Have you taken the Ku Klux Klan rafting?

Apparently whitewater sports are all about power and privilege. Who woudda’ thought it? I wish I’d had some of that privilege when I was a broke rafting guide. That period lasted for, oh I don’t know, about five years. I bet my old rafting buddies wished they had had that power too. You know, the guys who taught the Nepalese boys how to raft back in the early 90s and then got turfed out of the country once the locals had the requisite skills. No white dudes here, thanks very much.

The progressive Left needs to create victims. They are in the victim industry. Find a group that are supposedly unrepresented, write convoluted and unreadable papers on the terrible burden that these minority victims have to carry through life, and finally when nobody can understand what they’re on about they can then fall back on the tried and tested method of getting everyone’s attention – the ad hominem attack.

In this case white people who enjoy outdoor activities are racist. Why are they racist? Because black people would rather spend time shooting hoops than going on a rafting trip. The article is called, Whitewashing outdoor adventure – the subconscious role race plays in our community. It was written by someone called Kelsey Gaffigan, and it is the natural progression that follows once you invite lunatics to go paddling with you. Kelsey is studying sociology at university, (what a surprise and good luck finding a job, sweetheart). The article is actually a paper that she wrote for one of her classes and it’s a good example of what passes for coursework at so-called institutions of higher learning these days. A few paragraphs in we get this sentence:

Modern Sociological theory commonly acknowledges race as a historical construction.

If race is just a construction then what are we even talking about? Sounds like her entire argument ended right about there. But no, we will persevere.

Gaffigan goes on at length about something called “colorblind racism”.

Colorblind politics are ways in which the dominant racial group (whites in America) understand and articulate our social world as if race is no longer a factor and is “central in the production and reinforcement of the status quo” (Bonilla-Silva 2003: 26).

Who is more racist – the person who acts as if race is not a factor or the interfering busybody who runs around attempting to shame people into believing that instead of enjoying a whitewater activity, they’ve merely been horrible racists all these years for not inviting their non-existent black friends to come along?

Gaffigan wants us to believe that race shouldn’t be a factor while making race more of a factor than anyone I’ve ever heard of in the 30 plus years that I’ve been involved in outdoor activities. It’s not clear what result she hopes to engender in the coming years in the outdoor industry apart from the ubiquitous “More black people!” How many more black people will be enough for our esteemed sociology major? Does she require a quota system? Or perhaps she will meticulously trawl through statistics of national demographics where she will conclude that based on a percentage of the population we will require 18.3% black participants in future outdoor activities. That will be a bundle of laughs:

“I’m sorry everyone but our rafting trip has had to be cancelled today due to us only having 11.3% black participants on the trip. We didn’t meet our diversity quota.”

But what about Asians and Latinos? Where are their representations amongst the outdoor demographic? How incredibly colorblind of Garrigan to omit such important minority groups! I can’t imagine how oppressed all those people must be feeling, and if they don’t know they’re oppressed why we have Kelsey Gaffigan ready to let them know.

The thing with identity politics is that once you go down that route you open up a little can of worms. People in the outdoor industry don’t think along the lines of race. Anyone is welcome to come rafting or whatever activity you’re doing. It has always been the case. But if you start this business of selecting people based on racial representation then don’t be surprised when white people begin deliberately self-selecting along the same lines. In case you guys in the USA didn’t notice, you just had a national election where that exact situation happened.

The truth is that people like to hang out with people who are the same as them. It’s not racist that the majority of people who enjoy the outdoors happen to be white, just as it’s not racist that the majority of people who enjoy playing basketball are black, just as it’s not racist that the majority of people who play badminton are Asian, and just as it’s not racist that the majority of people who drive hotted-up Cameros are Latino. People divide along racial lines. They always have and they always will.

Attempting to force people into doing an activity purely because people of their race are “under-represented” is just about one of the most racist things that I’ve ever heard. How wonderful it must be for a black person to be told that there is yet another example of them being marginalized that they weren’t aware of. I’m sure that hearing this news will cause them to rush out and purchase a life-jacket at the first opportunity. Just as I would be absolutely thrilled if the local Chinese community approached me with a request to join them in their badminton society because they need a token white guy. Hey – they really want me for me! [/sarcasm.]

Kelsey Gaffigan is a trouble maker, creating problems where none exist. She is also a hypocrite. Here is a photo of Kelsey and what I assume are either her friends, family, or co-workers that I appropriated from her public Facebook feed:

diversity

so much white – it blinds the eyes!

The truth is that most of my photos look the same, (excluding the ones from Uganda of course). There is nothing wrong with this. But Kelsey and her ilk would have you believe that this is wrong and that this is evidence of your underlying racism. Which is what makes her a hypocrite, (although she does have a photo of her with a black dude on her raft! Way to go, Kelsey!)

Mind you, perhaps Kelsey is playing this very smart. I mean, she will have a very expensive degree to pay off and sociology jobs are as rare as the forementioned black dude on a raft. Perhaps this is her merely positioning herself to solve future problems for outdoor operators, problems that they didn’t even know existed. Kelsey can come in and help them to meet their diversity targets! (Standard daily consulting fees will apply.)

39 thoughts on “Have you taken the Ku Klux Klan rafting?

  1. uniquelydifferentjourney

    You making assumption about a girl you do not know, bullying and insulting her on the internet is appalling. Why do you feel inclined to post this? Why are you acting like a child? You have no evidence, substance or concepts to back up your insults and arguments Adam. Frankly your post is cruel and makes me sad that human kind can be so ignorant and selfish.

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      1. uniquelydifferentjourney

        Okay, was hoping for more of an honest answer but hope you have a nice night and you not wanting to admit that maybe you posted this impulsively is where you are at. It’s okay to mess up but I just hope your heart becomes soften. I’m sorry for whatever made you like this Adam. I don’t know you or your story, however Kelsey is my friend and I will stand up for her because I love her.

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      2. You’re just as dumb as a bag of rocks, aren’t you. You make an assumption on me based on what I wrote and without knowing me while accusing me of doing exactly the same thing. That is my honest answer. As for standing up for her no matter what, hey, don’t let me get in the way of your blind allegiance. She wrote something that accused everyone in the outdoor industry of being racist. I take exception to that.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It may be a crude stereotype to suggest black men are not good swimmers, but I have anecdotal evidence which would indicate whitewater rafting may not be their cup of tea. I did my BOSIET course in Nigeria, which involves being buckled into a seat in a mocked-up helicopter cabin, dunked in water, and flipped upside down. It’s not as bad as it sounds, but takes some getting used to, hence the training. I did my course with a French driller and a load of Nigerians, most of who were good, solid lads. We all lined up by the pool to jump in and one guy refused, he was shaking like a leaf. Poor fella. So he didn’t continue. We were then asked who couldn’t swim because swimmers wore blue helmets and non-swimmers red helmets so the safety divers knew who to keep an eye out for. A forest of hands went up, and so the instructor asked it the other way around: who can swim. Two hands went up: mine and that of the French driller. The rest got in and did the course, but they really, really, really didn’t like it.

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  4. As someone who has attended outdoor education and Adventure sleepaway camp, and counseled at that camp, I have to provide an inside perspective and agree with Kelsey’s thesis. That being said, it is a much more complex issue than I see you addressing. I’ve attended counteless meetings and discussions about diversifying our camps and why they are not as diverse and one of the main common themes is MONEY. Outdoor activities like rafting, adventure sleepaway camp, etc. and the supplies needed to participate in these (hiking backpacks, hiking boots, outdoor gear) have become incredibly expensive. Walk into any REI or Bass Pro Shop and you will find out that hiking backpacks are easily over $150 each. My camp charges a few thousand dollars for a couple weeks, rafting trips can be over $50 especially with big families, the list goes on and on. Therefore, they are mostly frequented by upper class citizens which, traditionally, inhabit suburban areas with more unclaimed and protected land and water for these outdoor activities, and are most often white. On the other hand, historically, cities and urban centers are mostly inhabited by people of color and minority populations due to systemic racism, and money is a huge obstacle keeping them from participating in these activities. Additionally, it can be uncomfortable for people, especially children, to enter into environments where they are not represented. If all the counselors, instructors, educators or guides are white, it creates an atmosphere where the minority child is immediately isolated. To go back to the money thing, these activities are often fostered by, advocated for, facilitated by or sponsored by wealthier institutions and groups, who probably don’t cater to inner city, lower income neighborhoods. Just a thought, look at all possible lurking variables before passing judgements.

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    1. Ms Richards, for someone who claims to be a journalism student you display a worrying inability to utilize paragraphs. Just what are they teaching you in journalism school today? Oh, I know – how to interfere in the lives of others while spreading the cultural Marxism that your worthless professors rotted your brains with.

      Let me guess – I bet they told you that you could change the world! And here you are, attempting to change the world with one noble act against systemic racism after another. Thank you Carley for pointing out to me that outdoor equipment costs money. I must have missed that memo in the thirty years that I’ve been purchasing outdoor equipment. Just like Kelsey’s unreadable thesis where she helpfully pointed out to me that I and everyone that I have worked with in the outdoor industry have all been horrible racists all this time. We really appreciate your interfering in our lives – truly we do! And thank you for your “inside perspective”. I must have missed getting an inside perspective on the outdoor industry in my fifteen years as a professional rafting guide.

      Carley, I don’t know if there remains a glimmer of hope for you. But perhaps there is some small spark that has not been infected with the brainwashing you have been exposed to your entire short life. If there is such a glimmer, allow me to give you a small piece of advice – stop trying to change the world and start trying to change yourself. The best thing you can do for the world is not to rush around attempting to force people to participate in an activity that they have no interest in pursuing just to assuage your own white guilt. The best thing you can do is work at making yourself a better person and a more well-rounded and experienced human being. You don’t do that by “attending countless meetings and discussion about diversifying our camps”.

      I recommend Jordan B Peterson’s self-authoring plan. Don’t go around mentioning him to all your progressive friends as he is a horrible right winger just like me.

      And on your final piece of advice to me about looking at all possible variables before passing judgements – yes, I completely agree. There are many more reasons apart from money that black people don’t come rafting. And racism isn’t one of them. Thankfully it is not a pressing problem that needs to be solved. That is unless you are determined to create another group of poor victims that can make you feel noble while you are saving them.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Carley, you are free to start an “Outdoor Adventures” business that caters to “inner city, lower income” people (the racist Left’s codeword for “black people”). Perhaps you can get your oh-so-caring Leftist friends to subsidize your clients.

      But, knowing Leftists, that’s not the way it works. Leftists never give their own money. It would have to be subsidized by taxpayers. After all, in their twisted minds it’s only “fair” that people who have worked their asses off are “privileged” to pay for people who haven’t.

      And, before you have a fainting spell over my supposed “racism”, know this: it’s not about race. It’s about the culture that has been engendered by the racist Democrats buying minority votes with table scraps thrown to them, keeping them poor. And, as noted above, the Democrats don’t even give minorities the Democrats’ own table scraps: they hand out table scraps that were forcefully taken from taxpayers.

      The Democrats’ “War On Poverty” was a false-flag operation. It was never meant to end poverty. It was meant to keep minorities poor, ignorant and helpless….forever in need of the Democrats’ handouts. After all, it was Democrat President Lyndon Johnson who said, “I’ll have those n*ggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”

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  5. squid_hunt

    “Colorblind politics”

    So we’re attempting to redefine microaggressions, I see. Congrats on calling out the inherent hypocrisy of rich, white, liberal blogger lady. Obviously you tripped her wire cause she sent her squad in to shame you. Well done.

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  6. David

    When I was a teenager my family did not have money to spend on fancy outdoor gear. So, we used what we had. Could not afford a raft? No problem! We had inner tubes. We had days of fun floating down a stretch of the upper Kern River in inner tubes. And camping in the Mojave, sleeping in the open on the sand. No tents, no fancy sleeping bags.

    And your critique of Ms. Garrigan is polite and not at all ‘bullying’.

    Good article Adam

    Like

    1. When I was a teenager I’d ride my bicycle with my friends out of town and into the hills for the weekend. We’d stash the bikes and then go on a camping trip, walking through the forest with a compass, and a cheap tent and sleeping bags that we had picked up secondhand. Dinner was obtained by catching the local freshwater crayfish and cooking them in a pot. Great times.

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  7. Jessica

    I have participated in the construction of a very large pop up city on federal park land for the past few years, and been blessed to see more people of color attending year after year. Majority of the time, POC are limited by socioeconomic concerns and do not even know that the outdoors is available to them. Many of my black friends have said that they were raised to think that the outdoors was uncivilized and uncomfortable, so they never got to experience things like camping or rafting. Once they were given the opportunity, they loved the outdoors (much like white people who get to experience outdoor activities joyfully for the first time). Seems like a human trait to love the outdoors, and a cultural condition to avoid it.

    Instead of anger at this article, can you prove that you work to incorporate diversity into your outdoor activities? There are people of color around us everywhere, even in the most segregated White regions of the USA. Do you work to bridge that gap in your personal life? This country was founded to be a mixing bowl for culture. How do you share your culture and experience the culture of others??

    As a white person, it hurts to be told that you have white privileged by simply enjoying an activity that you love… are you willing to use your privilege for the betterment of humankind instead of responding to your pain at this fact and throwing stones?

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    1. squid_hunt

      “can you prove that you work to incorporate diversity into your outdoor activities?”

      Why? To what end? Why should any individual see it as a goal to increase diversity for the sake of diversity.

      This country was founded to be a land of free choice and opportunity. No where in that is any implied responsibility to increase diversity. Your base assumption is a false one.

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    2. I have participated in the construction of a very large pop up city on federal park land for the past few years, and been blessed to see more people of color attending year after year.

      They’re probably dealing drugs and hooking up with white chicks.

      Seems like a human trait to love the outdoors, and a cultural condition to avoid it.

      Interesting. So you identify that both black and white poor communities enjoy outdoor activities when exposed to them for the first time and that it was apparently financial circumstances holding them back but now you declare that it is in fact a cultural condition to avoid it. Why bother to do all that research when you’re just going to declare it to be a cultural issue anyway?

      Instead of anger at this article, can you prove that you work to incorporate diversity into your outdoor activities?

      The arrogance in this sentence is simply breathtaking. I am under no obligation to incorporate diversity in what I do, nor do I have any interest in doing so. Unlike interfering troublemakers such as yourself I am a firm believer in people getting off their backsides and using their own initiative to better themselves through whatever activities that they may enjoy doing. As for the demand that I prove something for which I have no interest, just who is the supposed authority figure to which I must prove myself? Would that be you? How convenient for you. It’s all about power for SJWs, isn’t it. Every single time.

      There are people of color around us everywhere, even in the most segregated White regions of the USA. Do you work to bridge that gap in your personal life?

      There exists no gap. I have no interest in being interested in black people for the sole reason that they happen to be black. That’s called racism if you weren’t aware, and you seem to be a classic racist.

      This country was founded to be a mixing bowl for culture.

      No, it wasn’t. You are ignorant of your own history.

      The original United States Naturalization Law of March 26, 1790 (1 Stat. 103) provided the first rules to be followed by the United States in the granting of national citizenship. This law limited naturalization to immigrants who were free white persons of good character. It thus excluded American Indians, indentured servants, slaves, free blacks, and Asians. It also provided for citizenship for the children of U.S. citizens born abroad, but specified that the right of citizenship did “not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States.”

      This was subsequently watered down and then betrayed by the 1965 Immigration Act. The USA was in no way founded as a “mixing bowl for culture” as you claim.

      How do you share your culture and experience the culture of others??

      I have no desire or need to do either, no matter how many question marks you place at the end of the sentence.

      As a white person, it hurts to be told that you have white privileged by simply enjoying an activity that you love

      Don’t project your own feelings and inadequacies onto me. Just because you were hoodwinked by this mental rot doesn’t mean that the rest of us are going to be suckered in with you.

      are you willing to use your privilege for the betterment of humankind instead of responding to your pain at this fact and throwing stones?

      No, because unlike you I am not a self-hating, masochistic, mentally unstable, troublemaker.

      Like

      1. They’re probably dealing drugs and hooking up with white chicks.”

        Well, that’s racist. Your presumption that they would only go to the outdoors to do the things scared white people assume they do. Even sarcastically, its espousing a racist worldview.

        You’ll probably then tell me black people deal drugs more than whites, so its not racism, its just reality. Except at the height of the drug epidemic in the 1980s, white people were 45% more likely to deal drugs than blacks (I used statistics since you seem to like them). Cops were just less likely to catch them, less likely to arrest them, and less likely send them to jail for long sentences. Do you know what that effect is called? I’ll give you a hint, it starts with a p, and ends in -rivilege.

        By the way, when you are denying privilege exists at the start of the article, how did you get to Nepal to teach people to raft? How did you get into rafting in the first place? If at any point you were reliant on family for financial support, guess what, that too is the privilege you deny.

        Privilege doesnt make you an awful person inherently if you acknowledge it and work to minimize the external effect of it. Just seems like you’re unwilling to do so.

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      2. I see, so I am an awful person unless I accept your reality worldview?

        No thanks, mate. You can stick your privilege rubbish where the sun doesn’t shine.

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      3. PatrickSMcNally

        Came across this in a search and thought I should point out an error by floriofollies:

        “less likely to arrest them, and less likely to send them to jail for long sentences.”

        This misses an essential point. White people who take drugs are rarely violent. Drug-related violence is much more endemic in the black community. Unfortunately it is not an easy thing to simply arrest and prosecute those who are most deserving of it on the real charges. This is why Al Capone was arrested and prosecuted by the FBI over tax-evasion rather than his more serious crimes. So what happens is that in black neighborhoods where drug-related activities are more likely to lead to real violent crimes the police will enforce the drug-laws more sternly.

        This is not really a good solution to anything and it often can lead to small-time users being hit up with hard charges while real criminal networks stay in the background. But trying to interpret such issues through the ideological lens of the 1960s will never offer up a real solution to anything. The first step would be throwing out the attempts to view this as a chance to recycle the Civil Rights Movement and recognizing the real problems of today.

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    3. Sjonnar

      Your unbelievable arrogance has rendered me nearly speechless. All I can say in response to this is that I agree with everything Adam has said to you, and that I find you and those who share your ideology utterly repulsive and more dangerous to civilized society than the likes of serial killers and pedophiles.

      Like

      1. Sjonnar

        Specifically, this statement

        Instead of anger at this article, can you prove that you work to incorporate diversity into your outdoor activities?

        evinces a desire for control over others that amounts to a pathology.

        In this one sentence, you not only assume that each individual should desire to “incorporate diversity” into his every activity, but that it is somehow your place to stand in judgment over his life and demand of him proof of adherence to your doctrine.

        It is disgusting and it is reprehensible and we reject both your putrid ideology and your arrogated authority. Go jump off a bridge.

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  10. Paul Browning

    Adam, when you write a blog, you should expect comments from people who don’t agree with you. Every blog writer in the world gets those. But most other writers don’t attack the people whose comments they don’t like. It’s unprofessional and closeminded.

    I’m thinking this type of media is not a fit for you.

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    1. What are you talking about? The bun fight in the comments is the best bit about running a blog. There are people here today who have clearly never heard an opinion contrary to their university dogma and who have never beheld a denounced man cheekily stand up for himself.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Paul - River Warrior (Steadfast)

    I am Hispanic and father of 4 beautiful children. We live in the poor part of town, just across from me is the local Drug Dealer that no Law Enforcement in the area of Roseburg, OR or Douglas County will do much of anything about. Our family started off with a Big 5 Sports “Intex SeaHawk II” (now the Intex Mariner 3) for $200.00 and away we went on the North Umqpua with some life jackets. I saved money. Used Contractor Grade Trash Bags and cut holes for “Splash Tops.” Met the owner of 4Corners Whitewater out of Durango Colorado and he shared with me their annual sale of all the seasons gear. I started a small business Steadfast ARPwave and saved some money and purchased used gear at 50% off for my children. We scoured the internet for a Whitewater Raft that could take us to the more juicy sections of the North Umpqua and we found a newly redesigned 9’6″ Saturn Whitewater Raft and purchased it for $1,100.00 and I found out about Werner Guide Sticks and saved for those…we slowly but surely improved our gear and skill set…we are the River Warrior Family on YouTube. The truth is…minorities do not need a hand out and the Whitewater is not a “white sport.” What I do know after a few years of doing this as a Single Father is that whitewater adventure is a lot of work. Just to take my children out for a World-class Class III section of river on the North Umpqua requires 2 hours of prep time the night before and approximately 8-12 hours the day of our run. We love it and will do this for years to come. I make jokes that I am a Pioneer in this sport being hispanic and even more so with small children as a Single Father. Truth is around here…people are taught from a very young age to be terrified of the river in all its raging white-ness 🙂 To me and the children there could not be a more fantastic adventure. Every body finds time and money for that which their intellect or emotion desire in this life…the River Warrior Family choose the rivers of the world 🙂 God bless & God Speed C U Down River

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