Did you think everyone is born with the right to go outside, smell the roses and maybe enjoy some hiking? According to one student’s analysis of white privilege in outdoor culture, you’re wrong.
A student at Claremont Colleges in California has claimed that the schools’ outdoor programs are “predominately white spaces” that are “uncomfortable” for students of color. “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,” Malcolm McCann wrote.
Doc stood in for Glenn on today’s show and talked about this story with Kal. Both were puzzled by the idea that being “outdoorsy” is exclusively for white people.
Want the full story? Read our explainer here.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.
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This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
DOC: Take part in any outdoor activities? Do you golf? How about hiking? Do you bike ride? Go for walks? Anything outdoors other than just, you know, going and getting in the car? You spend any significant time outdoors? Do you camp, any of that stuff? Well, if you’re saying yes, that’s because you’re white.
DOC: It’s because you’re white.
KAL: I beg to differ. I’ve seen many races outdoors.
DOC: Trust me, they were masquerading as some other race. Trust me they were. I think they were likely white people in disguise. That’s probably what it was.
I say that because a student at Claremont College in California wrote an op-ed that says non-white people are excluded from the outdoors because of white supremacy.
And I can’t tell you all the times I’ve gotten together at the Klan meetings. And we’re there with the hoods. And burning the crosses, just to keep everybody else from outside.
You know, it’s our goal, you know, to keep as many people inside as possible.
KAL: As many white — you want white people outside.
DOC: Yeah. We want the non-white people inside. The white people outside. You know, that’s the goal.
KAL: This is a white-only hiking trail. Sorry.
DOC: He explains it this way in his op-ed piece, he says, due to the predominance of whiteness in the outdoors.
KAL: That sounds like — that sounds like a bad combination.
DOC: You know what, I’ve seen white people outside. I have seen them outside.
KAL: I have seen one or two.
DOC: Due to the predominance of whites outdoors, people of color have been denied access to outdoors. What? With the boarding up of doors, windows, barring them.
KAL: I don’t really think this person lives in another country.
DOC: You haven’t seen this?
KAL: I haven’t seen any of this.
DOC: That’s likely because you’re one of those white people.
KAL: Has he been outside? Because seems quite a few other people outside.
DOC: Hmm. Let me think. He said, due to the predominance of whiteness outdoors, we’re getting into wintertime.
Is that what he means? Well, with all the snow and what not. And the whiteness.
KAL: The whiteness is causing the winter.
DOC: I don’t know. He says, outdoor clubs are the most funded on campus. Yet, are saturated with white supremacy. The outdoor clubs.
So likely what they did, okay. It’s our hiking club. Welcome to the hiking club.
KAL: Yes. Hi, my name is Jim.
DOC: Hey, Jim, welcome to the club. And we’ve all been here for a while, for a few years. Tell you all about the hiking. We go on a couple trips for year. Here’s the list of things you’ll need to hike.
KAL: Oh, great, great.
DOC: You’ll see here it has the shoes. The white sheets. You’re going to need —
KAL: Why do you need a sheet to go hiking?
DOC: For the outfit, for the outfit. You’ll need that. A cross to burn.
KAL: Hold on.
DOC: A lunch. A picnic lunch.
KAL: Cross to burn, I’m not cool with that. Pointy hat.
DOC: You’ll need some nooses. We go lynching people, to keep them inside. That’s our goal.
KAL: Going to have to avoid this group.
DOC: He says the outdoor clubs are saturated with white supremacy. He admits the clubs are open for all people, yet saturated with white supremacy, because no matter the color of someone’s skin, you can attend these clubs, but not everyone feels safe to attend.
So it’s a safety issue that is having the whites rule supreme at these outdoor clubs at Claremont Colleges in California. Oh, they must be.
See, apparently, this is part of the systematic racism, where it’s scaring people to keep them away. It’s a scare tactic. Well, we don’t want them as part of our outdoors club. You know.
He went on to write in his op-ed piece, this discomfort is unfortunately caused by existing racial boundaries. Historically, white people in imperialist conquests have appropriated land as their own. 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.
We know we own —
DOC: We own nature. Whitey, of course.
KAL: Do the trees and the birds and the squirrels.
DOC: White. Absolutely white.
You mean do tell me any non-white people out there, somewhere — a non-white person owns a tree.
DOC: Please. Yeah, yeah.
KAL: I’m pretty sure.
DOC: You’re so naive, Kal. So naive. The image of the outdoorsy individual, he said, is an exclusive classification that gives white people the authority to venture into the outdoors freely, leaving people of color behind.
KAL: This is so ridiculous.
DOC: How do you even come up with this? How can you even write this?
KAL: I have no words.
DOC: I think I may understand it. They smoke a lot of dope in Claremont Colleges. That’s the only thing I could come up with.
KAL: Or his head is so far up his other thing, that’s –
DOC: Maybe there was a fall in his past, and he hit his head a lot, repeatedly.
He went on to say, racial barriers that prevent nonwhites from stepping outside. But also, financial barriers are a problem.
DOC: To non-white people being allowed into the great outdoors. He said, only people with economic privilege can participate in outdoor activities.
KAL: I don’t know if you know this, you don’t need that much to go hiking.
DOC: Oh, walking is — you know how expensive walking is?
Every time I head out — I mean, I can afford it because I’m white.
DOC: Every time I head out, they’re like, that’s going to be $450 billion. And I just write the check. And I’m like, man, fortunately, I make 700 trillion as a week, you know, as a white person, and I can afford it.
KAL: That’s right.
DOC: But crazy expensive to walk. I mean, that’s — you know, and running. You know, I run now —
KAL: You do run.
DOC: Even more expensive.
KAL: Secret white trail.
DOC: Me and my economic privilege participating in activities.
He also says understanding obscure outdoor lingo is something that — that white people get. Nonwhites don’t.
You know, we have this special — special language like — well, I’ll give you some examples of special coded things that apparently non-white people don’t understand about the great outdoors, like walk. Walk.
KAL: Walk. That’s a white-only thing?
DOC: I assume. I mean, these are outdoorsy terms. Run. Picnic. Maybe they don’t know that.
Golf. Maybe they don’t know what that word means. Frisbee. Okay. That’s pretty white. That’s a bad example. Don’t use that. That’s actually a really bad example. I think that just may be for white people. Stupidly, but, yeah.
Not because nonwhites are excluded. It’s just they’re smarter than whites and they don’t actually take part in fraul (phonetic) — they’re not a part of that.
So can you think of any other lingo that may be throwing them off, where they’re like, I don’t understand what they’re talking about. The cracker is over there. What with words like —
KAL: Run and jump.
DOC: And swim. Fish. They don’t — they don’t understand them apparently.
KAL: Throw the ball.
DOC: So you got the financial barriers. Economic privilege. You got the special lingo. I imagine garb is a part of that.
KAL: So it’s a recipe for —
DOC: It also said friendship can act as a portal for the whiteness, for those who have historically been denied the privilege of comfort.
DOC: Let me share that again. Friendship can act as a portal to the wilderness, for those who have been historically denied the privilege of comfort.
So I guess invite a non-white friend to the great outdoors. You’ll have to explain to them, this is a — sidewalk. Sidewalk. Repeat after me.
KAL: What we’re going to do now, 1 foot in front of the other.
DOC: Like this. You need to get them used to it. How to do this.
KAL: It’s called jogging. The J is silent.
DOC: Now, he offers some solution to the outdoors being part of white supremacy. Would you like to know his solutions?
KAL: I would be thrilled.
DOC: Number one, affirm that nature belongs to all humans, not just white ones.
DOC: We need that affirmation.
KAL: We need to know that. Okay. I didn’t know nature belonged to humans at all, but okay.
DOC: No. For all you whites out there, that are walking around like nature belongs to you exclusively, it does not. And I’m here to affirm that it does not just belong to you. It belongs to the other folk as well, not just to the crackers. Not just to the honkies. Not just to the peckerwoods, but everybody. I’m here to affirm — how do we affirm — how many times do I have to say this?
No, no, no. So how do I — do I have to put it on signs, or is there a public — I mean, I just affirmed it.
KAL: Yeah, I think you probably have —
DOC: Am I done affirming, or do I have to keep affirming? Does everybody have to affirm it all the time? I don’t know — I wish he would offer a clarification. But anyway —
KAL: Kind of like if you’re white, you have to affirm it.
DOC: Affirm that nature belongs to all humans, not just white ones. Number two, the image of the outdoor enthusiast should not belong to just white people. That’s one of the solutions.
KAL: The image of the outdoor enthusiast.
DOC: Yes. Should not belong to just white people.
DOC: Which means, Kal, we proceed to fix that by —
KAL: Making more nonwhite people —
DOC: The image of outdoor enthusiasts should not just belong to white people.
KAL: Are you talking about, like, magazines and ads and things?
DOC: I was hoping you could help me out with this. I have no idea what this means. I don’t know.
KAL: Do they know that the guy who — well, not this year. But the last 50 New York City marathons have been won by, like, an African guy. Like a Kenyan.
DOC: No! It’s white guys.
KAL: This is the first year in I don’t know how long.
DOC: I don’t think they let blacks enter. They don’t even let them enter, do they?
In fact, there’s none in Manhattan. That’s entire outdoors, been exclusively white people.
You’re telling me there are blacks that enter the New York marathon? Is it like a separate, but equal marathon?
KAL: No, no, no. They all run together. They all run together.
DOC: Okay. You run in Harlem. And we’ll all run around Central Park.
KAL: No, no, everyone runs together. It’s kind of co-mingling.
DOC: Okay. You’re embarrassing yourself here. Let me just stop you. You obviously are misinformed. I’m just going to stop you before you embarrass yourself even more.
KAL: There’s this game called basketball, where they play —
DOC: And that is primarily played, where?
DOC: There it is. How often is the MBA played inside?
KAL: Not quite often.
DOC: Okay. How often does the NFL play outside?
KAL: Sometimes they’re open domes. You know, they’re not always —
DOC: Like I said, it’s 50/50.
Number three, white people should exert caution as not to dominate ownership of the word outdoorsy.
KAL: You guys own that? I didn’t know that. Okay.
DOC: I own the word “outdoorsy.” I mean, I say it at least once every millennia. Once every maybe decade. How often do you say outdoorsy?
KAL: When describing myself, not often at all.
DOC: Does it ever — you would say outdoors? I will go outdoors.
KAL: I don’t even think I say outdoors.
DOC: That often?
KAL: Where is the car? Outside.
DOC: All right. I’m going to go ahead and give it to you. I’m happy to never say it again. I feel comfortable with that.
KAL: You’re giving up your white privilege?
DOC: I am. Because I don’t want to dominate ownership of the word outdoorsy. I’m going to exert caution as to not dominate it.
KAL: All right. Thank you. Thank you for —
DOC: It’s the least I could do.
KAL: Okay. Thank you.
DOC: And finally, he says, outdoor clubs on college campuses should work to increase accessibility and to help people learn the skills they will need. Increase accessibility to the outdoors.
KAL: Okay. All right.
DOC: I’m thinking more doors, more windows. Is that what we need? So colleges and dorms — you know what we need? Maybe a white door and a black or non-white door.
KAL: You might want to be careful. Because they used to do that.
DOC: Well, yeah, but see, what we would do was have more nonwhite doors, so they would have greater accessibility to the outside. Apparently, they’re getting bottlenecked at the door.
Maybe their doors are more narrow or something. Maybe like garage doors or more of them.
Until we get more teleportation, that’s what I’m going for. More windows. More escape hatches. I’m willing to hear it all because I don’t want to dominate the great outdoors.