National Geographic Alleges that Birdwatching is Racist; An Urban Birdwatcher Responds

On September 23, 2014, National Geographic published an article by Martha Hamilton titled "Colorful World of Birding Has Conspicuous Lack of People of Color." The gist: birdwatching is racist. Non-racist people must intervene to ensure that birding and birders become "inclusive." I live in Paterson, NJ. Paterson is two-thirds Black or Hispanic, with the nation's second largest Muslim population. My first job after graduation from college was as a Peace Corps teacher in a remote African nation, ranked as the poorest country on earth. I have taught and published on racism and ethnic conflict. I care deeply about my students. I want their futures to be better than their pasts. I am a birdwatcher. I mentioned the National Geographic allegation in an online discussion list dedicated to birding. I said that I found the article "off base." Rick Wright, author of The American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of New Jersey, informed me that he...(Read Full Article)

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