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saber
06-04-2010, 22:16
I am an African American planning to thru-hike the AT in 2013,after I retire from Active Duty. I need information from former thru-hikers so I can plan my hike and have a memorable experience on the trail as all thru-hikers have from the journalsI have read. Do I need to plan any different from a regular thru-hiker, is hitch hiking an option, are there towns,hostels or other places I a better off avoiding? etc.

Lone Wolf
06-04-2010, 22:27
i'm a northern yankee American and i never had no trouble

fiddlehead
06-04-2010, 22:29
I don't know why things should be any different for you than anyone else on the trail.

Most likely, you will get asked some things about your religion (or told about theirs) when hitchhiking. Best to say you believe in Jesus (whether you do or not) (Could keep you out of some trouble.)

It is always a good idea to use a sign (I use my tyvek ground sheet and a Sharpie), to say that you are an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker and need a ride.

Have a great hike!

ps. are you a troll?

randyg45
06-04-2010, 23:30
"Best to say you believe in Jesus (whether you do or not) (Could keep you out of some trouble.)"

Do you somehow believe religious bigotry is less offensive than racial bigotry?

randyg45
06-04-2010, 23:39
I'm not black, so I don't know, but I suspect hitching might be more difficult. Putting "retired soldier" on your hitching sign might help anyone with their thumb out. Thirty+ years ago there were places in N Ga that might have been problematical, but I believe that's a thing of the past.
I have no doubt that you've seen far worse.
Thanks for your service.

chiefiepoo
06-04-2010, 23:59
I am an African American planning to thru-hike the AT in 2013,after I retire from Active Duty. I need information from former thru-hikers so I can plan my hike and have a memorable experience on the trail as all thru-hikers have from the journalsI have read. Do I need to plan any different from a regular thru-hiker, is hitch hiking an option, are there towns,hostels or other places I a better off avoiding? etc.
Well, Wahiawa is not quite a walk in the park as it were either. But you made your way there. A smile, openess to chat with the locals, listen to their stories and information shared, and you should be fine. A little humility can go a long way with those in the rural south AND north. Remember alll of the Boy Scout words and practice them. Much different now than in the 70 's when I was greeted along I 95 in Ga with a large billboard picturing a knight of the KKK and welcoming all to "the heart of clan country". As hikers, we are impressed with ourselves. The locals, not so much. Try to identify with the locals instead of being overly concerned about differences.

the goat
06-05-2010, 09:51
Most likely, you will get asked some things about your religion (or told about theirs) when hitchhiking. Best to say you believe in Jesus (whether you do or not) (Could keep you out of some trouble.)

this is one of the sillier posts i've seen on here in a while. will you likely get preached to on a hitch in the south? yes, absolutely, happened to me several times. are you in any danger or "trouble" if you don't answer positively....no.

i can see it now:
driver: "have you accepted jesus as your lord and savior?"
hitch hiker: "uh, no."
driver: "get out of the car, i'm gonna kick your ass!!"

please.:rolleyes:

the goat
06-05-2010, 09:57
that said, the only place that i observed any racism at all was the dog patch bar in maryland. that place has a culture of racism among the ownership & patrons. what i saw & heard there, i've never forgotten because it was so disgusting.

in fact, it was so overtly vile and offensive that i'm not going to post here what i saw. if anyone wants/ needs to know; they can PM me.

trust me though, as a black person you're unlikely to get a warm reception there, which is sad.

Sailor (The other one)
06-05-2010, 10:53
I'm neither Black nor a thru-hiker (yet). But I am a research freak.
If I were you I'd Google such phrases as "African American hikers" (http://www.google.com/search?q=African+American+Hikers&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGLL_en). I did that and found such websites as Outdoor Afro (http://outdoorafro.ning.com/forum/topics/african-american-hiking-group) where you may get help from experienced Black hikers.

It might also be a good thing for you to return here and mention anything you find that might be of us to others.

Good luck, have a great hike and I also thank you for your service.

Bianchi Veloce
06-05-2010, 10:54
Thank you for your service to our country, Sir. It would be an honor to hike with you for a bit of the trail in the south or to provide any assistance I could. I'm a couple of hours away from the AT in GA and NC.

Ramble~On
06-05-2010, 11:14
A hiker is a hiker and the trail family extends to those who provide services along the trail. I don't think that there's some sort of strange buffer anywhere along the Appalachian Trail that makes it any diffferent from anywhere else in the United States. Do you need to plan any differently from a "regular thru hiker" ? I don't understand the question. If you plan to thru hike the AT you will be a regular thru hiker..(if there is such a thing.)
I've met people of all races from all over the globe along the AT and they were all doing something that they enjoyed. The blind, the deaf, those with one leg...those with other physical handicaps and those who can't understand a word of our language probably had similar concerns prior to starting their hikes. I don't see any reason for race to be an issue or cause for special planning. Enjoy the trail!

Sierra Echo
06-05-2010, 15:37
I'm not black, so I don't know, but I suspect hitching might be more difficult. Putting "retired soldier" on your hitching sign might help anyone with their thumb out. Thirty+ years ago there were places in N Ga that might have been problematical, but I believe that's a thing of the past.
I have no doubt that you've seen far worse.
Thanks for your service.

Where on earth did you come up with THAT? Obviously you have never spent time up in N Ga. Also, N Ga is no worse racially then anywhere else! :mad:

Feral Bill
06-05-2010, 16:01
Where on earth did you come up with THAT? Obviously you have never spent time up in N Ga. Also, N Ga is no worse racially then anywhere else! :mad:

I believe that the poster refers to what the OP may have seen in combat, not in Georgia.

fiddlehead
06-05-2010, 20:25
this is one of the sillier posts i've seen on here in a while. will you likely get preached to on a hitch in the south? yes, absolutely, happened to me several times. are you in any danger or "trouble" if you don't answer positively....no.

i can see it now:
driver: "have you accepted jesus as your lord and savior?"
hitch hiker: "uh, no."
driver: "get out of the car, i'm gonna kick your ass!!"

please.:rolleyes:

Well, I have hitchiked in many parts of the world: Around Japan, across Australia, 3 times around Western Europe, 1 month in Ireland, even a few times in Asia. (and 2 short hitches in Siberia)
I have hitched in almost half of the US' 50 states.

And I never got asked about Jesus in any of those places except for GA, NC, TN and VA. I'd even venture to say it happens around east TN 25% of the time or more.
Now, if you don't have an answer ready, you could be in for a long long tale and conversion attempt that can be very uncomfortable.
Maybe "trouble" is the wrong word, but, BE PREPARED is not bad advice.

Now maybe it doesn't happen to black people more than whites, I wouldn't know. But it's best to be prepared and you have now been warned.

I still think the OP is a troll anyway.
Maybe he'll prove me wrong but I ain't bettin on it.

Appalachian Tater
06-05-2010, 20:26
Forsyth County isn't considered North Georgia any longer?

fiddlehead
06-05-2010, 20:28
Sorry, I forgot about the Mormons in WY, MT, UT, ID. They'll do it too.

Sierra Echo
06-05-2010, 20:41
Forsyth County isn't considered North Georgia any longer?


You know, I live less then 5 miles from Forsyth County. Are you gonna call me a racist?

saber
06-05-2010, 21:56
Thanks,I am not worry about Md, my family is there

randyg45
06-05-2010, 22:35
Where on earth did you come up with THAT? Obviously you have never spent time up in N Ga. Also, N Ga is no worse racially then anywhere else! :mad:

I was raised in Atlanta in the 60s, came back post-Army, '75-80, lived there again from '82 to '90 after spending a couple years in Houston. During all those periods of time I spent as much time as possible in N Ga, hiking, fishing, hunting. Took my first weeklong solo in Warwoman when I was 15, etc etc etc.

As just one small example of the racism in N Ga during the 60s, every highway into Forsyth County bore a sign at the county line that read "N*****, don't let the sun set on your head". They meant it.

The only thing obvious here is that you don't know me, or the history of racism in N Ga.

randyg45
06-05-2010, 22:37
Well, I have hitchiked in many parts of the world: Around Japan, across Australia, 3 times around Western Europe, 1 month in Ireland, even a few times in Asia. (and 2 short hitches in Siberia)
I have hitched in almost half of the US' 50 states.

And I never got asked about Jesus in any of those places except for GA, NC, TN and VA. I'd even venture to say it happens around east TN 25% of the time or more.
Now, if you don't have an answer ready, you could be in for a long long tale and conversion attempt that can be very uncomfortable.
Maybe "trouble" is the wrong word, but, BE PREPARED is not bad advice.

Now maybe it doesn't happen to black people more than whites, I wouldn't know. But it's best to be prepared and you have now been warned.

I still think the OP is a troll anyway.
Maybe he'll prove me wrong but I ain't bettin on it.

I'll pray for you.

Sierra Echo
06-05-2010, 22:41
I was raised in Atlanta in the 60s, came back post-Army, '75-80, lived there again from '82 to '90 after spending a couple years in Houston. During all those periods of time I spent as much time as possible in N Ga, hiking, fishing, hunting. Took my first weeklong solo in Warwoman when I was 15, etc etc etc.

As just one small example of the racism in N Ga during the 60s, every highway into Forsyth County bore a sign at the county line that read "N*****, don't let the sun set on your head". They meant it.

The only thing obvious here is that you don't know me, or the history of racism in N Ga.

I have lived in Georgia all my life. I think I know a bit more then you. Just because there are one or two racists doesn't make the entire northern half of the state racist. Obviously you never took the time to get to know the people.

Tinker
06-05-2010, 23:07
i'm a northern yankee American and i never had no trouble

Was that double negative intentional? ;)

I am the same. I've never had any trouble from locals, folks picking me up hitching, or other hikers.

If you're hiking, you're a hiker to me. Race, sex, religion, etc. etc. are pretty much irrelevant on the trail to the great majority of fellow hikers.

Tinker
06-05-2010, 23:15
If it makes anyone feel better, I met my fair share of racists both here in the Northeast and in and around Richmond, Va. where I lived for a little over two years back in the 1970's. I've been assured that much has changed down south in the years since. I can say that around here I don't notice racism much (but I hang around with a much younger PC (not the school) generation in the retail sales and ever-so-earth mother conscious bicycle business :D.
Be a good human being and you will (hopefully) be repaid in kind.

Frosty
06-06-2010, 01:00
this is one of the sillier posts i've seen on here in a while. will you likely get preached to on a hitch in the south? yes, absolutely, happened to me several times. are you in any danger or "trouble" if you don't answer positively....no.

i can see it now:
driver: "have you accepted jesus as your lord and savior?"
hitch hiker: "uh, no."
driver: "get out of the car, i'm gonna kick your ass!!"

please.:rolleyes:No, but I've had people push Jesus at me nonstop until I considered jumping out of the car...

I'm all for freedom of religion. People should be able to worship how they want when they want. And I am impressed with the service so many religious folks provide for others who need it. I am less impressed with the trick of offering a ride or a meal to somone for the unnannounced purpose of having a captive audience to try to convert.

Frosty
06-06-2010, 01:07
Where on earth did you come up with THAT? Obviously you have never spent time up in N Ga. Also, N Ga is no worse racially then anywhere else! :mad:I think he meant 40 years ago, a very different time. I'm sure GA is no worse than any place else today, but in the 60's they were quite a bit worse than any place I'd been to up north!

I was in Augusta for a year in the Army and I could hardly believe what I saw and heard off post. I thought being from a rough town in Massachusetts (New Bedford) I knew was racism was, but I had no idea.

GGS2
06-06-2010, 02:53
Well, you folks sure have a lot to say about nothing special. And it all seems to center on NGA. Up til now, the worst I heard was a few tales of hiker harassment around Cherokee territory. Nothing to do with race, if race means black people. However, I also hear that black hikers are scarce just about everywhere.

I'd say the op succeeded in getting some folks' backs up, but that doesn't mean he's a troll. I imagine he's getting the information he asked for, in a general way. Having lived with this kind of stuff all his life, I imagine he'll know what to make of it.

Up here (in Canada) we tend to think that we never had any racism, nor do we have it now. Well, think again. We certainly have very old black villages and urban black populations, and they have had a very hard time of it some times. And the urban blacks in some cities are still having a hard time. So I think the op is certainly right to ask if there are problems or places he should look out for. And I suspect that in general, the answer is no problems, have a nice hike. In general, but I'm almost certain there will be pockets and maybe towns he should steer clear of. Not probably on the trail, but around it.

On the trail, I suspect that his main problem will be getting rid of the people asking him if he's a real, honest to goodness, black thru. Really? ****!

To the op: I think you're probably getting the idea already. But just hang around here, lurking, for a while, and you'll learn more about trail people and the AT doing that than many people here might suspect. Lots of opinionated people, lots of characters, and a few real experts. Crouch down to get under the flames, and you'll probably learn everything you want to know.

Sierra Echo
06-06-2010, 08:24
I had someone behave very rudely to me in a Toronto Post Office after they found out I was an American. However a nicer Co-Worker saw what was happening and took care of the situation.

Lilred
06-06-2010, 09:08
I moved to TN in 1988. That year, there were KKK standing on the corners of our small town in white robes trying to recruit. Anyone who says it's a thing of the past is crazy, it's just gone further underground. Having Obama elected seems to have drawn out the racists from the woodwork though. As a teacher, I'm appalled by what I hear from my students, who obviously are still learning it from mommy and daddy. As a teacher it is hugely frustrating to hear 8th graders talking the way they do. And this year it's been even worse.
I expect you'll have a hard time hitchhiking in the south, and if I were you, I'd be very careful. There's a lot of people really pissed off because we have a Black president. Lots of pick up trucks down here still waving the confederate flag.

JAK
06-06-2010, 09:32
I was pretty naive growing up in the 1960s and 1970s. I still am.

randyg45
06-06-2010, 12:06
"There's a lot of people really pissed off because we have a Black president."

I'm a trucker from West Virginia, which ought to put my finger firmly on the redneck pulse. The next person I meet who is "really pissed off because we have a Black president" will be the first one.

JAK
06-06-2010, 13:33
In 1975 when I read Too Kill a Mockingbird in school I thought it was set back in the 1800s, or at least the early 1900s. Then I saw a movie later and was shocked to see the 1950s 1960s automobiles. So I figured the deep american south must be different. Then in the 1980s I learned that as late as the early 1970s you still couldn't get a haircut you were black or native in our provincial capital, Fredericton New Brunswick, a university town, a city that takes pride in itself as a centre of learning and culture. It was just in the past 10 years or so I learned we were still practicing eugenics in British Columbia and Alberta right up until the early 1970s. Other stuff keeps coming up, like residential schools and so forth. So who really knows what sort of stuff is still going on, right under our noses. You never ever really know unless it happens to you more or less directly. Still, people talk about this stuff like it was ancient history, and how everyone has a big chip in their shoulder and all that. If it happened to me I would have one hell of a chip in my shoulder. Heck I already do, and I don't even have reason to. Even to this day it always amazes me to what extent native Canadians are still fair game, even in polite company, even when most other groups are not. Still, there seems to be a general backlash against political correctness which is making alot of old groups and new groups fair game once again, even by those of us that you would at least think should know better.

So I'm not entirely sure things always get better over time. I think we always have to remain vigilant, and liveral and progressive and conservative in the finest sense of the words. This stuff tends to go in cycles and repeat itself through the ages. It is hard not to be naive, because you don't want to dwell too much on social injustice, but really there is a social responsibility to make yourself aware of what might really be going on around you, and not to be too much a part of the problem, through ignorance or apathy or convenience or whatever. Good literature and other forms of culture helps some, in terms of general ideas and awareness, but it is too easy to bury yourself in books and culture and think you are making a difference when you are really just making alot of things harder to change. Really makes sense to focus on yourself though, no matter who you are, at least that's what I think. We have a new poet in our city. He moved up from the United States. Great poet, and he has one heck of a voice when you hear him speak. We are very fortunate to have him, but I wonder how much even he might be able to change us. It has often been said that prejudice is much harder to change in Canada, because it is more subtle and covert and polite.

My favourite poem of his so far...
I heard him recite an even better one, at our cities 225th anniversary, which was about the military service of civilians through the years, but I have not been able to find it online.

Please, Don’t Look At My Shoes
By Clyde Wray

Its not that they’re old
they are a bit worn and weary
don’t hold much of a shine
don’t high step out much anymore
stitches are loose and the tongue
protrudes through over laces
that are frayed at the edges
there’s a huge hole in the sole
the cardboard replacement isn’t strong
aren’t much to look at
the once expensive name tag
is long gone
please, don’t look at my shoes
you might come to believe
I’m suffering
that just wouldn’t be true
I’ve got shoes
a good name
hope for the future
if you’re looking at my shoes
you don’t see me
I still dance in spring
and hear the wonderful song
of a Lark singing

Clyde A. Wray
April 28, 2009
All Rights Reserved

JAK
06-06-2010, 13:41
Another good one, written more recently...

The Way The River Flows, So I Go

I watch
the Saint John River flow
as unlikely as it seems
it feels at times
as it goes
so does my soul
when it rushes
pushes fiercely
when its power
appears out of control
I feel uprooted
lost
just on the verge
of losing it all..
when it’s placid
tranquil
when I can hear
the calm ripples trickle
along the shore
when I can stand
see a peaceful demeanor
reflect back at me
in the water
I too am under control
and I
don’t feel as if
I have a hole in my soul

Clyde A. Wray
May 19, 2010

wcgornto
06-06-2010, 13:53
There's a lot of people really pissed off because we have a Black president.


So I guess all those people who spent eight years relentlessly reviling G.W. Bush were pissed off because we had a white president??

Given strongly polarized opposing political viewpoints, roughly forty percent of the population will always be against the sitting president, no matter who it is. While I am sure that some people oppose Obama because of his racial makeup, I believe that most of the people who oppose him do so because of irreconcilable political views.

JAK
06-06-2010, 13:55
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3174560528754656931#docid=36396289 57815304228

Ankle Bone
06-06-2010, 14:06
A while back an African American thru hiker stated in an article that the people along the way were more of an issue than bears, lightning, etc.

As a white boy now living in GA, I wish it was not true, but you will have to deal with issues beacause of your skin color that I will never have to think about while hiking.

Not true for all that you meet or for every person in every town, but still you should keep your awareness up.

I agree with a previous poster that you should always announce that you are retired military. That should help.

To prepare for reality is better than ignoring

Good luck

Cookerhiker
06-06-2010, 14:19
Well as a northern white guy, I shouldn't presume to guess how African-Americans or southern whites would think and react to the situation. The only thing I'll offer is that folks all along the Trail corridor are accustomed to seeing thruhikers, especially "in-season." So if the OP starts his hike in early Spring (with the crowd so-to-speak) and is typically equipped with backpack, boots, hiking clothes, other gear etc. and goes to the same trail towns, hostels, etc. as all/most other thrus, then he may more likely be perceived as "one of them" meaning a thruhiker who happens to be black rather than a "black guy" first. Just maybe....

Pedaling Fool
06-06-2010, 14:27
...So if the OP starts his hike in early Spring (with the crowd so-to-speak) and is typically equipped with backpack, boots, hiking clothes, other gear etc. and goes to the same trail towns, hostels, etc. as all/most other thrus, then he may more likely be perceived as "one of them" meaning a thruhiker who happens to be black rather than a "black guy" first. Just maybe....
Yeah, true. You'll just belong to a different minority group;)

In the Marines they say they're all Green. However, thruhikers can't claim a color, but we can say we all stink:D

Cookerhiker
06-06-2010, 14:33
... but we can say we all stink:D

Hey, speak for yourself!;)

Dogwood
06-06-2010, 15:46
I don't think you need to be particularly overly concerned about being a black AT thru-hiker.

Let your words and actions be the judge of your character, not your skin color! If you do encounter some racism be kind, hold your chin up high, and move on. Keep your heart pure.

You will find other thru-hikers that you will befriend and they will befriend you.

Enjoy your hike!

Like anywhere a smile, openness, respect, humility, tolerance, sharing, but not forcing your beliefs or opinions on others, graciousness, and showing(verbalizing) you appreciation for any assistance you receive goes a long way.

I agree with everything Chiefiepoo recommended. I really like this in particular - Don't be phoney but try to identify with the locals instead of being overly concerned about differences. If you are concerned about the southeast I would not be. I find, with them, as in anywhere I hike, if you give an inch of respect you get a mile in return. Southerners are generally friendly helpful generous folks. This is generally even more so when you are identified as a hiker near the AT in the south. There exists strong hiker support near the AT in the south, regardless of skin color! Amen!

Also being from Hawaii, I find everyone wants to hear about life there. Share that to break the ice!

rickb
06-06-2010, 15:53
I still think the OP is a troll anyway.
Maybe he'll prove me wrong but I ain't bettin on it.

That was my first thought too.

Sailor (The other one)
06-06-2010, 17:42
"There's a lot of people really pissed off because we have a Black president."

I'm a trucker from West Virginia, which ought to put my finger firmly on the redneck pulse. The next person I meet who is "really pissed off because we have a Black president" will be the first one.

I'm a massage therapist in central Florida. I have literally had my finger on the pulses of rednecks and others. Unfortunately I have met many people pissed of and/or frightened because we have a Black president. I've heard a Black man can't be intelligent enough for the job, I've heard the birther stuff, I've heard that he is a secret plant of the Islamist Jihad who before he became president was able to engineer the recession so that "real" Americans would lose everything and Blacks would take over. And I've heard some people say the sort of things that can bring the secret service over for a chat just to make sure you're not serious.

Not all racism is blatant. Some of the most shocking to me has come from people I never would have expected it from, and they have mostly been older people who grew up in the south and would not otherwise hurt a fly, who'd give a hungry Black person the shirt off their back, but who are unable to get over the Jim Crow culture they grew up in in which Black people just aren't quite as good as whites and need to stay in their place.

We've come a long way because of brave Americans who have stood up for the values of our country. Things are certainly better then when I was a kid traveling in the south and wondering why some water fountains had "whites only" signs on them. But a couple of years ago a neighbor put on a haunted house and he was telling a little Black kid all about it and how all the kids were invited and this little guy said, "Even little Black boys?"

OP, many people will tell you the chances of just seeing a bear on the AT are slim, not to mention getting bothered by one, and you can just about forget about one hurting you.

But I keep my eyes open.

1azarus
06-06-2010, 18:47
I think this is a very reasonable question... you might take a look at the thread about the speed record attempt currently underway -- by an Israeli Jew. Anti-Semitism and racism run hand-in-hand. Some comments made on his Journal site are reprehensible. Is irrational hatred something you can occasionally (rarely...) expect to encounter? Sure -- and you already know that! While about as far away from a practicing Jew as one can be, I'm told I look Jewish -- and even though "white" I've felt uncomfortable several times -- especially in the South. Worst moment, though? A talkative old man in a diner talking about Obama... in North Carolina.

Do I hitch hike? Sure. Do I think you'll be fine? You've been in the armed forces? Aw common -- you'll be fine! I'm sure you'll have a great time. You know, sometimes it is actually nice to be different...

Enjoy!!!

Sierra Echo
06-06-2010, 19:07
Well as a northern white guy, I shouldn't presume to guess how African-Americans or southern whites would think and react to the situation. The only thing I'll offer is that folks all along the Trail corridor are accustomed to seeing thruhikers, especially "in-season." So if the OP starts his hike in early Spring (with the crowd so-to-speak) and is typically equipped with backpack, boots, hiking clothes, other gear etc. and goes to the same trail towns, hostels, etc. as all/most other thrus, then he may more likely be perceived as "one of them" meaning a thruhiker who happens to be black rather than a "black guy" first. Just maybe....


Hello, racism is NOT restricted to the south!
I have met a LOT of northern transplants who are very racist.
They claim they can get away with it because it is not expected of them. :rolleyes:

Cookerhiker
06-06-2010, 19:20
Hello, racism is NOT restricted to the south!
I have met a LOT of northern transplants who are very racist.
They claim they can get away with it because it is not expected of them. :rolleyes:

I know that well. You missed my point. I was merely stating that I can only speak as a northern white guy, not southern. And yes, I know and know of racists in the north (as well as the south).

Uncle Cranky
06-06-2010, 20:42
I' m a white guy who grew up in a small, all white, rural town in MA back in the 50s and 60s. I remember the Jim Crow South, with it's whites only toilets and water fountains and the KKK bill boards, already mentioned, when our family drove through the South before the building of the Interstates to vacation in Florida during the Civil Rights era. More than once my father was stopped by local cops to pay a "ticket" or "fine" for some unfounded infraction as we traveled through small towns, especially in rural GA. Our family was obviously targeted for having "Yankee" plates on the car. I also remember the polite and courteous manner shown towards us by most white southerners most "tolerant & enlightened" Northerners would label as "red necks" or "crackers", though too polite to express it openly. I moved with my own family to central North Carolina about 15 years ago expecting to be misunderstood or barely tolerated for being a "Yankee". As my family began to "integrate" into the community I found we were treated with respect and polite civility and from time to time our neighbors would comment that we were not as they expected a "Yankee" to be like and we were accepted more and more. What I began to discover was that I had many unfounded Yankee stereotypes of the South and the people, both black and white. Civil Rights has changed the character and the attitude of the South. The Old Jim Crow South no longer exists and I find that Southerners in general are tolerant and accepting of outsiders. Indeed, some of the comments on this forum seem to express some of the same stereotypes that I at one time unconsciously held. I can boldly state two facts about life in America which also holds true in the South...First,The vast majority of people will treat you with respect and decency if you do likewise no matter what your color or place of origin. Second, there will always be a hand full of Jackasses, bigots, stupid, outrageously rude and some times dangerous and even evil persons on the loose. I can also state I have met some of the later and no doubt will meet some more but thank God I mostly have to deal with the former. By the way, I've lived down here long enough to find the Southern accent normal. When I go north you'll sound like HICKS!!!

Lone Wolf
06-06-2010, 20:51
i ain't never met no African-American. i've met folks of color that had ancestors from Africa but had never been to the continent. i've got lots of Scottish ancestors. it don't make me a Scottish-American. we're Americans that w3alk a trail

Lone Wolf
06-06-2010, 20:53
i ain't never met no African-American. i've met folks of color that had ancestors from Africa but had never been to the continent. i've got lots of Scottish ancestors. it don't make me a Scottish-American. we're Americans that w3alk a trail

actually, Greg, a guy i work wth is from South Africa. i think he has dual citizenship. he's an African-American

JAK
06-06-2010, 21:10
I agree with you Lone Wolf. I think alot of those sorts of designations might be well intended in some sense, but somewhat misguided in another. There is a difference between ethnicity and nationality. Nationality is usually pretty cut and dried. Ethnicity is somewhat of a slippery slope. It really depends on how people want to self-identify, and people should be free to self-identify in many different ways, because people are complicated. Take Scots for example. What are they? Were they ever a distinct homogenous society? I don't think so. Everyone has a story.

fiddlehead
06-06-2010, 22:12
Not a good idea to call a Scot and Englishman or vice versa.
Some take it personal.
Same with Welsh and Irish.

Xenophobia is found almost everywhere.
(But usually not in groups of travelers.)

double d
06-06-2010, 23:23
i ain't never met no African-American. i've met folks of color that had ancestors from Africa but had never been to the continent. i've got lots of Scottish ancestors. it don't make me a Scottish-American. we're Americans that w3alk a trail

True LW, but some are white and some are black and that makes all the difference to alot of folks on how they get treated. I could be wrong, but you seem to imply that people don't "see" race or much care about it, but people do see race and the resulting stereotypes and scapegoating that goes with it.

Heater
06-07-2010, 01:38
Not a good idea to call a Scot and Englishman or vice versa.
Some take it personal.
Same with Welsh and Irish.

Xenophobia is found almost everywhere.
(But usually not in groups of travelers.)

yup!

..................

jesse
06-07-2010, 01:49
i ain't never met no African-American. i've met folks of color that had ancestors from Africa but had never been to the continent. i've got lots of Scottish ancestors. it don't make me a Scottish-American. we're Americans that w3alk a trail

Well put. I'm sick of hearing African-American. I never use the term.

JAK
06-07-2010, 07:20
I don't think there is anything wrong with not knowing what to call yourself or someone else. I think it's very healthy having to stop and think before using any term to identify yourself or someone else. It's strange though, how it hard it is not to have it enter the conversation, even when it is isn't material to the story you are telling.

Like this older fellow showed up at track the other day, and I thought he was like 40 but he turned out to be 60, and he was wicked fast even though he was still just a tad overweight. I asked him if he was getting back into running and he said he was, jogging about 3 times a week, and biking a fair bit, and now starting track once a week. I cautioned him to go easy on the speed work when getting back into it. He agreed. I noticed he had some wicked speed and he said he ran a 10s 100 yard dash when he was younger, and the fact that he said 100 yard and not 100m sort of dated him.

There, I managed, but it wasn't easy. :)

JAK
06-07-2010, 07:42
The other thing that make me cringe a little when it works its way into a conversation, is when I ask a person, "so what do you do for a living" when I first meet someone, or "so where are you working now", if I haven't seen them in a while. I know there is nothing wrong with asking, but I don't always like it when others do the same to me, and I have to question my exact motives, and so I try to hold it off as long as possible. I don't know why it is so damned hard sometimes, to fall so repeatedly into the traps that we do. No biggy, but it would be nice to be able to exercise a little self-control. Funny, I complain when my wife is too controlling, but I really need to cut myself some slack, and try and take back some control of myself from myself.

wcgornto
06-07-2010, 07:52
The other thing that make me cringe a little when it works its way into a conversation, is when I ask a person, "so what do you do for a living" when I first meet someone, or "so where are you working now", if I haven't seen them in a while. I know there is nothing wrong with asking, but I don't always like it when others do the same to me, and I have to question my exact motives, and so I try to hold it off as long as possible. I don't know why it is so damned hard sometimes, to fall so repeatedly into the traps that we do. No biggy, but it would be nice to be able to exercise a little self-control. Funny, I complain when my wife is too controlling, but I really need to cut myself some slack, and try and take back some control of myself from myself.

This question is often phrased "What do you do?" I tend to answer "Lots of things", even though I know they are wanting to know what type of work I do.

Depending on the person, environment, setting, etc., this question is either a genuine attempt at amiable small talk or more of a self-validating question reflecting the questioner's insecurity. While I am happy to engage in a friendly conversation with anyone, I do not enjoy a line of questioning in which someone is simply attempting to size me up for their own emotional validation.

JAK
06-07-2010, 07:55
Not a good idea to call a Scot and Englishman or vice versa.
Some take it personal.
Same with Welsh and Irish.

Xenophobia is found almost everywhere.
(But usually not in groups of travelers.) Yeah, I agree there is a difference, but still, what is a Scot or an Englishman? These places were constantly being invaded and constantly change overtime. When did Picts stop being Picts and become Scots? When did the Norse in Scotland become Scots? How many generations does it take for an East Asian in Scotland to be considered a Scot ethinically, and not just nationally? Should it take less time for a Hungarian or Swede? Ethinically speaking, is a Hungarian a European? What about Gypsies? What about the Saami? Was there really ever such a thing as a Scot, or an Englishman, or a European, ethnically or genetically speaking, or are these always just generalizations of convenience?

The original tribe of Scots, they say, came from Ireland, and from Scotland they have moved on to many places, but they also came to Scotland from many places, so what is a Scot really?

Gray Blazer
06-07-2010, 07:57
When people ask you what race you are, say "I'm an American. What are you?"

JAK
06-07-2010, 07:58
You can argue that Hungarians are not true Europeans because they came to Europe too late. You could also argue that the Sammi are not true Europeans because they came to Europe too soon.

So what is an American?

Sierra Echo
06-07-2010, 08:10
This new line of conversation is making my head spin~!
I'm gonna go to work now! :eek:

Gray Blazer
06-07-2010, 08:13
You can argue that Hungarians are not true Europeans because they came to Europe too late. You could also argue that the Sammi are not true Europeans because they came to Europe too soon.

So what is an American?

Me!.........

Gray Blazer
06-07-2010, 08:16
... and a lot of other people from these hemisperes.

Take it in the context of an ignorant yankee moron who forgets about Mexico and Canada, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah, yada yada yada.

Old Hiker
06-07-2010, 08:16
Me!.........

Got your birth certificate handy? Just askin' ! :rolleyes:

Gray Blazer
06-07-2010, 08:17
Hemispheres!! or however you spell it. I told you I is ignorant.

Gray Blazer
06-07-2010, 08:19
Got your birth certificate handy? Just askin' ! :rolleyes:

My papers are in order, mein furher!

Old Hiker
06-07-2010, 08:31
My papers are in order, mein furher!

I vas ONLY follo-ink orrrrrr-ders! :D

Pedaling Fool
06-07-2010, 09:10
http://press.princeton.edu/releases/m7442.html


Geneticist Spencer Wells spends his life traveling the globe taking blood samples from men and women in order to unravel the secrets of the human story: Where did humans come from? How did they spread over the globe? How did different races evolve? In THE JOURNEY OF MAN: A GENETIC ODYSSEY (Princeton University Press), Wells answers those questions for the first time using the latest discoveries of human genetics. We talked to Spencer as he sat for a moment between trips to Lebanon and Tunisia:



You say that there really was an Adam--a common male ancestor for all humans. How did you find that out?


We study a historical document carried in the blood of everyone alive today - DNA. Tiny spelling mistakes - changes in the DNA sequence - that occurred in the past can give us clues about genealogical relationships. If two people share a change, then they are likely to share an ancestor. If we look at the spelling mistakes carried by people all over the world, we find that ultimately all of us share a common ancestor. In the case of the male line, defined by a piece of DNA known as the Y-chromosome, this analysis allows us to trace back to a common male ancestor for everyone alive today. In other words, Adam.

Where did Adam live and what did he look like?
The unequivocal answer is that he lived in Africa. Every piece of DNA in our bodies can be traced back to an African source. The Y-chromosome traces back to eastern or southern Africa, around 60,000 years ago. The present-day inhabitants of Ethiopia, Sudan and southern Africa carry the clearest signals of our earliest ancestry, signals that have been lost in the rest of us. So they give us a glimpse of our 60,000 year-old Adam. Adam would have been fully modern, both in terms of his appearance and his brain function. It is speculation, of course, but perhaps the San Bushmen of the Kalahari - who in many ways are a composite model of facial features from people all over the world - give us a portrait of Adam and his fellow early humans.

Why do you focus on men? What about Eve?
It turns out that the Y-chromosome gives us two very important clues to the question of how we populated the world. First, it shows us our most recent common ancestor (Adam). This man lived in Africa around 60,000 years ago. The significance of this date is that it means that all modern humans were living in Africa until at least that time. In other words, within the past 60,000 years - only about 2,000 generations - our species has populated the entire planet. Clearly, we are all very closely related. The second clue provided by the Y-chromosome concerns the routes we followed in our migrations around the planet. Due to something I describe in the book as 'sexual politics', the male line gives us the best view of the routes followed. So, the Y - a piece of DNA that really doesn't do much more than to make men men - is one of the best historical documents ever written. Women also have a female history written in their mitochondrial DNA, showing the path to Eve around 150,000 years ago. For reasons explored in the book, the mitochondrial signal turns out to provide less resolution for studies of population history than the Y. Again, it comes down to a long history of sexual politics.

How does the genetic Adam relate to the Adam of the bible?
It's interesting that both genetics and the Bible show that there is a common origin of humanity. According to genetic data we come from a single male ancestor. In the Bible too it is mentioned that there is a single male Adam and single female, Eve. I don't equate our results one-to-one with the biblical story, of course, because if you count back through the generations described in the Bible, Adam should have existed in 4004 BC, and our Adam existed 60,000 years ago. Also, our Adam and Eve weren't the only people alive at the time, just the lucky ones who left descendants down to the present day. But it is nice to know that we arrive at the same general conclusion: we're all related.

If we all came from a black man, how did men and women of different colors come into being?
The accepted explanation for skin color differences is that we first evolved in a tropical region, in Africa. The tropical sun is quite strong, so the skin needed the protection provided by the natural sunscreen, melanin, which makes skin dark. When we started moving into the Northern Hemisphere 40,000 years ago, the sun was not as strong. Anyone who's been to London in February can tell you that! And because the sun helps us to synthesize Vitamin D, which we need to grow strong bones, we had to lose some of our pigmentation to allow enough sunlight through.

So what do our genes tell us about the biological differences between, say, Europeans and Africans?
They are literally only skin deep. We are all African cousins separated by - at most - 2,000 generations.

Has research on genes told us something about the first people to arrive in America?
Yes. Our data tells us that we could not have been in the Americas prior to 20,000 years ago, and the most likely date of entry was around 15,000 years ago. This is because the oldest Y-chromosome lineage in the Americas originated in Central Asia 15,000-20,000 years ago, and then migrated to the northeast, across the Bering Strait. If we were still in Central Asia 20,000 years ago, we couldn't have been in the Americas until after that date.

How do other scientists and the public react to your research?
In general, there is more and more agreement among paleoanthropologists, archaeologists, geneticists and historians about the details of our past. I suppose one thing that some people still find hard to accept is that we left Africa so recently, and blitzed our way around the world, but it does seem to have happened like that. I urge them to read the book, where I discuss the archaeological, linguistic and climatological clues that fill in the details of our journey. It is a synthetic look at the past, not simply a genetic tale.


I'm a proud African-American:D;)



One day people will stop being fooled by nature's tricks, there's nothing different among us other than how we physically adapt to our environment and the culture that is born form that.



:sun

JAK
06-07-2010, 09:16
When we became homo sapiens is completely arbitrary.
When are we all going to stop being so specist? :)

JAK
06-07-2010, 09:51
Seriously though, I feel connected to different people in different ways on different levels. In some ways I am Canadian, which I suppose connects me with people on Vancouver Island and way up in the Arctic Circles, but it really is a bit of a stretch. I have alot more in common with folks in Maine, but not in all ways. I am more connected to people on the other side of the world that like to do some of the things I do, like sailing, and hiking, but geography is important also. I am a maritimer, and live on a river also, with rolling hills and forest and rural landscape, so in that respect I am as connected with people in places like Maine, Gaspe, the Canadian Maritimes, Newfoundland, places like Scotland and Scandanavia, and also parts of places like Russia, China, Korea, and Japan, and also places like New Zealand, and southern parts of Argentina and Chile I suppose. I don't mind small cities, especially in those places, as long as they are not so big that they lose their connection to the land and sea. About 1,000,000 is an upper limit for me, but my preference is 100,000 and even then I prefer living on the outskirts. I need to be able to step out my door and be able to hike in the woods more or less immediately, and paddle within a few hundred yards. But more than anything else I define myself as what most demographers today might call rural. I feel stronger connected to someone in Mali, living in a small village, and able to do some gardening or small farming or herding, and hiking, or whatever it is that they do, than I do with anyone anywhere living in a city, even my home city, if they just stay in it and don't get out of it.

So the most essential thing to me I guess is some sort of connection to the natural environment. When I think of Edinburgh Scotland, where my mother and 3 of 4 grandparents are from, I don't think of the cities over there. I think somewhat of language and culture, but only in connection with traditional ties to the land and how it shaped people, when people were more connected to it. I don't think much about genes. The land and sea over here is very similar, so in that sense I never really left, and in that sense the Scots and Micmacs are pretty much the same people for my purposes, in that the ancestors of my 1/16th part Micmac were not all that different in the way they lived than the ancestors of my 7/8ths Scots, or the other 1/16th whoever they were. It's the land that should shape and identify us more than anything else. That is what we should endeavour to remain most connected to.

Lilred
06-07-2010, 10:01
Key West has an official philosophy which most people down there live by.

"We are all created equal members of one human family"

When you're a teacher, you hear all kinds of things come out of kid's mouths. They still don't know how to censor their own words. I hear a lot of things mommy and daddy say through them. Adults know how to hide their bigotry, children not so much.

JAK
06-07-2010, 10:20
Well the problem is, those words can still be used to compell people to do bad things.

So no, I am not neccessarily one of you.
It depends on what it is that you would have me do.

Gray Blazer
06-07-2010, 10:20
My ancestors used to chase polar bears around the North Pole.

JAK
06-07-2010, 10:23
At what radius?

You see, I'm a radialist.

Sailor (The other one)
06-07-2010, 10:47
I'm a proud African-American:D;)

One day people will stop being fooled by nature's tricks, there's nothing different among us other than how we physically adapt to our environment and the culture that is born form that.

:sun

Me too.
Thanks for that JG.

JAK
06-07-2010, 10:52
http://press.princeton.edu/releases/m7442.html


Geneticist Spencer Wells spends his life traveling the globe taking blood samples from men and women in order to unravel the secrets of the human story: Where did humans come from? How did they spread over the globe? How did different races evolve? In THE JOURNEY OF MAN: A GENETIC ODYSSEY (Princeton University Press), Wells answers those questions for the first time using the latest discoveries of human genetics. We talked to Spencer as he sat for a moment between trips to Lebanon and Tunisia:



You say that there really was an Adam--a common male ancestor for all humans. How did you find that out?


We study a historical document carried in the blood of everyone alive today - DNA. Tiny spelling mistakes - changes in the DNA sequence - that occurred in the past can give us clues about genealogical relationships. If two people share a change, then they are likely to share an ancestor. If we look at the spelling mistakes carried by people all over the world, we find that ultimately all of us share a common ancestor. In the case of the male line, defined by a piece of DNA known as the Y-chromosome, this analysis allows us to trace back to a common male ancestor for everyone alive today. In other words, Adam.

Where did Adam live and what did he look like?
The unequivocal answer is that he lived in Africa. Every piece of DNA in our bodies can be traced back to an African source. The Y-chromosome traces back to eastern or southern Africa, around 60,000 years ago. The present-day inhabitants of Ethiopia, Sudan and southern Africa carry the clearest signals of our earliest ancestry, signals that have been lost in the rest of us. So they give us a glimpse of our 60,000 year-old Adam. Adam would have been fully modern, both in terms of his appearance and his brain function. It is speculation, of course, but perhaps the San Bushmen of the Kalahari - who in many ways are a composite model of facial features from people all over the world - give us a portrait of Adam and his fellow early humans.

Why do you focus on men? What about Eve?
It turns out that the Y-chromosome gives us two very important clues to the question of how we populated the world. First, it shows us our most recent common ancestor (Adam). This man lived in Africa around 60,000 years ago. The significance of this date is that it means that all modern humans were living in Africa until at least that time. In other words, within the past 60,000 years - only about 2,000 generations - our species has populated the entire planet. Clearly, we are all very closely related. The second clue provided by the Y-chromosome concerns the routes we followed in our migrations around the planet. Due to something I describe in the book as 'sexual politics', the male line gives us the best view of the routes followed. So, the Y - a piece of DNA that really doesn't do much more than to make men men - is one of the best historical documents ever written. Women also have a female history written in their mitochondrial DNA, showing the path to Eve around 150,000 years ago. For reasons explored in the book, the mitochondrial signal turns out to provide less resolution for studies of population history than the Y. Again, it comes down to a long history of sexual politics.

How does the genetic Adam relate to the Adam of the bible?
It's interesting that both genetics and the Bible show that there is a common origin of humanity. According to genetic data we come from a single male ancestor. In the Bible too it is mentioned that there is a single male Adam and single female, Eve. I don't equate our results one-to-one with the biblical story, of course, because if you count back through the generations described in the Bible, Adam should have existed in 4004 BC, and our Adam existed 60,000 years ago. Also, our Adam and Eve weren't the only people alive at the time, just the lucky ones who left descendants down to the present day. But it is nice to know that we arrive at the same general conclusion: we're all related.

If we all came from a black man, how did men and women of different colors come into being?
The accepted explanation for skin color differences is that we first evolved in a tropical region, in Africa. The tropical sun is quite strong, so the skin needed the protection provided by the natural sunscreen, melanin, which makes skin dark. When we started moving into the Northern Hemisphere 40,000 years ago, the sun was not as strong. Anyone who's been to London in February can tell you that! And because the sun helps us to synthesize Vitamin D, which we need to grow strong bones, we had to lose some of our pigmentation to allow enough sunlight through.

So what do our genes tell us about the biological differences between, say, Europeans and Africans?
They are literally only skin deep. We are all African cousins separated by - at most - 2,000 generations.

Has research on genes told us something about the first people to arrive in America?
Yes. Our data tells us that we could not have been in the Americas prior to 20,000 years ago, and the most likely date of entry was around 15,000 years ago. This is because the oldest Y-chromosome lineage in the Americas originated in Central Asia 15,000-20,000 years ago, and then migrated to the northeast, across the Bering Strait. If we were still in Central Asia 20,000 years ago, we couldn't have been in the Americas until after that date.

How do other scientists and the public react to your research?
In general, there is more and more agreement among paleoanthropologists, archaeologists, geneticists and historians about the details of our past. I suppose one thing that some people still find hard to accept is that we left Africa so recently, and blitzed our way around the world, but it does seem to have happened like that. I urge them to read the book, where I discuss the archaeological, linguistic and climatological clues that fill in the details of our journey. It is a synthetic look at the past, not simply a genetic tale.


I'm a proud African-American:D;)

One day people will stop being fooled by nature's tricks, there's nothing different among us other than how we physically adapt to our environment and the culture that is born form that.

:sun

I agree with the spirit of what is being said here, but there is still alot of misconceptions and over-simplifications in what is being said.

We did not have a single common ancestor 60,000 years ago. We might all have a common ancestor that lived as early as 60,000 years ago, and we likely did, but that is not the same as saying that he was the only male ancestor that we all came from. That is quite different, and highly unlikely. Similarly, just because it is likely that he lived in Africa, and was a common ancestor, that does not mean there may not already have been some other ancestors already living outside of Africa. I agree with the spirit of all this, but it is an over-genmeralization. The truth is alot more complex, and alot more beautiful.

The truth is that we are constantly diverging, but that we are also constantly converging. People are able to travel incredible distances even in a single year, never mind a single lifetime. Even with stone age technology this would be relatively easy to do then, just as it is today. In some respects, when there were fewer people, it would have been easier.

People have been travelling in and out of Africa for much longer than 60,000 years. It is a two way street. There is nothing particularly special about being in Africa, or out of Africa. That is what is so funny about articles like this. They attempt to dispell certain myths, but in the process of doing so they perpetuate these same myths somewhat, or create others that might be just as dangerous. The best thing to do is to try and make that clear, that we can dispell some myths, but in doing so create others.

What is Africa? What is Europe? What is Asia, or America?
These places and boundaries are somewhat arbitrary.

All generalizations ultimately fail, although they are still useful.

Dogwood
06-07-2010, 10:52
This new line of conversation is making my head spin~!
I'm gonna go to work now! :eek:

OR, you could go over to the Mall of Georgia and shop for the next month and still not see everything!

I recently drove through Buford GA(stopped at the REI after wandering around trying to locate it for 15 mins!) from the Atlanta/Alpharetta GA area on my way to Buffalo NY. I was astonished that the citizen's of Georgia favorite pastime has become shopping. Folks say NJ is packed with malls, stores, and bumper to bumper traffic. I'll tell you, NJ has nothing on GA in those departments.

Interesting aside JohnGault. Telling some of my family members, that are let's say less tolerant, they descended from a black man from Africa should go over well at the next family barbecue.

JAK
06-07-2010, 11:10
I think more to the truth is that the amount of genetic diversity we have today is more or less equivalent to what we might have if we had a single common ancestor 60,000 years ago. Apparently there was a period of drought about that time where the human population was greatly reduced, almost to the point of extinction, but a small population is not the same as one, and a vast majority of humans in one center is not the same as all. This might be a useful model, but the real truth is far more complex, and far more beautiful, and will always be largely lost in time.

Also...
Species generally do not evolve from just one mother and one father. Species are not spontaneously created through some single mutation. It is generally quite arbitrary, when we decide to say that a new species has begun. At that point, there is already a fair number of them, and they are still cross-breeding with other species. How this applies to humans is uncertain. It was probably well before 60,000 years ago, perhaps closer to 600,000 years ago, that there was enough diversity amongst humans that we might have arbitrarily sub-divided them into sub-species, as we do between all the various small cat populations today. But what if when several large waves of humans started migrating back out of Africa after 60,000 years ago they bumped into some remnant populations already out of Africa, just as the domestic cat is with wild cats in Scotland. Is this really a mixing of species though, or the reabsorbtion of one subspecies, or is it just nature doing its thing, diverging and converging, maintaining diveristy, more or less, and in an ever changing way, as it always has, and always will.

What is Africa?

Old Hiker
06-07-2010, 11:15
At what radius?

You see, I'm a radialist.

You got problems with bias plyers???

JAK
06-07-2010, 11:18
Going back 2000 years you could have as many as 2^100 ancestors of that generation, which is about 1,000,000. Going back 4000 years would bring the number to 1 trillion, and of course there were not that many of us back then, or even today. So two things are clear from this. Common ancestry, and inbreeding. If we go back way way further, but perhaps not as far as we think, we will find a third thing, which is sex with other species. The thing is, its all relative. Obviously, when these things happen, they are not such a bad idea at the time, and where would we be without them. lol

canoehead
06-07-2010, 11:22
The fun and experience you'll have won't depend on skin color. It'll be you, your skills set, and mental endurance out there. Sorta like the military but more options
Have fun
Peace

Jack Tarlin
06-07-2010, 11:24
Damn. This is fascinating....sort of.

Excuse me from deviating from the discussion and actually returning to the original poster's questions.

Saber:

Yes, you WILL have to hitch-hike on the Trail, but in truth, if you have problems getting rides anywhere, I'm not convinced that it'll be a racial thing. A lot of folks simply don't ever pick up hitch-hikers. In some cases, people don't like hikers. But then again, some folks go out of their way to give rides to backpackers, and let's be blunt, a black backpacker will be seen as something of a novelty in many places. You may well get rides from folks who are curious about you and your history (please don't be offended by this, it's just that there simply aren't that many black thru-hikers). In short, I don't think you're gonna have a problem hitching. Will there be the occasional rude gesture or something yelled out of a car by some jackass? Well, yeah, probably. But it could happen anywhere, not just on the A.T., and it happens to white hikers/hitchers, too. I'm not remotely excusing this behavior; I'm merely saying it doesn't happen more often on the Trail than elsewhere is all.

While there are a tiny fraction of businesses (yeah, like that bar in Maryland) that might be best avoided, this is certainly very rare, and I can't think of any towns or businesses where you'll need to be on guard.

Lasltly, in reading this whole thread, I see a lot of anti-Southern sentiment, and it's unfortunate. Speaking as a life-long Northener (but one who is well-travelled, including spending 3 months a year or more down South), the most bigoted folks I've ever encountered live in New England, tho in most cases, they don't have the balls to express their true sentiments until the object of their derision has left the room. So don't obsess about the South, I think you'll be surprised at how friendly and welcoming people will be.

Thank you for your service and have a wondeful trip!!

Pedaling Fool
06-07-2010, 11:31
Apparently there was a period of drought about that time where the human population was greatly reduced, almost to the point of extinction
Supervolcanoes are a bitch http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory

JAK
06-07-2010, 13:01
Interesting information on early human thru-hikes...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_human_migrations

turtle fast
06-07-2010, 13:20
I think that Baltimore Jack is right on target here. When you get out of the service...just go hike! Live your life to the fullest and I think you will be suprised how nice some folks really are.

JAK
06-07-2010, 13:54
Hey now, lets not deviate from the established thread drift. :)

Dogwood
06-07-2010, 14:18
+1 to everything JT said!

Go enjoy your hike. You should have a good time.

JAK
06-07-2010, 14:22
Well yeah, if you are still listening, enjoy your hiking.
Regarding all the thread drift, hope you found it amusing.

Sierra Echo
06-07-2010, 15:36
OR, you could go over to the Mall of Georgia and shop for the next month and still not see everything!

I recently drove through Buford GA(stopped at the REI after wandering around trying to locate it for 15 mins!) from the Atlanta/Alpharetta GA area on my way to Buffalo NY. I was astonished that the citizen's of Georgia favorite pastime has become shopping. Folks say NJ is packed with malls, stores, and bumper to bumper traffic. I'll tell you, NJ has nothing on GA in those departments.

Interesting aside JohnGault. Telling some of my family members, that are let's say less tolerant, they descended from a black man from Africa should go over well at the next family barbecue.

NOOOO!!! I didn't lose anything at the mall!
I am a postal carrier. I feel so bad for the two people who have that territory on their mail routes.
Don't we have a nice REI though?
If you had more time you could have gone to the Bass Pro in duluth. Now that area I avoid cause of the traffic LOL!

bigcranky
06-07-2010, 17:05
Jack Tarlin nailed it. I don't expect the original poster is still reading this thread (not sure why I just slogged through it), but if you're out there -- you'll be fine. Have a great hike.

Jack Tarlin
06-07-2010, 17:51
I see after a few hours' absence that a post of mine was edited for presuming to bring politics into this discussion.

That was not my intent, and I hope the moderators will permit me to re-write was I was trying to say:

There are all sorts of mis-perceptions about the people one encounters on the A.T., and these mis-perceptions are not limited to any one specific area of the Trail or the country.

We have all heard some version of these comments and generalizations:

*Rural Southerners are clannish, insular, poorly educated, and bigoted.
*People South of the Mason-Dixon line never heard of the Civil Rights move-
ment.
*People from West Virginia are really close to their families.
*New Yorkers are stand-offish and rude.
*Connecticut people are even worse.
*Massachusetts people labor under the belief that nobody other than them
has ever read a book. But they all talk like Bob Peoples which makes up for
a lot.
*New Englanders only respect you if you attended an Ivy League college.
*Every Vermonter drives a beat up Subaru wagon, smokes a lot of weed,
and dresses like his father-in-law is Ben or Jerry.
*New Hampshire residents are sort of like Vermonters but they tend to be
clean-shaven and prefer beer.
*Rural Mainers are pretty much like rural Southerners (see above) except
you can sort of understand what they're saying to you.

In short, we've all heard generalizations and stereotypes about different folks that live along different stretches of the Trail. Like just about all cultural or ethnic generalizations and stereotypes, there is probably some truth in some of these descriptions, or we can at least understand how they came to become so entrenched.

But the truth is, most of the folks you'll meet along the Trail are small-town folk, and at the end of the day, rural New Englanders have a lot more in common with rural Southerners than either group would probably like to acknowledge.

But this I know: All along the Trail one will encounter the finest people in the world, and I urge everyone, both veteran hikers and new-comers, to keep an open-mind, to back-burner one's original perceptions and ideas of certain folks based on where they live, and give everyone a chance to prove themselves as good people. Try and forget what you may have heard or read about certain folks, and don't judge these communities or these people til AFTER you've met some of them.

I assure you that almost without exception, they won't let you down.

double d
06-07-2010, 18:01
But this I know: All along the Trail one will encounter the finest people in the world, and I urge everyone, both veteran hikers and new-comers, to keep an open-mind, to back-burner one's original perceptions and ideas of certain folks based on where they live, and give everyone a chance to prove themselves as good people. Try and forget what you may have heard or read about certain folks, and don't judge these communities or these people til AFTER you've met some of them.

I assure you that almost without exception, they won't let you down.[/QUOTE]

Nicely put Jack, well written.

johnnybgood
06-07-2010, 18:19
Agree . The bottom line is : Keep an open mind to all things , and especially all people as there are many different cultures that intersect our society today.
Our first interaction with those who are different from us should be the same as with our friends irregardless of racial or ethnic differences.

I've always heard , treat others as you would want to be treated .

GGS2
06-07-2010, 18:52
It took five pages to get to that? Like I said, Sabre, keep your head down, and listen in on the fireside chat. Mostly you already know what you'll hear, but maybe you'll get a new view here and there. Latest wisdom: Expect small-town America, up and down the trail. Have fun! :)

JAK
06-07-2010, 19:54
+1 Jack Tarlin

... and I agree also with what you said. The best intentions and academic theories are no substitute for experience and exposure. It stands to reason that the most tollerant and accepting folks are found where people interact and confront these issues most regularly. I would suspect that place where there was once more racism than most places, now has less racism than most places, because they have had more opportunites and experience in working through these issues.

People that live in ivory towers shouldn't throw sticks and stones, or judge those that do.

Blissful
06-07-2010, 20:05
I met an African American on the trail during my section near Chestnut Knob, he was having a blast. I know there doesn't seem to be that many different races hiking - wish there was more. Though this year I have seen also Asian and Latino, which was great. The trail is for everyone. Its an American trail.

bloodmountainman
06-07-2010, 20:29
Thank you Sabar for your service. As a Southern Gentleman, I would like to welcome you to Georgia. Best of luck on your AT adventure.:welcome

Appalachian Tater
06-07-2010, 21:29
You know, I live less then 5 miles from Forsyth County. Are you gonna call me a racist?If you really want a response to that, let me know by PM and I will knock the chip off your shoulder in private.

The OP can certainly see just in this thread that there is a wide range of attitudes in the people that he will encounter on the trail and in towns along it.

My advice would be that it would be rare that you would have any problems but that it could possibly happen. Don't worry but just be prudent. Take the same precautions all hikers should, such as trust your instincts about strangers if you feel uncomfortable, don't set up camp near a road or in plain sight if alone, be careful when strangers approach carrying shotguns out of hunting season, be careful at road crossings, etc. You should take these precautions regardless of your race, gender, etc.

Panzer1
06-07-2010, 21:29
I don't expect you will have any problems with hikers. Write back when your on the trail and I bet a good many hikers could arrange their hike to meet you at some point on the trail and camp/talk/party together.

You will probably have the usual problems with non-hikers, that won't change just because your a hiker.

Panzer

Sierra Echo
06-07-2010, 21:38
If you really want a response to that, let me know by PM and I will knock the chip off your shoulder in private.


Sorry, you're not the kind of person I go out of my way to talk to.

Appalachian Tater
06-07-2010, 21:41
Sorry, you're not the kind of person I go out of my way to talk to.LOL :banana:banana:banana


alsdfalkdflas;fjak

susquehannaslim
06-07-2010, 22:09
Interesting series of posts. The fact that we are using up so much keypunch energy discussion racism or religious badgering on the trail in this day and age is sad. That it might be directed at a veteran that has put his life on the line in protection of their (and my) freedom is maddening.

However, I'm in agreement with my fellow hiker from Hawaii. There is a percentage of ******** everywhere. And the AT is somewhere. So we are all going to come across them. They are certainly not limited to North Georgia and the target is not limited to African Americans. But I believe (and maybe this is the hopeless optimist in me) that the overall experience will be one of the most positive experiences in your life.

Good luck and thank you for your service

JAK
06-07-2010, 22:51
I think racism is something that will always need to be discussed, but I do agree with you that discussing these matters is a bit of a two edged sword, because it tends to have the effect of perpetuating myths, like race and racial stereotyping, as much as dispelling them. But the OP did ask for discussion and opinion. So there it is.

I know some of it got off topic, but that was not directed at the OP in any way. Still, it is dangerous and rude to talk about a subject too much in the abstract, when there are people that deal with or have dealt with subjects in a very real sense. For that I do apologize. It is difficult on threads such as this however, to know whether or not the OP is even still listening, and after a time I think it is ok if threads take a more general and abstract direction, and interesting thread drifts also. Some people might be offended by some stuff, like how species evolve, which can be a sensitve matter to some, but others find such stuff rather interesting and enlightening, and I think it helps to dispell alot of racial myths and racial stereotyping. The truth is complex. Individuals are complex and diverse. Everyone has a story. We generalize because it makes things easy, and is sometimes useful and in some respects neccessary. We have to be careful though, of course, because when we generalize it is inevitable that we will make some serious mistakes, even when our intensions are good. We also have to be vigilant because we should all be aware from history that such generalizations are often used with intensions that are far from good.

I think this has been a healthy discussion, by and large, but perhaps not the best forum for such a discussion. It would be better, and more appropriate, if there was more participation from minorities. But that is our limitation on this forum, and our loss.

Gray Blazer
06-08-2010, 00:41
I think racism is something that will always need to be discussed, but I do agree with you that discussing these matters is a bit of a two edged sword, because it tends to have the effect of perpetuating myths, like race and racial stereotyping, as much as dispelling them. But the OP did ask for discussion and opinion. So there it is.

I know some of it got off topic, but that was not directed at the OP in any way. Still, it is dangerous and rude to talk about a subject too much in the abstract, when there are people that deal with or have dealt with subjects in a very real sense. For that I do apologize. It is difficult on threads such as this however, to know whether or not the OP is even still listening, and after a time I think it is ok if threads take a more general and abstract direction, and interesting thread drifts also. Some people might be offended by some stuff, like how species evolve, which can be a sensitve matter to some, but others find such stuff rather interesting and enlightening, and I think it helps to dispell alot of racial myths and racial stereotyping. The truth is complex. Individuals are complex and diverse. Everyone has a story. We generalize because it makes things easy, and is sometimes useful and in some respects neccessary. We have to be careful though, of course, because when we generalize it is inevitable that we will make some serious mistakes, even when our intensions are good. We also have to be vigilant because we should all be aware from history that such generalizations are often used with intensions that are far from good.

I think this has been a healthy discussion, by and large, but perhaps not the best forum for such a discussion. It would be better, and more appropriate, if there was more participation from minorities. But that is our limitation on this forum, and our loss.


I love you JAK, but I call BS. Same for Hunnialism or whatever. If you talk about rascism, you are a rascist. If you don't talk about rascism, you are a rascist.

I tried to lighten things up a bit after waiting 2 or 3 days by saying we're all Americans, even JAK.

People brainwashed by the media need to get a clue. The media is the biggest race-baiter. When our pres admonished that NE cop w/o even checking the facts, he was race-baiting.

Most of the people in this country get along with most of the other people in this country except for the bad'uns.

I grew up in the South and had plenty of white guilt myself. Now I say what's wrong with being white? What's wrong with being black? Or anything else for that matter?

I hope we all get along. I have African, Mexican, and Arabian American grandchildren and I love all of them (15). They are all Americans (the USA kind if ya know what I mean).

Hope you read this before it gets edited and the whole meaning becomes changed.

JAK
06-08-2010, 01:08
I don't disagree with you that there is a certain paradox in drawing attention to a problem which is largely based on an abstraction which should not exist. I also agree that it is largely induced by the establishment, because their primary motivation is to be required, and so they tend to love problems based on abstractions, because they are easier to control and distort than problems based upon reality. Racism and such things can become very real from time to time though. Individuals need to remain vigilant.

But I get what you are saying. It is a paradox.

Sierra Echo
06-08-2010, 07:22
I don't think color should matter. The only thing that really matters to me is if a person is a jerk or not.

Gray Blazer
06-08-2010, 07:24
I don't think color should matter. The only thing that really matters to me is if a person is a jerk or not.

Amen, Brother Ben!

double d
06-08-2010, 08:58
Does race matter? Well...how about to a..... jury of your peers in a court of law? Or to a Judge? Or to a politician? Or to someone voting in an election? To a police officer? To how American history is taught (and btw "who" writes history-those that win?)? To the Supreme Court? To a hiring committee? does race matter in who we marry (data shows it clearly does)?
Of course the list is endless and of course race matters, thats why this WB debate hasn't ended with a simple answer to the OP's question.

Gray Blazer
06-08-2010, 09:12
It doesn't matter to me ... until someone pulls the race card.

JAK
06-08-2010, 09:41
You can never really know what it is like to walk in another's man's shoes. You just have to try to imagine. That is the best that you can do.

JAK
06-08-2010, 10:00
Down at the Dinghy

J. D. Salinger



Harpers CXCVIII, April, 1949, pages 87-91



IT was a little after four o'clock on an Indian Summer afternoon. Some fifteen or twenty times since noon, Sandra, the maid, had come away from the lake-front window in the kitchen with her mouth set tight. This time as she came away, she absently untied and re-tied her apron strings, taking up what little slack her enormous waistline allowed. Then she went back to the enamel table and lowered her freshly uniformed body into the seat opposite Mrs. Snell. Mrs. Snell having finished the cleaning and ironing was having her customary cup of tea before walking down the road to the bus stop. Mrs. Snell had her hat on. It was the same interesting, black felt headpiece she had worn, not just all summer, but for the past three summers--through record heat waves, through change of life, over scores of ironing boards, over the helms of dozens of vacuum cleaners. The Hattie Carnegie label was still inside it, faded but (it might be said) unbowed.



"I'm not gonna worry about it," Sandra announced, for the fifth or sixth time, addressing herself as much as Mrs. Snell. "I made up my mind I'm not gonna worry about it. What for?"



"That's right," said Mrs. Snell. "I wouldn't. I really wouldn't. Reach me my bag, dear."



A leather handbag, extremely worn, but with a label inside it as impressive as the one inside Mrs. Snell's hat, lay on the pantry. Sandra was able to reach it without standing up. She handed it across the table to Mrs. Snell, who opened it and took out a pack of mentholated cigarettes and a folder of Stork Club matches.



Mrs. Snell lit a cigarette, then brought her teacup to her lips, but immediately set it down in its saucer. "If this don't hurry up and cool off, I'm gonna miss my bus." She looked over at Sandra, who was staring, oppressedly, in the general direction of the copper sauce-pans lined against the wall. "Stop worryin' about it," Mrs. Snell ordered. "What good's it gonna do to worry about it? Either he tells her or he don't. That's all. What good's worryin' gonna do?"



"I'm not worryin' about it," Sandra responded. "The last thing I'm gonna do is worry about it. Only, it drives ya loony, the way that kid goes pussyfootin' all around the house. Ya can't hear him, ya know. I mean nobody can hear him, ya know. Just the other day I was shellin' beans--right at this here table--and I almost stepped on his hand. He was sittin' right under the table."



"Well. I wouldn't worry about it."



"I mean ya gotta weigh every word ya say around him," Sandra said. "It drives ya loony."



"I still can't drink this," Mrs. Snell said. ". . . That's terrible. When ya gotta weigh every word ya say and all."



"It drives ya loony! I mean it. Half the time I'm half loony." Sandra brushed some imaginary crumbs off her lap, and snorted. "A four-year-old kid!"



"He's kind of a good-lookin' kid," said Mrs. Snell. "Them big brown eyes and all."



Sandra snorted again. "He's gonna have a nose just like the father." She raised her cup and drank from it without any difficulty. "I don't know what they wanna stay up here all October for," she said malcontentedly, lowering her cup. "I mean none of 'em even go anywheres near the water now. She don't go in, he don't go in, the kid don't go in. Nobody goes in now. They don't even take that crazy boat out no more. I don't know what they threw good money away on it for."



"I don't know how you can drink yours. I can't even drink mine."



Sandra stared rancorously at the opposite wall. "I'll be so gladda get backa the city. I'm not foolin'. I hate this crazy place." She gave Mrs. Snell a hostile glance. "It's all right for you, you live here all year round. You got your social life here and all. You don't care."



"I'm gonna drink this if it kills me," Mrs. Snell said, looking at the clock over the electric stove.



"What would you do if you were in my shoes?" Sandra asked abruptly. "I mean what would you do? Tella truth."



This was the sort of question Mrs. Snell slipped into as if it were an ermine coat. She at once let go her teacup. "Well, in the first place," she said, "I wouldn't worry about it. What I'd do, I'd look around for another--"



"I'm not worried about it," Sandra interrupted.



"I know that, but what I'd do, I'd just get me--"



The swinging door opened from the dining room and Boo Boo Tannenbaum, the lady of the house, came into the kitchen. She was a small, almost hipless girl of twenty-five, with styleless, colorless, brittle hair pushed back behind her ears, which were very large. She was dressed in knee-length jeans, a black turtleneck pullover, and socks and loafers. Her joke of a name aside, her general unprettiness aside, she was-in terms of permanently memorable, immoderately perceptive, small-area faces-a stunning and final girl. She went directly to the refrigerator and opened it. As she peered inside, with her legs apart and her hands on her knees, she whistled, unmelodically, through her teeth, keeping time with a little uninhibited, pendulum action of her rear end. Sandra and Mrs. Snell were silent. Mrs. Snell put out her cigarette, unhurriedly.



"Sandra . . ."



"Yes, ma'am?" Sandra looked alertly past Mrs. Snell's hat.



"Aren't there any more pickles? I want to bring him a pickle."



"He et 'em," Sandra reported intelligently. "He et 'em before he went to bed last night. There was only two left."



"Oh. Well, I'll get some when I go to the station. I thought maybe I could lure him out of that boat." Boo Boo shut the refrigerator door and walked over to look out of the lake-front window. "Do we need anything else?" she asked, from the window.



"Just bread."



"I left your check on the hall table, Mrs. Snell. Thank you."



"O.K.," said Mrs. Snell. "I hear Lionel's supposeta be runnin' away." She gave a short laugh.



"Certainly looks that way," Boo Boo said, and slid her hands into her hip pockets.



"At least he don't run very far away," Mrs. Snell said, giving another short laugh.



At the window, Boo Boo changed her position slightly, so that her back wasn't directly to the two women at the table. "No," she said, and pushed back some hair behind her ear. She added, purely informatively: "He's been hitting the road regularly since he was two. But never very hard. I think the farthest he ever got--in the city, at least--was to the Mall in Central Park. Just a couple of blocks from home. The least far--or nearest--he ever got was to the front door of our building. He stuck around to say goodbye to his father."



Both women at the table laughed.



"The Mall's where they all go skatin' in New York," Sandra said very sociably to Mrs. Snell. "The kids and all."



"Oh!" said Mrs. Snell.



"He was only three. It was just last year," Boo Boo said, taking out a pack of cigarettes and a folder of matches from a side pocket in her jeans. She lit a cigarette, while the two women spiritedly watched her. "Big excitement. We had the whole police force out looking for him."



"They find him?" said Mrs. Snell.



"Sure they found him!" said Sandra with contempt. "Wuddaya think?"



"They found him at a quarter past eleven of night, in the middle of--my God, February, I think. Not a child in the park. Just muggers, I guess, and an assortment of roaming degenerates. He was sitting on the floor of the bandstand, rolling a marble back and forth along a crack. Half-frozen to death and looking--"



"Holy Mackerel!" said Mrs. Snell. "How come he did it? I mean what was he runnin' away about?"



Boo Boo blew a single, faulty smoke-ring at a pane of glass. "Some child in the park that afternoon had come up to him with the dreamy misinformation, `You stink, kid.' At least, that's why we think he did it. I don't know, Mrs. Snell. It's all slightly over my head."



"How long's he been doin' it?" asked Mrs. Snell. "I mean how long's he been doin' it?"



"Well, at the age of two-and-a-half," Boo Boo said biographically, "he sought refuge under a sink in the basement of our apartment house. Down in the laundry. Naomi somebody--a close friend of his--told him she had a worm in her thermos bottle. At least, that's all we could get out of him." Boo Boo sighed, and came away from the window with a long ash on her cigarette. She started for the screen door. "I'll have another go at it," she said, by way of goodby to both women.



They laughed.



"Mildred," Sandra, still laughing, addressed Mrs. Snell, "you're gonna miss your bus if ya don't get a move on."



Boo Boo closed the screen door behind her.



She stood on the slight downgrade of her front lawn, with the low, glaring, late afternoon sun at her back. About two hundred yards ahead of her, her son Lionel was sitting in the stem seat of his father's dinghy. Tied, and stripped of its main and jib sails, the dinghy floated at a perfect right angle away from the far end of the pier. Fifty feet or so beyond it, a lost or abandoned water ski floated bottom up, but there were no pleasure boats to be seen on the lake; just a stern-end view of the county launch on its way over to Leech's Landing. Boo Boo found it queerly difficult to keep Lionel in steady focus. The sun, though not especially hot, was nonetheless so brilliant that it made any fairly distant image--a boy, a boat--seem almost as wavering and refractional as a stick in water. After a couple of minutes, Boo Boo let the image go. She peeled down her cigarette Army style, and then started toward the pier.



It was October, and the pier boards no longer could hit her in the face with reflected heat. She walked along whistling "Kentucky Babe" through her teeth. When she reached the end of the pier, she squatted, her knees audible, at the right edge, and looked down at Lionel. He was less than an oar's length away from her. He didn't look up.



"Ahoy," Boo Boo said. "Friend. Pirate. Dirty dog. I'm back."



Still not looking up, Lionel abruptly seemed called upon to demonstrate his sailing ability. He swung the dead tiller all the way to the right, then immediately yanked it back in to his side. He kept his eyes exclusively on the deck of the boat.



"It is I," Boo Boo said. "Vice-Admiral Tannenbaum. Nee Glass. Come to inspect the stermaphors."



There was a response.



"You aren't an admiral. You're a lady," Lionel said. His sentences usually had at least one break of faulty breath control, so that, often, his emphasized words, instead of rising, sank. Boo Boo not only listened to his voice, she seemed to watch it.



"Who told you that? Who told you I wasn't an admiral?"



Lionel answered, but inaudibly.



"Who?" said Boo Boo.



"Daddy."



Still in a squatting position, Boo Boo put her left hand through the V of her legs, touching the pier boards in order to keep her balance. "Your daddy's a nice fella," she said, "but he's probably the biggest landlubber I know. It's perfectly true that when I'm in port I'm a lady--that's true. But my true calling is first, last, and always the bounding--"



"You aren't an admiral," Lionel said.



"I beg your pardon?"



"You aren't an admiral. You're a lady all the time."



There was a short silence. Lionel filled it by changing the course of his craft again--his hold on the tiller was a two-armed one. He was wearing khaki-colored shorts and a clean, white T-shirt with a dye picture, across the chest, of Jerome the Ostrich playing the violin. He was quite tanned, and his hair, which was almost exactly like his mother's in color and quality, was a little sun-bleached on top.



"Many people think I'm not an admiral," Boo Boo said, watching him. "Just because I don't shoot my mouth off about it." Keeping her balance, she took a cigarette and matches out of the side pocket of her jeans. "I'm almost never tempted to discuss my rank with people. Especially with little boys who don't even look at me when I talk to them. I'd be drummed out of the bloomin' service." Without lighting her cigarette, she suddenly got to her feet, stood unreasonably erect, made an oval out of the thumb and index finger of her right hand, drew the oval to her mouth, and--kazoo style--sounded something like a bugle call. Lionel instantly looked up. In all probability, he was aware that the call was bogus, but nonetheless he seemed deeply aroused; his mouth fell open. Boo Boo sounded the call--a peculiar amalgamation of "Taps" and "Reveille"--three times, without any pauses. Then, ceremoniously, she saluted the opposite shoreline. When she finally reassumed her squat on the pier edge, she seemed to do so with maximum regret, as if she had just been profoundly moved by one of the virtues of naval tradition closed to the public and small boys. She gazed out at the petty horizon of the lake for a moment, then seemed to remember that she was not absolutely alone. She glanced-venerably--down at Lionel, whose mouth was still open. "That was a secret bugle call that only admirals are allowed to hear." She lit her cigarette, and blew out the match with a theatrically thin, long stream of smoke. "If anybody knew I let you hear that call--" She shook her head. She again fixed the sextant of her eye on the horizon.



"Do it again."



"Impossible."



"Why?"



Boo Boo shrugged. "Too many low-grade officers around, for one thing." She changed her position, taking up a cross-legged, Indian squat. She pulled up her socks. "I'll tell you what I'll do, though," she said, matter-of-factly. "If you'll tell me why you're running away, I'll blow every secret bugle call for you I know. All right?"



Lionel immediately looked down at the deck again. "No," he said.



"Why not?"



"Because."



"Because why?"



"Because I don't want to," said Lionel, and jerked the tiller for emphasis.



Boo Boo shielded the right side of her face from the glare of the sun. "You told me you were all through running away," she said. "We talked about it, and you told me you were all through. You promised me."



Lionel gave a reply, but it didn't carry. "What?" said Boo Boo.



"I didn't promise."



"Ah, yes, you did. You most certainly did."



Lionel resumed steering his boat. "If you're an admiral," he said, "where's your fleet?"



"My fleet. I'm glad you asked me that," Boo Boo said, and started to lower herself into the dinghy.



"Get off!" Lionel ordered, but without giving over to shrillness, and keeping his eyes down. "Nobody can come in."



"They can't?" Boo Boo's foot was already touching the bow of the boat. She obediently drew it back up to pier level. "Nobody at all?" She got back into her Indian squat. "Why not?"



Lionel's answer was complete, but, again, not loud enough.



"What?" said Boo Boo.



"Because they're not allowed."



Boo Boo, keeping her eyes steadily on the boy, said nothing for a full minute.



"I'm sorry to hear it," she said, finally. "I'd just love to come down in your boat. I'm so lonesome for you. I miss you so much. I've been all alone in the house all day without anybody to talk to."



Lionel didn't swing the tiller. He examined the grain of wood in its handle. "You can talk to Sandra," he said.



"Sandra's busy," Boo Boo said. "Anyway, I don't want to talk to Sandra, I want to talk to you. I wanna come down in your boat and talk to you."



"You can talk from there."



"What?"



"You can talk from there."



"No, I can't. It's too big a distance. I have to get up close."



Lionel swung the tiller. "Nobody can come in," he said.



"What?"



"Nobody can come in."



"Well, will you tell me from there why you're running away?" Boo Boo asked. "After you promised me you were all through?"



A pair of underwater goggles lay on the deck of the dinghy, near the stem seat. For answer, Lionel secured the headstrap of the goggles between the big and second toes of his right foot, and, with a deft, brief, leg action, flipped the goggles overboard. They sank at once.



"That's nice. That's constructive," said Boo Boo. "Those belong to your Uncle Webb. Oh, he'll be so delighted." She dragged on her cigarette. "They once belonged to your Uncle Seymour."



"I don't care."



"I see that. I see you don't," Boo Boo said. Her cigarette was angled peculiarly between her fingers; it burned dangerously close to one of her knuckle grooves. Suddenly feeling the heat, she let the cigarette drop to the surface of the lake. Then she took out something from one of her side pockets. It was a package, about the size of a deck of cards, wrapped in white paper and tied with green ribbon. "This is a key chain," she said, feeling the boy's eyes look up at her. "Just like Daddy's. But with a lot more keys on it than Daddy's has. This one has ten keys."



Lionel leaned forward in his seat, letting go the tiller. He held out his hands in catching position. "Throw it?" he said. "Please?"



"Let's keep our seats a minute, Sunshine. I have a little thinking to do. I should throw this key chain in the lake."



Lionel stared up at her with his mouth open. He closed his mouth. "It's mine," he said on a diminishing note of justice.



Boo Boo, looking down at him, shrugged. "I don't care."



Lionel slowly sat back in his seat, watching his mother, and reached behind him for the tiller. His eyes reflected pure perception, as his mother had known they would.



"Here." Boo Boo tossed the package down to him. It landed squarely on his lap.



He looked at it in his lap, picked it off, looked at it in his hand, and flicked it--sidearm--into the lake. He then immediately looked up at Boo Boo, his eyes filled not with defiance but tears. In another instant, his mouth was distorted into a horizontal figure-8, and he was crying mightily.



Boo Boo got to her feet, gingerly, like someone whose foot has gone to sleep in theatre, and lowered herself into the dinghy. In a moment, she was in the stern seat, with the pilot on her lap, and she was rocking him and kissing the back of his neck and giving out certain information: "Sailors don't cry, baby. Sailors never cry. Only when their ships go down. Or when they're shipwrecked, on rafts and all, with nothing to drink except--"



"Sandra--told Mrs. Smell--that Daddy's a big--sloppy--kike."



Just perceptibly, Boo Boo flinched, but she lifted the boy off her lap and stood him in front of her and pushed back his hair from his forehead. "She did, huh?" she said.



Lionel worked his head up and down, emphatically. He came in closer, still crying, to stand between his mother's legs.



"Well, that isn't too terrible," Boo Boo said, holding him between the two vises of her arms and legs. "That isn't the worst that could happen." She gently bit the rim of the boy's ear. "Do you know what a kike is, baby?"



Lionel was either unwilling or unable to speak up at once. At any rate, he waited till the hiccupping aftermath of his tears had subsided a little. Then his answer was delivered, muffled but intelligible, into the warmth of Boo Boo's neck. "It's one of those things that go up in the air," he said. "With string you hold."



The better to look at him, Boo Boo pushed her son slightly away from her. Then she put a wild hand inside the seat of his trousers, startling the boy considerably, but almost immediately withdrew it and decorously tucked in his shirt for him. "Tell you what we'll do," she said. "We'll drive to town and get some pickles, and some bread, and we'll eat the pickles in the car, and then we'll go to the station and get Daddy, and then we'll bring Daddy home and make him take us for a ride in the boat. You'll have to help him carry the sails down. O.K.?"



"O.K.," said Lionel.



They didn't walk back to the house; they raced. Lionel won.

double d
06-08-2010, 10:36
J.D.Salinger? Didn't we ban his books (or even burn them) a long time ago?!

JAK
06-08-2010, 11:05
Hmmm. Not sure. I think Catcher-In-The-Rye was required reading in Quebec, but we never read it in our school, and it might have been taken off the reading list or out of school libraries in some small town here or there from time to time. Not sure.

Maybe you are thinking about Farenheit 451, or Celsius 233 in the Canadian Edition,
or 333 in the JAK edition, taking into account wind chill and all.

mudhead
06-08-2010, 12:07
Post 110 reminds me of an old Newfie joke.

Tenderheart
06-08-2010, 12:25
I am an African American planning to thru-hike the AT in 2013,after I retire from Active Duty. I need information from former thru-hikers so I can plan my hike and have a memorable experience on the trail as all thru-hikers have from the journalsI have read. Do I need to plan any different from a regular thru-hiker, is hitch hiking an option, are there towns,hostels or other places I a better off avoiding? etc.

In 2000, I hiked from time to time with The Godfather and Harriett Tubman. They were great people who started out together but later went their own way for whatever reasons. I was in the south and the north with both of them. To my knowledge, they never had a problem with the African American issue. As for hitching, I would say that in some areas, it is extremely difficult to get a ride, regardless. Lehigh Gap comes to mind. I wish you well in your planning and thank you for your military service.

litefoot 2000

Jack Tarlin
06-08-2010, 12:33
JAK:

The Catcher in the Rye is one of the most frequently banned books of all time, and is still banned in many American schools, primarilybecause of language and some adult situations.

Salinger could have told you a thing or two about bigotry; he experienced it first hand growing up in a mixed family, and then as a youth, while attending schools where Jews, to say the least were neither common or popular.

He also was a combat veteran of World War II and visited several newly liberated concentration camps.

Lastly, he spent the last 50 years of his life in rural New Hampshire, where racial and ethnic intolerance is a lot worse than you might think.

Happily, things are changing in American society, but there are still some people who just don't get it ("Paging Helen Thomas!!).

Sadly, this intolerance crosses ALL geographic, socio-economic, and political lines.

This ugliness can be found pretty much everywhere.

Happily, tho, on the Appalachian Trail, it's quite rare,and that is a good thing.

Gray Blazer
06-08-2010, 13:09
Helen Thomas ... please pick up the white courtesy phone (or the black one if you want)!

JAK
06-08-2010, 14:47
Jack,
I have been reading some more about J.D.Salinger today, to refresh my memory.
He is one of my favourite writers. For Esme with Love and Squalor is one of my favourites, but I really like them all. I think his personal war experience, perhaps combined with being a writer, and the type of writer that he was, explains much about why he became semi-reclusive. Being Jewish and being among the first Allied troops to enter those camps had to have had a huge impact. I can only imagine.

weary
06-08-2010, 14:54
Racism is alive and well in Maine, mostly I suspect because Mainers have had very little contact with other than the white race. The state has long always been the state with the greatest white plurality in the nation, something like 97-98 percent white. There's nothing like ignorance of the other guy to generate predjudice.

Growing up in the 30s racism was rampant. KKK organizations were often in the newspapers. As more and more people of other races moved to Maine the racism abated, but I continue to hear racist remarks routinely.

Forty - 50 years ago when I was working as a reporter in a small Maine city I was a member of the local Elks Lodge (it had the best bar in town.)

When the courts or some agency ruled that Elks had to accept black members, I argued it was a good thing -- and was so ostrasized by lodge members I quit. The bar was no longer friendly.

Years passed before a black person had the courage to test the integration of the Elks in that city. Gradually others joined. It remains a predominantly white lodge. But a couple of decades later I saw that a black man had been chosen the lodge's "grand exalted ruler."

There's nothing like getting to know the other guy to change attitudes. I've visited in the south enough to know that racism continues there also. But it strikes me as greartly tempered by integration brought about by the civil right battles.

Weary

Pedaling Fool
06-08-2010, 16:15
There's nothing like getting to know the other guy to change attitudes. I've visited in the south enough to know that racism continues there also. But it strikes me as greartly tempered by integration brought about by the civil right battles.

Weary
I agree. I was a small school kid when they introduced "bussing" to our district. As expected there was some friction for some time, but that passed. If it were not for that there would still be far too many ignorant attitudes. This country is doing pretty good compared to many other countries. Most problems are blown out of proportion, as Gray Blazer said earlier, much of the media is a race-baiting organization.

Appalachian Tater
06-08-2010, 18:18
When the courts or some agency ruled that Elks had to accept black members, I argued it was a good thing -- and was so ostrasized by lodge members I quit. The bar was no longer friendly.

Years passed before a black person had the courage to test the integration of the Elks in that city. Gradually others joined. It remains a predominantly white lodge. But a couple of decades later I saw that a black man had been chosen the lodge's "grand exalted ruler."


Substitute "Americans" for "Elks" and "country" for "lodge" and "president" for "grand exalted ruler". Sounds like your local Elks club is representative of the country as a whole.

JAK
06-08-2010, 20:10
You're a real prince. You're a gentleman and a scholar, Tater.
Do you happen to have any cigarettes, by any chance?--Say 'no' or I'll drop dead.

Sierra Echo
06-08-2010, 20:44
You're a real prince. You're a gentleman and a scholar, Tater.
Do you happen to have any cigarettes, by any chance?--Say 'no' or I'll drop dead.

You better watch it! He/she will offer to chew you out from behind the safety of his/her computer screen!!! :D LMAO

Appalachian Tater
06-08-2010, 21:04
You're a real prince. You're a gentleman and a scholar, Tater.
Do you happen to have any cigarettes, by any chance?--Say 'no' or I'll drop dead.No, I quit in 2005!

earlyriser26
06-08-2010, 22:04
Interesting OP. I have been hiking the AT since 1969 and would always joke that they were just as many black hikers as players in the NHL. The NHL has changed, but hiking has not. Over the last 42 years I have seen a total of 4 black hkers on the AT. On the the question of what to expect? I think you will find it less of a problem than you think. Good luck to you.

Gray Blazer
06-08-2010, 22:42
Racism is alive and well in Maine, mostly I suspect because Mainers have had very little contact with other than the white race. The state has long always been the state with the greatest white plurality in the nation, something like 97-98 percent white. There's nothing like ignorance of the other guy to generate predjudice.



By your logic Nassau, Bahamas is rascist cuz it's mostly black. The watermelon loading crews where I was the only white guy musta been rascist, too.

Sabar must be laughing his head off.

JAK
06-09-2010, 04:38
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXs6t2eRBFw

weary
06-09-2010, 11:46
By your logic Nassau, Bahamas is rascist cuz it's mostly black. The watermelon loading crews where I was the only white guy musta been rascist, too.

Sabar must be laughing his head off.
I doubt if he is laughing very loud, but he can speak for himself.

I served in the Army just as serious desegration was getting underway in the early 1950s. As a military policeman I noticed far more racial predjudice in segregated units, than in mixed units, regardless of color. I was eventually discharged after serving a month in an almost black unit. I refrained from making racial predjudice charges, but I was tempted at moments. I figured turn about is fair play. Besides I knew is was only for a couple of weeks, not a lifetime.

Weary

Dances with Mice
06-09-2010, 13:43
Avenue Q (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc5ztwJvfUA&feature=related) says it best. Everybody get ready for the singalong!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc5ztwJvfUA

julia123xyz
06-10-2010, 09:10
What's a "troll"??

flemdawg1
06-10-2010, 09:30
What's a "troll"??

That thing on the Travelocity commercials. We HATE him. :mad:

Nean
06-10-2010, 09:34
What's a "troll"??

An instigator
not to be confused with an Alligator

JAK
06-10-2010, 09:35
That thing on the Travelocity commercials. We HATE him. :mad:Now now.
Hate is for Hitler.

JAK
06-10-2010, 09:37
Besides which, I am pretty sure he a Gnome. You know, from Alaska.

Nean
06-10-2010, 10:13
This advice is actually serious- don't use Toast as a trail name.

Old Hiker
06-10-2010, 10:16
This advice is actually serious- don't use Toast as a trail name.

Dang it - too late a night last night, too early a morning this morning and not enough coffee - I can't think, so I gotta ask:

Why not "Toast"?

(I'm gonna regret this, aren't I?)

Nean
06-10-2010, 10:31
Dang it - too late a night last night, too early a morning this morning and not enough coffee - I can't think, so I gotta ask:

Why not "Toast"?

(I'm gonna regret this, aren't I?)

No regrets- there is a black guy on the trail this year going by Toast and causing many problems. One wouldn't want to be confused with that SOS.

Speakeasy TN
06-16-2010, 04:51
I moved to TN in 1988. That year, there were KKK standing on the corners of our small town in white robes trying to recruit. Anyone who says it's a thing of the past is crazy, it's just gone further underground. Having Obama elected seems to have drawn out the racists from the woodwork though. As a teacher, I'm appalled by what I hear from my students, who obviously are still learning it from mommy and daddy. As a teacher it is hugely frustrating to hear 8th graders talking the way they do. And this year it's been even worse.
I expect you'll have a hard time hitchhiking in the south, and if I were you, I'd be very careful. There's a lot of people really pissed off because we have a Black president. Lots of pick up trucks down here still waving the confederate flag.

You have got to be kidding! You start a post about how racism is STILL a problem with a 20 year old example of 1 person on a corner? We will never get rid of any ism completely but if you think it's not better you must not be leaving WH very often....... drive down to Chattanooga and hang out downtown some weekend. We'll get some eats.

littlejohn1999
06-20-2010, 16:04
I thru-hiked in 1999. You don't have to worry about other hikers hassling you. Even if they were so inclined they'd be too tired. Any road crossing has potential trouble makers. Any forest service road has potential trouble makers. Any trail town has potential trouble makers. But in terms of my own experiences I'd say Elk Park, NC is a concern; it was in 99 anyway. Erwin, TN is reputed to be a rough place but I think it's bad reputation is undeserved. It's based on things that happened there long, long ago. It does have population, albiet small. Anytime you have population you're going to have a few bad guys.

I had over twenty resupplies. It wasn't necessary to hitchhike to any of them. I studied the Data Book and found post offices and stores that required very little road walking. I did have a couple of unplanned hitchhikes on the trail. Nothing happened but I wasn't comfortable with it. Don't camp near roads. Don't camp near logging roads.

There were three black women and one black man on The AT the year I thru-hiked. Nobody hassled them. There have been murders on The AT, approximately 10 spread out over quite a few years. It's still a lot safer than the parking lot at your local shopping mall or Wal-Mart.

littlejohn1999
06-20-2010, 16:19
Prior to starting my hike I worried about bears more than I worried about anybody hassling me. I saw one bear the entire trip.....in Shenandoah. I worried about Brown Recluse Spiders in the shelters or outhouses. Thankfully I never encountered any. I worried about snakes; I saw two rattlers the entire time. I worried about ticks. I never had any. What ended up being my most legitimate concerns were staying on schedule, staying hydrated, lightening my pack weight, and making it through The Whites of New Hampshire. You could get hassled on The AT, but it's not highly likely.

JAK
06-20-2010, 18:36
That's 3 for 3 quality posts littlejohn. Classic Stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gx1yN6ZxpA

Lilred
06-21-2010, 15:47
You have got to be kidding! You start a post about how racism is STILL a problem with a 20 year old example of 1 person on a corner? We will never get rid of any ism completely but if you think it's not better you must not be leaving WH very often....... drive down to Chattanooga and hang out downtown some weekend. We'll get some eats.

You must be young. 20 years is not that long, and it wasn't one person, it was several people. Ten years ago I had a friend married to a white woman. They were looking to buy a house. I suggested White House cause they have kids and the schools are great. He thought I was nuts and told me he wanted to live peacefully, which won't happen in this area for a black guy that is married to a white woman. You won't find the same problems in Nashville or Chattanooga or any large city. It's still happening in small southern towns though. Ever been to Polaski? The KKK are still having marches there. If you think racism is a thing of the past, then you must not leave Chattanooga very often. I'll take you up on that dinner..,. :)

mustangpwr98
06-25-2010, 19:59
I have met all kinds of hikers on the trail and do not think any have had any problems that i have seen.

I have also been in the dogpatch more than once and never heard racist comments. But maybe i missed clan hour :rolleyes:.

Most of this thread speaks to racism in the context that it can only come from white people. I for one have been walking down a inner city street more than once and been called whitey, honkie cracker or whatever. Guess it was bacause I was the minority there. Guess i judge people on their merits vs sterotyping every person in a certain area a racist.
Anyway i believe you will be fine. There are idiots and ******** in every race. Most of the people i have met along the trail are among the nicest i have ever met in life in general.

BigFoot2002
06-25-2010, 20:14
I stopped at the Dogpatch 3 times. Twice it was a very nice experience. The third time I hit the clan hour.

Garlic
09-04-2010, 20:07
I moved to TN in 1988. That year, there were KKK standing on the corners of our small town in white robes trying to recruit. Anyone who says it's a thing of the past is crazy, it's just gone further underground. Having Obama elected seems to have drawn out the racists from the woodwork though. As a teacher, I'm appalled by what I hear from my students, who obviously are still learning it from mommy and daddy. As a teacher it is hugely frustrating to hear 8th graders talking the way they do. And this year it's been even worse.
I expect you'll have a hard time hitchhiking in the south, and if I were you, I'd be very careful. There's a lot of people really pissed off because we have a Black president. Lots of pick up trucks down here still waving the confederate flag.
It's no different (level of racism) in the inner city and even in areas of liberal/progressive America; racism is equally as bad and disgusting - both sides. Just look at the two black panther dudes supported by the ACLU/DoJ - intimidating white voters and they get off scott free.

JAK
09-04-2010, 20:57
I think organizations like the Black Panthers and the Jewish Anti-Defamation League are fundamentally different than the KKK and neo-nazis and so forth. Sure, some actions by those groups, considered in isolation, are often wrong, even deplorable, and might be similar to some actions by the KKK and neo-nazi groups, but some are some actions by police.

Are the Black Panthers racist? Sure, in a sense. So is the Jewish Anti-Demation League.
But not in the same sense that the KKK or Neo-Nazis are racist. Not even close.

Lone Wolf
09-04-2010, 20:59
Are the Black Panthers racist? Sure, in a sense. So is the Jewish Anti-Demation League.
But not in the same sense that the KKK or Neo-Nazis are racist. Not even close.

oh puhleese :rolleyes: you are seriously ignorant

JAK
09-04-2010, 21:05
Perhaps I am. I have heard of alot more violence from the KKK and neo-nazis, and police, than from the Black Panther Partry or the ADL. Just going by wh

JAK
09-04-2010, 21:06
Just going by what I see in the news.

HiKen2011
09-04-2010, 21:09
My best friend was a black man (I am white), we met in the first grade and remained friends until his death earlier this yr. It was 1965 when we met, he was the only black person in our elementary school. Everybody loved him. At his funeral it was stated that we (the people who knew him and his family) didn't understand racsim, It is still hard for me to understand, especially from a white perspective. I still stay in touch with his Mom, she is 86 now. I told him before he died I would, I love this family as if they were mine, and I'm sure they would say the same for me.

Black or white, there is good and bad in every race. That it what we need to look at, not the color of our skin! :)

IronGutsTommy
09-04-2010, 21:15
plenty of good advice and tips in these forums. thanks for serving our country. your race will not be a factor. plenty of people would be proud to hike alongside you

cowpoke
09-04-2010, 21:43
Thank you for your service....have a great hike. cheers.

Sandybeach
02-03-2011, 09:15
I am constantly amazed by so many people who pretend racism is a dead issue and that the question asked by this poster is not relevant or should not be. It is VERY relevant. For blacks, and perhaps other minorities, the US is still peopled with a variety of humans who may: 1. accept each person as they are...2 judge each person first by color, or region...3. dislike people with skin color, sexual orientation, religion or ethnicity different than theirs...4 welcome the interaction with minorities as opportunities to vent, try out fantasies or drive home political positions.

This is just a fact. All of that does not disappear when a person starts to hike and no--all of that does not become benign when a person is up North either. The fact is--this was a very good question and only a few gave it the merit that it deserves--but like most questions, people only relate it to themselves (ie--if THEY did not have any trouble or notice anything racial, then there must not be anything like that happening and it MUST be in the reaction/attitude or imagination of the minority).

There is a HIGH liklihood that a black will encounter some racial tension or have to endure some level of bs on the trail not related to the hike--why? because the same people that use any trail are simply people from all walks of life in the US and beyond. But attitude will go a long way--if you do plan to do that hike in 2013--that is awesome!!! A sense of humour will probably go a long way, and common sense is a great idea...(I dream of the AT hike when doing other, much smaller hikes...I am "hit on" by men who tell me that they always were attracted to black girls" and I am asked the weirdest of questions. Luckily, when I express no interest, it usually does not go further than that, though I had one persistent man whose insistence on accompanying me made me cut my hike short...

Would I expect the AT to be different? No--but I also, have wondered if there have been any black thru hikers on the AT and what their experience is like... Since in this day and age (2011) I am still asked the stupidest things, or ignored at stores or have the occasional store clerk who ignores me or refuses to put my change in my hand due to possible cooties....Do I expect a trail to be prejudice and racist free? No. But honestly, I expect those who hike to be a great and embracing community with much bigger ideas than skin color on their mind--as for towns--in my experiences in the South and East coast, I'd say the places to be more cautious about hitching or going into towns would be --W. VA, and PA. Each still maintains a pocket of racism and potential violence not easily erased by the years. --and unlike religion, sexual orientation and other things many of these pockets have prejudices about--race is a very hard thing to neutralize or hide--when its very existence is a clarion call (for some) to cause problems.

Does anyone know of ANY black person who has thru hiked the AT?

flemdawg1
02-03-2011, 09:33
Does anyone know of ANY black person who has thru hiked the AT?

Serial, he posts here all the time.

Pedaling Fool
02-03-2011, 09:40
Does anyone know of ANY black person who has thru hiked the AT?
No Pain.

We all have a little prejudice in us. I'm a little weary of homeless people, especially the ones without teeth.

Flaming redheads kind of freak me out also:D

Diatribe
02-03-2011, 09:42
yeah and Serial is a just another great guy.

ekeverette
02-03-2011, 09:59
come on everybody. you throw race and religon into the pot it always boils over. just get your supplies and start walking. that's what i,m going to do, hopefully a year from now when i retire. hope to see you.:sun

Sandybeach
02-03-2011, 10:25
For LittleJohn1999: I'd like to know what post offices provide mail drops along the way that do not entail hitchhiking into a town. I am seriously considering a hike in 2013 also and would like to minimize the idea of hitching which to be honest, terrifies me. (years ago, I had a friend who hitched get gang raped--she was picked up by a man who drove her to his waiting crew) and since I am accosted fairly regularly just walking around town--or maybe the loads of sweat, dirt and general stinkiness will deter all? LOL

Pedaling Fool
02-03-2011, 11:10
For LittleJohn1999: I'd like to know what post offices provide mail drops along the way that do not entail hitchhiking into a town.
There's a few, but not going to list them, that's what guidebooks are for.

Trailbender
02-03-2011, 11:27
I think organizations like the Black Panthers and the Jewish Anti-Defamation League are fundamentally different than the KKK and neo-nazis and so forth. Sure, some actions by those groups, considered in isolation, are often wrong, even deplorable, and might be similar to some actions by the KKK and neo-nazi groups, but some are some actions by police.

Are the Black Panthers racist? Sure, in a sense. So is the Jewish Anti-Demation League.
But not in the same sense that the KKK or Neo-Nazis are racist. Not even close.

They are not different at all. The BP uses violence just like the KKK, and the ADL lists white pride groups as racist, when they are just celebrating their heritage. Also, consider the news source is extremely leftist, so I would take anything they say with a huge grain of salt.

Personally, I judge people on an individual basis, and have friends of all races.

buzzamania
02-03-2011, 12:13
The trail is a pretty diverse place, with people from all walks. I think you'll fit right in!

Luddite
02-03-2011, 12:48
Why is there even a debate going on about the KKK? Is there a less significant organization in the world than the KKK?

You shouldn't even compare them to the Black Panthers.

double d
02-03-2011, 12:49
come on everybody. you throw race and religon into the pot it always boils over. just get your supplies and start walking. that's what i,m going to do, hopefully a year from now when i retire. hope to see you.:sun
Well, I wish this was true and society has gotton much better, but I think alot of black folks might disagree with you who like to hike the AT. What happens when you try and get supplies and you get treated much differently if your non-white? Me, I'm white, but with a funny accent (I'm from Chicago), but I've never had problems with Southern folks (white or black), they have been great to me, but I'm not black either.

double d
02-03-2011, 12:58
They are not different at all. The BP uses violence just like the KKK, and the ADL lists white pride groups as racist, when they are just celebrating their heritage. Also, consider the news source is extremely leftist, so I would take anything they say with a huge grain of salt.

Personally, I judge people on an individual basis, and have friends of all races.
Trailbender, very vague answer, as you don't back up your opinions with any degree of facts. Let me ask you a question: does the BP exist today? And if so, where? What group does the ADL list as racist that are nothing more then groups celebrating their heritage? The KKK was founded in 1866 by ex-Confederate officers with the sole intent to committ acts of violence against those they hated. What has changed? Do you think our retireing black hiker will encounter unfair treatment during his thru-hike because of his skin color? Hard to say, but its more likely for it to happen to him then me (I'm white, Northern, and Catholic).

10-K
02-03-2011, 14:16
....................

Cookerhiker
02-03-2011, 17:58
For LittleJohn1999: I'd like to know what post offices provide mail drops along the way that do not entail hitchhiking into a town. I am seriously considering a hike in 2013 also and would like to minimize the idea of hitching which to be honest, terrifies me. (years ago, I had a friend who hitched get gang raped--she was picked up by a man who drove her to his waiting crew) and since I am accosted fairly regularly just walking around town--or maybe the loads of sweat, dirt and general stinkiness will deter all? LOL

Is your 2013 hike a NOBO thruhike starting in March or early April? If so, you can take comfort in that you won't be alone on the Trail and you'll likely find a fellow hiker to be a buddy when you're going into town.

Since you're new to WB, I'd also encourage you to peruse the "Female Hiking Forums" and talk to some sisters (that is, Trail sisters!;)).

Lilred
02-03-2011, 18:24
Another good one, written more recently...

The Way The River Flows, So I Go

I watch
the Saint John River flow
as unlikely as it seems
it feels at times
as it goes
so does my soul
when it rushes
pushes fiercely
when its power
appears out of control
I feel uprooted
lost
just on the verge
of losing it all..
when itís placid
tranquil
when I can hear
the calm ripples trickle
along the shore
when I can stand
see a peaceful demeanor
reflect back at me
in the water
I too am under control
and I
donít feel as if
I have a hole in my soul

Clyde A. Wray
May 19, 2010

Thanks, I love this. PM me if he's published, thanks

mweinstone
02-03-2011, 18:47
be an honor to hike with you.avoid people. their mean. that goes for everybody.

Tuckahoe
02-03-2011, 19:05
They are not different at all. The BP uses violence just like the KKK, and the ADL lists white pride groups as racist, when they are just celebrating their heritage. Also, consider the news source is extremely leftist, so I would take anything they say with a huge grain of salt.

Personally, I judge people on an individual basis, and have friends of all races.


Trailbender, very vague answer, as you don't back up your opinions with any degree of facts. Let me ask you a question: does the BP exist today? And if so, where? What group does the ADL list as racist that are nothing more then groups celebrating their heritage? The KKK was founded in 1866 by ex-Confederate officers with the sole intent to committ acts of violence against those they hated. What has changed? Do you think our retireing black hiker will encounter unfair treatment during his thru-hike because of his skin color? Hard to say, but its more likely for it to happen to him then me (I'm white, Northern, and Catholic).

Well now, Trailbender, I think that you are a little more forgiving of your so called "white pride" groups than I am. I have no qualms about calling them racist because that is what they are. I have delt with way too many of those types to know any different. They may try to come of as innocently loving their heritage, it is nothing but hate that comes through.

Double D, while I agree with your comments on the Klan, I think its a little overly simplified. Violence was certainly a tool of the Klan, but not the reason for its establishment in the postbellum years. Their purpose was to restore order as they saw it to a radically changed social order, once again oppress newly freed slaves, and to drive out the Republican Party, carpetbaggers, etc.

As we are talking about the Klan I think its also important to know that in this country today we are on the 3rd incarnation of the Klan. The Klan of the post war years was pretty much dying out by the late 1870s early 1880s. It became resurgent again about 1915 as a rather different animal in its structure.

As far as the Black Panthers, I wonder if some know the difference between the Black Panthers and the New Black Panthers. The BP are pretty much a shell of what they were in the 1960s. While the NBP can be described rather strongly as a racist organization and a fringe group. The old timers of the BP do not see the NBP as a continuation of the old organization. Both the ADL and the SPLC concider the NBP to be a hate group. Any one that doubts the hate of the NBP only needs to google the likes of King Samir Shabazz and spend some time researching his antics.

Sorry... I will get back to backpacking...

Lilred
02-03-2011, 19:17
.Flaming redheads kind of freak me out also:D

HEY!!! I resemble that remark!!!!

Lilred
02-03-2011, 19:27
[QUOTE=double d;1107379] The KKK was founded in 1866 by ex-Confederate officers with the sole intent to committ acts of violence against those they hated. QUOTE]

Actually, this isn't quite true. Nathan Bedford Forest started the KKK as a practical jokingly way to try and cheer up the Southerners where he lived. They dressed up in funny clown-like costumes and did crazy things to make people laugh. Remember, the South had been devastated. It didn't take long though, for a few to realize that they could intimidate blacks, who they blamed for all their troubles, and scare them without being recognized, since they were wearing costumes. As more and more joined in things got worse and worse. Forest eventually quit the KKK and condemned what it had turned into, but it was too late. I've seen pictures of the first costumes and they were quite comical. They bore no resemblence to what the clan wears now.

(sorry, I teach Social Studies)

Luddite
02-03-2011, 19:30
The Black Panthers were awesome except for their Maoism. I think they took it too far though.

Tuckahoe
02-03-2011, 19:49
[QUOTE=double d;1107379] The KKK was founded in 1866 by ex-Confederate officers with the sole intent to committ acts of violence against those they hated. QUOTE]

Actually, this isn't quite true. Nathan Bedford Forest started the KKK as a practical jokingly way to try and cheer up the Southerners where he lived. They dressed up in funny clown-like costumes and did crazy things to make people laugh. Remember, the South had been devastated. It didn't take long though, for a few to realize that they could intimidate blacks, who they blamed for all their troubles, and scare them without being recognized, since they were wearing costumes. As more and more joined in things got worse and worse. Forest eventually quit the KKK and condemned what it had turned into, but it was too late. I've seen pictures of the first costumes and they were quite comical. They bore no resemblence to what the clan wears now.

(sorry, I teach Social Studies)

Im sorry but that is a crock as Forrest did not start the klan... The KKK was formed in Pulaski Tennessee by six former confederat officers with former Confederate General George Washington Gordon developing the "Prescript" which was the Klan's dogma.

Originally the Klan lacked any sort of organization at a national or state level, or anything beyond very secret local bands. Now here's the thing the Klan was is generally believed to have been created in December 1865 or early 1866. But Nathan Bedford Forrest didnt become involved with the Klan until about 1867; with Forrest appearing at an April 1867 Klan convention which had the purpose of establishing an organizational structure for the Klan. Forrest may have been there at the invitation of George Washington Gordon.

Luddite -- so the Maoism wasnt cool, but Panther murders were?

Luddite
02-03-2011, 19:59
[QUOTE=Lilred;1107618]



Luddite -- so the Maoism wasnt cool, but Panther murders were?

They were just defending themslves at first. Like I said, they took it too far.

Isn't the Ku Klux Klan considered a terrorist organization today?

Luddite
02-03-2011, 20:00
oops, I'm sorry I meant to quotes Tuckahoe

the goat
02-03-2011, 20:07
No, but I've had people push Jesus at me nonstop until I considered jumping out of the car...

I'm all for freedom of religion. People should be able to worship how they want when they want. And I am impressed with the service so many religious folks provide for others who need it. I am less impressed with the trick of offering a ride or a meal to somone for the unnannounced purpose of having a captive audience to try to convert.

lol! i'm usually happy that they're so naive that they think that they'll be able to convert me just by giving me a ride to/ from town.

i'd rather listen to an awkward conversion attempt while getting a free ride to where i need to go; as opposed to standing on the roadside for a long ass time with my thumb out. wouldn't anyone?:confused:

swjohnsey
02-03-2011, 20:12
It has been my experience that Christians lock their doors and try not to make eye contact when they see someone standing on the side of the road.

Cookerhiker
02-03-2011, 20:12
...i'd rather listen to an awkward conversion attempt while getting a free ride to where i need to go; as opposed to standing on the roadside for a long ass time with my thumb out. wouldn't anyone?:confused:

I was going to say "Amen" but maybe "Yes" will suffice.

Cookerhiker
02-03-2011, 20:16
It has been my experience that Christians lock their doors and try not to make eye contact when they see someone standing on the side of the road.

Perhaps some but I've gotten 2 rides from evangelists; no doubt in my mind their motive for picking me up was proseltyzing. Now one was out of Damascus so he probably knew about hikers and felt safe. I directed him to Lone Wolf's house.

The second actually approached me in Harpers Ferry after I had cycled there from Cumberland, we got talking, he was driving back to Pittsburgh and offered a ride thereby saving me from taking AMTRAK. He started right away - we had a spirited discussion.

Luddite
02-03-2011, 20:35
i'd rather listen to an awkward conversion attempt while getting a free ride to where i need to go; as opposed to standing on the roadside for a long ass time with my thumb out. wouldn't anyone?:confused:

It depends. I got a ride with a Mormon once and it was a 2 hour ride and she talked about the history of Mormonism without pause. At least she gave me a ride though.

Lemni Skate
02-03-2011, 20:46
This has certainly been covered her by now, I'm sure, but I didn't feel like reading the whole thing. I've read a couple of trail journals by African-Americans and they didn't seem to experience any overt racism and really seemed like they felt great comraderie and acceptance on the trail from their fellow thru-hikers. It seemed like their trouble did come in things like not being to get a ride into town if they hitch-hiked alone. Neither of them seemed to think the South was worse than the North.

the goat
02-03-2011, 20:53
It depends. I got a ride with a Mormon once and it was a 2 hour ride and she talked about the history of Mormonism without pause. At least she gave me a ride though.

would you have rather waited for another two hour hitch to come along?:D

tirebiter
02-03-2011, 21:02
Jeeze... I just tell them "Jesus is guiding my steps" from the start and skip the whole conversation!

double d
02-03-2011, 22:01
[QUOTE=Tuckahoe64;1107637][QUOTE=Lilred;1107618]

Im sorry but that is a crock as Forrest did not start the klan... The KKK was formed in Pulaski Tennessee by six former confederat officers with former Confederate General George Washington Gordon developing the "Prescript" which was the Klan's dogma.

Originally the Klan lacked any sort of organization at a national or state level, or anything beyond very secret local bands. Now here's the thing the Klan was is generally believed to have been created in December 1865 or early 1866. But Nathan Bedford Forrest didnt become involved with the Klan until about 1867; with Forrest appearing at an April 1867 Klan convention which had the purpose of establishing an organizational structure for the Klan. Forrest may have been there at the invitation of George Washington Gordon.

Good post on the history of the KKK Tuckahoe64 (I also know you like WWI history as well). Nathan B. Forest did in fact join the KKK, but as you indicated, he left it within a short period of time. But President Grant and Congress did everything it could to outlaw the KKK during the 1870's, as the KKK grew in power and in it's violent tactics towards blacks, Northern troops and others it objected to. The South was in chaos after their defeat in 1865, as the economy, the plantation system and white Southern authority was disrupted for a while and this lead to a lot of resentment from southern whites (especially after General Sherman's land reform excutive order, which gave many Southern blacks some farmland in the South as the old "40 acres and a mule" statements comes from this). Certainly Re-Construction was a difficult time, especially since the best person to help rebuild the South was killed at the end of the Civil War (April, 1865). Anyways, most of here at WB love American history, I teach American history at my community college, so its a nice conversation to have here as well.

Luddite
02-03-2011, 22:09
would you have rather waited for another two hour hitch to come along?:D

Nope. Beggars can't be choosers.

the goat
02-03-2011, 22:18
Nope. Beggars can't be choosers.
and that's my point!

i welcome it, if it gets me a ride.

Lilred
02-03-2011, 23:55
[QUOTE=Lilred;1107618]

Im sorry but that is a crock as Forrest did not start the klan... The KKK was formed in Pulaski Tennessee by six former confederat officers with former Confederate General George Washington Gordon developing the "Prescript" which was the Klan's dogma.

Originally the Klan lacked any sort of organization at a national or state level, or anything beyond very secret local bands. Now here's the thing the Klan was is generally believed to have been created in December 1865 or early 1866. But Nathan Bedford Forrest didnt become involved with the Klan until about 1867; with Forrest appearing at an April 1867 Klan convention which had the purpose of establishing an organizational structure for the Klan. Forrest may have been there at the invitation of George Washington Gordon.

Luddite -- so the Maoism wasnt cool, but Panther murders were?

"The Ku Klux Klan, first of two organizations using that name, was founded in Pulaski, Tennessee in 1865-66. It started as a well-intentioned social group of former Confederate officers, taking its name from the Greek word kuklos (meaning “circle”). "

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h412.html

And I stand corrected. Nathan Bedford Forest was the first Grand Wizard, which I may have wrongfully interpretted as founder.

"In 1867 local Klan groups met in Nashville to form a regional organization, the Invisible Empire of the South. The noted Confederate cavalry leader, Nathan Bedford Forrest, was named Grand Wizard. Forrest and other concerned Southerners grew increasingly alarmed about the growing violence; in 1869 the Grand Wizard disbanded the organization. Some local groups remained active into the 1870s, but societal disapproval, a series of federal indictments and the end of Reconstruction caused the Klan to wither away."

Tuckahoe
02-04-2011, 01:31
They were just defending themslves at first. Like I said, they took it too far.

Isn't the Ku Klux Klan considered a terrorist organization today?

Luddite honestly I dont get you... You admire an organization that were nothing more than thugs and yet in another thread you condem a 72 year old man who after being bashed in the head with a baseball bat, defends himself by killing two of his three attackers...

So I guess what you are getting at is the Black Panthers = fighting exploitation by the man. While the home invaders = product of cultural marginalization and are poor disenfranchised people. I know you are young and therefore its easy to admire the mythical "counter culture" but much of the time there is little to be admired.

Cookerhiker
02-04-2011, 09:20
.....Does anyone know of ANY black person who has thru hiked the AT?

I just remembered when I accompanied a buddy who was thruhiking in '04, we met a guy named Sarge at Neel Gap in Georgia early March. He offered - and we accepted - a ride into Blairsville. He said he had thruhiked. I don't know if he's the same Sarge who's on WhiteBlaze.

Luddite
02-04-2011, 14:39
Luddite honestly I dont get you... You admire an organization that were nothing more than thugs and yet in another thread you condem a 72 year old man who after being bashed in the head with a baseball bat, defends himself by killing two of his three attackers...

So I guess what you are getting at is the Black Panthers = fighting exploitation by the man. While the home invaders = product of cultural marginalization and are poor disenfranchised people. I know you are young and therefore its easy to admire the mythical "counter culture" but much of the time there is little to be admired.

I didn't condemn that guy for defending himself. I just thought it was creepy he was laughing about it afterwards.

Sorry I had a fight in the middle of your Black Panther party...

Sassafras Lass
02-05-2011, 16:32
I met an African American on the trail during my section near Chestnut Knob, he was having a blast. I know there doesn't seem to be that many different races hiking - wish there was more. Though this year I have seen also Asian and Latino, which was great. The trail is for everyone. Its an American trail. (emphasis mine)

As well as a trail for anyone - I see we have an Aussie and a gentleman from Deutschland coming this year - h*ll, I was nearly ticketed for jaywalking in MŁnchen, but I will smile warmly and greet our German hiker. It's just as pointless to harbor ill will for skin color as it is for nationality. Never understood that . . .

Speakeasy TN
02-06-2011, 05:45
Sorry I had a fight in the middle of your Black Panther party...

Just about the time you piss me off, you remind me not to take ANYTHING too seriously!:D Thanks for the reminder!