We don't make this stuff up folks. An Orange County surf shop actually thought it would be clever to have a “20% Off All Black Products” sale to commemorate the life of Martin Luther King Jr., whose federal holiday was Monday.
You see, a core part of winter surfing is the neoprene wetsuit, which, despite punky-colored trim, is usually black.
Some genius at Thalia Surf Shop in otherwise hippy-dippy Laguna Beach put two and two together and came up with the idea of a black-products sale, which was supposed to run through Wednesday, according to our sister publication OC Weekly.
Bad taste? Yeah. We can't even begin to fathom the backlash a brown-products sale — for say Ugg boots — would create on Cesar Chavez Day.
You see, the fact that surfers often aren't exactly Rhodes Scholars finds a way to reassert itself every few years. (Ironically, the whitest of SoCal sports started in Polynesia and should be rightly be claimed by Asians).
That has changed a lot over the last few decades as the sport has become much more diverse and global and culturally aware.
Mexican American surfer Bobby Martinez broke into the world tour's top 10 in recent years, and Brazilians are often a dominant force. There are plenty of African American surfers out there to be offended by this too.
Surfing has penetrated literature with the likes of Kem Nunn. And surf journalism has its Woodward and Bernstein in Steve Hawk and Steve Pezman.
But yeah, it still has goons in four-by-four trucks who will slash your tires for surfing at “their” beach too.
And so we have a “black products” sale in 2011.
Next year just make it an MLK Day sale and hope that we will have overcome or at least forgotten this idiocy.