I am a riverguide.

This morning I was greeted to a wall of comments waiting to be approved on my post the other day titled Have you taken the Ku Klux Klan rafting? The comments were not conciliatory. Mike Joseph, the founder of Dirt Bag paddler magazine decided to link to my post after previously stepping back from doing so. I wish to state for the record that Mike and I are on good terms with one another, as we have always been. Mike has been a great supporter of my writing from day one and for that I will always be appreciative.

The Dirt Bags have a new article up titled, One love, one river – The paddling community, race and reconciliation. Funny; I was unaware that there was any need for reconciliation. As far as I know there is no history of discrimination, racial or otherwise, in the paddling community.

In my article the other day I called Kelsey Gaffigan a trouble-maker and a hypocrite and I backed up those accusations with formulated arguments. I stand by everything that I wrote. In the Dirt Bag article today I am accused of being a sexist, a misogynist, repugnant, vile, and condescending, along with the accusation of being a borderline racist. No formulated arguments explaining why I am these things is provided. These ad hominem attacks were made by someone called Javan Robinson, a black man who has been kayaking for two years. Javan provides some background to his kayaking career:

The community and especially our club The Keel Haulers has been extremely helpful in me becoming a (somewhat) skilled and safe whitewater paddler. I was actually shocked how normal everyday people would take time out of their schedules to meet up with a person that they didn’t even know and teach them how to roll for weeks on end.

I wholeheartedly appreciate what the community has done for me and I love returning the favor, both to newcomers to this sport and experienced paddlers alike.

Javan demonstrates his appreciation for the openness and hospitality that he encountered in the whitewater community by accusing the same community of being complicit and responsible for all the problems that black people encounter in their lives.

With that said, I think I would be remiss in saying that I didn’t take a look around and realize that there aren’t very many people that are like me – or that look like me, on the river. This is something that I’ve been accustomed to throughout my life however, so it did not come as a huge surprise to me that most paddlers were white men and women.

While I never did experience any discontent or negative attitudes towards myself while out on the river, I did wonder from time to time, “Will I ever see another black person paddling?” It’s not something that keeps me up at night, but I think there are positive, constructive discussions to be had about the issue.

Poor Javan must feel so oppressed. He turned up to learn how to paddle, and by his own admission found everyone to be perfectly welcoming to him, but nonetheless he is pining for more black people to become kayakers. And although it apparently does not keep him up at night, he is concerned enough to now declare it to be “an issue”.

I’m not saying that it is impossible for a black person or a minority to become adept at a “white man’s” sport (look at me!), but making it easier, approachable and more accessible would go a long way.

Somehow Javan managed to find a way to get involved in this sport without anyone pandering to his skin color, but he cannot give his brothers and sisters from the black community similar credit to be able to push themselves to get up off their backsides and go paddling.

What follows is a directionless rant that swings from one racial injustice to the next while finishing with a demand that we must go out of our way to accept people of color and minorities.

I’m sorry, Javan, but I’m a little bit confused. You began your piece by gratefully acknowledging the acceptance you received from the paddling community but now you’re demanding acceptance from the paddling community. Sounds like you’ve got a bit of a chip on your shoulder, mate. Why am I not surprised?

On the DBP Facebook feed the other day someone declared themselves to be a female Indian ethnic kayaker. I found that to be striking in its divisiveness. I don’t go around declaring myself to be a white heterosexual male Anglo-Saxon Celtic ethnic riverguide. I’m simply a riverguide – that’s it. My identity is bound to what I do, not tribal or identity politics.

We had a saying when I was a full time riverguide – what happens on the river stays on the river. But perhaps that saying now needs to be reversed – what happens off the river stays off the river. If you identify as anything other than a paddler, or a kayaker, or a riverguide, then you’re seeking special privileges based on identity politics. It’s ironic that I should be constantly accused of needing to “check my privilege” when these same people are seeking to give minority groups privilege status based on their identity and thus creating division within the paddling community. But then, SJWs always lie.

Mike Joseph at the end of the piece declares that the magazine will not become a pamphlet of Social Justice Warrior based themes. I’m sorry, Mike, but you’ve already been infiltrated by them. There has never been division or discrimination in the whitewater community until now. And I for one know exactly what has changed.

To finish this off I will quote in full the one positive comment that I approved this morning. It is from a man who does not treat himself as a victim, no matter his circumstances. The whitewater community owes any minority group exactly nothing. All that can be expected of us is to be welcoming and accommodating to newcomers when they are trying out whitewater paddling for the first time. As Javan experienced first hand.

This is from Paul, a first time commenter on my site:

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

14 thoughts on “I am a riverguide.

  1. Shhh, is anyone here. I don’t want it to be known that I’m reading a blog by a really bad man. I couldn’t resist. Some of the tells in the comments were hilarious.

    The one about travelling with financial help from your parents means you still have privilege was good. To that person it’s probably beyond their comprehension that someone could travel the world without mommy and daddy picking up the tab.

    What in the blue hell is a borderline racist? I’ve known a lot of people over the years and I’ve never met a soul that is almost a racist. You are or you aren’t. I suppose that’s one of those passive aggressive accusations some people seem to be fond of.

    As for DBP, you seem to know the editor so you would know better than I, but I do question his thinking. Are they that hard up for material that they have to publish a school paper? There is a reason for the term sophomoric. The author managed to meet both definitions simultaneously, which is no small feat.

    My favorite, hands down. The one about blogging not being your métier, because you pushed back. The toddlers do like their food pureed to help with their digestion. Also, how could you not give the snowflakes exactly what they wanted? Tsk. Tsk. Misogynistic ha! You’ve been caught red-handed. I saw that dedication in your second book.

    Onward through the fog.

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    1. Yes, my wife tonight called me her favorite racist, with tongue very firmly in cheek.

      I fear the relationship with the dirtbags has gone through the floor. It is what it must be. They are reacting emotionally which is always impossible to reason with.

      Onwards through the fog indeed. It is a tad lonely though, but I get by.

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  2. In my experience in dealing with blog commenters who are not arguing in good faith, I engage them seriously once, possibly twice, and then start taking the piss out of them. Approve the comments you have pending, and respond to each one with an airy dismissal. Think about your Game posts: the alpha male doesn’t engage in the childishness, he portrays bemused indifference. SJWs want you to start arguing, whereas laughing at them they hate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I have been mocking to great effect. But this is also my paddling community, and it now seems to have been completely compromised when my back was turned.

      It’s harder to take this stuff when it’s so close to home. It never started out like this. We just wanted to paddle rivers.

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  3. Ol mate

    Your past two blogs and the comments generated have made some of the most entertaining and educational reading I’ve ever come across. I’d be interested to know the demographics of all sides of the argument. I’ve a fair idea, but sometimes it’s hard to pick with keyboard warriors. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. it’s so pathetic

    if everyone is welcome, then why do additional efforts be made to include ever more people? Why? People who like it like it. If you want to spread the gospel yourself, fine, but it doesn’t need to be about race and you don’t need to forcibly include it into everyone’s life. Of course, they can’t even argue these basic points. They posted your article on their Facebook page and the comments, though few, were pretty dumb. Convergence always presages a battle, I guess…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Brandon

    In my former years (1980s) I was into hostelling, hill walking, camping and orienteering in England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland. I was introduced to outward bound activities by school teachers, the Boys Brigade and an older mentor who took us all walking in local forests every fortnight (all were white). When I saw images of such things on television or in books I did not think that they excluded me though I was mixed race and would grownup to consider myself a black person.

    In my late adolescence I did not fear “perceived (or real) discrimination” in the countryside; I anticipated it and steeled myself. It was the 1980s after all! The England football team’s away support was dominated by violent neo-nazis for Pete’s sake.

    At that time if you went out on the town male violence was a night time feature. I had afros, dreadlocks, flat tops in much of my 20’s so I would stand out as a prime target. I developed an uncanny sense for timing my and my white friend’s departure from a bar – just before it kicked off.

    I recall going into a countryside pub in the Lake District. It was 1983; I had an afro and white hippie girlfriend. It went quiet. I could not get served but my girlfriend did. In 1985 I recall the muttering and seething in a pub in Fort William Scotland when I, with by then 4 inch flat top, beat local after local on THEIR pool table; to the amusement of their girlfriends. We had to leg it.

    Race was a part of both of the incidents but so was male rivalry and outsider status. Being where you are “not supposed to be” was partly the challenge of the countryside. In the last 30 years as rural economies have become more dependent on outsider consumerism young people have migrated to the cities for work. Its a doddle now.

    In 1987 was hostelling, I recall having to leg it with my white friend when we were chased across King’s Lynn by six actual racist skins heads intent on doing me in. The story becomes more surreal: we hid in a wine bar before eventually venturing out and ending up in the only night club. Word of our escapade circulated around the bar as we still had our walking gear on. Three Hells angels came over to me and my mate. (Pause foe effect….) One told me if the skins touched me they would sort them. Cue revelry.

    I went through these experiences and it never entered my mind that the countryside was not for me. Reason being that the majority of locals were decent, “colorblind” and good company; occasionally standoffish till they got to know you. The biggest factor in rural communities is boredom and meeting someone from the “outside” is usually a treat. Also, whilst I was not much of a fighter it was exciting to take the risk. I never “cracked off” with a girl in the countryside but I certainly took white girlfriends camping. The only black girlfriend I enticed into a tent did not much care for it.

    The rural and outward bound was clearly not for many of my black friends and here are the main reasons: for many urban UK black people outdoor pursuits are not cool. The facilities, campsites, bed and breakfasts and amenities have massively improved but are not convenient and are very expensive.

    Why go camping in Britain when you can book a hotel abroad in Europe for similar money? The kit required is expensive and is only really fit for one purpose. Another factor is “pub culture”. My black male friends are rarely into drinking in bars or getting drunk. Possibly the need to keep your wits about you made it not so attractive. Also black men prefer night clubs where their dress sense and dancing ability gives them an advantage. The countryside can not compete.

    If Gaffigan wanted to get young black men into rafting she would need to appeal to their masculine pride, sell adventure, risk, “are you man enough”, “real men raft”, etc. Of course engaging “Toxic” masculinity is not a priority for neo-Marxist cultural critics.

    If you actually get young black people into the countryside for any length of time generally they’ll have a great time. White water rafting seems to me to be a rite of passage. As long as you don’t contract Weil’s disease it can be exhilarating and appeal.

    However, as young black woman go to great lengths in managing and beautifying their hair; whether going for a “natural Afro” or any of a plethora of styles and treatments. (And I for one say thank the Lord for that! My wife is black!). But it has to be noted that one inadvertent dunking in a lake of fast flowing water will invariably render all that considerable investment worthless. I don’t therefore expect to see a massive increase in black girls rafting regardless of swimming cap technology. And we have not mentioned spiders!

    I could go on and talk about all of GAvigans weak arguments. But Occam’s razor will suffice. Her argument seems to be minorities do not go rafting because they see it as a “white sport” in a “white environment” for “white people”. She sees this view (which is actually widespread amongst black people) as created by an “oppressive white colonial, slave derided history and resultant income differentials”. This explanation is where the Marxism is smuggled in.

    Her answer is…. communist revolution: dismantle the whole of white culture; redistribute wealth from white to black, deconstructive “white colonial identity”. Where no prejudice exists educate white people to see that their not being prejudiced is because they are…. in fact prejudiced and privileged.

    I have an alternative. The survey she cites gives the primary reason black people don’t go rafting – yes you named it … they are not interested. I for one respect the right of black people to hold their opinions, not because of advertising or cultural hegemony but because they have their OWN opinions.

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    1. Brandon, great comment, thanks for taking the time to do it.

      It is indeed communist revolution. The whole idea of white privilege is simply the standard communist line of collective guilt. Everyone is guilty, (how could you not be?), and thus everyone must accept their communist solutions.

      The part I don’t understand is what comes next. In every historical case of communism, once the guilt is accepted then the deportations and executions follow. Stalin got rid of the entire middle class and all the landed peasantry, which were the only productive farmers – queue rather large and painful famine. With an examination of the communist method the only clear path for these people is to get rid of all the whites. But they themselves are white. Self-hatred doesn’t come close to describing their actions. Pathological is somewhat better. These people can only destroy; the are not capable of creation. And for that they are ultimately prepared to destroy themselves.

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  7. Steve Dugas

    Came across your website and podcast while surfing around the alt-right interwebs. Been lurking for a while, enjoy your insights. I figured that you would eventually fall afoul of the SJW gestapo (you are white, hetero, opinionated and successful), and so you have. Just apply Cernovich’s rules, seasoned with with a little Vox Day for good measure. You’ll navigate the Class 5 SJW rapids and come out grinning in calmer waters.

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    1. Thanks Steve. However, this is not my first time fouling foul of the SJW gestapo. It’s only that this one was a bit more disappointing seeing as they have compromised an industry that means a lot to me.

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  8. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 12.21.16 : The Other McCain

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