NY Times: Why Are Our Parks So White?
Although Ken Burns made a documentary called “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” The New York Times is lamenting that black people aren’t so fond of the pristine wilderness, and attribute their lack of interest in nature to, what else, White racism:
“The national parks attracted a record 292.8 million visitors in 2014, but a vast majority were white and aging. The most recent survey commissioned by the park service on visitation, released in 2011, found that 22 percent of visitors were minorities, though they make up some 37 percent of the population.
This suggests an alarming disconnect. The Census Bureau projects that the country will have a majority nonwhite population by 2044. If that new majority has little or no relationship with the outdoors, then the future of the nation’s parks, and the retail and nonprofit ecosystem that surrounds them, will be in trouble. …
There was always nervous banter as we cruised through small rural towns on our way to a park. And there were jokes about finding a “Whites Only” sign at the entrance to our destination or the perils of being lynched or attacked while collecting firewood after the sun went down. Our cultural history taught us what to expect.”
Rather than ridicule and dismiss this absurd idea, The New York Times treats this sort of black hysteria about White lynch mobs lurking in the wilderness of Yosemite and Yellowstone with a tone of seriousness. Among other black conspiracy theories and urban legends, millions of black people also believe that the US federal government created AIDS to kill off the black population and that Church’s Chicken is owned by the Ku Klux Klan and uses a secret ingredient to make black men sterile.
“We need to demolish the notion that the national parks and the rest of nature are an exclusive club where minorities are unwelcome.
The place to start is the National Park Service. About 80 percent of park service employees in 2014 were white. The parks’ official charity, the National Park Foundation, has four minority members on its 22-person board. …
The National Park Service is the logical leader to blaze a trail to racial diversity in the natural world. It has a high public profile, and its approaching centennial can serve as a platform for redefinition.”
Naturally, The New York Times concludes that a massive affirmative action plan is necessary “to blaze a trail to racial diversity” in the National Park Service, which is hideously White and unwelcoming to minority visitors. It worked out so well in post-colonial Africa!