Elephant in the room….

Ok boyz, I’m going to go there. I’m going to talk about a topic that is widely scrutinized but it does exist. You ready…….Racism. This is a topic that many people outside of color doesn’t really think exists that much mainly because it’s never happened to you so you just don’t really understand it. It’s real boyz, as real as it gets and it’s something that people of color deal with on a daily basis. Growing up in a small town where everyone knows who you are and for the most part everyone gets along the topic kind of gets swept under the rug a little bit. You have this false sense of security that everywhere outside your comfort zone is the same and you couldn’t be any further from the truth. I also thought this way until I left the comforts of my surroundings and ventured off into the real world at the age of 19. Going to Junior College in Fresno really didn’t highten my awareness on the topic as much as it did once I got to Kansas. There is when I learned that everywhere isn’t like good ole Tulare where more people than none don’t see color. I was put in situations out there that I just really couldn’t believe existed and that was only the beginning. I mean imagine winning a huge football game on Saturday afternoon then wanting to go out and celebrate that night with a few of the guys on the squad only to get stopped by countless people at every door to a house party or a frat party saying that you can’t come in, all the while you’re standing there you see an endless flow of traffic going in and out. Or being on the sideline of an opposing teams stadium hearing some of the things fans would say to you, only to look across the sideline and see that the majority of the players on the team they are cheering for are black. It’s like but wait….you were cheering for me earlier, but tonight when it’s time to celebrate we can’t be cool and co-exist? Have you ever been followed around a store because they can’t think you can afford anything? I was in Visalia one day back in like 2010 (after 4 years in the nfl) and Joe and I went to Visalia hobbies. We walked around for a bit as I was contemplating getting an RC car when the guy working there word for word says to me “Well if you work hard enough then maybe one day you’ll be able to get one of these cars”. That threw me off and Joe and I left. We got down the block and I was so mad that we turned around and I went in there and bought like 3 cars that day. In hindsight I should’ve just let it go but the anger that was inside of me wouldn’t let the guy off like that. The shit is real boyz, even if you guys choose to think that it isn’t because you’ve never experienced it. It’s hard out here for African Americans to succeed because there are countless road blocks and to maneuver around. I mean y’all know me, but people that don’t just see a 6 foot 220 pound African American male with tattoos. They are scared before I can even open up my mouth, but after a short conversation more times than not I get the comment “wow, you’re really nice” like wtf were you expecting? It is what it is, only reason I bring this up is because I read an article today about Chargers football players who are having a difficult time leasing homes in the OC because of their skin color. It’s sad, but it’s real.

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