New Episode of Ms.’s On The Issues With Michele Goodwin Podcast: Who Killed George Floyd?


On the Issues with Michele Goodwin is a popular issues- and policy-focused podcast featuring feminist analysis, insightful conversations and exciting guests. This is the first podcast from Ms. magazine, a legacy feminist publication. In each bi-weekly episode, host Dr. Michele Goodwin and special guests will tackle the most compelling issues of our times, centering feminist concerns about rebuilding our nation and advancing the promise of equality.

A new episode— Who Killed George Floyd? (with Judge Pamela Alexander, Dr. Patricia Jones-Blessman, Tasha R. Green Cruzat, Dr. Roderick A. Ferguson, T. Mychael Rambo, and Dr. George Woods)—is available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and

In this episode, we confront the question at the center of Derek Chauvin’s trial: Who killed George Floyd? Our guests unpack that question as an issue central to police and societal violence. Examining who killed George Floyd means taking stock of legacies of racism in the Twin Cities, including redlining, school segregation, policies that undermine equality, and disparate rates of policing and mass incarceration. We also explore the trauma associated with George Floyd’s death and other officer-involved killings.

This week, Dr. Goodwin and her guests ask: As attention has turned to the horrors of the old South, has racism of the new North been overlooked? And at what cost to Black lives? Have liberal allies made a difference or exacerbated harms in the Twin Cities?  How does racism produce physical and psychological health harms?

Dr. Goodwin is joined by Judge Pamela Alexander, a Fourth Judicial District judge for Hennepin County, Minnesota; Dr. Patricia Jones Blessman, a licensed clinical psychologist; Tasha R. Green Cruzat, executive director of Voices for Illinois Children; Dr. Roderick A. Ferguson, professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies at Yale University; T. Mychael Rambo, a regional Emmy Award-winning actor, vocalist, arts educator and community organizer; and Dr. George Woods, a practicing physician, specializing in neuropsychiatry.

Their conversation covered a wide range of topics; you can find a full transcript here, as well as a few excerpts below:

“Once, while pulling into my driveway, a neighbor demanded that I stop, because I was not allowed down the street. When I told him I lived there, he profusely apologized and invited me to come for drinks at his house.” —Michele Goodwin

“[R]ight after Philando Castile was killed here I remember listening to a group of friends and my husband’s friends, all African-American males, who said look, I’m just going to drive and have my license on the dashboard because you never know what’s going to happen. You don’t want to reach for anything, you don’t want to tick off somebody because you never know what’s going to happen or how they’re going to react to you.” —Judge Pamela Alexander

“Just the everydayness of racism that is obscured by just the sort of politeness that characterizes at least the surface of interactions. And so that was very much what I experienced, and I think a lot of people experience in Minnesota, is the kind of Minnesota nice, that we’re not racist, we’re good neighbors, and we love everyone, and we’re a liberal state, and we support unions and, you know.” —Dr. Roderick A. Ferguson

“It wears us out. It really, it creates health crises amongst members of our community. High blood pressure. Diabetes. Migraines. Stomach and lower GI behavior. All of those things have a direct impact, a direct correlation to just what we’re talking about and I think that it’s got to stop.” —T. Mychael Rambo

“I mean I think everyone was horrified. The difference is, of course, that Black people saw their brother, or their uncle or their cousin, or they had to, no matter what their socio-economic level may be, they may be reliving a family member. So, we’re talking about trauma, rather than stress. I think that for those, those of you that are not of color, are not Black, I totally see the stress from the pain that that may have caused many people. That’s different than causing you trauma.” —Dr. George Woods

Meet the Host of On the Issues: Dr. Michele Goodwin is a frequent contributor to Ms. Magazine and on She is a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Irvine and also serves on the executive committee and national board of the ACLU. Dr. Goodwin is a prolific author and an elected member of the American Law Institute, as well as an elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Hastings Center. Her most recent book, Policing The Womb: Invisible Women and The Criminalization of Motherhood, is described as a “must read.”

About Ms. Magazine: Co-founded by Gloria Steinem in 1972 and published by the Feminist Majority Foundation since 2001, Ms. magazine has been a trusted, popular source for feminist news and information in print and online for nearly 50 years. Ms.’s time-honored traditions of an emphasis on in-depth investigative reporting and feminist political analysis have never been more relevant, bringing a new generation of writers and readers together to share news, analysis, research and strategies for fighting back and moving forward, for shaping the future.


If you would like more information on the On the Issues with Michele Goodwin podcast, or to schedule an interview with Host Michele Goodwin or Executive Producer & Ms. Executive Editor Katherine Spillar, please email

Launched in 1971, Ms. is the most trusted, popular source for feminist news and information in print and online with a tradition of in-depth investigative reporting and feminist political analysis. Ms. is wholly owned and published by the Feminist Majority Foundation.