On Tuesday, April 9, 2019, one of our Wisconsin Bike Fed Board members was watching ABC’s sitcom, Black-ish while eating dinner. Our board member nearly choked on her food when she heard the mom character, Bow, tell her husband she “swerved at cyclist just to scare them.” The dad, Dre, replied that she was “finally at his level” and affirmed she was still a better person than he was. They then both laughed at her confessing she’d done it “several times.”
Anyone who has ridden on Wisconsin roads knows this is a regular occurrence. Of course, it’s not just in Wisconsin, we know it happens everywhere. Threatening someone’s life with a vehicle is a crime. Doing so for fun is not a joke. Even when the vehicle doesn’t make impact with a person on a bike, just the threat can injure or kill a person who attempts to quickly move off the road onto uneven pavement or unpaved surfaces. With this single joke, ABC just normalized the act of threatening a person with a vehicle to its 11.8 million viewer base, and millions more in internet replay.
The Wisconsin Bike Fed strongly condemns the reckless and socially irresponsible “joke” ABC so flippantly aired on April 9th. We are asking ABC to retract the episode, and create a public service announcement campaign.
Here’s where you and anyone who cares about safely riding their bike on roads can sign our petition, asking ABC to:
1. Remove the episode from internet viewing services, or, edit the episode to remove this “joke”.
2. Produce and air an education campaign to undo the certain damage they’ve done to the safety of every person who bikes on roads. This public service message should:
A. give people biking 3 or more feet of clearance when passing (required by law in most states) and
B. communicate the act of threatening any person walking or biking with a vehicle is a crime.
Lastly, if you feel so compelled, please also make a donation or become a member to the Wisconsin Bike Fed. We promise to continue to help make Wisconsin the best place to ride your bike.