In an op-ed for the school paper, a student at Pitzer college claims outdoor programs are “predominantly white spaces” that prevent “people of color” from being able to go outside.
Now, even nature is a white nationalist, yet they keep harping on global warming.
Campus Reform reports Malcolm McCann, a freshman at Pitzer College, claims in the op-ed that outdoor clubs such as the Pitzer Outdoor Adventure (POA) and On the Loose (OTL) are “predominately white spaces.”
“Both clubs claim to be accessible: while trips are open to any student wanting to go, not everyone feels the same ease in entering the outdoors,” McCann writes, adding “This discomfort is unfortunately caused by existing racial boundaries.”
“Historically, white people in imperialist conquests have appropriated land as their own,” he claims. “North America rightfully belongs to indigenous communities, yet it has been taken away from them by force. Consequently, a false sense of ownership of nature permeates white America.”
“Similarly, the image of a modern outdoor enthusiasts [sic] is white, as is the historical image of a naturalist,” he continues. “The great icons of nature—John Muir, Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau—are all white men. At present, most famous rock climbers are also disproportionately white.
McCann also claims the term “outdoorsy” is an expression of “whiteness” that contributes to the exclusion of “people of color.”
“This whiteness manifests in the term ‘outdoorsy’—a descriptor for those who spend a significant time in the outdoors, who are equipped with the necessary gear, and who feel connected to nature,” McCann argues. “The image of the ‘outdoorsy individual’ is an exclusive classification that gives white people the authority to venture into the outdoors freely, leaving people of color behind.”
McCann also claims a lack of money means “people of color” cannot spend time outdoors.
“Many National Parks are hundreds of miles from large cities. Consequently, only those with access to a vehicle and money for gas will be able to enjoy them,” he writes. “Similarly, only students with economic privilege have the resources to attend summer programs that teach wilderness skills.”
According to McCann, the “emphasis on acquiring requisite skills … excludes low-income individuals.”
Campus Reform reports, Pitzer College is a member institution of the Claremont Colleges. The Claremont colleges heavily fund outdoor programs, something McCann concedes in his op-ed. This means transportation options for students would be subsidized.
The club McCann is a member of, the “Pitzer Outdoor Adventure,” had more than $7,500 in funding at the beginning of the school year.
For the outdoor clubs to be more inclusive, McCann suggests having “more accessible, entry-level workshops and trips that do not require advanced technical skills,” adding that white people should be careful not to dominate the word “outdoorsy.”
According to Campus Reform, McCann is a white student. When approached for comment by Campus Reform, he requested to remain off the record and would not comment if he was part of the problem he has established.
The projection is strong with this one.
Featured Image Via Pixabay