Vicious column writing

Chad A. Greene

In the recent opinion piece “Vicious Cycling,” Amil Malik addressed the issue of Austin cyclists running red lights. This is certainly a conversation worth having — when a cyclist disregards a signal he endangers himself, aggravates motorists and delegitimizes everyone on two wheels. However, instead of exploring the impacts of the specific action of running red lights, Malik used one encounter she had with one cyclist as grounds to characterize and subsequently rail against all cyclists. It is true that too many cyclists in Austin do run red lights, but to defame an entire group of people based on the actions of a subset within that group is fallacious and irresponsible journalism. A more informative and less personally offensive approach toward airing her grievances would involve a detailed discussion of specific problematic actions, not broad-stroke generalizations about everyone who uses a particular mode of transportation.

If Ms. Malik insists on addressing all cyclists as one, she could do so by apologizing to them for the thinly-veiled death threats she made in concluding her piece.

— Chad A. Greene, graduate student
Jackson School of Geosciences