RUSH: You know, I’ve referenced this a couple times, never got to the details. I grabbed it from the archives Stack. Hang on, folks. There. I got it.“The Racist Trees of Our National Parks.” Front Page magazine. “Trees are America’s newest racist symbol.” Ready for this? What do you think this is about? Now, what do you think? Just take a stab here, folks, in the dark. “The Racist Trees of Our National Parks. Trees are America’s newest racist symbol.” Again, to who? Who thinks trees are racist? “Trees are America’s newest racist symbol.” Who thinks this? I would submit to you nobody thinks it.Somebody with a fax machine and a logo sent out some thing that they’re offended by and the Drive-Bys pick it up because it fits a narrative they’ve already established. Okay, ready? You can’t think of why a tree would be racist. Wait ’til you hear this, then. If you’re really dumbfounded. This is not a joke.
“Mickey Fearn,” as opposed to Mickey Birch, “Mickey Fearn, the National Park Service Deputy Director for Communications and Community Assistance –” What a title. What a job. The National Park Service Deputy Director — means he’s assistant — for Communications and Community Assistance, “made headlines when he claimed that black people do not visit National Parks because…” Because… of the trees. The trees remind them of their slave ancestors being lynched by their masters.
“Yellowstone, the first national park, was created in 1872 in Wyoming. Slavery was over by then and no one had ever been lynching slaves around Old Faithful anyway. But false claims of racism die very hard. Now Alcee Hastings, an impeached judge, and a coalition of minority groups is demanding increased ‘inclusiveness’ at national parks. High on their list is the claim that, ‘African-Americans have felt unwelcome and even fearful in federal parklands during our nation’s history because of the horrors of lynching.'”
Now, why is it only trees in our national parks where there wasn’t ever any racism or slavery? Why is it only trees in our national parks remind African-Americans of their ancestors being lynched? Why doesn’t every tree remind them of that? You African-Americans in the audience — and I know that there is a beaucoup bunch of you out there — I bet you, not a single one of you has the slightest reaction like that when you see a tree. You talk about a constructed media narrative.
“What do national parks have to do with lynchings? Many national parks have trees. People were hung from trees. It’s racial guilt by arboreal association. Trees are racist down to their roots.” That’s the Alcee Hastings group. (interruption) Cut all the trees down? There aren’t any trees in the inner city, right? Many people thought that’s what was gonna be racist about it. (interruption) Well, I know a tree grows in Harlem. There are trees. But not like there are out in the suburbs and not like there are at the national parks.
But this story goes back all the way to May 6th. I’ve been holding it that long. It’s almost two weeks old. Of course it’s insulting. Here’s the way this works. You have your average American getting up every day, going to work, living his or her life, and then all of a sudden hears that there’s a movement out there that trees in the national parks are racist because they remind people of lynching, and they think there’s a movement going on, better join up. This is a totally concocted, nonexistent event, or thing. Classic example of a media narrative.
RUSH: Dan in Savannah, Georgia. Great to have you on the program, sir. You’re up first today on the phones. Welcome.
CALLER: Yes. Thank you, Rush. An honor. Listen, your opening monologue. As I’m traveling from I-10 to see my grandchildren back to Savannah, Georgia, I see lots of trees. Now, somebody said that the black citizens of America were scared of national parks because of trees. I can promise you, I see a lot of black American citizens out on I-10 traveling right with me, and nobody looks scared. So I don’t get that.
RUSH: Is it not one of the stupidest things you’ve ever heard?
CALLER: Stupidest, absolutely — and I can be stupid, and I’ve heard a lot of stupid stuff in my 62 years.
RUSH: Well, there’s an origin for the theory, but I didn’t get to this in the story, and I’m running out of time here. So, Dan, thanks for the call. I’m glad you referenced this. The origin of this theory that trees remind African-Americans of lynchings — and they, therefore, don’t go to national parks — originates with Carolyn Finney, an actress.
RUSH: I promised to give the details on this, the racist trees in our national parks story. Again, the story’s by Daniel Greenfield. It’s at FrontPage mag, David Horowitz’s publication. The origin of this bizarre racist lynching theory of national parks — if you’re just joining us, a story about how blacks do not like going to national parks because the trees remind them of their ancestors being lynched during slavery.
Never mind the fact, have you seen these PSAs on TV, black family after black family going to national parks, have you seen these? Well, I don’t know how recent they are, but there’s been a whole campaign of African-Americans going to theme parks, national parks. The reason for those PSAs to promote government-owned land, leftist PSAs and they’re designed to show wards of the state visiting government-owned lands, how great government is, how beautiful government can make things. And they’ve used a lot of black families, actors in these PSAs, so that’s why this story’s kind of odd.
“The origin of the bizarre racist lynching theory of national parks appears to be Carolyn Finney. Finney was an actress noted for, apparently, little more than an appearance in The Nutt House. Then she became a cause for race activists when she was denied tenure by Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management because her work didn’t meet academic standards.”
So she didn’t get tenure at Berkeley. She was fit to be tied. She’s angry. She blamed racism for that, as did her supporters.
“These days she’s a diversity advisor to the US National Parks Advisory Board. What wasn’t good enough for UC Berkeley is good enough for national parks. She is also the author of Black Faces, White Spaces. In it she claims that ‘oppression and violence against black people in forests and other green spaces can translate into contemporary understandings that constrain African-American environmental understandings.'”
That’s gobbledygook. That’s leftist. She’s attempting to be an intellectual with that collection and assembly of words. But it’s basically this former actress and professor denied tenure at Berkeley who claims that trees are seen as racist in national parks because it reminds African-Americans of their ancestors being lynched.