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The Breakdown with Shaun King

News & Politics Podcasts

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.

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.


United States


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.




Ep. 562 - This American city drastically increased their police budgets and murders still DOUBLED.

Mobile, Alabama did what cities across the country are doing right now, they drastically increased their police budget over the past 3 years. And guess what happened over that same time period? Murders DOUBLED. Why? Because policing in America is a POST-crime enterprise. They show up AFTER the crime is already complete. And so while the city struggled desperately with poverty, drug addiction, mental health issues, homelessness, and struggling schools - all which are root causes of crime,...


Ep. 561 - Why this Florida law making it illegal to make white people uncomfortable should concern all of us

When I first saw the AP headline that a brand new law legislating white comfort had passed several important hurdles in Florida, I thought it was a spoof. Florida is crazy, but that was NEXT LEVEL. But it wasn't a spoof. In fact, this new law appears to be on the fast track to pass. It makes it illegal for white people to feel uncomfortable when teaching American history and Black history. That alone is a problem. But today on The Breakdown, I want to unpack and explain why this law...


Ep. 560 - Why Joe Biden is to blame for yesterday's voting rights failure

First, don't you dare critique this episode without first actually listening to the podcast. Listen, then speak your mind freely. But today on The Breakdown I want to unpack and explain why I think Joe Biden himself was the #1 reason why the voting rights bill failed in the Senate yesterday. Of course Democratic Senators Sinema and Manchin are also to blame. But the President of the United States, who is the head of the Democratic Party, half-assed this entire push for all of 2021 - not...


Ep. 559 - One key way we CANNOT respond to racism & bigotry

I actually think it is a natural human response to return ugliness to those who were ugly to you or someone you care about. It feels good. I get it. It's something I have to resist every single day, though, because before you know it, you may be as bad or worse than them. Yesterday I posted a horrible video of openly racist basketball fans in China openly calling former NBA player Sonny Weems a nigger there. It was ugly. But in response to it, I see something that I often see in response...


Ep. 558 - America is addicted to policing to solve EVERY problem

Last week a woman was pushed onto the train tracks and killed in New York. And immediately people began calling for more police as the solution, but that station was full of police already - including right there where the crime happened. We can solve this problem, and SO many other problems with non-policing solutions, but America's addiction to policing and mass incarceration literally prevents it from solving so many challenges


MLK 360

To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we are re-running one of our most popular episodes that highlights a lesser-known side of the civil rights hero. The words and legacy of Dr. King have been reduced and sanitized in so many ways. Today Shaun King plays 5 very special audio clips of Dr. King that you have likely never heard before and breaks down why they are so very important.


See you on MLK Day

Hey Friends. I'm taking a long weekend to be with my family. I'll see you all back on MLK Day this Monday.


Ep. 557 - Demystifying Therapy for Black Men

I'm probably a good 20 years late for therapy. Nobody told me NOT to see a therapist, but nobody modeled good brain habits for me either. Today I want to talk to you about my therapy journey and tell you how you can get 8 free therapy sessions from @BlackMenHeal. Share this with your family and friends.


Ep. 556 - Will Joe Biden & The Democratic Party Actually Protect Voting Rights?

Yesterday Biden gave a very important speech on voting rights - stating emphatically that he is now for ending the filibuster to protect voting rights. While this is a necessary shift for Biden, a speech is not a policy. A speech is not a vote. And it remains to be seen if the Democrats in the Senate will do what they need to do to protect and advance voting rights nationwide. Let me tell you where we are, where we aren't, and what I think will happen next.


Ep. 555 - LAPD Officers Caught Playing Pokemon Go While a Robbery Was in Progress

And here's what's WILD - the LAPD has the NERVE to ask for $200 million more for their budget while their officers are doing this and shooting and killing little girls who are out shopping. We have to stop thinking and believing police are what makes a city safe. It's just not true.


Ep. 554 - Let me explain the shortcomings of identity politics

Have your heard of the phrase "Identity Politics?" Let me unpack and explain it. For years, I supported it blindly. And 25 years ago, I think it even made sense, but in 2022 and beyond we have to be more sophisticated than simply supporting someone for political office because they are Black, or a woman, or share some other trait that we identify with. Can it be a factor? Of course. It still is a factor for me, because something like race should also mean you have an understanding of all of...


Ep. 553 - This is accountability

It's hard to jump for joy. Ahmaud is still not here. Justice means balance. Balance would be Ahmaud being alive and well - running wherever he damn well pleased. But today is accountability. And we fought damn hard for it. Thank each and every one of you for your support from Day 1. For Ahmaud. For this family. For me. For Lee Merritt. For Grassroots Law. God bless you.


Ep. 552 - 1 Year Later

It's now been 1 year since the violent insurrection at the American Capitol and it's hard for me to think that this country has truly taken this attack like the threat it truly was and is. Today I want to play for you my thoughts and reflections from 1 year ago, right after the attack happened.


Ep. 552 - Killer Mike gave Joe Biden an F- for his first year. I'd give Attorney General Merrick Garland the same grade

Listen, we need to have a very frank conversation about how bad Merrick Garland has been in his first year as Attorney General. It's even worse that I thought it would be - significantly so - particularly on issues of racial justice, police violence, and mass incarceration. But here's the thing - he's an old man and has NEVER been strong on any of those issues. He never should've gotten this job. We can only hope that he retires early or is replaced soon with 1 of HUNDREDS of attorneys who...


Ep. 551 - Our Government is Clearly Afraid of Doing Hard Things

Nearly one year ago today, the American Capitol was overtaken during a conservative riot over the election. Hard decisions needed to be made in that moment, but weren't. It was that failure, in part, that caused the complete collapse of the security before, during, and immediately after the insurrection. Over the past year, countless hard decisions should've been made and hard actions taken in response to this crisis. But those decisions and actions simply have not happened. And we will all...


Ep. 550 - Police said crime was high because they needed more money. They got the money, but crime is the same and even worse all over the country.

Out of 12,000+ police departments fewer than 10 lost any money in the past few years. Nonetheless, from coast to coast, police blamed the spike in crime on "defunding the police." So city councils across the country poured records amount of money into policing. But guess what? It didn't change a thing. Why? Because police RARELY stop crime. They aren't even great at responding to it. 97% of their time isn't even spent on serious violent crimes. It was all a huge money grab - and the groups...


Ep. 549 - A painful prediction for 2022

We are about to enter a horrible new era of extreme mass incarceration that will rival the worst periods in modern American history. In fact, it's already started. Today I'll unpack why it's happening, who is responsible, and tell you why history is repeating itself.


Ep. 548 - Shame on Joe Biden & Senate Democrats for Putting Rahm Emanuel in the Administration

In the middle of the night this past weekend, Senate Democrats, urged by the White House, with 31 Senators not even present for the vote, approved Rahm Emanuel for a position in the administration. This comes after the widespread knowledge that Emanuel blatantly covered up the police murder of a Black teenager, Laquan McDonald, for his own political gain. It's disgusting. Shame on Biden, Harris, and every Senate Democrat who voted for this.


Ep. 547 - Michelle Odinet should never try another court case again. And she should be disbarred.

Simply put, you can't be a racist judge. Doubly so when the primary people before your court are black. This woman should be disbarred, lose her law license and be removed from the bench immediately.


Ep. 546 - Joe Biden is about to foolishly start student loan payments back up at the worst possible time

Inflation is rising. The pandemic is actually getting worse. And millions of Americans are truly struggling. Now is the worst time imaginable to restart student loan payments, but Joe Biden is about to do it anyway. It's bad for everyday people. That should be enough. But it's also just REALLY bad politically.