JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Seattle Parks hosted racist event purposefully excluding white people

Nov 7, 2021, 5:00 PM | Updated: Nov 8, 2021, 3:47 pm

beach walk...

(Seattle Parks Facebook)

(Seattle Parks Facebook)

Seattle Parks and Recreation promoted and cohosted an event at Discovery Park that’s open to all — except white people. Yet again, the city is embracing a segregationist culture in the name of inclusion.

The “interactive beach walk” at Discovery Park coincides with Seattle Forest Week. The event was in partnership with Sea Potential, an environmental nonprofit that seeks to connect area-youth of color with maritime through “healing activities and ocean justice conversations.”

Though the City of Seattle prohibits discrimination, this event was only “open to anyone who identifies as BIPOC.” It’s not the first time Seattle Parks has greenlit discriminatory events.

Beach walk for all — except whites

The event, held this past Sunday, was meant to connect the community with nature. Discovery Park is one of the few area parks not overrun by the homeless, making it perfect for an event of this kind. But the invite makes clear who is and isn’t invited.

“We invite you to explore what you can learn about yourself and community, as we strengthen our sense of place and appreciate nature in a way that is culturally responsive to our experiences as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. This event is open to anyone who identifies as BIPOC,” the event description reads.

Seattle Municipal Code (18.12.280) prohibits race-exclusionary events at Seattle parks. The city’s nondiscrimination policy also “assures every effort will be made to ensure nondiscrimination in all of its programs activities, whether those programs and activities are federally funded or not.”

Seattle Parks did not ensure the event would be non-discriminatory — intentionally. It’s yet another example of the city’s obsession with race.

Excusing racism while pretending the outdoors is a white space

Seattle Parks did not respond to a Sunday email asking for comment.

I suspect they’ll argue it’s not only for racial minorities; it’s not actually excluding white people. After all, the event description does not explicitly say white people cannot attend. That would be, of course, a disingenuous argument.

By saying the event is “open to anyone who identifies as BIPOC,” the inference is that if you do not “identify” as a person of color, you may not attend.

Its intent is exclusionary.

Under the guise that this beach walk will be “culturally responsive,” it’s meant to exclude white people. Race-radicals pretend these spaces are “centered” around white people. The Sierra Club’s Lornett Vestal called the outdoors unbearably white. Activist Glenn Nelson argued that “the outdoors remains a largely white domain” and said it’s “up to white America to invite communities of color in, to enlist us as allies.”

Is this event by a Seattle Parks exposing the white savior complex of its staff?

Seattle Parks has a bigoted history

In the past, the department has turned a blind eye to racist events at its parks.

In June 2021, LGBTQ organizers hosted “Taking B(l)ack Pride” at Jimi Hendrix Park. They said they would charge a “reparations fee” for white people to attend. This is illegal conduct on a Seattle-owned park. But Seattle Parks wouldn’t get involved.

The department said they weren’t issuing any permits for the park due to a construction project on-site. But even after learning of the unpermitted event, a spokesperson indicated the department wouldn’t investigate the blatantly discriminatory event.

Seattle Times celebrates the racism

Par for the course, the Seattle Times embraced the race exclusionary events with a feature story. They didn’t call out or question the race-based events. Instead, they call the beach walk “inclusion-minded.”

Lisa Ciecko is a plant ecologist with Green Seattle Partnership. The group is behind the organizing and promoting of the Forest Week events.

Ciecko notes the exclusionary strategy of the city’s plans, telling the Seattle Times that many events are meant to “prioritize BIPOC participation.” The feature was more of a press release than a report.

No, we don’t need to segregate appreciation of nature

The outdoors is not a “white space,” no matter what race hustlers tell you.

Everyone can appreciate nature. Seeing more white people out in Seattle parks or on hikes is more a reflection of population demographics than anything else. It’s not the result of a concerted effort to keep anyone else from going on a hike or enjoying an afternoon at the park.

Progressives now reject what was once a shared goal: bring people together regardless of race. Instead of uniting people irrespective of race, progressives now want to make everyone about race, judging you as an oppressor or oppressed based on your skin color. They’ve adopted a position to see everything through the prism of race — it’s critical race theory in action. This worldview is hurting society, not making it better.

If you’re offended that too many white people are enjoying nature, then you’re the racist.

UPDATE, 11/8/21, 3:45pm: 

On Monday afternoon, Seattle Parks offered the following statement:

This was an event with a partner agency that was intended to provide a supportive space for the BIPOC community to participate in a event in our park natural space. Community has made us aware that people of color don’t always feel welcome or able to enjoy natural or public spaces. As a part of our mission we aim to serve all of our City’s residents and visitors, and for many communities that looks like having targeted programming that meets their needs, and intentionally invites them in.

We have programming aimed at children, at older adults, and transgender and non-binary individuals, at the LGBTQIA community, at women, people with disabilities, and the list goes on. Our public spaces are open to everyone, and yet we are committed to acknowledging the historic and present discrimination that has kept many from enjoying public spaces, providing programming that works to undue the impacts of racism and discrimination, and ensure that all communities can benefit from parks and recreation programs. As such, the focus of our messaging was aimed at the BIPOC community. Nevertheless, the messaging could’ve been clearer that the park is open to all, and we were not planning on turning any folks away.

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Rantz: Seattle Parks hosted racist event purposefully excluding white people