Monday, July 16, 2007

Bicycles, Vegans, Genocide and Blogs

Bicyclists, like vegans, seem to get this attitude of "holiness" by simply riding a bike or not eating meat. In my activism, I have had to face off with MANY vegans who were holier than me because I eat meat. But, as I pointed out to them; "Being vegan doesn't make you holy, it only makes you vegan." Being a bicyclist doesn't make you holy, it only makes you a bicyclist. Eugene Johnson

I was reading my comment on DSW's blog last night and was a little annoyed that my thoughts on bicycle advocacy and racism drew not one response. Then I read my boy Eugene's comment above and I started laughing really loud.

He is right hey? Sometimes crap is just crap. Like our letter campaign to the Australian occupiers. Well it ain't all crap for sure. My boy Tom is committed. So are a handful of others including Jubin George in Bangalore.

The rest. Well, sometimes a blog is just a blog. A blog does not make a revolution. And a revolution can't be fought inside a capitalist tool like a Google blog.

Thanks Eugene. Not for leaving me here today in Portland while you feed your face at the fair in Eugene, but thanks for breaking it down.

This is just a blog. And I am just a blogger. However, I am pissed still. And you know why.

Oh yeah, before I end let me tell you that I was almost run over by a young blonde woman on a bicycle today. I was getting out of a $40 000 Acura after closing the sunroof and turning off the tunes from back in the day. Just as I begin to cross the street this woman swerves and almost falls at my feet.

She looks up and says: "I am really sorry for almost running you over but my chain just fell off and I lost control."

I looked back at the Acura and thought: "Damn she almost scratched the car ... and I just got it washed too."

I said I was just glad that she did not get hurt. She looked at me as if to say help me with my bicycle. I did not. I walked away and went to eat pizza.

Sometimes Ridwan is just shallow. Perhaps even vain at times. Well maybe both all the time.

But for sure, Ridwan is not a blog.

And a blog is not struggle.

And I don't think I should blog anymore.


Dione said...

Congrats on the car Ridwan.
Be well, and stay away from evil blonde lady drivers on bicycles.

Ridwan said...

Hello Dione:

The congrats should be for not being run over.

The car belongs elsewhere and not to me. I would never own a $40k car.

I was being careful. And I ran it through the car wash before returning it.

It was a weird day yesterday. Well parts of it anyway. Just one of those days when things align only to undress my pretenses.

My fingers were pointing at me all day.

Well I'll be in Mexico by this weekend and hopefully my fingers will stop pointing. Well at least I hope it does by the time I reach Guatemala.

OK, so be well and watch for bicycles too ... and don't let 'em scratch your Scion or conscience too.

Peace and dat,

Da' Square Wheelman, said...

hmmmmmm ... why can't I met babes on bikes like that ... of course, just for some good lo' dialectical discussion about Shulamith Firestone %(

Don't even get me started on why the hell you were toolin' around in THAT kinda' vehicle!

Thanks again for your comments, I wanted an "expert" on this one%)

If you ever need a Berlin liberal let me know.

Ridwan said...

Hey DSW. You are welcome man. I wish my comment had started a firestorm of discussion.

Maybe next time.

I am laughing about the car. Point taken and yeah I am pointing fingers at me too ;0)

Not yet coverted to commuting on a bicycle. But thankfully neither am I in a $40k car.

I will call on you man ... please consider sending in the tourist boycott letter to Howard and company. Every bit from over here will help expose his ass.

Be good and keep posting.


Eugene said...

I think you should keep on bloggin', brother. Even though a blog won't start a Revolution, it can be used as a tool for Revolution. Besides, it's a good way to vent your heart and mind.

People aren't talking on the blogs about racism for the same reason they won't read Inga Muscio's book, "Autobiography of a Blue Eyed Devil." They don't want to believe they are racists. They see racism through a narrow scope of slavery, lynchings, ethnic jokes, etc. That is why the institutional shit is so hard to beat down. But we do have occasional successes. They're scared, Ridwan, and they don't want to talk about it because they KNOW YOU ARE RIGHT!

Tom Autopref said...

Ridwan, I love the quotn from Eugene. -- Bicycling doesn't make you holy. It only makes you a bicyclist. Those words will endure for me.

This is one of the places I come to read for a dose of encouragement and sanity.

Dione said...

I have to admit, if I thought someone were about to scratch my car, id probably finish the bicycle chain in its comming off, and land in jail somewhere.
As for my conscious, people are challenging me on it everyday, and as you know, its hard to stay grounded sometimes. I don't know about that vain, shallow thing you were talking about, but its good to be glad for all the great things you have going for you, even when you upset with the things that are not. Have a great trip, i'm sure you will enspire all whom you come into contact with.

Ridwan said...

Brother Eugene thanks man. I was staring at your essay on the Burnside bridge ... I have no words. But looking at Felicia brought up a smile and a three words: beautiful little sista.

I need to check myself on why folks respond and don't respond. There are those souls who keep pushing.

And then there are those I know really well who hide from controversy. They pay their mortgages and take their vacations. And everytime we are together they vent about inequality and racism.

And then we say here, take a look here and copy and paste in defense of our brothers and sistas in occupied Australia.

And nothing. But you are right. As always. We can't but push anyway.

Be well my brother. I will holla at ya lata.



Ridwan said...

My brother Tom. Thanks for looking in man. I too love that quote by Eugene. It nails it all hey.

Branding as a 'progressive' posture still reeks of capitalist manipulation. Not to mention it is whack ;0)

I enjoyed your post on Welsing. Provocative. I remember seeing it while I was working on my doctorate at Howard in the early 90s.

I too visit your blog for inspiration and frankly, a sanity break.

So, Kimberley is going to run with the petition. I talked with her last night and she is quite keen to follow through while I am away.

She will most likely holla your way too.

Thanks again.

Peace and struggle,

Tom Autopref said...

Enjoy your trip Ridwan.

Welsing is brand new to me, just ran into her work at The Free Slave. It's a heavy jolt for me. But, shit, it feels like she's onto something. What are we gonna do about it?

Hey, if you guys are missing out on bloggers who discuss racism, check out say Zuky's blogroll. In that group you probably won't find many bloggers who don't discuss it!

Ridwan said...

I took a look at Zuky's blogroll and saw some familiar names. Also saw a lot of new names.

Thanks man.

I would not discount Welsing. She is however too much of a biological determinist. Inside of this is very little room to see race as a socio-historical and political construct.

The flip side of her argument is the kind of nonsense that Gobineau and Hitler peddled.

White people are not born white. Whiteness is a construct. If a child that would be considered to be white lived outside of whiteness would her theory hold?

I don't think so. Whiteness is no more organic than any other construct in society. Identity is not primarily biologically determined.

If we are to accept her theorization then we would have to be open to the determinism that creates Blackness as deviant or inferior.

Or, in fact, we would have to accept the Bell Curve mania as scientific proof that Blacks and Latinos are intellectually inferior to whites.

These theorizations and her thinking are premised on biological reductionism.

This is difficult terrain but not because it is compelling or complex.

In fact it is neither of the latter two.

It is difficult because it is a derivative of the kind of race-essentialism that has no place in thinking about equity and universal humanity.

Just my thoughts.

Peace and struggle,

ps. I am not saying that there are no biological influences on identity. But I am saying that there are so few that they can almost be inconsequential.

But mostly, I am saying that race and its history has nothing to do with genes and its biology.

If it did, we would all be fluttering around like fruit flies, or swinging from the trees like chimps. It is with these two species that we share 90% or more of our genes.

And the last time I looked, fruit flies and chimps were hardly vested in racial identity.

Race is simply a socio-historical and political process/experience.

No more. And therefore it is so complex.

Anonymous said...

You would do well to help blonde biker ladies who've just fallen off their bikes and apologized to you... you never know when they might come in handy one day. ;)

Also while a vegan may not want to start an identical revolution as the one you wish to see, I doubt that makes them any less worthy to do so.

Even the mighty fall -- thankfully they sometimes admit to it. ;)

Ridwan said...

Anonymous ummmmmm .... huh? Did you read the post?

Point taken though. I will help anyone most everyday ... Sunday was not most everyday.

But the gist here is about my dismay with folks who will not take a stand on the Aboriginal issue.

But ;) ... you seem to be elsewhere hey?

Thanks anyway for looking in ... leave your name next time.


nunya said...

:) "Capitalist tool like Google blog"

I'd be interested in your opinion of what I consider the most important books that I have read in the last 6 years.

ps, I loved the book I read on Biko

Ridwan said...

Hello Nunya. I just posted a comment on your blog.

Thanks for looking in here. I hope you will return.

Best wishes.