UKH

ARTICLE: Meet the activists helping to diversify the outdoors: Pammy Johal

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Despite well-publicised efforts to introduce more people of all backgrounds to the rewards of the outdoors, the outdoor industry itself still conspicuously lacks diversity. The sector has a big problem, according to Pammy Johal, who has been campaigning on this issue for decades.

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54
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I’m finding this series of articles really interesting, thanks. It’s great to hear the perspectives of people working from various different angles to effect change.

The general response from the forums has been uncomfortable to witness though. Sadly that has probably been as illuminating as the articles themselves. 

38
 Basemetal 03 May 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> The general response from the forums has been uncomfortable to witness though. Sadly that has probably been as illuminating as the articles themselves. 

I'm not sure the response you're referring to has anything to do with a response to the merits of diversity as such, but rather more to do with the inferences drawn and methodology employed in promoting it.

In a fair society, shouldn't large scale random samples simply reflect the population distribution of irrelevant variables, with a reasonable degree of error (based on sample size from population size). If a parametric analysis is conducted, some parameters can't be supported as having any effect.

Given an arbitrary allocation of categories, some will capture causal effects and some won't. I can't see why or how race, for example has any influence per se. I can imagine that income, location, peer group, physiology, and personal preferences will dominate. 

Although we haven't got 2021 UK census data yet (and Scotland has been postponed further I think), if we are trying to assess the representation in a group of activities of a multi-faceted minority comprising 10% of "society", shouldn't we be looking to see about a 1 in 10 representation if that 10% is uniformly distributed to begin with? (Which, historically, it isn't.)

I started climbing for example tin Glasgow University's GUM club in the late '70s, and Glasgow then had a gloriously high Asian population. Maybe that's why I fail to see the 'racism' accusation that pervades the diversity discussions. There's more (and less) to it than that.

13
In reply to Basemetal:

Yep that’s pretty much the response to these authors that I was thinking of. 

UKC: “Well that’s not my experience so I don’t believe you.”

If your issue is with methodology I’m struggling to see the value in your imaginary statistical analysis with imaginary results as an alternative to the author’s actual experiences. Anecdote is far from gold standard research, but it still trumps make-belief. 

43
 Andy Hardy 03 May 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I do admit to switching off when she speaks of 'the industry'. I go to the outdoors as an antidote to industry and all things industrial.

(Yes I realise that all my super posh kit was made in a factory, but you have to draw a line somewhere)

6
 Basemetal 03 May 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

Make believe? I didn't make anything up. My point is simply that my experience has been in line with statistical expectations. The stats aren't imaginary (go check).

As for anecdotes -"that's not my experience" is as much an anecdote, as "this is my actual actual experience".

The 'methodology" issue is about inferring causation and then a need for remediation strategies.  As a thought experiment, consider a nation with a different demography and figure the proportional representations you'd expect. 

8
In reply to Basemetal:

> Make believe? I didn't make anything up. My point is simply that my experience has been in line with statistical expectations. The stats aren't imaginary (go check).

I may have been misled by you describing your evidence as “I imagine that…” It didn’t sound like the most robust evidence. I’d be surprised if there was any analysis out there that convincingly show race is an irrelevant issue though - it’s a tricky one to unpick. Do share though.

> As for anecdotes -"that's not my experience" is as much an anecdote, as "this is my actual actual experience".

Sure. But this is what I often find strange about the responses here - both of those things can be true. Her experiences can be different to yours and still be true.

15
In reply to Andy Hardy:

But there clearly is an outdoor industry and that's what Johal discusses in the article - rather than people's individual experiences while out doing their hobbies.

1
 Basemetal 03 May 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> I may have been misled by you describing your evidence as “I imagine that…” It didn’t sound like the most robust evidence.

Umm... I didn't.

As for showing a parameter is irrelevant by statistical analysis, it would never be absolutely achievable - that isn't something that statistics can do. Stats are not generative of narrative - (correlation isn't necessarily causation)- it's rather a case of hoping that an actual causal narrative is somehow reflected in the collected statistics. The best we could achieve toward establishing irrelevence would be to establish that the statistical outcome would not be affected if the parameter in question was varied.  

In the case of diversity discussions this is further compounded by the variable we want to measure being any disparity between base population statistics and target population statistics, rather than the target population stats in isolation. ie the relative disproportions rather than the absolute proportion of a minority in a sample. It's not enough to look at a national committee and expect to see proportional representation -that would be quite a fluke even in a fair society!

Overlay all this statistical thinking on the everyday variability of specific individual experiences and a whole host of imponderable considerations will be working against statistical parity.

For example...

How many minority families run remote hill farms in Scotland?

..and why?

2
In reply to Basemetal:

> Umm... I didn't.

”I can't see why or how race, for example has any influence per se. I can imagine that income, location, peer group, physiology, and personal preferences will dominate.”

Apologies, I see I did misquote you very slightly as saying “I imagine that”

15
 Basemetal 03 May 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> Apologies, I see I did misquote you very slightly as saying “I imagine that” 

No, what you wrote was, emphasis added...

>I  may have been misled by you describing your evidence as “I imagine that…” It didn’t sound like the most robust evidence.

...whereas what 'I imagined' wasn't in relation to evidence at all, but suggesting potentially relevant parameters. 

Let's not derail the thread any further?

3
 climbingbadger 03 May 2021
In reply to Basemetal:

You absolutely would expect a statistically relevant population to be broadly in line with the general population, but it's very clearly not. As the article says, just 2.8% of qualifications were given to the BAME community, despite it making up around 10% of the population (per 2011 census). That clearly shows there's an issue somewhere, because as you say in a perfectly fair society we'd expect that number to be 3 times higher.

So why are the statistics so skewed? It could be any number of reasons, from plain old racism to more nebulous issues like generational poverty. Either way though, it's something that needs to be resolved, and clearly the outdoors industry is not doing as mcuh as it should be. What exactly can be done to resolve it though? I've got to admit I don't know, but I think encouraging and providing opportunities for the BAME community - and women and lower income communities too - to get outdoors and experience climbing and hillwalking would be a good place to start.

Ultimately, most outdoors sports like climbing and hillwalking are dominated by white, middle-class, middle-aged men, and that's generally not a very welcoming environment for people outside that group. I'd put good money on a disproportinate number of this site's members being white, male, and over 35.

40
In reply to Basemetal:

Yeah, the sticking point for me is that on the one hand we have what you imagine to be relevant or not, and on the other we have people’s experiences of what has actually been relevant in their life. 

I’m not disputing that the other parameters you suggested are relevant, of course they are. But if you are going to say that race is irrelevant, despite people queuing up with examples of how their race has been made to be an issue for them, then personally I think you need to come up with something better than what you imagine to be true. 

6
 Basemetal 03 May 2021
In reply to climbingbadger:

> Either way though, it's something that needs to be resolved, and clearly the outdoors industry is not doing as mcuh as it should be. What exactly can be done to resolve it though? I've got to admit I don't know, but I think encouraging and providing opportunities for the BAME community - and women and lower income communities too - to get outdoors and experience climbing and hillwalking would be a good place to start.

I think that's the nub of it. When I was a physics teacher I was asked what I would do to get more girls to take Higher Physics and go on to study physical science at university. At the time, my 6th year physics class had 5 girls and no boys. My Higher classes were over 50% girls too. So I asked them... . They didn't like the question (that was 1986) and suggested nothing needed to be done, as people either liked physics or they didn't and I was being patronising. 

What can (or should) the outdoor industry do? I'm not convinced there is anything at an organisational level, nor that there should be. I admit I'm suspicious that commercial interest in tapping "new markets" underly industry motivations. The commercial realities of body sizes and shapes probably dominate gear manufacturers thought on this -so many items are still not available in the wider range of women's sizes necessary.

If we want a society where people have equal opportunity and access we need to be prepared to let them decline or enthuse as they wish. Remove barriers by all means, but remember that instigating qualification systems (for example) imposes structure and hence barriers and an element of competition. There's a tension between wanting an accredited  hierarchy then lamenting the challenges of ascending it. The idea of risk being inherent in adventure sports is one that organisations still struggle with. In the early eighties I could work as a climbing instructor and take school groups out climbing without an external qualification. That wouldn't be allowed today.

Democratisation of activity is probably more about economics than any actual chauvinism.

5
 jimtitt 03 May 2021
In reply to Basemetal:

> What can (or should) the outdoor industry do? I'm not convinced there is anything at an organisational level, nor that there should be. I admit I'm suspicious that commercial interest in tapping "new markets" underly industry motivations. The commercial realities of body sizes and shapes probably dominate gear manufacturers thought on this -so many items are still not available in the wider range of women's sizes necessary.

Indeed, I'm part of the outdoor industry and haven't yet seen any reason whatsoever that I should do anything that isn't already covered by existing legislation. Pushing ones desires onto another group to actually do something is just laziness.

The reasons for the lower proportion of ethnic minorities are far more complex than just "proportional representation" and will remain so no matter how "shouty" one is.

And considering the outdoor industry as a whole I'd hazard a guess that BAME groups are massively represented, the number of Bangladeshi, Thai, Vietnamese and Philipino people in the industry must outnumber the white's by a massive proportion. Or is the OP's definition somewhat narrow?

10
In reply to jimtitt:

> And considering the outdoor industry as a whole I'd hazard a guess that BAME groups are massively represented, the number of Bangladeshi, Thai, Vietnamese and Philipino people in the industry must outnumber the white's by a massive proportion.

Presuming you are referring to people sewing outdoor gear in Asian factories, that's a rather trite point and one that doesn't really make much sense. Bangladeshi garment makers in Bangladesh aren't "BAME" for obvious reasons  - it's a British term for British contexts. And the article is clearly about the UK (actually mostly Scotland it seems) and the writer seems to be involved in the outdoor education industry.

10
 Basemetal 03 May 2021
In reply to TobyA:

> And the article is clearly about the UK (actually mostly Scotland it seems) and the writer seems to be involved in the outdoor education industry.

I was interested to read this info on the Outward Bound Trust's site: 

"Around 14% of the population of England and Wales are from black, Asian, minority ethnic backgrounds, in Scotland this is 4%. The figure is higher for the under 16 population, and is increasing steadily. The most ethnically diverse place is London, and we know that the majority of people from an ethnic minority background in the UK live in urban areas. Approximately 15% of young people who visit Outward Bound centres come from an ethnic minority background."

It comes from this article that has some useful insights, on topic.

https://www.outwardbound.org.uk/blog/diversity-in-the-outdoors

 jimtitt 03 May 2021
In reply to TobyA:

Then she should say so, the outdoor training industry has plenty of problems aside from racism and to lump all of us together is lazy and insulting.

10
 Andy Hardy 03 May 2021
In reply to TobyA:

I know, I just find it a bit depressing (totally irrationally) 

In reply to jimtitt:

Equally you could read and respond to what has been written rather than what can come over as rather mean spirited whataboutism aimed at your own straw man.

17
 fred99 03 May 2021
In reply to climbingbadger:

> You absolutely would expect a statistically relevant population to be broadly in line with the general population, but it's very clearly not. As the article says, just 2.8% of qualifications were given to the BAME community, despite it making up around 10% of the population (per 2011 census). That clearly shows there's an issue somewhere, because as you say in a perfectly fair society we'd expect that number to be 3 times higher.

> So why are the statistics so skewed? It could be any number of reasons, from plain old racism to more nebulous issues like generational poverty. Either way though, it's something that needs to be resolved.....

My other activity is Track & Field Athletics. In this activity the numbers of BAME persons active - especially including the GB and England national teams - display a much greater representation than 10%. Does this mean that Track & Field Athletics is racially discriminatory against white people ?

The only way that every (or indeed any) activity available in this country is ever going to have precisely the same representation as the national statistics is if people are FORCED to take part based on something random like their NHS number - as per the Bevin Boys who were forced down the mines during WW2. Such an idea is unthinkable and unworkable - at least outside of China.

Lets just face it, people enjoy different activities for all kinds of reasons, and attempting to accuse people in various activities of racism just because others do not necessarily want to indulge in their activity is in itself racism.

11
In reply to climbingbadger:

> You absolutely would expect a statistically relevant population to be broadly in line with the general population, but it's very clearly not. As the article says, just 2.8% of qualifications were given to the BAME community, despite it making up around 10% of the population (per 2011 census). That clearly shows there's an issue somewhere, because as you say in a perfectly fair society we'd expect that number to be 3 times higher.

This is where I have the issue. How many BAME people decide to do ML qualifications? If it was the 'expected' 10% of all entrants but only less than third passed in comparison to other entrants, then there might well be an issue with racism in the 'industry'.

But if only 1% of the people enrolling for an outdoor qualification are BAME, and they're making up 2.8% of those qualifying, they're ahead of the curve. The issue then is why aren't the BAME community interesting in applying in the first place?

There are all sorts of issues which would mean people might not want to pursue a career In the outdoor industry (crap pay and having to work with the public means I've never considered it). It certainly bears further research, but starting with the premise it's clearly a race issue is, IMHO, wrong.

Post edited at 17:19
1
In reply to Ridge:

> and I suspect it's far more to do with poverty, personality or culture than race.

But how do you ever untangle the first three from the last? I don't think you can really. 

> but starting with the premise it's clearly a race issue is, IMHO, wrong.

But at the same time I think it's wrong to say ethnicity/race isn't part of the equation because it's so interrelated with all other aspects of social life.

15
 jimtitt 03 May 2021
In reply to TobyA:

> Equally you could read and respond to what has been written rather than what can come over as rather mean spirited whataboutism aimed at your own straw man.

I read it, poorly thought out, lacking in argument, never informed me of the issues and where I stand as a part of the outdoor industry and the takeaway was "shouting".

9
In reply to TobyA:

> > and I suspect it's far more to do with poverty, personality or culture than race.

> But how do you ever untangle the first three from the last? I don't think you can really. 

> But at the same time I think it's wrong to say ethnicity/race isn't part of the equation because it's so interrelated with all other aspects of social life.

I don't disagree it's part of the equation, but it's an incredibly complex equation with, it seems, a fixation on one factor. That might be a dominant factor, but It could equally be social 'class’, with middle class graduates (of all ethnicities) being over represented.

In reply to jimtitt:

> I read it, poorly thought out, lacking in argument, never informed me of the issues and where I stand as a part of the outdoor industry and the takeaway was "shouting".

It's not really an argument is it? It's saying that in 40 years, despite some good talk, not much has changed for ethnic minorities to find work in the outdoor industry, particularly at higher levels where they can affect policy. Then the last two chunky paragraphs are about what, she says, is her organisation's last attempt at doing something, working with Scottish public bodies. Aren't you in Germany anyway? Is there any similar debate there? It seems like you are reading this and seeing it as an attack on you in some way. I'm not sure why, but I don't think it is. It does seem to have become a regular response to these sort of articles addressing diversity over the last year or so.

27
 Tom V 03 May 2021
In reply to fred99:

Nail on the head, Fred. You can take a horse to water etc etc....

2
 jimtitt 03 May 2021
In reply to TobyA:

What argument? You condescendingly told me to read something I'd already read and so I gave you my opinion. Turning this somehow into me feeling attacted is bizarre, perhaps you should read the article again instead but from a differing viewpoint instead of dismissing the nay-sayers.

8
 climbingbadger 03 May 2021
In reply to Basemetal:

I definitely see where you're coming from, and with regards to your physics example, I agree that it is purely personal preference, but what makes a man more likely to be interested in and pursue a physics degree than a woman? I'd hazard a guess that it's almost societal sexism, for want of a better term - physics, and science in general, is seen as a subject for boys, while English and languages are usually seen as more feminine subjects. In my experience, this is similarly true for climbing and adventure sports, while equestrian sports (with the notable exception of racing) are female-dominated (74% of riders are female per a 2015 BHS survey) because at a young age riding is seen as a girly thing to enjoy.

I completely agree that economics is likely to be the major factor though - I've had extensive discussions about diversity and it usually seems to boil down to that - but that begs the question of why minorities are more likely to be in a lower socio-economic band than white people. That, however, is an issue that is outside our control, unless any of you happen to be MPs.

15
 Basemetal 03 May 2021
In reply to TobyA

> But at the same time I think it's wrong to say ethnicity/race isn't part of the equation because it's so interrelated with all other aspects of social life.

Difficulty is that race isn't 'fixable' (nor should we want to be) while any correlated social disadvantages should be. Dealing with these would be a better approach.

I was challenged above when I said, “I can't see why or how race, for example has any influence per se. I can imagine that income, location, peer group, physiology, and personal preferences will dominate.” So let me expand a little. For example... working from that of-the-cuff list...

Hi Uli? Want to come climbing this weekend?

a) Nah, I can’t afford to

b) Nah, it’s 5 hours in the car

c) Nah, none of my mates are into it

d) Nah, haven’t got the strength or stamina for it

e) Nah, hate heights and I’m agorophobic

f) Nah, I’m busy training for a marathon

g) Nah, never fancied it

The reasons I’m suggesting don’t directly apply are race, gender, etc. As in,

h) Nah, I’m not white

I) Nah, It’s not for my gender

Soooo… if there is an ethnic/ racial issue, which component of a racial categorisation is the effective ingredient? Is it that “ I don’t want to be the odd one out?” Would you be an outdoors person if you lived where your minority was in the majority? If so, I suggest race isn’t actually the issue.

To me this shifts the argument to a less emotive more amenable set of issues and reduces the implicit offence to everyone.

5
 climbingbadger 03 May 2021
In reply to Ridge:

I see where you're coming from, Ridge - I would expect that Dan has made the completely fair assumption that the demographics of those applying for qualifications are proportional with the demographics of the wider outdoors community and short of a major study or inquiry, that's the best assumption we can make.

Ms Johal, on the other hand, appears to be discussing the professional side of things more than the amateurs. However, it's fair to assume that these issues are as prevalent among amateurs if we're assuming that a subset of the amateur community makes a career out of it.

As for starting with the premise that it's a racial issue, every study has to start with a hypothesis, and sometimes a little bit of controversy in the title can be a good thing if you want to be noticed. More seriously though, race, culture, personality, and social class are a very difficult bunch to untangle, and you've got to pick one of them, so why not pick the one that'll get you publicity?

7
In reply to climbingbadger:

>  As the article says, just 2.8% of qualifications were given to the BAME community, despite it making up around 10% of the population (per 2011 census). That clearly shows there's an issue somewhere

Why is it an issue? Equal representation isn't important, equal opportunity is. There needs to be an acceptance, that people's cultures, traditions, upbringing etc..  will influence their hobbies, that could lead to folk taking qualifications. 

3
 olddirtydoggy 03 May 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

It's sad that the discussion here as always is beginning to descend into an arguement.

For what it's worth I got talking to a British Pakistani Muslim I was working for last week about this diversity debate and he feels the diversity is lacking due to cultural norms. He tells me that in his culture, such passtimes like hillwalking and climbing are just not done as they are not "on our radar", I quote his words exactly. I asked him if he felt there were any barriers to the outdoors and he very strongly said he didn't feel there were.

He has just started mountain biking and hiking with his family after moving to the edge of the Peak District where the neighbours, mainly white and middle class suggested he go have a look. He's hooked! On my tea break I spent 10 mins going through basic navigation and where to find the scramble up Grindsbrook on the side of Kinder. I gave him a link to MWIS and discussed the possibilities as to where his journey could lead him. Our exchange was wonderful, especially the hospitality extended to me at dinner time.

I am aware that my story is anecdotal but I'm lucky that I've got friends of many colours, shapes and cultures who often tell me similar reasons for indifference to the outdoors. Whist the author of the article explains problems she's had which is a sad state of affairs, I do feel the vast majority of us are very open to the idea of whoever and whatever coming out to enjoy it all. I think it's a shame to suggest there's a system structured against diversity. Then again, what do I know?

1
 climbingbadger 03 May 2021
In reply to fred99:

> My other activity is Track & Field Athletics. In this activity the numbers of BAME persons active - especially including the GB and England national teams - display a much greater representation than 10%. Does this mean that Track & Field Athletics is racially discriminatory against white people ?

It doesn't necessarily mean athletics is discriminatory against white people, just as BAME under-representation doesn't necessarily mean the climbing community is racially discriminatory. What it does mean, though, is that we should look into both to determine why various communities are under- or over-represented, and if it turns out that it's due to discrimination in some way, we should take steps to resolve that. 

> The only way that every (or indeed any) activity available in this country is ever going to have precisely the same representation as the national statistics is if people are FORCED

You're right that to have a perfect match, it would have to be forced, but you'd expect the demographics to be broadly similar over a statistically significant population. That's the entire point of statistics.

> Lets just face it, people enjoy different activities for all kinds of reasons, and attempting to accuse people in various activities of racism just because others do not necessarily want to indulge in their activity is in itself racism.

You're right; many different reasons would explain this. It might just be that people from these communities just have other hobbies instead, and that's perfectly acceptable - it's more linked to culture than anything else. But equally, we don't know that it's not due to discrimination, and that's the main issue. Once a few studies have been done, if it turns out not to be discrimination, then that's great; let's just carry on as we were. But if it is due to discrimination, if there are tens of thousands of black and asian people that want to try climbing and feel they can't, we'd need to do something about it.

I'm not accusing anyone of racism. Quite frankly, none of us have the facts to categorically state or deny that racism is a factor in this. Personally, while I'm not going to deny there are racists in the outdoor community (sadly, they're in every community in some amount), I'm more inclined to believe that under-representation is more down to socioeconomic and cultural factors. But none of us know that for sure.

15
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Of the various BAME folk I know who bike, ski, climb etc.. the one thing they have in common is both the time and money to participate, higher education too. I bet the participation for bame isn't much different for low skilled, minimum education, white British born etc.  99.9% of us here are fortune we have both the spare time and funds to participate, regardless of our ethnicity. 

2
 climbingbadger 03 May 2021
In reply to summo:

I agree that equal opportunity is ultimately more important. Still, generally speaking, unequal representation hints at unequal opportunity, and historically speaking, the BAME community and the working classes have not had the same opportunities afforded to the white middle and upper classes.

Long story short, there's currently nowhere near enough data to decide which it is, but unless there's a conversation about it, that data will never be gathered.

7
In reply to climbingbadger:

> I agree that equal opportunity is ultimately more important. Still, generally speaking, unequal representation hints at unequal opportunity, and historically speaking, the BAME community and the working classes have not had the same opportunities afforded to the white middle and upper classes.

So it's class, not ethnicity then? 

> Long story short, there's currently nowhere near enough data to decide which it is, but unless there's a conversation about it, that data will never be gathered.

To participate in the outdoors all you need is time, spare cash and potentially some transport. I'd be more concerned about promoting sport of all types, for all youngster, especially from inner cities. Chasing the margins for exclusiveness is ignoring the bigger problem. Participation in many sports is generally the preserve of those with means and motivated parents. 

Post edited at 19:55
1
In reply to fred99:

People do have different preferences, but there is still the small issue of people explaining how they do want to do these things, but find that they come up against various barriers that appear to be linked to race.

The idea of some totalitarian imposition of perfect representation is a ridiculous straw man. 

10
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> People do have different preferences, but there is still the small issue of people explaining how they do want to do these things, but find that they come up against various barriers that appear to be linked to race.

Barriers.... you jump in the car and you drive to the lakes, walk....repeat. 

You register for ML scheme, you book a course.. 

If folk are having bookings cancelled because they don't have a traditional looking British name I'll accept there are barriers. 

3
 climbingbadger 03 May 2021
In reply to summo:

I think the primary barrier to access is class. I also think that for those members of the BAME community who are middle-class or more, the barriers are cultural (at least for the Asian community, I have less knowledge of the Black community and other ethnicities).

But, any one member of the BAME community is more likely to be in a lower socioeconomic class than any one member of the white community, and those inner-city youngsters are more likely to be BAME than white.

5
 climbingbadger 03 May 2021
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

My anecdotal experience is similar. My ex is Pakistani Muslim, and as you've said climbing and hillwalking simply wasn't something she or her family had ever considered until I introduced them to it. She would have usually spent that time with her extended family (or showjumping - private school, what do you expect), but once I'd taken her hillwalking, she took her parents, and the next thing you knew her mum was calling me asking for tips on the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

But she was from a ridiculously confident, upper-class family with virtually no barriers to access, her parents owned their own successful business and could take whatever time off they wanted to go walking once it was on their radar. The same might not be true of a middle or working class family from her community, and for them it might well be a case of feeling like it's something only white people do. It'd be interesting for a proper scientific study to explore it further.

 Marek 03 May 2021
In reply to climbingbadger:

> As for starting with the premise that it's a racial issue, every study has to start with a hypothesis, and sometimes a little bit of controversy in the title can be a good thing if you want to be noticed. More seriously though, race, culture, personality, and social class are a very difficult bunch to untangle, and you've got to pick one of them, so why not pick the one that'll get you publicity?

This is where it starts to go wrong for me. Research (testing a hypothesis or even just collecting a dataset) should never be about 'publicity' or 'getting noticed'*. Yes, get noticed, but on the basis of how rigorously your research was designed and conducted and how surprising/though-provoking (useful?) the result were. Controversy should arise (if anywhere) from the interpretation of results, not be injected artificially at the start of the exercise in pursuit of publicity. Yes, there are good paper written with controversial titles, but generally you have to have a rock-solid academic reputation to get away with it.

Too much of social 'research' seems to be about just making noise in pursuit of a predetermined agenda, thinly disguised as 'data-driven science'.

* Actually I'd go further with that. In testing human motivation and behaviour you really have to avoid pre-publicity - i.e., the subject knowing why they are being questioned/tested, otherwise it skews their responses and makes any interpretation of the result that much harder.

Post edited at 20:21
1
In reply to jimtitt:

You said the article was "lazy and insulting" and "lumps all of us together" (in the outdoor industry). That sounds like you were insulted, and for what's it worth I simply don't think the article is doing the things you accuse it of. 

11
 olddirtydoggy 03 May 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

It would be interesting to hit the streets of Brixton and Bradford to ask some questions and collect data as to perceptions on the outdoors. I wonder if somebody with an academic background has done this yet?

 climbingbadger 03 May 2021
In reply to Marek:

Nobody finds out the title until it's published, at which point so long as the science is solid why not? Obviously it does need to be good science, but in theory it shouldn't be published until it's peer reviewed anyway.

As for the participants, I was on the physical science side so I'm not super well versed in it (can't really give a rock a questionnaire), but I'd imagine they see something generic and straightforward like "attitudes towards outdoor pursuits in the UK" as the title for the questionnaire you're giving them.

In reply to Basemetal:

"Race" is a social construct otherwise why would skin colour have any more impact on our lives than hair colour? So when "race" becomes part of these discussions, it's not the colour of someone's skin that has any affect on anything, it is how people with certain colours of skin (or whatever other immutable characteristic you are interested in) are treated within a social context. So, from a policy perspective, you can fiddle with other "correlated social disadvantages" but still not changes things because you are ignoring that ethnicity does have impacts on people's life chances. I don't think there are any simple answers to that, but claiming but ignoring race (and racism, implicit and explicit) isn't an answer either. 

> To me this shifts the argument to a less emotive more amenable set of issues and reduces the implicit offence to everyone

Who is offended? I'm not sure, beyond anyone who feels their status is threatened in some way. 

11
 Basemetal 03 May 2021
In reply to climbingbadger:

>I'd imagine they see something generic and straightforward like "attitudes towards outdoor pursuits in the UK" as the title for the questionnaire you're giving them.

Seen this thread?

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/ukc/inclusion_in_the_outdoors_a_survey-734149

 neuromancer 03 May 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I still never really got a reply in the last instance - so I'll have another go (though fred99 has solidly nailed a similar point).

What is the balance of second generation polish Vs Pakistani immigrants walking out of the gates of Leeds cricket club on a Sunday? The demographics are similar. The socioeconomics are similarly distributed. 

If you don't automatically jump to concluding that cricket has a problem that needs solving through affirmative action, why do you do so for 'the outdoors'?

Why is equality of outcome good? Why does a lack of equality of outcome imply, in your mind, an immediate failure of equality of opportunity? 

1
In reply to Basemetal:

> In reply to TobyA

> Difficulty is that race isn't 'fixable' (nor should we want to be) while any correlated social disadvantages should be. Dealing with these would be a better approach.

Literally no-one is suggesting that anyone’s race needs ‘fixing’. Obviously the issue is that there are disadvantages and discrimination associated with being from a minority ethnic group. It’s truly bizarre that you thought that was ever in question.

> To me this shifts the argument to a less emotive more amenable set of issues and reduces the implicit offence to everyone.

Are you really saying that we should ignore the fact that many of the things on your list are associated with race/being a minority in case it accidentally offends… who? White people? Not talking about things because they are emotive is a dreadful strategy.

2
 jimtitt 03 May 2021
In reply to TobyA:

> You said the article was "lazy and insulting" and "lumps all of us together" (in the outdoor industry). That sounds like you were insulted, and for what's it worth I simply don't think the article is doing the things you accuse it of. 

Either quote things in their entirety (and context) or don't quote at all. And yes, it's insulting to my intelligence to apply whatever problems a small segment of the outdoor world in a relatively minor area to the entire outdoor industry. 

2
 Basemetal 03 May 2021
In reply to TobyA:

> "Race" is a social construct

>So, from a policy perspective,

>ethnicity does have impacts on people's life chances. I don't think there are any simple answers to that, but claiming but ignoring race (and racism, implicit and explicit) isn't an answer either. 

Three big issues there.  Policy is maybe the one under discussion here, but climbing doesn't have policies. Ignoring race is more a matter of denying it explicit consideration, which is not unworkable. Ethnicity brings culture into play, which can challenge communication and behavioural expectations and can cut both ways in any interaction. In the case of a mixed race society as barbaric as the Brits - I won't subdivide further to spare blushes - I usually sympathise with the incomer. 

 Basemetal 03 May 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> Obviously the issue is that there are disadvantages and discrimination associated with being from a minority ethnic group. It’s truly bizarre that you thought that was ever in question.

Is it obvious? Are all minority ethnic groups disadvantaged? Much of the UK is owned by "ethnic minorities" and the upper echelons of our class system are quite cosmopolitan.

> Are you really saying that we should ignore the fact that many of the things on your list are associated with race/being a minority in case it accidentally offends… who? White people? Not talking about things because they are emotive is a dreadful strategy.

Nope. But emotive responses arise in forum discussions whenever a race card is perceived whether it is there or not. And if race is a construct that encodes an assemblage of social problems, it would be helpful to be able to address the problems irrespective of ethnicity. To discuss things constructively it's useful to get behind labelling and stereotyping. As an example, if I don't use the latest PC descriptors for your ethnicity /gender /relationship status you may choose to play the "offended" card, so some care is required.

In reply to neuromancer:

I don’t know anything about cricket but after a bit of Googling it very much looks like cricket was having serious discussions about racism and discrimination some years back. This appears to include an independent report commissioned by England and Wales Cricket Board that felt it necessary to specifically recommend that clubs banned the sale of overtly racist literature on their premises. They also advised on a wide range of initiatives to increase engagement from minority groups. So it sounds like cricket in the UK has had the same conversations, and come to many of the same conclusions that are being discussed in relation to climbing etc. They are just further along with those discussions. 

2
In reply to Basemetal:

> Is it obvious? Are all minority ethnic groups disadvantaged? Much of the UK is owned by "ethnic minorities" and the upper echelons of our class system are quite cosmopolitan.

I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that isn’t a deliberate distortion of what I said and what I was replying to. What is obvious is that someone’s race does not need ‘fixing’ and that being subjected to discrimination is a societal issue and not an innate and static part of not being white.  

> Nope. But emotive responses arise in forum discussions whenever a race card is perceived whether it is there or not. And if race is a construct that encodes an assemblage of social problems, it would be helpful to be able to address the problems irrespective of ethnicity. To discuss things constructively it's useful to get behind labelling and stereotyping. As an example, if I don't use the latest PC descriptors for your ethnicity /gender /relationship status you may choose to play the "offended" card, so some care is required.

Yes, racism and discrimination are emotive issues. I still don’t see that as reason enough to pretend they aren’t part of the picture. If you refuse to discuss factors that might interact with those social issues then it’s going to be much harder to understand and resolve them.  

Yes, we should be looking to resolve issues of inequality regardless of the cause but I think it’s naive to think there will be a one-size-fits-all solution that avoids the need for difficult conversations. As such I think it is important to look at how and why different people are affected by these issues. 

Post edited at 22:05
5
 Basemetal 03 May 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

It feels like you're talking past me at every turn. I can track the misunderstandings but each time I try to clarify another appears.

The societal issues are the issue, and not the races. Looking at how and why people are affected is the approach I've been recommending. A spin-off is that the very issues that need resolved go beyond race, which is where I came in.

4
 Marek 03 May 2021
In reply to climbingbadger:

> Nobody finds out the title until it's published, at which point so long as the science is solid why not? Obviously it does need to be good science, but in theory it shouldn't be published until it's peer reviewed anyway.

I would refer you to the earlier articles here on UKC "You Movement Matters" which laid its bias on the table in no uncertain terms *before* getting any survey data.

 Marek 03 May 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> I don’t know anything about cricket but after a bit of Googling it very much looks like cricket was having serious discussions about racism and discrimination some years back.

Very commendable, but to neuromancer's point, do you think they were agonising over the under-representation of Poles in cricket? I think not, and indeed I hope not.

 Tom V 03 May 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

i might be wrong but I thought the point was more about the lack of interest in cricket among the Polish community. I suspect Asians are prominent  in Yorkshire cricket at  club level  whereas people from an eastern European background are not. But no-one sees this as a problem or uses words like "under represented" when discussing this fact.

1
In reply to Stuart Williams:

I'm finding this series of articles annoyingly similar. It would be nice to hear some positive stories from BAME folks on the outdoors for a change. Surely the outdoors is a place to get away from this sort of ideologically motivated nonsense.

I have found the general responses on the forums comforting. Its great to see an open space for diverse opinion and robust debate. Something we are sadly losing in society. 

5
 olddirtydoggy 03 May 2021
In reply to martinbettridge06:

There was a great one on Epic TV's Youtube channel a few weeks back featuring Trevor Massiah. What was interesting is that he said that he'd not experienced any issues with racism in all the years he's been climbing, I thought that was a great endorsement for the UK climbing community.  That isn't to say everybody's experience is the same.

Post edited at 23:30
In reply to Basemetal:

> It feels like you're talking past me at every turn. I can track the misunderstandings but each time I try to clarify another appears.

I would say the same from my end, so something is obviously being lost in communication.

> The societal issues are the issue, and not the races.

As above, taken at face value this is stating the obvious. Race itself is obviously not the issue and no one is saying otherwise. If you mean something else can you rephrase it?

2
In reply to jimtitt:

> And yes, it's insulting to my intelligence to apply whatever problems a small segment of the outdoor world in a relatively minor area to the entire outdoor industry. 

Again, that seems to be what you are doing, not what the article says when you read it all. You deemed it both shouty and criticism applying to you.

1
 seankenny 03 May 2021
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

> There was a great one on Epic TV's Youtube channel a few weeks back featuring Trevor Massiah. What was interesting is that he said that he'd not experienced any issues with racism in all the years he's been climbing, I thought that was a great endorsement for the UK climbing community.  That isn't to say everybody's experience is the same.

Tho to be fair, the last time I heard a racist joke was in a climbers’ hut.

In reply to martinbettridge06:

> Surely the outdoors is a place to get away from this sort of ideologically motivated nonsense.

Are you saying that people experiencing, say, racism or sexism in climbing is "ideologically motivated nonsense"? 

11
In reply to Marek:

They appeared to be specifically looking at which groups were underrepresented in different parts of the country and trying to reach out to them. So quite possibly. But I wasn’t there to be able to confirm.

To neuromancer’s specific question: are there many/any Poles today coming forth to say that their racial identity is getting in the way of joining a cricket club? If so then yes it sounds like there might be something worth looking into. If not then it’s probably not a very relevant comparison to draw.

Post edited at 23:52
7
In reply to Tom V:

The point seemed to be that people supposedly didn’t feel cricket had a problem needing affirmative action. This contrasted with cricket apparently taking said affirmative action in the past. The fact that the result of this was not perfect statistical representation is an irrelevant straw man.

5
 olddirtydoggy 03 May 2021
In reply to seankenny:

Last time I heard a racist joke was from my mate Rob, worst thing is he's Jamaican!

4
 Roadrunner6 04 May 2021
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

That's not the point of this is it.

Overt racism is rarer nowadays (however, would we as white guys (assuming white) hear racism? I don't hear much Asian hate but I'm not Asian).

I'd love to say I'm amazed at the dislikes here. What's wrong with people trying to reach out to under represented groups? If you don't like it, ignore it. Why comment or hit the dislike? It grates that much that people want to help others?

You can smell the White Fragility on this thread from 2000 miles away.. And yes, being able to 'get away from it' is a prime example of white privilege. We can just shut out ears and eyes and pretend we have equality and equity.

27
 Roadrunner6 04 May 2021
In reply to martinbettridge06:

> I'm finding this series of articles annoyingly similar. It would be nice to hear some positive stories from BAME folks on the outdoors for a change. Surely the outdoors is a place to get away from this sort of ideologically motivated nonsense.

> I have found the general responses on the forums comforting. Its great to see an open space for diverse opinion and robust debate. Something we are sadly losing in society. 

"I'm finding this series of articles annoyingly similar."  And.. "Surely the outdoors is a place to get away from this sort of ideologically motivated nonsense."

So you don't seem to be so welcoming for an open space for diverse opinion and robust debate... you find it annoying and want to get away from this sort of ideologically motivated nonsense..

9
In reply to climbingbadger:

> It doesn't necessarily mean athletics is discriminatory against white people, just as BAME under-representation doesn't necessarily mean the climbing community is racially discriminatory.

Agreed.

What it does mean, though, is that we should look into both to determine why various communities are under- or over-represented, and if it turns out that it's due to discrimination in some way, we should take steps to resolve that. 

Absolutely.

> You're right that to have a perfect match, it would have to be forced, but you'd expect the demographics to be broadly similar over a statistically significant population. That's the entire point of statistics.

Is it? It seems a pretty blunt tool expressed in those terms.

> You're right; many different reasons would explain this. It might just be that people from these communities just have other hobbies instead, and that's perfectly acceptable - it's more linked to culture than anything else.

Exactly. This is where we should be looking, rather than deciding on the reason and trying to fit the statistics to support a hypothesis 

> But equally, we don't know that it's not due to discrimination, and that's the main issue. Once a few studies have been done, if it turns out not to be discrimination, then that's great; let's just carry on as we were.

But if the studies are designed to support the hypothesis, then they won't be objective.

> But if it is due to discrimination, if there are tens of thousands of black and asian people that want to try climbing and feel they can't, we'd need to do something about it.

Agreed, with the caveat that anyone who has barriers that prevent them from participating in climbing or any other outdoor pursuit needs that support

> I'm not accusing anyone of racism. Quite frankly, none of us have the facts to categorically state or deny that racism is a factor in this. Personally, while I'm not going to deny there are racists in the outdoor community (sadly, they're in every community in some amount), I'm more inclined to believe that under-representation is more down to socioeconomic and cultural factors. But none of us know that for sure.

Which is why we need objective, not subjective, data.

1
 olddirtydoggy 04 May 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

I was just replying to a comment above about the last time a poster had heard a racist joke. My post wasn't particularly related to the article but rather to the poster I was having a friendly exchange with.

I wouldn't read too much into the dislikes. Enjoy the discussion.

In reply to TobyA:

> It's not really an argument is it? It's saying that in 40 years, despite some good talk, not much has changed for ethnic minorities to find work in the outdoor industry, particularly at higher levels where they can affect policy.

Going back to the featured article:

> Why is there still a lack of BAME representation in organisations, particularly in employment and at board/senior level?

I think to get to board/senior level in any organisation you need to be fluent in corporate gobbledegook. The language used in recruitment is intentionally exclusionary. This isn't aimed at the BAME community in particular, it's designed to filter out anyone who isn't from the the same background or who hasn't been on the same Uni courses or who hasn't bought into the 'groupthink'.

I know full well that if my current role, (which is in no way, shape or form 'senior'), were to be advertised tomorrow I'd take one look at it and think "There's no way I'd be able to do that. I know what those words mean but it sounds so complex yet so vague that I would be ripped to pieces at the interview. No, no way is that job for me".

That's what excludes competant people from senior roles, they're not from the right strata of society that embraces corporate bullshit and meaningless phrases. That's why there's a lack of diversity at senior level, most normal people wouldn't want to work in that sort of environment.

5
In reply to Roadrunner6:

Are you saying equity is the desirable end game we should all persue?

In reply to Roadrunner6:

No, Roadrunner6. The open debate in the  forums, is a comforting antedote to the lack of diverse opinion in this series of articles. 

5
 Marek 04 May 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> ... If not then it’s probably not a very relevant comparison to draw.

Why not? The whole premise of this and the previous articles is the "lack of diversity" and "under-representation" of certain groups in some cherry-picked* outdoor activities is in and of itself a problem. If that's the case the lack of Poles at cricket is also a problem.

* I suspect that if there was a British Council for Picnics by the River, they would also be mystified about the fuss over outdoor diversity - whether of Poles or Asian families or many other officially "under-represented" groups. But I guess there's not much future in 'training', 'certification' or indeed any 'organisation' in picnicing.

4
In reply to seankenny:

> Tho to be fair, the last time I heard a racist joke was in a climbers’ hut.

Define racist, calling a yorkshire man tight? An Edinburgh resident posh jock? 

3
In reply to Ridge:

> Going back to the featured article:

> I think to get to board/senior level in any organisation you need to be fluent in corporate gobbledegook. The language used in recruitment is intentionally exclusionary. This isn't aimed at the BAME community in particular, it's designed to filter out anyone who isn't from the the same background or who hasn't been on the same Uni courses or who hasn't bought into the 'groupthink'.

The Issa brothers recently bought Asda, I'm sure they could play a game of bullshit bingo as well as anyone. 

Maybe it's cultural, family is a big thing (parents as much as kids), providing for their family is hugely important, but once a person reaches the comfortably point, do they sacrifice family time to push further up the food chain? 

Post edited at 08:12
 seankenny 04 May 2021
In reply to summo:

> Define racist, calling a yorkshire man tight? An Edinburgh resident posh jock? 

Are you suggesting that a joke about the colour of someone’s skin has no racial component whatsoever? Because that’s what the joke was about. 

 Marek 04 May 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> ... What's wrong with people trying to reach out to under represented groups?

Absolutely nothing - I wholeheartedly encourage it. What *is* wrong is equating 'under-representation' with 'racism' and trying to exploit a real social problem in pursuit of some narrow personal objectives (however reasonable they may be).

2
In reply to seankenny:

> Are you suggesting that a joke about the colour of someone’s skin has no racial component whatsoever? Because that’s what the joke was about. 

You never said what the joke was and i wasn't there. I made no suggestion. 

Was it a joke about Ginge, an anemic Scotsman breaking out the factor 50 because the sun came out? Or goths melting because it's over 20c? Context is of course everything, there are jokes, then there's abuse at others expense etc.. 

5
 Iamgregp 04 May 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

The amount of middle aged white blokes who are so quick to deny there is a problem any time this issue is raised is a source of huge frustration to me, and so I can only begin to imagine the frustration Pammy feels having been working this area for over 20 years.

14
In reply to Iamgregp:

> The amount of middle aged white blokes who are so quick to deny there is a problem any time this issue is raised is a source of huge frustration to me, and so I can only begin to imagine the frustration Pammy feels having been working this area for over 20 years.

I think you are missing the point middle aged white blokes are making. No one is saying bame etc.. are equally represented. The question is really why? Are opportunities being denied etc? Is it cultural? And so on. 

Personally i think it is class, wealth, education..    look at any outdoor sport that requires transport and equipment.. climbing, kayaking, caving, skiing etc. You'll find low numbers of those with low education, low wages and unskilled employment. The inner city white kid is just as poorly represented as any bame. University is often the entry point for many people to the outdoors and many other different clubs, if you don't go to university that social and sporting door never appears. 

Rather than quota chase for race, ethnicity, gender... society should try to create equally opportunities for everyone. 

Post edited at 11:17
 seankenny 04 May 2021
In reply to summo:

> You never said what the joke was and i wasn't there. I made no suggestion. 

> Was it a joke about Ginge, an anemic Scotsman breaking out the factor 50 because the sun came out? Or goths melting because it's over 20c? Context is of course everything, there are jokes, then there's abuse at others expense etc.. 


You think you're being clever but all I see is someone squirming to avoid the fact that racism exists.

As it happens, I used to go out with a very pale red haired woman. She'd endured a lifetime of ginger jokes and hated them, so I'm not particularly keen on those sorts of comments either. I see you're comparing goths to a race, which kind of suggests you enjoy playing down racism or don't really understand it.

10
In reply to seankenny:

> You think you're being clever but all I see is someone squirming to avoid the fact that racism exists.

No. I've never said it doesn't exist. But I don't see it as preventing access to the outdoors. 

I mentioned last time this came up I've an Ethiopian friend who's very competent at several outdoor sports, but is always presumed to be a novice by those who don't know him. I went to Kendal MFF years ago with him where he attracted a lot of stares. I'm not denying some folk are racist. But it hasn't stopped him climbing, biking, skiing, being on adventure racing teams. I find the outdoor community judges folk far more on ability than anything else. 

> As it happens, I used to go out with a very pale red haired woman. She'd endured a lifetime of ginger jokes and hated them, so I'm not particularly keen on those sorts of comments either. I see you're comparing goths to a race, which kind of suggests you enjoy playing down racism or don't really understand it.

No. I think you're reading too much into everything. 

Post edited at 11:26
4
 Marek 04 May 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

> The amount of middle aged white blokes who are so quick to deny there is a problem any time this issue is raised is a source of huge frustration to me, and so I can only begin to imagine the frustration Pammy feels having been working this area for over 20 years.

You could alleviate that frustration by actually reading what people have written rather than basing your reaction on what you though they wrote. Nobody - as far as I can see - has said there is no problem with racism. What they *have* said is 'lack of diversity' and 'under-representation' are not 'problems' in organised outdoor pursuits any more than (say) lack of Poles in cricket, or whites in Bollywood film festivals. 

You have to also distinguish between a 'social' problem like racism that affect the whole of society and a 'personal/corporate' problem which is a challenge for certain people and businesses, but not for society as a whole. If a cricket ground has empty seats they'd like to sell and see that Poles are "missing out on the joys of cricket", they can see that as a problem they should address. But it would be wrong for them to raise this as a social problem like racism.

So why is BAME under-representation in climbing any different?

1
 Iamgregp 04 May 2021
In reply to Marek:

And if you actually read my post you'd see that my comment wasn't limited to the content of this thread (though I do find some of the responses frustrating), but to the reaction of people any time this issue is raised, not just this one.  These reactions can be in person, social media or on internet forums. 

I've had discussions with prominent people in the industry (not going to name names) who have straight up said that there is no problem with racism or a lack of representation.  You weren't party to those conversations so, with all due respect, you have no reference to tell me how I should or shouldn't feel about them. 

20
 seankenny 04 May 2021
In reply to summo:

> No. I've never said it doesn't exist. But I don't see it as preventing access to the outdoors. 

> I mentioned last time this came up I've an Ethiopian friend who's very competent at several outdoor sports, but is always presumed to be a novice by those who don't know him. I went to Kendal MFF years ago with him where he attracted a lot of stares. I'm not denying some folk are racist. But it hasn't stopped him climbing, biking, skiing, being on adventure racing teams. I find the outdoor community judges folk far more on ability than anything else. 

So we have one ethnic minority Brit who has no problems (or at least, if he has, he hasn't told you about them), and another one saying there is a problem. Remarkably, you choose to believe the one that's most comfortable for you. Confirmation bias really is a thing!

Incidentally lots of black and Asian people have written about what they perceive are barriers to participation in outdoor activities and how some of those are based around race. Do you think their understanding of race in the UK is wrong, and if so, why?

> No. I think you're reading too much into everything. 

Erm no, you claimed that a joke about goths, ie a fashion choice, was on a par with jokes about racism. This kind of suggests you don't really understand racism, or would like to downplay it. I'm only "reading too much" into it because that's clearly an uncomfortable place to be.

8
 Marek 04 May 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

Fair enough - we're all driven by our own experiences.

In reply to seankenny:

> So we have one ethnic minority Brit who has no problems (or at least, if he has, he hasn't told you about them), and another one saying there is a problem. Remarkably, you choose to believe the one that's most comfortable for you. Confirmation bias really is a thing!

You aren't even reading what I write. I said racism does exist, I gave examples of how they've encountered racism. But, a big BUT, it doesn't stop participation. The outdoors is open (non covid times), if you have the motivation, free time and cash, then it's there for the taking. It's a class, or cultural issue, race isn't preventing access.

3
In reply to Marek:

No, that's clearly not the premise of either article. The participation numbers exist in a wider context. In both this article and the last one the authors were explicit in saying that their experience is that there is no shortage of people wanting to be involved in these activities, but that there are inequalities or other issues that prevent this from happening.

The previous article gave examples of subtle influences and messages that might make people feel uncomfortable or feel like they don't belong. This article talked about things like more overt racism from employers (comments about 'you people' etc). The numbers are just a simple metric that offer an, admittedly imperfect, insight into the possible scale of those issues.

So the problem as I see it is that when people are given the opportunities and do feel welcome the message is that a lot more people want to engage than currently are. Under-representation is being talked about as a problem because it exists in the context of people saying that they do in fact want to be represented.

So yes, I think it is meaningless and insulting to try to equate 'I just don't like cricket/climbing/whatever' with 'I feel I have been treated differently/worse due to my ethnicity throughout my career in outdoor education'.

3
 seankenny 04 May 2021
In reply to summo:

> You aren't even reading what I write. I said racism does exist, I gave examples of how they've encountered racism. But, a big BUT, it doesn't stop participation. The outdoors is open (non covid times), if you have the motivation, free time and cash, then it's there for the taking. It's a class, or cultural issue, race isn't preventing access.


Well, that's your view, and I'm sure the view of many posters on this thread.

However in 2019 DEFRA did some research into access to the countryside and their report says:

"Many communities in modern Britain feel that these landscapes hold no relevance for them. The countryside is seen by both black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and white people as very much a ‘white’ environment."

So we have access issues very much cast in terms of race from a government report into widening access. You may of course have done more, or more detailed, research into this issue than they did.

Post edited at 13:13
10
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

It's a poor article.  She makes some serious accusations but fails to back them up with detailed examples.  Similarly the "unethical behaviour" she alleges her organisation experienced may or may not be racist, we aren't given enough information to know. It's not that I disbelieve her, but if she wants me to share her anger she needs to do more to inform me what the problems are.

I have very little involvement with the "outdoor industry" apart from a few retailers so I don't feel able to comment on that aspect.  On the wider question of BAME participation, I am unclear exactly what the issue is. If it is that BAME people who express a wish to participate in the outdoors are facing barriers or are made to feel unwelcome then certainly that needs to be addressed.  If it is about trying to stimulate interest among those who previously haven't considered going into the outdoors then I am more cautious.  The outdoors already faces considerable pressure from overuse and encouraging more people, of any ethnicity, to participate will only add to that.  The approach the BMC traditionally took was to encourage newcomers but not to proselytise, and that still seems to me to be right.

1
In reply to seankenny:

> "Many communities in modern Britain feel that these landscapes hold no relevance for them. 

Context? What was the question? Is it because they are blocked from the outdoors, or the because it's an activity they don't know anyone else does? Because their parents wouldn't understand or approve? They can't afford the equipment? They don't have transport? None of their friends do it? Culturally there are pressures to do other things? 

> So we have access issues very much cast in terms of race from a government report into widening access. 

Access is not blocked though is it? It's the outdoors, you don't need to join a club, attend a course, you simply go and enjoy.

You still need to separate equal participation from equal access or availability, they aren't the same thing.  

3
 seankenny 04 May 2021
In reply to summo:

It’s telling that the one bit of my post that you don’t quote or engage with is this: “The countryside is seen by both black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and white people as very much a ‘white’ environment.” 
 

There may of course be issues around all the things you mention. And then the race aspect may be another one on top of those. Not to mention the way race gets mixed with other things such as income, as Toby mentions above. 

4
 Roadrunner6 04 May 2021
In reply to summo:

"society should try to create equally opportunities for everyone. :"

Not really. Equal opportunity doesn't lead to equity. https://edtrust.org/the-equity-line/equity-and-equality-are-not-equal/

It's the same bullshit we hear in the US by guys like Rush. I'm not saying you are like Rush BTW. Rush wouldn't have sent his kids to an inner city school with massive class sizes, a lack of recreation facilities and say we all have the same opportunity.

We can't just start again now and pretend we have equality.

When we encouraged immigrants to come over (1950's especially) it was for the menial jobs, https://www.bl.uk/windrush/articles/how-caribbean-migrants-rebuilt-britain#, that was why we encouraged immigration. So there's a huge poverty issue built over. We can't just simply separate race and poverty. A kid in a black family today is over twice as likely to grow up in poverty than a white kid in the UK. It's not much better for other races. We can't just separate the two and say it's a race issue, or it's just a poverty issue. It's both but that didn't happen by chance. It's similar in the US and UK (far worse in the US), https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/racial-discrimination-in-housing/. That didn't just happen by chance, but through long term racial discrimination in housing policies. Grenfell Tower really exposed this.

If your kid grows up in an inner city they don't have trails, they don't have soccer fields, they don't have crags. I grew up on the edge of Sheffield so from my house could bike in Ecclesall Woods and out to the dark peak, Totley moss etc. Had I grown up another 2-3 miles into Sheffield my exposure to the outdoors would have been considerably different. For me running out over Burbage was just pre-season soccer training, my Dad was training for Rugby so in the summer we'd run for 7-10 miles on the roads and trails around the peak. We just did that all the time. We didn't realize that wasn't a normal exposure for most kids. That certainly changed by perception of being outside. Our XC course in school PE class was out the back of Dore (we went to King Ecgberts), onto Blackamoor and back through the back of Totley into school. It was basically a fell race route. 

Post edited at 14:44
4
 Roadrunner6 04 May 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

> The amount of middle aged white blokes who are so quick to deny there is a problem any time this issue is raised is a source of huge frustration to me, and so I can only begin to imagine the frustration Pammy feels having been working this area for over 20 years.

It's incredible. Middle aged white man says he's colour blind and there is equal opportunity for all.

2
 Roadrunner6 04 May 2021
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Sorry the majority of the post was to the thread in general.

 Roadrunner6 04 May 2021
In reply to martinbettridge06:

> No, Roadrunner6. The open debate in the  forums, is a comforting antedote to the lack of diverse opinion in this series of articles. 

But the challenging articles have led to these open discussions. I think it's great UKC have taken these articles on.

 Marek 04 May 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> But the challenging articles have led to these open discussions. I think it's great UKC have taken these articles on.

Yes, up to a point. In my line of work, the bottom line was always "what difference did it make?" There's obviously a lot of entrenched opinions here (on both sides) which risks making the discussion somewhat sterile. Personally I really like to see a shift away from 'opinion' to 'data'. The survey from a couple of days back was right in highlighting the need for 'high-quality data', but then let itself down by producing a statistically pointless survey wrapped up in a blatantly biased introduction. That's never going to deliver 'high-quality data'. I hope that the people working in these field actually realise that to shift opinion in a context where there is little trust you have to back up your (possibly contentious) assertions with defensible data. Not anecdotes, not opinions, not assertion of 'experience' and not online self-selected surveys. Get some proper data and share it (and the methodology by which you got it) and you're far more likely to change hearts and minds.

 seankenny 04 May 2021
In reply to Marek:

Actually the data suggests data is poor at changing hearts and minds, and that stories work better. For most people, at any rate. You may be different, but anecdote is not data, right?
 

I think we have good evidence that in the U.K. race affects life chances independently of other factors. Why do you think the outdoor world is immune from that? What’s the mechanism that separates climbing and walking from other parts of society?

1
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> "society should try to create equally opportunities for everyone. :"

> Not really. Equal opportunity doesn't lead to equity.

The goal isn't equity. It won't be achieved. Everyone likes different things, have different influences, cultures, traditions, role models. What matters are opportunities. 

I think the uk throws too much money chasing medals and not enough for grass root sports. Many athletes get effectively paid for a decade, win a few golds, make a fortune afterwards through endorsements, the youngsters are left with peanuts, relying on the good will of volunteers and donations. 

Yeah some bame groups have a disadvantage in big cities in terms of access (Town and city planning is dire), but I wouldn't underestimate the disadvantage for white kids in inner cities either.The uk and usa share many of the same problems. The so-called American dream where folk slave away, minimum annual leave and family time for some aspiration most won't ever achieve. Or the uk low wage low tax zero hours workplaces, or the salaried culture where to 'get on' you need to work crazy hours. It doesn't leave many parents with time to introduce their kids to anything, schools haven't the funding because of the low tax. So only those with means get to participate in certain sports, it's all class driven. 

Why are more bame etc.. in the lower classes, inner cities, low paid jobs is a different argument. More bame in the middle classes, I bet you have higher participation in sports that require time, money and transport. 

Post edited at 15:37
 99ster 04 May 2021
In reply to summo:

> I think you are missing the point middle aged white blokes are making. No one is saying bame etc.. are equally represented. The question is really why? Are opportunities being denied etc? Is it cultural? And so on. 

> Personally i think it is class, wealth, education..    look at any outdoor sport that requires transport and equipment.. climbing, kayaking, caving, skiing etc. You'll find low numbers of those with low education, low wages and unskilled employment. The inner city white kid is just as poorly represented as any bame. University is often the entry point for many people to the outdoors and many other different clubs, if you don't go to university that social and sporting door never appears. 

> Rather than quota chase for race, ethnicity, gender... society should try to create equally opportunities for everyone. 

The first time I went to the alps and spent some days with a British Guide, I'll never forget the moment, as we walked up the approach to the Ferpecle Glacier, when he told me he'd first been there with his parents as a child on one of their many trips to the alps.  When I was a child that was the equivalent of going on a trip to the moon - and just about as likely amongst any of my friends or extended family.  Similarly, doing any type of outdoor activity in the UK when I was a child, teenager or young adult was pretty much incomprehensible for anyone from my background.  And I'm white and was excluded by class and poverty - until I was able to earn enough money myself to be able to afford to travel and participate.

Post edited at 15:39
1
 Roadrunner6 04 May 2021
In reply to summo:

"Yeah some bame groups have a disadvantage in big cities in terms of access (Town and city planning is dire), but I wouldn't underestimate the disadvantage for white kids in inner cities either."

Oh I don't. It's just proportionally more of the ethnic minorities are impacted by this planning.

I live in one of the most diverse and impoverished cities in Mass - which is a pretty well off state.

We have no publicly accessible running track. Roads are dreadful and dangerous. The public school kids all use the track at a council owned stadium which is under lock and key outside of organized use. So is the turf field. In the winter I jump the various fences but now we have light nights the police come and kick me off a facility paid for by my taxes.

I drive out to the suburbs where city owned running tracks and turf fields are all open to the public, but that takes a car and time. Those facilities are funded exactly the same way - yet only in the more affluent communities are they accessible. It's just another barrier to physical activity and health. It's one I can overcome but others more time constrained (or less selfish) won't. Those who live in impoverished areas of high housing density just have a much harder and less enjoyable time to try to exercise. 

Post edited at 15:57
 MonkeyPuzzle 04 May 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

The oft repeated line of "But what does under-representation matter if outdoor activities just aren't on people's radar?" seems to me to miss the point. Anyone on this website I assume *loves* the outdoors and has received much joy, wisdom, perspective and many other benefits besides from indulging in it. Cricket isn't a good analogy as nothing else really quite compares to the self-reliance, risk management, sense of adventure and often mind-boggling beauty that arsing around in the outdoors brings. I think people who aren't exposed to it are massively missing out on a source of deep pleasure and enrichment that can't be gained from cricket, football, kabaddi, basketball or whatever team sport tickles your pickle. 

The other angle is that greater diversity brings different perspectives and experiences to the activities we already love and can help enrich those experiences further. I include class in that as well as race and culture.

I get that it feels weird and almost wrong to encourage more people into the spaces we like often because of their emptiness, but the population continues to grow, so that argument is kind of moot.

I love the outdoors and I love sharing it even more.

5
 Marek 04 May 2021
In reply to seankenny:

> Actually the data suggests data is poor at changing hearts and minds, and that stories work better. For most people, at any rate. You may be different, but anecdote is not data, right?

You quite right - I am fairly data-driven and the general population may well be more story-driven (emotion driven?). However, from what I've seen whilst trying to keep up with this tread, most of the 'negativity' has been precisely due to lack of 'data' and the overabundance of 'stories'. Data may not change the world, but it would have gone a long way in shifting this parish - which I guess was the intended audience in the first place. 

> I think we have good evidence that in the U.K. race affects life chances independently of other factors. Why do you think the outdoor world is immune from that? What’s the mechanism that separates climbing and walking from other parts of society?

I don't and it doesn't. What I don't understand is how that race-opportunity relationship work - particularly from a causal perspective. All I'm asking is that if other people do, then tell us the answer but also show us how you got there (i.e., show us the data). Don't just say "trust me" - that's what politician say.

1
 Marek 04 May 2021
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> ... Cricket isn't a good analogy as nothing else really quite compares to the self-reliance, risk management, sense of adventure and often mind-boggling beauty that arsing around in the outdoors brings. I think people who aren't exposed to it are massively missing out on a source of deep pleasure and enrichment that can't be gained from cricket, football, kabaddi, basketball or whatever team sport tickles your pickle. 

I think that's a dangerous line to take. I know plenty of people (even in my family) for whom "self-reliance, risk management, sense of adventure" is something to be avoided rather than sought. We're all different and I really wouldn't play the "my lifestyle/sport is better than yours" card.

Although I wholly agree with you sentiments from a personal point of view!

 MonkeyPuzzle 04 May 2021
In reply to Marek:

> I think that's a dangerous line to take. I know plenty of people (even in my family) for whom "self-reliance, risk management, sense of adventure" is something to be avoided rather than sought. We're all different and I really wouldn't play the "my lifestyle/sport is better than yours" card.

Not better per se, but totally different so as to not be a good analogy. A better analogy would be if we could see groups of people that didn't take part in any team sports whatsoever, but I doubt that we do - Polish people might not play cricket but they certainly play football, and it's not like black people, for instance, are under-represented in climbing yet bang into sea-kayaking. It's outdoor activities in general and that's why I think it's right to be concerned about representation - the outdoors and "natural" landscape is everyone's birthright and I really believe people are missing out.

> Although I wholly agree with you sentiments from a personal point of view!

I'm glad. I've gained so much from being in the outdoors from an early age and I just don't believe that, given the representation and opportunity, plenty people from any community wouldn't get the same from it as I do.

1
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> I'm glad. I've gained so much from being in the outdoors from an early age and I just don't believe that, given the representation and opportunity, plenty people from any community wouldn't get the same from it as I do.

You might be surprised.  I live in a village on the edge of the Peak District where the majority are comfortable middle class.  Some go for local walks, but I suspect very few participate in what we on this forum would consider hillwalking, let alone climbing and mountaineering.  We're surrounded by hills, everyone has cars and disposable income, but a lot of them simply aren't interested.  

What we do isn't special. Of course it is to us, but people find pleasures in different things.  People get just as passionate about golf, or running, or gardening, or stamp collecting, none of which float my boat. I've taken people walking for whom it's been a pleasant enough day out but it hasn't lit any fires in them.  During a brief stint at an outdoor centre I introduced kids from deprived backgrounds to the outdoors, and they all hated it and couldn't wait to get back to the city.

I got into the outdoors because I fell in love with the Welsh scenery on childhood holidays. We didn't walk, we drove around looking at the views through the car windows (and usually through sheets of rain) but I wanted to get out into it.  I can appreciate and enjoy lowland scenery but don't usually feel the same urge.

Of course if BAME people who wish to participate face barriers then we should try to remove them.    However some of the barriers have nothing to do with race, but are the difficulties that urban dwellers face in pursuing activities in remote and distant rural areas.

1
In reply to Stuart Williams:

I'm so impressed at the patience you and some others (Toby especially, hats off), demonstrate on a thread where triggered white men take not inconsiderable efforts to decry another (as you say), thought-provoking article. I was genuinely quite disturbed to click the link and see a ratio of down to up votes at very nearly 3:1. That really is quite a pile on and makes me for one feel pretty awkward.

23
 Tom V 04 May 2021
In reply to sg:

What does triggered mean in this context?

1
In reply to sg:

Thanks. I appreciate that. 

 Roadrunner6 04 May 2021
In reply to Howard J:

"However some of the barriers have nothing to do with race, but are the difficulties that urban dwellers face in pursuing activities in remote and distant rural areas."

Which are partly at least due to race..

8
 Tom V 04 May 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

And partly not, if you are white.

1
 Roadrunner6 04 May 2021
In reply to Tom V:

> And partly not, if you are white.

So partly to do with race.. so basically you agree with me. 

I'm guessing you aren't willfully ignorant.

Are you saying a greater proportion of homeless people are BAME than in the population just by chance? Are you saying the greater proportion of BAME that live in inner city areas of high housing density is just by chance?

So either there's discrimination in the uK housing system or white people just work harder or are cleverer than the BAME? Ir do you believe it's just some random coincidence?

If it was just random chance we shouldn't see stark differences based on race. How else do you explain it?

The fragility on this thread is astounding. It's ok to admit we got the better deal and should support policies to redress the situation.

Post edited at 23:33
11
 Bobling 04 May 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I went to Wales for the first time since 2019 at the weekend.  We parked at Tintern Abbey and walked up to the Devil's Pulpit.  It was a beautiful walk on a beautiful day.

I was suprised and heartened by the number of brown faces I saw on the way, particularly as I was thinking of the 'Your Movement Matters' thread.

I imagine a lot of the backlash against this piece is from white men who are facing another article or opinion piece which, in their lived experience, boils down to "White = BAD".  

3
 Basemetal 04 May 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> Are you saying a greater proportion of homeless people are BAME than in the population just by chance? Are you saying the greater proportion of BAME that live in inner city areas of high housing density is just by chance?

Just on a point of information, from https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/housing/homelessness/statutory-homelessness/latest

"in 2017/18, there were 56,580 households in England in 'statutory homelessness', which is when a household is unintentionally homeless and is considered a priority (for example, because it has dependent children) – of those, 35,020 (or 62%) were White households (including White ethnic minorities)"

"14% of all homeless households were Black, 9% were Asian, 4% were from a Mixed ethnic background and 4% were from the Other ethnic group; ethnicity wasn't known for 6% of homeless households"

2
 Roadrunner6 05 May 2021
In reply to Basemetal:

Yeah and 87% of the UK are white, so we'd expect something similar.

White 87.2%

Black* 3%

Asian/Asian British: Indian2.3%

Asian/Asian British: Pakistani 1.9%

https://www.statista.com/statistics/270386/ethnicity-in-the-united-kingdom/

Yet 14% of the homeless are black and only 62% white. Pretty shocking.

TBH I'm not surprised. In countries like the UK and US where actual overt racism is rearing its ugly head on a weekly basis, that's only the tip of the iceberg, below that is a huge submerged iceberg full of covert racism. You don't get overt racism without a lot beneath it.

7
 Roadrunner6 05 May 2021
In reply to sg:

> I'm so impressed at the patience you and some others (Toby especially, hats off), demonstrate on a thread where triggered white men take not inconsiderable efforts to decry another (as you say), thought-provoking article. I was genuinely quite disturbed to click the link and see a ratio of down to up votes at very nearly 3:1. That really is quite a pile on and makes me for one feel pretty awkward.

It does at least finally nail this view that UKC is some liberal leftie dominated forum. 

7
 Blanche DuBois 05 May 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Many responses in this thread are depressingly similar to those of the various recent gender threads, where a bunch of white entitled guys of a certain age insist that they understand the issues better than someone actually experiencing it.  Just as depressing are the dislikes to the article, and the posts dissing it - funny how often articles written by women seem to get rubbished.

14
 neuromancer 05 May 2021
In reply to Blanche DuBois:

Or perhaps evidence isn't the plural of anecdote. Who knows - pick whichever makes you feel better about yourself (as so many others have).

1
In reply to Blanche DuBois:

> Just as depressing 

So is the inability of so many to break down and analyse a problem.

No one, not a single poster has said the outdoors are equally represented by all walks of life; gender, race, ethnicity, age...  but the outdoors doesn't care, it's not alive, there are no physical barriers to access caves, rivers, mountains etc.  They are there right now, just sitting there.

The barriers are in society, free time and spare money. Look at any sport that requires some level of equipment and travel, there will be a massive class divide. 

Many bame folk are disadvantaged by society, education, welfare, work places etc..  this is the cultural racism that means folk don't have spare time and cash to do any sport, not just hillwalking for example. On a saturday when the middle class person of any ethnicity is pulling up at pen y pass, many of the less well off will be doing an extra job trying to make ends meet. 

If you like, the lack of diversity in many sports is a symptom of how divided society is, yes there are proportionally more bame people in this class too. The reality is if you can afford to go away to the outdoors several times a month, in a £50k car, perhaps to your second home, you should be paying more tax, more for good and services, which in time will make things more equal for everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity. 

Post edited at 08:10
4
In reply to neuromancer:

I think the above exchange about homelessness demonstrates that it doesn’t matter what format the evidence is in, there is a complete disregard for what it actually says. Apparently trying to refute the idea that white people are less likely to be homeless, someone has posted stats confirming that white people are indeed less likely to be homeless. If you just don’t care what the evidence says, at least give yourself the questionable dignity of admitting it.

Secondly, people’s experiences are one form of evidence. Not a perfect form of evidence but neither is any other. Over the years it has been realised that when you want to understand how other people experience the world it helps to actually speak to them first and listen to what they have to say. It’s hard otherwise to know what is relevant to something you’ve never experienced yourself and the resulting evidence tends to be worthless. For example I’m sure summo could design a lovely study on how many people have been physically removed from parks that would tell us absolutely nothing of use or relevance. 

4
 Philb1950 05 May 2021
In reply to 99ster:

I came from a working class background in Stockport. I could see the distant hills and vowed to go there. Back in the day with another friend we hitched to the Peak and climbed on Burbage in pumps. That was it, hooked. We had some homemade gear a borrowed rope but a mass of motivation. I went to the library to research climbing and dreamed about climbing. The first gear we bought was paid for in instalments from a local shop as we couldn’t afford the up front cost. We even organised a dance to pay for a rope. Eventually I went to the Alps along with some homemade gear and in our first season we did 3 of the classic N faces including the Eiger. So no barriers to entry, just commitment required. This story is by no means unique as the history of climbing is full of poor (although we didn’t feel poor) working class climbers, non of whom went on a course or were coerced into climbing. Just desire and a lust for adventure.

5
In reply to Stuart Williams:

I give up. The problem is the divided society, class etc.. a mountain can't be racist, but racism can stop a person having the time and money to get there. 

This debate is bit like any nhs debate, folk aren't allowed to analyse a problem, to break it down, because they get labelled as being against something, as attacking it.

We could all just go along with happy clappy luvvie sentiment and all feel good, a big love in, lots of like button pressing, but that won't change anything. Problems need to be analysed, divided into smaller solvable components, which collectively improve things. 

2
In reply to summo:

> Many bame folk are disadvantaged by society, education, welfare, work places etc.. 

Well yes. That’s what people would like to see change. I don’t think the answer to systemic discrimination is to just say “don’t worry guys, it’s only systemic discrimination”. 

7
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> Well yes. That’s what people would like to see change. I don’t think the answer to systemic discrimination is to just say “don’t worry guys, it’s only systemic discrimination”. 

I don't think anyone is saying that. They are saying the systemic discrimination is what needs tackling, not specific symptoms of it.

 Fior eun 05 May 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Thank you to Pammy and UK Climbing for publishing this article. Like others, it left me with more questions about Pammy's article and I have read more of her and others' work and learned more about diversity issues in the outdoors. As sg said, thank you to all of those who have tried to keep the thread engaged constructively with the issue. The other articles in the series have been great too.

This forum seems to be an example of the issues with diversity in the outdoors; it is a very unwelcoming place unless you are a certain type of person.

The denial and dismissal of diversity issues on this thread is really depressing, but not surprising, as others have said, previous diversity threads have gone the same way. I don't know how we can discuss this subject without threatened white middle aged men responding in such negative, destructive ways.

In my environmental advocacy work, I always look for common ground and small steps when trying to influence behaviour. I'm struggling to see how this can be done with diversity in the outdoors. 

I do hope that UK Climbing continues to publish these articles.

Post edited at 09:30
11
 seankenny 05 May 2021
In reply to summo:

> I give up. The problem is the divided society, class etc.. a mountain can't be racist, but racism can stop a person having the time and money to get there. 

 

No one is saying “the mountain is racist”...

> This debate is bit like any nhs debate, folk aren't allowed to analyse a problem,

The thing is, you have dismissed any race aspect to outdoor participation rates to favour your own ideas about class and income. That doesn’t look particularly analytical to me I’m afraid. 

> We could all just go along with happy clappy luvvie sentiment and all feel good, a big love in, lots of like button pressing, but that won't change anything. Problems need to be analysed, divided into smaller solvable components, which collectively improve things. 

First we need to understand the problem. This thread and others like it are full of middle aged white men telling others that race is irrelevant. Trying to pretend there isn’t a problem.

It looks defensive, and insecure, though I get that you guys’ collective self-image is one of fearless truth seekers.

7
 seankenny 05 May 2021
In reply to Philb1950:

> I came from a working class background in Stockport. I could see the distant hills and vowed to go there. Back in the day with another friend we hitched to the Peak...

A similar story came up the last time the UKC wrinklies turned their collective wisdom to race matters. Young black and Asian guys were regularly beaten up and on occasion killed in the 1960s and 70s. Plus the usual round of abuse and threats. Do you really think hitching was open to your non-white contemporaries? Was their failure to hitchhike down to a lack of commitment?

Post edited at 09:48
5
 Marek 05 May 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> Secondly, people’s experiences are one form of evidence. Not a perfect form of evidence but neither is any other. Over the years it has been realised that when you want to understand how other people experience the world it helps to actually speak to them first and listen to what they have to say. It’s hard otherwise to know what is relevant to something you’ve never experienced yourself and the resulting evidence tends to be worthless...

Absolutely right, peoples experience is certainly a key starting point in that it indicates that there may indeed be a wider problem that needs to be understood. But it doesn't stop there. The experiences are valuable in order to figure out how to collect some relevant and statistically meaningful data that actually says something about the population as a whole (and about the underlying causality of the problem) as opposed to saying something about individuals. Then you have the basis on which you can do something really useful and effective.

I'm probably going to get berated for this but it seems that so much of this argument is predicated on "my opinion (experience...) is more important than any facts (data...)." I came to expect that attitude from Trump - I'd hoped the find better here.

5
 seankenny 05 May 2021
In reply to Marek:

> You quite right - I am fairly data-driven and the general population may well be more story-driven (emotion driven?). However, from what I've seen whilst trying to keep up with this tread, most of the 'negativity' has been precisely due to lack of 'data' and the overabundance of 'stories'. Data may not change the world, but it would have gone a long way in shifting this parish - which I guess was the intended audience in the first place. 

 

So if I understand the research well (happy to be corrected), all human beings are subject to biases that they prefer over and above what data says. In fact clever people who understand data will use those abilities to search for information and create arguments that support their chosen story, rather than being objective. This is why intellectual changes are often generational rather than personal. Unfortunately by ignoring this tendency, you place yourself most at risk from it. 

> I don't and it doesn't. What I don't understand is how that race-opportunity relationship work - particularly from a causal perspective. All I'm asking is that if other people do, then tell us the answer but also show us how you got there (i.e., show us the data). Don't just say "trust me" - that's what politician say.

I’m not sure data can ever tell quite the causal story you want. There are examples of using data to shed light on theories as to how discrimination works, plenty in the field of labour economics for example. But we can learn a lot about the causal mechanisms of racism through listening to people, reading novels, trying to understand what they are saying. You might also want to think about why data doesn’t exist, after all capturing it requires time and effort - why do we have some data and not others? 

1
 Basemetal 05 May 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> Apparently trying to refute the idea that white people are less likely to be homeless, someone has posted stats confirming that white people are indeed less likely to be homeless. 

I'm guessing you're referring to the UK homeless by ethnicity stats I posted last night? They were for information following a post that referred to just the point the stats confirmed. Being 2017-18 figures they were an advancement on the 2011 census data we've been referring to, albeit only available for England and Wales.

One thing about the term racism though - I think JHoward said it above but I can't check on this device while posting - not all the effects of racial identity can be called racism. Being an economic migrant or from a migrant family often involves great loss, or a reset, or starting again from a disadvantaged position compared to indigent peers. The effects  can be undesirable and have wide reaching  consequences, even for generations, but aren't racism. The data supporting continuing disadvantages bring experienced is not evidence of racism. Your race just makes you a conveniently identifiable category for statisticians.

Racists think other races are significantly different and usually inferior as people. That is a serious accusation bandied about too lightly and diluting it's horror. Summo's points on the priorities of the less well off do a lot of explaining with regard to participation in a potentially costly pastime.

This isn't 'white fragility'. No-one on this thread has been anything but supportive of the desired diversity, but many of us are trying to see what is really going on. 

2
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

There are two quite separate issues here.  One is the question of race.  That can again be divided into actual racism  (whether overt or unconscious), which the outdoor community can at least try to do something about ourselves.  The other is the reported concerns by BAME people that they will face racism and that the countryside is "not for them", which may be based on their perceptions and fears rather than actual evidence.  That perception, along with the cultural barriers, can probably only be addressed from within BAME communities themselves, and it is a good thing that is starting to happen.

Poverty is a separate issue.  Yes, it may disproportionately affect BAME communities.  However not all BAME people are poor, but they still don't engage with the outdoors.  It is an additional obstacle that many but not all may have to face. It can certainly be argued that poverty disportionately affecting BAME communities is itself due to racism, but that is a wider problem for society as a whole and is beyond the scope of the outdoor community or outdoor industry to fix.

2
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I'm not quite sure what this anecdote tells us, but the last time I went up Snowdon by the Miners Path it was a blazing hot day and it was packed with visitors.  There were quite a lot of Asian families there.  The older men were in suits, street shoes and turbans, the women in saris and strappy gold sandals, the younger ones in tracksuits and trainers (it's a well-paved path and the weather was good so they weren't at significant risk).  

2
 Roadrunner6 05 May 2021
In reply to Basemetal:

You stats directly supported what I said.

 Roadrunner6 05 May 2021
In reply to Howard J:

"Poverty is a separate issue. Yes, it may disproportionately affect BAME communities. However not all BAME people are poor"

Then it's not a separate issue.

I thought this was the case in the US. I didn't realize that the US was purposely designed so black people lived in poor areas.

Do you think it was random that in Grenfell tower disaster 85% were non-white? After Grenfell I'm amazed people still think poverty and race aren't connected in the UK.

4
 Basemetal 05 May 2021
In reply to Howard J:

Ive met an extended Asian family at the lochans in Coire an t-Sneachda and one going through Nevis Gorge toward Steall Falls with all the ladies in saris. I've also met folk in bikinis... 

I don't think the anecdotes tell us anything, so I'm surprised you've got a downtick already. 

In reply to Roadrunner6:

> Do you think it was random that in Grenfell tower disaster 85% were non-white? After Grenfell I'm amazed people still think poverty and race aren't connected in the UK.

Isn't that exactly the point people are making; that the root of the problem might not be in the outdoor industry but rather in systemic racism which tends to make people of some races poorer.

1
 Basemetal 05 May 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> Do you think it was random that in Grenfell tower disaster 85% were non-white? After Grenfell I'm amazed people still think poverty and race aren't connected in the UK.

Doesn't the Grenfell cladding issue now affect a huge number of tower flats? Are all those tenants and owners victims of racism too?

I'm sympathetic to some of the things you're posting but sloppy reasoning is counterproductive.

2
 Basemetal 05 May 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> You stats directly supported what I said.

I know

 Marek 05 May 2021
In reply to seankenny:

> So if I understand the research well (happy to be corrected), all human beings are subject to biases that they prefer over and above what data says. In fact clever people who understand data will use those abilities to search for information and create arguments that support their chosen story, rather than being objective. This is why intellectual changes are often generational rather than personal. Unfortunately by ignoring this tendency, you place yourself most at risk from it. 

Oh, I'm well aware of my own biases and do try to avoid them influencing what I do (where it matters).

> I’m not sure data can ever tell quite the causal story you want. There are examples of using data to shed light on theories as to how discrimination works, plenty in the field of labour economics for example. But we can learn a lot about the causal mechanisms of racism through listening to people, reading novels, trying to understand what they are saying.

My position is that you need both - the stories and the data. The stories can give you a flavour of the problem, they can give you hints as to where to look, what to ask. But they can't tell you how prevalent the issues are in the population, which are societal, which are personal. For that you need data from a sample that can be extrapolated to the population.

> You might also want to think about why data doesn’t exist, after all capturing it requires time and effort - why do we have some data and not others? 

Yes, it takes time and effort. I'd go further and say it's a bloody hard task to do rigorously - particularly making sure your sample really is representative of the population - but surely if we believe that this is a serious issue, then it's worth making the effort to do it properly?

 seankenny 05 May 2021
In reply to Basemetal:

> Doesn't the Grenfell cladding issue now affect a huge number of tower flats? Are all those tenants and owners victims of racism too?

> I'm sympathetic to some of the things you're posting but sloppy reasoning is counterproductive.

From Danny Dorling:

”... above the fifth floor of all housing in England and Wales a minority of children are white. Most children growing up in the tower blocks of London and Birmingham - the majority of children 'living in the sky' in Britain - are black.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2005/sep/25/communities.politics?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

So the cladding issue is more likely to put ethnic minority kids at risk than white ones. 

More on housing and race from the LSE here:

https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/racial-discrimination-in-housing/

Post edited at 13:08
 Basemetal 05 May 2021
In reply to Marek:

> Yes, it takes time and effort. I'd go further and say it's a bloody hard task to do rigorously - particularly making sure your sample really is representative of the population - but surely if we believe that this is a serious issue, then it's worth making the effort to do it properly?

Browsing the uk.gov ethnicity pages It's striking how tentative the "ethnic group" sections are. There have been several versions of the (quote)  "design pattern for asking users for their ethnic group." (unquote). In the detail, it is stressed that responding to the "equality questions" is optional, and then guidance given on how to present the questions. 

And there lies a significant problem - the instruments for collecting ostensibly objective official data are themselves vague and incomplete. If a  government form tells me I don't have to give information, guess what... unless I'm trying to make a point. And that's a major hindrance  when it comes to subsequent use and data interpretation of the data.

It's a philosophical truism that any finite data set can support many different hypotheses, even contradictory hypotheses. It's another that few are literate in statistical inference and propositional logic. And of course, it's true that clever people can often defend bad positions. So I'm always critical when I read arguments.

This isn't a pro or anti comment re the current discussion, but I find it a worrying weakness in the underpinnings of the 'official' data either way.

 Basemetal 05 May 2021
In reply to seankenny:

That's a shocking article. Even though written in 2005, if accurate I'm gobsmacked.

Found this bit surprising too...

"while the levels of geographical isolation of people of Catholic faith in Scotland exceed those of any minority religious or ethnic group in England."

In reply to seankenny:

> So the cladding issue is more likely to put ethnic minority kids at risk than white ones. 

> More on housing and race from the LSE 

But who are the racists, the councils with no money to spend? The voters selecting parties knowing their policies? The town planners? The public spending their money on companies who pay minimum wage, and near zero corporation tax? The middle class who don't want social housing in their villages? it's the whole society again, a culmination of several issues, there isn't one root cause to target. 

1
 Roadrunner6 05 May 2021
In reply to summo:

> But who are the racists, the councils with no money to spend? The voters selecting parties knowing their policies? The town planners? The public spending their money on companies who pay minimum wage, and near zero corporation tax? The middle class who don't want social housing in their villages? it's the whole society again, a culmination of several issues, there isn't one root cause to target. 

That's literally the definition of institutional racism.. it's so embedded in our society and organizations we can't/don't see it. Because it's just the norm. There's no one thing to address.

6
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> That's literally the definition of institutional racism.. it's so embedded in our society and organizations we can't/don't see it. Because it's just the norm. There's no one thing to address.

Yeah. Or class elitism... folk keeping voting, shopping, living the way they do because if they change they'll know that whilst others lives might become slightly better, their own standard of living will take a hit. No one individually is prepared to make a stance. 

As the saying goes, the billionaires have convinced those earning £20/hr that those earning £10/hr are the problem. 

1
 seankenny 05 May 2021
In reply to summo:> Yeah. Or class elitism...

A case in point: we have something that’s basically the definition of an issue of institutional racism, and once again you are ignoring this and saying it’s all a class/income issue. This is... interesting. 

8
In reply to seankenny:

> A case in point: we have something that’s basically the definition of an issue of institutional racism, and once again you are ignoring this and saying it’s all a class/income issue. This is... interesting. 

No it's not. It's class, there might be more bame in the lowest classes, but it is still a class divide. A white kid in a london tower block isn't more likely to be in the north wales mountains this weekend than a black kid. They are both equally disadvantaged. 

You do realise that just ranting it's racism doesn't actually identify how it's racism? Or how or where you think the problem is? Rather keep saying I'm wrong, explain how you think it's not class? What stops 'bame' people just hitting the mountains tomorrow? 

6
In reply to seankenny:

I understand why you won't accept it's class, because it means we're part of the problem. If you call it racism, even if you can't identify who or what is actually racist in the hills, you feel like it's not your fault. 

4
 fred99 05 May 2021
In reply to seankenny:

> It’s telling that the one bit of my post that you don’t quote or engage with is this: “The countryside is seen by both black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and white people as very much a ‘white’ environment.” 

It's only a "white" environment during heavy snows.

The rest of the time it's a GREEN environment, so equally fair game for all colours.

7
 fred99 05 May 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> If your kid grows up in an inner city they don't have trails, they don't have soccer fields, they don't have crags. 

What about the Creag Dubh from Glasgow ? Were Joe Brown and Don Whillans members of the aristocracy or the sons of Bank Managers ? Did climbing walls exist before (or even during) the 70's ?

Way back we were more inclined to actually get off our backsides to go somewhere and to do things, nowadays youngsters want it handed to them on a plate, and immediately if not sooner at that. That is the real difference.

8
 Roadrunner6 05 May 2021
In reply to fred99:

Ah the exception.. great.

And let's just blame lazy kids.

Bloody hell boomer. Come on what rubbish.

11
 fred99 05 May 2021
In reply to seankenny:

> A similar story came up the last time the UKC wrinklies turned their collective wisdom to race matters. Young black and Asian guys were regularly beaten up and on occasion killed in the 1960s and 70s. Plus the usual round of abuse and threats. Do you really think hitching was open to your non-white contemporaries? Was their failure to hitchhike down to a lack of commitment?

Interesting that you have such a reliable knowledge of what went on in the 60's and 70's - considering (according to your profile) you were born in 1976 !

I acknowledge there was racism, but I only ever saw it from Brummies, not from the surrounding towns which is where I lived then and now - in fact we were ourselves abused as "country bumpkins" by those very same city dwellers from Birmingham. Indeed even now the only racists I have (unfortunately) come across are either living in or from Birmingham itself.

It was a different time anyway, and then is not now. So whatever helped or hindered people (of whatever background) regarding getting into the outdoors half a century ago has no grounds to be a factor today.

What is true is that some people don't necessarily want to spend many hours of their leisure time sweating their way up a mountain in rain, sleet and snow.

9
In reply to Roadrunner6:

The difference is that if poverty were to be eliminated so inner-city dwellers were no longer put off accessing the outdoors by the cost, BAME people would still face obstacles due to race.  That may also be what is deterring BAME people who aren't poor.

5
 Marek 05 May 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> Ah the exception.. great.

This must be one of those 'irregularities' I always struggled with in the English language: I have stories and experiences, you have exceptions.

1
 Roadrunner6 05 May 2021
In reply to Marek:

But with things like this we talk about experiences on a population level.

It's like I know 90 year old cancer patients who survived covid. That doesn't mean that's the typical experience of a 90 year old cancer patient.

My mates dad was actually part of those old Scottish guys, they'd sleep under bridges, hitching every where, impressive hard guys but far from the norm. Never mind that poor Glaswegian males have about the worst life expectancy of any group in the UK. it's something like 10 years less than affluent males from the SE.

 Marek 05 May 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> But with things like this we talk about experiences on a population level.

Exactly my point! But to talk at the 'population level' you have to know how to extrapolate from the sample experiences. You can't do that if you don't know the selection criteria of the samples against the population. 

> It's like I know 90 year old cancer patients who survived covid. That doesn't mean that's the typical experience of a 90 year old cancer patient.

So what do you do? If you want to characterise the experiences of 90 year old cancer patients you would normally come up with a robust method of selecting a random sample of sufficient size (not easy to do in the real world), record their experiences and extrapolate. If your sample was sufficiently random (i.e., representative of the whole) then the characteristics of the sample will approach the characteristics of the population and you'll be able to say something defensible about the typical experience of a 90 year old cancer patient. If you're not careful about your sample selection, then you've wasted you time - you can only talk (defensibly) about the experiences of the people in the sample, not of the whole population.

1
 Basemetal 05 May 2021
In reply to Howard J:

> The difference is that if poverty were to be eliminated so inner-city dwellers were no longer put off accessing the outdoors by the cost, BAME people would still face obstacles due to race.  That may also be what is deterring BAME people who aren't poor.

This might help me understand your point of view - what obstacles to accessing the outdoors are there that area due to race per se?

 Philb1950 05 May 2021
In reply to seankenny:

No, they had no interest whatsoever in climbing and to my knowledge nobody has been assaulted for wanting to go climbing. As an example, a couple of  disadvantaged old wrinklys of Asian background and friends of mine from the 70,s were the “ Sids”, big and little. They had no problems of the type you mention, as climbing had no barriers just a common love of the sport. You might have heard of little Sid, Rehan Siddiqui to you, who eventually became president of the BMC, so it doesn’t seem the odds were stacked against him too much.  

3
In reply to Marek:

That’s really not what you would normally do when studying things like people’s experiences. Normally, while day dreaming about the once in a blue moon combination of opportunity and funding needed to do a study of that size and complexity, people make do with cautious inferences from imperfect data. Would be nice to have more of the studies you talk about (although those still have limitations) but in the real world sometimes perfect is the enemy of good. 

Post edited at 18:39
 Marek 05 May 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> That’s really not what you would normally do ... make do with cautious inferences from imperfect data.

> ... but in the real world sometimes perfect is the enemy of good. 

You are probably right, but the 'good' - and especially the 'not actually very good at all' -  should at least aspire to the 'perfect' (and in particular understand the consequences of falling  short) rather than just ignore it the whole 'rigour' business.

 Tom V 05 May 2021
In reply to Philb1950:

I can't imagine a magazine caption like 

"Sid, Sid, the Karachi Kid"

would go down too well these days.

Post edited at 19:40
 seankenny 05 May 2021
In reply to summo:

> No it's not. It's class, there might be more bame in the lowest classes, but it is still a class divide. A white kid in a london tower block isn't more likely to be in the north wales mountains this weekend than a black kid. They are both equally disadvantaged. 

> You do realise that just ranting it's racism doesn't actually identify how it's racism? Or how or where you think the problem is? Rather keep saying I'm wrong, explain how you think it's not class? What stops 'bame' people just hitting the mountains tomorrow? 


The comment you’re replying to was about the Grenfell/housing issue rather than outdoor sports, but whatever. Is a white kid in a tower block equally disadvantaged? Well, we know that black people earn less than white people even when education is controlled for, so quite possibly not. That’s without starting on rates of school exclusions, police harassment, etc. 
 

Anyhow, onto the meat of your post...
 

One could equally say “you’re certain it’s class, where’s the evidence?” Luckily access to the countryside is a question the govt is interested in and they include “visits to the natural environment” as a question in one of their household surveys. 


https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/culture-and-community/culture-and-heritage/visits-to-the-natural-environment/latest

Look at section 4, comparing visits to the natural environment by social class and ethnicity. It’s at the level of white/not white to ensure statistical robustness, so we can’t drill down more than that unfortunately. If you consider the “higher and intermediate managerial” level, we see white visits in the last week at 46.8% as compared to 28.4% for non-whites of the same social class.

Now the obvious weakness here is that we can’t control for location. After all, perhaps all the black and Asian professionals are concentrated in London and hardly any in cities like Leeds where it’s easier to access the countryside. But would that really skew the responses by nearly 20 percentage points? That seems a little unlikely to me. 
 

So we have some evidence here that there is a race element in decisions around visiting the natural environment, at least at the level of all non-white people lumped together. Clearly I say race is a factor, not racism: there may be some exogenous preference(s) shared by none white people (both immigrants and native Brits) that predispose them to not visiting the countryside. Or it could be as a result of the way the countryside is presented or perceived in the U.K., which to my mind is an endogenous factor that we can affect, and which clearly many British BAME people are trying to do. 
 

I think the problem with demands to “tell me WHY they don’t go” as per your post is that many ethnic minority people have written at length as to why they don’t go. Inevitably this is a qualitative not quantitative snapshot, and may miss some important reasons, but it’s a start and it’s easy enough to find out. In short, demanding reasons when reasons have been posted aplenty on UKC and elsewhere seems a little in bad faith.  
 

As for your comment that I don’t “accept” issues around class or income disparities, that is I’m afraid well wide of the mark. I’m a Labour Party member, I’ve worked for years for various poverty alleviation organisations and I wrote my masters thesis on how tax policies affected income and wealth inequality in the U.K. I use my real name and this is all on my Linked In page - well researched personal jibes are I find much more effective! 

Note for the stats supremos commenting, there is a 68 page technical document explaining the questionnaire, the sample and the weighting process. These are official U.K. statistics so the whole process seems fairly thorough to me, but it’s all there. 

Post edited at 19:56
In reply to seankenny:

You still haven't told me how racism is actually preventing access? 

3
In reply to fred99:

Don't know where you're from but I grew up in a small town just beyond the Black Country/Birmingham conurbation in the 70s and 80s and there was loads of racism, even though there were very few Asian or Black families in the area. 

In reply to seankenny:

> Now the obvious weakness here is that we can’t control for location. After all, perhaps all the black and Asian professionals are concentrated in London and hardly any in cities like Leeds where it’s easier to access the countryside. But would that really skew the responses by nearly 20 percentage points? That seems a little unlikely to me. 

 I don't think it's that simple. Nearly 20 years I was living in the gorbals, you could see the hills, but just 100 metres away were blocks of flats with kids who might never leave the city in their life. Not necessarily through choice either. 

In Leeds there are likely middle class Asians who would rather spend a day at headingly than the dales. There are too many variables and many of them don't involve racism. 

2
 seankenny 05 May 2021
In reply to summo:

> You still haven't told me how racism is actually preventing access? 

Can I quote myself?

“So we have some evidence here that there is a race element in decisions around visiting the natural environment, at least at the level of all non-white people lumped together. Clearly I say race is a factor, not racism...”

2
 seankenny 05 May 2021
In reply to summo:

>  I don't think it's that simple. Nearly 20 years I was living in the gorbals, you could see the hills, but just 100 metres away were blocks of flats with kids who might never leave the city in their life. Not necessarily through choice either. 

 

Well, I limited my post to looking at the discrepancy between well off British people to avoid this kind of discussion and to bring other factors into sharper focus. I don’t deny that poor people in our country face huge  problems on whatever metric you choose. 

> In Leeds there are likely middle class Asians who would rather spend a day at headingly than the dales. There are too many variables and many of them don't involve racism. 

Indeed there are. You’ll see I’ve explored that idea in my post above, ie how might those preferences be formed. But we do see a clear difference in preferences along racial lines in the survey data, so something about race is a factor, in addition to class. 

In reply to seankenny:

> Now the obvious weakness here is that we can’t control for location. After all, perhaps all the black and Asian professionals are concentrated in London and hardly any in cities like Leeds where it’s easier to access the countryside. But would that really skew the responses by nearly 20 percentage points? That seems a little unlikely to me. 

 

I appreciate you pointing out this weakness. Do you have a reason why you think it is unlikely to attribute the difference or at least a large chunk of it to geography? 

In the 2011 census over 50% of black people lived in London. That's literally half of all black people in the UK who are much less likely to visit the natural environment in any given week and that's just the one city. That's going to drag down the average by a fair bit I'd imagine. To be fair for the Asian demographic you would need to include Birmingham and maybe some other cities too. 

Putting that point to one side.

If you're saying this is down to race and not racism, are we now talking about cultural preferences? Do these really need to be extinguished? Do we need to pack out grime concerts in London with visiting white folk from Sheffield to achieve the appropriate balance, or do we to aggressively market the fairly awful looking game of bowls to black people (sorry bowls fans)?

We're talking about hobbies after all, and we can't force over 50% of black people living in London to catch a train or buy a car to travel to the Peak District for a climb every weekend. Many have their own lives and other things that they consider to be better things to do and don't need saving from their 'unfulfilled' lives by the particular set of hobbies we share on this forum.

P.S my last point is general and not aimed at anything you've said specifically. 

Post edited at 00:15
1
 seankenny 06 May 2021
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> > Now the obvious weakness here is that we can’t control for location. After all, perhaps all the black and Asian professionals are concentrated in London and hardly any in cities like Leeds where it’s easier to access the countryside. But would that really skew the responses by nearly 20 percentage points? That seems a little unlikely to me. 

>  

> I appreciate you pointing out this weakness. Do you have a reason why you think it is unlikely to attribute the difference or at least a large chunk of it to geography? 

> In the 2011 census over 50% of black people lived in London. That's literally half of all black people in the UK who are much less likely to visit the natural environment in any given week and that's just the one city. That's going to drag down the average by a fair bit I'd imagine. To be fair for the Asian demographic you would need to include Birmingham and maybe some other cities too. 

 

So, the UK’s black population is less than half the UK’s Asian population, and indeed about the same size as its mixed race population, so your 50% stat is less relevant. In addition the UK’s black population tended to move out of London between the 01 and 11 censuses, a trend I’m sure we’ll see continuing in the 21 census. And finally I was talking specifically about one class segment, in which I suspect black people are slightly under-represented. Do I believe middle class professionals in London face serious difficulties accessing “the natural environment”? No, because I am one of those people, we just jump in the car and are out of the city in half an hour. It’s just not that hard in practical terms. And after all, the way the U.K. works means a lot of white professionals live in London too - it’s bigger and a lot of good jobs are there. So I don’t find geography that convincing as an explanation for the whole of such a huge disparity (tho it almost certainly accounts for some).

> Putting that point to one side.

> If you're saying this is down to race and not racism, are we now talking about cultural preferences? Do these really need to be extinguished?

So you’re saying there is one single cultural preference amongst ALL non-white British people (remember the data doesn’t go into more detail than this), something that unites British Muslims, back Britons, etc etc, despite those cultures being extremely varied in just about every other metric you can think of? If you are suggesting this, can you say what it is, how that works and why it exists? 

> Do we need to pack out grime concerts in London with visiting white folk from Sheffield

Doesn’t Sheffield have its own grime scene? 

> do we to aggressively market the fairly awful looking game of bowls to black people (sorry bowls fans)?

If elderly Sikh gents wish to play bowls but feel they cannot, I’d suggest bowls has a problem. However that problem isn’t mine. But what the data shows is that a significant minority of British people don’t visit other parts of their own country, for whatever reasons (as I said, not related to income). We know from qualitative research that many of those fellow citizens feel uncomfortable doing this. To me this is not something to be sanguine about. 

> We're talking about hobbies after all, and we can't force over 50% of black people living in London to catch a train or buy a car to travel to the Peak District for a climb every weekend. Many have their own lives and other things that they consider to be better things to do and don't need saving from their 'unfulfilled' lives by the particular set of hobbies we share on this forum.

That’s a very silly misrepresentation of what many people would like to see - which is people enjoying nature (and also outdoor activities) at a similar rate regardless of their racial or indeed class background. 

2
In reply to seankenny:

>  

> So, the UK’s black population is less than half the UK’s Asian population, and indeed about the same size as its mixed race population, so your 50% stat is less relevant.

Surely the fact that London has the highest percentage of Asian people complements the previous fact that BAME concentration in inner city has an impact on their participation in outdoor hobbies. It's less severe than for the black population, yes.

> In addition the UK’s black population tended to move out of London between the 01 and 11 censuses, a trend I’m sure we’ll see continuing in the 21 census. And finally I was talking specifically about one class segment, in which I suspect black people are slightly under-represented.

That's perfectly possible agreed. I agree, slightly under-represented seems to be a reasonable assumption. It would be surprising if it accounted for the entire difference considering the cultural differences at play. 

> Do I believe middle class professionals in London face serious difficulties accessing “the natural environment”? No, because I am one of those people, we just jump in the car and are out of the city in half an hour. It’s just not that hard in practical terms.

We both know that car ownership rates are much lower in London, I think 56% compared to 80% elsewhere, even middle-class people that I know are certainly less likely to own a car than elsewhere. I don't think it's a barrier to stopping people doing these things generally per se, but unlike the residents of Hathersage I do believe people in inner city spaces are going to outdoors not only less but also less frequently which will be picked up in a survey that asks about what you've been up to in the last week.

> And after all, the way the U.K. works means a lot of white professionals live in London too - it’s bigger and a lot of good jobs are there. So I don’t find geography that convincing as an explanation for the whole of such a huge disparity (tho it almost certainly accounts for some).

Yes there are white people in London too but the vast majority of white people live outside London unlike the black community. Or to flip it on it's head, rural communities are usually high majority white populations. 

> So you’re saying there is one single cultural preference amongst ALL non-white British people (remember the data doesn’t go into more detail than this), something that unites British Muslims, back Britons, etc etc, despite those cultures being extremely varied in just about every other metric you can think of? If you are suggesting this, can you say what it is, how that works and why it exists? 

To say that BAME people are less likely to be interested in country music or classic rock than white people isn't to say that all BAME people like techno or some ridiculous statement like that. I'm just saying that folk who don't like country music usually listen to something else. 

I think among large swathes of those communities they have more urban preferences but this is a fact we have already established by the participation figures you have already provided.

> Doesn’t Sheffield have its own grime scene? 

Don't know. Certainly wouldn't be a patch on London's. 

> If elderly Sikh gents wish to play bowls but feel they cannot, I’d suggest bowls has a problem.

Yep. 

> However that problem isn’t mine. But what the data shows is that a significant minority of British people don’t visit other parts of their own country, for whatever reasons (as I said, not related to income).

I'm not sure if that's a problem on it's own if I'm honest. 

> We know from qualitative research that many of those fellow citizens feel uncomfortable doing this. To me this is not something to be sanguine about. 

I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to, but where people have been made to feel uncomfortable then that needs addressing. 

> That’s a very silly misrepresentation of what many people would like to see - which is people enjoying nature (and also outdoor activities) at a similar rate regardless of their racial or indeed class background. 

I don't think it is. I don't know what you mean by enjoying nature. Does it mean visiting a inner city park, buying some house plants, or weekly climbing trips? If you're looking for perfect representation in every outdoor hobby be that mountain biking, hill walking, climbing, kayaking or whatever then I think you're looking for something other than ensuring that everyone is welcome and free to do what they want. 

Post edited at 01:56
1
 seankenny 06 May 2021
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> Surely the fact that London has the highest percentage of Asian people complements the previous fact that BAME concentration in inner city has an impact on their participation in outdoor hobbies. It's less severe than for the black population, yes.

> That's perfectly possible agreed. I agree, slightly under-represented seems to be a reasonable assumption. It would be surprising if it accounted for the entire difference considering the cultural differences at play. 

> We both know that car ownership rates are much lower in London, I think 56% compared to 80% elsewhere, even middle-class people that I know are certainly less likely to own a car than elsewhere. I don't think it's a barrier to stopping people doing these things generally per se, but unlike the residents of Hathersage I do believe people in inner city spaces are going to outdoors not only less but also less frequently which will be picked up in a survey that asks about what you've been up to in the last week.

> Yes there are white people in London too but the vast majority of white people live outside London unlike the black community. Or to flip it on it's head, rural communities are usually high majority white populations. 

 

I specifically looked at the rates for people in “higher and intermediate managerial” professions as by the very nature of modern society, these jobs tend to be more urban in nature. I am sure there is a slightly different geographical distribution of the professional managerial classes by race, but do I think it accounts for that 20 ppt difference, absolutely not. As I also point out, the black community is itself a minority of the UK’s minorities so simply less likely to be a huge driver of that discrepancy.

You’re quite clear that “inner city” life means you can’t visit nature, yet one of the most active times of my climbing life was when  I lived in inner city Leeds. In fact I’ve lived most of my life in inner city areas.

I would also suggest looking at section 5 of the report, as it looks at visits to the natural environment by urban/rural location and race. There is still that racial discrepancy, which suggests something else is going on.

> I think among large swathes of those communities they have more urban preferences but this is a fact we have already established by the participation figures you have already provided.

So what is shaping those preferences? And why are those preferences the same amongst extremely varied groups of people? Are these preferences shaped in any way by broader British society which includes all of the rest of us?  

> But what the data shows is that a significant minority of British people don’t visit other parts of their own country, for whatever reasons (as I said, not related to income).

> I'm not sure if that's a problem on it's own if I'm honest. 

If visiting nature is the sort of important and unique experience in terms of well being that we all think it is, then surely it’s something we should ensure is open to all our citizens. If you think access for all is not that important, then I’m assuming that you also think that poor people not visiting nature is also not a problem. I hope you’re consistent and oppose the BMC’s efforts to reach out to disadvantaged kids! 

> I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to, but where people have been made to feel uncomfortable then that needs addressing. 

 

There is a quote from a DEFRA report up thread. There are also numerous articles written by ethnic minority Brits on this issue. As someone said above, I’m not sure the reaction and dislikes garnered by this article reveals the U.K.’s outdoor sports community to be quite as welcoming as many of its members believe themselves to be. 

> I don't think it is. I don't know what you mean by enjoying nature. Does it mean visiting a inner city park, buying some house plants, or weekly climbing trips? If you're looking for perfect representation in every outdoor hobby be that mountain biking, hill walking, climbing, kayaking or whatever then I think you're looking for something other than ensuring that everyone is welcome and free to do what they want. 

 

Well the survey I’ve written about is quite clear that nature includes visiting parks - there is a whole section on the methodology which you can check up on. 

I should note I wrote similar rate but that seems to have morphed into perfect representation, which suits your rhetorical purposes but certainly isn’t an accurate representation of my views. 

2
 Tom V 06 May 2021
In reply to seankenny:

The main problem faced by bowls is not racism but ageism, as your post shows.

1
 mullermn 06 May 2021
In reply to climbingbadger:

> most outdoors sports like climbing and hillwalking are dominated by white, middle-class, middle-aged men, and that's generally not a very welcoming environment for people outside that group. I'd put good money on a disproportinate number of this site's members being white, male, and over 35.

This is why it always confuses me when we get the standard 'Yet another discussion thread dominated by MEN!' winge on these articles. I don't understand the disconnect of thinking that allows someone to recognise that the climbing community and the membership of the site is tilted towards one demographic and then be outraged that the majority of discussion participants also come from that demographic. 

Especially amusing given that the premise of this entire topic is that the proportion of outdoor activity participants from a given race should match the proportion of that race in the wider populace.

3
 fred99 06 May 2021
In reply to TobyA:

> Don't know where you're from but I grew up in a small town just beyond the Black Country/Birmingham conurbation in the 70s and 80s and there was loads of racism, even though there were very few Asian or Black families in the area. 

Oh I came across racism all right. But every single racist I did come across that lived in my town was a Brummie who had moved out of Birmingham to live in a "more white" location.  To quote one of these (or rather a middle-aged couple), who had moved to Worcester and into the house next door from Walsall - and I apologise for the language most profusely - they said they had moved "to get away from the f***ing blacks".

From that minute I refused to have anything to do with them, even though we shared a back yard, and so did the rest of the street - which includes the Romanians, Poles, Italians, the mixed race couples, the English and the Welsh.

The husband has since died of a heart attack, and the wife was the woman who was murdered in Stoke by a builder who has since been convicted of her murder but regarded as doing it whilst suffering from temporary insanity (which I can well understand). Personally I think the world's a better place for their passing, and the builder  more likely deserves a medal rather than prison.

In reply to Basemetal:

> This might help me understand your point of view - what obstacles to accessing the outdoors are there that area due to race per se?

Sport England research identifies the six themes of language, awareness, safety, culture, confidence and perception of middle class stigma as barriers to participation in outdoor activities for people from an ethnic minority background. 

 Roadrunner6 06 May 2021
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

You don't think 50% of black people living in London (assuming your stats are correct) is an issue? Or again just occurred by chance?

You don't think that is strange?

1
 Roadrunner6 06 May 2021
In reply to mullermn:

"then be outraged that the majority of discussion participants also come from that demographic. "

Because that's simply not the case.

The 'outrage', also known as 'rational discussion' is that there are a group of middle aged white men denying race is an issue.

2
 Offwidth 06 May 2021
In reply to Philb1950:

Maybe you need to talk to Rehan, since he supports the award named after him.

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/rehan-siddiqui-award

I wonder how many people other than than him from a BAME background have held important positions in the BMC. I can only think of a few over the years (mainly recent members of the Equity Steering Group). I always climbed with a pretty diverse group of climbers having spent 20 years in a Uni club and I saw no racial difference in enthusiasm. I think there must be cultural barriers and/or wealth barriers that so few British BAME climb outdoors. It's certainly not that climbing is especially unwelcoming and I've never seen any evidence of overt racism (unlike the situation in the general population).

 mullermn 06 May 2021
In reply to Howard J:

> Sport England research identifies the six themes of language, awareness, safety, culture, confidence and perception of middle class stigma as barriers to participation in outdoor activities for people from an ethnic minority background. 

Interesting that wealth is not a factor in there. I would have thought that someone not being able to afford the gear/travel/accommodation/time away from work would be more of a concrete roadblock than middle class stigma?

 Basemetal 06 May 2021
In reply to Howard J:

> Sport England research identifies the six themes of language, awareness, safety, culture, confidence and perception of middle class stigma as barriers to participation in outdoor activities for people from an ethnic minority background. 

Thanks for that. I can see how each of the factors can apply, but also that they are not wholly or only racially distributed issues. Some individuals might suffer a perfect storm of them, and some none at all. My other thought is that many individuals who are not from any minority background will suffer pretty equally from a few of those.

This isn't a rebuttal, but an acknowledgement of the complexity of the issue and, I think, some dependence on the precise aims of the research conducted.  

In another thread I asked if climbing (just one activity, I know) was thought of  as being a bottom-up or a top-down organised activity. I think one's experience or view on that plays into this discussion as well. Organised activity and private activity probably produce different norms. 

 Marek 06 May 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> You don't think 50% of black people living in London (assuming your stats are correct) is an issue?

No, it's a statistic. As above, you're confusing the two. It *may* be (and probably is) a symptom of an underlying issue/problem that we should do something about, but as with "participation", confusing a statistic with an issue is sloppy, misleading and unhelpful (because it obscures the actual root cause of the problem).

> Or again just occurred by chance?

Obviously not.

> You don't think that is strange?

Yes, if only because - at least in the latter part of my career - I would have liked to live in London, but couldn't afford it. Make of that what you like.

Post edited at 15:11
In reply to Basemetal:

Of course these are not all exclusively issues about race, but many of them are, and many are compounded by race issues.  For example, concerns about safety and confidence may not simply be the worries that anyone may have when venturing into an unfamiliar environment for the first time, but may be specifically about fears of facing racial prejedice, from abuse to being stared at.


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