February 6, 2017

"While visitors often see national parks as places of serenity, rejuvenation, or adventure, the African-American experience with the outdoors has historically been punctuated by lynchings, flights from slavery and trauma."

"'[There’s] something in our DNA that gives us a fear,' says one of the roughly two dozen Muir Woods hikers. She hadn’t gotten out into nature much until she was in her sixties. 'It just clamps you and grips you.'"
“When you come out of a history of segregation you don't willy-nilly think that you can just go to a place,” says African-American ranger Shelton Johnson, sitting on the floor of Yosemite Valley amidst the shadows of Half Dome and El Capitan. Changing that perception for national parks, he elaborates, is part of the same historical flow that brought about the end of Jim Crow laws or the advent of Black Lives Matter.

“This is an extension of the Civil Rights movement. Pure and simple,” he says. “[Reconnecting with the earth] is basically the last act of what it means to become an American.”

106 comments:

Michael K said...

The 150 years since slavery seems not to have made an impression. The 50 years since Brown vs Board of Education ditto.

The Cracker Emcee said...

I find it hard to believe that their traumatic history has made African-Americans permanently ridiculous, but apparently it's so.

Original Mike said...

Over/under on when jimbino shows up?

MadisonMan said...

Hey, maybe poverty prevents the visits from Blacks and Latinos.

But this reads like so much BS. Stop being a slave to the past. Look forward, not backwards.

Has the Park Service hired a whole slew of Diversity Coordinators yet?

SDaly said...

I would say its more an inherited fear of being alone in nature, given predators in Africa. Same thing with blacks not really taking to swimming. If there are hippos and crocs around, you tend to stay out of the water.

Original Mike said...

"Has the Park Service hired a whole slew of Diversity Coordinators yet?"

I'm betting they're already in place.

Gahrie said...

Someone needs to start a bunch of Boy Scout troops in the inner cities, and raise funds to pay for camping trips.

MadisonMan said...

Here's a thought: Fear of the Vashta Nerada is better encoded in their DNA. Although my recollection is that only the caucasians (and the Time Lord) survived the encounter from in the Library. Miss Evangelista went first, but then the two Black crew members died too. So maybe not.

Unknown said...

Why does EVERYTHING have to become racial with black americans, man.... Being in the woods (especially when you are unfamiliar with it) can be unnerving. Being amoung enormous trees even more so, it makes you feel small.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Absolute garbage!

Mike said...

Don't lump Mexican-Americans in with Black people on this issue. All you need to do to disprove such a grouping is visit any river, lake or stream in the national forests of Southern California on a sunny holiday and you'll find plenty of minorities enjoying the park like setting. Now maybe the National Parks are different, but I don't think so. The mix of hikers in the Virgin River canyon (Zion Nat'l Park) last time I went was equal to the average mix on Main Street USA of Disneyland. That is, there were plenty of Americans of all colors and sizes and plenty of visiting foreigners of all colors and languages.

Urban Black people seem to have a lot of superstitions about venturing outside the city that their more rural counterparts do not. Urban Black people who write for a living seem even more constrained by their inner fears.

exiledonmainstreet said...

SDaly said...
I would say its more an inherited fear of being alone in nature, given predators in Africa."

If such things are hereditary, that explains my own fear of heights. Defenestration was a popular sport in Prague at one time. You won't see me getting too close to open windows, no sirree, especially if there are any Democrats in the room.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defenestrations_of_Prague

David53 said...

“[There’s] something in our DNA that gives us a fear,”

It's disappointing that people keep speaking like this. I would bet there are many African-Americans who don't carry that particular DNA linked fear.

Rob said...

Likewise, my fellow Jews avoid the great outdoors, because of the association with people lining up along trenches they've dug themselves to be shot and because of the remote locations of the death camps. Except the pool at the Fontainebleau, of course, because nobody ever got exterminated at the Fontainebleau.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Oh for .[redacted]...sake! How ridiculous can you be. The national parks and all the critters inside it could not care one way or the other if you are black or anything else. You are a threat to them and they will react accordingly without any perception of your race.

The people who go to parks to hike, sight see or go camping, don't care what color you are either. We care if you act decent, keep the noise down by not yelling or playing music excessively loud, respect the environment, don't throw trash, don't litter, don't deface anything, don't act stupid and stay on the trails. Behave in a normal fashion. No one cares. Behave as assholes....suffer the consequences.

No one is stopping you from going to the parks, hiking or anything else. Get the eff over yourselves.

This constant and perpetual victim hood by people who are so far far away from the experience of Jim Crow or slavery is becoming more than tiresome. It is ridiculous, annoying and quite stupid. It is as if they long to be mistreated so they can continue the woe is me whining.

Original Mike said...

"Someone needs to start a bunch of Boy Scout troops in the inner cities, and raise funds to pay for camping trips."

The lefties will fight you. I stopped contributing to the United Way when they stopped supporting the Boy Scouts.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Behave as assholes....suffer the consequences.

DBQ, maybe the fear of acting normal is greater than the fear of death.

Tommy Duncan said...

Sometimes a narrative just wears out.

Michael said...

What horse shit. This really begs a very non PC response. I will refrain.

Valentine Smith said...

How is that half the nation is obsessed with their otherness?

madAsHell said...

Cuz going for a walk in the woods is "acting white".

Who knew?

traditionalguy said...

She is claiming to suffer from a fear that comes from a collective unconscious memory of being ruled by overseers that set a structure of rules over them.

OK, she needs to deal with fear arising from being in a unstructured place. She feels safer when she sees teams of Park Rangers in uniforms watching and shouting the rules at her. And while we are at it, as a Black Female, she probably also wants to be the Head Rule Enforcer.

Meanwhile us white privilege guys just enjoy nature without any need for The Man to take charge of our lives.

tcrosse said...

nobody ever got exterminated at the Fontainebleau.
Shecky Green killed them at the Fountainebleau.

Fernandinande said...

"the outdoors has historically been punctuated by lynchings, flights from slavery and trauma."

Now the outdoors is punctuated by drama queens.

Arches National Park's Five Languages
"[English]
German
French
Italian
Japanese
But not Spanish."

By personal observation from living there for almost 3 years (and hanging out with a motel owner), the visitors to Monument Valley and surrounding area during the tourist season:
- About half are Europeans (mostly Netherlands, Germany, France, Britain)
- Most of the rest were Americans, then
- Australians
- Japanese - they seemed very interested in small things, like insects and plants.
- Two mid-easterners who were very rude and stunk.
- One black guy.
- Zero Mestizos.

Sebastian said...

“When you come out of a history of segregation you don't willy-nilly think that you can just go to a place." When you come from a history of segregation, all you can talk about is your sorry history of segregation. Segregation: is there anything it doesn't explain?

CJinPA said...

"Why don't black Americans like the outdoors as much as white Americans?"

There are probably as many answers as there are black Americans. See, ...

"Racism. The answer is racism."

Don't reduce very black American experience to how it relates to race. For instance...

"Racism. We're National Geographic. We used to do geography. Now we do social justice."

But you treat blacks like children. Why can't...

"Because, that's why. It's racism."

walter said...

Right. Color as the only variable. Nice.
Of course, there's the "historical" violence in natural areas vs the contemporary violence in the urban.
Fly in Al Sharpton. Show him eating S'mores.

Yancey Ward said...

Relative poverty is the real explanation. I grew up in Eastern Kentucky where almost all of the people are poor and white. Probably 99% of the people I grew up with didn't visit Yosemite either.

JLScott said...

It's disappointing that people keep speaking like this. I would bet there are many African-Americans who don't carry that particular DNA linked fear.

It's supposed to be. It's trolling.

Valentine Smith said...

To see every discrete emotional response in terms of a collective experience must nullify any sense of individuality. No wonder it's so difficult for some to take responsibility for anything.

buwaya said...

The lady seems to be trying to shelter in a rationalization.

The whole romantic great outdoors, commune with nature thing is an ongoing fad dating from the early 19th century, started among upper class Germans and Britons and picked up by Anglophiles all over Europe and the US, and copied by the bourgeois of course.

The fashion is only slowly being picked up by Asians due to Euro-American cultural influence. The lady is incorrect, its not only black people unmoved by the great outdoors. Lots of luck trying to get your typical Filipino to go camping. The very few culturally influenced have picked up on it, but its not the typical persons idea of a vacation.

These people are rare -
http://www.upmountaineers.org/

Bill Peschel said...

Mike's anecdote reminded me of the trip we took to Rochester, N.Y., last year. Near the end of the day, the wife and I decided to drive north to Lake Ontario.

We got there about a half hour before sundown. The beach was populated, but not too crowded. A lot of families were there, pretty evenly divided among black, Latino, and white. Just families hanging out, kids playing in the water, girls tossing frisbees, about as chill a scene as you could get.

We wandered for a bit, talking to the locals in passing (one Latino family was looking at a kitty in the tree as we were passing and invited us to watch, so we did). I didn't think to ask the black people their opinion of why they don't go to national parks, or if they were afraid of trees. They were having too much fun enjoying nature.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Eugene Genovese's book "Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made" relates the experiences of former slaves who were interviewed in the 1930's. Because the food rations they were given were adequate, but often dull, many slaves supplemented their own diets by cultivating their own small vegetable gardens, fishing, and hunting small game. Since they were forbidden to own guns, they normally set traps for possums, rabbits and squirrels. They also foraged for wild berries and nuts. Obviously, they didn't have the freedom of movement white settlers had, but the evidence is that they did not see hunting and fishing and gardening as additional chores, but as enjoyable, satisfying activities. It was a matter of pride for the men to be able to provide meat and fish for their families that enabled them to eat better than they otherwise would.

Sal said...

Good. Much less noise and litter.

EDH said...

The Great Outdoors!: Minorities Hardest Hit.

Unknown said...

When I was in the South 50 yrs ago and more blacks lived in the country, blacks fished like crazy. They also picked wild greens etc. They were not afraid of nature. This person is simply too urban and is blaming their fear on collective memories (which do not exist by the way).

exiledonmainstreet said...

"The whole romantic great outdoors, commune with nature thing is an ongoing fad dating from the early 19th century, started among upper class Germans and Britons and picked up by Anglophiles all over Europe and the US, and copied by the bourgeois of course."

This is an important point. The slaves I referred to in my 2:31 post might have enjoyed the satisfaction of providing their families with game, but they were still out there for a specific purpose. The peasantry the world over lives too close to the earth to romanticize it. The whole idea of camping and hiking for the fun of it must seem very bizarre to people whose survival depends on the elements. Similiarly, it's modern urbanites who get sentimental over wild animals. Farmers do not get misty-eyed over wolves and foxes or the pigs they raise for slaughter.

St. Louis said...

Seventy-five years ago, most American blacks were rural people. Many blacks whom I know in St. Louis still have deep roots in the south. Some of them make a multi-generational family ritual out of deer hunting. Mostly they go to Arkansas or Mississippi, where their relatives and land are. It's little different than what whites here do.

I guess that whether blacks are comfortable outdoors depends on whether they still have connections in the rural south. Probably most in big cities far above the Mason-Dixon Line do not.

Earnest Prole said...

Affinity for travel and the outdoors is passed down through families, and black families were unwelcome in many motels in the United States (not just the South) until after the civil rights era. If you doubt that, look up your location in The Negro Motorist Green Book. The article there is also worth reading for those who have forgotten our history.

Achilles said...

“This is an extension of the Civil Rights movement. Pure and simple,” he says. “[Reconnecting with the earth] is basically the last act of what it means to become an American.”

If we kick the democrats out of the parks maybe she will feel safe again.

jaydub said...

Mike @ 1:43 makes sense. Around 52% of blacks live in larger cities with urban neighborhoods that are about as different from a national park as one can get. The cause of their discomfort with park settings isn't DNA, slavery or Jim Crow, it's likely anxiety brought on by a completely unfamiliar environment. The concentration of blacks in urban areas, coupled with the fact that 72% of black babies are born to unwed mothers makes it very unlikely that many ever experience a family outing to a national park or even to a rural setting before they become adults, if then. Consequently, it's doubtful their anxiety has anything to do with race, other than differences that exist in black family structures, but everything to do with environment. I have a white friend who grew up in a disfunctional family in the projects of Far Rockaway, NY who never saw a forest larger than Central Park until she moved out of NYC as an adult. She wouldn't be caught dead in a national park, either.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

This post needs a "jimbino (commenter)" tag!

JaimeRoberto said...

Many years ago my brother took in a black family from their church who was losing their home. My brother took them fishing or camping or something, and the father let it be known that he didn't like going into rural areas because he just did not feel comfortable. Perhaps he logically knows that nothing is likely to happen, but why take the risk when the consequences could be so dire? Whites often feel the same about urban areas.

Interestingly the mother was wary about moving in with a white family because she feared my brother's kids would be unruly since apparently whites don't discipline their children enough.

mockturtle said...

Since I do a lot of camping and hiking, I have a chance to see the ethnic mix out there. While campers and hikers are mostly white, there are blacks, Hispanics and Asians represented. It's often an extension of one's childhood experiences, I think. Nothing to do with DNA.

I know that Clarence Thomas and his wife travel in an RV. When we get to a certain age, sleeping in a tent becomes a little less attractive.

mockturtle said...

A friend who lived in Sweden rented an RV and toured the western US. She said she found the vastness and desolation 'frightening'. Actually, I've met other Europeans who had the same reaction. The notion of driving hundreds of miles through what seems like 'nothingness' bothers some who are used to urban settings. To me, the more desolate, the better.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

After Hours: 4 Creepy Truths Behind Popular Scary Stories

Part of that video discusses academic work regarding the origin of horror tropes by culture; they hypothesize that the fact that Americans are more likely to view "the woods" as dangerous (vs. the British who are more likely to view "the city" as dangerous) influences the differentials in types of scary stories that become popular in different cultures. I don't see why a similar dynamic wouldn't work for different cultures within a country.

rhhardin said...

DNA fear of mamba snakes.

Bruce Hayden said...

Hey, maybe poverty prevents the visits from Blacks and Latinos.

Very much depends on where. Right outside Flagstaff yesterday, I pulled off on what turned out to be a National Monument access road, in the middle of nowhere. Driving a 24 foot moving truck, I ended up driving to the end, so that I could turn around. Never did figure out the purpose of the place, but did use the facilities. About a dozen vehicles parked - about half maybe Hispanic, a couple of Asian tourists, and even a car of Blacks. Not that many white Americans though.

Any of you >= 62, if you haven't already, get your Senior Pass, good for life at NPS, NFS, BLM, Fish and Wildlife, and Reclamation. It was $20 a couple years ago, and I have paid it off many times over - stopping yesterday at the restroom would have cost me $8 otherwise. My next brother, who turned me onto them, paid his off in one weekend.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Mike @ 1:43 makes sense. Around 52% of blacks live in larger cities with urban neighborhoods that are about as different from a national park as one can get. The cause of their discomfort with park settings isn't DNA, slavery or Jim Crow, it's likely anxiety brought on by a completely unfamiliar environment

This is a good point. When you are unfamiliar with environments where you have not been raised or had much contact with, it can be uncomfortable, scary and intimidating. Think of the country bumpkins who have never gone to the big city. Same thing.

Also when you are not financially able to go outside of your comfort zone or you don't even think to make it a priority to take a trip to a park, it is understandable that you would not go....or be uncomfortable in the experience.

HOWEVER, to attribute your discomfort with some sort of atavistic DNA or racial memory of slavery is just stupid.

Blame it on a whole lot of factors, but to blame racism, play the victim is dumber than dumb. Tiresome.

Seriously. If the author is concerned out this, set up a foundation or other group to do some reaching out to inner city kids and give them the tools, skills and more importantly the desire to get outdoors. Learn to camp. Learn about the wilderness. Maybe even learn some HISTORY about the area without being immersed in racial animus propaganda.

Luke Lea said...

Come, now, there weren't that many lynchings, almost none in the last hundred years. She needs to get a grip on her runaway imagination.

Earnest Prole said...

The commenters taking the DNA statement literally are playing dumb and using it as an excuse to avoid understanding what this woman is really saying.

YoungHegelian said...

@mockturtle,

Actually, I've met other Europeans who had the same reaction. The notion of driving hundreds of miles through what seems like 'nothingness' bothers some who are used to urban settings.

Take a gander at these descriptions of German soldiers having the same experience during the invasion of the USSR in 1940.

Fernandinande said...

EDH said...
The Great Outdoors!: Minorities Hardest Hit.


Especially the black bears. They're afraid of the brown bears because they're segregated from the white bears who pose like queens at the top of the globe because the white bears oppressed all the other bears away.

mockturtle said...
The notion of driving hundreds of miles through what seems like 'nothingness' bothers some who are used to urban settings. To me, the more desolate, the better.


The Euros I talked to seemed more amazed than scared, but I agree about desolation.

MadisonMan said...

The commenters taking the DNA statement literally are playing dumb and using it as an excuse to avoid understanding what this woman is really saying.

Enlighten us please. Share your bountiful wisdom!!

mockturtle said...

YH, thanks for the link. The same phenomenon exactly!

Gretchen said...

Maybe blacks just don't like the clothes at REI, and would rather use indoor plumbing than go camping.

n.n said...

[class] diversity in the urban jungle.

Bob Loblaw said...

But this reads like so much BS. Stop being a slave to the past.

I wonder if the actual slaves, freed in 1865, would be proud of what their descendents are doing with their freedom.

Bob Loblaw said...

Actually, I've met other Europeans who had the same reaction. The notion of driving hundreds of miles through what seems like 'nothingness' bothers some who are used to urban settings.

Not Germans. The problem is getting them to keep their clothes on when they're somewhere it will bother other people.

David in Cal said...

Thomas Sowell has written that he spends a week in Yosemite National Park every year. Maybe this mysterious fear only affects liberal black people.

wild chicken said...

I happen to know a retired Parks cop from Cali and he said there are some real slimebags there now, so the cops started carrying sidearms. I wouldn't feel safe at Yosemite either. Glacier and Yellowstone not so dicey.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Earnest Prole said...
The commenters taking the DNA statement literally are playing dumb and using it as an excuse to avoid understanding what this woman is really saying.

2/6/17, 3:29 PM


Trump supporter, eh?

Playing dumb is an excellent summary of what the media is doing. That, and/or playing Stuart Smalley from MadTV. Mommy mommy mommy! I don't wanna!

dbp said...

In Marine basic training, I had the unexpected realization that not everyone knew how to swim. Growing up in suburbia, I did not know anyone who could not swim. There were so many routes to go: Boy scouts, the local community pool, the YMCA or YWCA, a neighbor's pool, lakes & streams nearby. So it was a big shock when pretty much all the urban recruits, who were mostly black, could not swim. Initially, I chalked it up to body type--they were, on average, much more muscular looking than the rest of us. It is known that muscle is dense and so floating is harder. But they all learned to swim, so I had to rule-out this early theory. My next theory is that urban kids just are not exposed to swim opportunities like kids from the suburbs are.

Their terror of the water was easily overcome by the greater terror of Marine Drill instructors and willing or not, they learned to swim. I think a similar effect applies to nature. Nature is close-by in the suburbs. What kid doesn't hike around in the woods, if there are woods nearby? Now that you are used to it, backpacking and camping are a natural vacation choice for when you are in college (or otherwise young and broke).

Tank said...

Is this why BLacks go to so few museums, hockey games and country concerts?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The notion of driving hundreds of miles through what seems like 'nothingness' bothers some who are used to urban settings.

And I feel the same when fenced in by tall, dark, dank, buildings. Crushed by people all around me. Claustrophobia!

I love the wide open vistas, miles and miles scenery, open land all around, cattle, wildlife, birds, predators, night skies awash in stars. It is all in our own taste. I don't attribute my lack of interest in NYC or uncomfortable experiences in urban area to some sort of atavistic Irish Immigrant bad experiences encoded in my DNA. That is just stupid.

Note: I grew up in those urban areas. San Francsico. Los Angeles. So at least I DO have a basis of comparison. I can't imagine ever going back to live in that environment.

This song makes me feel good, free, unfettered.

Give me land lots of land under starry skies up above
Don't fence me in.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Not Stuart Smalley, Stuart Larkin, apologies.

madtv.wikia.com/wiki/Stuart_Larkin

Look what I can do!

Sigivald said...

I believe Mike, above, has the right of it.

It's an "urban/non-urban" split more than anything, I think.

White New Yorkers seem to freak out about the outdoors, too, per the internet.*

(* Except the rich ones who do outdoor things e.g. In The Hamptons, as a cultural/status thing.

And even they might be a little wigged by the Serious Outdoors.)

Fernandinande said...

Gretchen said...
Maybe blacks just don't like the clothes at REI,


"African-American Boycott of L.L. Bean Enters 80th Year"

Earnest Prole said...

Trump supporter, eh?

As if that wasn’t already evident from my 2:41 PM comment.

Kevin said...

“This is an extension of the Civil Rights movement. Pure and simple,” he says.

He is Laslo.

Earnest Prole said...

Enlighten us please. Share your bountiful wisdom!!

Hyperbole is a common mode of communication. Those who take it absolutely literally are either dumb or playing dumb. I believe it’s been discussed thoroughly on this very blog.

Bob Loblaw said...

And I feel the same when fenced in by tall, dark, dank, buildings. Crushed by people all around me. Claustrophobia!

I feel the same way. I can't imagine going to a place like NYC willingly.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Earnest Prole said...
Trump supporter, eh?

As if that wasn’t already evident from my 2:41 PM comment.

2/6/17, 4:29 PM


" Earnest Prole said...
Affinity for travel and the outdoors " - 2:41 PM

Uh, no, not really.

jimbino said...

To Mike, Original Mike and Dust Bunny Queen I can only say,
"I TOLD YOU SO," here on this very Althouse blog over the past five or six years.

Now y'all need to learn that the solution is NOT to bus our minorities to the national parks, forests, monuments, BLM lands and those recent reserves of socialist Obama, but to sell off those expensive pieces of yuuge shit and return our patrimony to us Amerians who know better how to spend it than our paternalistic gummint ever will. Think food, education, health care and foreign travel, for starters.

Our gummint can't even manage our Buffalo, for chrissake, while Ted Turner has shown he can, without the billions that the gummint can waste.

Earnest Prole said...

Uh, no, not really.

;)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

To Mike, Original Mike and Dust Bunny Queen I can only say,
"I TOLD YOU SO," here on this very Althouse blog over the past five or six years.


To which...speaking for myself only....the response is...who gives a flying copulation? If blacks or others who consider themselves minorities want to go out into the wilderness and experience the great outdoors. No one is stopping you other than yourself. Get off your ass and put one some decent walking shoes and go. Not everyone can afford to go to Yellowstone Park. I haven't been there. But you can go to a State Park. If you can't arrange it on your own, maybe y'all can band together and set up a foundation or something for that purpose.

I really don't care. Take some initiative for yourself and stop demanding that other people do it for you.

sell off those expensive pieces of yuuge shit and return our patrimony to us Amerians (sic)

NOW you are talking. Why DOES the US government own 80% of some Western States. Why do they feel the need to lock those lands away from the local population and prevent development of the resources. Why do they want to control HUGE swaths of certain States, remove the ability to even access, drive or view the areas.

Sell that stuff!!!. There is no reason for the Federal Government to own the bulk of the western states. Check out this obsecenity as to how much of each State is owned, locked up, controlled by the Feds State by State government land


buwaya said...

"And I feel the same when fenced in by tall, dark, dank, buildings. Crushed by people all around me. Claustrophobia!"

But not me. Third world city boy. This is water, I am a fish.

rcocean said...

"German
French
Italian
Japanese"

Yep, all the national parks are overrun by Krauts and Japs. They love the outdoors. When I was in Africa, it was limey's and Krauts, very few Yankees.

rcocean said...

And frankly, I don't give a damn that ethic group X is not doing Y in the correct ratio to its percentage of the population.

Is anyone keeping Blacks out of the National Parks? LOL.

then why care?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

But not me. Third world city boy. This is water, I am a fish.

And that is good. Everyone has to live somewhere. Live where it makes you happy....if you can :-)

rcocean said...

"Now y'all need to learn that the solution is NOT to bus our minorities to the national parks, forests, monuments, BLM lands and those recent reserves of socialist Obama, but to sell off those expensive pieces of yuuge shit and return our patrimony to us Amerians who know better how to spend it than our paternalistic gummint ever will. Think food, education, health care and foreign travel, for starters."

No, the solution to do nothing, because there is no problem.

David said...

The African American outdoor experience is punctuated with rice and cotton. The planting, tending, harvest and processing were no picnic. This did not end with the demise of slavery.

I think they had enough of outdoor experience to last several more generations.

buwaya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mesquito said...

I think everyone should get to hear a chirpy whitebread ranger explain that the biggest threat to the park is You The Visitor

mockturtle said...

The African American outdoor experience is punctuated with rice and cotton. The planting, tending, harvest and processing were no picnic. This did not end with the demise of slavery.

I think they had enough of outdoor experience to last several more generations.


David, are you so incredibly naive that you think blacks were the only people who picked cotton and harvested rice? My mother's parents picked cotton in Bakersfield, CA, for a while during the Great Depression. I even have a photo of them filling those long bags. Nonetheless, they became avid campers, hikers and mountain climbers.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Yeah, and you never ever see blacks fishing anywhere.

Christy said...

I thought it was because until the Civil Rights Movement Americans of Color were unwelcome in hotels and restaurants, forcing them to embrace the State and National Parks. Thus leaving unpleasant memories and a distaste handed down over generations. Nothing to do with trees and bears, just less than pleasant associations.

Lyle said...

There is something to be said for what this woman is saying. I feel like there is some truth to it. I have a lot of African-American friends and acquaintances, and I can't recall anyone of them expressing an interest in camping or hiking or going to any of the national parks. When I talk about some of the places I've been too, I often get asked, "Where is that?".

I hiked and camped at Guadalupe Mountains National Park over the Thanksgiving holiday this past November. The park was packed by the park's standards and I didn't see a single African-American there. There were, however, a lot of international folks hiking there. There were a goodly number of Chinese folk there, two Japanese families, and more than several European and Indian/South Asian hikers. It's was like the United Nations climbing to the top of Guadalupe Peak. Everyone seemed to have a lovely day. I would love for all Americans, and Texans for sure, to get out to this hidden gem of a park.

buwaya said...

The roots of the near-religious idolatry of nature, and of communing with nature, whatever that is, as an act of virtue, as rest and renewal, is of course 19th-century romanticism.

Stuff like this became wildly fashionable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanderer_above_the_Sea_of_Fog

This is an image from very near the moment when that meme started. These were a lot of poetic Germans, lads of the gentry imagining they were something unique as lads will. What was Romantic in art they extended into an aesthetic of experience. The British picked it up rapidly, probably as Germans were so well connected at court and the British had a habit of hanging out in Switzerland.

This nature-worship is probably the last bit of 19th century Romanticism left.

Original Mike said...

Blogger jimbino said..."To Mike, Original Mike and Dust Bunny Queen I can only say,
"I TOLD YOU SO," here on this very Althouse blog over the past five or six years.

Now y'all need to learn that the solution is ..."


Solution to what? I don't see a problem.

Fred Drinkwater said...

You know who you never see in the deep woods? Former Army. Former Marines. You ever see a grunt or leatherneck voluntarily hike? No you have not.

(It took a lot for us kids to persuade our dad to take us hiking. He used to say "I did enough of that in the Marines to last a lifetime." Mostly we went with a trailer or similar, or on a boat. Marines like to ride on boats, as long as they can control where they get off the boat.)

Michael K said...

I happen to know a retired Parks cop from Cali and he said there are some real slimebags there now, so the cops started carrying sidearms. I wouldn't feel safe at Yosemite either. Glacier and Yellowstone not so dicey.

Years ago, I was robbed at Yosemite. That year there was a battle in the valley between motorcycle gangs and the state police who had to call in reenforcements.

That's when I started going to Catalina Island for vacations instead of parks.

mockturtle said...

In the past two years I've camped in Olympic National Park, North Cascades NP, Mt. Rainier NP, Big Bend NP, Grand Canyon NP, Denali NP, Joshua Tree NP and Great Smoky Mountains NP. Enjoyed them all.

Lewis Wetzel said...

If you believe that race determines a person's attitude towards anything, you are a racist.
Period.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger buwaya said...
The roots of the near-religious idolatry of nature, and of communing with nature, whatever that is, as an act of virtue, as rest and renewal, is of course 19th-century romanticism.

Yes, in Medieval times people considered wilderness to be wicked. The notion of a Medieval city, with its diverse architecture and narrow, twisting streets as aesthetically pleasing is also an invention of the age of romance. When the Medievals imagined their perfect city, it had buildings of uniform size laid out on a grid -- like a mid-century suburb.

donald said...

Joshua Tree is the bomb!

Michael K said...

"Yes, in Medieval times people considered wilderness to be wicked."

This was the case until the romantics.

If you look at the formal gardens of England designed in the 1600s and 1700s, they are geometric shapes. Wilderness was too close and too familiar to enjoy.

Larry Day said...

God, I've had a lot of friends die in national parks. Falls, avalanches, collapsing cornices and seracs. Three people I know have been mauled by grizzly bears, none fatally. Now that I'm retired from climbing and serious backcountry skiing, I just need to watch out for moose, bears and lightning on my mostly solo treks in pursuit of trout on the fly. Even for the competent, Denali, the walls of Yosemite, the Yellowstone and Glacier NP backcountry, are all still wild and dangerous places.

Larry Day said...

I live just 90 miles from Yellowstone and many of the best days of every year are spent in the Yellowstone backcountry. It's not uncommon for me to spend the whole day hiking and fly fishing in the park and never see another person between the time I leave the car and and my return.

mockturtle said...

Larry, did you know Susan Deery by any chance?

Craig Landon said...

I guess the Buffalo Soldiers and black cowhands didn't have many kids.

jimbino said...

@Louis Wetzel:

If you believe that race determines a person's attitude towards anything, you are a racist.
Period.

The gummint doesn't "believe" anything, but subsidizing with
taxpayer money, parks, forests (or Trump golf courses), attended overwhelmingly by White Amerikans and foreigners must be considered racist practices.

Lehnne said...

You would think that in 2017 black people would feel more safe in national parks rather than in the slaughter pens of Chicago and other major cities

Known Unknown said...

Where I live, near a State Park with a reservoir, I would gather than the population in the surrounding areas is probably about 5% African American. The fishermen who frequent the reservoir, however, are around 75% AA.

pdug said...

But its been 50 years since the last lynching in the USA.

Larry Day said...

Mock turtle, No I did not know Susan.