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SHORE RIDER PROFILE

Shut up and Listen: Sanesh Iyer

Words Pete Roggeman
Photos Deniz Merdano
Date Feb 18, 2021
Reading time

We haven't done enough - much at all, really - at NSMB when it comes to addressing the lack of racial diversity and representation in mountain biking. A little more on that at the end. For now it's time for us to shut up and listen to Sanesh as he shares his experience and thoughts on diversity in mountain biking.

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Hi everyone, my name is Sanesh. I like bikes, a lot. That’s probably the most important thing. I was born in Cape Town, South Africa and grew up on The Shore in median income households*. I started mountain biking at 6 or 7 through summer camps. My parents are not outdoorsy, but they saw how much I loved it and did their best to get me out into nature as much as possible. I like to joke that they wanted to integrate me into the local culture.

My first job was as a mountain bike camp instructor. Since then I’ve worked for three shops on The Shore, as an instructor and guide, and held engineering internships at a local mountain bike manufacturer. All told, I worked in the industry for about 10 years. The thing I’m most proud of was wrenching competition bikes for top athletes, some of whom were also my childhood heroes. My interest in mountain bike design pushed me to do my Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering at BCIT. I left the industry to pursue my Masters in Mechanical Engineering at McGill, where I did my thesis on shape memory alloy/carbon fibre/epoxy hybrid composite structures. I currently work at an engineering firm specializing in composites. My goals in life are pretty simple, I’d like to have what I had as a teenager -- food, shelter, good friends, time and money to ride bikes, all while loving what I do every day -- stable for the rest of my life. Mountain biking has helped me build an incredible community and brought me more opportunity than I could have ever dreamed. I definitely feel lucky to have lived an MTB dream. That said, I hope in discussing accessibility to this sport we can think of ways of making that dream available to more people.

*I mention this because we all like to think of ourselves as middle class. People with income ranging from 30,000 to > 100,000 in the US identify as middle class [1]. I think being honest with where you sit on the income scale [2] is a pretty quick way to self-identify privilege, which is an important part of the conversation.

[1] https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2015/03/04/most-say-government-policies-since-recession-have-done-little-to-help-middle-class-poor/few-with-family-incomes-of-100k-embrace-the-label-upper-class-2/
[2]https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200224/t001a-eng.htm

Do you remember the first time you had a negative experience that was racially motivated? Can you tell us about that?
Unfortunately yes... sad lesson learned. I was on a ferry on the way to Cub Scout camp, 8 or 9 years old. A kid cut in front of me in the arcade line. When I stood up for myself he started yelling slurs at me so I punched him. Of course, I was sent home (fair enough, I punched a kid). I remember being pissed off that that kid got to go to camp though. When my dad picked me up, he told me that "bullies always win, but you don't always have to lose." I'm really grateful that this is the most violence I've ever experienced as a result of discrimination (and it was at my hand). In general, direct comments are rare for me. It's more common that people are discriminatory around me but towards another group. Somehow people are surprised when I'm offended even though they are "not mocking me." That's pretty common. If you discriminate against anyone for any reason, you may as well be discriminating against me personally. It just shows an ignorance that's common in all forms of discrimination, which I have no tolerance for.

Has something like that ever happened to you in the mountain biking sphere?
Thankfully no. I don't think I've ever had an issue with direct racism towards me riding, or doing any outdoors sport in general. I've been fortunate to ride, hike, and do various other sports in a few different places in the world and rarely had an issue with direct racism. Even in places littered with *he who shall not be named* election boards just to our south.

That said, in Vancouver, there are some pretty strong stereotypes about how people of different races approach the outdoors which I find immensely frustrating. I don't think anyone's ever linked race with unpreparedness in the wilderness when it's a white person without proper gear on the mountain. Yet, when it's a person of colour or someone with an associated suburban stereotype, the comment is often similar to "people from *there* are always unprepared." Those sorts of comments show biases which individuals aren't addressing, biases which lead to passive or indirect discrimination. We're really lucky on the North Shore to have access to the outdoors and incredible local mentors to teach us outdoors skills as simple as "cotton kills" to advanced skills like mountain biking. When I was a teenager, I probably averaged 4 days a week of riding in a year with 7 days a week in summer. I didn't learn anything overnight. That's a huge privilege and there's no need to mock people who don't have it. We should be lifting them up.

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Many of us have noticed that mountain biking is dominated by straight, white, able-bodied males. Why do you think that is? Is it changing?
I'm an engineer, so I feel unprepared to answer this because I haven't seen the numbers. I'm also limited in perspective to the Shore since that's where 99% of my riding happens. I've seen a lot more women on the trails in the last few years. Something I've noticed since lockdown is more PoCs on bikes too which has been great to see. Actually, this past June was the first time I saw a group of teenage girls doing a group ride on their own. Finally. The Shore's been full of teenage boys on bikes since... before I was riding, that's for sure. So yes, it's changing in my opinion. But a lot more people could be pushing that change, myself included.

As for why it has been dominated by straight, white, able-bodied males, there's a lot of layers there. I've got some ideas, they're not comprehensive but I do think all of them are part of the truth. For one, mountain biking is not on everyone's radar, immigrant or local. Yes, believe it or not, there are people who live on the North Shore who do not know mountain biking is a thing. White people, too. Most non-cyclists image of mountain biking is Redbull Rampage and Joyride, which are full of white able-bodied males. Representation matters. Furthermore, most publicized riding is death-defying. To convince people to try the sport I often have to remind them that most mountain bikers are riding smooth trails slower than a runner. But they imagine Rampage is all we do. Realism matters.

Then there's how we treat our youth. There's a lot of gender stereotyping that happens with kids. I'm not an expert on this, but would be happy to point you to some very interesting research on the topic. I did, however, see this first hand as an instructor. Mountain biking is definitely a sport that parents will push boys into and hold girls back from. Those biases are deeply rooted into how we were raised, and I think we have to actively work on them to prevent passing them to future generations.

Another reason, which is inescapable, is economics. BIPOC males make 90 cents on a dollar and women still make 70 cents. That's for the same job, so you need to adjust for the opportunity gap as well (who is more likely to be in a higher position and make more money). Mountain biking is expensive, so it's obviously a luxury that's more out of reach for those on systemically lower incomes. Media focus on high end bikes is alienating in this regard, reviews don't often include budget products or comments on durability or serviceability which matter when you need your investment to last. So, putting it all together... you see a certain demographic (representation) participate in a death-defying (realism) sport which you were not raised into. It looks cool, but the internet is telling you it's going to cost you 10,000 dollars to get into it. Why bother? There are other cool looking, cheaper, more diverse outdoors sports.

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Are the barriers put up by those of us who participate now? Those who hold the most influence?
I think a lot of us who participate didn't put up the barriers, but don't actively work on bringing them down which is just as bad. The people who I regularly ride with are all white males, why is that? I'm not sure, but it's definitely my fault. Everyone holds power in my opinion. From as small as the consumers and independent shops to as big as the MTB OEMs. I'm acutely aware of how slim the margins in mountain biking are, but it's always easy to pass the buck. "I'm just a person", "it's hard to find good staff", etc. At some point we all just need to take ownership. Consumers need to spend their money at businesses they support. At businesses that make a difference in the community. This is going to help them invest in their staff. In my opinion, an easy way to spot a diversity problem in a business is when the staff is not representative of the community. Supporting the local cycling economy and ensuring it is inclusive of everyone has a lot of power. Consumers, speak with your wallets. It works.

I alluded to this before, but I do think the tendency to promote only shredders and expensive bikes is alienating. That's not how most people ride. Heck, it's not even how most people *want* to ride. I know the argument that those shredders are the best product testers and so on. I've built bikes for plenty of pros, and some will geek out on suspension settings while others really don't care. Point being that some pros pay dividends in bike design for sure, but far from all. I think that programs which support community groups and trail builders are an equally important avenue of growing the sport which I'm glad brands have tapped into. I'd love to see more of this. More brand ambassadors from different backgrounds, communities, etc. There's more work to be done in providing media content to new riders of mixed socioeconomic status too, not just people debating what second carbon wheelset to get.

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Are there any bright spots you've noticed? Is anything positive happening at all?
First and foremost, are Kelli & Darren at Endless Biking. They have, by far, done the best job that I have seen of having a staff representative of their community. Often including a multitude of genders, races, and nationalities. They've done that since day one. When I took their kids' camps in 2005 or 2006, Micayla Gatto was my instructor -- her voice is still in my head when I ride skinnies. I don't think there's any magic sauce at EB. They just hire hard working, friendly people who are stoked on bikes. It's always felt organic, and is stand-out proof that MTB can be diverse if people put the effort in to make it happen.

In the other businesses I worked at, I never felt like race was a factor or holding me back. But definitely you have to have some sort of leg up to get jobs as it's so competitive, which of course biases to certain groups. I was privileged to live on the Shore and have parents who made me pay for my own bikes, so I always had a leg up. One challenge with addressing the hiring bias towards certain groups is evaluating direct and indirect qualifications. For example, I often had students apply to jobs who had extensive volunteer experience within the research field, while others had worked unrelated part-time jobs. Obviously those who volunteer have privilege as they can afford to not work, but they are also more directly qualified. Students with part-time jobs usually have the work ethic, but maybe lacked some of the technical skills. There are pros and cons of both choices, but in my experience people bias towards direct experience. That's a longer discussion that we can't answer here, but my point is that a discussion about the interplay between privilege and qualification is an important one to have to address diversity in everything, not just mountain biking. That's a huge digression from the question at hand. To summarize that paragraph, some local businesses have done a great job of supporting diversity in MTB, and there are steps that can be taken to build on that.

I think the NSMBA has done a great job of improving the spread of trail difficulty, from Bobsled to Boundary to Boogie Nights. That has worked wonders for getting more people into the sport while retaining the ability to improve and cater to advanced riders.

If you're not aware already, colourthetrails has done some awesome work in outdoors sports advocacy and they've been gaining a lot of momentum recently. Supporting the growth of organizations like that is on all of us. I definitely feel guilty about how much this community has given me and how little I've given back over the years. I'm happy to finally be out of school and have the time to do so. I regret passing the buck for so long, but I'm not going to continue to make that mistake.

The last bright light I would like to mention, which is very personal for me, is Shop Grom culture. Bike shops have long provided an incredible opportunity for youth. Shop Grom culture is strong and very unique in cycling -- it's rare for businesses to hire teens and give them real responsibility. Working in cycling with some incredible mentors gave me many opportunities I wouldn't have otherwise had, to the degree that there's a direct link between my first LBS job sweeping floors and my current job as an engineer. A Shop Grom job shapes lives. I do think there's a way to go in diversifying who gets that opportunity though. Consumers have an excellent opportunity to, again, support shops who invest in their community. Support shops who have Groms.

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Is there a situation as a mountain biker where you feel discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation or race is particularly egregious?
Nope. It's all unacceptable. The easiest to answer question so far. And it's important to note, that's not just direct discrimination, but passive discrimination as well. That is to say, if you are not actively pursuing inclusivity, there is an issue.

Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences and ideas with us. Any parting thoughts you’d like to leave us with?

It was a pleasure, thank you for taking the time too. Mountain biking has an awesome community, and all of us who ride are privileged for a multitude of reasons. I think it's really important to honestly reflect on our individual privileges. Additionally, we should more openly communicate with friends, coworkers, strangers to engage in those reflections and discussions. There are actions we can take such as supporting businesses which make a difference in the community, not tolerating direct or indirect discrimination, and actively working on our own biases. These actions aren't specific to improving diversity in mountain biking, but if we address general diversity issues, our community will organically grow too. And that's the important thing, we all need to take active steps to improve diversity wherever we can.


During last year's period of heightened racial tension, we discussed how to address the lack of general representation in MTB and here at NSMB, but it felt trite to put out a statement that we couldn't back up with action at the time. In retrospect, that was likely the wrong course of action. Either way, we're not proud of our track record; good intentions are meaningless if we don't do anything about them. As a group of primarily straight, middle-aged white guys, we do realize that the best thing we can do is shut up, and provide a platform for BIPOC members of our community to share their experiences and help us understand what we can do to support them and make mountain biking and the outdoors in general a more welcoming place. Our lack of initiative in the past was due to a fear of getting it wrong, or being accused of virtue signaling, when in reality enduring a bit of abuse should be the least of our worries when many others are dealing with so much more than that. Inaction due to the fear of a misstep is far worse than doing something with the right intentions, even if we double flat and go over the bars in the process. At least it allows us to learn and, importantly, have a conversation about it.

Sanesh has been gracious with his input and a welcome sounding board as we have discussed the need to shine a light on the members of our community that have been under-represented for far too long. This is the first of several profiles we plan to run about BIPOC members of our riding community, and the plans won't stop there (we've also got to do better by the women and LGBTQ riders out there), but rather than tell you what we plan to do, for now we'll show you through our actions. Thank you for stepping forward and volunteering to share with us, Sanesh.

Posted in: Features, People

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Comments

YDiv
+6 Sanesh Iyer Andrew Major danimaniac Pete Roggeman AJ Barlas meloroast goose8 Christopher Wallace
YDiv  - Feb. 17, 2021, 10:27 p.m.

Harvard has a few tests for implicit biases if anyone's interested. It's critical that you have an open mind to the results though, otherwise this will be useless.

https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

The Race IAT (or the Skin Tone IAT) is of particular relevance to this article.

**As an aside, Sanesh now has me wondering if my POC pads are being worn backwards or not.

Reply

sanesh-iyer
+6 Andrew Major danimaniac Pete Roggeman AJ Barlas goose8 Poz
Sanesh Iyer  - Feb. 17, 2021, 10:33 p.m.

Great link, I'm on it now.

No, I ran out of the house when heading to shoot this and just put them on the wrong way. My moment of idiocy has now been memorialized on the internet. For what it's worth, I rode many km and crashed that day and didn't notice that they were on wrong. I guess 10 years of breaking in works wonders.

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danimaniac
+2 meloroast Sanesh Iyer
danimaniac  - Feb. 18, 2021, 2:48 a.m.

symmetrical knees for the WIN! :D

I couldn't wear my Leatt's interchanged...

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danimaniac
+8 Sanesh Iyer Pete Roggeman Andrew Major AJ Barlas Mammal BobS13 meloroast goose8
danimaniac  - Feb. 18, 2021, 4:37 a.m.

Thanks for the link. That's a very interesting take there. I've done couple of the tests now and I am exactly what I am. A highly educated white straight male that's fighting not to be prejudiced or anything like taht but in these tests I cannot hide me leaning on exactly those prejudices/attitudes. Humbling, but encouraging, too.

Change starts with acceptance of the own imperfections and awareness of thos "construction zones" in oneself.

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andrewbikeguide
+1 YDiv
AndrewR  - Feb. 18, 2021, 10:21 p.m.

No he was wearing his pads back to front. But as long as he's happy. My OCD started twitching on the first photo.

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YDiv
0
YDiv  - Feb. 19, 2021, 6:43 p.m.

Back to front sounds uncomfortable... unless your knees got inverted by a tree stump and now bend backwards.

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Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Feb. 18, 2021, 11:14 p.m.

Interesting tests, thanks for sharing. I tried a couple, and the results were as I'd expect in most cases. I'd like to see the code and method behind these though. I feel like there were 5 parts that trained my brain to associate Group 1 to Bad and Group 2 to Good or Group 1 to Career and Group 2 to Family. Then flips that association at the end. I feel like it takes more brain power to unlearn the initial group association and relearn, than to learn in the first place. I hope the association order is randomized, and it was a fluke that all the tests I did had the distributed "preferences" being the initial association.

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NVLocal
-3 Craig Wu goose8 Doug M.
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 19, 2021, 10:24 a.m.

I took the test as well and find it suspect for the reason you point out. It's as if they purposely change the order to slow your reaction time and then claim you are bias.

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YDiv
0
YDiv  - Feb. 19, 2021, 5:59 p.m.

Thankfully the people at Harvard have half a brain! A couple links that might be of interest to help address your concerns:

https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/iatdetails.html

https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/faqs.html#faq6

If I'm not mistaken, I believe the methodology is such that the "order effect" is minimized. However, I would agree that there could still be a slight possibility for it to affect results.

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NVLocal
-3 mtnvaman meloroast Morgan Heater goose8 Doug M.
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 20, 2021, 11:06 a.m.

Harvard - where they discriminate against Asian and White students at the benefit of Black students? Maybe Harvard has the bias?

"In this sense the IAT might also reflect what is learned from a culture that does not regard Black people as highly as White people."

A predetermined notion about a culture that apparently does not value Black people, yet we are suppose to believe the test isn't slanted towards an outcome?

The results are based on the speed at which you make the connections. If so why change the order of the key strokes as well why use such low quality poor photos?

Couple times I actually had to think about the race of the person, one guy even looked Hispanic. If they wanted a true bias response why not have high quality photos presented in the same order each time?

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YDiv
+1 meloroast
YDiv  - Feb. 19, 2021, 6:02 p.m.

Hey Tim, good points here. I'm not one of the researchers behind this project (darn!), but I think the basis of the tests is that any underlying biases will be strong enough to overcome the "order effect".

Check out my reply to Christopher, I think the second link (FAQ #6) is exactly what you're talking about.

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Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Feb. 24, 2021, 9:38 a.m.

Out of interest I did a couple more in areas where I have no bias, and the results were bogus. I'm non-religious and don't have any bias to one religion over the other. I like shows that poke fun of televangelists (Righteous Gemstones) and hate the historical atrocities committed in the name of religion. The tests results suggested I have a strong preference for Christianity, and I can't help but think that can't be a function of my familiarity with Christianity (since I know nothing about Judaism, but did go to church in my youth). 

I then clicked on the link you provided YDiv and they say the initial association is random, I must have just had bad luck in the 6 tests I did all had the "assumed" preference as my initial association. I'd like to see the data on the order effect. The FAQ also says firmly that bias is stronger than familiarity, and I just don't buy it. The way the tests are written, the language used on the Index page, and then the FAQ feel like their trying to prove a hypothesis, rather than produce a test to actually determine what that inherent bias is.

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Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Feb. 24, 2021, 9:38 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

Biden-Stole-Election
-3 mtnvaman meloroast Morgan Heater goose8 Doug M.
BidenIs NotMyPresident  - Feb. 21, 2021, 3:18 p.m.

"It's critical that you have an open mind to the results though, otherwise this will be useless."

Open Mind indeed. So open that your brain fell out if you believe this garbage!!!

Reply

Znarf
+8 cedrico Pete Roggeman Sanesh Iyer BobS13 Alexis Morgan goose8 Tim Coleman meloroast bushtrucker mtnvaman
Znarf  - Feb. 18, 2021, 12:34 a.m.

Great article!

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xshantix
+2 Sanesh Iyer meloroast
Shanti Stanley Perpellini  - Feb. 18, 2021, 3:21 a.m.

For sure a very interesting and honest article!

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mrbrett
+5 Dan Conant Sanesh Iyer Pete Roggeman Alexis Morgan meloroast
mrbrett  - Feb. 18, 2021, 7:20 a.m.

Thanks for sharing Sanesh. I liked reading this.

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Vikb
+7 Sanesh Iyer BobS13 Pete Roggeman Alexis Morgan meloroast goose8 bushtrucker
Vik Banerjee  - Feb. 18, 2021, 8 a.m.

Good to hear other perspectives than the mainstream ones in the MTB media. Thanks for the article.

Reply

craw
+6 Sanesh Iyer BobS13 Pete Roggeman meloroast AJ Barlas goose8
Cr4w  - Feb. 18, 2021, 8:23 a.m.

Very interesting article. More of this please!

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craigwu
+9 Andrew Major mrbrett BobS13 Pete Roggeman Sanesh Iyer AJ Barlas meloroast Cooper Quinn Speeder1
Craig Wu  - Feb. 18, 2021, 8:39 a.m.

My parents met as Taiwanese grad students at Penn State and I was born there in 1970. I fell in love with bikes as soon as I started riding around 4 years old. When I was a kid I wanted to race BMX more than anything, but my parents dismissed that idea as expensive and frivolous - academics and piano were where I should be focused. Geography also plays a large role in getting people into mountain biking, far more so than road riding. Growing up in the DC area, it wasn’t until I went to Virginia Tech in the Appalachians that I discovered MTB. That led to moving to Colorado after college where I’ve been since.

For most of my CO cycling life, I am the diversity in the group, although aside from “white”, I’m very much in the straight, able-bodied vein of the rest of my cycling peers. Compared to Vancouver, where I used to travel quite frequently for work, CO is not very diverse as a population which to me explains a lot of the lack of diversity in my riding groups.

I’d be interested to learn from this group if you felt your parents (and hence culture) played a large role in getting you into cycling. Ironically, I’ve tried getting my own kids into cycling and it just didn’t take.

Thanks for bringing this up Sanesh and sharing your experiences. It was very refreshing and validating to read.

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mrbrett
+8 Andrew Major Craig Wu BobS13 Pete Roggeman Cr4w Sanesh Iyer meloroast Speeder1
mrbrett  - Feb. 18, 2021, 9:19 a.m.

My mom's an Indian immigrant, dad white as white can be. Similar response from both. Neither one of them particularly active, and I ended up biking with almost no family support or example to work off of. I wouldn't say any side of the family actively discouraged me but they just didn't get it

Could be a generational thing rather than culture in my case - as I don't remember any of my mom or dad's family doing any sports. My kids seem mostly into this hobby, but they're young and who knows what the future holds? And, to be fair when I got started seriously riding in the early 90s, mountain biking was a weird fringe sport. 

Maybe in addition to reducing systemic gatekeeping, being more mainstream and more accepted (I mean, legal trails are all over the place these days!) will help get people interested beyond watching Rampage? I have to admit my Indian grandparents were seemingly preoccupied with what looked proper, could be less of that these days?

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sanesh-iyer
+2 mrbrett meloroast
Sanesh Iyer  - Feb. 18, 2021, 10:57 a.m.

Hi MrBrett, and Craig also mentioned some of this.
Culture and generational experience are definitely part of it, but I think we have to be wary of using that as a scape goat. It's definitely a factor, but not the only one.. But as you said, reducing the gate keeping is huge. I think the explosion of the sport in the last year has improved diversity, and the NSMBA was prepared thanks to years of work to manage that growth.

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mrbrett
+1 Sanesh Iyer
mrbrett  - Feb. 18, 2021, 11:14 a.m.

Well said, thanks again.

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sanesh-iyer
+4 Craig Wu AJ Barlas meloroast Speeder1
Sanesh Iyer  - Feb. 18, 2021, 10:54 a.m.

Hi Craig, thanks for your thoughts. 
Absolutely, geography and community diversity plays a big role... which is why we have little excuse on The Shore! I am interest to know too, about how people got into riding. Looking forward to seeing what people have to say.

Reply

craigwu
+3 mrbrett Sanesh Iyer Speeder1
Craig Wu  - Feb. 18, 2021, 3:12 p.m.

Your point about shop groms made me realize how important that was to my life long infatuation with cycling. I worked at a bike shop when I was 16 and while I started with flat repairs and box builds, I ended up learning how to build a bike from the frame up as well as my first few sets of wheels. Those skills led to a shop job throughout college which allowed me to afford mountain bikes on a very limited budget, something that probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

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cerealkilla_
+8 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman Sanesh Iyer Cr4w AJ Barlas Skooks khai Speeder1 goose8 meloroast
jdt  - Feb. 18, 2021, 9:16 a.m.

Masters in Mechanical Engineering? Really?

You articulate the issues like a person with a PhD in Sociology. 
Great offering of ideas. Thanks!

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0 Sanesh Iyer BidenIs NotMyPresident
Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 18, 2021, 9:28 a.m.

Sanesh expresses himself very well, indeed.

Reply

sanesh-iyer
+4 Cam McRae AJ Barlas meloroast danimaniac Speeder1 BidenIs NotMyPresident
Sanesh Iyer  - Feb. 18, 2021, 10:59 a.m.

Thank you. Though these words are my own, my partner and I regularly get into conversation about all sorts of non-engineering and bike related things, and she's quite a force to keep up with.

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Biden-Stole-Election
-5 Andrew Major Morgan Heater goose8 jdt Doug M.
BidenIs NotMyPresident  - Feb. 21, 2021, 3:22 p.m.

You may have fooled these dumb white liberals, but you haven't fooled me. You're a selfish manipulative person who plays the race card to get attention. Your race card isn't valid with me and anyone else with a brain.

Also you left South Africa after apartheid ended. I suspect you and your parents don't think very highly of Africans do you?

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AndrewMajor
+2 goose8 Pete Roggeman
Andrew Major  - Feb. 21, 2021, 5:28 p.m.

BINMP, you obviously don’t know Sanesh. I’ve never met his parents but I’ll say as a parent myself that his impressive empathy, humility, and reason are all massive compliments to how he was raised and their’s is an example I hope to follow.

If you aren’t willing or interested in intelligent discussions of the demonstrate-able issues with racism and sexism in cycling generally and mountain biking specifically - even just talking about general access - then I’m sorry to say this probably is not a community for you and you should take your angsty trolling to another mountain bike community.

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morgan-heater
0 goose8 JL Robichaud
Morgan Heater  - Feb. 22, 2021, 4:38 p.m.

Seems like anonymous trolls should be banned when they don't provide any valid discussion.

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Torrr
0
Paul Mueller  - Feb. 18, 2021, 10:51 a.m.

Really? What an ignorant comment. Engineering is just as much or more a matter of proper communication rather than technical ability.

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cerealkilla_
+4 Sanesh Iyer JVP goose8 Pete Roggeman
jdt  - Feb. 19, 2021, 8:03 a.m.

You seem to have interpreted something that is not there Paul.

The comment was observing the depth of insight to societal issues (i.e. socioeconomic bases for differences in activity choices, as a start, insights to the process of change to follow). 

There was no slight to engineering whatsoever, and only a compliment to the writer.

Of course, if you set out in search of ignorance, you will never fail to find it.   :)

Reply

AndrewMajor
+12 BobS13 Dan Conant Pete Roggeman Deniz Merdano Cr4w AJ Barlas meloroast Mammal Sanesh Iyer danimaniac Metacomet goose8
Andrew Major  - Feb. 18, 2021, 9:21 a.m.

Thank you for making the time to put this together Sanesh. I’ve long enjoyed how you build your perspectives.

I do think you might over estimate the general teenaged-Grom experience because you carried yourself with a level of confidence and competence that encouraged folks to give you significant responsibilities. It would be nice if every shop had a Sanesh and every Sanesh had a shop to work in though.

Lots of gems to think about, but I wanted to highlight this as in these, interesting, times I know a lot of folks are having a struggle remembering what’s it’s all about. I know it’s off-topic somewhat from the heart of the article but all the same:

My goals in life are pretty simple, I’d like to have what I had as a teenager -- food, shelter, good friends, time and money to ride bikes, all while loving what I do every day -- stable for the rest of my life.

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sanesh-iyer
+6 meloroast Mammal Andrew Major Dan Conant Speeder1 goose8
Sanesh Iyer  - Feb. 18, 2021, 11:02 a.m.

Thank you Andrew.

I refuse to believe I'm unique. That's part of why I went on that tangent about hiring. I, and my employers, were definitely lucky with right person-place-time. But, I think as we think about the gatekeeping in our community, we can work towards every shop having a Sanesh and every Sanesh having a shop. 

I haven't read this book yet, but it's on the list.

https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/culture/a35379486/why-does-the-world-reward-mediocre-white-men/

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skooks
+1 Sanesh Iyer
Skooks  - Feb. 18, 2021, 2:23 p.m.

Thanks Sanesh.  I really appreciated hearing things from your perspective. My kid had a similar shop grom experience to you, and he (and I) will always be grateful to the shop owners and employees who let him in the door and provided a supportive environment for him to thrive. He had the advantage of having worked on our own bikes with me for years and also being very mechanically inclined. Many (most?) kids don't have that privilege. I agree that the shop grom culture is pretty unique, and one of very few experiences where young people can learn and do technically skilled work. He has ended up pursuing a future in engineering, and I can't help but think the shop experience will help him in this regard.

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NVLocal
-1 Doug M.
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 18, 2021, 5:48 p.m.

Ya seems like a totally unbiased book.

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LoamtoHome
+5 Deniz Merdano Pete Roggeman Sanesh Iyer meloroast Mammal
Jerry Willows  - Feb. 18, 2021, 9:36 a.m.

A biker who is a composite engineer not working in the industry = smart.   Great article NSMB.

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cooperquinn
+7 Deniz Merdano Pete Roggeman Cr4w Sanesh Iyer meloroast sept-huit goose8
Cooper Quinn  - Feb. 18, 2021, 10:33 a.m.

Hell yeah. More of this, please. 

Thanks for your perspective Sanesh!

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Torrr
0 Caleb Del Begio meloroast
Paul Mueller  - Feb. 18, 2021, 10:53 a.m.

K the white-male descriptor seems accurate. But where the hell is the "straight" portion of  "straight, white" coming from? Are you really getting that intimate with everyone on the shore to know what someone's sexual orientation is?

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sanesh-iyer
+1 Andrew Major goose8 Caleb Del Begio
Sanesh Iyer  - Feb. 19, 2021, 8:19 a.m.

On the privilege spectrum, sexuality is definitely something people are singled out for.

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pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 24, 2021, 3:43 p.m.

It's a fair question to ask, and someone's sexual preference is not as clear as their skin colour, for sure. I'm no expert on any of these topics, but there's at least one thing we can do to dig at least a little deeper into your question: how many pro riders (MTB, road, cross, etc) can you name that are open about identifying as anything other than heterosexual? Of course if you can't name any that doesn't mean there aren't any - not suggesting that at all - just that if statistically the number is x out of xx, in the pro ranks of all those disciplines I think I might be able to come up with 2-3 out of something like 1-2,000 pros. This is not researched, authoritative, or even close to accurate, but the point is that if pros don't yet feel comfortable coming out, it's a certainty that non-pros don't in many cases, either. Same as in most sports, sadly.

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craw
+4 Sanesh Iyer Pete Roggeman meloroast Mammal
Cr4w  - Feb. 18, 2021, 10:59 a.m.

Jim Gordon: but you're just one man?

Batman: now we're two.

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Gbergevin
+9 Pete Roggeman AJ Barlas Sanesh Iyer meloroast LWK Skooks Chad K Speeder1 Caleb Del Begio
Gbergevin  - Feb. 18, 2021, 12:09 p.m.

This is a great article; I'm glad to see representation in what has historically been a really closed, narrow sport getting air time. In typical NSMB style.. this article feels a lot more mature about it than some other big online bike media.

I'm a middle class turned upper middle class, cis-het white guy living in the US. Representation has never been an issue for me, but the grom culture piece and how shops can give real opportunities to teens really resonates. I learned skills on the shop floor at 16 that I still carry with me today, as a successful middle manager at a giant company.

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bart
+1 Sanesh Iyer meloroast BidenIs NotMyPresident
bart  - Feb. 18, 2021, 12:33 p.m.

Thank you for sharing this!

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Shoreloamer
+2 meloroast Pete Roggeman
Greg Bly  - Feb. 18, 2021, 12:34 p.m.

My last group ride was with Yoshi , Masaki , kieda ( woman rider)  Andrew from Korea . They love mountain biking so do  I. That's what we share. They all traveled to Candada to become Canadian citizen s. 

I saw or felt no racial discrimination me being the only white guy. 

Now if I mention that I commute full time by bike,  no automobile, I'm instantly judged that there is something different.  something wrong with me. 

I know all about prejudice and I'm white.  

Mountain bikers for the most part are caring , accepting people with great world model views. 

Humans are judgemental and racist out of fear and ignorance. This is a huge problem in every society. 

I don't think this issue is rampant in mountain biking communities. 

Then I remember how I was a feeble low skilled rider that was accepted by a very talented crew.  Way back then woman and ethnic minorities did not matter at all!  We took care of each other like family. I  find this family embracing ethics are shrinking. Less emphasis on low impact riding and courtesy. 

I was guilty of this. That other group the E bike crowd. Now I realize they too need to be accepted and shown how to be courtiouus to all trail users. To ride not slide . All the unwritten rules of being a good steward to the sport. 

Weird eh.?  I ride with woman and people of different colored skin.  Maybe they appreciate the sport more than middle class over 30 entitled white males?  

BTW my parents both moved to Canada. I think being Canadian is about cultural diversity.  You don't own this country. This country provides us with freedom and opportunity.

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sanesh-iyer
+4 Pete Roggeman Greg Bly Andrew Major goose8
Sanesh Iyer  - Feb. 18, 2021, 5:58 p.m.

Hey Greg, thanks for your thoughts!

You bring up a great point. Mountain biking, and the outdoors in general, are great communities. And a lot of tension comes when people aren't versed in the common courtesies (ride don't slide, right of way, etc.). But it's not because they're bad people, they just need to be welcomed in better.

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meloroast
+9 Cooper Quinn Deniz Merdano Skooks Pete Roggeman Speeder1 chachmonkey Greg Bly sept-huit goose8 Mark Karin Grubb Christopher Wallace BidenIs NotMyPresident
meloroast  - Feb. 18, 2021, 12:35 p.m.

Thanks Sanesh! Great article and a lot resonated with me.

I started MTB as a 40yo woman of colour with no trail experience whatsoever. Just wanted to take up a new sport and mtb looked like fun. Did I see myself anywhere? No. Did I feel welcomed? Yes! Did I attempt to ride BP from Lilloet to Hyannis? Of course! :|

But feeling welcomed doesn't preclude the barriers for entry for many others (cultural and/or socio-economic etc) and it also doesn't distract from inherent feelings of discomfort or "not belonging" when you don't see yourself in a community. It's hard to explain and I have no wise solutions, just many feelings.

So while I have never felt discriminated against, I haven't always felt comfortable and a few times I felt kinda "other"ed. Every interaction has had good intentions, that much I know, but the outcome has, at times, not made me feel good. I don't blame people for affecting me and others in a way they may not be aware of. Which is why dialogue is so important. It's ok to "get things wrong". Ask questions, be humble, be open. And please, just listen sometimes. Allow the words to sink in and attempt to empathize. Feelings are just feelings. They aren't right or wrong they simply exist for that person, whether you like it or not. To dispute or minimize is kind of dehumanizing.

Also it's important to understand that it is EXHAUSTING to have to explain your life experience all the time. Most of us just wanna go riding. So if someone doesn't want to engage, that's also ok.

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cooperquinn
+1 Sanesh Iyer meloroast Christopher Wallace
Cooper Quinn  - Feb. 18, 2021, 12:59 p.m.

Thanks for sharing your experience!

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sanesh-iyer
+1 meloroast
Sanesh Iyer  - Feb. 18, 2021, 6:04 p.m.

Hey! I'm glad to hear it resonated. I think we met on a Trail day this past year. Everything you just said rings so true. Thank you for sharing your story. Looking forward to seeing you on the trails!

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syncro
+1 goose8
Mark  - Feb. 23, 2021, 6:12 p.m.

The point you bring up is one that's easy to miss when people are part of the dominant or in-group. In other words, if everyone in the group is the same as you, it's rather difficult to appreciate or even notice how someone who is very different might feel about participating in that group.

If people can think about an experience where they were the minority or may have been completely different in comparison to everyone else it can help them gain some perspective. They may not necessarily have felt uneasy, but that difference is probably something they noticed right away. Now take that and place it as your daily life experience, where you're always the minority, and consider how that might affect the choices you make.

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WheelNut
+2 Sanesh Iyer meloroast
WheelNut  - Feb. 18, 2021, 1:38 p.m.

Great perspective and super thoughtful comments Saneesh. Thank you for taking to time to share your experiences, thoughts and opinions. 

Here's to hoping you bring all that composite knowledge to the bike industry one day!

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khai
+4 AJ Barlas Pete Roggeman Sanesh Iyer Speeder1 meloroast BidenIs NotMyPresident
khai  - Feb. 18, 2021, 2:26 p.m.

This was great - nice work NSMB for the platform and Sanesh for the very thoughtful and eloquent writing!

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NVLocal
-8 Caleb Del Begio Matt Lee chachmonkey meloroast Morgan Heater goose8 jdt Pete Roggeman Tim Coleman bushtrucker
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 18, 2021, 4:32 p.m.

I thought this was a mountain biking site? 

Must the cancer of wokeness infect everything?

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NVLocal
-5 Caleb Del Begio BidenIs NotMyPresident Brian Tuulos Craig Wu chachmonkey sept-huit meloroast Morgan Heater goose8 jdt bushtrucker
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 18, 2021, 5:08 p.m.

Is NSMB going to post the opinions of people who feel that racial identity does not need to be woven into every fabric of life or only opinions of those who agree?

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goose8
+2 Sanesh Iyer Pete Roggeman meloroast BidenIs NotMyPresident
goose8  - Feb. 18, 2021, 6:18 p.m.

Excellent interview! Thanks for posting this reflection. I'm excited to read the other profiles down the road, and also to see what future actions you take.

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NVLocal
-3 Caleb Del Begio Greg Bly BidenIs NotMyPresident Craig Wu sept-huit meloroast Morgan Heater jdt bushtrucker
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 18, 2021, 7:22 p.m.

I guess diversity doesn't apply to opinion eh NSMB.

Why not just have a profile on Sanesh - why include all the racial equity work?

"Many of us have noticed that mountain biking is dominated by straight, white, able-bodied males. Why do you think that is? Is it changing?"

Maybe because they are the ones interested in it? And in the case of the North Shore still the dominant population.

Why not go to Richmond and inquire why there are not more whites involved in Tai Chi or bandminton?

The double standard is the most annoying part - here is the title of a book Sanesh has on his reading list:

Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America

Promoting unity and tolerance but denigrating a certain population because of the color of their skin - is that not the definition of racism?

You won't post my comments again proving these conversations are one sided and useless.

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sanesh-iyer
+5 YDiv chachmonkey sept-huit Andrew Major meloroast Morgan Heater JL Robichaud
Sanesh Iyer  - Feb. 19, 2021, 8:14 a.m.

Hey, thanks for reading.

Fwiw, I have no animosity towards you, or anyone really. Just the kid I punched, but even then I'm angrier at myself. I also don't think all white people are bad.

Hopefully to constructively engage:

1) the book is about historic and systemic issues in the US. I think I make it pretty clear that it may not be our fault (I'm a male too, which means I benefit from biased systems) that these systems are in place but we so benefit from them. So it's on us to equalize things. I'm really not finger pointing here. As someone who grew up pretty lucky and as a male I have just have different priveleges. I have read some pretty extremist left books that I don't agree with, just because I would like to read something doesn't mean I take it as gospel. But there's probably something to learn. Right wing economics has some interesting parts, but I have little tolerance for the lack of inclusiveness in right-wing politics (not just western countries, either). So far as I can tell a large part of right wing politics is uniting against a common other. And to be clear, right wing politics isn't unique to white people or Canada or the west. In this article I'm speaking to a very very local issue. The Shore.

2) I think the point your missing is that racial identity is already woven into everything, for everyone. The point of these conversations is to unweave it. I think so economics point hits that home. If people systemically make less money, of course they're less likely to participate in expensive hobbies. The parallel I can provide is gender identity in engineering. There is still significant under representation of women in the field. The fact that it hasn't been a 50/50 split for history of humanity indicates that gender identity is already woven into the profession. This is why so many people have put work into unweaving (or to use your cancer analogy, irradiating) gender identity from the profession. It's way too convenient an explanation to say "people like that just dont like this."

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NVLocal
-4 Caleb Del Begio Craig Wu sept-huit meloroast jdt Morgan Heater
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 19, 2021, 9:40 a.m.

Sanesh thanks for writing back, I have no animosity to anyone only to a movement I see as misguided and creating tension and further division. We are so fixated on racism but by your own admission you’ve only experienced it once some time ago.

1) The book is written by a proponent of critical race theory whose ultimate goal is to defund the police and replace the government. She has a predetermined agenda and finds facts to suit her narrative. The point is that it’s a racist/sexist book condemning white men but that’s ok in today’s society. Double standard.

2) Racial identity is woven into the fabric because people such as yourself choose to – right back to critical race theory which tells us every interaction has racist undertones. As someone married to a person of color I disagree with you and have the “lived experience” to back it up.

3) “The fact that it hasn't been a 50/50 split for history of humanity indicates that gender identity is already woven into the profession.” Maybe because woman are not interested in engineering? Is there a push to have 50/50 split in female dominated trades such as nursing? Where is the demand for the 50/50 split in dangerous work such as logging and mining – men are ten times more likely to die on the job so by your thinking of equality we need to get those female work related deaths up.

4) Why is diversity not being pushed on the cricket courts of Surrey or the mah-jong tables of Chinatown? Has any non-White entity been asked or made an effort to include White people in their activities?

5) I thought this was a mountain bike site but somehow it had to become about race, gender etc - so disappointing.

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syncro
+3 sept-huit Andrew Major meloroast
Mark  - Feb. 19, 2021, 8:33 p.m.

@Christopher Wallace:

You raise a good point, but it's not a double standard as you suggest, same as for the book you name. Often these things can be related to power dynamics, and when one group perceives their societal power is threatened, they naturally react negatively. What gets lost in that however is the imbalances that exist within that power dynamic. For example, if every time you've run in a race you have a head start you've become accustomed to that being the norm. If suddenly you are now moved back to the same starting point as others that may seem unfair to you, but what's happening is that the entire field is being equalized in terms of their starting position. A similar thing is starting to happen in Western society, but in manners that seem even more unfair to the dominant social group - straight white males. I think where people have problems with this ideology is that often the systems of oppression are hidden from view for the dominant society. When you don't have to face certain barriers, you don't think they exist. Unfortunately the barriers do exist, and as a society we have a responsibility to dismantle them especially if we are in the dominant group. It may appear that comes at a cost to us, but it actually ends up being a benefit to society as a whole.

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sept-huit
+4 Mark Andrew Major meloroast Pete Roggeman
sept-huit  - Feb. 20, 2021, 9:54 a.m.

This is bang on. As the saying goes "When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression."  I'm not sure why it's so hard for some folks to recognize that there are barriers that we can't see because of our race or socio-economic status. I'm a middle-aged white guy, and although I grew up relatively poor I can still see (on reflection) that being white and male in Canada has probably given me advantages in my life and career and as a result, I'm doing alright. 

White privilege doesn't mean your life hasn't been hard, it just means that the colour of your skin isn't something that's made it harder. or something like that. :-) 

I don't feel personally threatened in acknowledging this, and feel like it's important that I and other white guys get comfortable with these conversations.

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NVLocal
-3 meloroast jdt Morgan Heater
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 20, 2021, 11:17 a.m.

"I'm not sure why it's so hard for some folks to recognize that there are barriers that we can't see because of our race or socio-economic status"

Can you tell me what those barriers are?

Money is the biggest factor in barriers - it knows no skin color.

We have students of color at University driving $400,000 cars yet the white kid whose parents can't afford to send him to community college has the privilege? No rationale thinking person can agree with this.

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syncro
+4 Sanesh Iyer meloroast goose8 sept-huit
Mark  - Feb. 20, 2021, 11:54 a.m.

Privilege exists in many forms including age, gender, race/ethnicity, orientation, identity, wealth, education, physical ability, mental health, religious affiliation and others. These factors all depend on one's location and social positioning and they all intersect. When you look at that list are all those barriers visible? No, so that also introduces the barrier of stigma. So the white kid who who can't afford to go to university can indeed hold privilege over the student of colour who has significant wealth; or he may not depending on context. 

Sometimes it can be a complex thing to figure out, but at it's base privilege is an advantage or benefit you have that other people do not. In North America the most common type of privilege extends to straight white able-bodied males. Things that one doesn't even have to consider often define one's privilege, such as when you enter a building whether it has a ramp instead of stairs or an automatic door opener, or if you see a police officer whether you have to worry about getting stopped simply due to the colour of your skin. You're right that wealth can be a barrier, but it is not necessarily the the biggest factor when it is combined with other ones. In general, race and gender tend to be the biggest barriers.

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sanesh-iyer
+4 sept-huit Mark meloroast goose8
Sanesh Iyer  - Feb. 20, 2021, 11:57 a.m.

You hit the nail on the head mark. Privilege is a complex spectrum. I think the first part of having a proper discussion is being honest where you are on it.

NVLocal
-1 Brian Tuulos meloroast Morgan Heater
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 20, 2021, 11:10 a.m.

No double standard? Ok I’m going to write a book titled: Baby Daddy – The crisis of fatherless children in Black America. An absolute problem that needs addressing but do you think as a white male I would be able to get this published? Can you imagine the backlash for even proposing this book? The rest of your reply is text book race theory.

“and when one group perceives their societal power is threatened”

Standard response when someone disagrees with the movement – a strategy to paint them as disgruntled with their life and lashing out at POC.

“but what's happening is that the entire field is being equalized in terms of their starting position.”

We already had that it was called equality – what your movement is striving for is equity of outcome two very different things. Barriers only exist in people’s minds – way too many successful POC to say otherwise.

What you are proposing is a Utopian world where everyone is equal regardless of ability, intelligence etc. I wanted to be a professional skate boarder, it was my life and all I did. Practice, practice, practice. But guess what? I wasn’t good enough because I just didn’t have the natural ability, that’s the way life goes and we can’t engineer an outcome if it’s not possible.

You present these theories as if they are fact. They are not.

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syncro
+2 sept-huit Pete Roggeman
Mark  - Feb. 20, 2021, 12:27 p.m.

Race theory is a social construct, meaning that it was developed socially. The concept of race was developed as a means to subjugate other people and place whites as the superior people/race. Racism serves to devalue and dehumanize others, typically people of colour, in relation to whites. It is well known that is no biological concept of white or black race  in humans, but the  concept of race theory is one that has existed for hundreds of years. 

RE the book, it may very well be ok depending on the context. While it's true that there is a  higher  proportion of fatherless black children in the US, the important question is what causes that? Depending on how you answer that question determines how your book will be received.  I I think that's why these concepts seem so foreign for you, is that you don't see the context because you're not asking enough questions and are taking things at face value. In my other response I talked about some of the different barriers that exist, and they are real and not just in someone's mind. You present an unsubstantiated example of "way too many successful POC" as to why barriers are simply in one's mind, but that ignores the context of why some people succeed and others don't. This dynamic is not just limited to the BIPOC community, but extends to all people. The failure in this thinking is assuming that all people have the same opportunities, and unfortunately they do not. 

Re equality, you would be incorrect to assume that it already exists. Examples of this exist abound in public institutions such as schools and health care. My "movement", whatever you may think that is, does not strive for equality of outcome, it strives for equality of opportunity that allows individuals to achieve their personal potential. So yes that means that some people may get extra resources or consideration, not to give them the opportunity to reach your maximum potential but to reach theirs. This can include things like accessibility options for the differently abled or extra educational resources for those with mental challenges. Equity does not have to extend to all factors of life, but it should extend to the basic needs of life. There is no proposal for a utopian world of equality. The theories are well supported in research,  readily identifiable and exist across a number of fields including sociology, psychology and social work. It's all observable human behaviour. 

Much of your arguments are against a position that doesn't actually exist which is why you may disagree with what I'm saying.

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NVLocal
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Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 20, 2021, 2:44 p.m.

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NVLocal
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Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 20, 2021, 2:53 p.m.

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NVLocal
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Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 20, 2021, 2:53 p.m.

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NVLocal
0 Brian Tuulos Morgan Heater
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 20, 2021, 2:57 p.m.

"The concept of race was developed as a means to subjugate other people and place whites as the superior people/race"  

This is 100% opinion and academic theory no factual evidence to support this. In fact evidence shows the opposite. India is continually rated as the most racist country in the world - White Supremacy? Of the top 25 most racist countries in the world only Russia would be considered a White Nation.

"concept of race theory is one that has existed for hundreds of years."

That's just incorrect:

"The CRT movement officially organized itself in 1989, at the first annual Workshop on Critical Race Theory, though its intellectual origins go back much further, to the 1960s and ’70s."

“the important question is what causes that? Depending on how you answer that question determines how your book will be received.”

Exactly – if I find a way to blame White society it will be welcomed but if lays the responsibility on the Black population it will be labeled racist etc. Double standard.

"So the white kid who who can't afford to go to university can indeed hold privilege over the student of colour who has significant wealth"

My friend is a teacher who finished school with $100, 000 in debt. Please explain his leg up to the wealthy minority student who has no debt and money as his disposal?

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syncro
+2 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman
Mark  - Feb. 20, 2021, 4:03 p.m.

Sorry but your wrong on this. It's well documented and goes back to before European colonization of other nations/regions. How do you not know what white supremacy is or how it has been practiced in Africa, Asia and the Americas? To be clear I said the concept of race theory goes back hundreds of years, not the actual theory itself. You can be considered correct in that critical race theory as a formal concept is not that old, however the practices that constitute it have been in practice for centuries. Settler/Colonial Governments have long used policy and legislation to oppress Indigenous people around the world and it continues to this day. The important thing to recognize is not the named concept of racism, but the practices that form it. Just because you don't see it does not mean it's not happening. In Canada a clear example of this is Jordan's Principle, and despite legislation designed to correct this the inequities in child welfare and medical care for Indigenous children continues. 

As I stated in my previous reply, privilege is complex and contextual and it is not only about money. As a simple example accounts of anti-Asian racism are up considerably in the US and Canada since the pandemic. This is on top of the anit-Asian racism that existed before. As a white person, your friend doesn't have to face this. That is a privilege that exists because he is white. 

Your view of the issue is far too narrow and you are only considering it from a defensive position. You need to look at this with a much broader lens and consider the impact from the point of view of people who do deal with various levels of racism, including structural/systemic and interpersonal.

NVLocal
0 Brian Tuulos Morgan Heater
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 20, 2021, 2:58 p.m.

“because you're not asking enough questions”

But I am and it’s always the same response – everyone reading from the same playbook with no room for critical independent thought – just like religion.

“but that ignores the context of why some people succeed and others don't. This dynamic is not just limited to the BIPOC community, but extends to all people. The failure in this thinking is assuming that all people have the same opportunities, and unfortunately they do not.”

Agreed. But this is a hard fact of life. I wanted to be pro skater – wasn’t good enough. Hard fact.

“My "movement", whatever you may think that is, does not strive for equality of outcome, it strives for equality of opportunity

Again I agree 100%. Everyone should have the same opportunity as everyone else and from that point your abilities and work ethic should dictate your success. But much of the push is for equity not equality.

“The term "equity" has appeared in nearly every executive order, policy proposal and speech given by the president and his top officials since his inauguration.”

A perfect example of equity over merit is California’s new diversity law.

“Starting next year, public companies headquartered in California will be legally required to diversify their boards racially, ethnically and in terms of sexual and gender identity.

“The law, which was signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday, requires companies to have at least one board member from an underrepresented community by the end of 2021 and at least two or three -- depending on the board's size -- by the end of 2022.”

“Equity does not have to extend to all factors of life, but it should extend to the basic needs of life.”

Third time agree but time will show us that’s not how it’s going to play out.

Deleted comments was me trying to get order right.

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syncro
0
Mark  - Feb. 20, 2021, 4:23 p.m.

I haven't seen you ask the right questions here. Equating your lack of ability in being able to make it as a pro skateboarder is a very different thing from BIPOC peoples receiving lower levels of health care or being targeted by the police simply due to their skin tone. Equity is a step towards creating equality in many areas, it is a means to ensure that capable people are given opportunities that normally don't have access to due to their lack of prvilege, ie non-white and non-male. To go back to your example earlier, if there are so many successful BIPOC people and women, then why are they so underrepresented in the board room? 

Start asking yourself much deeper questions and you'll find the answers you're looking for. Don't stop at the observation of a thing, dig into what causes that thing. You're fighting to maintain the status quo, something that is flawed.

Since the enlightenment period a notable feature of Western culture has been to go an area, oppress the people and extract the resources for financial gain and power.

NVLocal
-1 BidenIs NotMyPresident Doug M. Morgan Heater
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 20, 2021, 5:52 p.m.

Written by someone well versed in the religion of diversity and racism. The avoidance of facts is the most frustrating part. 

Example - carding in Toronto has been deemed racist because it disproportionately targets Black males. But the Black male population of Toronto is roughly 4% yet they make up 60% of it's most wanted list. Simple cause and effect.

My guess is your long on academia and short on life experience. Check out Thomas Sowell to see what he has to say about your theories. 

Enjoy your crusade.

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syncro
+4 BidenIs NotMyPresident meloroast Pete Roggeman sept-huit
Mark  - Feb. 20, 2021, 6:45 p.m.

Ha! I haven't avoided fact, I've actually supplied more than you. I am familiar with Sowell and if you're a fan of his that explains your thinking as he also has significant gaps in his ideologies. He pays a lot of attention to surface details and facts that are correct, but he ignores the much broader picture of sociological factors that affect success in adult life. He is brilliant in some ways, and blind in others. This is succinctly demonstrated in your carding analogy. It is not the simple cause and effect you seem to believe.

I keep suggesting you ask deeper questions and this is the perfect opportunity to do so. So here's the first major flaw in your example; if someone is on the most wanted list the police already have their identification so there is no need for random carding of people of colour - they can simply be arrested. And don't kid yourself, carding plays to the stereotype of BIPOC criminality.

The second major flaw is that of the 33 people currently on the Toronto PD's most wanted list, 12 are black/African and the rest are a mix of Arabic, Latino, white and Asian. So the  number is roughly half of your claimed 60%. If you're seeing most of those Arabic and Latino people as black that explains your numerical error and it also goes a fair way to explaining your limited view on the topic of race. 

Then you need to start considering the array of causes that might explain why someone might end up on that list. It is not a simple matter of choice as you would seem to believe. (The same argument holds true when examining addiction - it's not a choice to be an addict.) Poverty is a significant factor, but others I mentioned at the beginning of this include peer groups, family systems, social supports or lack thereof, etc. Further, the intersectionality of these factors cannot be ignored. To ignore these factors, as Sowell often does, is poor logic and it results in a weak argument. This isn't voodoo or witchcraft, but a careful investigation of all causal factors, not only the most visiblr ones.

And FWIW I am longer on life experience than academia. I just happen to be a curious individual who likes to question things and find truth. This isn't a crusade, but a realization that there is a significant imbalance in our societal hierarchy that needs to be corrected.

cdel
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Caleb Del Begio  - Feb. 21, 2021, 8:23 p.m.

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syncro
+2 Sanesh Iyer Pete Roggeman
Mark  - Feb. 21, 2021, 9:10 p.m.

I agree that there are problems with some people over radicalizing CT, but it's important to not let the more extreme views making noise in today's media take away from progressive ideologies. For example we can see measurable causal factors in examining the legal system. These factors include things like the disproportionate arrest, conviction and sentencing rates between BIPOC and white people for the same crimes. Another factor that exists is the disparity in funding across child health and welfare that I mentioned earlier. Both of these factors are examples of systemic or structural racism. When we start to dig into some of the current academic views you'll find that there has been some movement away from CT and that thinking has evolved noticeably over the past 50 years. As the thinking and research evolves it's becoming more clear how racialized and oppressed people are affected by society and the structures within it. The take away is that there are multiple factors to consider and because of that there is not going to be a nice easy answer to the questions of how and what drives racism, oppression and inequality in our society. Looking for simple answers will draw flawed conclusions.

NVLocal
-3 Caleb Del Begio BidenIs NotMyPresident Matt Lee Craig Wu meloroast Doug M. Morgan Heater
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 18, 2021, 8:20 p.m.

"importantly, have a conversation about it."

LOL

Hypocrisy at it's finest.

More than anything I'm mad that NSMB won't be a part of my life anymore, I've been an almost daily visitor and even more during these crazy time. I always looked forward to the articles and especially the pictures - it was a nice escape from the madness enveloping our lives.

But here we are, the madness has now found your site and my daily escape has turned into another lecture of my privilege and how white people are bad and some how infringing on POC outside. The irony of all this woke push is that it's creating divisions and animosity were none had exited previously - and now your actively promoting it.

Get woke go broke - enjoy.

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pete@nsmb.com
+3 goose8 Andrew Major sept-huit
Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 24, 2021, 7:36 p.m.

I'd be sorry if you didn't come back, Chris. I don't agree with your perspectives, but I appreciate the fact that you engaged in a civil disagreement with Mark and others. These are hard and important conversations, and a huge obstacle to any kind of understanding happens when people can't discuss their differences. Whether actual progress was made between your understanding of Mark's perspective and vice versa is almost secondary to the fact that you both treated it like a conversation instead of a shouting match. We're not seeking division, simply fresh perspectives.

Contrary to your thinking that this was 'another lecture of your privilege and how white people are bad', the intention here is simply to present a perspective you/we may not get to hear enough - in this case from the perspective of a long-time member of the riding community here on the north shore. If it came off as a lecture, that's on us - and I'll start by acknowledging that the title of the piece, which I chose, may have been a bit confrontational from the start, despite being accurate in its intentions.

Something I see all too often in these discussions is a feeling from the perspective of white men (and women, sometimes) that the mere existence of an article like this is an attack on them that is taken personally, or that the goal is to make all mountain bikers out to be racist. Not the point of this article at all. Nor is the point that just because you don't think there's racism in the ranks of MTB, that it doesn't exist. Especially as white males, you and I are not in a position to make that proclamation, just like the opinion of one BIPOC person isn't equipped to judge on behalf of others. That IS a big part of the point and that IS why 'shut up and listen' is good advice. Of course there will always be a chance to reply/rebut/ask questions, but understanding and reconciliation starts with listening. From there we can open our minds and learn.

I can't think Sanesh enough for putting himself out there and doing such an even-handed and well-expressed job with this subject, and I am happy to say we'll be hearing more from him in future, because he has a wealth of experience and knowledge when it comes to the technical side of the sport.

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NVLocal
-2 Morgan Heater sept-huit
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 25, 2021, 10:14 a.m.

Why not just have a profile on Sanesh? Why turn it into a social sciences interview? Do you understand Critical Race Theory and how it is the backbone of what Sanesh and Mark are pushing? Again why is this needed in a mountain bike site? Why can’t we just all enjoy our common thread of mountain biking? We now feel the need to divide everybody into groups over race, gender ability etc – sure sounds like segregation to me. Doesn't mean we can't do better but is this really progress?

Shut up and listen is terrible advice, people don’t respond well to being told to shut up and leads to a one sided conversation – aren’t we supposed to be learning from each other?

“Something I see all too often in these discussions is a feeling from the perspective of white men (and women, sometimes) that the mere existence of an article like this is an attack on them that is taken personally”

That’s your assumption, maybe people such as myself don’t agree segregating everyone into groups and would rather celebrate our common interests.

Finally Mark and Sanesh tell us racism is present in every interaction in life – they want us to believe that racism is an everyday occurrence for people of color (straight out of CRT). I am married to a person of color. In a twenty year relationship she has experienced one racist comment under someone’s breath in a small interior town. Sanesh tells us he has experienced racism once in his life a long time ago so where is the ever present spectre of racism? Oh right I can’t see it because of my privilege – well my wife doesn’t have this privilege and she can’t see it either.

And ya I won’t be visiting much anymore – don’t need to be annoyed with a site that is supposed to bring me a break from the daily stress. So disappointing.

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NVLocal
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Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 25, 2021, 11:07 a.m.

Want more craziness - POC don't have to be responsible for their actions at the Capitol riot it was again White people's fault.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/01/15/understand-trumps-support-we-must-think-terms-multiracial-whiteness/

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sanesh-iyer
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Sanesh Iyer  - Feb. 25, 2021, 11:09 a.m.

Just to be clear I never said I only experienced it once a long time ago. I said I only experienced it once a long time ago. Please don't generalize my statements, I worked hard to keep them specific to the topic at hand, which is my experience relative to the north shore mountain bike community and the outdoors community at large. If you had asked my about some other communities I was unfortunately a part of... It would be far more scathing. 

Christopher, you're saying a lot of things that I don't think are wrong. I agree with Pete, I appreciate that you and Mark have had such a good discussion.

And this is the core point of disagreement: I'm not convinced that racism/sexism/etc (bias) is at the root of "every" interaction - you put those words in my mouth - but I'm also sure it's present in many. Unfortunately, what that means is we (yes, we, me included, that word is also specifically used throughout), need to reflect on all our actions. We need to be open to the conclusion that all our actions have bias. And it's very unlikely that none of our actions have bias. I do know for sure that it's not a binary all or nothing as you suggest.

I think you're also simplifying discrimination... it's not just comments people make to your face. Far from it. Again, pay gaps. 

If we accept that bias exists at all, then those divisions exist. And I think your binary presentation (CRT or not) covers up the divisions that exist already. I'm certainly not trying to create divisions where there are none. But we really need to expose the ones that are there.

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NVLocal
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Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 25, 2021, 11:37 a.m.

Many people have bias because of "lived experience" or does that not fit in this context? When I order Chinese food my bias it towards having a Chinese person cook it - so what? The Persian community has a bias to working with in it's own so do the Chinese, Koreans, Punjabi's etc are they going to be asked to look into their bias? I appreciate that you include yourself in the examination of bias but to often it's a one way street telling White people to explore theirs.

"pay gaps"

This has been proven to be because men work more hours on average not because woman get paid less as you want to believe.

You neglected to answer this question of equality.

Men are ten times more likely to die on the job so by your thinking of equality we need to get those female work related deaths up.

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syncro
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Mark  - Feb. 26, 2021, 7:04 p.m.

I'm not going to speak for Sanesh, but I didn't say that racism is present in every interaction in life. Recognizing that's one's positionality (and privilege) affect how one interacts with the world is not the same as saying there's racism in every interaction. Bias does not necessarily equal racism. Based on your comments I'd encourage you to challenge yourself on what your definition of racism is; racism is not only about overt actions such as a racist comment towards your partner. Racism can be overt and subvert, it can be interpersonal, institutional or systemic - it happens in many forms.

I gave you a couple of examples of where racism exists in our society - I guess you didn't investigate those? For another example consider the recent events in Montreal where a dying Indigenous woman experience overt racism. Again, just because you don't see racism or oppression happening in your lived experience it doesn't mean that it isn't happening. I know that can be a hard thing to accept, especially when we are living in a fairly diverse society.

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NVLocal
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Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 27, 2021, 9:33 a.m.

"Racism can be overt and subvert, it can be interpersonal, institutional or systemic - it happens in many forms."

The ever present boogey man of racism that only trained individuals such as yourself can see.

Racism exists in all races but not on a systemic level like you want to believe.

You and your team are very selective in what you choose to respond too.

No comment on the woke movement attacking the immigrant person of color? Here's her "lived experience":

" Azar applied her comparative understanding of Lebanon and Canada to argue that, in relative terms, her adopted home isn’t racist at all, but is rather “a young country” that “wants to save the world.”

Are you denying her lived experience and her opinion of Canada as not a racist country?

Does this sound like a country trying to uphold White Supremacy?

"The federal government is creating a new national program to help Black Canadians get business loans with national banks. The total value of the program was pegged at $221 million over four years, with $93 million of that coming from the federal government and the rest from Canadian financial institutions."

How about Robyn Deangelo's racist teachings at Coke?

People's eyes are opening prepare for more push back.

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syncro
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Mark  - March 2, 2021, 12:59 a.m.

You don't have to be a "trained individual" to see it, you just need to be willing to look for it. Your position is denial, so of course you're not going to see it - which is strange considering I laid out some concrete examples earlier.

Yes, racism exists in all races, and it does exist on a systemic level. Again I gave you some concrete examples of that earlier.

It's always possible to find contradicting opinions/examples, but that doesn't prove a point or case. To do that one needs to look at what's referred to the body of evidence - essentially all of it - and then determine what it is collectively saying. Cherry picking data or using samples of one does not build a case, it simply points out that not everybody shares the same experience. What you can't do is use experiences from a minority of people to say that the experiences of the majority of people are false.

NVLocal
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Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 27, 2021, 10:26 a.m.

I am aware of the disgusting racist behavior of the nurses in Quebec towards the native woman. But that was their own behavior - not a systemic issue no orders given from above.

They should be dealt with to the fullest extent.

Health Canada appointed a committee to look into racism in health care - first thing they did was hire two critical race theorists. Seeing how CRT followers already have a predetermined view of how the world operates how were they suppose to come up unbiased findings?

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syncro
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Mark  - March 2, 2021, 1:09 a.m.

Systemic is not simply about "orders given from above" Systemic racism includes oppressive regulations, policies and legislation, and it also include systems that while not racist themselves allow racism to exist and perpetuate. So in the nursing example, while the individual nurses themselves were responsible for the direct interpersonal racism it's also systemic as the institutions (structure/system) of the education system, hospital and nursing organization are not implementing measures to ensure that the racist behaviour does not happen. It's the same thing in policing. So while it's good that governmental organizations are taking some steps to try and remove racism from their systems, they are still allowing other factors to remain that perpetuates systemic racism.

NVLocal
-1 Morgan Heater
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 25, 2021, 10:36 a.m.

Here's where we are headed - the movement attacking people of color because they don't conform. 

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/jonathan-kay-a-white-mob-comes-after-an-arab-canadian-professor-in-the-name-of-anti-racism

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NVLocal
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Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 25, 2021, 11:10 a.m.

Morgan Heater down voted this - so you support the suppression of immigrant woman of color?

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syncro
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Mark  - March 2, 2021, 1:50 a.m.

Azar makes the critical mistake of arguing that because a situation is worse in one case, then the lesser case does not exist. In terms of New Brunswick, she is categorically wrong in trying to claim that systemic racism does not exist. Her comments belie an ignorance of the history of racism in the Maritimes, especially that of Africville in Nova Scotia.  Her other claims of Canada being not racist further shows a clear ignorance of the history of racism in this country. For an academic to make these mistakes is disappointing, but unfortunately is not completely unsurprising. Canada in general makes the same mistake of the denial of racism, especially in respect to black people, as it is so easy to point to our neighbours to the south and their history with slavery. While the story of the Underground Railroad is true and important, parading that as some example of Canada being the slavery justice fighter is rather obtuse considering we have our own history of slavery - including in New Brunswick.

I must note too that I've observed this particular author has having a history of misrepresentation even though he makes notice of issues such as racism and intersectionality yet he glosses over these things to misrepresent what's happening in his stories. So while I may not agree with some of the "mob comments" the author talks about, to present that as the mainstream of progressive ideology is a gross misrepresentation of what's going on. The article also fails miserably in addressing the mistakes by Azar.

Instead of spending time looking for the small amount of info that supports the idea of there being little to no racism in Canada it might be worth spending some time to look at the significant amount of information that does speak to the issue. For example,if you don't know anything about the history of black people in the Maritimes then here are a few articles to check out, one on New Brunswick and one on Africville. 

https://humanrights.ca/story/the-story-of-africville

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/new-brunswick-history-slavery-1.4544260

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NVLocal
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Christopher Wallace  - March 2, 2021, 8:31 a.m.

Love it - her lived experience doesn't count because she doesn't support the victim narrative.

While Africville was wrong it was also 50 plus years ago - many attempts at amends have been made.

Don't forget one of the largest slave holders in Canada was native.......so you know White Supremacy.

"to present that as the mainstream of progressive ideology is a gross misrepresentation of what's going on."

Nope seems pretty accurate - if you don't agree with the woke folk they come from you job etc. Exactly what happened to Azar - so much tolerance and understanding. 

I'm reading Cynical Theories at the moment - Theory would be proud of your responses you've been trained well. 

Still no comment on Deangelo's 100% racist teachings at Coke?

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syncro
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Mark  - March 2, 2021, 12:40 p.m.

I didn't say her lived experience doesn't count, I said she's not taking account of other evidence that exists (which is not a victim narrative btw). There's a huge difference between what I said and what you are claiming.

Key word in your comment on Africville was attempt - the effects are still ongoing. Besides that, how does Christopher Wallace determine what is an appropriate length of time to heal from racism? And more importantly, why do you get to decide for someone else when they should heal from racism?

While a slave holder may have been non-white, that does that exclude or excuse the majority white slave holders. You're using false logic again, something similar to denying the antecedent.

Call it accurate if you want but you would be wrong. As with the article and many other your other arguments your sample size is not big enough to support your position. Azar was right to be criticized on the basis that the fundamentals of her argument were wrong.

I haven't been "trained" - I've looked at the body of evidence and drawn a conclusion.

Re the presentation for Coke, there are problems there for sure. The presentation s the work of Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, which is no stranger to controversy. While some of her writings are based in sound reasoning, her presentation of these ideas has flaws. So again, this is a situation where you should not discredit an entire line of thinking because one author gets it wrong. That would be akin to saying that because Jim Benning is doing a poord job as GM of the Canucks then hockey is a bad sport that should be ignored. Here's a critique of DiAngelo's work, and you should note where it's coming from - someone inside the field of social work.

You bring up some valid concerns, but the problem is how you use these in your argument to dismiss the message of anti-racism. An analogy to what you're doing is making the argument that because a certain car model is bad, then all cars from that manufacturer are bad. It's faulty logic.

https://www.dal.ca/news/2020/09/01/robin-diangelo-s--white-fragility--ignores-the-differences-withi.html

NVLocal
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Christopher Wallace  - March 2, 2021, 9:16 a.m.

Lawsuits in the States are starting because CRT and it's off shoots are racist and against the civil rights act.

Critical Theory run amok - if you stand against racism than you stand against this:

https://christopherrufo.com/woke-elementary/

https://christopherrufo.com/radicals-in-the-classroom/

https://christopherrufo.com/gone-crazy/

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syncro
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Mark  - March 3, 2021, 4:42 p.m.

What is your complaint with all of this? That you don't like people who have been marginalized getting some help up? That you feel your rights and freedoms are somehow being eroded because society is trying to lift oppressed groups up?  Please explain and show me all the hardship you're having to because some people are arguing for better treatment for marginalized members of society.

NVLocal
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Christopher Wallace  - March 3, 2021, 9:36 a.m.

My logic is just fine. Maybe it’s your own that’s at fault.

“Besides that, how does Christopher Wallace determine what is an appropriate length of time to heal from racism? “

With today’s victim mindset we need to keep it going forever. And yes I do mean victim – the Irish and Italians faced massive oppression in North America when first arriving didn’t stop them from succeeding.

I played lacrosse for the North Shore Indians – my nickname might as well have been “fucking white boy” with an intimidating tone. Didn’t stop me from playing, I don’t cry into my pillow at night because the Indians were racist to me. Had a Chinese friend who I would join with his family for dinner at one of the very Chinese restaurants in East Van. He use to tell me that other people were making comments about me and laughing. Didn’t stop me from going back because there only words and I’m not a pussy. So many of the people today are wounded just by someone who has a different opinion. Get over the words and move on with your life.

“While a slave holder may have been non-white, that does that exclude or excuse the majority white slave holders”

Of course not but it lays waist to the White Supremacy nonsense – let’s not forget the Natives enslaved each other and sold those slaves to the Conquistadors. Also more White European slaves were taken to North Africa than ever came to America – where’s their calls for reparations?

“Azar was right to be criticized on the basis that the fundamentals of her argument were wrong.”

Again that is your opinion clearly plenty of people don’t agree – why do you always assume your position is the correct one?

You stand on you moral high horse and assume you are correct just like religious types. You have a predetermined view of the world dictated to you by suspect academic theories and look for examples to match that view – confirmation bias.

I have never once argued against equal opportunity but stand firm against the racist anti-white rhetoric and double standard contained in so much of the movement. Would it be in any way conceivable to give a presentation titled Be Less Black?

There’s so many holes in your position it’s hard to catch them all – Sanesh went on about equal opportunity yet continues to ignore this fact and question.

“Men are ten times more likely to die on the job so by your thinking of equality we need to get those female work related deaths up.”

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NVLocal
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Christopher Wallace  - March 3, 2021, 9:37 a.m.

Anyway I take solace in the fact that the CRT nonsense is now being challenged in court and this divisive world view built of the backs of French cynics will eventually fade into history.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/jan/10/las-vegas-charter-school-sued-critical-race-theory/ 

“in the rush to construct intersectional hierarchies that position people of colour as oppressed victims of entrenched white superiority, the experiences of wealthy, highly educated, well-connected black people are overlooked. And rather than promoting solidarity between working-class people of all skin colours, poor white people must be taught to recognize their privileges.” 

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/11/27/critical-race-theory-a-ruling-class-ideology/ 

“Since Critical Race Theory exists specifically to agitate for and enable radical racial identity politics, it is therefore against free societies and how they are organized. (In this way, it is very different than the Civil Rights Movement it incorrectly claims to continue.)”

https://newdiscourses.com/2020/06/reasons-critical-race-theory-terrible-dealing-racism/

The pendulum swings back hopefully it won’t wipe out the positive work done.

syncro
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Mark  - March 3, 2021, 4:35 p.m.

Re my question to you - you didn't answer it. You made the suggestion that as Africville was a long time ago people need to forget about it by replying that "many attempts at amends have been made" but offered no supporting examples. You tried to justify your position with a claim about victim mindset and reference to discrimination against Irish and Italians and erroneously try to equate that to racial discrimination and black people. While Irish and Italians may have been discriminated against, you're drawing a false equivalency by trying to suggest it was on par with the racist discrimination that black people faced. You're also doing the same thing with your personal anecdote about lacrosse. 

The position on Azar is that she made an invalid assumption based on incomplete information. Her statements are clear and the evidence that her statements are wrong is also clear. Her statements demonstrate that her knowledge has significant gaps when it comes to Canadian history. That's not opinion or moral high ground, that's just fact. I provided you evidence to contradict her statements but you've chosen to ignore it - that's the faulty logic on your part. I can appreciate that with the environment Azar came from that Canada looks way better, but that doesn't support her argument that the problems of racism don't exist here. She's completely misread the situation based on the article you provided. 

Re your men are more likely to die analogy, that's a complete straw man argument. If you're not clear on my "thinking of equality" maybe you should just ask me instead.

NVLocal
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Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 26, 2021, 11:47 a.m.

Critical race theory in the workplace - again does this sound like progress?

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/366132 

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 24, 2021, 7:37 p.m.

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Wapti
+2 Pete Roggeman sept-huit meloroast BidenIs NotMyPresident
Wapti  - Feb. 18, 2021, 9:35 p.m.

Hell yeah, brother.

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Timmigrant
+3 Sanesh Iyer sept-huit meloroast Pete Roggeman BidenIs NotMyPresident
Tim Coleman  - Feb. 18, 2021, 11:14 p.m.

And great article Sanesh. Eloquently written, and I enjoyed reading your perspective. I hope to see more of your writing here in the future!

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blazindayz
-4 Christopher Wallace BidenIs NotMyPresident chachmonkey sept-huit meloroast Morgan Heater Doug M. Pete Roggeman
JL Robichaud  - Feb. 19, 2021, 5:50 a.m.

If a poc feel like they don't have enough brethren within the sport, the only person they should be pointing the finger at is looking at them in the mirror.

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Biden-Stole-Election
-7 Christopher Wallace chachmonkey Andrew Major meloroast Couch_Surfer sept-huit Morgan Heater jdt Doug M.
BidenIs NotMyPresident  - Feb. 19, 2021, 10:27 a.m.

Look people. This guy is clearly manipulating you. All he has to do is call you "Racist" and you all fold like tissue paper. Seriously! How much ridiculously can this be? Mountain Biking is racist? Are you all that stupid?

I'll prove it to you. For example, did you know the 3rd world lacks access to clean drinking water? Well you white people have access to clean drinking water. Thus, "systematic racism." See how easy that is?

In fact I can go on. For white people to be a "Good Ally", you must stop drinking clean drinking water. From now on, please drink from the toilet. That would show how progressive and woke you are. If you don't you are a "Racist".

You white liberals have no backbone, and you all have rocks for brains.

One last thing. You might want to ask Sanesh, why he and his family left South Africa after the end of apartheid. Especially you dumb white liberals. You might want to look it up.

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syncro
+5 Andrew Major sept-huit Sanesh Iyer goose8 Pete Roggeman
Mark  - Feb. 21, 2021, 3:49 p.m.

You're misinterpreting the meaning behind being an ally. It's not necessarily about distancing oneself from something you have, but working to create access for people that don't. So in your water example, being a good ally could be as simple as writing a letter to your MLA or MP to support facilities that bring clean water to affected communities to going as far to donating to or working campaigns that aim to bring clean water to affected communities. Instead of looking at this from a perspective of you losing a benefit, look at it from a perspective of bringing a benefit to someone that doesn't have it.

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andrewfif
+1 Caleb Del Begio Sanesh Iyer BidenIs NotMyPresident
Andrew  - Feb. 19, 2021, 10:40 a.m.

Cool article Sanesh. I think you captured a lot of important points in the this piece. One thing I’d like to hear more about is the active inclusivity and its relation to your important discussion of qualifications. I don’t go about promoting biking to everyone I know because while I love it and encourage anyone to try it and I’m all about making it cheaper and more accessible culturally, I don’t think everyone should mtb. I will not go out of my way to find underprivileged people at this point in my life and try to bring them to riding. The idea that we love something and it’s brought joy to our lives doesn’t mean it will to everyone. I know you know that, but the logical fallacy that not actively seeking to ‘fix racism or inclusivity’ is racist is rampant and suggested in your article. The main issue with it is that in this scenario you define the terms of equality or the ideal operating society. Which is the same power that others may feel they have. Thumbs are tired, but my point is great article and I am worried that people often get caught in savior syndrome when while there certainly are socioeconomic, cultural, and historical factors at play, often it’s a statistical problem. More women ride bikes now. And more will in the near future. I have exactly one black friend that rides locally to me. But statistically he’s possibly over- representing the population where I live. But his kids, his family, his black friends all add to the riding pop as time goes on. Mtb is such a young sport. I think that we should totally market (it’s a business) to those groups less often seen if you’re trying to make money and share the love. But mtb is just a fun sport. Over time I think it will naturally become diverse. But it would be an absolute shame in my mind that someone would get more opportunity because of the color of your skin regardless of what your pigment is. Sometimes I think that it may be more important for humans to focus on feeding ourselves and providing shelter and love than getting them into an elite sport. Of course not mutually exclusive, but priorities. Thanks for your thoughts and good writing.

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syncro
+2 Andrew Sanesh Iyer Pete Roggeman BidenIs NotMyPresident
Mark  - Feb. 19, 2021, 8:05 p.m.

Hey Sanesh I like what you've shared and that you stated you feel there are multiple layers to why mtb'ing seems to be pursued by primarily white males. Two other factors that are important to put forward are cultural norms and peer group influences. These two, along with the other factors you mention, all intersect in various ways. So in some situations economic factors may be a big determinant as you suggest and in others it could primarily be peer group influences. All of this is influenced by the relative obscurity of mtb'ing - especially shore type riding - when it comes to participation by the general public. That means you have a large portion of the population who has low to no exposure to mtb'ing which could significantly affect participation numbers.

If we consider demographics in the Lower Mainland then it's easy to say that the BIPOC community is underrepresented in mtb'ing. However, I think it would be a mistake to assume that points to some sort of racialized prejudice as there are significant influencing factors such as the culture and peer group influences mentioned above. Speaking from my own experience, there have been times when my riding group was over represented by the BIPOC community in relation to local demographics. If I was to put money on it, I would list peer group influences as one of the most significant factors that affects mtb'ing participation, particularly as it is still a relatively fringe sport in terms of participation and awareness across the general public. The one place where the mtb community can do better to help boost participation from people outside the current dominant group of white, cis, straight able-bodied males is via advertising that over-represents those groups. Seeing one's own identity reflected in a particular activity helps to overcome the barrier of perceived exclusion. This is something MEC did a few years back and received some flack for it but that may have been due to the way they brought the message of change forward.

I think that overall society is moving in the right direction when it comes to issues of inclusion, but there is still a ways to go. Something that is definitely positive is when these sorts of discussions come up there seems to be far fewer objections than there would have been 20 years ago. The Metro Vancouver area may not be the best barometer of change as it is very diverse compared to other regions, but living here and comparing societal diversity values with people from other areas gives me hope that a sea change is coming. In general society is becoming more aware of and educated about the issues of inclusion and the discussion of such issues is only going to help push things forward.

Edit: One thing I wanted to ad is that the thread title is not conducive with the aim of the article. We should be trying to call people in instead of calling them out if the goal is to connect with the people who would benefit the most from this discussion.

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sept-huit
+1 Sanesh Iyer Pete Roggeman BidenIs NotMyPresident
sept-huit  - Feb. 20, 2021, 9:37 a.m.

Great article! This discussion is important and long overdue, so it's great to see this happening. More articles like this please!

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sanesh-iyer
+3 goose8 Pete Roggeman sept-huit
Sanesh Iyer  - Feb. 22, 2021, 9:19 p.m.

One thing that was brought up a few times in the comments that I feel the need to reflect on is the effect of peer groups, statistical representation, and the purpose of the discussion at hand. For one, I agree, clearly peer groups and statistics have an effect. But the generalization that it's not "culturally" part of people's life. I just don't see it as a cut and dry cultural "choice" until we can look at ourselves and say "yes there's absolutely no systemic socioeconomic barriers." The pay gap is a huge one. Historically trail difficulty was as well (and since the NSMBA changed that it has been a lot better!). And representation, and all the other things doscussed. 

I think the real reflection we all have is not necessarily to drill in to mountain biking, but into other aspects of our lives as well. We are all privileged and rich. We should be looking around our offices and our communities and reflecting on what barriers put up, support, and benefit from. I am a man, I am an immigrant, I'm well educated, I paid for my own education, I'm straight... We all have priveleges and losses. And there's not necessarily an equality between them. If we can lift up people through our places of work and our other communities, we'll see mountain biking grow naturally too. But mountain biking isn't the cause of systemic problems, it's a symptom. So... Let's look in all those places and do what we can there.

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syncro
+3 Sanesh Iyer goose8 Pete Roggeman
Mark  - Feb. 23, 2021, 5:57 p.m.

I don't think the point of peer/cultural factors is being brought up as a way to dismiss or minimize the other barriers that exist, but simply as a careful consideration as to how much weight to give to the idea that mtb'ing is exclusive and primarily for white males. I'm also not sure about your point of mtb'ng itself being a symptom of systemic problems, but would agree that some of the barriers that exist within mtb'ing are. As pointed out by a few people, financial considerations are probably one of the biggest factors when it comes to participation in mtb'ing, but I wouldn't rank it at the top. I would be inclined to put awareness of the sport first, and then within the subgroup of those who are aware you could put cost as a leading factor.  Figuring out how much all the different factors affect participation would probably be an interesting bit of research to conduct. I definitely agree that a life focus should be on how we can help lift people up, whatever the context may be. 

ps - TBH I'm not sue how I feel about the idea of the sport continuing to grow. That may sound selfish, but I feel that until there is a better handle on the management of trail access, development and maintenance that we may be at or close to the saturation point with the way things currently are. This is simply my personal observation from when I'm out on the trails, other people may see things differently.

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NVLocal
-1 Morgan Heater
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 25, 2021, 10:39 a.m.

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NVLocal
0
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 25, 2021, 11:08 a.m.

Here's more progress - blaming White people for the actions of POC at the Capitol riot.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/01/15/understand-trumps-support-we-must-think-terms-multiracial-whiteness/

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NVLocal
0
Christopher Wallace  - Feb. 26, 2021, 11:48 a.m.

More positive change or just racism?

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/366132

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