Elements of the left are claiming now that America’s national parks are built on systemic racism.

“The outdoors and public lands suffer from the same systemic racism that the rest of our society does,” Joel Pannell, associate director of the Sierra Club, said in an ABC report, titled “America’s Great White Outdoors.” The report called the parks “stubborn bastions of self-segregation.”

“If we don’t address this, and we don’t see how all these things are interrelated, then we’re going to risk losing everything,” Pannell said. “You’re not going to have public lands to enjoy.”


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The report is part of a wave of sometimes violent protests taking place across the nation after the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed while being arrested by Minneapolis police on Memorial Day. All four officers involved in the arrest have been charged in the case.

ABC cited a National Park Service Study but did not link to it:

New government data, shared first with ABC News, shows the country’s premier outdoor spaces — the 419 national parks — remain overwhelmingly white. Just 23 percent of visitors to the parks were people of color, the National Park Service found in its most recent 10-year survey; 77 percent were white. Minorities make up 42 percent of the U.S. population.

The U.S. Census Bureau projects people of color will be a majority in America by 2044 — a demographic shift that will impact park attendance and finances. Community advocates say physical and mental health for minority communities is also at risk.

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