Jack Pollock

The Mercury welcomes submissions from its readers. This came from a local skater who, although happy about City Council's recent vote to rescind the ban on skateboarding, doesn't feel he's been welcomed with open arms.

Let's be frank, Vera: With all the yowling from you, it's amazing there isn't an ax-wielding mob beating down my door just for being a skateboarder. Vera, you have made the debate not about skateboarding but about skateboarders themselves! This, my friend, is discrimination. Is it really any different than banning gays or Chinese-Americans from the streets? Overstatements aside, you have used the same arguments to keep us out of downtown. We are bad for business; we will hurt someone, or, god forbid, ourselves. The issue is not skateboarding, it's an attack against a class of people.

It's always touching to hear the politicians and biz owners go on about their concerns for our safety. They howl, "someone is going to get hit by a car." Or my favorite: "There are no brakes; how will they stop?" But, really, the "safety issue" is arbitrary. Hiding behind the banner of civic concern Katz and her crusaders have been discriminating against a group they know nothing about.

You probably don't know too many skateboarders, Vera, so let me help you to navigate the facts a little better:

1. Skateboarders do not like getting hit by cars.

2. We can navigate our skateboards as easily and safely as bicycle commuters.

3. Once the ban is lifted, the streets will not be awash with the blood of pedestrians and small business owners.

4. There is a hole being burned in the ozone by cars.

5. Most importantly, it is just a fucking skateboard; we are not some crazed army of wayward monsters hell-bent on pillaging the city, for Christ's sake.

Look, Vera, we are not asking for you or anyone else to like us. We certainly are not asking for you to worry about our safety. Truly, Vera, it makes me warm and fuzzy to think you have been worried about my skateboarding skills and spills. But just do us a favor: leave us alone.