Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A good rainy morning to the Madtown Mob! Have you ever been "stereotyped"?

I was just reading about Travon, the young man who was shot in Florida, and looking at a picture of him in gangster attire. We see so much on the news about young black men being killed by other young black men, (it happens almost daily in Fresno, our neighbor to the south) selling drugs, and creating all sorts of havoc, yet the vast majority of young black men in America killed nobody, sold no drugs, stole nothing, and burglarized no homes yesterday, and who hears about them? Can you blame people for the alleged stereotyping?
We who ride motorcycles (bikers, if you will,) have much the same problem, in fact, there's an old saying reportedly coined by the Red & White: "When we do right, nobody remembers; when we do wrong, nobody forgets!" We have runs to raise money for charity more than any other group with the possible exception of the Shriners, raising millions of dollars a year. We have incidents now and then like the shootings in Laughlin and Reno. Unfortunately, we're all lumped in together in the eyes of the public, so what can be done about it? We can try to distance ourselves from the groups that perpetuate the violent acts, but they attend the same rides and functions as we do. About the only way is to appear different. Wear more mainstream clothes, ride a quiet bike, and get a haircut. I choose to do NONE of these things, because the public's perception of me doesn't bother me at all. In fact, a little intimidation in my countenance helps keep tailgaters and panhandlers at bay. I do, however, treat law enforcement, even "door rattlers" with a certain modicum of respect, because they have authority and, more importantly, GUNS! Maybe if Trevon had chosen to respond with respect instead of an attitude, he would still be alive in spite of his choice of clothing. Every time I've been stopped on my Harleys the cop has had his hand close to his sidearm. I can't blame him for that, but I've found that a "good morning" or "good afternoon", even if it's not heart-felt at the time, has not only brought his hand away from my possible demise, but saved me a few tickets as well.

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