Biffbarf"Even end-of-season celebrations characterized by obscene patriotism for a country that still does not provide equal rights to BIPOC and throwback outfits that romanticize eras when the nation was violently hostile to BIPOC can feel uninviting."
Yeah that is some bullshit. People having fun and drinking in a muddy parking lot is oppression? The author is trying to conflate historical racial issues with current ski culture and is really making a stretch. Even the article title is inflammatory- nobody at the resorts, especially local skiers are going to go out of there way to be racist to Black skiers. This whole article is grasping at straws to portray regular people as racist if you dont agree with him-
"If you’re reading this thinking, “I’m one of the good ones,” then I am talking to you as much as the vitriolic racists."
I mean, the only real evidence the author puts out that skiing is toxic to minorities is a lodge that now allows anyone to attend and people wearing hats clowning on the Trump base. Its called humor, they are making fun of MAGA not wanting to go back to a racist era. He literally cant find any real instance of Blacks being belittled or barred from skiing on their race alone.
"Skiing has long served as an escape for white people from multicultural politics and accusations of privilege"
Actually, we just like to go to the mountains and have fun in the snow. YOU are trying to inject race baiting and division into our sport. Thats the point of skiing, to get away from divisive politics and social pressures to just be out in nature and in the mountains. Its a great equalizer, nobody cares what color you are or race. Its just about having fun and if you can throw down, you will earn respect.
"Even now, it is not rare to find white skiers who say the N-word or use other racial slurs. They feel they have been permitted by those around them who don’t push back against their racist behaviors."
Aside from the Fagan brothers who got shredded for saying the N Word, I have never heard this said on a mountain in any of my years of skiing. But since we are on the subject, we need to come to terms with the fact that the N-word has morphed from a racial slur to a pop culture reference. Its almost impossible to find a rap song, or almost any piece of media featuring Blacks that dont use the word repeatedly. Even to the point we had to differentiate the "Hard 'r" version form the 'a' version. If someone is being a piece of shit and calling a Black the word out of spite then yeah that needs to end but we also need to at least acknowledge that we have a generation that grew up listening to and supporting music that says the word with an entirely different meaning. Unless we come to terms with this one way or another we will always have to deal with a strange limbo of a word with a horrible past that is used prolifically in today's pop culture in an accepted manner.
"Many such gatherings celebrate the patronization of “gapers” or “Jerrys” (monikers for folks who are new or naïve to the sport and therefore engage with skiing differently). This elitism sets a precedent for what is normal and alienates skiers without the same privilege, and therefore disproportionately excludes BIPOC who already face barriers to be on the mountain that have been there from the beginning."
The author really misses the point of hating on gapers. Nobody is going to hate on that Black family on the bunny hill learning to ski. Gapers are typically the rich people who come to the resorts and treat the place as a venue to flaunt their wealth and lack of self awareness. So in a way, Gapers are a way of our sport trying to call out the "White Privilege" aspect of the larger commercial resorts.
"More recent decisions by ski resorts perpetuate this by valuing guests able to afford multi-day stays and lift tickets or season passes, and promote real estate that facilitates and values white flight and gentrification."
This is an issue that really affects everyone and not just minorities. Local resorts being bought by Vail etc does raise the economic bar in a bad way. But throwing around charged terms like White Flight and Gentrification really doenst even make sense here. Most of these mountain towns being affected were mostly White anyway. I personally think its a tragedy that the economic bar for skiing is becoming so high when it really should be for everyone but that is the only real issue here.
"That cannot be the case moving forward. Creating a new, intentionally inclusive tradition of skiing requires collective effort in examining current culture, funding opportunities for BIPOC to be included in skiing, and shifting the power structures of ski institutions by hiring people of color."
Im down as hell on programs to get inner city kids and minorities into skiing. I think that is awesome and its a great way to get these youth out in nature and to find an identity away from our toxic mainstream culture. But arbitrarily hiring people of color to run resorts isnt going to help anything. Sure, have opportunities on an equal playing field but to prioritize someone based on the color of their skin rather than their qualifications is regressive.
"Increasing the number of BIPOC on the mountain without altering the social environment of the mountain will only increase the number of BIPOC subjected to racial trauma."
LOL what trauma??? You really think Blacks on the hill are going to be yelled at or barred from the restaurant etc? Its 2020, young people could care less about being racist. Were over that shit despite it constantly being shoved in our face. Its this "Everything is White Supremacy and your racist unless you agree" crap that is causing the division.
"That power will not be conceded until the experiences and perspectives of BIPOC are valued as much as those of white consumers, and not until that value is expressed in practice. Equity will not be practiced until the voices of BIPOC and white co-conspirators demand it, because white supremacy will not willingly concede itself."
So we need to redecorate our lodges under a BIPOC committee so Blacks feel more comfortable on the hill? This is the issue I have with this article, it goes on that we have this mysterious White Supremacy and anyone that is not down with this agenda is part of the supremacy. This only creates division and racial tensions instead of just moving forward that young people just want to chill and do what we do without race being shoved down our throats.
Yes, we had the skiing thug era. Why? Because kids grew up listening to Hip Hop and the culture around it and wanted to emulate it. White people have always been a consumer of Hip Hop since its inception and its a factor that has actually brought races together. Hell, a lot of Hip Hop artists jokingly say that they 'made it' when White people are listening to their music because it means they are now in the broader audience. Its called growing culture together, not appropriation. If you want to play that game then stop listening to EDM, Hip Hop, Rock and Roll, Blues or Jazz because they all came from Black Music. America is a melting pot, you cant promote that and discredit the culture it creates at the same time.
The real issue here is economics and demographics. The age of the local ski hill is ending making it harder to get into skiing without dropping thousands of dollars on a season pass etc. If we want to get minorities into skiing we need to focus on getting them on the hill in an affordable way where we can all ride together. Also, if you look at the demographics of Colorado (84% White) and Utah (89% White) it falls in line with the skiing demographics. That means to get more diversity you need to get a BIPOC family to travel considerable distances and stay at hotels and get gear they wont use that much just to ski.
Dont blame White skiers, many of which have made significant sacrifices to live that lifestyle. And also acknowledge that not all, or inherently less, minorities may be willing to make those sacrifices to make that their lifestyle when they have other interests or priorities or dont live near the mountains. The article didnt mention even asking a single BIPOC why they dont ski. Im sure you wont hear any, "Im scared because their racist up there" but will hear, "Its way to expensive."