It’s good to see your leadership taking steps to become inclusive. I applaud it, and think it’s long overdue. My mentor taught me the importance of inclusion way back in 1975, and the lessons have, in part, driven my life decisions including failures, successes, and priorities. Harley Davidson, you’ve been kind-of-a-closed club to a lot of people in the past, and you have catching up to do, but at least you are on the road to opening up to change and diversity.
It can’t be news to leadership that few traditional Harley Davidson riders listen to Tupak Shakur. Most would probably categorically dismiss him and his music, and not many would recognize a Tupak rap. So when the December issue of The Enthusiast arrived – I was shocked to read several lines from Tupak printed on the full p.5. (right). Looking back at The Enthusiast covers from 1916 up to 2003, the lack of diversity in that magazine – compared to your emerging priorities – is striking.
Starting with HOG editor Matt King’s welcoming letter for issue 48, in 2019, I saw a new emphasis and read that Harley Davidson’s goal was to “grow ridership by as much as 2 million new riders by (in 10-years) 2029.” It signaled a change in your publications and a new outreach to diverse audiences by including: young people, women, and non-white riders not only in photographs but also in stories.
One large subtitle in the article, “Coming to America,” a diversifying feature story, quoted Freddie Franklin, a Milwaukee rider: “Harley Davidson has brought all ethnicities, races, genders, and cultures together, and it’s just been an incredible experience.”… read more...