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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The AMA Responds

Yesterday, this page published a story titled “Profiling The 99 Percent” which contained the following statements about the American Motorcyclist Association:
“…the AMA invented the rationale for biker profiling. Shortly after the Hollister motorcycle “riot” in 1947, E.C. Smith, the Executive Secretary of the AMA called the Hollister bikers ‘outlaws’ and asserted that they represented only “one percent” of the motorcycling community at most.”
“Yesterday the AMA renounced the stereotype it helped create 70 years ago.”

Maybe Not

This morning Jim Witters, who is both an experienced journalist and a spokesman for the AMA wrote The Aging Rebel to say that the AMA “was disappointed that” this site “chose to blame the AMA for creating the circumstances that led to such profiling.”
“The AMA represents all motorcyclists.” Witters continued. “And the AMA mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling.”
The Aging Rebel stated and believes the terms “outlaw” and “one percenter,” as applied to motorcyclists, originated with E.C. Smith, who was then the Executive Secretary of the AMA.
The AMA’s spokesman disagrees and wrote: “The term ‘one-percenters’ and the role of the AMA in coining that phrase has been the topic of much discussion over the years – ever since an unfortunate riot involving motorcyclists in Hollister, Calif., was reported in Life magazine in 1947. The AMA has spent considerable time trying to determine whether or not the term originated from the AMA: letters to the editor of Life magazine, to San Francisco newspapers, AMA archives, etc.”
“We found nothing to confirm that the AMA or an AMA official ever made that statement, though it is now a part of popular lore.
“The best any of us can figure, a local AMA member, perhaps someone with an AMA club or district, made the statement anonymously to a reporter and it stuck. But we have never found any attribution to an individual.”
Thank you for reading.