National Park Service Deputy Director Claims Black People Don’t Like National Parks Because of Slavery


Every day in Yellowstone is just like Django.

Some things just make you want to throw up your hands and move to a small shack in the woods far from civilization. Unfortunately that’s racist.

Mickey Fearn was named the National Park Service Deputy Director for Communications and Community Assistance because the Park Service decided that it needed to reach out to minorities who weren’t visiting national parks often enough. Or as the NPS tactfully put it, the “revised title for the deputy position emphasizes a new focus on specific outreach and communications to groups currently underrepresented in parks.”

How a group can be underrepresented in parks is unclear. Parks are big spaces full of trees, waterfalls and bears. Bears might be underrepresented in parks because they live there. People can be underrepresented in the park service, but not in parks.

Fearn, appointed to get black people to visit national parks, had the background you would expect from a race card user, a bunch of community groups and eventually  manager of the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative. With that resume, Fearn began talking the usual “our stories” narrative in which the lack of black visitors to national parks emphasizes some deep national flaw of racism.

Mr. Fearn also stated that it is morally wrong to take inner-city kids out and show them the grandeur of nature and then return them to the city without giving them any tools for improving their own neighborhood.

I guess they can plant redwoods in their own neighborhood? I don’t know. The NPS is supposed to focus on parks. Not urban renewal. We already have a bunch of organizations that do urban renewal.

Fearn’s contribution in his new role was to claim that he hated nature because of racial violence in the South. And then he visited Canada and expanded his BLACK PEOPLE HATE YELLOWSTONE BECAUSE OF RACISM theory.

Mickey Fearn says the reasons run deeper than money and geography. He’s worked in American parks for 46 years and is Saturday’s keynote speaker.

Here is one unexpected reason: The wilderness evokes some grisly images from American history — black slaves being hanged and lynched by their masters.

“African American people feel safe in cities and less safe in nature,” says Fearn, who is black. “Preserving wild places is a white concept, going back to Rome.”

So if preserving wild places is a white concept, then clearly national parks are just white privilege and need to be dismantled in a truly multicultural society.

Contending that black people aren’t visiting national parks because of slavery memories doesn’t make much sense at this latter date. And it doesn’t appear that other minorities are visiting national parks either. Asians probably don’t have memories of lynched in the wilderness. (Was anyone being lynched in the wilderness at all?)

And Canada, where Fearn had visited, didn’t have major slave issues, but also has low utilization rates by minorities. So yes, it’s clearly slavery.

  • AnOrdinaryMan

    One can find any number of African-Americans enjoying the state parks in this locality, on any given weekend. There's no reason why National parks would be any different. The wilderness conjures up images of blacks being lynched? An example or two, please. More blame-America horse manure from Obama's Kommissars.

    • Shoogafoot Jones

      I encourage the blacks to utilize the parks. There is an abundance of rats, coon, possums, pine cones maybe even a banana tree here or there that would supply them with an abundant, and FREE, food source. This may actually lower the cost of Welfare. Sadly, it will increase the park’s costs in terms of upkeep, maintenance and repairs as the parks are slowly turned into shadows of their former beauty. Like Detroit.

      • Jay

        Fern is an idiotic, and you are so no better than him.

  • Paardestaart

    :-D That's funny.. In holland the authorities are bewailing the underrepresentation in nature of ethnic groups as well.. :-D It must be a white thing!
    Only thing they could come up with was a plan of turning parks into yummy grounds – planting all sort of edible goodies so that the immigrant population would find something to their liking while enjoying public foliage :-D

    • Moz

      I thought the plan to attract more immigrants with free food was implemented. A shame, wanted to get free berries and wallnuts myself. I wonder if the idea was to prevent people without colour from entering…

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Only thing they could come up with was a plan of turning parks into yummy grounds – planting all sort of edible goodies so that the immigrant population would find something to their liking while enjoying public foliage :-D"

      Distribute welfare checks from the parks? That'll do it for the "immigrant" population for sure.

      Blacks just need new leaders or role models to look up to or speak for them. Or maybe we should try to get over our bogus racial theories they way we were before about 4 years ago.

  • JacksonPearson

    Perhaps there aren't any short order concessions in national parks that take EBT cards…etc.
    Yeah, that's gotta be it! /Sarc

  • WilliamJamesWard

    National parks just don't look like the hood and if you get a headache it could take to long
    for and ambulance to take you on a free ride to the emergency room. That line of bigotry
    out of my system……….It is like pets that are raised indoors, they fear outside and what they
    do not understand, with todays schools maybe they think they will catch thier death of
    global warming with no AC……….Mickey Fearn is a racist moron…………..If anyone is
    looking for bigfoot, it's in his mouth……………………William

  • Mary Sue

    Wild Places are Bad Because Blacks Got Lynched There?

    That's a theory that is so kooky, even David Suzuki would vomit in rage!

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Does Suzuki have actual kooky limits?

      • Mary Sue

        He's as egotistical as they come (he may beat out Obama on that score), but I think even he would eyeroll at the idea that The Woods™ are racist.

    • tagalog

      I'm pretty sure that most lynchings of black people took place fairly close to town, not in the wilderness. The lynchers wanted people to see their handiwork, that was part of the lynching rationale, to send a message to others.

      And I bet that about 99.999% of the time, the decision of a member of a minority group to stay away from a national park contains no thought of lynching.

  • Jim

    You know, come to think of it, I've never seen a black tent. Is that because they would be too hot in the summertime due to global warming, or is it really a "dogwhistle" meant to warn all those wannabee naturalists of color to stay on their urban Democratic plantations?
    Either way, it's clearly George Bushs' fault.

    • Mary Sue

      LULZ!

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "Fearn, appointed to get black people to visit national parks,"

    Yeah! Working towards equality!!!

    We just have to visualize a world of peace and harmony and the Zero has the vision we need to follow. Woohoo! What about Muslim outreach for parks? What about Muslim outreach for pride in their role in the history of our national park movement?

    Keep visualizing Utopia, we'll get there!! Perfect harmony through perfect equality, OK?

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "Fearn’s contribution in his new role was to claim that he hated nature because of racial violence in the South. And then he visited Canada and expanded his BLACK PEOPLE HATE YELLOWSTONE BECAUSE OF RACISM theory."

    I wonder if he's projecting? Let's ask Jesse Jackson for his take on this latest victim theory. Al? Got some time for a march or something?

    • Mary Sue

      When you have facts like Sheila Jackson-Lee in congress, there is no doubt that the true reason blacks do not go to state or national parks like Yellowstone is they're afraid of Yogi and Boo-Boo stealing their pick-i-nick basket! (because psst, "picnic" is short for "pick a n****r" (to lynch)!) [/sarcasm]

  • objectivefactsmatter

    “Preserving wild places is a white concept, going back to Rome.”

    As opposed to merely living in the wild spaces. OK. We're so ashamed of civilization now.

    • Mary Sue

      I'd like to know, if this guy thinks it's such a white concept, why are the biggest preserved parks out in AFRICA?

      • Eonic

        But were they not founded by white colonials ?

    • tagalog

      In America, preserving wild spaces is a concept, white or not, that goes back to 1872. If you count California's state action, 1864.

  • Edward Cline

    "Preserving wild places is a white concept, going back to Rome.” Well, of course. Tacitus wrote all about how Roman legions returned from successful campaigns in Germany and Spain extolling the wonders of the wilderness in those places, where they vanquished the barbarians who lived in the forests. They also brought back exotic trees to plant in Rome. The first environmentalist was a Roman senator. Yes, it all makes sense. Preserving wild places was a white concept, but the real villains were the Jews, who controlled the Romans. Guess I'd better go back to school.

    • rodger the dodger

      The Jews control the entire media as well, don’t forget. They’re doing a dreadful job, as all I see most places are anti-Jew articles/pieces.

      • tagalog

        Which strongly suggests that your basic premise is erroneous.

      • Eonic

        What “most places” are those ? I suspect blogs and not the so-called mainstream media.

  • rodger the dodger

    When I read the headline, I thought “what?”. Then I clicked on the link, saw he’s black, and didn’t read any further. No need to. I presume it’s as nonsensical as I had anticipated.

    • 7orion

      These black people make ME ashamed to be a black American. Oh well, I'm Jewish on the inside

  • tagalog

    As far as I'm concerned, anyone who lacks the interest to visit the national parks should be free to avoid them if he/she wants to. No one should be forced to experience national parks if he doesn't want to. That's part of what liberty is all about. If "African-Americans feel safer in the cities," well then by golly let them stay in the cities if they want to. Personally, I'd rather be confronted by a grizzly bear than by a group of gang-bangers, but that's just me, a typical white guy.

    Insisting on equality instead of liberty leads to issue like this phony one. I can't believe, in a time of sequestration, that the administration can't agree that "reaching out to minorities" via Mickey Fearn, in this particular way, is really NOT financially worthwhile and could be eliminated at least temporarily. For equality's sake (in case such is actually needed), the government could stop spending money on touting the national parks across the board. Put the money into building acceptable housing for the park employees who live there.

    Personally, I've never been to Gettysburg National Park, and have no desire ever to go there.

    Of course, there IS the fact that it's well-known that white people meet every year in the national parks, in a summer-long convocation (involving even their very children) to make plans to oppress minority groups during the coming year. Don't be deceived by those announcements about "Ranger-led campfire lectures." We know what REALLY goes on in them. "Rangers," my foot, more like right-wing racist paramilitary militia forces.

  • tagalog

    Isn't the conventional wisdom that the natives of a place have traditionally been the preservers of the natural ecosphere, and that it's only the white European colonial interlopers and conquerors who despoiled things?

    If that's true, then weren't Africans, the first humans, the first to protect and preserve wilderness and nature in general? I mean come on, if we're going to build legends let's at least be consistent.

    • Mary Sue

      Leftist tripe has never, ever, in its history, been consistent in any way, shape, or form.

      • tagalog

        "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." You don't happen to know who said that, do you? I can't remember. And of course in the liberal world view, all conservative calls for consistency are foolish.

        • Eonic

          Apparently it was Ralph Waldo Emerson There’s an article on it in the Irish Times Consistency In Style

  • mekus milkdud

    blacks hate and want to destroy anything whites enjoy, like the farms and the outdoors, blacks use what ever they can to call whitey racist and make anything they can racist this just goes to prove whites will never make blacks happy and would do better if there were separate nations blacks have done nothing for anyone but turn the cities in to war zones and blood baths and made the schools a haven for the rapes of little girls that they have no respect for and the bullying of others

    blacks hate our flag then they hate the national anthem they wont be happy until they have their own nation and I for one are more than willing to give them a few states if they will stay in them and not bother anyone else

    • Ghostwriter

      Judging by his idiotic post,Mr. milkdud was dropped on his head as a child. One too many times. His statement is just as stupid as Mr. Fearn's was. But then,bigots aren't the most intelligent people around.

  • pagegl

    So, Fearn was appointed to get black people out to national parks. Did anyone associated with him, putting him in that position, and supporting him ever consider that maybe, just maybe most black folks aren't interested in visiting a national park. I don't know if that is really the case, but, usually when people really want to do something, they do it. What is it with the cretins on the left that they are so obsessed with finding solutions that usually include attempting to alter human behavior to problems that probably don't exist?

  • wendy

    well of course people were hanged in the wilderness if you were cought out there with someone elses livestock or horse and didnt have a REALLY good explanation for why you had stolen property you got hung becouse it was to far to take you back to town for a trial

  • Daryl

    I love our parks and I am black. This guy is off and needs sit in a corner a color!

    • Jay

      The guy is off, but so are so many commentors here saying really ugly blanket statements of Black Americans.

  • jaynel

    Just his statement that it is morally wrong to show inner city the grandeur of nature is horrible! Why is it wrong? Is it because that the grandeur of God's creation feeds the heart and soul? If they experience freedom they would not want to go back to the oppression of the government, who will depend on their vote one day. The thought of the creativity and genious that is being squelched by this thinking is truely heartbreaking.

  • Jim harris

    The black folk sure do use our State Parks. Proof is all of the feces floating in lakes after the buses leave.

  • Tim Key

    You sir are an absolute idiot. You talk about the dumbing down of America. "Black people don't like National Parks because it reminds them of slavery." That's like saying white people won't go outside at night because it reminds them of darkness. America we're in trouble if this is the caliber of leader that is being forced upon us from Washington.

    • Eonic

      Actually many white people don’t go out at night for fear of darkies

  • Tim Key

    Noticing the tenor of most of the commentators I do actually see something that I am uncomfortable with.
    Trust me folks there are just as many ignorant white people out there as there are blacks. Despite what the left's agenda is, do not make it into a black versus white thing. Make it into what is. Ignorance against intelligence. Character against a lack of.

    • Eonic

      “Trust me folks there are just as many ignorant white people out there as there are blacks”. When you consider that the total population of blacks is a small fraction of the population of whites that tells us something about the relative tendencies of either group to behave badly.

  • Eonic

    “Trucking companies could be required to bring in supplies including malt liquor and chicken”. Don’t forget the purple drank and “waddymelon” !

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  • Ghostwriter

    It seems that this Fearn guy isn't the only one making imbecilic statements. Eonic and mekus milkdud made their own idiotic statements. Stupidity isn't a racial thing. Every race on this planet has it's share of idiots. And those three are the proof of that statement.

  • Loretta in Indiana

    So now the National Parks is a black outreach program… that goes along with NASA being a Muslim outreach program.

    I don't give a damn about 'reaching out' to anyone, but I do care about preserving our National Parks and about preserving research into space. Why do Lefties hate science?

  • Adrian LeCesne

    I was a legal intern for the office of the superintendent at Yosemite, and was asked this question a few times within a fairly short 3-month window. I agree with you, Mr. Greenfield that the NPS pulpit is probably not the best to talk about slavery from, but would like to clarify the park’s use of the term underrepresented. They were referring to statistical under-representation among visitors. Also, it is incorrect for Mr. Fearn to claim conservation is a “white” concept dating back to Rome; the American conservation movement has its own history, and should be recognized in its own right.

  • Clara Yates

    I am a 52 year old black female who absolutely adores one of our nation’s greatest gift, the national parks!!! I wil not let thoughts and talk od slavery keep me out of the parks. In fact, I will share my experiences with everyone (African American) that I come in contact with! The nation’s National Parks are for all americans and I encourage all of us, especially African Americans to enjoy them!!!!