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@david1234567899 If you scroll down in the comments, we've already discussed this. The author of this article clearly has some difficulty with the concept of proportionality. Although Asians are small in number outdoors, by percentage we are overrepresented. According to these stats, 7% of outdoor participants are Asian-American. But only 5 percent of the population as a whole is Asian. Thus, hiking is actually more popular among Asians than it is among whites.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114621/national-parks-popular-white-people-not-minorities-why
@rrodzmanz Well, I was just making a point about the racial diversity numbers not really supporting the article --- not trying to argue something about the topic of white privilege --- I don't really see the article as being about white privilege, per se, because this really seems to be mostly about what individuals are choosing to do, and why. There is a lot of evidence there's racial bias in hiring, housing, etc... but when it comes to camping, it's a recreational activity of choice for the most part, so I don't think the question is whether or not there's some sort of bias or discrimination here. However, if the numbers in the article are right, it does appear that while blacks seem to choose to hike a bit less than whites, it's not a huge difference --- it does seem to be a bigger difference for Latinos, who knows why.
However, the article's point about income is actually more accurate. Only about 10% of the population has an income above $75,000, but 40 percent of outdoors people are --- so it does appear that the more affluent you are, the more likely you are to hike. That may also explain why Asians are more likely to be outdoorsy than white people --- because Asians tend to make more money. I don't think Latinos are significantly poorer than blacks, though, so the difference there isn't explained entirely by income.
The statistics don't really support the thesis of the article that well. 70% of outdoor participants are white? 78% of the population of the United States is white. 11% are black? 13% of the population is black. 7% of outdoor participants are Asian? Asians make up only 5% of the population. The only ethnic group severely underrepresented seems to be Latinos --- they are 17% of the population but only 7% of the outdoor participants. It seems to me that some writers need a basic lesson in math.
The real story seems to be: why is hiking so beloved by Asian-Americans? Whites appear to lag behind Asians when it comes to outdoor activities. Blacks are only slightly behind whites, but Latinos, for some reason, really seem more averse to the outdoors, if these statistics are right. As an Asian-American myself who loves to hike, and so do many if not most of my Asian-American friends, I'd say this is a more accurate picture of the outdoor scene. Yes, there aren't a whole lot of Asian-Americans on the trail, because there aren't a whole lot of us, period, but proportionally we are overrepresented out in the wilderness.
@Mikeonetwo First of all, it's not a "stereotype" when no one knows about it. A stereotype is when people limit other people because they think they can't be or do anything outside of the box of the way they are defined by others, usually defined in ways which are ignorant of the true reality. Most people in the US don't think about Asian culture or Asian-American culture, know little to nothing about it, don't know either its strengths or its weaknesses. There's nothing wrong with talking about culture, any more than there's anything wrong with talking about individual traits. The idea that cultures have no qualities is actually the most stereotype-reinforcing of them all, because not talking about culture is the same as letting the dominant culture define what is "normal" and what is "acceptable". Other cultures besides the dominant one in our country exist, they have qualities, and they do things differently. To acknowledge this is to acknowledge diversity, not to pigeonhole people by ignorant and narrow definitions from the outside, which is the essence of stereotyping. Stereotyping is done from the point of view of the dominant culture as a way of belittling the minority culture or ethnicity or group.
Studies show that Asians naturally perceive situations more in terms of context than Westerners do. This is a scientifically established phenomenon. Americans and Westerners in general tend to think much more in terms of the individual, the star, the person in the foreground. Asian culture tends to take a more holistic view. There are strengths and weaknesses to each approach.
To say that Jeremy Lin is demonstrating to the world some of the strengths of a team-oriented cultural outlook is not to say that Jeremy Lin is entirely defined by his parents culture. He's also an American. But Asian-Americans --- our parents or grandparents ---- our ancestors, they did come from Asia, and it is different from America. There's nothing wrong with pointing this out, just as there's nothing wrong with pointing out that, say, Anglo-American culture is more individualistic than other cultures, or Americans tend to have more wealth disparity than, say, Europeans or Japanese. There are cultural traits, and sometimes you can see evidence of this being played out in individuals. But especially when it's a minority culture --- like Asian-American culture --- something most Americans know little to nothing about, it's not a "stereotype" to talk about this because it's not something people even know about in the first place.
3 years ago on What I See In Jeremy Lin
Sometimes it takes one breakout example to break through stereotypes. It's obvious that one reason people overlooked Jeremy Lin was his ethnicity. It was hard to believe that an Asian-American from Harvard could be a standout player in the NBA. Even one sportswriter admitted he missed Lin's talent partly because of his own blinders. But there's another story here, which is that there are strengths, winning strengths, to Asian cultural tendencies which i think factor into Lin's play. His play is unselfish --- it works because he makes the team better. He finds his teammates with pinpoint accuracy and incredible speed. He's not the first player to do this --- Magic Johnson comes to mind --- but his coach said that this is the type of thing that is hard to see during workouts and shootarounds. It comes out when you put this type of person in the right context, in the context of actually playing for real.
What made Phil Jackson a great coach was he could see the whole picture, the holistic picture of basketball. It's the one sport where fluid, moment to moment team coordination wins games more than individual athleticism. Yet American culture tends to elevate superstars, rather than seeing things as coherent wholes. Asian culture tends to be more about how things work in context, and here we have a player who proudly plays the game both as an individual athlete and as an incredible team player who makes his teammates better. That is a genuine contribution that I think Asian-Americans have to make to our shared American culture. It's a winning approach, a Linning approach, I mean.