Paul Andrews

More on hate crimes against cyclists

In Bicycle advocacy, Obama Bikes, Rider Down on September 5, 2009 at 11:28 am

In Portland, a hate crime against a cyclist: BikePortland.org is reporting additional details in the arrest for first-degree assault of Wayne Conrad Thompson, who viciously backed over Michael Luther, who was riding a bike. “he cyclist had been knocked out of his shoes and his helmet was a few feet from his head,” a bystander reported.

Our take continues to be that this kind of action represents a hate crime against cyclists. BikePortland follows up with a perspective on the Toronto incident we reported earlier.

BikingBis: Traffic fatalities dropped in 2008 — unless you happened to be on two wheels. Deaths rose 2.1 percent, and injuries spiked much more: 21 percent.

Not all of these involved hate against cyclists, of course. But many can be shown to reflect a second-class citizenship, akin to the bias and ignorance at the heart of racism, sexism, sexuality-based prejudice and other stereotyping, which fosters anti-cycling behavior and, in some tragic cases, incubates eventual extremism.

Until we address the unique psychological phenomenon that stigmatizes cyclists as “the other” in traffic as well as in traffic planning, the role of the bicycle in our culture will continue to be hazardous as well as marginalized.

  1. [...] Is this a trend? Remember the Toronto incident where a bike courier was impaled and tried to hang on for dear life while the driver scraped utility poles in an attempt to dislodge him? It’s not enough to hit a cyclist, you have to drag the body dead or alive. This is reminiscent of lynchings in the Deep South and gay murders. We continue to argue that cycling deaths in such circumstances should be treated as hate crimes. [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: