Most skaters don’t deserve unfair scofflaw stereotype
Editor’s Note: This letter is in response to the letter “UNMPD needs proactive approach to stop skaters” by Larry Compton, published in the Daily Lobo Thursday.
Several days ago, the Lobo printed a letter titled “UNMPD needs proactive approach to stop skaters.” This letter was in regard to the large number of skateboarders who frequent the UNM campus.
While of course the author of the letter is entitled to his opinion on the matter, I found some of the language in his letter to be unfair. The author of the letter referred to the skaters he had seen doing tricks at UNM as “scofflaws” and “delinquents.” He also referred to the tricks he has seen them doing as “antics” and “jackass-type tricks.”
The author mentioned he had spoken to the skaters several times and had been called names and threatened with violence. If these events did happen — and I have no reason to believe they did not — then it is unfortunate he encountered a group of skaters who treated him as they did. However, for him to place all skateboarders into the same group as disrespectful, belligerent delinquents is rather unfair.
I do not skateboard, but I know plenty of people who do, and I can vouch that all of the skaters I know are polite, respectful individuals who just want to skate in peace. With an activity as widespread as skateboarding, you are bound to have some people who reflect poorly on the group as a whole, but it is unfortunate some people insist on judging an entire group based on the unfortunate actions of a few.
Perhaps some skaters show poor judgment in the areas they choose to skate in, but to call them delinquents is unduly harsh. I would think with the childhood obesity problem in America today that we would want to support an activity in which participants spend hours upon hours outside, engaging in a physically demanding activity while honing their skills both physically and mentally.
The next time the author hears that “clack” sound, I would challenge him, instead of immediately getting angry, to stop and watch the tricks some of the skaters are doing and consider the amount of time and practice it takes to build the discipline and skill it takes to successfully land some of those tricks.