Monday, April 23, 2018

Why are the National Parks so white?

This sharp short video answers that question succinctly -- and includes a multitude of old pictures from America's Best Idea (if you weren't a native person who was dispossessed in order to create them.)

7 comments:

Rain Trueax said...

I know everything can be blamed on our federal government but the idea that the parks today are for whites is not what I've observed. I see tours of Orientals and those from India frequently when in Utah national parks, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. Some parks have few people at them period. Maybe culturally it hasn't been encouraged by American minorities. A lot of white people don't value them either and see them as something that should be privatized. I think people who grow up in homes that encourage time in nature are more inclined to visit the parks and want them to be protected for future generations. In Tucson I live where there is a sizeable Hispanic and black community and I don't see them, in proportion to their numbers, on the desert trails. I do see them at community parks in town. We all do what we value and a lot of that is taught. Schools, at least in my experience, don't teach the value of nature to the spirit. It's taught in homes if taught at all. Picking up garbage and recycling is not the same as wanting to sit under a tree and feel its energy or walk a desert trail.

Yesterday we drove around some of Tucson's neighborhoods with the goal of taking photos. We went from barrios to a very prestigious neighborhood with homes around a million dollars. It's an old neighborhood with maybe mostly whites there (although we didn't see people outside except one young family) but on some of the lawns were signs saying they welcomed all as neighbors, no matter what religion or ethnicity (paraphrased as I should have photographed the sign). The words were in three languages. Of course, political differences might not be welcome-- they aren't a lot of places.

It would be good if there were more videos that encouraged all to love nature and get out in it. I am not sure that video would do that but instead wanted to blame somebody for past wrongs that are still the problem today. It reminds me of some people who can never get past the wrongs their family did them. It kind of ruins the potential for today.

Celia said...

Asians please, orientals are rugs, or vases and such. My Asian family members agree. It's also illegal to use in Federal government documents as 2016. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/congress-race-oriental-negro/482238/

Rain Trueax said...

I had never heard that as I thought of it as being the Orient. My Persian rug is not from the Orient... I did though look it up and saw this. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-tsuchiyama-oriental-insult-20160601-snap-story.html I get it that political correctness is important to some people. I have Chinese friends but not all whose families come from the East are Chinese or Japanese. The tours I mentioned came from other countries, not from the US and it was obvious. I have though seen Chinese and Japanese American families visiting Yellowstone.

Anyway sorry it offended you. I have Native American nieces but have no idea right now what they prefer as sometimes it's Indian. I know the tribes from which they came and it's safest in a PC world.

Celia said...

I'm sorry back Rain. I'm not offended, just years of being editor rising up. I meant it as informational and not a rebuke. I will be more careful with my own wording. I also apologize to jan for driving her post sort offtrack.

Celia said...

Sort of offtrack.

Rain Trueax said...

No, it's ontrack because this is a time of racism and I understand people being sensitive. We have Chinese and Indian (from India) friends. I would never offend someone if I understood it was hurtful. That's the problem-- knowing what's hurtful.

Rain Trueax said...

even when I use the term Hispanic, i never know what's okay today :( My nieces are btw half Native American :) Klamath and umatilla

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