You know it's a slow news weekend when the biggest national news was the O family taking a trip to Yosemite. The first black first family doing the camping thing is kind of cool, so maybe the news cycle is running on low, but this is nice news to hear about. At least I think it is.
Us black folks don't do the camping thing too much. (Present company excluded of course.)We just don't get out and enjoy the wonders of nature enough. Most of us live our lives in large urban areas and some of us never leave. We rarely expose our kids to the wonders of the outdoors, and that's kind of sad. Oh field, give me a break. Black folks don't have time for that crap. We are too busy trying to work two jobs and make ends meet. Camping and enjoying the great outdoors and A-merry-ca's parks is expensive. That's for white folks.
Okay, I admit it might be expensive, and it might take some sacrifices to come up with the ends to take a field trip. But I was reading my girl Carmen Dixon over at AOL Black Voices, and she had some quotes from a black park ranger (When was the last time you saw a black park ranger?) which I found interesting:
"It's bigger than just African Americans not visiting national parks. It's a disassociation from the natural world,' said Johnson, who has worked in Yosemite for the past 15 of his 22 years in the Park Service. 'I think it is, in part, a memory of the horrible things that were done to us in rural America.'The rejection of the natural world by the black community, he said, is a scar left over from slavery.'All Snoop Dogg has to do is go camping in Yosemite, and it would change the world,' said Johnson, 51. 'If Oprah Winfrey went on a road trip to the national parks, it would do more than I have done in my whole career.."
Well, I don't know if we want Snoop in Yosemite there Ranger Johnson, all that crip walking might scare the bears, but I get your point. Look, as a people we need to force ourselves to be exposed to certain things. We need to expose our children to things that they might or might not enjoy. Just because we might not like hiking, fishing or camping, doesn't mean that our kids won't enjoy or learn to love those activities. Exposure to different things and different ways of life is never a bad thing.
I don't know, instead of throwing Rev. Love a C note for the church building fund, buying that 32 inch color television for the basement, or spending three hundred a month on our note for the whip instead of six, maybe we could plan a nice trip to one of the national parks with the kids for a weekend. I am just sayin. We can't let other people have all the fun.