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Paddle Out for George Floyd | Santa Monica

Video and text by David Malana

In honor of George Floyd, we paddled out to pay respects in Santa Monica. One thing you notice more than anything is that the surfing community is predominantly white. A sport created by people of color (ancient Polynesians) banned by white colonizers who proclaimed it an act of evil, reintroduced to the world by a Hawaiian, and then taken over again by vast majority white people who now make billions off of a surf industry that uses people and places of color as decoration for events, videos, movies, and photos. It's a bit of an irony that as a Filipino man, I often feel out of place. My challenge to surfers is to practice the concept of equity in their surf lives by sharing our love for the ocean and its waves with people and communities that didn't inherit the wealth you did, didn't have learning to swim or going to the beach as a birthright, and who now are represented by a brave few that paddled out with us that day, as a small somber amidst a crowd of generally jovial surfers enjoying their unintentionally closed communities. If you would like to find a hopeful surfer of color who wants to experience what we so readily enjoy, please let me know and I can help. That is one way we can do our part moving forward. Take the feels you get from these things, and do more to get BIPOCs back in the water where they once so naturally belonged.

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