Fox News’ Tucker Carlson attacked the acting director of the National Parks Service, David Vela, on Thursday, calling for Vela to be fired for alleging that “persistent whiteness” is causing an “existential crisis” within the parks system.
At a time when racial tensions are higher than they have been in several decades, Vela’s decision to trivialize the issue by complaining that there are too many white people visiting national parks set Carlson off.
ABC News reported on Wednesday:
The country’s premier outdoor spaces — the 419 national parks — remain overwhelmingly white. Just 23% of visitors to the parks were people of color, the National Park Service found in its most recent 10-year survey; 77% were white. Minorities make up 42% of the U.S. population.
An ABC reporter asked Vela if he believes that systemic racism is a problem within the parks system. Vela responded that “as a person of color, I think that our national parks — and what I’ve found — they’re places where we can learn more about what happened in the past, because that reflects our thinking today.”
ABC went on to say that the park service claimed that the “persistent whiteness” of their parks is an “existential crisis.”
Carlson slammed the politicization of the outdoors by both ABC and Vela during his monologue on Thursday:
At a time like this, a time of crisis, so many Americans are finding refuge in nature. In nature, there are no political parties. There are no political debates. There are no divisions, There is no race or racism. There’s just God’s creation. It’s a respite from all the bad things, but not anymore. The national parks, “ABC News” is now telling us, are in fact racist.
The persistent whiteness of the national parks. Systemic racism. What does that mean? Is it racism that the Grand Canyon is a long drive from Phoenix? Do we have to relocate Yellowstone to an urban center? Maybe.
The full ABC clip showed one woman complaining about not seeing people she “identifies” with during her visits to national parks, and feeling “unwelcome” and “out of place” because of it.
Carlson pulled no punches in calling out Vela for caving to the mob looking for racism in every corner. “[Vela’s] job is to keep the parks open, to keep them clean and to keep them beautiful. God made them beautiful. Just don’t screw it up, David Vela,” Carlson said.
“But he’s not doing that,” Carlson concluded. “Instead, he is turning nature into yet another front for racialized politics. Nature has nothing to do with politics and nothing to do with race. David Vela is a moron and he should resign or be fired. Don’t defile nature. How’s that?”