. 67 - What’s your position on the death penalty?

    Jul 30 2019

    The United States is the only nation in the world that has more guns than people. And this weekend, we saw two mass shootings on opposite sides of the country. On today’s episode, we are unpacking why we have so much carnage in this country and yet so little change. Have you guessed yet what Shaun will be breaking down? It’s time to talk about the NRA.

  • Ep. 66 - 27 people shot. Now what?

    Jul 29 2019

    The United States is the only nation in the world that has more guns than people. And this weekend, we saw two mass shootings on opposite sides of the country. On today’s episode, we are unpacking why we have so much carnage in this country and yet so little change. Have you guessed yet what Shaun will be breaking down? It’s time to talk about the NRA.

  • Ep. 65 - You Stupid N***ers: How We Must Approach Racism in 2019 and Beyond

    Jul 26 2019

    Of course we were all outraged when we saw the video of Nancy Goodman walking right up to two young black customers and calling them “stupid n—.” We don’t need to break down how problematic this incident is. Instead, Shaun is going to break down how important it is to be mindful of how we react to moments of blatant racism like this. Racism hasvictims. It is violent and it spreads. And our reaction to it matters.

  • Ep. 64 - You Asked, Shaun Answers: July Edition

    Jul 25 2019

    We log every question you email us. Then, every month, we sort through those questions and pick the 7 most commonly asked questions. Today, Shaun answers the questions from July. We love hearing from you — email your questions to thebreakdown@thenorthstar.com with the subject line “You Asked, Shaun Answers”.

  • Ep. 63 - Revolution in Puerto Rico, Cops Fired, Ethnic Cleansing

    Jul 24 2019

    Massive protests are going on in Puerto Rico. Two cops in Louisiana were fired on Monday after saying that they’d like to shoot and kill Alexandria Occasio-Cortez. Palestinians are being forcefully evicted from their homes. On today’s episode, Shaun breaks down these stories and what they say about the moment of history that we’re in. 

  • Ep. 62 - Local Media Supports Mass Incarceration

    Jul 22 2019

    Voters in America’s largest cities are voting for radical criminal justice reform. City by city, we are electing progressive district attorneys and ousting conservative candidates who perpetuate the systems behind mass incarceration. But we are now seeing something new as state governments systematically strip away the powers of DAs. In today’s episode, Shaun breaks down who exactly is helping conservative politicians limit the power of progressive DAs. 

  • Ep. 61 - Racism is an impeachable offense

    Jul 19 2019

    What does it mean for the President of the United States to make explicitly racist statements in public? Can an explicitly biased person “faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States?” On today’s episode, Shaun breaks down why explicit bias is illegal in this country. The President of the United States has broken those laws this week. Are you wondering what can be done about it? Let’s dig in.

  • Ep. 60 - Why I think that we will win

    Jul 18 2019

    Trump’s rally last night was one of the most racist public moments in modern political history. Public racism has hit a modern peak. It is so dangerous, so despicable, that we had to move faster than expected. On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun is introducing The Action PAC — to help us all organize for change. Let’s go!

  • Ep. 59 - How To Make Change

    Jul 17 2019

    Tomorrow, Eric Garner's murder will have taken place exactly five years ago. Today, we found out that no charges will be filed against the NYPD officer that murdered him. It's horrifying. So many people and systems have failed the Garner family. Shaun is dedicating a triple-length episode to work through how we got here. Because we can grow. We can move forward. But first, there are key lessons that we must learn about how to really effect change.

  • Ep. 58 - About Trump’s Most Racist Tweets

    Jul 16 2019

    Trump has done so many blatantly racist things, that it probably felt like you couldn’t be shocked ever again. On Sunday morning, he publicly targeted 4 young women of color, Congresswomen, in a Tweet. Shaun is going to break down how we got to this point and will unpack how much danger his words put people of color into. 

  • Ep. 57 - Look How Far We've Come!

    Jun 21 2019

    In the last 7 days, more than 6000-people have joined The Breakdown Crew. Today, Shaun breaks down what we achieved together and how we're going to keep the momentum going. Thanks to the energy of our listeners, this podcast has grown into a tool for organizing and change in a way we never expected, so we're taking a minute to thank you. At the end of today's episode, Shaun lays out his favorite episodes of our show so far and lets you know that we are taking a short break. We will be back in a ...more

  • Ep. 56 - Don’t worry, they found the Barbie Doll box.

    Jun 20 2019

    You have probably seen the horrible video of police brutality that emerged out of Phoenix at the end of May. When demanding justice for these horrible instances of police brutality, it can be easy for our responses to become routine. Today Shaun explains why justice is so hard to come by in cases like this. Because sometimes we need to be reminded of the larger systems that we’re facing, in order for our fight for justice to be effective.

  • Ep. 55 - Join Us!

    Jun 19 2019

    The North Star has always been about liberation, abolition, and freedom. It was about change when Frederick Douglass and Martin Delaney founded the newspaper in 1847, and it still is. Our listeners on The Breakdown have blown us away with your commitment to fight for change with us. You've inspired us, and this week, we're going all in.  We are getting systems in place to organize at a new and bigger scale - we're building a team that we need you to join. 

  • Ep. 54 - Trump Crossed a Bright Red Line + Action Steps

    Jun 18 2019

    Trump tweeted a dangerous statement last night – one that should have us all alarmed. With Trump’s reelection campaign kicking off tonight, we need to be more alert than ever because if he acts on his threats, the results would be disastrous. Shaun also needs us to know about two new candidates for Congress in 2020 because just as we need to be vigilant, we also need to be hopeful. 

  • Ep. 53 - Let’s Pass a Law Together!

    Jun 17 2019

    Sometimes when you want to make change, there comes a moment that you just can’t pass on. It’s too big. Today is one of those days. There is a bill currently in the New York state legislature that needs to pass if we want to dismantle the structures of mass incarceration.  It’s a strong bill that will actively counteract the damage done by the War on Drugs. But it’s about to be watered down. And we have three days to make sure that it passes just the way it is. Let’s go!!

  • Ep. 52 - "Choosing to Cheat"

    Jun 14 2019

    Every single day of your life, something gets cheated. It could be your health, your relationships, or your work. On this short freestyle episode, Shaun speaks clearly about how you must make the tough choice on what gets cheated - or life will choose for you - and the results can be disastrous.

  • Ep. 51 - Tiffany Cabán is a Game Changer

    Jun 13 2019

    If we want to change the criminal justice system from the inside out, we must elect reform-minded district attorney's. Tiffany Cabán, a public defender, is currently running for district attorney in Queens, NY and she is a game changer. If every county and every city could elect a candidate like her, let alone get people like her to run, our criminal justice system would change overnight. On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun tells you about Tiffany Cabán and what he thinks is “the most imp...more

  • Ep. 50 - #SudanUprising

    Jun 12 2019

    A revolution is fully underway in Sudan. Protests started in 2018. On April 11th, 2019, the long-standing dictator stepped down due to pressure from protestors. But now the military is slaughtering those protestors. These three sentences sum-up what we know from mainstream media outlets, but it’s not enough! Today’s episode of the Breakdown is dedicated to breaking down the nuanced historical and political context of this conflict because true understanding is the first step to showing solidarit...more

  • Ep. 49 - The Problematic Privilege of White NBA Fans

    Jun 11 2019

    Casual bigotry is on the rise. Civility and kindness toward fellow humans has become less normal. Yesterday NBA fans laughed in the face of Kevin Durant’s injury, and today, Shaun exposes what the casual cruelty of NBA fans says about the times in which we live.

  • Ep. 48 - Our Action Steps Are Working!

    Jun 10 2019

    You are helping to make change every time you take an action step from The Breakdown. Your participation is integral to fulfilling our vision at The North Star — to create news that fits the needs of our times by being more transparent, more action-oriented, and more nuanced. On today’s episode, we’re reporting back on the progress that we have been seeing from the action steps thanks to your work.

  • Ep. 47 - Action Steps: The Central Park Five, Part III

    Jun 07 2019

    We need to fight for the justice we get. Today, Shaun needs us to fight together to hold the corrupt prosecutors in the Central Park Five case accountable. The last two episodes of The Breakdown were dedicated to tackling the injustices of the Central Park Five case because, for our fight to work, we need to be organized and informed.

  • Ep. 46 - Imbler v. Pachtman: The Central Park Five, Part II

    Jun 06 2019

    Have you heard of Imbler v. Pachtman? Most people haven’t. It is a Supreme Court case that gives America’s prosecutors and district attorneys absolute immunity, even for the worst misconduct. Shaun breaks it down for you today, because to get justice in the Central Park Five case, we must first understand that prosecutorial corruption is essentially legal in this country. ***This episode contains a description of sexual assault.***

  • Ep. 45 - "When They See Us": The Central Park Five, Part I

    Jun 05 2019

    Ava Duvernay’s new Netflix miniseries “When They See Us” is powerful. It is an example of what strong storytelling is capable of. Because of her work, we now have a unique opportunity to fight for justice in a decades-old case. The next three episodes of The Breakdown will be dedicated to the infamous 1989 case known as the Central Park Five and Shaun will lead us in a renewed fight against old injustices.

  • Ep. 44 - You Asked, Shaun Answers: June Edition

    Jun 04 2019

    We hear questions from you, our listeners, all the time. Sometimes they get personal, sometimes they are serious, and sometimes they're downright silly. Shaun will answer your questions in a special episode once per month, and here's our June Edition! Today Shaun answers your questions about everything from time management to self-care to whether he has personal beef with Joe Biden.

  • Ep. 43 - Cops are Racist AF

    Jun 03 2019

    Buzzfeed and Injustice Watch just released a study called “Good Day for a Chokehold,” and it is revolutionary. The report gives us quantifiable proof that American police are bigoted by diving into the social media posts of thousands of police officers. Today’s episode is all about the findings of this study, because having hard, quantitative data to prove what we already knew is a big deal. 

  • Ep. 42 - Prisons Ban Books on Liberation and Freedom

    May 31 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King unpacks the news that Illinois has banned over 200 books in their library – books about race, justice, freedom, and liberation. Shaun needs us to take the action steps that he lays out in this episode to fight back against a decision that furthers the cycle of oppression in our system of mass incarceration.

  • Ep. 41 - How to Choose a Presidential Candidate - Part 2

    May 29 2019

    On today's episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King continues the conversation from episode 25 on how to figure out which candidates to support in the 2020 American presidential election. With the democratic field changing every day, our analysis of candidates has to be ongoing, and Shaun is here to break it down for you. 

  • Ep. 40 - Police Murder an Unarmed Kid + Bigots Get Elected Across Europe

    May 28 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King tells us two stories. Shaun exposes that the San Antonio Police Department attempted to cover-up the murder of a teenage boy, Charles Roundtree, and gives us some clear action steps. Shaun also reports on the recent election in Europe and unpacks why it matters so much. 

  • Ep. 39 - Self Care

    May 24 2019

    Instead of a full episode today, Shaun just has a quick message from the Breakdown team wishing everyone a restful, extended weekend. See you back here on Tuesday.

  • Ep. 38 - Life in Prison for Selling Weed

    May 23 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King tells the story of Michael Thompson who is currently serving a life sentence in Michigan for selling weed. To fully understand the injustice that Michael is experiencing, Shaun needs you to understand the truth about the relationship between profit and oppression in the United States. Let’s #FreeMichaelThompson!

  • Ep. 37 - Philadelphia Has a New Sheriff in Town

    May 22 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King celebrates the election of Rochelle Bilal as Philadelphia’s new sheriff. Philadelphia is doing more to dismantle mass incarceration than any city in the country, and everywhere else needs to follow suit.

  • Ep. 36 - Black Trans Women are Being Murdered

    May 21 2019

    Shaun King dedicates today’s episode of The Breakdown to Muhlaysia Booker. Muhlaysia was a Black transgender woman who was shot and killed this weekend - and this horrible violence against her must push us to action. Shaun pushes all of us to confront the violence toward Black trans women in our country, and breaks down what we must do to intervene.

  • Ep. 35 - Forgive All Student Loan Debt

    May 20 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King celebrates Robert F. Smith’s announcement to forgive the student loan debt of every graduating senior at Morehouse College. Shaun uses the story as a jumping-off point to dig into the student loan crisis in this country and then closes with his thoughts on Grady Wayne Wilkes.

  • Ep. 34 - Seeking Justice for Pamela Turner

    May 17 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun digs into the horrible police shooting that happened earlier this week in Baytown, Texas. He lays out an important action step in order to press for justice in this case and then leaves us with a heartwarming story to end the difficult week on a note of hope.

  • Ep. 33 - Joe Biden is the Father of Modern Mass Incarceration

    May 16 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King breaks down Joe Biden’s recent comments defending his 1994 Crime Bill. To understand what the implications are of defending this bill, Shaun needs us to understand that mass incarceration in America was designed and planned to criminalize Blackness. 

  • Ep. 32 - “Do you really understand Roe v. Wade?”

    May 15 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King unpacks how the recent measures in Georgia and Alabama that ban a woman’s right to choose could become law in 2019. Shaun digs into the constitutional history of Roe v. Wade and explains what it actually says today. There is so much outrage in the country over these measures, and Shaun needs us to understand that our organizing must match our outrage.

  • Ep. 31 - Protect Rashida Tlaib

    May 14 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King unpacks the lies that conservatives are telling about Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Detroit. Yesterday, conservatives tried to frame Rashida Tlaib with a quote about the Holocaust that she never actually said, the mainstream media irresonsibly repeated the lie, and Shaun digs in to the larger context about what this means for conversations about Palestine in America.

  • Ep. 30 - You Asked, Shaun Answers

    May 13 2019

    On today's episode of The Breakdown, Shaun answers questions that our listeners have sent in over the last two months. 

  • Ep. 29 - The Red Sox chose whiteness over everything else

    May 10 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King unpacks the decision of the Red Sox to visit the White House yesterday. Every white player and coach chose to visit President Trump despite the concerns of players and staff of color, and Shaun breaks down how this is a metaphor for white privilege in America. 

  • Ep. 28 - Shoot ‘em

    May 09 2019

    On today’s episode of the Breakdown, Shaun King unpacks three stories: Trump laughing at the idea of immigrants being shot, progress in Tennessee thanks to our action steps, and students being shamed for not being able to afford school lunch. Each of these stories are just the tip of the iceberg, and Shaun is here to dive deeper with you.

  • Ep. 27 - Sandra Bland filmed her own arrest

    May 08 2019

    On today’s episode of the Breakdown, Shaun King unpacks new footage that Sandra Bland filmed when she was being arrested. This footage was kept from the public until now which exposes the disturbing truth about prosecutors, DAs, and our justice system.

  • Ep. 26 - What Black Lives Matter Has Accomplished

    May 07 2019

    In today’s good news episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King unpacks two bills that have the potential to impact the way that police brutality is legislated and encourages you to widely celebrate the importance of these bills so that no one can claim that Black Lives Matter “hasn’t accomplished anything.”

  • Ep. 25 - How to Choose a Presidential Candidate - Part 1

    May 06 2019

    In today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King breaks down how to figure out which candidate to support in the 2020 American presidential election and lays out why now is exactly the right moment to make that choice.

  • Ep. 24 - Young black engineer murdered by white neighbor

    May 03 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King outlines how you can help the family whose worst nightmare came true on April 15 when their Black son was murdered by his white neighbor, and who you can contact to take action against the Speaker of the House in Nashville who had his office falsify evidence to get a young Black man sent to jail.

  • Ep. 23 - Police Officer Convicted of Murder in Minnesota

    May 02 2019

    On today's episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King reports on the first murder conviction of a police officer in Minnesota's history and digs into why this conviction didn't surprise anybody. 

  • Ep. 22 - The 911 call after the murder of Botham Jean

    May 01 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King unpacks and explains new audio that was just released from the 911 call made immediately after the murder of Botham Jean.

  • Ep. 21 - Tribute to John Singleton

    Apr 30 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King unpacks and explains the life and legacy of the brilliant filmmaker, John Singleton, who passed away on April 29. Shaun will also play and break down several clips from Boyz N The Hood — the most acclaimed film ever made by Singleton. 

  • Ep. 20 - Good news, Jay Z, and Ady Barkan

    Apr 29 2019

    On this week’s good news episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King shares nothing but good news with stories featuring Jay Z and Shaun’s personal hero, Ady Barkan.

  • Ep. 19 - Do you even have the right to vote?

    Apr 26 2019

    In today’s episode, Shaun King breaks down the history of voting rights in America. As presidential candidates are starting to be asked about their stance on whether incarcerated people deserve the right to vote, Shaun needs us to understand the deep-rooted, and constitutional background of the issue.

  • Ep. 18 - #JusticeForLucca

    Apr 25 2019

    In today’s episode, Shaun King unpacks a horrible case of police brutality that occurred on April 18th against Lucca Rolle. Lucca was an unarmed, non-violent, 15-year-old boy getting McDonald’s in Coral Springs, FL when the police showed up. Shaun tells us what happened next, what it means, and what to do about it. 

  • Ep. 17 - Spring Break

    Apr 22 2019

    Instead of a full episode, today's segment of the Breakdown is a quick message from Shaun.

  • Ep. 16 - Mueller, Mumia, and an Unarmed Woman Shot by Police

    Apr 19 2019

    In this episode, Shaun King gives us his immediate thoughts about  the implications of the Mueller Report on the day after its release. He also shares an update on the appeal hearing of Mumia Abu-Jamal in Pennsylvania, and tells the horrible story of a young woman who was just shot by police in Connecticut, but has survived to tell the story.

  • Ep. 15 - Mysonne, Singing at the Register, and Beyonce’s New Projects

    Apr 18 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King shares nothing but good news. Starting in The Bronx, Shaun covers a powerful demonstration and moment of unity lead by the rapper and leader Mysonne, then covers a fun viral video that you have to hear and see to believe, and closes with his thoughts on Beyonce’s two new projects.

  • Ep. 14 - How to Make Police Brutality Illegal – Part 3 of 3

    Apr 17 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, the final episode in a 3 part series explaining the leading Supreme Court cases that make police brutality functionally legal in the United States, Shaun gives us action steps and solutions for how we make police brutality illegal. It won’t be easy or quick, but it’s necessary.

  • Ep. 13 - Graham v. Connor – Police Brutality is Legal – Part 2 of 3

    Apr 16 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown Shaun unpacks the Supreme Court case, Graham v. Connor – and explains how it is now used alongside of Tennessee v. Garner to protect police from being held responsible for their brutality.

  • Ep. 12 - Tennessee v. Garner - Police Brutality is Legal - Part 1 of 3

    Apr 15 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King begins the first of a 3 part series on why police brutality is functionally legal in the United States by unpacking the Supreme Court cases that currently protect even the worst officers in cases of police brutality. For the next two days Shaun will explain the cases, then on the 3rd episode Shaun will tell us what we can do about it. 

  • Ep. 11 - Series Preview

    Apr 12 2019

    For the next few days, Shaun is recording a special three part series that will begin this coming Monday.  It's really important and we needed just a little extra time to make sure that we nail it.  In the meantime, if you love what we're building here, we would encourage you to become a founding member at TheNorthStar.com. You will find hundreds of original articles and stories from some of the leading scholars and journalists in the world. 

  • Ep. 10 - White domestic terrorist arrested for burning down Black churches

    Apr 11 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King unpacks the news that a white supremacist was just arrested in Louisiana for burning down Black churches, covers the  toppling of  Sudan’s government, and gives us an update on the new House and Senate  Medicare for All bills.

  • Ep. 9 - Bloods & Crips unite, Magic Johnson steps down, and Cincinnati makes bold criminal justice moves

    Apr 10 2019

    On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King shares some good news with us. The world can be an ugly place and the United States is often the epicenter of some of that ugliness, but that doesn’t mean nothing good is going on. Today Shaun shares three good news stories about unity emerging between the Bloods and Crips in Los Angeles, a shocking move from Magic Johnson, and the simple ways an American city is trying to make their justice system better.

  • Ep. 8 - Genocide at the American border

    Apr 09 2019

    In today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King unpacks and explains the  genocidal nature of the humanitarian crisis at the border between the United States and  Mexico. What we’ve learned over the past few days is that the Trump administration has been  attempting to continue the policy of separating children from their parents in spite of courts  ruling that it is illegal and must end. It’s hard to understand a moment of history when you are  in it, but right now, we are in a sick, demented p...more

  • Ep. 7 - NYPD’s Chief Surgeon Lies & Says Eric Garner Was Never Even Choked

    Apr 08 2019

    In today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King explains the outrageous conclusion by the Chief Surgeon of the NYPD that Eric Garner was never actually choked – in  spite of over 100 million people seeing the video of Garner clearly being choked to death by  Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Five years later, it’s outrageous that this case is still being investigated.  It’s simple. And the people who could actually do something about it lack the political courage  and will to do so. Today Shaun also has ...more

  • Ep. 6 - White privilege is murdering 9 people and having all of the charges dropped

    Apr 05 2019

    [EXPLICIT LANGUAGE] In today’s episode, Shaun breaks down the 2015 motorcycle massacre in Waco, Texas in which 9 people were shot to death. All charges were just shockingly dropped against the 177 people who were originally arrested in this case.

  • Ep. 5 - When the Democratic Party Supports White Male Power

    Apr 04 2019

    In today’s episode, Shaun breaks down a destructive new policy from the Democratic Party designed to prevent future candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley from challenging powerful white male incumbents.

  • Ep. 4 - A Eulogy for Nipsey Hussle

    Apr 03 2019

    In this episode of The Breakdown, Shaun King unpacks the life and death of Nipsey Hussle, explores the conversations now happening around the issue of Black on Black  violence, and offers the best way we can honor Nipsey and his legacy.

  • Ep. 3 - Being sent back to prison, Facebook finally banning white supremacy, and why we must protect Ilhan Omar

    Apr 02 2019

    In today's episode Shaun King breaks down the horrible story of a wonderful man who is being sent back to prison for a crime he already served his time for. Also, Shaun unpacks the recent decision of Facebook to finally ban white supremacy and white nationalism. Lastly, Shaun explains why we must all defend and protect Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. 

  • Ep. 2 - How We Make Radical Changes in America’s Justice System

    Apr 01 2019

    Are you outraged by injustice, police brutality, & mass incarceration in the United States but don’t know what to do about it? Start here as Shaun King breaks down how we can abolish the system together. Also, learn about 3 brilliant young leaders we can all support who are doing the work.

  • Ep. 1 - Introduction to The Breakdown

    Mar 26 2019

    A brief introduction from Shaun King on what to expect from The North Star’s first full episode of The Breakdown - a daily podcast that will analyze and break down the most pressing news stories of the day.