"I worry for him being a black man, period," the longtime TV journalist said on The Talk this week
Gayle King
Gayle King and her son Will
| Credit: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Gayle King is opening up about fears for her son's safety.

The CBS host joined The Talk on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing protests over the killing of George Floyd, the black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer pinned Floyd down by using his knee on the unarmed man's neck.

"My son is 33 years old, and I'm worried about him," King, 65, told the hosts of The Talk, saying that she asks her son, Will Bumpus Jr., not to take his dog for long walks because "everything is so volatile."

King explained that Will lives in the Santa Monica area of Los Angeles, where there have been multiple protests. The longtime TV journalist said that her son can hear the police helicopters and protests in his neighborhood.

"But I'm worried about him walking his frickin’ dog," King added, even though he is a grown man. "I worry for him being a black man, period."

"And now everybody is so amped up about everything. I do, I worry a lot about his safety. Welcome to being black in America. This is not new."

King is also mother to daughter Kirby Bumpus.

King continued to say on The Talk that reporting on stories of racial injustice make her emotional — and Floyd's story in particular struck a chord.

"That's what's making me emotional — that his last words were 'mom, mama,'" King said. "This is what's getting me. It goes to the primal instinct that we all have. Because your mother is your ultimate protector. And his mother died two years ago. But we didn't even know that at the time."

On Thursday, the first of multiple memorial services for Floyd was held in Minneapolis.

Attendees included Minnesota's U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, Gov. Tim Walz, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Martin Luther King III, in addition to celebrities Tiffany HaddishKevin HartT.I. and wife TinyLudacrisTyrese Gibson and former NBA star Stephen Jackson, who was Floyd's friend.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.

•National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.