We’re living through a time unlike any other. People are marching, paddling out, and bombing hills on skateboards in solidarity against systemic racism. Symbolic statues are being spray painted, toppled, set on fire and thrown into the ocean. All of this against the backdrop of a pandemic continuing to wreak havoc across the nation and the world. It’s a time of tragedy and anger and chaos, but also a lot of hope. We all hope that we’ll come out the other side of this moment as a better, more just society. But it’s too soon to tell. And so, more than anything else, what most of us feel right now is anxiety.

For many, part of that anxiety stems from trying to figure out how to talk about all of these things. Polling shows that most Americans agree with the cause of the Black Lives Matter movement. But even if you do want racial justice in America, it can be hard to articulate something of substance, to feel like your adding to the discourse rather than distracting from it.

Until today, Dane hasn’t said anything on his substantial platform addressing this moment. But in his latest entry on Chapter 11 TV, he tackles seemingly every enormous, unwieldy issue our country is currently facing. It’s one of the most considered, thoughtful musings about the present moment from any member of surfing’s elite, and absolutely worth a read.

Oh, and there’s a surfing video, too.

Here’s Dane’s post in its entirety:

We took a pause in programming out of respect and solidarity with the current civil rights movement. Surf videos aren’t urgent, there’s more important issues at hand. I never intended for this site to cover anything but surfing, and hopefully this is our only departure, but I’ve decided to take this moment to open up a conversation.

Here we go…

I surf with Matt a lot. More often than not in really crappy waves. Ventura in the summer can get pretty bleak.

Between sets we shoot the shit, usually about funny things – our buddy having a paranoid meltdown after Matt told him to eat a whole weed candy, bill and mini gettin on each others nerves, stuff like that, but lately the topic of conversation has shifted to current events. We both have friends and family on extreme sides of the increasingly divided political spectrum that feed us information and the absurdity of what’s getting spread has reached a threshold for me.

Social media’s gone mad. Left and Right media are conflicting on every issue. Misinformation is spreading like a disease.

Can anyone tell me what the hell is actually going on out there?

Is it a coincidence that all this chaos is happening during an election year? I can’t help to think about how supposed Russian operatives used social media to create division and chaos in America during our last presidential election.

It’s really not that hard, Anyone can invent a fictional story around an event or a person, connect a few dots, post on youtube or facebook or a meme on instagram or twitter and someone will believe it. Post something real enticing and it just might go viral. Evidence? Shit even the president doesn’t care to fact check before posting. Social media is an open stage for spreading false narratives.

Are things more bizarre and unfathomably scripted than we can imagine? Are we pawns in a massive scheme?

Or is it mostly straightforward… to use the current situation as a reference – an unfortunate set of events… coronavirus spread to a human in a wet market in China and is highly infectious so it spread like wildfire into a global pandemic and then two months later a fucking heartless person with a badge got recorded abusing his power and ultimately killing a black man over a misdemeanor which triggered global protests and a movement for equality and police reform which will ultimately be a positive change?

I know the reality lies somewhere in-between… I wish to believe that for the most part politicians are good people that look out for the greater good, and create policies that benefit everyone from the disenfranchised to the wealthy. But that’s a fairy tale,

It’s all a fucking mess man.

I sympathize with the black community, who have been suffering from systemic racism since being stolen from their homes and shipped to America as slaves 100’s of years ago. Some basic reading if you need a reminder –

Slave Patrols: An Early Form of American Policing

https://www.history.com/topics/early-20th-century-us/jim-crow-laws

https://theconversation.com/the-racist-roots-of-american-policing-from-slave-patrols-to-traffic-stops-112816

I sympathize with police. Policing is the last line of work I would want to do – confronting people every day who are breaking the law. Enforcing minor infractions would just be sad. Dealing with people committing real infractions would be sketchy, being a police officer dealing with sketchy situations day in and day out has to warp your perspective on how to treat people fairly.

There’s people everywhere with poor judgement and no moral compass, angry fearful self absorbed egotistical mean and judgmental people. How people with those traits can become our leaders and law enforcers I don’t know.

I don’t have any answers, I try to think logically, rationally, critically, vote, support businesses that support causes I believe in, treat everyone with respect, teach my kids good values… but it doesn’t feel like enough…

Pandemic, protests, lies, rallies, conspiracies, corruption, environment, justice…

How is it going to end?

And can we discuss these issues without everyone shitting their pants in anger?

The ball is in your court. Comment below.

Thanks for tuning in,

Dane

Click here to head over to Dane’s post if you’d like to join the conversation there.

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