Sierra Club Denounces Founder John Muir For Racism

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A historic icon of the American environmental. Movement is in the spotlight John Muir founded the Sierra Club in eighteen, ninety two in San Francisco. The group's current leaders says the ongoing civil rights protests, leading to the dismantling of confederate monuments is causing the Sierra Club to reexamine its own racist history NPR's Kirk. Siegler reports. The group is pledging to remove some of its own John Maher statues. John Muir has long been revered by environmentalists. The California naturalists Biblical love. Wild places led to a legacy of federal wilderness protections, including Yosemite National Park, but mirror was also well known for making derogatory comments about blacks and native people and the modern conservation movement has wrestled for years with these transgressions in a letter to the Sierra clubs members today, current Director Michael Brune said this moment. Moment is a time to reexamine. The clubs own substantial role in perpetuating white supremacy. Bruins says the group will reconsider the views of some of its founders that lead to the modern movement being so white today when it comes to John Muir, we're looking to advance the conversation about yours legacy to look at him in a more comprehensive and inclusive way. That acknowledges his limitations. Limitations and shortcomings, the Sierra Club says it's considering removing some monuments to its founders. Brune is also pledging that the group will reorganize to ensure that a majority of its leadership is comprised of people of Color, and he hopes to spend five million dollars on diversifying their staff and training. The announcement was welcomed by Mustafa Santiago Ali of the National Wildlife Federation. You know it's long overdue. Overdue we have to address the sins of the past. He's one of the few people of Color who's actually in a leadership position in a major environmental group that major sin of the past, many of those folks felt that those spaces those natural spaces, those sacred spaces where meant for white men Ali says the modern day environmental movements lack of diversity in its writ large. Of Communities of color has had major consequences, one example, industrial facilities are often put in underserved neighborhoods and pollution from them as drifting into national parks like those John Muir fought to establish. Kirk, siegler NPR

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