Tokenism & Moral Licensing

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to·ken·ism
[ˈtōkəˌnizəm]

1. the practice of making only a perfunctory or symbolic effort to do a particular thing, especially by recruiting a small number of people from underrepresented groups in order to give the appearance of sexual or racial equality within a workforce.

The fruit of moral licensing is hypocrisy.
When I first took up cycling for transportation, I was vastly naive about the realities of humanity. I’m not naive anymore.

Trump has fired his campaign manager. Some reports are that the kids didn’t like the campaign manager, some reports that Trump is changing direction, and some reports that Trumps candidacy is in disarray.

Trump is the king of notably offensive token gestures. Taco Salad in Trump tower being only one of many.

But how does tokenism reflect on the situation at hand?

Trump needs the endorsement of the Republican demi-gods as much as Hillary or Bernie do from their own Democratic demi-gods. Object to that idea? Then change the primary process to reflect the will of the people.

I suspect this is a strategic move to sooth the ruffled feathers of the GOP in as much the same way as his Q&A session was with the religious right. Oh who are we kidding. The GOP has become the religious right and we’d do well to remember that.

Conservative motorists and conservative cyclists were the push behind crucifying me for legally and safely cycling on a public roadway.

What if Trump, after all his “winning”, ends up losing the primary?

The question I would ask myself is “who would the GOP chose to take Trumps place?”
If the religious right refuse to christen him with the GOP nomination then who will they pick? I suspect we haven’t heard of him if he does, in fact, exist.

I personally don’t know. But if you have any thoughts on the subject I’d love to hear them.

Trump is as notorious for his xenophobia and racism as he is for his sexism.

So let’s talk about women.

Women in cycling is not the gender barrier breakthrough that anyone could hope for and in the world of cycling advocacy; a few token black people advocating for or cycling isn’t any better. We need more blacks competing in the Tour de France. We need women in there too. Our diverse cultures are not represented in the cycling world and you can see that best in Cycling magazines. Our cycling magazines are still predominately male and white, just look at the advertising, and our large advocacy groups are made up of the same vanilla male types. Sarah Goodyear of City Lab writes about “The Surprising Diversity of the American Cycling Community,” you’d thing the problem of encouraging non whites to cycle is over. Sorry Buttermilk. It’s only begun. It’s only begun because Marshal Taylor was not given the respect he deserved as a black cyclist and too few blacks know of his existence. I want you to be mad and fired up if you’re not a white male, and even if you are, I want you to get out there and demand your right to cycle and be a human being. Ultimately that is what we all are, human beings.

Racism and sexism are on the rise in America and the rest of the world.

Blatant racism is easy to spot and easier to confront. Casual racism is not. It is often inherent and we feel morally justified when we practice it because after all we don’t support racism. The same is true of sexism. For this topic I want to hand the reins over to a man. Not because he’s a man but because he is qualified to to talk about this and has done so eloquently. It’s 30 min long and worth every minute.

Does that open the world up for you?

I certainly hope so. Because the rest of this wont make sense unless you heard the podcast and more importantly took it in.

To defeat racism, sexism, Islamophobia, homophobia, and all other isms and phobia’s we need a bridge. We need someone who reflects our values, who get’s us, and represents those people whom we need to hear our message. To a woman listening to another woman complaining about the glass ceiling, she get’s it. But to a man with sexist leanings, it sounds like bitching. Take that same man and let him hear the same thing from another man and he gets his “aha” moment. We need ambassadors to bridge the gap and to bring us over the chasm of the various societal ills.

If Hillary Clinton wins POTUS it could very well be the door closing and locking the rest of us out. If Trump wins POTUS it will be a disaster. But if we could get Bernie Sanders in and he were to build that bridge, the next woman to run for POTUS would have the platform to forever throw open the doors of diversity and welcome all of us in.

Women who bash men for supporting Bernie are just as bad as men who bash women for supporting Hillary. Anyone who supports Trump is either not paying attention, brain dead, or wants to watch the world burn.

Bicycles are the means to a better future for everyone. Even those who will never ride a bicycle.

In much the same way that Bernie is encouraging people to run for office and take over our local politics. I have encouraged (for anyone who has followed me on twitter) cycling advocates to get into open positions with the transportation cabinet both locally and nationally.

I’ve never asked to be the representative of cycling. Nor have I asked to be the face of cycling for transportation. What I’ve asked is to be supported by everyone, cyclist or not, who supports freedom, civil liberties, and respecting others. Sadly rape culture exists in cycling advocacy beyond high vis. clothing and victim blaming for not wearing a helmet. There is this thing called consent and no one asked me if I consented to being thrust into the spotlight like I was. Yes, I did want people to be aware of my situation. But I wanted them to know about it so that they would help pressure the police and county attorneys office to stop harassing me. I wanted to be in the crowd. Not the leader of the crowd. Consent isn’t just a teenage male issue. Women struggle with the basic concept of consent as well.

The sexism I’ve come across in the cycling community has been astounding. I can feel empathy for Hillary Clinton on that count. As someone who has been disenfranchised by her and her husbands conservative placating policies, I can not and will not accept her nomination for POTUS. If you heard the podcast then you will understand my concerns on a deeper level. I’ve met a lot of women who want a female president but not Hillary for that female president. It’s OK to pass the baton to someone who is capable of ethically uniting everyone. I believe that doing so will not only break the glass ceiling but will tear the door blocking us from diversity off its hinges.

I am not the belle weather and neither is Hillary.

We must unite to defeat Trump but we must also unite to protect more than women. We need to unite to protect the diversity of humanity which also represents women.

Hillary Clinton is not as strong as her supporters are making her out to be. I am very concerned if Trump does and does not become the official nominee of the GOP. There are so many variables to the Trump situation and I won’t be able to focus on his weaknesses, mainly because he as so many, until I know for sure that he clinches it. But if Hillary gets the nomination I can accurately predict that it will be a nightmare four years and she could end up impeached like Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president.

I’m also asking you to start a bike group in your local area. Make it a social bike group. Ditch the male roadie culture and start one of your own. Be women on bikes. Be women of color on bikes. Be anyone who isn’t a white male on a bike. But above all find your bridge makers and join the local politics. Make positive changes. Focus on Education, Legislation, and Infrastructure in equal measure. We need that perfect storm to establish a cycling culture to rival all others in America.

I wish it were in my lifetime that the glass ceiling was smashed to bits and the door barring diversity was ripped off its hinges but if we all work together then it will be in our children’s lifetime and that is good enough for me.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tactical Urbanism: Let there be light

Tactical urbanism is an umbrella term used to describe a collection of low-cost, temporary changes to the built environment, usually in cities, intended to improve local neighbourhoods and city gathering places.

Capitalism, Consumerism, and Auto Culture.

They all have at least one thing in common.

 

People.

Not just any people, these organizations are made up of people who get to decide, for us, what best suites the majority of people. If it doesn’t serve their bottom line of profit or enhance consumption, then it isn’t in their best interests and they will not pursue it, even if it means some people will suffer for their inaction.

That’s fine if we are talking about window dressing or paint color. But when people have the potential to be hurt by their inaction it is time to take action.

Priority and safety is the focus of moving auto’s from point A to point B. This is a huge financial drain on us and on our cities. Worse, those who directly benefit from increased auto use are the people who operate auto corporations, not the people driving on the street.

Street lights help people feel safe and that this is a direct benefit to the user. No one wants to jog along a dark street. Better street lighting encourages nighttime driving. Well lit streets give a community a feeling of ease and a sense of safety. Though there are some studies which show that increased lighting on well paved area’s doesn’t increase safety. But tell that to someone fumbling around in a dark parking lot or trying to make out street signs as they look for their friends house at 2 a.m.

Trails which move people on foot, bike, or wheelchair do not see the same safety measures given to those systems which have the greatest benefit to auto’s and those who directly benefit from selling you an auto. The real problem, as I see it, is incomplete or one sided education of our urban planners. People who don’t use the very trails they design or if they do use it, they don’t use it in the way that those most vulnerable are using the trails. Mainly during low light conditions. Students, working families, and/or anyone else who is tied up with the day to day cares of this world have the evening to enjoy the trails. Early morning commuters who want to enjoy a stress free commute, deserve quality trails. So why should they be left to stumble around in the dark?

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The post on the right.

When you have exhausted every avenue available to you. When your words fall on deaf ears. What is there left to do?

Shall we fold our hands and say “At least I tried.”

Did you try?

Is it possible that there is something more you can do?

Enter Tactical Urbanism.

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Creating safer communities through direct involvement.

When you’ve been told that the cost of installing lighting along the trail is too expensive. Or you’ve been told that it just isn’t feasible. What you are really hearing is “Your concerns are not important.”

But your concerns are important. You as an individual are important, both to yourself and to someone else. Taking a positive step to help those in your community is an act which is both selfless and selfish. By taking an active part in your community you are bettering it not only for yourself but for all of those around you.

Sometimes our city planners need us to show them the way. It’s not that they can’t figure it out. It’s that they don’t have the motivation to do the research that we have done.

Tactical Urbanism is one positive and friendly way to show them just how easy it is to install some lights.

I highly encourage you to take an active role in the betterment of your community. You can learn more about tactical urbanism from the original creators through this link: Here.

People need to feel connected to their community. This connection creates, not only a sense of belonging but also, a sense of responsibility. When people take responsibility for their community the direct benefit is a safer community. Isn’t that what we all want?