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The Unbearable Whiteness of Hiking

Brett Davis

Posted on March 17, 2021 21:46

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A major American metropolitan newspaper informs us not enough minorities are engaging in recreational bipedal locomotion in rural settings.

It’s progressive dogma that racism is an institutional and unbeatable force from which minorities can never escape. This politically expedient narrative — opposed by common sense, facts and reality — explains why the political left and its mainstream media enablers in this country never miss an opportunity to inject race into any and all aspects of life in these United States.

That much is obvious, given a recent article in the L.A. Times that claims hiking has a diversity problem. Apparently there are too many melanin-impoverished folks exploring the great outdoors and not enough of the category BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) doing the same.

The story’s opening paragraph is a testament to nonsensical buzzwords, victimhood-embracing platitudes and oxymoronic statements: “Longtime oppression and historical barriers have kept many people of color from feeling comfortable in the American outdoors. Now that may be changing. Groups in Southern California and around the nation have made it their goal to introduce people of color to nature in a positive way. Their mission is to remove barriers and help people experience the connection, whether they are seeking fitness, healing, personal accomplishment or knowledge about all the outdoors has to offer. For many, the first step is going on a hike. Here are groups working toward a more diverse outdoors.”

The phrases “longtime oppression” and “historical barriers” conjure up absurd and condescending images of minorities unable to don a good pair of shoes or boots, perhaps grab a water bottle and leave their homes to enjoy nature in all its resplendent glory. It’s 2021, so there are not — if there ever were — “white-only” hiking trails or anything of the sort as implied by the story. Furthermore, the term “barriers” as applied to the literal “outdoors” comes across as silly.

Such foolishness is part and parcel of a philosophy that believes diversity should be pursued dogmatically, not pragmatically, in the form of proportional representation in all things. That Americans who happen to be minorities are underrepresented — to use the parlance of the race-obsessed left — in terms of hiking is taken as prima facie evidence of bias and bigotry.

This perspective is ridiculous in that it utterly fails to take into account differences in culture, interests, preferences and talents that at least partly explain the current dispersion of groups in recreational activities like hiking.

Reducing the dominance of a particular group in a given activity or hobby to oppression and racism — in this case, white people and hiking — is lazy thinking. After all, black Americans are vastly overrepresented, as it were, in basketball, and yet no one seriously contends this is a bad thing requiring virtue-signaling efforts and programs to ensure more Asians, Latinos and whites take up the sport.

It's long past time for the racism forever crowd that sees discrimination and oppression everywhere to — metaphorically and ironically — take a hike.

Brett Davis

Posted on March 17, 2021 21:46

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Source: Civil Beat

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