John Muir was a racist

Michael Brune for the Sierra Club:

Muir was not immune to the racism peddled by many in the early conservation movement. He made derogatory comments about Black people and Indigenous peoples that drew on deeply harmful racist stereotypes, though his views evolved later in his life. …

Other early Sierra Club members and leaders — like Joseph LeConte and David Starr Jordan — were vocal advocates for white supremacy and its pseudo-scientific arm, eugenics. …

For all the harms the Sierra Club has caused, and continues to cause, to Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of color, I am deeply sorry. I know that apologies are empty unless accompanied by a commitment to change. I am making that commitment, publicly, right now. …

… we are redesigning our leadership structure so that Black, Indigenous, and other leaders of color at the Sierra Club make up the majority of the team making top-level organizational decisions. We will initiate similar changes to elevate the voices and experiences of staff of color across the organization. …

Pulling Down Our Monuments

I commend the Sierra Club for taking action to make outdoor adventure more welcoming to everyone.

Of course it’s not entirely fair to measure the racism of John Muir by today’s standards. For his time, Muir was comparatively enlightened. And did far more good than bad for all hikers.

His story reminds me of the racism of Mark Twain.

I still support the good works of Muir and Twain.  But let’s not put up any more statues to either.

(via Adventure Blog)

 

 

 

One Reply to “John Muir was a racist”

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