America's national parks face existential crisis over race
The the re re openings openings many many people people in in the the United United States States so so using using the the opportunity to get outside and visit public spaces, especially during this holiday weekend. But the national parks are always seen as a breath of fresh air. ABC is Devon Dwyer talked to the National Park Service's first Latino Park service director about the challenges, racism and history that have made it difficult to get more black and brown Americans into national parks. The sweeping vista stir the soul, wildlife and waterfalls awaken a sense of wonder. American wilderness of playground for old and for young and overwhelmingly white. When you look around, you don't see people that you identify with you Don't Feel welcome. You feel out of place you feel Like you are an outsider and bring Terek is founder of Brown people camping When she was eight years old. Her family moved from India to Minnesota, where she fell in love with the outdoors. 20 years later, she's still astonished not to see more people like her. Some people might say, Isn't this just that people of color don't like to camp? That's a generalization, and they're just because something isn't happening or the presence of someone is missing does not mean they don't want to be there. Too many Americans of color parks campgrounds enforced land are stubborn bastions of self segregation. Racism was a factor at the founding of America's national parks created in part to be an escape for white urban elites. Several were racially segregated into the 19 fifties. Many considered uninviting to people of color into the 19 nineties. We have an inherent fear we do because of our history about Glenn into these remote rural places where we're not sure that will be accepted. Lauren Gay, the self described outdoorsy diva blog's about Our experiences is a woman of color in the wilderness. When you don't see it in marketing advertising for one in the psyche. You don't necessarily think this is something that For me. The National Park Service is the persistent whiteness of its 419 parks is an existential crisis. David Vela is the first Latino to lead the agency as a person of color. I think that Our national parks and what I have found their places where we can learn Maura about What happened in the past because that reflects our thinking today. In a report for shared with ABC News, the park service find 77% of its visitors are white. Just 23% are people of color. The minorities make up 42% of the US population. The lack of transportation opportunities is clearly going to be a factor. Oh, what a lot of folks don't understand is that We're closer than what you think, especially in the urban areas.