One year after the murder of George Floyd, my friend Allen takes me back to his childhood, telling me about his own mistrustful relationship with police officers, why he alters his behaviors around them and the talk his parents gave him at a very young age about dealing with the police. Then, we discuss Floyd, the significance of that moment last year, what we might have done if we were bystanders that day, lessons learned in the year since then, how white people can help and SO much more.
It's an important conversation, and we really hope you can listen and learn from it.
Allen Yates is a 29-year-old currently living in Connecticut. He grew up just outside of Philadelphia. He played basketball in college and then went on to work at radio stations in the area, which led him to ESPN Radio in Bristol, where he is right now. He loves the Lakers and publicly asking girls out on Twitter. You can follow him on Instagram @yizz22 or check out his sports podcast, "TBD."
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"I'm combative with the police, and being combative or being compliant these days doesn't change the bottom line. You may end up losing your life regardless of how you act, regardless of what you say or do, because those police officers might not feel comfortable with you being there. - Allen on his relationship with the police (20:09)
"If I do get pulled over, I'm scared that I'm going to get a ticket. Not that I'm going to lose my life." - Troy on the differences between how the police treat white and Black people (22:28)
"That imagery to me was just crazy because he knows in the back of his mind, I have a really good chance of getting away with this and not suffering any repercussions from this because police who kill people, especially police who kill Black people, they never ever, ever get convicted for anything." - Allen on his reaction to the George Floyd video (25:46)
"It's nice that you named this street Black Lives Matter St., but your local governor has a rap sheet of covering up oppression within the police department. Those changes need to happen as well. It's good that we're getting things moving, but we have a long way to go." Allen on change that still needs to happen (39:25)
"Just ask the question. Yeah, it might feel as though you're putting an unnecessary burden on a Black person to have to teach you something that is wrong. But if you want to learn, all you have to do is ask." - Allen gives advice to white people who want to support BLM (52:04)
peace and love.
Good morning, everyone. Welcome into another episode of the The Troy Farkas Show a podcast that is not about me. It's about all of us. The twenties are at a crucial time in our lives. And on this show, we navigate the highs and lows of early adulthood together. I hope you guys all had a great weekend. I wish I could tell you about my weekends when I'm actually talking to you right now on Thursday, the day that the last podcast episode drops, because I've got a busy weekend ahead and I'm not sure where I'm going to be, what I'm going to be doing.
If I'll be able to sit down and talk to you guys. So I wanted to sit down and record while I knew I could. So hence why I'm talking to you on the previous Thursday. And I can't tell you about my weekend, but I'm going to the grand Canyon tomorrow. I'm going to Flagstaff. I'm going to Sedona. I'm hanging out with some old friends going to enjoy the weather, go hiking.
I can't wait for it all. So I will tell you all about it when I can, but that's okay. Because today we need to focus on a very important. Subject. Um, I imagine a lot of you will be seeing reading, watching, listening to a lot of tributes to the happenings of one year ago. This week, May 25th, 2020 amid the pandemic amid all of this craziness going on the murder of George Floyd happens in Minneapolis.
Any event that rocked the country, Roth the world to its core, the video of that incident, seeing it happen, seeing it go viral, seeing the reaction, it just changed. Things it changed the game. Like no other instance of this in our lives has before in, uh, in 2014, I remember the Michael Brown death in, in Ferguson, Missouri.
I remember Trayvon Martin a couple of years before that in Florida, I believe. And I don't remember all of the hundreds of deaths of Black people at the hands of police since then. And every time it happens, it hurts me just as a human being, who, who loves people and is compassionate and hurts me hearing those kinds of stories.
But this one, this particular one rocked me. It, it caused something in me, a switch to go off that hadn't gone off before. And I feel like a lot of you out there can probably relate to that. We knew a lot of this police brutality was happening. We knew racism was happening, but we kind of swept it under the rug or swept it in the back of our own minds because we didn't want to believe it.
We didn't want to believe it existed. And we didn't want to ask ourselves tough questions about where we come from and who we are and how we were raised. These were things that we had never really confronted before until this the murder of George Floyd kind of forced us to confront a part of ourselves that maybe we hadn't before.
And I know I have learned so much, so much in the past year about the plight of Black people, what they have to go through, the ways that they have to alter their behavior. In ways that I've never even thought about before I realized how privileged I am, how privileged I am to have lived the life that I have up until this point, because I know that for so many people out there, it is just not a reality.
And I'm cognizant of that. And so in the last year I've taken it upon myself. I've taken the advice to listen, to learn and to express empathy for the people who are not as fortunate as I am. And one of those people is my guest today. Allen Yates and I am so excited, uh, to have had the chance to speak with Allen Allen.
For those of you who don't know, I worked with at ESPN similar to Nancy last week, I worked alongside Allen, great guy, and I remember numerous conversations, two or 3:00 AM, just me and him in a dark studio talking about life and him telling me things about how he grew up, that I had never. Thought about before.
And when all of this happened in the past year, he's had a really strong voice on Twitter and just in our own circles and I've really respected his voice and what he has to say, because he comes from a place of, of growing up like this things that I've never had to worry about. So I wanted to bring him on today because I truly respect what he has to say.
I respect him as a man where he has come from and where he is in his life. Now he's in a really good place, super proud of him. So we're proud to call him a friend. And I hope you guys, as you are listening to this can appreciate his honesty, how real he is. And I'm hoping that if your minds have not been changed in the last year, that maybe you can open up your minds now, because a lot of things have been revealed in the last year about how messed up our society is.
And a lot of us, the white people who I imagine are listening to this podcast need to open up our ears. Our minds, our hearts to try to make the world a better place to try to be a part of the world that I want all of us to live in. So, um, with that said, here's my conversation with Allen Yates. I do hope you guys really enjoy it.
So, Alan, I've got a bunch to talk to you about today. Super excited that you're joining me and it's good to see you. How are you doing? Thank you for joining. Yeah, man, I miss you, bro. I miss you. I'm good. You know, someone told them my car, sadly drunk driver, they weren't hurt. So, you know, got to, had to deal with all that, but I'm good though.
New spot, you know, new place in Connecticut, you know, I've never been a fan of Connecticut, but I don't get why I still don't to this day. I love Connecticut. It's like the city life that I'm from versus Connecticut is just a whole different type of living. So. You know, I'm, I'm in new Britain now.
Hopefully it's a little bit more foot traffic, a little bit more lively. So we'll see. But I think good, man. I know you are out there in Colorado having a, Oh yeah. We're out here seeing the world, learning things about myself, learning things about the world about the West. Never really been out to the West before, so it's been good.
I do miss you guys hard hitting new Britain. Great place to be in Connecticut. Uh, you mentioned where you come from. I do want to kind of start there to get a better idea to frame the conversation that I want to have with you. You are from just outside of Philadelphia, in Norristown, shout out to the town.
Can you just kind of describe for me what your childhood was like growing up in North stone? Well, you know, in our sound we had, you know, it's pretty diverse, but as you grow up, you kind of see like, Oh, like the minority around here are white people. Like we had a decent amount of white people in our high school, but.
It was a pretty diverse, melting pot of people, whether it's the Spanish community, the Black community, the white community, the Italian community, however you want to slice it. So like growing up, I played a lot of basketball, so I got to intermingle with people from other races, other walks of life, which kind of helped me, you know, shape my view on people.
Cause you know, I've, I've interacted with a bunch of people when they were pure in genuine children, you know? And a lot of things that we see today, especially when it comes to like race and racism, like racism is almost like a, a top thing, you know, when you'll get your most pure view of someone when they're young, because you don't know any better, you just see someone at, Oh, I went to school with this person when I was three or four or whatever the case may be.
So growing up in Norristown was. You know, it, it helped shape me and my views on things. And like, it's funny that we're talking about it, cause I just was there and they just, uh, on one of the main streets painted Black lives matter on, on the streets. So it's pretty good thing to see, you know, when the George Floyd thing happened, it woke a lot of people up for whatever the case may be.
And like back home, it wasn't something that like, like we've seen that type of thing before. Just not, you know, almost 10 minutes of it on social media, like you've seen or heard of, you know, bad stories from police and just those interactions growing up. So it's like, you kinda know how to, you try to maneuver through avoiding the police growing up.
And that was something that we always try to do at a young age. What was your relationship and your friend's relationship like with the policing community in Norristown? Well, growing up, there was actually a point in time when like the police made an effort to like, you know, communicate with the community and be part of the community.
So we had these things called police cards. So they're similar to like, you know, baseball, trading cards, every police officer has them in there. You know, it's like a baseball card of the police officer, who he is, where he lives a little blurb about them. And if you could collect all of the cars from all the officers in the community, you got to go and meet the police and, you know, do go through this whole tour thing.
And it was supposed to, you know, get people to be comfortable with the police. And it lasted from, I'd say maybe like a summer or two, but then it kind of fell off. And our relationship with the police was almost like we got to make sure that we're not ever in a position to have to deal with them. You know, whether we're walking up the street or driving down the street and the cops around us, like we'll pull over and stop the car, you know?
And if you do have it happen to get pulled over, you know, the rules and regulations, when you get pulled over as a Black person or to anybody else, because the rules are different. So you sit there and make sure I go through my checklist. Don't make any sudden movements. Don't say too many things strike straight direct answers.
Keep your hands visible the whole line, because anything could make an officer feel as though you're doing something that's going to threaten them. And now you're on the news. So we always made a conscious effort to get. To make sure when we were not in positions to be around the cops in a negative light.
Now, why did you feel that way? Why did you feel all those steps were necessary? Well, that's, that's just how it is when you're Black. Like, you know how you grow up and it's like, Oh, like, you know, my mom and dad just had to talk with me about, you know, the birds and the bees, like, yeah, we get that talk too.
But the talk that comes before it is okay, this is how you interact with the police at a traffic stop or anywhere, because that talk is more important than the birds and the bees talk because you cannot do and get away with things as a Black person that anyone else does in a routine traffic stop. Like even if you go down the sad list of all the people who have been killed at the hands of the police, The things that they were stopped for in the first place or the simple interactions shouldn't end in depth.
So you have a list of that. And then, you know, my parents saw the Rodney King thing happened. So, you know, we had family in California, so they're telling me, this is what you do. And you do not stray from this because if you do something that sudden you might not come back home. So that's a talk that you already get.
So that's something that, you know, from day one, you have to do these things. If you ever have to get, you know, pulled over by the police in any way, at what age did you get that talk? Well, it comes in like stages, you know? So if you're, if you're six years old and a local person gets stopped by the police and it happens to make the news that might spark the conversation sooner, but it comes in stages.
So like whenever. Your parents feel as though you're ready and you can comprehend the conversation. They'll probably hit you with it. You know? Cause I've had different friends who are Black and up. My mom told me about that when I was six. My mom told me about that when I was eight. I learned about it when I was eight.
And then I got told again, you know, when I got my driver's permit. So, you know, it comes in stages and it's always a constant reminder. It's never really like, it's never really an ending conversation. Like I still, to this day, like I drove home from Norristown and my mom was like, make sure, you know, drive safe, drive safe, stay in there, stay in the lanes.
You need to stay in, tend to the whole nine, you know? And it sounds like, Oh yeah, yeah, I know. I know. But like it's a real thing that you gotta constantly remind yourself because anything can happen. When I was in college, my freshman and sophomore year at U Albany, a lot of us went out in downtown Albany, which is a little bit of sketchy area.
Low-income, there's a lot of kind of weird people walking around at night, but it's a hop in place where we're all going. And so this was really the first time that I was really interacting with police because there were just so many police cars around trying to police the neighborhood and also protect all the college kids that are, that are hanging out there from all the sketchiness going on.
And so at that point, I was kind of like the police are my friends, the police are here to protect me. They don't want me to get involved in any funny business. So I do think it is interesting to hear that I felt safe. I felt like they were my friends that I was protected, but you might not have felt that way.
No, like I personally, like I. I physically like ill almost when I see like body driving and I see the police, I get kind of antsy and anxious to make sure there are, am I going 64 miles an hour and not 65? Am I firmly in the right lanes that I speed up? Did I do? Cause you go through this whole checklist of anything that could be any small reason for them to pull you over.
The only times that I felt comfortable around the police is when they had to come with ambulances and stuff because my dad had epilepsy. So we had some episodes. We were, you know, we'd have to call the people who supposed to help. I would felt, I felt comfortable then because they know they're coming here for, you know, uh, epileptic episode.
But that's also something that not every Black person has the luxury of doing. You know, you can call the police and tell them, you know, My eyes having a mental breakdown and then they come here and they're not prepared for the situation. And they ended up killing the person. Who's having the mental breakdown because they are mentally ill.
So, you know, it's, it's kind of nerve wracking when you have to go out of your way to interact with them. But I've never really felt like, Oh, they're here to protect me. Like, even if I'm at a sporting event or at a concert, if I walk past a group of police, I'm going to make a mental note. I, I'm not going to come back out of this, this place, this way.
I'm going to go where there no police at the exits anyway, cause I don't want to even have them think, Oh, this guy looks like he's drunk. Let me stop him. Or you know anything. So I'm going to make a mental note and I'm going to go the opposite way. That's just the difference in, you know, you know, people say it's to America.
It probably is when it comes to, you know, how you view the police. And a lot of that's where you were grew up and where you shaped from. So it is what it is, but it's definitely a thing that's tangible. So when you're at a concert, a sporting event, a big event, whatever there there's police there. Do you feel like you or your friends that you're with are being targeted, that you guys are being viewed a little differently than everyone else there?
I wouldn't feel that way until I walked past the police, you know, badgering, a bunch of people who look the same, you know? So it's, it's this double-edged sword because at one, on one token, you know, you feel comfortable that the event that you're at, isn't going to get, you know, you know, shot up or, or blown up or something like that.
You feel comfortable in a sense that, okay, they're protecting the building, but as a Black person or me personally, I should say. I have that comfort in knowing that that that's what they're there for, but also I need to make sure when I leave here, they don't confuse me for someone who's doing something wrong.
So it's a little bit of comfort and knowing that they're, you know, protecting the building, but it's also like at any given time I could be on the news, leaving a concert and now something bad has happened. So it's, it's just a different type of, it's a discomfort when I see the person. So speaking of you personally, what kind of interactions have you had personally, have you ever been pulled over, have you ever been stopped or been made to feel, uh, uncomfortable.
Well, you know, so growing up, we would have basketball practice sometimes at our high school. And if they were, you know, redoing the floors, we would have to have practice somewhere else. So we had practice at a different location. So we were basically walking home from one side of the town, to the other, and a friend of mine.
I think he might've threw a bottle like, uh, uh, uh, Arizona, you know, sweet tea or something over a bridge that we were walking across and an undercover car pulls up and drives past. He stops, puts the car in reverse and like, we don't necessarily notice his undercover right away. Cause nine times out of 10, you got a pretty good idea of what those cars look like.
But you know, we weren't painted any mind cause we're, you know, first out of practice, tired, they pull up. What about grabbed me? Get on the ground. What did you throw over on the bridge, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I'm like. Miles you, the cop is short, you know, I'm probably like six one at the time. I'm way tar in this police officer.
So he's gripping me up, throwing me on the car, telling me to name where I, where I live, where I'm from, what street I live on, how tall I am, how much I weigh. And I'm like, bro, I'm not a doctor so hours. So I already don't have, you know, I don't like the thought of that. So I'm telling the police officer, I live on two streets that don't even run together and he's writing information down.
So I'm like, bro, you're not worried about me. Like you just want to hassle me. So he's trying to tell me, I need to lay on the ground. And I'm like, bro, I'm not doing any of that. So they end up leaving because they got a call out about something like actual crime that was going on, you know, that they're supposed to actually stop.
So they leave me. They gave me this like citation thing and. You know, I tell my parents and they tell some friends and we ended up getting the police officer's information and he has a rap sheet of just harassing people. And that was my first, I mean, I'm probably like maybe 10th grade and that was my first interaction.
And I was just like, you know, looking back at it now that could have went way worse because I'm combative with the police and being combative or being compliant these days doesn't change the bottom line that you may end up losing your life regardless of how you act, regardless of what you say or do, because those police officers might not feel comfortable with you being in there.
So it's just, you know, I've had multiple interactions, whether I'm getting pulled over, you know, I'm gonna, I'm tending to, sir, I'm not reaching it. I tell the police officers, you can sit in my car next to me. And grab my registration and stuff, but I did not feel comfortable reaching anywhere in my car.
I'm not giving them any reasons to think that, Oh, my cologne looks like a gun or my brush looks like a weapon. We're not, you know, I'm not giving those, those options, any type of options. So I'm going to let the police officers know you can come in and grab whatever you need to grab. Cause I'm not going to be, be shot for some type of misunderstanding.
And that's every time that I get pulled over, if I get pulled over at all, but even the mere sight of a cop, while I'm driving, I will get off the highway. If I see a cop and they're driving with me or driving behind me at some point, even if the lights aren't on, I'm getting off the next exit, no matter where I am, no matter if it's going to make me late for anything, because I'm not going to be.
I don't even want to have that type of negative energy around me in my day. So I'm getting off the exit no matter what. And a lot of Black people will probably tell you that that's what they do too, where they have that thought, let me turn off the street, let me get off of this exit. So these guys aren't even near me because it's a different type of discomfort when you see them.
And it shouldn't be that way because they're supposed to be for the community. But yeah. Yeah. All those behaviors, those decisions that you have to consciously make to try to avoid any interaction are just things that I, as a white person have never really had to think about. Sure. If, if I see a police car on the driveway or on the highway, just like everyone else.
Oh, okay. Am I checking? Am I going 75? Or I better slow down. But if I do get pulled over, I'm scared that I'm going to get a ticket. Not that I'm going to lose my life. Okay. My bad got to lose a couple hundred dollars. And that's the difference because it's like, I'll, I'll have these conversations with people where they're like, yeah, it must, like you said, like, yeah.
You know, when I get pulled over, I'm just worried about how much the tickets going to cost. And I'm like, that's the difference right there. Like you, haven't a comfort with knowing that the worst thing that's going to happen out of this interaction is going to be a ticket that you might not even get, or that you can fight, fight, take it to court.
Okay. And then you could take it to, can do all these things that you're comfortable with doing to fight something as small as a monetary or monetary item. And you got to pay back, you know, as opposed to me thinking, well, art, I was going 66 and the 65. Is he really pulling me over for this? Or is it because of the car that I'm in or is he trying to meet a quota?
You know, all these things go through your mind and then you got to go through your. Your checklist to make sure that you don't do anything that could turn this bad situation into something that you're not going to walk away from. Right. Um, one of the things that you mentioned earlier, you were describing a police who, uh, policemen, who had a track record of harassing Black people in the community.
Uh, you could describe him as a bad Apple. That was a term that we've heard a lot in the last year. One of those bad apples, certainly Derek Chauvin in a department that seems to have a couple of them in Minneapolis. So I want to fast forward to that moment last year, when you first saw that video, what was your reaction to it?
Of Derek Chauvin putting his knee on George Floyd's neck for nine plus minutes. So it took me, it took me a while to even watch it because the first thing, like the first few seconds, I'll say I'm looking at it and I'm like, so they're telling me that this guy passed away. And the video is this a bunch of people that are watching someone kneel on someone's neck while they're crying out for help.
And the officers are with him, don't do anything. The people who are recording are, are in the worst paralyzed place, because if they intervene with the police, they're probably going to get hurt as well, because they're morally doing the right thing. So it took me a while to even watch it because social media tends to be, you know, this great place where jokes happen and things of that nature.
But it also is like the most direct news. And it's the most raw version of the news that we get because it's actual personal accounts that we're watching. So when you see Black people getting killed over and over again on video, you kind of get numb to it. So I told myself, I'm not watching those types of videos anymore because it'll really mess your day up.
It'll mess my day up, but I sat and I watched it and I'm just looking and I'm like, there's no way. There's no way that someone did something like that. And he, you know, he got his hands in his pocket. And like that, that imagery to me was just crazy because he knows in the back of his mind, I have a really good chance of getting away with this, not suffering any repercussions from this because police who kill people, especially police who kill Black people, they never ever, ever get convicted for anything.
The worst that will happen to them usually is you get a sus you get suspended with pay you're on paid leave, you know, and that's crazy that you're now comparing it death to. Paid leave. Like that's their repercussion for killing somebody unjustly in your line of duty. And I was just like, it really messed me up a little bit because I'm like this, this is going to start something big because everybody watched this, you know, the pandemic in a way was the best thing to happen for this movement.
And it's a bad to me. It feels bad to even say, but when you rationalize and you put it under the scope that everybody is sitting in their house and they can't do anything, and they're all on social media, everybody, whether it's the kids who are our age younger than us, people who are a little older than us, someone and everyone's family has social media and everybody in the world saw that video.
Because no one else had, there was there wasn't anything that you can put in place of the social media at that point. Right. You know, you can't go to work and say, Oh, I didn't see that I was working. You can't go to the gym. You can't use any of those excuses as to why you didn't see something. So everybody's seeing that in the pandemic was like that.
I think opened up a lot of eyes that this is, this is wrong. Like, even if you were one of those people who are like, yeah, but you should've complied once I'm handcuffed with my face on the ground, I'm no longer a threat to you. So it looked personal at a point in time. Cause he's just sitting there, you know, he's positioning himself more and more to get more comfortable for the name.
And it's just like, it shook me up because I'm like, he just looks like he's done this before. Yeah. It also shook me up just as someone who just genuinely loves other people and fellow mankind. I'm just like, how can you do that to another living human being? You know, this is not, you're not out in the forest, hunting a boar or whatever it is for sports.
That is kind of what it was like that I'm like, Whoa, this is another human being. How can in your mind think that this is okay to do? And the thing is, is like, like I think about it all the time in a sense that like, wow, you know, we got a lot, we got a big movement that started because of this, but it also made me feel like a sense of sadness because it's almost like, well, damn, how many other terrible things have happened to Black people at the hands of the police that weren't recorded?
That weren't on, you know, front street on social media where someone who wasn't the friend of an editor, a champion, you know, those people have, their stories are never going to see the light of day because there's so many of them and they probably all weren't recorded. So it's just like, it made me realize that, Oh, I mean, I knew it already, but it made me realize that a lot of people thought that Black people were just saying that the cops are just messing with them.
And it's like, that's exhibit, I don't know how, what number we're at now, but that's exhibit 9 million as the example of why Black people view police in a different scope than everybody else. I do want to touch on something you said, because I've, I've pondered this for a while, especially since this thing happened.
Um, I think that if I were a bystander, I would like to think that in that situation I would do something that I would see Derek Chauvin and the other officers crowd around George Floyd clearly is not a threat to anyone it's just minding his own business. Like, he's fine. At this point, I know we've pulled over for a counterfeit bill and they thought they thought he was a threat, whatever, but okay.
The threat was at some point neutralized and he was no longer a threat. So at that point, the officers should be deescalating the situation. And I also think that I would like to think that if I were around that scene, that I would have done something that I would have gone up to them and been like, yo, get off this guy.
And then like physically tried to pull Derek off of George Floyd. But it's obviously easier said than done. I'll never know unless I'm actually in that situation. What do you think that you would have done if you were watching that situation? See me. So me listening to you say that it's almost like I would pray and hope that a white person would be a round to do that because I know me personally, I would try to, I would probably be the, be running through the camera, trying to tackle him to get him off and then hope and pray that I don't get killed in the process.
You know, because there there's probably like, obviously it sounds like it's easier said than done, you know, cause you're not in that situation, but police are, are still regular people who have flaws that just happened to have a uniform and a set of laws that back them and allow them to do things. So. Me personally, I'm for sure.
Going to try to get him to get off of that guy. Whether I approach the situation one small step at a time to let the police officers know that I am not a threat. I am simply trying to save this man's life. So there's nobody else wants to do it, but it almost makes me feel as though a white person would have a better chance of doing that and getting away with it because two Black people with the police doesn't look well and it doesn't look like it'll end well for anybody.
So even that privilege that white people have, you can like, we see it. We S we saw, you know, a young lady died because she had a knife and she was attacking or being attacked by somebody. And then there's another video of, uh, Of a white male who has a knife and he's telling the police, I will stab you, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
They deescalate that situation, but they kill the other. And it's just like that obvious difference is almost the thing that probably will allow you to be able to go and deescalate that situation as a civilian, better than I could. Because the back of my mind, I'm like, well, if I do this, I might not live through what I'm about to do in the back of your mind.
You're like, well, maybe I'll get a simple officer assault charged and be able to fight that because the community will be behind me and what I've done, you know? So that difference right. There is almost the difference in what we see in America every day. But I'm glad that we both would say, we're going to go try to do something and.
You know, not nothing against the people who didn't do something because you know, that situation is something that everyday people don't come across. So, right. Yeah. I don't think many of us are consciously thinking about, Oh, if I turn the street corner, I could see this, what am I going to do? It's a quick decision-making thing.
Um, so I mean, I'm sure the people who saw it regret it, uh, that they, they didn't do anything. They probably, for sure if they think about all the time I could have done something. And then it's that, it's that, you know, it's that tug of war in your mind of, well, if I did it, then what would have happened to me?
And it's like, No that's new right now. So you said that when we all saw the video and that the pandemic put a magnifying glass on it, that this moment felt different, this felt different than Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. This felt different than Eric Garner. And I think New York city, a couple years back, a lot of stuff has happened.
I mean, this sparks nationwide protests across in cities, big and small dispart brands to drop logo, statues to be removed. This was the biggest wave of change we've seen in response in our lifetimes, you know, on par with, with Rodney King back in the nineties. So what do you think about all the change that happened?
Because I'm curious to know how much progress you think has actually been made in the year since then. See that it's funny because I look at it almost as if it's like an onion. There's so many things that are going, there's so many layers of what happened and the things that followed because the young, the young man that you mentioned before, George Floyd, you know, those situations were all also ridiculous things to die from, you know, and I've, and I'll put it almost in a bracket of when Trayvon Martin was killed up untilGeorge Floyd
those big name deaths were all in front of people's faces, but they didn't want to listen. George Floyd happened. And it was so obvious that it was wrong, that even. The person who is most supportive of the police morally feels as though that was the wrong thing to have have happened. So when I, when I think about it on a change, I'm like, yeah, it's great that white people are finally listening, but it just showed to me how much racism is rooted within our everyday lives.
Because after that happened and after everyone saw from, you know, America to Germany and all over the globe, all these protests happening, it just showed me how much racism is in our every single day lives in America. You woke up every single day up. We've got to change the pancake mix. We got to change the syrup.
We got to change all these things that were everyday occurrences in EV everyone eats pancakes. Everyone eats syrup. And then you'll find out in your small conversations. Oh, like my friend's parents knew about how racist the aunt Jamaima was because it's a, you know, of character teacher, a Black face type of thing.
My parents knew about it and then told me about the songs and stuff. And it's just like, there's so many things that changed between now and then. And it's almost as if it's not even close to enough simply because the things that are being changed, should've never been in place anyway. There shouldn't be, statues are supposed to be for prominent figures of positive change, not prominent oppressors who did terrible things to people because they look different.
Think about how upset people were that statutes were being removed. Hiding under the guise of, well, that's just our Southern history or that's just our insert state name here, history. And it's like, that's history that should be talked about in the negative light, that it is not showcased and whitewash to make it believe that like, these were good people who did a few bad things.
So all the chains that I saw, it was great to see that finally, we had an asset that more white people are actually feeling like Black people are when it comes to police brutality, because they're realizing that it's wrong. And they're realizing that by not saying anything, they're also contributing to the problem.
Like the protests that we saw in the wake of George Floyd were. Diverse. They weren't just all Black people walking around yelling and screaming and invoking change. It was people of all shapes, all sizes, all colors, all genders, everything. We've never seen that before, but it's also like we have so much more to change because it's like, yeah, it's nice that you named this street, you know, Black lives matter street, but your local governor has a rap sheet of covering up oppression within the police department.
Like those changes need to happen as well. It's good that we're getting things moving, but it's a long, we have a long way to go. I did an episode a couple of weeks ago about virtue signaling and something that I alluded to during it was that there was a lot of people in this past year, a lot of white people I'll just use an example that people probably remember.
Um, there was that day, last summer, 2020, where everyone was posting a Black square on Instagram or Twitter, whatever. And I saw people posting that Black square that don't necessarily understand why, or don't necessarily believe in the cause that it represents. And so I felt that there were a lot of people being very disingenuous in that time, just because, Oh, this is the right thing to do.
This makes me look good. This is, this will get likes. People will think, I'm think I have a good heart and all of these things. And then I'm down for the cause. So in a lot of cases, it didn't quite sit well with me, but it actually doesn't affect me as much as it affects you in the black community. So I'm curious when you see things like that coming.
From white people. How does it land for you? I'm never gonna tell someone that like, Oh, you're not genuinely supporting the cause. You know, because that would lead me to be a fool, to even expect you to be true to what you're posting, because you can be anything you want on social media. You can, you can post anything and have people think that, you know, you travel all the time, you do all this stuff, but it's also like you, you can post a black square if you want to, but what are you doing behind it?
Because if you're just posting a black square and then your next story is the American flag, it's like, okay, bro, you don't even get it. You're just doing performative support at this point. And that's what I felt a lot of. Cause you got to, you. I have a good idea of the white people who I've interacted with and went to school with.
I have a good idea of where they stand on these types of things. So like, I don't expect certain of those certain people to post the black spirits because I know they don't really court back. So to me, yeah, I was really indifferent on it because I'm like, Oh, like, yeah, you posted the black square, but what are you really doing?
Are you out here protesting? Are you out here trying to change anything, trying to make, even your local leaders feel the pressure because that, whereas where the big change is going to come from, you got to get the local church change to happen. The next thing you know, we got a bunch of laws and a bunch of States that actually hold people accountable for their actions and not just posting black squares, because it's the cool thing to do because I'm sure if you check on people's pages, you can go from the black square and all their subsequent posts after that.
And how many of them would you think are supportive of anything that has to deal with stopping the oppression of black people? So it was like posted if you want to, whatever, but I hope that you're actually following through with action and not just trying to be a trend in a very important time. I do want to get your opinion on this.
So the vast majority of people that I grew up with this is why this past year has been so educational, just because I went to a pretty, all white high school, grew up in an all white place. So college, um, when I got to experience more diversity and when I've talked to people like you and people like cliff from, from Connecticut, and then the whole past year just kind of opened me up to a lot of things that I had never ever thought about before.
I never really realized, like you said, that racism was just. An institution in our society that I had never really consciously realized before, but in the past year, I've just started realizing, wow, that's messed up. And I never even thought thought of that before. I mean, I remember in my basketball league growing up, I'm from Clifton park.
We were the best team in the league in the league. Albany was the second best team in the league. So when Clifton park played Albany, it was always the rivalry, the big game of the season. And we would switch off years. One year, the game would be at CP next year. It would be at Albany. And I remember parents telling me, Hey, when you get to the Albany school, be careful.
And I would have parents saying this kid on the Albany team, their parents kind of psycho don't mess with that kid in the game, things like that. And all that stuff was totally normal for me then. And I didn't think anything of it. I was an innocent kid, but then, you know, as this past year happened, I just kind realized how many things like that happened that were so messed up.
And, you know, that's probably my biggest draw of the last year that, you know, white people in general are now realizing how coded and how effortless racism is. And just every day interactions, you know, they're telling you be careful because you're going to, I'm assuming Albany is the rough neighborhood.
Yeah. The black school, so to speak. Yeah. And you know, it's like, Oh listen, little Johnny, you know, beat nights over there. He's wants you to come back safe. And it's it's whether it's right or wrong, it's, it's subconsciously ingrained in your thought process in your upbringing because. The parents are probably like, yeah.
You know, I remember growing up how this and this happened. They might know stories about Albany or whatever bad community that you're going to. They might know stories that you'll probably never learn. And so you become a certain age that probably shaped their views on why they're telling you be, be safe, be careful.
And it's that type of coated interactions that hopefully are going to start to be broken with more white people. Realizing just how ridiculous stuff like that sounds like you shouldn't have to be warned, be careful for what exactly we're going to play a basketball game. It's not like we're going to invade the invade the communities.
Like you're going to war with somebody, a sport, everyone. You know, everyone is, is, is meshed and integrated within that game. It's not like, Oh my gosh. If I found this black kid too hard, his parents are going to come and find my parents and beat my parents to a Pope is like that. Animalism that you're that they portray the black person as is the same thing that we heard on the tapes from Derek Shovan is all skies big.
We got to get him down or he's threatening you. You gotta get him down. And it's almost as if black people are like these superhuman super strong, always angry, threatening people. And those are the type of languages that you hear in courtrooms as a means to say, well, this is why the officer was scared because this Black man is six, four and strong, you know, that's probably the same description that you were giving.
So other white people, when you were selling black people, this guy is six, four and strong that's 400 years ago. We still hear that, those types of things now, but now instead of outright slavery it's we are going to use these words to help our case out when something bad goes wrong. So hopefully that type of stuff has started.
It's starting to be broken. And I feel like it is, but like I said earlier, we have a long way to go because we're still, we're still down a thousand to 2000 points, right. Taken away, you know, racist things that we see in marketing and statues and stuff, that stuff should have never been there to begin with.
So we're playing from behind three or four, eight balls. So hopefully as we knock them, now we can create a new place, but it's gonna take a long time. It's going to take a lot of. Hard and uncomfortable conversations with the white leaders of the world to truly feel as though they need to make this change because it's the right thing to do.
Yeah. That's what I want to, that's what I want to ask you next. For me, for the white people that I grew up with, the vast majority of the listeners of this podcast, I imagine are white. What can we do in your opinion? How can we help you guys? How can we help the black community with your visions of the ideal world that you guys want to live in?
What can we do? Well, it's almost like if you want to help, whether you are the type of white person who is like completely oblivious to everything, racially, have those conversations with. Black people whom you trust and whom will give you, you know, straight and direct answers because being uncomfortable in the conversations are understandable because I personally don't expect a sheltered white person who hasn't really met many diverse people.
I don't expect them to know all the racist things that are go on in a day to day setting. So go be in those uncomfortable conversations and those situations, because you'll learn something and then you'll be like, all right, well, this really resonated with me. I want to go help change this, you know, and whether it's starting something, a nonprofit, something huge like that, or whether it's something as simple as taking what you've learned from those conversations and telling those conversations to your other white friends who were up in arms about all this stuff and they disagree.
Helping change the minds of those white people can go a long way. Cause you'll see stories here and there like, Oh, X clan member turned activists wants to support the black community and like on his face, that sounds like it probably would never happen, but who knows, maybe that guy had an awakening one day and was like, you know what?
I'm doing too much hateful things I need to change. So being in those uncomfortable conversations, extending yourself and even, even starting the conversation with look, I'm a white guy, I'm a white girl. I don't know what I need to know, but I want to learn. You'll be able to find someone who would educate you on those types of things, because the, the, the hardest step is ingratiating yourself into the conversation because it's such a hard conversation to have.
Because it sounds crazy to say, Oh my God, you mean to say that, like, if I say you people that's racist. Yes, of course it's racist. But I also understand, you don't know that it's racist because it's something that you've never been educated on and there is the bridge. So being in those uncomfortable conversations, the next time you have another one, you'll be way more comfortable.
Will we will be way more comfortable with asking certain questions that you might be timid on asking in the first place. So just being in that uncomfortable world that black people live in every day, it can go a long way. And I tell a lot of white people who want to have those conversations are kind of like timid on it.
I'm like, just ask the question. Because, yeah, it might feel as though you're putting a unnecessary burden on a Black person to have to teach you something that is wrong. But if you want to learn, all you have to do is ask and being uncomfortable with something that, you know, people don't want to do. But once you get past that step, I feel as though the whole conversation can, can turn into something.
Great. So, so you mentioned that we're pretty much just at the tip of the iceberg in terms of creating lasting, meaningful change here. Um, I think a lot of people have been upset over the last year with the lack of progress because people want the whole iceberg to be, uh, to be done away with. Um, but this is just kind of how change works.
I mean, keep in mind is you're 2021. The civil war, 1860s, emancipation proclamation, freeing some slaves, 1863, 102 years later, the civil rights act passes change takes a long time that change that me and you want to see will not happen in our lifetimes. I just think that's a fact, things are slow moving.
Everyone wants things to happen really quickly, but it takes the kind of change that we want takes governments, passing laws, and you know, how, how hard it is for governments to do that these days. So fully knowing this the way that I try to make change on a everyday level on an individual basis is just be nice.
Just be nice to everyone. I think that's the best thing that I can do, honestly. I mean, I know I said earlier that, uh, the whole virtue signaling thing that I wouldn't share it, but I will share this story because I would like other people to do too. Remember the day last summer, when. The NBA. I think it was the box walked off the court.
They said we're not playing today. So I was super emotional that day. I was going to my favorite sandwich shop in Southern . Uh, you should go there. It's name's escaping me, but I'll tell you about it. Like, are they need or something? You should go there. Great place. But anyway, so I'm in line, they're getting a sub and the lady in front of me is black and she's buying a couple subs, cookies, desserts.
It's clear that she's showing, throwing some type of event or something. And so, you know what? I just, I stepped in front of her as soon as she's about to pay. And I'm just like, no, here take my card. You pay. I don't, I don't even care how much it is just pay for it. And she's like, no, you do not have to do that.
And I say, yes, I do. It's the absolute least I can do for you based on what we have done. To the black community for hundreds of years, please. It's things like that, that I would love other people to do to show that we are here for you, that we care for you, that we are right alongside you. And so in the meantime, while we are trying to spark this, this big change so that everyone is truly equal in the eyes of the law, uh, those are things we can do.
Yeah. Like even something simple as that, like that type of stuff goes a long way because someone else in that, in that store saw that. And that turns into a story of like, Oh, let me tell you what I saw today at the sub shop. I'm going to go, as I'm inspired to go do something like that, whether it's paying it forward to a black person, a Spanish person, someone who looks like you just doing something for somebody else, it creates a better atmosphere and a better vibe for you.
So it's like, why wasn't, why wouldn't everybody want to feel like they're doing something good. So change will come. I truly believe a lot of the generations that are coming up now who are seeing how ridiculous the world is. Those kids are going to be the people who are really going to push forward the bills and things that they get done.
Because like we talked about earlier, like change, especially within the government system has to come from the local level first. You can't change a system from the top down, you got to change the foundation and let it trickle up because once you train the local levels, those local guys can now, you know, work their way up to being leaders of the country.
So now that's dope though. I hope. I hope her food was good. I mean that, uh, that place is fire. Uh, Alan, thank you for joining me. This has been a great conversation. I've got two rapid fire questions for you. Completely unrelated to all of this that I, that I have to talk to you about. So you are known for tweeting at girls that you are interested in.
I'm you just say, Oh, you're pretty cute. You know, let's talk or things like that. You just literally not in their DMS open for everyone to see. Has that strategy ever worked for you? Yes. It's work. It's yes. Yes it has. You know, I, I like to big one of the best questions is, you know, how single are you?
Because it warrants at worst. The LOL you're crazy. So I worry should get a response back. You know, I hit, I actually damned a girl, the same thing on Twitter, which was how single are you? And, you know, it took a couple of weeks for it to hit me back, but she hit me back and was like, Well, it depends on who's asking and I'm like, well, it depends on how single you can be.
So, you know, it's works. It's definitely work. That's amazing. Work a lot more than it should, but it's worth. And you also catch a lot of flack. Lastly, you are a Lakers fan and you are a Patriots fan. I'm not one to criticize. Why? You know why people like teams whatnot. But, uh, what's the reason there, cause that's a little fishy to me.
Well, I have family, my dad's brother and half of our family is from California originally. So, you know, I always like to see the Philly teams do well because my dad's such an avid fan of them. I'm a Lakers guy. You know, I grew up lower Merion is around the corner from us. So watching Kobe hearing about his name growing up was different.
And the Patriots thing, like my family, my mother's family is from Jersey area. And like we own a church and all that stuff. And my uncle who owns the church is like a huge Patriots fan. So growing up, that's what it was. But I have to say, since we're talking about it, I am now in the transfer portal for fandom in the NFL.
I can't in good faith after all the things that we've talked about. I don't know if you saw the Mack Jones tweet, you know, the no Bama thing with the, with the mask on and all that stuff that his sister tweeted, it looked real racist to me look real crazy. So I'm like, you know, I can't in good faith support an organization who took someone like that after a year before drafting a outwardly racist looking punter with all types of tats and things of that nature.
So it's just like, I can't argue with you about if Kurt cousins had a good game last night when. Mack Jones is like doing wild Laurel tweeting wild things and deleting wild tweets. So I'm going to transfer portal and it has random applications out there. It pains me to say this, so I might just be a fan of the NFL for the next year.
I gotta really do some soul searching and see if who I need to support, because like we said, things are changing. It is a coincidence that you bring up that punter for the Patriots. He went to my high school. So all the lists, all the listeners to this podcast are very familiar with him. Wow. So I don't know if he's a racist, but he looks very questionable and I can't support stuff like that.
So I'm going to transfer portal sad to say, okay, well you can join. I'm also in the transfer portal looking for a team. So maybe we can, uh, You know, huddle up D way the LeBron James style and figure it out. But, uh, Alan, thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate this conversation. I think it's very important to, to ask questions, like you said, to listen, to learn, and I think all of us can do that.
So I really respect your, your voice on all of this. That's why I wanted to talk to you. Thank you for joining me and best of luck with everything going forward. Yes, sir. Man. Love you bro.
Got it. Give it up to you, Alan. I am so thankful that you were able to come on to the show today, to be honest, to share your experiences, to, um, allow me and the white people out there into your life, into your world, into what it's like to be a black person in, in the world today. That was, um, really educational for me.
I hope it was educational for a lot of view and I listened to a lot of conversations like that in the past year and I just need to keep. Reaffirming to myself, how lucky I am and how unlucky some other people are. And so this gives me the type of perspective that I need to walk through this world as I'm getting older and being exposed to different kinds of people everywhere I go, Alan, thank you for joining me.
You are the man. You are a rock star. I'm so proud of you and, and where you are today. Um, I mean so much wisdom in there. So many great lines and so many great nuggets there that I never have to, um, it's nuggets about things that I've never had to worry about before in, and when it comes to the subject of making change, we have to be patient.
It's not going to happen overnight, but our kids, I believe our kids, the kids that we have, they're going to be the ones that can really, really push for change because. We are kind of in the middle right now, where we were raised one way, but we're starting to see a different kind of way, but there's still some of the old way within us.
We'll carry with, for the rest of our lives. Our kids will have the new way, the right way of treating people. They will grow up with that in their hearts. So it is then that will be able to push for the kind of change that we need in the meantime, on an individual basis. Just be nice, love each other, be compassionate, have empathy, stick up for what's right.
Stand up for what you believe in. And that is the kind of world that I know I want to live in. And I hope you guys can all share that same sentiment. If you want to see some highlights from that conversation, go over to the Troy Farkas YouTube channel, or just follow us on IgG at the sheriff Parker show, uh, or on tech talks.
I'm at. At turf Marcus on Instagram, I'll have a blog post up on the websites tomorrow. It kind of take away from my conversation with Alan of which I have many. So that's over again on our website to fray fracture.com. And if you liked this episode, feel free to leave a review on Apple podcasts. I'll be back later this week with, uh, with some more podcasts.
I'm not quite sure what I'm doing, cause I'm just so all over the place. Travel-wise right now, and having a setup wise and guest booking and all and all these things. So I will have an episode for you on Thursday. I'm just not quite sure what it is going to be yet, but life is an adventure and we are all in this together.
So hope you guys have a great week that you can really take what Allen said and apply it to your lives, that you can walk in the world with a different perspective. I think that is a key component of growing up is just forcing yourself to think. In new ways and introducing yourself to new perspectives.
So I hope you can take the lessons from this episode and apply them and have a great week go. I will talk to you soon.