Being good allies
June 9, 2020 / By yann
During the last few days, we have been following the evolution of the situation resulting from the death of M. George Floyd. We read and listen to the voice of the people from the black community and as you probably have, we had long discussions about the topic.
The #BlackLivesMatter movement started in 2013 but the recent events reminds us all that as a society we need to acknowledge that the issue is far from being part of history. It is the present and the future and we must go beyond outrage so we asked ourselves how to be active in this matter.
We want to be good allies. We want to be part of the solution. We want to support our brothers and sisters. We are all members of the society that allowed the death of George Floyd, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Delrawn Small and too many others. We are still reflecting on how can we help and what action to take. We asked ourselves : “What do we have to modify among our own community? How are black skaters dealing with the situation? How can we help? How can we be allies? What do we need to understand? How can we help efficiently the movement?
As an organisation we can call out the injustices, we can keep encouraging diversity and we will keep asking ourselves the right questions to make sure there are no barriers or privileges based on the skin color. Now that this engagement is taken, we have to say it is not the opportunity to talk about ourselves but to listen and amplify the voice of the leaders of the communities affected by racism.
One video made a lot of waves recently and has just been deleted from the internet. Professional skateboarder Na-Kel Smith shared his experience as a black man in the skateboard industry and affirmed that he had been the target of racial slurs while companies have also had weird requests.
Via Nakel Smith ig : @thatsonme
We suggest that you read this 2007 article of the New York times about the journey of black skaters in the skateboard culture and industry we like to believe is open minded and tolerant but is still far from perfect.
Stevie Williams via skateboardingmagazine.com
The present context is the result of years of call for change and it reminds us that it is not the burden of the people who are discriminated against but the one of the whole society. We have to take part in the change. In order to do so, let’s take the time to learn more about privilege. This short video is a very good analogy to the system we live in, through a race.
If you are like us and want to do your part, here is 10 recommendations from a vice article.
1. Educate yourself
2. Become conscious of privileges
3. Acknowledge the existence of racism
4. Honor the name of the victims of racism
5. Be there in real life
6. Support black business and black organisations
7. Know that you sometime have to step down and listen
8. Create spaces where black people are represented
9. Be aware of the difference between support when it counts and solidarity on a daily basis and do both.
10. Celebrate excellence and not only tragedies
Photo : Munshot via Unsplash
Lets be strong all together
It is a moral obligation for all of us to take responsibility and also to take action to help the movement. We must keep in mind that it is going to be a long fight but we must stay serious and dedicated to it until we are all treated as equals.
To conclude, we have asked to a few good friends of the JACKALOPE crew if they wanted to share their mindset of the last days and we are thankful of them for taking the time to share it with us all. Here is what they had to say:
We are prisoners of a system that is corrupted and unfair. As far as I am concerned, violence is not the solution to fight the suffering. As human beings, it is our duty and responsibility to educate ourselves and better ourselves. It is only together and by doing this personal work that we can allow peace to come and a real change in this world
Jessy Jean Bart
Photo : Dan Mathieu JACKALOPE 2019
The situation in the US is pretty tense, racism have always been a big issue in the whole world. People should just try to understand each others better and live together as we all bleed red.
Photo : Dan Mathieu JACKALOPE 2019
The fact that there are many colors makes life more joyful. The different cultures make life full of potential experiences. The different opinions make our discussion more interesting. Fear of the unknown and of difference ruins life. Racist people and victims of racism could only benefit on the long term by being able to understand each other so the solution is communication. #letstalkaboutit