My Feelings On The Winter Olympics

Share Button

I love sports. Can’t get enough of it. I don’t care if it’s college, professional, or even little league, I love to see and partake in competition. A couple of things go into this. The first reason is because seeing someone sacrifice their bodies and almost defy physics with what they can do is not only mesmerizing, but truly inspirational. And the second reason, is simply because sports give people from around the world a chance to come together and celebrate something that they love.That’s one reason why I love the World Cup.  For those reasons, watching and playing sports is one of my favorite things to do. But when I found out that the Winter Olympics were coming on for like a month, I shrugged, and continued to watch something else. Why? Because when there’s sports like Curling and Figure Skating, the only people you can really root for are people that look like you. And sadly, those people for me, don’t exist.

        Now I understand why this is the case. With no real “snow” or “winter” seasons in some countries, it’s kind of hard to practice, let alone compete at the Olympics as a person of color in some cases. But my question isn’t why black people aren’t involved. My question is : how can you call yourself the best at something when not everyone is competing? With the exception of partially recognized sovereign states and territories, all 194 countries in the world compete in the Summer Olympics in at least 1 event. But the Winter Olympics only holds a little under 90, leaving over 100 countries out of the picture. This is like saying you can… jump rope the best in the entire world, but only a small group of people even get the chance to compete. This seems unfair.

 

        To me, this seems like a matter of class rather than a matter of skill and athletic ability. In sports such as Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding, the equipment itself costs insane amounts of money, which is money that the next prodigy in Ghana or India doesn’t have. And for that reason, only the wealthier nations are competing. Whereas in a sport like Track and Field, all you need is legs and a desire to win (with the exception of Oscar Pistorius, the man with no legs who competed in Track and Field in 2012). This brings me to the answer behind my confusion. I feel like the Winter Olympics were made and to be enjoyed by rich people. Plain and simple. It seems like there is no way for people without snow/money/resources to compete, which only leaves the Germans and the Canadians. And let’s not forget the good old U.S.A.

 

        So I personally try not to watch the Winter Olympics, simply because whenever I see the competitors with their speed skates and their shiny snowboards, I can only wonder what a kid in Ethiopia or a man in Thailand could do with the same resources and facilities. If only someone could make the equipment cheaper or teach kids in different countries how to play these sports! But that wouldn’t happen, because that would make it fair and they don’t want that. To be honest I don’t even try to sweat about it anymore. I’m just getting ready for Brazil. Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go school my brother in  game of soccer.

 

Share Button

Jordan Davis: Thoughts From A Black Teenager

Share Button

I get scared every time I turn on the news now. My thoughts on the verdict of Jordan Davis, the 17-year-old young African American man who was shot to death by Michael Dunn are simple: as a black boy in this day and age, my trust and sense of safety is dwindling as I write this. First Trayvon Martin, then Renisha McBride, and now Jordan Davis, as well as too many others to name. What is the news telling me when people that look just like me are getting murdered just because? To me this means that America is a long way away from Martin’s dream of people being judged by the content of their character. To me this means that even though we have a black president, things are definitely not perfect. And to me this means that some white people still don’t know that they’re not just killing three-fifths of a person anymore.

        This entire case hits home for me because Jordan Davis could have been a lot of people I know. He could have been my cousins who live in Florida. He could have been my brother Cole. He could have been me. Over the course of two years since Trayvon was killed, my mental process and the way I hold myself in public has changed, without a doubt. I’m constantly evaluating and questioning myself: should I change the way I am because of other people? My answer is always, no, probably not. But do I change myself because it keeps me safe? Yes, definitely. I try to distance myself from any sort of commotion or conflict happening around me because I know it’s too easy for someone to come along and make me a suspect. I try to be extra nice to strangers so they don’t get the wrong impression. And unless it’s negative 20 below zero, I’ll take a hat, not a hood. And I’m not a “thug” in any way, shape, or form. I get good grades, I try to use manners when I need to, and always try to keep a smile on my face. But I know that that doesn’t mean a thing to someone who is threatened by me. By the skin I’m in. Because racists and even regular people who let stereotypes push their fear don’t see me as a complete individual with good home training and good morals. All they see is dark pigment walking down the street and they’re ready to pull the trigger.

        Although Michael Dunn is going to prison for his wrong-doing, it still doesn’t feel right. After all, somebody going to prison doesn’t mean the event didn’t happen. Jordan Davis’ parents still mourn, and we still lost a valuable life and teenage black boys like me are still hearing the message loud and clear: it’s open season on us. Plus, the murder of Jordan Davis isn’t even the reason why Dunn is going to jail! He’s going to jail for what? For almost killing Jordan Davis’ friends who were in the car, and for shooting deadly missiles. Not because he shot somebody in cold blood for no reason, but because he didn’t kill more people and was using a gun. This brings me to another force that I clearly can’t trust: The American criminal justice system.

        Why is it that my father tells me not to confront the police even in times of danger? Because all too often, the police and the criminals have the same mindset: “Let’s get rid of all these brown faces once and for all.” How come those 11 jurors and that judge could not come up with the verdict that was staring them right in the face? I don’t know. I can’t quite comprehend how a fear gives someone the right to take someone’s life. Honestly, I feel like the verdict answers to a fear of making too many people mad. This phobia is the same one that the jurors of Trayvon’s case had, and it was the same one that the jurors in Troy Davis’ case had back in 2011. I can’t help but to think that the American criminal justice system is set up to condone the loss of a black life rather than anger the white community it serves.

So I say all this to say that I’m severely heartbroken, not just because of the case, but because it has been officially made clear that too many white Americans don’t consider black boys as citizens or even human beings. Do you think this would have been a problem if a group of white guys were blasting Tim McGraw? My guess is no. Because that wouldn’t be “thug music.” My heart goes out to the parents and family of Jordan Davis. Mr. Davis and Mrs. McBath: I am painfully sorry that your son had to be a victim of White America. I don’t know, maybe next time I’ll turn down Chief Keef and turn up Taylor Swift when I’m driving in the part of the country I supposedly can call home. Maybe that will save my life.

Share Button

The Mind Of a Teenage Black Boy

Share Button

 

Hey, Miles here. I’m a 15-year-old African-American boy from Atlanta, Georgia, with a couple of things to say about the world I live in.  Although I lack a few necessary character traits (i.e organization, neatness, and sometimes common sense), I always try to be aware of what goes around in my life in every aspect of it. Basically, whatever the subject may be, I usually have a unique opinion on it. And as an African-American teenage male, this lens that I look through as I view the world is different than an average person on the street. Whether it be sports, politics, movies, music, or just the basic things in my life, I like to have my own stance. And because of this, I am doing this blog for two reasons: one, because I love to write. I LOVE it. Ever since I knew what words were, I’ve always been trying to express my ideas and thoughts through writing. I’ve had my phases of not wanting to pursue writing anymore, but the love I have for doing it always brings me back. I never want to stop writing.

And two, because I feel that the true opinions and thoughts of black boys in the world today are dwindling, and are being replaced by what people think we’re thinking. Too frequently I hear from schools or organizations, “How come black youth isn’t engaged/interested in what we’re trying to give them?” Well the answer is simple: you need to ask black youth! If you want a change to be made, you need to look for voices that represent the demographic you’re trying to catch. I may not speak for all teenage black boys, but you can be sure that I can speak for myself. And that’s gotta mean something.

My writing inspirations are very close to me, for they are both a part of my close family. My Uncle (Nick Chiles), and Aunt (Denene Millner) are both prestigious authors that have not only published countless books, but also successfully run websites that have to deal with the lives and stories of African Americans in America. With a résumé like that, how can you go anywhere else? They really are (as well as my Dad who insisted I should start this) the reason why I decided to pursue blogging. And for that,I thank you all. I have a good feeling about this. This is going to be fun.

Share Button