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  1. #21
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    I think I ran into her on Whitecap when we were hiking down it ladt year. She seemed kinda skittish when we said good morning to her, but maybe she was just tired from walking up that mountain.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
    Mods! For god sake put an end to this thread. This doesn't belong on Whiteblaze.
    It might well happen. On the other hand it's kinda sad that we can't discuss this matter without going off the rails.

  3. #23
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    I agree with the original author that hiking has been mostly a white male thing, for a long time now. It's getting better, though. I applaud ATCs efforts to increase diversity on the trail.

    If the original author's concerns seem irrelevant or alien to you, that is the very definition of white male privilege. Not having to deal with any of that.

    Yes, the demographics of the trail are of interest to me. I won't deny that. Trail runs through deep red and deep blue territory. An eye-opener either way, if you do the whole thing.

    Do southerners feel as uncomfortable up north as some of us yankees feel down south? I wonder...

  4. #24

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    I like where the article ends up. I think the urban environment pushes people together too much, but then I have lived in big cities and my preference is not living in a small rural community either. I much prefer the outdoors. for me, it is not a wild environment. It is a natural environment, and so I am happy to see she found people of good will in that natural environment. I hope that continues for her to the extent the bad sttuff is lost by the good experiences. The outdoors experience hiking in a wilderness, for me, is experiencing the world outdoors away from practically everything around is man made. I am glad to see this urban young woman got out to see and experience the world I love so much, and she will do more.

  5. #25

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    Her story is not unique. Everybody who isn't a member of a protected group is a hater in some form or fashion blah blah blah . By not applauding her and offering contrition I am admitting my hate. I'm a bad, insensitive man . Look away , look away . I'm a monster.

  6. #26
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Starting north from Springer, some of the more popular trail towns one might typically stop in are Hiawassee GA (95.5% white, 0.35% black), Franklin TN (82.3% white, 1.9% black), Gatlinburg TN (95.7% white, 0.5% black), Hot Springs NC (98.5% white, 0.5% black), Erwin TN (97.8% white, 0.8% black), Damascus VA (96.9% white, 1.6% black). And the demographics don't really change much until you reach the comparatively diverse Harpers Ferry, WV where a whopping 4% of the population is black, and perhaps the most racially diverse town on the entire AT. The demographics don't change in the north either - all the way from Georgia to Maine the AT runs through rural, exceedingly white America.

    So for those of you who can't understand why a black person might feel different, or unwanted, or nervous, or "on guard" while hiking the AT, perhaps you should imagine yourself hiking through towns where those demographic numbers were switched - if you had the guts to even do it. You might just have similar feeling as those expressed by the woman who wrote the article.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldwetherman View Post
    What is her trail name?

  8. #28
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    I've lived in a large city where the population was 85% black and one where the entire county was 94% Hispanic and I didn't walk around feeling unwanted, nervous or "on guard" because I realized that while racists come in all races (I know some people think that can't be true but it is) the vast majority of all races are good people who treat with respect and as humans. We have to stop judging entire races, or any group of people, by the small margin that are bad people and truly don't represent the majority. People who stereotype a whole group of people are just as guilty of being prejudice as the very groups they are claiming are prejudice.

  9. #29
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francis Sawyer View Post
    Her story is not unique. Everybody who isn't a member of a protected group is a hater in some form or fashion blah blah blah . By not applauding her and offering contrition I am admitting my hate. I'm a bad, insensitive man . Look away , look away . I'm a monster.
    The most "protected group" of people in the entire world is that of white American men. If you don't understand that, you're living in a really shallow fantasy world.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    I think it is difficult as a white person, and especially for old white guys from the US or South Africa, to relate to what a black person experiences in a predominantly white society everyday in their life, whether they be home, working, hiking, whatever. So, we have a choice. We can listen to their story and try to understand their perspective, or we can dismiss it as the complaining of a part of society we neither understand nor particularly like. I doubt you or I face the daily problems of functioning in a society that marginalizes us to at least some degree because of our skin color, gender, sexuality, or anything else. Okay, for me, maybe age these days. But you and I woulIn't even think of such things being related to something as simple as going hiking, would we?
    Actually it is the other way around. As a 60 year old white man I know exactly what racism looks like, I saw it and it was not hidden. The things I saw in the 60 and early 70s don't even come close to what is considered Racism in todays terms. It was not just black men/women, it was all women were treated a 2nd class citizens. Lower work pay, constant sexual comments and advances, getting fired because you were pregnant (yes, happen to my mother) and other tasks which would be demeaning in todays workforce.
    Last edited by Farr Away; 04-17-2017 at 23:17.

  11. #31
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    First off, she probably had a hell of an adventure out there with that mindset. After looking over her Twitter and other articles, it appears to me that Rahawa Haile decided to hike the trail to prove a point. She's an activist and put herself in what she feels is a dangerous situation to make a point. There's far more focus on fear-mongering and negative points in this article than positive. There may not be an abundance of black hikers on the AT, but I've hiked with several over the years. I hiked up Albert Mountain with a black guy last year. In my experience, I have a more genuine connection with people on the trails, despite obvious differences whether observed or spoken.

    REI might not cater to black people in their ads, but you don't see a lot of ads for white people on BET either. Marketing science involves "testing and measurement to study broad behavioral patterns, drill down from the aggregate to the individual and produce new insights that improve business outcomes." If there are less black people in outdoor ads, it's because there are less black people spending money on the outdoors, not because marketeers aren't politically correct or are racist.

    In summary, I don't think your activism has a place on the Appalachian Trail, and articles like this resonate an overly negative and false viewpoint that likely prevents black people from hitting the trail at all. Good job Rahawa!
    "Though I have lost the intimacy with the seasons since my hike, I retain the sense of perfect order, of graceful succession and surrender, and of the bold brilliance of fall leaves as they yield to death." - David Brill

  12. #32

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    Become a section hiker, you'll see all races hiking...just sayn'

  13. #33

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    ...when you go looking for something, you usually find it.

  14. #34

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    Before I start my hike I have to figure out some social justice agenda that I can rant about. Ummmmm ok. All of you ignorant Americans have marginalized my people (Hungarian-American ,lactose-intolerant, low hdl cholesterol , near- sighted, right-handed, straight , gender nonconfused, half century old men.

  15. #35

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    ...much of her vitriol was written by other people.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Francis Sawyer View Post
    Before I start my hike I have to figure out some social justice agenda that I can rant about. Ummmmm ok. All of you ignorant Americans have marginalized my people (Hungarian-American ,lactose-intolerant, low hdl cholesterol , near- sighted, right-handed, straight , gender nonconfused, half century old men.
    How bout eminent domain, that's always a goodn'

  17. #37
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    She must have felt really out of place on VT, NH, and ME. 99% of those three states are WASP's

  18. #38
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    First of all, like many AT hikers, this chick needs a therapist, not a wilderness adventure. The whole article sounds like an overprojection of preconceptions and that she came in and left the trail with an equally closed mind.

    I live in a big city. I have lived where this woman lives. She wants to bring up Islam in the Bay Area? I was let go from my job so they wouldn't have to confront a Muslim guest worker who wouldn't stop stalking and trying to convert me. In all places I have had friends from all walks of life, and hear white people jokes and comments constantly. I throw them right back in humor and veiled defiance. I get shaken down and felt out when I go out with my asian friends, my black friends, whatever, they all wanna know how I ended up in their circle that day, until they discover we have common ground. I don't try to publish dramatic articles about it. I refuse to care anymore and can't recall anyone on in the AT corridor that cared about skin color either. The writer states: "As a queer black woman, Iím among the last people anyone expects to see on a through-hike." This is sensationalist BS, and anyone that's in the AT community knows it. She should be ashamed of hiking this great trail and writing this. It's the opposite, no one out there cares what your gender or race is. News flash lady, everyone out there is busy working on their own hang-ups and could care less about yours. I'm frankly sick of hearing about race and diversity, and articles meant to distinctly differentiate yourself from others due to your skin color and sexual preference, and pointing out the ignorance of others, hardly serve to blur any lines you may be struggling with, real or perceived. Every ethnicity that has immigrated to the United States has suffered persecution, regardless of the academic and media narrative, "white" has never been enough to live on in the United States (in case anyone hasn't noticed the poverty and struggle found throughout AT corridor.) This article is a cheap shot, but nothing I wouldn't expect from a Californian.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    She must have felt really out of place on VT, NH, and ME. 99% of those three states are WASP's
    Yeah, because when racism in America is discussed, those are the first three states that always come up.

  20. #40

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    This article is a hate-filled rant written by a clearly racist individual. I don't care what color they are.

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