Why I Don’t Have Black Friends… or White Friends

Yeah… sorry if the title offends you… But honestly, why beat around the bush hoping the main idea of this post will will fly out?

I’m 19 years old… soon to be 20. I’m not a world traveler by any stretch of the imagination, but I like to think I’ve gotten around. I’ve lived in 7 different states of the U.S., and have visited countless others. I’ve gotten a taste of the extremes of culture the Unites States has to offer. From the southern “hospitality” (forgive my cynicism), to the reculsive breed of the west coast, to Ohio and Nebraska (which aren’t different except OSU fans are slightly more insane that Cornhusker fans) where you immediately get sleppy when you drive through their, well, sleepy little towns, with one stoplight, one barbershop, maybe two banks… well, you get the point.

Traveling like that has given me a perspective on people that I will always carry.

People, above all, are scared of everything that is different of them. Watch all the recent Superman and Captain America movies, and what happens? Non- super humans try to put limits on something that is different than them. Why? Because they are afraid.

Why do white kids usually hang out with white kids at school? Because they are afraid. Why do black kids only hang out with black kids at school? Because they are afraid. We are all afraid of being different in a group of people, and of people that are different. If you can’t admit that, then stop reading this blog.

As the post title says, I have no black friends, and I have no white friends. But I do have friends. All the years of meeting new people, making friends, and moving on (all with new sets of culturally affected people) has taught me that there is no such thing as a black friend, and no such thing as a white friend, and no such thing as an asian friend, etc. There are people friends.

This isn’t to say I don’t have friends who are black, or friends who are asian, hispanic friends, or friends who are white. I have all three. but they aren’t my ______ friend. Some of my closest friends are black, from Cleveland and Columbus. I’m not scared of being with them, in fact, I am never more at ease. I have friends from Brazil, Honduras, and Thailand. The key is to learn your differences, and embrace them; find things that you both like doing;  find things about them that annoy you and laugh at those things.

All of this seems really easy saying it. But I have only reached that because of the way I was raised. College has opened my eyes to the differences in people more than anything else. Athletics has brought me together with other young men who are vastly different then me.

If humanity as a whole would get the idea that people different then themselves are not scary, and that the differences in each other can become our greatest assets, the world would be a much different place.

Imagine what our species could accomplish if everyone loved and cared for one another. We pride ourselves on our intellect and reason, and the advances in technology and life we could have are out of reach because of pride, fear, and unreasonableness.

 

 

 

 

Midnight Myrtle Beach Madness

What do college athletes do in Myrtle Beach at 11:00pm?

 

Amazing what interesting things can happen to a bunch of guys wandering around the beachfront of Myrtle Beach at eleven pm.

This past March, of 2016, I went as part the MVNU track team to the Coastal Carolina Invitational in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Our team of about 40 individauls was going for trip over spring break… there was no way we could compete with teams from Division 1 schools like Michigan, North Dakota State, and Ohio State. Most teams there had over 100 members.  We were just there to have fun… well, if you call that fun.

We had two days of practice and relaxation before the meet. Tuesday we spent playing ultimate frisbee on the beach, trying to get our Cleveland-born sprinters to get in the 50 degree Atlantic, and burying one of our teamates in the sand. Tuesday was a pretty chill day, we got back from dinner that night, not really feeling like doing anything.

Wednesday, though, was a completely different story.

Wednesday, we had a lot of nervous energy, so, at 11:00pm, four of us, me, Sam, Stu, and Walter, decise to go for a walk down the beach. Our goal was the pier, three miles away. It was a beautiful night out, the moon was up, the tide was coming in, and the traffic was quiet. We maybe made it a mile and a half down the beach when we come to an inlet that none of us wanted to swim across, forcing us to awkwardly walk through someone’s front yard, then backyard to get to a road. Meanwhile, Sam is at the rear if the line just moaning and waiting for something to grab him… or so he said.

We pop out out a nice little beach lane, which dead ends, and decide to walk through part of a golf course and by the local country club. No doubt some of the patrons were wondering what two black and two white guys were doing golfing at 11:30 at night.

Finally, we get back to what seems to me a semi-main road, and learn, upon consuting our smart phone, that the inlet we’d hoped to avoid ran inland a mile and there was no way we were getting to the pier.

Damn.

A one word summary of the first half of our trip.

Oh shit!

A two word summary of the second half.

We decided to stick to asphalt on the way back. Maybe a good idea.

We’re walking down some random road  in the middle of a residential zone, on the way back to our hotel; I’m looking at my phone trying not to get us lost, all of a sudden, Sam says, in the calmest voice ever, “Oh look, a dog.”

Not sure what happened next, but within about 15 seconds, all four of us were a hundred yards back down the road, while the dog (named Jackie) runs to the house we had just been in front of. Unknowingly, we had left Sam and his torn hamstring hobbling up the road 40 yards back. Oops.

What was so stupid about the whole thingis that Jackie came from around the corner up the road, as we were walking past her house.

Like really Jackie? You neglect your one job of protecting the house, run around the corner, and think its fair to scare the crap out of four college guys, and then continuously bark for the next 15 minutes. All because we walked the freakin public road in front of your house?

The poor dude who had to come outside to see what was going on with his conceited dog couldn’t even control her. As we slowly edge by, he’s basically folowing her, vainly trying to shut her up. Her two-to-one leg ratio gave her a decisive edge in evasion. We, slowly edging around, just waited for her to pounce.

It all bordered on the slightly absurd. As we finished our walk to the hotel, battle scarred veterans of the midnight Myrtle Beach streets, we agreed to go back and ask if we could borrow Jackie for the next day, stick her behind a runner as he gets ready to start, and then let her go at the starting gun. There certinly would be a lot of personal records set that day.

Unsurprisingly, the owner said no.

You may find this unbearably boring, but I tell you this story for one reason.

  1. If you go for a stroll and see Jackie… run.

 

 

 

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