Cultural appropriation and open racism in the cycling industry

Things get lost in translation. To one person art may be a picture, a stone carving of a Indigenous warrior or something else. I myself have many Inuit works of art here in my home. I am not an Inuit. I respect and love their art. I am indigenous like the Inuit and we are related as first peoples.

I see art as anything made to represent and honour a people. Go nuts. But the ceremonial headdress is cultural appropriation. It is taking honoured items and turning them into costumes IN MY OPINION!

I see Appropriation as:

Cultural appropriation takes place when members of a majority group adopt cultural elements of a minority group in an exploitative, disrespectful, or stereotypical way . To fully understand its consequences, though, we need to make sure we have a working definition of culture itself.

Art does not fit into that list.

Unfortunately the actions of the PEOPLE (The Governments) do not show that in any way shape or form in North America at all. In fact in some ways things are worse now than they were 5, 10, 15, 20, 40 years ago. The reason that I say this is that awareness through technology is at unprecedented levels yet Governments do nothing and the same problems of 100 years exist or a re-created because some lobbyist has enough money to bribe the people in power for a new uranium or gold mine or pipeline so that some group of Indians needs to be moved off their land again or have their land destroyed, or their water poisoned or their daughters go missing as they were used for entertainment.

From your last presidents administration

from the previous presidents administration

And from the previous

I am not picking on any president.
Your points on Government are well known to me and I agree with you. But if the “people” actually believed what you said we would not be having this discussion now would we.

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I’m not doubting your good intentions. Coming back to an example of mine from the very beginning: my feelings about the (German) n-word are hugely positive because of some stupid candy. I treat black people with respect, so what is the problem if I use a problematic word to refer to some silly candy? Point is: good intentions are not enough.

One comment stuck out to me:

To me this paragraph explains a lot to me. Please don’t take my comments as wanting to convince you of something, ideally I just want you think about them. I’ve lived in several different countries (including the US and Canada) and as a European interacted with people form a lot of different cultures and countries. My sister’s partner is French, my wife is Japanese, several of my cousins are in multinational relationships as well. I have observed how these different countries have (or haven’t) handled their problematic past.

The first word I’d like to pick out is the word “guilt” or “white guilt” that you used. In my mind you are conflating guilt with discomfort. I am fortunate to have interacted with Jewish people, but I’d lie if I said that my interaction with them was without discomfort. Again, this is not because of prejudice I hold, but because I can’t not be aware of the historical background.

In most countries most people react by pushing away what is uncomfortable. Otherwise, history would hang over an interaction like a dark cloud, and interaction that ideally you want to base on the character of a person. Right? Especially if you believe (like I do) that we are all created equal and it shouldn’t matter what cultural background you have, what your skin color is and what (if any) religious background you have.

But the thing is that this is just like repressing and bottling up uncomfortable feelings, it usually comes back to haunt you. Anti-semitism isn’t a thing that was invented in Germany in the 1930s, it has been a thing in Europe and the US for centuries. Ditto for discrimination of Sinti and Roma (who were also killed by the hundreds of thousands in death and concentration camps). Properly processing history — just like processing difficult emotions — happens in stages, and how much effort you need to expend depends on the depth of the scars. Precisely because of this work, Germans now have an intimate relationship with countries that two, three generations ago were its victims. When Germans and French interact, there is no dark cloud in the background, precisely because of that hard, uncomfortable work. Processing this is a generational task, and that’s fine.

Other countries are starting on the same path. No doubt one of the reasons is that soon the personal connection to people who have had to live through e. g. WW2 is coming to an end. Eventually, the next generation is taking over, and they see things as problematic that our generation thinks of as normal. Here are some random examples:

  • The Netherlands are revisiting their tradition of the “Black Pete”.
  • Several European countries revisit their complicity when collaborating with Nazis during WW2.
  • Countries like Canada and Chile start to come to grips with its abuse of indigenous peoples. In many places, aspects of that abuse continue until today.
  • Lots of countries like Britain, the Netherlands and France have to come to grips with their colonial past, especially when it comes to “immigration” and systematic discrimination.

Processing history is uncomfortable, and I think it can be particularly hard for people who have a strong moral compass. What people do not realize is that it makes your own culture better and more resilient against things repeating themselves. It builds stronger bonds to our neighbors. Look at the Japanese economy: they haven’t gotten out of their economic crisis for an entire generation, and one of the reasons is precisely the lack of connection to other countries. And if you don’t do it, it’ll continue to fester in society. Ultimately, it’ll hurt yourself (or your descendants) even if you are in the majority.


I have white guilt. For many years I actively believed many of society’s stereotypes and preconceptions. I participated in the system and was ashamed of a good portion of my people because I WAS IGNORANT! I was too lazy to actually take the time to learn things for myself and also wanted approval from my “white” family and others. I did not know and would have been too lazy to think about how destroying 7 generations of family could mess people up because I was to busy dealing with what I thought was 2 generations of the same thing. Turned out my family is part of the 7.

I have a lot of remorse. It is my choice to have and own that. It is also my choice to try and reverse some of the damage that I may have caused. It is also my choice to try and make things better.

No one needs to have guilt!!!

I did not start this thread without putting in a lot of thought. We do not need to have a thread here because of the sacrifices courageous people made to end slavery. Although Black people still face great inequality with other minority groups huge progress has been made. Blacks and Indigenous share many parallels through North American History. Blacks were property and treated as such, Indigenous were to be exterminated as they had no value. Blacks had the “projects” and the “Ghettos”. Indians have the reserves. Blacks and Indigenous have a much larger percentage of their population in jail. Blacks and Indigenous have not had the same economic opportunity along with other minorities.

However when you watch American news and they are talking about minorities and racism it is always Blacks, Latinos and Asians. Or I have surprisingly also heard Black, Brown and Yellow. Or Black, Brown and ASIAN. I have been paying attention to this for quite some time now and I have never heard Indigenous, American Indian, Native American, Red, or even “REDSKIN”. It does not matter if it is “white” shows or “black” shows. There is no native issues, no native inclusion, no native news unless the “INDIANS” are getting uppity somewhere. Or unless Johnny Depp wants to play an Indian in a movie.

I am an UPPITY “INDIAN” just trying to discuss an issue that most people don’t talk about or even acknowledge. Cycling is one of the few things I really enjoy doing, I want this removed from cycling. It tarnishes an honourable sport and activity.

Everybody’s choice is their own. As are everyone thoughts… (No matter how OBJECTIVELY I think they are wrong :wink: ) that’s a joke people.

I hope this has not offened anyone. I have covid and have been vommiting all day. I have been trying to keep things respectable, keep my train of thought and stay on point but I am having lot of trouble and at night it gets much worse. Also it takes a lot more time for me to write at night.

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Of course not. But I am under the impression that you’re trying to remove a little more than just racial slurs. Like kids playing (forgive me) “Indians”. Maybe I’m wrong and you’re “only” trying to remove traditional dress and some phrases from commercial settings.

This is far-fetched and I think some sources would be useful. Your claim about murder of indigenous women looked suspect, and sure enough, it only works if you put all other causes in one basket, and then maybe it’s (1) Disease, including suicide caused by depression (2) accident (3) murder. As with any other population. Maybe because murder, as one would expect, didn’t make top 10.

That’s a decision you’ve made and I respect that. You’re a part of a community that has these rules and you choose to abide by them. However, as soon as you’re trying to tell others what to wear, you’re stepping on people’s toes. I don’t do what you call “cultural appropriation” with respect to the traditions of indigenous peoples of North America, but if my kids decide to play (forgive me) “Indians” one day, I won’t be stopping them, just like I won’t be stopping them if they decide to dress as army generals for carnival while actual members of the military would face punishment for wearing a general’s uniform (unless they’re actual generals).

(I sure as hell do a lot of cultural appropriation with respect to Christian traditions, as when I celebrate Christmas despite being agnostic - and guess what, Christians don’t care).

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Just a small comment to add context here: @FatBoySlim is Canadian not American, and there is a widely known problem of women’s disappearances and deaths not being investigated by authorities. According to the summary I have linked to, indigenous women make up 5 % of the population but account for 23 % of all girls and women murdered.

I don’t know whether the US has a similar problem, but Canada definitely seems to.

To my knowledge many Canadian indigenous communities are indeed impoverished and struggle with e. g. addiction and alcoholism. Still, I think it is important to understand the underlying causes for that. I reckon the issues and causes in the US are largely similar, though not necessarily all identical.

Yes, and?
Neither you nor @FatBoySlim have a right to constantly live in comfort. I think he’s getting blowback for being vocal. When society’s attitude towards a topic changes, then people start feeling discomfort when certain attitudes are no longer accepted.

I don’t know whether this will happen soon for indigenous causes any time soon, but clearly societies across the globe are paying more attention to minorities and women’s issues.

Lets start here shall we. You posted this 2 days ago and I asked a follow up that you never responded to!

You did not respond!
Are you wanting to protect racial slurs for the use of white groups against all non-white minorities?

I explained to you in my response to you.

I believe many Native Americans are also offended by the term Indians but your laws regarding them state “INDIAN” as well.

So you finally respond to me without actually trying to answer my above questions and you use the word “INDIAN” in quotes multiple times when it has been explained to you that many indigenous people find it offensive and it is incorrect. Are you going out of your way to be offensive? Have you read any of the documents I have shared before you went out and grabbed a cdc report? The only angle I can see is you protecting your “LANGUAGE” rights and kids play time. You do You!

I actually never thought about cowboys and “indians”. I did play that as a kid and I usually wanted to be a cowboy (amazing how tv influences children isn’t it. )
Knowing what I know now I would prefer you call it cowboys and Indigenous, or Native Americans as you might be insulting people from INDIA who are in fact “Indians” I would also hope you would educate them on many of the ideas that come from TV and other sources that are completely wrong about indigenous people. I might even hope that you would explain that Johnny Depp’s tonto is a racist character portrayal of American indigenous people. But that is up to you. Its important for kids to play. Its important for them to have fun. Its also important for them not to be taught things and portrayals that are completely wrong.

I think you are politely screaming fake news at me.

I thank you for pulling up a report that is based on statistics that your own government states has big enough holes a cruise ship could pass through!

I am not telling. I am asking. I have no control over what people where or do not wear. I am asking for people to show the respect for a very disadvantaged people as they would like shown to them.

I have already dealt with your kids playing “Indians” Portraying people from a country thousands of miles away. Children are innocent. They learn from us. Yours will learn from you. It is up to you what you teach them.

I played army as a kid. My Grandfather a veteran instructed me about war, The atrocity of war, the violence of war and the need for war. This was not all in one sitting. It was over time. It was a discussion here and a discussion there. But I played army and he gave me my first gun (toy and real) and taught me how to shoot it.

Now that the children have left the room lets talk about you. Children are innocent. We are not. We make choices with the knowledge we have and we live with them. I have made a lot of choices I regret. For instance right now I wish I would have gone and got that covid booster shot a couple months ago. :face_vomiting:

That is my story.

Your story is yours!


The statistics are disturbingly similar where one might accuse the countries of using the same play book.

I have not gone through them other than brief looks as I find it disturbing. This alone tells the story!

" Incomplete Data Complicates the Search for Missing Native American Women

Amid rising concern about the number of missing Indigenous women and girls, the search is on for something else: reliable data to track their cases.

@OreoCookie as per blowback I think I am far from the first “INDIAN” to ever get blowback :wink:


That is quite the false analogy….military generals have not been subjected to centuries of racism, murder and subjugation.

I haven’t read all the comments, but I would like to add that the stories in the links you provided are terrible. It’s unfortunate that this attitude is so prevalent in this industry, but how long will it take, because history tells us that it has already been. If you are interested in the examples of research papers on this topic, I recommend check this and making sure history repeats itself. Only before we were opposed by racists and slave traders, and now ordinary people who are trying to follow their ideas, depriving their country of a civilized future. Hope we can fix this.


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This has been a super interesting thread to read. I think both sides have reasonable points. However, I think the following views often times cause more harm than good.

Chief comes from the french word chef, meaning leader. Chef de cuisine means the leader of the kitchen. It was used by Europeans to describe the leader of a tribe.

A lot of people - the people you are probably trying to convince to stop using racist words - will use views like this to say you are being oversensitive.


Huh. Is the pope a TR user and forum reader?

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And the n-word and other related words have roots in the Spanish/Latin word for black. Nevertheless they now no longer acceptable. The meanings of words can change over time and it’s common that there’s a period in which people say ‘but I didn’t mean anything bad by it’. Still I would say that if the people who are affected are not happy with certain language we should pay attention and maybe just express ourselves differently. It’s such a small change to make.

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I think its been pointed out above, but to more explicitly state it, one or two people cannot give permission for something to be okay or not. Just because one person is okay with something or isn’t bothered doesn’t mean the next person isn’t. Just consider that when talking to new people or addressing a topic as a whole.

We could start a whole repeat of this discussion around appropriation of the asian culture that would lead down a similar path and we’d find the opinions would differ vastly depending on the person’s background


False equivalency. You won’t spell out the n-word (nor will I). The word chief literally means leader and is used as such (I realize now I said chief comes from chef. I should have said chief is the translation of chef into english). Further, from my knowledge, it was not used in a derogatory way. Again, it was literally used to describe the leader of the tribe.

If it is not derogatory and it is not cultural appropriation (how can a word that did not originate in a culture be appropriating their culture), what is the problem?

Nonetheless, I do not want to make it seem like I disagree @FatBoySlim on everything. He makes a lot of valid points and I think it is important that the points were made (not that it matters what I think, just showing support). the fact that there was a NFL team with a racist slur for name up until a couple of years ago certainly proves his point.


My issue with Chief has nothing to do with its origin or anything else. It is the way it has been used in North America for over 100 years. In a way I agree about the CEO dropping “CHIEF” is in a way silly. However he is Canadian. We have a lot of racism towards indigenous here and to this day our governments at times still attack them. It was brought to his attention. He thought about it and decided that with the way the word had been used according to himself he decided to stop using it. I applaud him for it. Also He is not A CHEF so then why would he want to be called the CHEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER? That is the word it was derived from… Yes I am being silly. But I am being silly to make a point that it does not matter at all what language or what word a word is based on. It matters what how that word has been used against a group of people that matters. A few posts up a gentleman keeps using the word “INDIAN” to describe his kids playing a game. In my lifetime I have never ever heard someone say “lets go play indians!!!”. Seriously is that a thing? It has no context at all. It makes me think about Ghandi and bollywood movies with great dancing/music, beautiful clothing and gorgeous women. Now if you say “lets go play cowboys and indians!!!” I get it… I understand it when its said. If I read it I think WTF??? There were cowboys in India??? OK? Weird? MAYBE??? HEY GOOGLE …

SO my point is that translating a word or giving me its original definition or giving me its place of origin 300 years ago is basically saying get over it buddy it means XXXXXXXX. By doing that you have just possibly removed a few 100 years of that words racism in a location 10000 miles from where it originated. What is the point in doing it other than to say get over it buddy? If that’s the message I understand it and its that persons right to have that point.

Here is an excellent article that agrees totally with your point of view. It basically says that removing the word chief is almost insulting. Guess what??? A large part of me agrees!!! BUT when you have been to some of these schools that have mass graves of 100’s of children that were raped, murdered, starved and sodomized and you have cried and wept with the people in those communities you get to the point where you will take any insignificant gesture!!!

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We need to get starlink to the reservation.

I just saw a guy took starlink to Northern Saskatchewan for a One Nations school pow wow and broadcast all the events for them. He said it had 130000 people watching.

Ill be heading to Northern Ontario in 2 weeks with starlink to see if i can work remote next year.


The disgraceful thing is that taxpayers have spent billions building broadband infrastructure through fees for service and taxes that are some of the highest in the world and we do not have proper broadband through a good portion of this country. Reserves of course being the worst unless OIL AND GAS OR FORESTRY is there. Then the Government comes up with money.

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An American issue as well as Canadian.