Brandon Kyle Goodman: Black Lives Mattering "Should Not Be a Debate"

The Modern Love star, whose videos about life as a Black man in America have recently gone viral, made an appearance on the latest episode of Justin Sylvester's Just the Sip podcast

By Allison Crist Jun 18, 2020 4:29 PMTags

Staying silent isn't an option for Brandon Kyle Goodman.

The actor opened up to E!'s Justin Sylvester on the latest episode of the Just The Sip podcast about his viral video series, "To my white friends," and how he's using his platform to not only speak out against racism and social injustice, but also encourage others to do the same. 

Some of Goodman's Instagram videos have a more specific message—whether it be about allyship or white privilege—but all of them revolve around his experiences as a Black man in America. 

And they seem to be resonating, too, as they've amassed millions of views. Goodman said he thinks people "just needed to see exactly what was happening in the moment."

"I don't know about you, but I feel like sometimes as Black people, in order to move in white spaces, we will suppress our trauma so they can be comfortable," he told Sylvester on the podcast. "I think that, for me, started to do a disservice to my mental health."

The videos, according to Goodman, allowed him to tell his white friends—and in turn, millions of other people—"This is where I'm at."

"I think there are some things they were able to connect to and be like, 'Ohhh, there's pain. That's pain. Why is my friend in pain?'" Goodman added. "Let's start to ask the hard questions."

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And the time to start doing so is now, Goodman said.

"We can't not talk about this thing anymore. Because it's some bulls--t. At base, it's bulls--t that Black people have to fight to say our lives matter," he explained. "It should not be a debate. We shouldn't be debating if racism exists, if it's bad, if it's good—which, that's what people have been doing on Twitter. Like, 'Is it? Well, what do you think?' Honey, it exists. It's been existing. You are a part of it. We are all inside of it. It needs to go. At base. Now, let's move forward from there." 

Not only is racism not up for debate, but it's not "a political thing," either, Goodman noted.

Sylvester agreed, labeling racism, along with everything the Black Lives Matter movement is fighting for, "a human rights" issue: "Like, I'm a Black gay man who votes both Democrat and Republican depending on who the candidate is and what level and what they're offering to my life and you know, X, Y and Z...so for me, I'm very apolitical."

Goodman pointed out that there are "levels of engagement inside of this which do include policies and politics," and that factors such as socioeconomics should be considered in the larger fight for equality. However, yes, "the base is human life," he added.

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"That's where we're all showing up and trying to say, like, Black people do not need to be getting killed by police; do not need to be getting chased by neighbors," he said.

Sylvester, who's continually uses his platform to talk about racism, explained that he's sometimes accused of "making the conversation with white people too comfortable for them," and asked Goodman for advice.

Goodman responded: I've been fearful of those types of comments because I don't want Black people to think that I'm, like, coddling white people. I haven't seen that yet. And I also, to be very honest, I try not to venture too far into my comments because I don't want it to deter me from doing what I want to do and what I want to say. You gotta know your boundaries."

That, and different voices reach different people.

"Black people are not a monolith. We are allowed to respond and react and handle this however we want to," Goodman expressed. "And there has to be a myriad of voices. We can't just have one type of voice. It's not gonna hit everybody."

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He continued, "If we're saying we're trying to make a global change and a global shift, there's got to be several different types of voices so that, you know, some people take it with a little more sugar. Some people like it a little more bitter. And the message is the same: Black lives matter. Period. And we're all out for the same thing."

At the end of the day, Goodman has hope for the future.

"In this last week, as painful as it has been—I don't want to underplay how painful, especially these last three weeks, have been—but then I marched on Hollywood Boulevard on Sunday, and there was hope there," he told Sylvester. "Listen, if the country had to shut down for us to have this conversation in this way, for us to finally get the respect and the attention and the allyship that we have been deserving and needing for centuries, then okay. Here we are."

"I can't say that it's all been bad," Goodman continued. "There's been some dark, dark, dark things that have come out of this but there's also, you know, some hope."

Listen to the entire Just the Sip episode here, and catch Goodman in Netflix's Feel the Beat on June 19.

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