Planet Roller Skate Leaders Censor Black Women on Facebook
When i decided to dive into the world of roller skating, the first resource that appeared was a group called Planet Roller Skate, a community of skaters on various social media platforms with more than 10,000 members. The functionalities of the group roller skaters from all over the country, led most visibly by a woman known as the Indy jamma jones (real name Amy West), whose YouTube videos I watched to better understand roller skating culture and terminology. While Jones and Planet Roller Skate appeared to promote diversity and inclusion of all races, gender identities and body sizes, skaters of color were recently subjected to a different experience on Planet Roller Skate’s private Facebook page.
The page, which is advertised as an online community for “Planet Roller Skaters to Connect and Communicate,” has been criticized by the rollerblading community for censoring and erasing the stories of colored skaters, especially black skaters who are went to the group to discuss the discrimination they faced while skating and their feelings about the recent murder of George Floyd. Instead of allowing the conversation to progress and providing a safe space for skaters of color to voice their concerns, the group’s admins deleted the posts, citing their “no political or religious content” rule. Other skaters noted that while the rule was widely known, conversations about sexism, ableism and misogyny had been allowed in the past.
In an effort to quell the growing backlash, a screenshot shows that Jones offered to create a separate page for such a discussion to take place, calling it an âadultâ conversation. As explained in this video Posted by skater Faeiryne Faun, some of the group’s skaters have been banned for asking why the posts were deleted in the first place and for exposing the racism behind the literal erasure of black experiences.
It goes without saying that the murder, abuse and erasure of black people is not just an uncomfortable political topic reserved for the adult dinner table. It is a staple part of the daily life of black people in America, regardless of their age. There is no rest in conversations about what it is to be discriminated against just because you exist in a white dominated space. Even attempting to put this conversation aside or relegate it as politics isn’t just showing your ass, it’s showing your privilege and it’s inconceivable that in 2020 this conversation has to take place with self-proclaimed allies. .
Despite a lengthy apology from Jones’ business partner Shayna “Pigeon” Meikle Anderson, it is not known whether Jones herself apologized to the group for deleting the messages and dismissing the conversation. She has yet to publish the incident on her YouTube channel or Instagram account. In an effort to bring healing to the roller skating community, several colored skaters shared their personal stories on YouTube, but they were later criticized for doing it on Moxi roller skates channel, a brand strongly associated with Jones and Planet Roller Skate. Shove, a skater who participated in the video, wrote on her Instagram story: âFor those of you who are trying to make us feel bad or like tokens for using the Moxi platform to share our stories, stop -the. The skate community is suffering [right now] We were offered a platform, we took it. It’s mind-boggling that anyone has to defend their decision to bring representation to the forefront immediately after the black stories are erased, but it’s yet another example of the impossible hoops people of color constantly have to step through to be heard.
When I laced up my roll first-time skates, which I now regret purchasing from the Planet Roller Skate store, it was with the belief that I would end up being part of a community that supported and defended skaters of color. Skating was meant to be for everyone, a phrase spoken by Jones in several Instagram videos and posts. But there can be no unified community when BIPOC is under pressure be quiet and relegated to other spaces while white skaters stand in the middle of the street and preach in safe spaces that don’t exist.