Avoiding stereotypes

One advantage of being older is that you are likely to have encountered many situations where your stereotypes of people have been confounded. But try as I might to not judge people by their appearance, it is hard, and it is good to be periodically reminded of the trap.

NPR had a nice story about a biker group known as BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse) who have taken it upon themselves to provide protection to young people who were afraid of abusive adults. You can also listen to the audio.

BACA members receive federal background checks and are also closely monitored by other members. They are called upon by the department of child welfare services or referred to by other families. They make a point of playing up the biker-tough image and members are expected to look and act the part.

They are men and women in well-worn black leather vests, scuffed boots and denim. Most have visible tattoos and a penchant for silver jewelry.

Since pedophiles and others who abuse children are usually cowards, the highly visible presence of tough-looking bikers is usually enough to scare them away.

It is a great story.


  1. Norm Thorsen says

    The bikers aren’t there to drive the abusers away. The children know they have friends that they view as protectors who are much more intimidating than any abuser. They feel much more comfortable about testifying in court.

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