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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Oslo, Norway

    Bike riding and white privilege

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    In a random way the Superior Bikes debacle caused me to stumble* over this blog, about bike riding as a metaphor for white privilege. I liked it. And he writes well. I wish he hadn't felt the need to write another one to answer everybody who pointed out his analogy wasn't *perfect*, but there ya go. I think his analogy is pretty useful, and transferable to other groups with or without privilege.


    * I was googling who actually said "Superior Bikes for inferior people", because I sooo wish I had said it.)
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Concord, MA
    I think it's a perfectly fine analogy, but maybe only for people who are cyclists?
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Uncanny Valley
    "If I have to get you to see me as you in order for you to affirm my right to exist and my humanity—this is not solidarity. " - http://www.ebony.com/entertainment-c...#axzz3aUxYKpot

    It's a perfectly fine illustration of PRIVILEGE, generally. "White privilege," not so much. Of course intersectionality is a buzzword these days, but this is a perfect illustration. Yes, drivers of enclosed motorized vehicles are privileged over all other road users. Yes, the lives of other road users don't matter in a meaningful way when it comes to majority attitudes and law enforcement. To equate one type of privilege with another - especially when one type of privilege is associated with genetics and the other with behavior - completely misses the point.

    I think we all know people who are subject to discrimination in one arena, who completely fail to recognize their own privileges in other arenas. So in that sense, I think analogies like this are completely unhelpful, as in the quote above. Somewhere there's a video going around where a Black woman talks about intersectional privilege - acknowledging the privilege she has in being hetero- and cis-sexual as well as the privilege she lacks in being female and non-white. I'm having trouble finding my way back to it though.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 06-04-2015 at 05:23 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    That blog post was "Freshly Pressed", featured blog post that wordpress.com folks highlighted. I believe I did comment on it --out of the 1,000+ others too.

    Transportation mode choice is a choice, whereas genetics/race is not a choice..it is with you forever. Genetics/race is neutral itself. Not it's not a perfect analogy/comparison.

    That said, one day I should blog about how advocacy for cycling and pedestrians, falls into the same realm...at times, as marginality for car-centric societies. Cyclists and pedestrians are viewed on the margins in overall transportation planning: in terms of annual spending budgets for municipal transportation, safety /vulnerability, etc.

    Now over the next few days, I must plot my bike route out to some suburban industrial fringe to get a key from a company. I decided to figure out route by bike, after I realized the area didn't have sidewalks at all if I were to walk it from commuter train station.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.



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