As a committee, we are proud of the community that South Perth Rouleurs embodies. It is something that we have been intentional about from the beginning, and it is something that we know from listening to club members is important to many, if not all, of you.
It is for this reason that I am writing on behalf of the committee now. In our role as leaders within the SPR community, we felt it was worth re-visiting our values and the guidelines that we have put in place to help our community operate in a way that is consistent with those values.
The club has four core values: Safe. Inclusive. Organised. Social.
One of things we discovered over time, particularly as social media increased in popularity, was that it was important to write down clear expectations of behaviour. In 2016, we put together our Community Guidelines to help with this process of communication.
I encourage everyone to (re-)read these guidelines if you have any doubts as to the type of behaviour expected within our online communities and in-person on our rides.
In particular, I would like to highlight inclusivity and our guidelines that ask everyone to avoid portraying any person in a negative light based on their age, colour, gender, national origin, physical or mental disability, race, religion or sexual preference.
Recently, there have been several instances where we have observed casual racism occurring within our social media conversations on official SPR sites/groups. If you are not aware of what this looks like, please take some time to read about this form of racism; perhaps here or here or here.
Some would say that reference to “casual” racism is unhelpful because the term diminishes the importance of describing the actions as racism. I have used the term here as it does emphasise the fact that this form of racism occurs in everyday conversation and is not overt, often occurring as a joke or off-hand comment. It is often not intentional.
None of this changes the fact that it represents a form of racism – something that is clear when the comments are examined in terms of the perception by others and their impact on the individuals/groups targeted by the comments – and as such, is something that we do not want within the SPR community.
In some of the recent examples, this has been clear when other members have pushed back individually against comments made – something I think that represents healthy dialogue and for which I am thankful. We have also spoken personally with the people involved – we feel it is important to both hear everyone’s point of view but also communicate clearly the club’s expectations on these important issues. The committee also felt it appropriate to comment specifically and publicly through this blog post.
We ask that everyone contribute, whether online or on the bike, toward ensuring that SPR is inclusive and welcoming to all.
Please keep in mind that we are explicitly not singling anyone out in making these comments, and ask that no one else does either. We explicitly want our community to be an inclusive one that allows everyone the space to participate and the space to collectively learn and improve together.
On behalf of the SPR Committee.