Muhammad Ali is credited with writing the shortest poem in the English language: “Me. We.”
It’s possibly the most succinct way to sum up two of the most fundamental questions of existence: Who am I, and who are we? Motorcycling is unique in that it poses these two existential questions simultaneously. It is a fundamentally isolating experience that connects a much larger community through a shared passion, which elicits another question: How can we be ourselves while also being part of a vibrant global society? How do we maintain our sense of self in the context of a community that is so easily poisoned by tribalism? And how do we individually benefit from a community built around a shared interest, while avoiding the worst manifestations of individualism: fear, isolation, and defensiveness?
The world is full of wonder, curiosities, and differences. It’s what makes life rich and full. As a brand that has always tried to maintain a level of responsible influence, Iron & Air has always aimed to focus on the bigger picture, telling the stories of people and places that are as dynamic, varied, and diverse as the motorcycles they ride and build. We believe that’s what makes motorcycling — and life — interesting. And it’s in these times of dramatic change, social unrest, and uncertainty that we must look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we’ve been living up to that commitment. As hard as we've worked toward this from Day One, there is always more work to be done.
As riders, we desire to be part of a culture where the color of your skin, whom you love, and the nuanced aspects of your identity are accepted and woven into the fabric of motorcycling. As publishers, we have the responsibility to help weave that very fabric; to help create an open and diverse community that welcomes riders, new and old, from every walk of life; to break down the barriers of discrimination so that anyone with even the most fleeting curiosity may be encouraged to experience the joy, wonder, freedom, and individual expression of motorcycling. It’s our job as storytellers, photographers, publishers, creatives, and entrepreneurs to provide the platform for these stories to be heard.
The individual "me" cannot responsibly exist outside of our collective notion of "we." Acknowledging — and owning — that responsibility will define us for generations to come. Diversity in the motorcycle community is simply inherent. We will continue to extend our open arms to those willing to make the same commitment toward a brighter, more beautiful, and more inclusive motorcycling culture.
Enjoy issue 040.