SAVE HERSCHEL

hermetically sealed

“He’s not black, he’s not white, he’s OJ Simpson” -HBO Documentary 

 

For decades football has brought all walks of life together on Saturdays and Sundays. It doesn’t matter what color you are on game day. Even if we don’t notice it we put all of our predispositions aside when it comes to our school or our team. This is the American way. History shows that there have always been athletes that come along who have the capability to transcend race. In my state, South Carolina, I was one of them and everywhere I went white people loved me. It was addicting. 

 

If the state of South Carolina was a swimming pool I was drowning in dopamine. It was beautiful. Literally all I had to do was run the football and when I could no longer run the football I made a lot of people happy by just walking into the grocery store. My presence sparked joy into people’s hearts. What more could anyone ask of life right? Wrong. 

 

After the George Floyd murder that was recorded for the world to see and Black Lives Matter (AND STILL DO AINT SHIT CHANGED) became a movement, white people that cheered for me on the field started renouncing the chant that echoed around the world for justice. I was angry at white people. Everywhere I went I was fuming. I wrote this a few days after 

 

A comfortable illusion. 

Distinctly foreign, 

To the world of blacks.

I was “lucky”, I had a name.

And could entertain.

Through a man made game.

But see, 

There’s conditions on this contract. 

Fine print that’s not attached.

Especially if you have intellect. 

And they felt the need to

Remind me that,

IF,

You speak your mind. 

And your thoughts don’t align. 

With the “superior” kind. 

Quiet Boy! You’re out of line! 

A mindset.

 Subject to,

Reject. 

Those who,

Don’t accept. 

Their views.

Stay silent you fool! 

You think you’re cool? 

Don’t forget who created the rules! 

 

Since they “bequeathed” this honor, 

They can revoke it as well.

A transactional hell.

Standing up, but you fell. 

George Floyd is me. 

And I am him. 

A comfortable illusion made you forget? 

__________________________________________________________________________________

This prose came out of the sheer anger and disrespect I felt that was being directed towards the family of George Floyd. To not stand in solidarity for equal rights is betrayal. Period. It was really when I started to understand that drake line “you won’t feel me til everybody says they love you and it’s not love”. It was really when I started to understand that this “love” was, has been, and always will be, conditional.

 

I’m still a nigga. No matter what I do. I’m. Still. A. Nigga. 

What was happening in America started to conflict with the deep rooted beliefs they inherited. And when that happens they retreat back to their comfortable seat of superiority and delusion. How could I have been blind for so long? 

When you’re in their circle, going to their parties, invited over to their house, hanging out with their children, embracing their constructed version of Christianity, attending big wig fundraisers; you start to dress like them, talk like them, walk like them. Unconsciously you start to wipe any trace of your heritage. They validate and confirm your identity as one of them. The laws of human nature take over, and just like a spell, you’re hypnotized conforming to their ways. In a sense, you become white. Until you’re not. This was my life from 2007 – 2020. 

This is why I see the Herschel fiasco as the republican representative for Georgia as a rescue mission. In his career at Georgia he amassed over 5,000 yards, a Heisman trophy and won a National Championship. In the south if you do anything of that magnitude it qualifies you for God like status. I admire Herschel and think he is one of the greatest athletes to ever grace the field. However, he is on another planet  and the people in his political camp don’t give a shit. They see him as a pawn. Personally, it’s advantageous for them to be attached to such a legend. At the end of the day he is just a stepping stone in their political career. A highlight on their resume which is why they allow him to continue with his nonsensical remarks about any and everything. 

 

Herschel is stuck in a false sense of reality hermetically sealed in whiteness so tightly that he’s forgotten what it’s like to be black. I, too, once had Herschel Walker syndrome. When he speaks it is filtered from a diabolical reverse bias that is psychologically impossible to become aware of until you step out of the environment where you are coveted and celebrated. White people have been kissing his ass for forty years. This is all he has ever known. I’m over here like shit – we need to pull a rescue mission to save this motherfucker!! But the question becomes – has he been immersed in it for too long? Has he completely crossed over? I hope not – but as a fellow running back I just want to cut the bag and pull him out of the abyss of lunacy. Wishful thinking I guess… 

 

-Latt