Monday, September 30, 2002

Audrey Peterman, whom I quoted in my national parks story last week, e-mails this response to the NPS quotes in my story:

Is it my imagination, or do some of the statements by NPS leadership sound incredibly condescending? Once again the ethnic groups are positioned competitively against each in, if some have caught on, why haven't others? the tone suggests that people of color, black people, urban people, should be confined to urban parks and should not expect or be expected to be in the
Crown Jewels. this is not the first time I'm hearing this rhetoric, but the first time i'm hearing it from this high level. To show you how much THE WELCOME MAT IS NOT OUT in the park system, my company had a small contract with the South Florida National Parks to do outreach...generated multiple stories in the Herald and ethnic press, 7-minute NBC segment, took lots of journalists to the parks etc, and the Superintendents have so much interest in encouraging diversity that they eliminated it the first chance they got..and i'm talking $40K!! Then everyone sits around and moans about how hard it is to attract...etc etc. WHERE IS THE
EFFORT?!! I'll write a letter to the editor by Monday making those points..

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