An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Biking while black is apparently a thing. Surprised? Not.

Wow. Just wow.

The U.S. Department of Justice will review the Tampa Police Department's enforcement of bicycle laws after a Tampa Bay Times investigation found 79 percent of the agency's bike tickets go to black residents.
When I saw the headline for this item this morning I assumed (naive as I am) that the TPD was being investigated for being too unctuous about ticketing cyclists generally, or that the laws themselves are frivolous (no riding on sidewalks, riding without lights, no full stops at deserted intersections). It's so much worse than that!

On the other hand, I'm not sure why anyone would expect African American cyclists to be any less targeted by institutional racism than African American car drivers or African American pedestrians.
Perhaps the Justice Department should look into, you know, the more generalized pattern across the enforcement of all laws. But it's worth noting that the enforcement of cycling laws is an especially galling way to irritate a population in a major urban area -- because there is often so much more important work to be done than hassling people who are simply trying to get somewhere on a cheap and reliable (and non-revenue producing) vehicle.

Major Taylor, originally a southern gent himself from the great town of Louisville, will be spinning in his grave. Or not. (Get it? Spinning? Ha.)

Taylor-Marshall 1900.png
Yes, this is Major Taylor. Yes, he was
one of America's finest cyclists. No, you
cannot buy drop bars like this anywhere.

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