Dear Culture

Tru’ish Black Stories Investigates: The Sneaker Criminals Prefer

Episode 62

Dear Culture’s satire series returns with an investigative report about Nike’s Triple Black Air Force Ones. John Gustav, aka Panama Jackson, explores the criminal underworld to discover why the sneaker is the top choice for criminals. 


Panama Jackson [00:00:00] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. Black Culture Amplified. Welcome to Dear Culture I’m Panama Jackson and today’s going to be a little bit different. You see theGrio Black Podcast Network gives me time every week to share about the culture. And today we have a Tru’ish Black Stories investigative report from our guy on the street, John Gustav, who sounds a whole lot like me. Panama Jackson and Mr. Gustav is going to share a special report about the Nike triple black Air Force One and whether or not it’s the shoe of choice for criminals everywhere. I think you really enjoy this. So remember to like, follow it. Subscribe to Deer Culture on theGrio’s app YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, basically everywhere. But without further ado, this is a Tru’ish Black Stories investigative Report.

“John Gustav” [00:00:57] I’m investigative journalist John Gustav. You may remember me from such Tru’ish Black Stories investigative reports as faux pas or nah, wearing off white to the all white party. Or your Easter suit is not pastel. But today, we’re going deep into the criminal underbelly, the criminal underworld, and looking at the shoe choices of those criminals who live and work therein. We have no statistics to back up this statement, but I’m sure that I’m right. The triple white, the basically the all white Air Force One is the most popular shoe ever made. No matter where you look or where you go, you see the same shoe on the feet of folks from age 8 to 80. It’s a Swiss Army knife kind of shoe. You can dress it up or down where with shorts or pants. And because it’s white as the freshly driven snow, it kind of goes with everything. Much like its off derided and always maligned sibling, the all black Air Force One. You know, this ship, you may have seen it on the feet of the person robbing you at an ATM in broad daylight as you look down and wondered why every time you personally been the victim of a petty crime, the same shoes are always present. Is the same person robbing you? Probably not. Or do all robbers wear the same shoes? Hmm. That’s a possibility. You see, the all black Air Force One has a reputation for being the go to shoe for the criminal underworld. Maybe it’s the comfort. Maybe it’s the look. Either way, there’s something about the criminal element in the all black Air Force One. In order to find out if criminals prefer the all black Air Force One, we decided to go straight to the source and ask a criminal. We found career criminal Charlie Baines. Mr. Bains, welcome to the show.

“Charlie Baines” [00:03:10] Thanks for having me out. You know, I’m glad I can make this time between Bs and Es.

“John Gustav” [00:03:15] I appreciate you. I appreciate you. And please, for for those of us who are paying attention to this investigative report, B and E stands for Breaking and Entering. I’m assuming.

“Charlie Baines” [00:03:25] That is correct.

“John Gustav” [00:03:26] Speaking of breaking and entering, could you please, Mr. Career Criminal, tell us a bit about the types of crimes that you commit?

“Charlie Baines” [00:03:33] Typically, armed robberies, definitely muggings, street muggings. That’s really my strong point. Strong arm robberies, drunken fake friends after the club. Of course, the occasional B and E, uber drivers, taxicab drivers, Uber eats, old ladies leaving the grocery store. I don’t really discriminate.

“John Gustav” [00:03:57] So when you say old ladies leaving the store and Uber drivers, you rob all of these people?

“Charlie Baines” [00:04:03] That is correct.

“John Gustav” [00:04:04] Okay. We appreciate your candid honesty here. Just for all of the listeners to this investigative report, we do not condone or support the robbery of women, young or old, or drivers, Uber or taxi. We would just like to put that disclaimer out there. So are black Air Force Ones good shoes to commit crimes in.

“Charlie Baines” [00:04:27] Actually, the Air Force One is, the black on black Air Force One, is especially a great shoe. One, excellent traction. Excellent traction. Wet weather, dry weather, grass, gravel. It does well. Two, after you haven’t for a while they have no shine at all. Completely matte. Three, they don’t squeak. Very, very great shoe to sneak up on somebody. Matches well with black sweat pants, cargo pants, black hoodie, scullies. Just keep it all black. A very great shoe to hide in the shadow.

“John Gustav” [00:05:09] I’m John Gustav and you’re listening to Tru’ish Black Stories Investigates. We’ll be right back. Now, it sounds like you put a great deal of thought into the outfit you put together to commit your crimes in. Is that true? Do you think about the shoes that you’re going to wear? And are the all black Air Force ones the ones that always rise to the top of the pack when deciding your criminal outfit for the evening?

“Charlie Baines” [00:05:42] It really depends on the weather. Black Air Force Ones are really great. Spring, summer, fall into the winter months. You might have to transfer over to a Nike winter boot. The Nike boot. Like that’s a great swap-out. But for the warmer months black on black Air Force One classic. Always go to. Hot days, black on black Huaraches.

“John Gustav” [00:06:08] So am I safe in assuming that you actually have a rotation of crime, crime shoes that you wear? Are they also all black? And aside from the weather, do you sometimes swap out like, do you wear the Huarachesin the winter or the Air Force One in the summer in order to commit? What is the best crime shoe in your rotation, sir?

“Charlie Baines” [00:06:37] Best crime shoe, hands down, Air Force One. But the Huaraches is a great crime shoe, like, say, if you’re coming from somewhere. If I’m coming from a cookout and I decided to do a robbery. Huaraches. Feel me? If I’m just out criming, like that is my purpose for the night, Air Force One.

“John Gustav” [00:06:55] Now, when you see other people in all black Air Force Ones, do you assume criminal or do you assume, like, are these your people? Is there a crime syndicate of black Air Force One aficionados? That’s that’s the most important question that I have here.

“Charlie Baines” [00:07:09] Absolutely. It’s kind of like, what’s understood doesn’t need to be said. So, when you see somebody else in a pair of Air Force Ones, especially if they’re inaudible. Especially if they’re weathered. You know what time it is. You know what time he’s on, he knows what time you on. It’s kind of like when a Black man walks into a room full of non-Black people and he sees that one black person, they give him the head nod of acknowledgment like I know you brethren, where from the same, we’re cut from the same cloth. We are people. We are kinfolk.

“John Gustav” [00:07:40] If there was somebody interested in getting into the crime game, the the petty larceny game, the petty crime game, not to assume that your crimes are petty. I respect your crimes with the utmost, utmost reverence. But let’s say there was somebody who was interested in getting into the crime-committing game, and they were looking for tips on shoe choices. How would you provide advice to that individual? Like, sure, you could just say, get the black Air Force One, but why would you tell them they need the black Air Force One to commit their crimes?

“Charlie Baines” [00:08:15] Okay, well, it’s a lot of factors. Oh, weight, size. Like if you’re a bigger guy, you definitely need to go with the black on black Path Ops just for the extra ankle support. Great for running. You feel me? If you’re a lighter guy, it’s lows. Lows as a great. You know what I’m saying? It’s way easier to pivot, way easier to move. Cut, dash. You know what I’m saying? Escaping the authorities, definitely for the low. You feel me? But it really depends on the stature of the person, and their athletic build to the exact specifications of the Air Force One. Some people need a mid. Some people actually need to strap that comes with the mid, depend on how they’re built. I’m a black on black Air Force low person but I know some highs. I know some mids

“John Gustav” [00:09:02] The traction support you mentioned earlier, is that good for coming in and out of windows like what exactly about the traction? Where have you noticed you get the best traction support when wearing your black Air Force Ones when committing crimes?

“Charlie Baines” [00:09:16] Best traction support, Air Force One, linoleum floors. Freshly waxed, doesn’t matter. Wood floors, doesn’t matter. Defintely like when you’re transferring from outside terrain to inside terrain, it doesn’t matter what type of floors these people have, that grip is awesome.

“John Gustav” [00:09:34] Do you remember your first crime?

“Charlie Baines” [00:09:36] Actually, I do. My first crime, snatching a bag of chips out of the corner store. Didn’t have on black on black Air Force Ones. Almost got caught. Learned my lesson that day.

“John Gustav” [00:09:46] That goes right into my next question. You did not have on the all black Air Force Ones. Did you immediately go buy a pair of all black Air Force Ones realizing that perhaps that was your mistake?

“Charlie Baines” [00:09:58] I realize that was my mistake, but instead of buying one, I stole some.

“John Gustav” [00:10:02] A true criminal at heart. Mr. Baines, I appreciate everything that you provided us today in terms of information about the black Air Force One and why it is the shoe for criminals everywhere. You know, what advice do you have for us citizens who are trying to avoid being robbed?

“Charlie Baines” [00:10:19] Civilians, pretty much, if you see a person with black on black Air Force Ones, cross the street. Nightclub patrons, the guy that is asking you for change, he’s asking you for a light. Look at his feet before you respond. That’s the intro to a robbery. You got the light, You got the time. Nobody acts for the time these days. We all have it on our cell phone. If they ask you for the time, it’ the intro to the robbery. Look at the shoe, know the vibe. Any time after 6 p.m., black on black Air Force Ones, it’s robbing time. Don’t be outside. Not at gas stations, not at the grocery store, not at the corner store. Pretty much anything that’s a store. Any type. Convenience store. Don’t be there. 6 p.m.. Black on black Air Force One. You pull into the parking lot, you see it? Time to go.

“John Gustav” [00:11:10] Mr. Baines, we thank you for your time. We appreciate you.

“Charlie Baines” [00:11:13] Well, I appreciate you have me on. I mean, if you follow these tips, hopefully you’ll never run into me. But if you do, know wassup.

“John Gustav” [00:11:20] We know what’s up. You should always pay attention to the shoes of the people that are around you. Because you see, a person robbing you may or may not be wearing black Air Force Ones, but a person wearing black Air Force Ones is definitely robbing you. My name is John Gustav. Thank you for listening to this Tru’ish Black Stories Investigative Report. Have a Black one.