Boise, Idaho has a long lived, storied history of perceived racism from United States citizens throughout our great country. I personally, am originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan the home of our late President Gerald R. Ford. I grew up in a place where my mother was pitcher for our neighborhood softball team referred to as the ghetto all-stars. I am African-American and graduated from Mountain Home High School in Idaho where I played for former Olympic Basketball great Ed Palubinskas.
Boise, Idaho…well, let’s start by saying its definitely a territory of very few African-Americans, but oh man, are there a lot of Hispanics, well just speaking with regards to any other race besides Caucasians throughout the state of Idaho. Cheering abruptly for the Boise State University Broncos, these days, is what it’ all about, as far as the Boiseans are concerned. Revenue, revenue, revenue!
Lots of dollars are generated for the community of Boise and the “White Collar” guys of Boise’s corporate world, of which I get “stares and glares” from at the local Boise Family YMCA on a daily basis. Go figure, I look like the very same kids at the skilled positions of Boise State Football and Boise State University Basketball, that they (whites) cheer for on a weekly basis. Oh, forbid the cheering is due to money being wagered or won after victories, or influenced by the alcoholic stimulation of a few cans of Coors Light!
Regardless, it goes without saying, I spend my fair share of time at Boise State University and I personally, do not see congratulatory hand shakes or appreciative gestures being given by community citizens to African-American players ever. I cannot remember the last time I heard former Boise State University and NBA players, Chris Child’s name on the radio or news, and he’s a multi-millionaire! I guess no one in Boise, has ever gotten a hand-out from him…even just a little…say, $500,000 to $1,000,000!
The fact that community melting pots of visitors and local traffic like the Boise Public Library, Boise’s Main Post Office, and even get this…the local media, including television (KTVB Channel 7, KIVI Channel 6, and KBCI Channel 2), radio and print, do not employ African-Americans on a consistent basis, worries me to some extent. The reason being, one would conclude, that African-Americans are either turning down job offers from these organizations (a means of earning a living) or simply not being offered the positions in the first place (that’s so 1960-ish)! I would be willing to bet $11,000,000 that job offers made to African American kids in college during their internships or after, would be received with welcome arms as a way to provide for themselves and their families, regardless of whether the position is located in predominantly “white” Boise, Idaho. In other words, the jobs are not being offered and definitely not interviews. The last time I saw an African-American reporting the news in Boise, I think Milli Vanilli was still perceived as REAL!
Either way Racism …