ABC News: America’s national parks afflicted by white blight
Over the past five weeks, protests held for George Floyd have left 25 people dead, resulted in untold millions of dollars in damage, forced cops off the job and prompted the destruction of numerous monuments dedicated to the nation’s most storied historic icons.
The very nature and character of America are now under assault as radicals hunt for “systemic racism.” And yet Wall Street Journal columnist Jason L. Riley, who is Black, makes perhaps the most important, and overlooked, point of the whole episode.
“So far,” he wrote on June 23, “we haven’t seen a shred of evidence that George Floyd’s death in police custody last month was racially motivated.”
Yet Black Lives Matter, Antifa and our left-wing media are in overdrive to make Americans believe they live under a Ku Klux Klan caliphate.
No area of life is safe from this. Not sports stadiums, corporate boardrooms, big city streets, college campuses and now, per ABC News, not even the great outdoors.
In fact, America’s beautiful national parks are victimized by white blight.
In what it declared an “existential crisis,” the network reported on July 1: “New government data, shared first with ABC News, shows the country’s premier outdoor spaces — the 419 national parks — remain overwhelmingly white. Just 23 [percent] of visitors to the parks were people of color, the National Park Service found in its most recent 10-year survey; 77 [percent] were white. Minorities make up 42 [percent] of the U.S. population.”
Joel Pannell, associate director of the Sierra Club, who is Black, told ABC, “The outdoors and public lands suffer from the same systemic racism that the rest of our society does.”
One imagines ABC News writers were barely held back from alternative headlines such as “Honky if you love national parks,” or maybe “The unbearable whiteness of being — outside.”
David Vela, the acting director of the park system, said the data told him that “we’ve got some work to do.”
By the way, the irony of the piece was lost on ABC. Vela is the first Hispanic to manage the sprawling park service, appointed in 2017 by the racist-in-chief, President Donald J. Trump.
One has to read deep into the piece before learning why minorities don’t visit parks at the same clip as white Americans.
“Lack of transportation to national parks and the cost of visiting were cited as the top reasons people — especially Black and Hispanic Americans — don’t visit them more often,” ABC News reported.
“Twice as many [B]lack and Hispanic Americans said they don’t know what to do in national parks than whites. When asked if they share the same interests as people who visit national parks, 34 [percent] of Black respondents and 27 [percent] of Hispanics said no, compared with only 11 [percent] of whites.”
So, in other words, minorities frequently lack the resources to get to or in the parks, aren’t sure what to do if or when they get there, and for a significant number of them, apparently don’t really like to camp, hike, watch nature, or do other outdoorsy activities.
But racism holds them back from not doing it.
One piece of evidence of systemic racism uncovered by ABC News was that not only are park signs written primarily in English but “park ranger uniforms that resemble what is worn by law enforcement are intimidating to some immigrants and minorities in light of documented cases of profiling.”
In short, too much khaki and hiking jackboots.
Underlying the offensive white-park-goers-are-racists angle, ABC News apparently tried to make the point that minorities will soon be a majority of the U.S. population, and if they don’t want to partake of parks, the parks will disappear somehow.
But that darn racism gets in the way of boosting their interest since the park system’s workforce is more than 80 percent white, and despite the government’s best marketing efforts, there have been only “minor improvements” in getting minorities to visit parks, ABC News noted.
Minority advocates who want more people like them to visit parks, according to ABC News, “hope the moment since George Floyd’s death in police custody brings attention to systemic racism in the outdoors as well as other parts of society and translates into a long-term change in attitudes and behavior.”
Yet there’s only one problem.
Despite the hate, resentment, violence and cultural civil war that has been stoked in Floyd’s name over the past month or so, no one, as Jason Riley points out, has shown the Floyd incident was racist by nature or in practice.
It’s been taken on faith — and no amount of showing how often police abuse whites or other non-Blacks, or that minority officers can sometimes be brutal, has proven persuasive.
If ABC News, which of course would never do a piece on how whites feel uncomfortable in minority sections of major cities, has taught us anything with this report, it is that anything can be racist, if you only look hard enough.
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