We’ve got to stop ‘excluding’ everyone else!

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Last week I told you that the famous Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge has issued a warning to viewers of this John Constable painting of Hampstead Heath.

It has a “darker side” because it implies that “only those with a historical tie to the land have a right to belong [in Britain].” This painting is from around 1820. I guess Constable should have included some Pakistanis.

This ridiculous “warning” is part of a ridiculous fashion of claiming that the British countryside “excludes” non-whites. The latest salvo was a report to Parliament by Wildlife and Countryside Link, a coalition of 80 nature organizations.

The report makes novel arguments.

Did you know that “Racist colonial legacies continue to frame nature in the UK as a ‘white space’, and people of colour as ‘out of place’ ”?

Or that “there are multiple, intersecting barriers that can prevent ethnically diverse people — that means non-whites — from accessing urban and rural green spaces”?

And that there is therefore a “moral imperative to include people and communities who have been historically excluded”?

Who is barring Africans from parks and pushing Muslims off hiking trail? Obviously, no one, so there was some mild indignation about this nuttiness in the British press. So, last month, the group that issued the report wrote, “Wildlife and Countryside Link does not believe the entire countryside is a racist, colonial, white space.”

Just most of it. The idea that Hampstead Heath is “colonial” is insane. Is it also fascist and sexist?

We will get more insanity. “Hate crime experts to rule whether English countryside harbours ‘rural racism’.”

The Centre for Hate Studies — yes, there is such a thing — at the University of Leicester got two years to reach a verdict.

The head sleuth is Neil Chakraborti, Director of Hate Studies.

He “has extensively researched hate crime, targeted hostility and violence against minorities.”

In Britain there is no hate, hostility, or violence against whites.

Second in command is a professor of colonialism and heritage.

She has turned William Blake’s line about “England’s green & pleasant land” upside down and written a book called Green Unpleasant Land, which “explores the countryside’s repressed colonial past.”

She says “taking country walks together are a great way to understand how colonial activity & imperial wealth shaped our countryside.”

White people love to feel good about feeling bad about being white.

The third “rural racism” detective is Amy Clark, a research fellow at the hate center, who has spent the last nine years immersed in hate.

She co-hosts a podcast called “Hidden Hate.” What a rollicking life.

Can you spot the hidden hate in this scene?

No? You’re not qualified to hunt for rural racism.

The hate-center team has found 40 bona fide BIPOC victims of rural racism who are “uniquely placed to co-produce the research data in the form of stories, photos, poems and other arts-based media.”

I wandered lonely as a cloud/That floats on high o’er vales and hills,/When all at once I saw a crowd,/of Racist Brits and daffodils.

The money for this “study” is from “the Leverhulme Trust, a charity established by a plantation-owning soap magnate behind Unilever, which vowed following Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 to help ‘rid the world of the systemic injustices of racism’.”

The final report will be out this fall.

So, what keeps BIPOCs out of the countryside? Beth Collier — there she is on the left — does what she calls nature-allied psychotherapy.

She traces “exclusion” back to the “early environmental movement.” How’s this for gobbledygook? “This fueled the dispossession of lands for a lot of indigenous people, and the idea that they were a blight on the landscape and needed to be removed in order for these landscapes to be pure and to be enjoyed.”

What? The indigenous people of Britain are white.

More gobbledygook: “Upon encountering the British Empire and migrating to the west, we were told we were progressing because we were living in more technical, affluent cities. So, nature was backwards, and cities and urban life were progressive. That led to the internalisation of a sense of being inferior for having a relationship with nature.”

This Guardian article about camping is more straightforward.

First, it explains that most Third-Worlders have no tradition of camping. Also, as a Muslim scout master explains, “the connection between simple living and poverty is just too strong. . . . so camping may be seen as a backwards step.”

But once they’re out in the country, oh boy, “Black hikers encounter racism and ignorance on the trail.”

Example? This guy, Enoch Adeyemi, says he likes to get 40 black people together and go up mountains in Scotland, music blaring. “Folks have confidently stopped and told us to turn our music off. I think ‘why should I turn off my music?’ Just because white Scottish people enjoy nature one way, that doesn’t mean black people have to enjoy it exactly the same way.”

He points out that black people naturally make a racket. “Folks from Africa are more animated and their voices are louder. We’re advocates of being ourselves but some people don’t like that. They’d rather you be quiet outdoors.”

But even he agrees most black people just don’t want to be there. “I think black folks think hiking is for white people, ‘why would I want to walk up a mountain for nothing?’ ”

One reason is to stick it to whitey. Peaks of Colour is a “nature-for-healing club by and for people of colour only.”

That’s nice. I guess they have been excluded for centuries — heck, millennia — so they’re going to exclude us.

Here is the home page for the Black Unity Bike Ride, complete with clenched fist logo and flares in the African nationalist colors: black, green and red.

For its main event, 1,500 black people ride bicycles 16 miles through London.

That will snarl traffic and show those colonists. Black Unity has many corporate sponsors.

Who will sponsor a White Unity Bike Ride?

A British bird-watching group called Flock Together is in the business of “challenging perceptions on what ‘nature’ is and who it belongs to.”

What if you like nature the way it is? It invites you to “join the flock.” Do blacks always move in phalanxes like this?

This is how white people like to be outdoors.

And look out for Black Trail Runners, coming your way with a big chips on their shoulders.

“Invisible barriers to access mean that Black people miss out on enjoying our outdoor spaces.”

“Black and minority communities [are] excluded from the narrative of trail running.”

The founder of the group knows how to solve that problem: “Middle-aged white men in their ivory towers who are in charge of budgets and funding for these organisations, need to listen and act on what we have been telling them about our communities and the lack of inclusion that we’ve seen in these spaces.”

In other words, “Give us money.” She goes on: “There have to be people of colour, the global majority, appointed into these positions where they can be decision makers.”

Got that? The global majority. Because there are more non-whites than whites in the world, non-whites should run Britain.

Muslim Hikers is another group doing its part.

It got Addidas to sponsor signs to Mecca along a popular hiking trail, so they can point their bums in the right direction when they pray.

One hiker says this “makes me feel like the National Park is welcoming us with open arms. Something as simple as this can make us feel very welcomed.”

Her group got a British company to design a waterproof prayer mat for rainy days.

“Having a prayer mat which is weatherproof means I don’t have to worry about walking around with a soggy mat in my bag. These little things make a big difference.”

No wonder they didn’t feel welcome. No signs to Mecca! No waterproof prayer mats!

Here’s another handwringing report on “exclusion.”

It’s got a whole chapter on “‘Dadima’s Countryside Walks and Talks’, which are designed to change the narrative of the countryside.”

What if British people don’t want the “narrative” changed? Too bad. Groups of Indians show up with pots of food for walks called “‘Saris, Salwaars & Boots: Samosas, Chai & Chutney’, through activities highlighted “sharing migration stories… and cultural wisdom/heritage.”

And your dog is a problem, whitey. It “causes specific access issues for some people from ethnic minority backgrounds, particularly if they are Muslim, and can be a significant deterrent in visiting many natural environments.”

So, get used to it. Next time you go for a ramble, leave your dog at home and expect to see Muslims praying on waterproof mats, gangs of Indians chomping on chutney, changing the narrative, and blacks carrying boomboxes while you grieve over how your ancestors exploited these people.

We Yanks can be just as bad, of course. “America’s national parks face existential crisis over race.”

Oh, that “mostly white workforce.” Pretty awful. But part of our global majority has a sense of humor about it all.

And here are black hikers pretending to be white. Pretty clever, actually.

Black people and white people are not the same.

So, white people, wherever you are, if BIPOCs want to stay home, let them. The countryside does not have a colonial legacy, for Pete’s sake. They are the ones “colonizing” Britain with shameless demands and claims about “changing the narrative” and telling you what “nature” is. Only white people would sit still for this and feel guilty about it, too.

But don’t worry. When the global majority takes over, Britain will again be a green and pleasant land. As this article explains, “Black and Brown Hikers are Taking Back Britain’s Countryside.”

It was theirs all along.



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By GIL