FitnessSF terminated my 20-year gym membership Thursday, and frankly, I do not want it back. I was falsely accused of “following a certain woman around the gym” one day by whoever that women is (not the gym itself), and not continuously (and I say this openly), even though my friends at the gym served as witnesses and saying I did not do that and wasn’t near a woman but talking to them. I have zero idea who the woman is, and I don’t care who she is.
But, as the video-blog above reveals, FitnessSF Oakland, SF Castro, Martin, South SF, harbor some members and staff who are hostile to straight black men. (And to put a fine point on it, I’m single, not married, so you can’t go there and say I’m in some place I should not be. Sorry.)
I completely supported FitnessSF’s change from the Gold’s Gym brand to one of their own, and because the CEO of Gold’s Gym supported anti-gay organizations, but what has happened since the rebranding has been a wild set of developing social divisions between gays and straights and the addition of non-black women who exhibit paranoid behavior toward straight black men, and in some cases, men in general they perceive as straight.
The latest story was of a man who said hello to a woman at FitnessSF Oakland, only to find himself at the receiving end of her fist. She hit him! For saying hello! This was told to me by two Latino brothers who are FitnessSF Oakland members.
I’m happy I’m out of there but there’s something really wrong overall. As the gym manager, a friend who’s straight black and male, said to me today “You can’t even talk or say a thing any more” It’s a really scary place to be.
But the even scarier problem is that black men don’t talk about this and report how they’re being violated, lied about, and miscast. I’m changing that, because someone has to. I’m a good person and there’s nothing wrong with me – security cameras will confirm that FitnessSF.
Black men have to stop saying “different rules for us” and work to change society before this slow decent into black male mental genocide goes too far. I’m also not trying to put down anyone gay at all. Indeed, as I told my friend, the FitnessSF Oakland general manager, if I filed a complaint every time someone who was gay and male looked at me, I’d have done that 10 times, but that would also mean I was homophobic.
People have the right to be who they are, and I do to. I’ve fought for the rights of others, but now it’s my turn to fight for my simple right not to be thought of as bad, as black men are stereotyped. Do you realize that, according to a 2015 Princeton University study by Sociologist David Pedulla, gay black men earn more in the job market than straight black men? Think about that for more than a minute – it means that straight black men are devalued. That’s horrible.
In this diverse society, some women in the Bay Area today seem to have little ways of working to avoid social contact with straight black men – lying about what that person does is one of them, and that’s the problem at FitnessSF.
I hope we don’t come into a society with “straight” gyms and “gay” gyms, or “black gyms” and “white gyms” but it seems that’s what is happening. Maybe a “Hip Hop” gym is a good idea.
But all that aside, I did nothing at all wrong. It’s too bad FitnessSF didn’t let me prove that, but that’s life. Now, I tell my story!
In the SF Bay Area, there’s a huge problem just getting on a BART train: some white folks assume you’re going to get off in downtown Oakland because you’re black, and so they stand real close to you thinking you’re going to get up, only to realize you’re not getting off. Or there’s a constant pattern of many Asian women openly avoiding a seat next to a black man, regardless of how that person is dressed.
Thankfully, people who have such problems are countered by folks who like to mix, but in our great city of Oakland, we have culture wars that are now played out at FitnessSF.
Sad. Really sad.