Rolling For Rights with T-Bone Olson

Everyone is invited to join the Rolling For Rights peaceful protest this Saturday, June 20, 2020 starting at 1pm at the corner of Sixth Ave and Balboa Drive in San Diego, California, to address the issues in our world and use the voices of the skate community to speak out against racism and injustice and support our black brothers and sisters in showing the world that #BlackLivesMatter. We caught up with Tyrone “T-Bone” Olson to get a few quotes about the protest. Read on and then come on out and stand up and roll with all the homies! 

TYRONE OLSON

INTERVIEW BY DAN LEVY

First, I wanted to ask you how you’ve been doing during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Oh man, I broke my toe, during the first few days of lockdown, but I’m good now and I’m skating again, During lockdown, I would get on my cruiser board and skate from my house to the beach, which is like ten miles, and then I’d skate ten miles back home. I was doing that every other day because I was bored. I’d put my headphones on and just mash through the city. It was so fun. Then Tommy Sandoval got involved with me doing that. 

That’s sick. Tell me about Rolling For Rights and what’s going on in San Diego this weekend.

We are about to do this protest called Rolling For Rights tomorrow, Saturday, June 20. I organized it with Brandon Turner, Shuriken Shannon, Tommy Sandoval and my buddy, Zack Dowdy. It’s gonna be huge. I actually saw Bernie Sanders repost it on Twitter. I was tripping. I saw my name on his Twitter and I was like, “What!?” I’ve never even met the guy, but, “Cool!”  Then I had a detective call me. I was like, “Whoa! What did I do?” He was like, “Nah. I just need information about your protest.” I was like, “Damn. How did you get my information?” That’s their job though. They can hunt anybody down. They just wanted to know our route and how many people we expected. 

How did the idea for Rolling For Rights come about for you?

After the coronavirus and all of this racism happening, I’m so tired of tears, so I’m trying to start this movement called Rolling For Rights. It’s time to stand up. This racism needs to end. We need to start learning and caring about each other. For me, I’m black and white and I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. My great grandma is from the South and my grandma was five when she moved to Wisconsin and she raised me since I was two years old. I went to AME church and my grandma was real strict and she wanted to see me do good in life. I was raised by the black side of my family and some of my ancestors were slaves and I have photos of my grandma back in the day when it didn’t look like she had any rights. The way that I see it, the whole world is over racism. I’m like, “What has happened to humanity and dignity to others?” 

What impact are you hoping for from this protest? What would you like to see happen?

I’m hoping for everyone to open their eyes and study American history. It’s been taken out of textbooks and people have been ignoring it for so long. I’m hoping this protest will open some eyes and people will start loving each other. Straight up. I have a speech that I’m going to make and I want to teach the young and old to look and observe and have a heart. It’s time for change. I’m tired of people being evil and disrespectful. It needs to stop. 

What you’re doing takes courage and we appreciate you and what you’re doing. 

I appreciate you, my friend. Thank you. 

Yeah. Let’s keep it going. I’ve always believed that skateboarding could help change the world and I believe it’s about to.

For real. That’s right.

Thanks, T-Bone! I look forward to talking to you again soon.

All right, brother. You take care and I’ll talk to you again after the weekend. Thank you. 

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