By Valentina Diaz
V. Diaz, a journalist and passionate skateboarder, is a full-time writer for SHIT®️ Magazine.
Segregation has been in different social circles, this behavior happens in people's disagreement because of religion, differences in ideologies, immigration, LGBTQ, women, men, sports fanatism or just because some people don't like the same things as well.
Outside are people intolerant that just have been hating others, living with the idea that someone "different" doesn't deserve anything, justifying criminal acts like bullying, abuses, kidnapping, rape or killing of innocent people.
It's really important to talk about these issues because we need to work at being more respectful, tolerant, inclusive, and always think about equality. Promoting constructive thoughts that could help more people, without divisions or unnecessary damages.
A Valuable Culture
Lanza started the article with Rashad Murray's interview, who talked about the situations in skateboarding and the different police behaviors if you are a black or white person. “I think when the cops see a white face it makes them feel more comfortable. But when they see me, they feel the need to ask questions and antagonize me” he said.
Murray recommends that changes start with the support of at least a white person, someone who helps to stop the abuse out there and those actions will help them to be safe. He agrees with the Black Live Matters movement and said that will help them to continue to fight back against the oppression of black people.
"It means fighting back against more than just police brutality. Our health, education, environment, resources, finances, and culture should be protected”, added this great skateboarder explaining that everyone must stop all forms of violence and negligence to anyone, especially in his culture.
To him it is sad that they had to do this entire movement to express it because they should live it instead of just using words.
Each Experience Makes Them Stronger
To Zach Allen, who has experienced both good and bad police experiences, many of the cops were rude. Like Murray, when Allen has been detained by a cop they sometimes have asked him if he has weapons or if he is in a gang, but when they see his skateboard they see that he looks nothing like a gangbanger.
He also said that the skateboarding industry might have silent racism. No matter how, the skateboarding community is so diverse that it always going to support any skateboarder, so "it would make sales hard for said racist to make money" Allen said in his interview.
About the N-word, Zach expressed: "At first, I was fully oblivious to the fact that they were using it. Then my mom got on my head and was like, “Check anyone saying it that isn’t black”, At the end of the day, it shouldn’t be said, but as black people, we took that word that was degrading to us and made it a part of our culture. It’s not a good word, but that’s just how shit goes after 400 years of being called the “N-word”.
Racism shouldn't exist, but it does, so we have a chance to make things right and fight for the rights of each human. We should value that there are people helping and working to change this as well.
Skateboarding Could Be More Inclusive and Supportive
Kevin Romar talked about the increased support and inclusion that skateboarding companies have given to the black skaters. He highlights that they are well unified, additionally he sees the choice to give an opportunity to those who have been racists and wish to take it back, doing so publicly.
About skateboarding, Romar proposed to the skateboarding companies that “they can start by adding more diversity to their teams. They can support the movement #blacklivesmatter. These companies get a lot of ideas from our culture, we support all of their movements. If they can’t get behind us then we can’t support them. Uplifting the black skate community is ultimately just getting behind us and knowing they have our backs."
Kevin shared a traumatic experience with his skateboard and cops. He was detained by a police officer and everything was recorded. He said that he was on a skate trip with his brand and all the team, at least 10 skateboarders where he was the only black guy there.
When they were skateboarding on the street, a cop said to them that they have to stop, so Romar stopped, but the other ones didn't.
"The bike cop comes up to me again and he says, let me see your ID, I asked him “Why? I didn’t do anything wrong, I don’t have to show my ID if I didn’t do anything wrong.” It was a valid question, I guess he didn’t like that answer, and he approached me very aggressively and as I turn around, he reached for the back of my shirt and grabbed it, twisted the neck part of my shirt then threw me on the concrete bench", he talked about all of this on Jenkem interview.
Like this story, there is a lot of abuse cases like George Floyd's death that left the entire world in deep sadness. The government and some people have been normalizing it and let it continue happening instead of fighting against oppression and racism as BLM is doing it right now and so many more campaigns before it.
We have to recognize them because of their extreme talent too and how they are supporting each other day-by-day to fight for their rights. It's important to make an honest view and value all their efforts, us standing beside them as well.
Read all the interviews on the official Jenkem website (link) and meet these guys who shared a piece of their lives in those interviews. Skateboarding is about being part of a huge family, supporting eachother in what we love, and helping others to express themselves.
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