Most of the BMX world was initially slow to react (ourselves included), but what followed was an unheard of show of solidarity against racism with a large number of core brands and pro riders supporting the #blackouttuesday instagram protest and many, including most notably Mat Hoffman, took to the streets to make their voices heard. Madera moved to remove their TM in response to this post by Sean Morr, and DK Bicycles announced that they’d be stopping production of their controversial 'General Lee' frame. Elsewhere various riders have been vocal in sharing their all too often unheard experiences as black BMX riders.
Whilst the response from our greater BMX community has been largely positive and supportive, there have unfortunately been some openly racist riders crawling out from under their rocks on social media, alongside the typical white privilege brigade who don’t see it as a big deal because it’s not something they personally have to deal with.
To give you a sense of the scale of the issue within BMX online, here at DIG we lost over 600 Instagram followers simply for posting our support and solidarity against racism. It's a tiny percentage of our overall following - but still a depressing amount people - and whereas on one hand it’s 'good riddance' of course, but on the other hand we’d much rather be able to keep talking to those people and keep sharing an anti racist message - especially where younger riders are concerned.
Sharing that message and engaging with and supporting the issue, is something we all can and should do and the BMX community needs to continue to pull together on this.
Right across the world, a huge number of BMX riders still face discrimination daily both on and off their bikes, purely because of the colour of their skin. And that’s fucked up. This isn’t the time for BMX to stop talking about racism. This isn’t the time for BMX to stop calling out racism. It’s never the time. Now, more than ever, this is the time to give a fuck. We all need to do better and now more than ever we need to learn and we need to listen: Listen to black riders - listen to your black friends and their families (whenever they want to share of course), and get a greater understanding of your own privilege.
Above all though, please educate yourself on this issue as much as you can. It's not up to anyone else to do it for you. You can find out more about BLACK LIVES MATTER here and this document bit.ly/ANTIRACISMRESOURCES is a great resource for learning.
Millions of people worldwide have now protested to demand #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd and the countless other innocent black lives lost to racial violence everywhere, and here at DIG we wish to express our continued solidarity for those demanding a better world. We ride together - we stand together - Black Lives Matter.