Social Question

12Oaks's avatar

Do black people go camping?

Asked by 12Oaks (4051points) March 20th, 2011

This question isn’t based on racism, please don’t think so. Was just sitting here watching The Celebrity Apprentice, and the task is to promote Camping World. Contestants from both teams stated that they didn’t want to be project manager because they contended that black people don’t go camping. One was a man, the other a woman, both obviously black. The other black members of the teams also agreed. I never thought about this before, never crossed my ming, but now just gnawing at it a touch from these declarations. Something tells me they are wrong, though.

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42 Answers

incendiary_dan's avatar

One of my close friends and intellectual comrade is a black man who is a Pan-Africanist who goes camping. Another good friend of mine is a hardcore survivalist and primitive skills instructor like myself. Also black. One of my former colleagues at the wilderness school I teach at is a black woman. In fact, most of the black people I know are pretty outdoors-inclined, but that might just by my crowd.

There might be some trend in which black people are less likely to partake in such activities, probably having to do with the urban concentration of the black community in general. Just a couple weeks ago I posted a video on my Facebook in which the creator asked “Why aren’t there more black preppers (meaning disaster prep advocates, usually overlaps with survivalist community)?” It’s an issue worth asking about, certainly.

zenvelo's avatar

My next door neighbors, who are black, go camping all the time. We live in the suburbs. I think people who live in the inner city don’t go camping, it is just so different from urban life.

incendiary_dan's avatar

There’s also the whole socio-economic thing to consider, which is of course related to urbanization. Despite what some media want us to think in the age of Obama, the black middle class is small and people of color are still economically disadvantaged. Camping, to a lot of people, is cost intensive, which has always seemed counterintuitive to me. But like I said, I’m a primitive skills instructor. :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Um, yes. Black people do all the things other people do. Cra-zy.

12Oaks's avatar

I’m just following up on what the contestants on The Celebrity Apprentice had said. Don’t hate me, just a messanger, if you will. For some reason, I didn’t think that to be true. Still, I hope Star Jones never stakes a claim to the site next to mine.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@12Oaks I do not recommend CA as an appropriate source of any information relevant to this world.

Brian1946's avatar


“I do not recommend CA as an appropriate source of any information relevant to this world.”

You gotta a problem wit California? ;-)

bob_'s avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Yeah and NY is where the sanity is at ~

WasCy's avatar

“They” also don’t drink wine or live in houses without purple doors, either.

Seriously; you can debunk this kind of nonsense yourself. You don’t need us to do it.

12Oaks's avatar

@WasCy I thought of no better way to debunk than to ask. Since I don’t camp, seems asking was the more logical way to find out. Silly, I know.

DJoy83's avatar

Well…. I’m black and have never been camping nor do I really have a desire to. As a matter of fact, no one I know goes camping – black or otherwise.

If I was a betting woman, I’d say that whoever said “black people don’t go camping” didn’t mean for people to take it as a serious statement of fact because stereotypically, it’s just not something that “we” do. I say things like that all the time. “Black people don’t go skiing, black people don’t/can’t swim., etc.” Obviously, like @Simone_De_Beauvoir said, black people do all the things other people do. It’s just jokes. Not that serious.

crisw's avatar

Actually, there’s demographic data to support this position. Here’s one study which found that “Thirty-two percent of the white residents enjoy camping, while less than 9% of African-Americans do.” Here’s an article actually titled Why don’t black people go camping? by a black camper. And here’s an article from Washington state that found “The State Parks and Recreation Commission has assembled data showing that many blacks, for a variety of reasons, are not frequent users of the state’s 250,000 acres of parkland, particularly for activities like camping.”

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@crisw Perhaps there is some data showing difference in numbers of black people camping as opposed to whites (and we can come up with reasons as to why), but the OP was asking if blacks go camping, which they do.

12Oaks's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir The OP was actually more wondering about Star Jones’s and Lil’ John’s assertion that black people don’t go camping, and the other black members on both teams agreeing. It didn’t seem right, but the claim was made. Not by the OP, but by Star Jones and Lil’ John.

Fa_Reals's avatar

@12Oaks – Why are you dissociating yourself from the question? You asked it. Color me surprised, wealthy people don’t camp.

12Oaks's avatar

@Fa_Reals I’m not disassociating, just clarifying that it wasn’t me who said that black people don’t camp. That was contestants on The Celebrity Apprentice. I never thought about it either way, and found it to be an odd thing to say, so just through it out there as a question to see if, in fact, that was true. I also have no idea whether or not wealthy people do camp, but Don Trump (Son of Donald) made claim that he had camped previous to the show. Not sure if he’s wealthy or not.

Shegrin's avatar

The admission by one does not necessarily reflect the thoughts of many.

12Oaks's avatar

@Shegrin They didn’t say “I don’t camp” and I took it to mean all black people don’t camp. Star and Lil’ John both said “Black people don’t camp,” and all the other black members on both teams agreed. So, the admission of one was a declaration for all involved. Personally, I never say stuff like “All white people…” or “All men…” or “All dads…..” or “All musicians…..” because I don’t declare myself to be a spokesman for all in a same or similiar position as I, but these contestants did. I was just wondering about the accuracy of their comments, however racist they may seem.

SamIAm's avatar

Oprah does for TV purposes!

Qingu's avatar

@12Oaks, the lesson you should be learning is that there is such a thing as a stupid question, such as asking if a nonzero quantity of members of a minority group or race do some sort of normal activity.

“Do Jews play sports?”
“Do Arabs shave?”
“Do women perform physical labor?”

These are stupid questions. They are stupid because they are phrased to suggest that it’s an open question that any blacks, Jews, Arabs, women, etc perform the given activity.

Now, it is certainly the case that less blacks may go camping than whites, or less women perform physical labor than men, and there may be reasons for such a discrepancy that are worth exploring. You could have—should have—asked, “Do blacks go camping as often as whites, and if not, why?”

bob_'s avatar

I think you can ask whatever you want, even if you just want to see if people will get all riled up.

WasCy's avatar

… and if you want to see @bob_ get riled up, just give me the sandwich he’ll demand from you.

Taciturnu's avatar

I’m actually surprised there isn’t a little more forgiving, since it is human nature to group people together or “stereotype.” (As much as we like to think of ourselves as open-minded and blind to stereotyping – or I do, anyway – it is unnatural to not do it to some extent.) My assumption wasn’t that the OP was asking if any African-American person has ever been camping, but rather if it were common in the ethnicity as a whole.

I had a black friend who asked me why white people put leashes on their children. I don’t personally know any leash-using folk, but if you look around here it commonly is the caucasian parents who attach a strap to their child. I don’t think it was a “stupid question,” I think she was genuine in wanting an answer. To jump all over someone seems like overkill and intolerance to me. Just my two cents.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Fa_Reals Wealthy people camp. That’s what these are used for. ;)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

HAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHA BAHAHAHA HAHAHAHA…..wait….wait…..HAHAHAHAHAHA! OK I wasn’t laughing at you I was laughing at those CA people and their whacky concept. I am more Black then many Blacks today and I love to go camping. I wish I could go more. My perfect home would be on acreage out in the hills with the oaks and pines. Saying Blacks do not like camping is to say Black men don’t eat p****, and I won’t confirm or deny I will just say never found one that smelled like fish or I could not snack for hours. That is about as big of a myth as white men can play basketball; don’t even tweak your mind on that. I may have to laugh again….

YARNLADY's avatar

As a person who goes camping frequently, I can attest that I have often observed black people in the campgrounds I visit.

xjustxxclaudiax's avatar

Some do and some don’t. Depends on the person and what they like to do.

Facade's avatar

This Black person doesn’t, but her SO loves to camp with his white friends~

bob_'s avatar

@Facade But you can dance, right? ~

Facade's avatar

I’m actually not a great dancer lol

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@bob_ She can dance if she wants to. She can leave her friends behind. ‘Cause her friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance, well they’re no friends of mine.

I know that it’s a stereotype; it’s one of the “Stuff White People Like”. I would imagine that the people on CA weren’t saying that no black people camp, but rather that it’s not big enough culturally for them to waste resources advertising to the black community. But I haven’t actually seen the episode, so I don’t really know.

BarnacleBill's avatar

This is interesting. Legos don’t seem to use black children in their advertising. Is this because black children don’t play with Legos? Try finding a black Ken/Stephen/Darren doll for a black Barbie to marry. Even in stores in predominantly black or culturally diverse neighborhoods, it’s impossible.

One would argue that it’s because Legos are from Sweden, but their US advertising comes out of the US. Does the lack of promotion of legos affect the number of black engineers?

YARNLADY's avatar

@BarnacleBill Give me a break – If you have a problem with Lego advertising, contact them.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@YARNLADY, I have, actually. The primary audience for their product is white males. And I contacted Matel about the Ken doll question. I was told that they can be ordered online. The first is a chicken/egg situation. The second, I can’t figure out.

My point is, that there are products that seem to appeal/not appeal to certain segments of the population that feed stereotypes or are driven by stereotypes. The question of children’s play is much more important than one would think, because it has to do with self-imaging. And the use of manipulatives/structural play is important to the development of math skills.

If you want to find a culturally diverse Barbie, such as Indian, you pay a premium for that doll. You cannot find a male Indian/Hispanic/Asian doll either. For girls of color to role-play with Barbies, their dolls must marry or date a white Ken doll. Is this because the incidence of marriage among blacks is lower?

In the case of camping, there are probably other mitigating factors to the stereotype of “blacks don’t camp.” But not creating a multiculturally diverse marketing campaign only perpetuates sterotypes.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs I would imagine that the people on CA weren’t saying that no black people camp, but rather that it’s not big enough culturally for them to waste resources advertising to the black community. I guess if seen in that light there are certain things you would not normally see Black people or Black kids doing. Hockey and gymnastic would be some I would think about. You need an ice rink for hockey, and figure skating, plus some gym with fancy equipment for gymnastics, of which you’d find hard to come by in a poor or declining neighborhood. Anything equestrian would also fall under that. Look in your inner cities the sports that would be popular to most are those that are inexpensive to field a team and don’t take that much space; one reason basketball is king. With basketball you could but 10 kids playing in a space that two tennis players would need. The a basketball court compared to a hockey rink is much cheaper to maintain.

If it was purely advertising or investment bucks in play I might not spend time in the inner city only for the reason that camping equipment can get pricy at least when I was shopping for it, and many would not have the means to get out to the “great outdoors” anyhow; certainly not because I thought there was something cultural about Black people hating camping.

YARNLADY's avatar

For the purposes of advertising, Black people represent the up and coming market, and we will continue to see more and more geared toward that market.

YARNLADY's avatar

@BarnacleBill Good move. It is always more effective to go directly to the source.

SavoirFaire's avatar

In @12Oaks defense, I don’t think he’s being racist, stupid, or dissociating himself from anything. The details section of the question puts the issue in context for us: a claim was made, @12Oaks suspected the claim to be false, and so he put it up for discussion. It seems to me that he is not just asking about the bare fact of whether or not black people go camping, but about the claim itself and why someone would make it.

Yes, there are stupid questions. There are also non-stupid questions that are stupid to pose on Fluther (particularly ones that can be answered more quickly and more definitively by Google). But as it turns out, Google’s top search results for “black people camping” tend to support the claim made on Celebrity Apprentice, and so it makes perfect sense to tap the collective. As jellies, I hope we don’t disagree with @12Oaks claim that there is “no better way to debunk than to ask” (or substitute “inquire” and note, as per the above, that Fluther is a reasonable way of inquiring into this particular case). So I see no problem, especially given some of the interesting answers we’ve gotten already.

12Oaks's avatar

@SaviorFaire Thank you very much. Especially from you, as we had our disagreements in the Past. Thank you so very much
. :-)

katwmouse1's avatar

I have and I actually sound intelligent when I speak, but some times as a coneversation starts at a bus stop or so people are shocked or those who continue to realize Im not pretending.

kitchi1's avatar

Of course! They’re people too. They do exactly the same thing we do.

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