There are still a few ‘honorable‘ blogs which are ‘pro-bicycle‘ and yet unwavering in their commitment to fairness. We do not have many (if any) in Chicago. Here in Chicago when a bicyclist runs over a pedestrian it seems as if our knee-jerk reaction is to shout ‘for the good of the community‘ and instantly assume the Church of Urban Cycling ‘prayer position‘.
The idea in our fair city is to ignore anything that does not reflect well on our members. We do this ‘for the good of the community‘. We are for instance following two court cases in which motorists hit and killed cyclists. What we have no knowledge whatsoever about are the court cases in New York City in which two cyclists killed two pedestrians. Our actions shout, ‘we don’t give a damn‘.
Evidently, to be a conscientious in trying to make sure that ‘motorists get more than a slap on the wrist‘ requires as much energy as we can humanly muster. And frankly it would seem to my ears that doing anything other than steadfastly ignoring our peccadilloes is tantamount to be a traitor to the cause.
We are like the Ride of Silence in that our only aim is to point out that cyclists get killed by motorists, and here is where the death took place. That fact is that we should (were pedestrians as vindictive as we) have any number of memorials erected across the country to our misdeeds. I suppose they could be bronzed sneakers or something to indicate that this is where an asshole cyclist acted in exactly the same manner as his motorist cousin with the same consequences.
But that is never going to happen, if the Ride of Silence and the Urban Cycling Community can find a way to loudly ignore the obvious. People are dying on our streets! And yes they are dying in the crosswalks and along the park trails where nobody expects to be hit and die. And from all of this we should be learning that ALL LIVES MATTER! Instead we are learning that CYCLISTS LIVES MATTER.
Focused Activism Is Actually Unfocused
You can claim that your focus is on your own. But it has the same taste in the mouth as a segregated military gravesite in a small southern town. How on Earth does one justify segregating a site meant to memorial the lives of men and women who served in the same U.S. Military? Are we really so small as to decide that this person or that person who died is not worthy of being buried alongside his/her comrades because of the color of their skins?
Would a group of cyclists ever get to the point that they would decide to honor the dead amongst themselves only if they were heterosexual? In other words would someone decide that an LGBT cyclist’s life was not worth honoring?
The point of the ROS is not simply that people on bicycles who happen to be white are dying. It is that we have a problem on our roadways that needs to be called to everyone’s attention and the ranking of the deaths is:
- motorists and their passengers
Cyclist come last in the number of deaths occurring on our roadways. Dead last. Why on earth would we ignore those pedestrians we have managed to kill ourselves? The answer to that question is the usual bullshit:
For the good of the community!
That is not a community which represents the America I believe in. If an organization cannot find within itself the decency to recognize that it too has a problem with a ‘disturbing lack of conscience‘ then we are definitely as a movement in deep, denial.
We are like those who can only understand the BLACK LIVES MATTER banner but have no patience with dealing with BLACK ON BLACK VIOLENCE! This is nothing short of trying to paint everyone else a deep shade of guilty without having to be dabbed as well.