Anti-BLM comments could indicate a deeper malady AMONG automotive elite
The automotive internet is in a justified furore over a comment apparently made by Petrolicious founder, Afshin Behnia on his Facebook page. I’ve found what purports to be a screen grab – you’ll notice I’m using my words carefully because I did not see the post myself and it appears to have been subsequently deleted. In any case it’s gone viral. In it he appears to describe the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement as ‘domestic terrorism’.
If it’s true, it’s very disappointing to hear. Not just because Petrolicious has been the gold standard for visual automotive car porn content and features stunning and rare cars along with inspiring owners and personalities, presented in lavishly filmed and lovingly edit videos.
There is already a virtual march of car enthusiasts unsubscribing to Petrolicious channels en masse, and quite rightly too.
However it’s even more depressing when you realise that Afshin Behmia’s name suggests he might be of Iranian origin and should therefore be more sensitive to discrimination and race matters living the West. Born in the UK in 1968, I know I certainly am, and very much through personal experience and trauma.
To be fair, I don’t know Afshin personally, and I don’t know much about him either. But I do observe similar views as those expressed, expounded in elevated and privileged circles.
So in general terms, the problem I fear is that the elite often occupy a rarefied realm of self-delusion, and unfortunately social media trends over the last decade have only served to bolster the egos of suchlike, showering adulation and aspirational envy on them and their exotic lifestyles and related products and content.
But with so much of the world now suffering, either from the virus or from economic hardship and social injustice (not to mention wars and conflicts), it is possibly – hopefully – a time to hit the reset button.
There needs to be a backlash not just against such blinkered opinions and prejudices, but also the glorification of greed and plenty – especially in a world of diminishing resources and increasing inequity. Otherwise we only continue to further empower glitterati to promote disparaging and hence oppressive views and opinions about the rest of us.
Car culture to me should be a great equaliser and unifier – all of us car fans brought together by a common adoration of all things automotive. Discrimination has no place in our realm, be it in industry or media.