“Am I a racist?”
That was the thought that we were left with as we turned off the lights and closed up the office a few nights ago.
If you missed it, last weekend we clipped a photo from a local newspaper and made a very inappropriate attempt at being clever on our Instagram feed. The comments we received were swift and concise in the damnation of our ignorance
Attempts to correct our error in judgment only dug the hole deeper.
As the days wore on and we read some things and listened to some people speak, we slowly began to understand that simply thinking you aren’t a racist doesn’t make it so. That standing by and watching a gross injustice take place, and doing or saying nothing makes us just as guilty as those perpetrating some of the horrifying acts against people of color that we’ve seen for many, many years. That ignoring any part of the systemic racism that has been part of our history is, in and of itself, complicit racist behavior.
Nope, we didn’t connect the dots. “We’re not racists” we thought.
And no, we aren’t going to patronize you here and proclaim we’re “all woke now.”
No, we have a lot of fucking work to do and thank you to those who so passionately brought that to our attention.
We may never know how it feels to walk the streets as a citizen of a free country and yet feel completely disenfranchised from those freedoms for no other reason than the color of your skin or the language that you speak. To see a police car and feel seriously concerned for your well-being. To see people lock their car door as you walk past. To feel “less-than” of those around you. To have to read yet another inappropriate attempt at journalism on a surf website authored by some privileged white punk.
Yeh, that’s us.
We have a platform that speaks to a large, youthful audience. We have the ability to form conversations about change, to help organize and empower our audience to further that change, and to help us all understand that change will only come when everyone participates. To not use that platform for change is, in and of itself, a crime of which we are guilty as charged.
We simply must do better.
We’ve been quiet for a few days as we began our own process of personal introspection. Surf clips just seem a bit trivial right now. And, as the week wore on, it became so obviously clear that we needed to take a step back from our smug little existence and pull our collective heads out of our asses. If we can’t do that then we see no point, nor do we feel we’ve earned the privilege, to attempt to entertain each of you in the ways that we do every day.
We’ll be back to posting surf content and other stuff soon enough and hopefully as we do that we can also continue to grow as responsible, compassionate citizens of this world.
Yes, we have some work to do.
Black Lives Matter