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For those who think racism died in the 60's, here is good slap of reality proving it's quite alive, and kicking. In fact it becomes all too glaring when Doug Glanville, a retired major league baseball player (Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers) shares his disturbing and unnerving story about being racially profiled while shoveling snow, in his own driveway:
It was an otherwise ordinary snow day in Hartford, Connecticut, and I was laughing as I headed outside to shovel my driveway. I’d spent the morning scrambling around, trying to stay ahead of my three children’s rising housebound energy, and once my shovel hit the snow, I thought about how my wife had been urging me to buy a snowblower. I hadn’t felt an urgent need. Whenever it got ridiculously blizzard-like, I hired a snow removal service. And on many occasions, I came outside to find that our next door neighbor had already cleared my driveway for me.

Never mind that our neighbor was an empty-nester in his late 60s with a replaced hip, and I was a former professional ballplayer in his early 40s. I kept telling myself I had to permanently flip the script and clear his driveway. But not today. I had to focus on making sure we could get our car out for school the next morning. My wife was at a Black History Month event with our older two kids. The snow had finally stopped coming down and this was my mid-afternoon window of opportunity.

Just as I was good-naturedly turning all this over in my mind, my smile disappeared.

A police officer from West Hartford had pulled up across the street, exited his vehicle, and begun walking in my direction. I noted the strangeness of his being in Hartford—an entirely separate town with its own police force—so I thought he needed help. He approached me with purpose, and then, without any introduction or explanation he asked, “So, you trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people’s driveways around here?”

Did you just feel your heart drop a bit? Mine did too. In another excerpt from his story, Glanville says:
Until that moment, skin colors had been little more than adjectives to my kids. Some members of our family have bronze or latte skin; others are caramel-colored or dark brown. Our eldest and “lightest-skinned” daughter had at times matter-of-factly described her brother and me as “brown” and herself as “white.” But that night, my wife made it painfully simple. “We are black,” she explained. “All of us.”
You can read the full story in the Atlantic. (Recommended)

I hope Doug Glanville's story will inspire others to share their personal stories and trials of racism, homophobia, bigotry, misogyny… It's refreshing to hear first person experiences like this. I found Glanville's words very moving. It's clear that in addition to his sports/baseball talents, he is a gifted writer, and I look forward to reading more.

Originally posted to Leslie Salzillo on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 08:03 AM PDT.

Also republished by White Privilege Working Group.

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