Whenever we publish something remotely political on Mpora, our comments section inevitably gets filled up with people telling us to stay in our lane and “stick to action sports.”
We’re not going to name names. You know who you are.
For some of our audience, it seems the idea that we’d dare try and weave wider issues of racial inequality and environmental policy into our space is too hot of a soup to handle. Whether this is because they honestly don’t think there’s a problem, because they can’t see a connection, or because they’re unwilling to do any kind of deep self-reflection – these people fail to see that by trying to shut us up they themselves are being complicit in the wrongs of the world.
“There are only two types of people in the world; racists and antiracists”
As Ibram X. Kendi points out in his book ‘How To Be An Antiracist’, there are only two types of people in the world; racists and antiracists. What this means is that simply being “not racist,” isn’t enough to stop racism. To oppose racism, you have to be actively against it.
You have to fight it with awkward conversations with friends and family, with donations to relevant causes, with the signing of petitions and with the attending of protests. A passive stance just means systemic racism, and the structures that uphold it, goes unchecked.
If you’ve been watching coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement and seen placards that say “Silence Is Violence,” you’ll already be aware of this idea that a failure to speak up is a failure to act against racism; to do nothing is to be a part of the issue rather than the fix.
The black squares on Instagram we all posted a few weeks back were a nice show of solidarity, but to not follow up on them now would make us as guilty of maintaining the status quo as those actively fighting for it. The black squares made us (white people) feel good for a bit but, let’s be honest, they didn’t really achieve much.
“Black squares made us (white people) feel good… but… they didn’t really achieve much”
We have a platform here at Mpora, and we’re going to use it. In the weeks, and months, ahead we’ll be changing our approach and, whether people in the comments like it or not, we won’t be “staying in our lane.”
We’re passionate about championing more black voices in the outdoors, holding brands to account when it comes to making the outdoors a more inclusive space, and celebrating brands that are doing good things to try and balance out some of our planet’s blatant inequalities. Do we have all the answers? No, obviously not. Will we get it right every single time? No, we’re learning as we go here. Do we want to do better? Yes, definitely.