Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Brief Word On Chinatown, Philebrity and 10th Street

In case you missed it: Philebrity, the irreverent, proudly vulgar and often on-point Philly news and culture blog, threw up a post Monday on the topic of a Chinatown petition circulating against the coming 10th street bike lane.  Philebrity frequently champions bicycling in Philadelphia, and we as bicycling advocates are grateful for that.  This particular post centered around a racist pun which, it goes without saying, doesn't help our city's ongoing conversation about bike lanes.

We made the hasty decision to retweet Philebrity's post, a decision we regret.  Racist humor is not what we trade in, nor is it something we support or wish to be associated with.  We use our Twitter feed to share a variety of material, not all of which we agree with, wholly or in part.  We apologize for our perceived silent endorsement of the post's divisive language.

Philadelphia is engaging in an exciting and passionate discussion about bicycling's place in the city.  We believe bicycling is an inclusive activity, good for the health of both city and rider.  Also, it's fun.  Some in the Asian community may see the 10th Street bike lane as an unwelcome intrusion, but we suspect they are in the minority.  We know this both anecdotally and from Census data which shows that Asians bike at a rate 1.5 times that of whites and some of the city's Census tracts with the highest percentage of bike commuters border Chinatown.  We have said before why we believe the 10th Street bike lane will be a net positive for Chinatown and the city.  We regret distracting from that argument.

We've heard from Bicycle Coalition supporters questioning such a retweet and expressing disappointment in our decision to do so.  Again, we don't imply wholehearted agreement with everything we retweet.  Still, we are grateful for the feedback and sorry to have disappointed you.  We are a membership organization aiming to serve the whole city's bicycling population as thoughtful, articulate, and informed advocates.  Thank you for holding us to a high standard.