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Ride report: ‘Cycling Against Hate’ rallies the community

Posted by on September 26th, 2016 at 10:36 am

Mychal Tetteh.

Community Cycling Center CEO Mychal Tetteh speaking at the ride.
(Photos: Ted Timmons)

The Cycling Against Hate ride, planned in response to an ugly pepper-spraying incident in northeast Portland last week, happened on Sunday. BikePortland correspondent Ted Timmons was there and shares the following recap…

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About 90 riders showed up; including familiar faces like former mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone, Community Cycling Center CEO Mychal Tetteh and author, publisher, and activist Elly Blue. Organizer Taz Loomans had a family emergency to attend to so Elly stepped in to lead it.

We started with a moment of silence, then community members and leaders spoke.

"Share some of the reasons that you showed up today with someone that you don't know." #cyclingagainsthate

A photo posted by Microcosm Publishing (@microcosm_pub) on

And we are off! #cyclingagainsthate

A photo posted by Microcosm Publishing (@microcosm_pub) on

"It means a lot to have this many people come out and care." #cyclingagainsthate

A photo posted by Microcosm Publishing (@microcosm_pub) on

After being introduced by Mychal Tetteh of Community Cycling Center, Sarah Iannarone spoke, challenging us to become a more inclusive city and especially a more includive bike community. “Get educated, further educated. Please, read a book, talk to your colleagues”. Here’s video of her speech:

Longtime friend of the family Wendy Williams also spoke about how this hate crime has impacted the children, then thanked the bike community for showing up to support the family.

A few local news crews, who kept a low profile, were there: KATU, KGW, KPTV.

It was nice that they didn’t overwhelm the event, but tried to quietly report on it.

– Ted Timmons, @tedder42

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jnieldaisyPeter KoonceLester BurnhamWork Account Recent comment authors
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Lester Burnham
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Lester Burnham

No people of color ride bikes?

Hello, Kitty
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Hello, Kitty

Looks like a great ride with a fantastic turnout.

Elly
Guest

Big thanks to Taz for the vision and logistics, and to everyone who stepped up before and during the ride to make sure it went smoothly.

Portland is amazingly segregated, and bicycle events are no exception. Trust and connectivity will be built slowly. It seemed like we built a little more yesterday.

Oh, and as far as getting the word out, we did reach well beyond the bicycle echo chamber. KGW, The Tribune, The Skanner, and KBOO all covered the ride in advance, as did BikePortland. And there were at least 3 local TV news stations in attendance, as well as an Oregonian reporter and likely other media.

Brian
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Brian

Nice work everyone. I plan to use this event as an example when we have our high school students create (and possibly implement) a grassroots campaign/event/etc that addresses a local issue.

daisy
Guest
daisy

Hurray! Thanks to Taz for organizing this, thanks to Elly for leading, and thanks to Ted for the coverage!

I’m out of town and couldn’t attend, but I’m so glad to hear of the success of this ride.

HelloKitty, you asked what good-intentioned white folks can do. You mentioned not judging folks by race, ethnicity, etc. I’m afraid that we all judge folks, even when we don’t mean to. I’d encourage you to read up on implicit bias. That’s the pernicious, ingrained stereotyping we do automatically after years of exposure to pop culture and media representations of people of color, especially black men. It’s nearly impossible to avoid implicit bias, even when you actively work to do so.

So I think one of the big things we white folks can do is to acknowledge our own limitations in acting as we believe, in our complicity in white supremacy. We have white privileges even if we don’t want it (just as men often benefit from being male even if they’re feminists).

Then, I think the next thing we can do is talk to other white folks– our family, friends, neighbors. We white folks are pretty terrible at talking about race. We need to get better at it.

Lester Burnham
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Lester Burnham

Okay now that we’ve beat up white people (yet again), is there anything *all* people of different colors and backgrounds can contribute?

daisy
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daisy

That’s not at all what’s happening here. Acknowledging white supremacy is not beating up white people!

Hello, Kitty
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Hello, Kitty

“Complicity in white supremacy”… I’m not sure that describes me.

I get that all people have implicit biases (racial and non-racial); all I claim is that I try not to let those biases influence my interactions with other people.

daisy
Guest
daisy

Are you white? Because surely we white folks are complicit in having benefitted from a system we didn’t even know was there (at least until we educated ourselves). I do think one of the most important things we can do as anti-racists is to understand this. Yes, it’s uncomfortable.

Have you seen the (evidence-based) implicit bias tests online? It’s deeply unsettling to realize how much your fast reactions differ from your stated values. But it’s important.

Denying this — and being defensive about it or thinking you can decide not to be biased so easily — is the opposite of anti-racism.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I do not deny having implicit biases; I know that I, like everyone, have many. I only claim that I try not to let them influence my interactions with people. How successful I am neither you nor I can judge. I do deny complicity in any sort of racial supremacy.

What I can say with some degree of clarity is that, for me, racial differences seem far less potent than cultural differences, and that I see the major fault-lines in our society as being cultural rather than racial, with the understanding that for some groups at least, there is a strong correlation between race and culture/class.

Work Account
Guest
Work Account

I have a strong negative reaction to anyone who is dressed and behaving anti-socially. It seems, as a child of the “We’re all the same” 90’s, that my skin color bias is low or non existent. I have even taken implicit bias tests, they show nearly completely neutral results.

However when I see someone dressed to conceal, with large pants and a heavy combat ready jacket in unseasonably warm weather. I tense up, prepare for the worst, assume the worst. It’s a physical reaction – my girlfriend notices there is danger coming down the street because she feels a change in the arm she is holding.

She is not attune to it in the same way, she sees it as “Hip-Hop Style”, and can’t tell the difference in demeanor between someone who just wants to look “Fresh” and someone who is advertising they don’t follow society’s rules.

I feel like there are lots of people like me, and we probably get lumped in with racists, even though white people who behave and dress in this way receive identical reactions from us.

So what is the solution? Tell people of color to dress differently if they want to be treated well? Immediately entering in to racist territory there.. I just don’t know.

daisy
Guest
daisy

It sounds like you are saying you have no implicit biases, just well-founded beliefs based on racist stereotypes. Hogwash, I say.

Greg W.
Guest
Greg W.

I appreciate the conversations that this ride has inspired. The fact that the ride consisted of mostly white allies is ok, because the movement requires all hands on deck. Change does begin with conversations, as difficult as they may be. Portland organizations are creating lots of conversations, mission statements, policy statements, and diversity officers. The bottom line is, who works in your organization? Who serves on your board? Who is in power and making decisions? And what do they all look like? When your organization looks like your mission statement, then real change is occurring.

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

When will being born white stop being a sin?

jniel
Guest
jniel

Enough already.

Terry D-M
Guest
Terry D-M

It was a good ride which made a much needed point in support of the victims. A few neighbors came out to talk or see and they appreciated that we cared enough to come on a wonderful Sunday afternoon.

I’m sure the small, family run resturaunt at the end spot also really appreciated our business. Rascism is a systemic, insidious, part of our society…..so every little bit helps in the fight. This was a very successful event.

Peter Koonce
Guest
Peter Koonce

Thanks for covering the ride Ted. It was nice to see the awareness of the issues people face on the streets being shared.
It is powerful to organize, talk about what we want from the future, and then to build relationships that move us toward a better city/society. Thanks for being part of the solution.

daisy
Guest
daisy

When you wake up from your white supremacist nightmare.