Adventure Projects is hiring a web engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Mountain Project Logo

Are climbers racists?


J Squared · · santa barbara, CA · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 0

95+ % of climbing shoes have black rubber.

racism detected!.

admit it, when you climb on gym shoes with white rubber... you doubt it's grip a little more, right?

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 768
Mason Stone wrote: Perhaps I should have asked does identity, including isms, affect one's climbing? On wet sandstone.

Take your run of the mill top of the pyramid entitled ahole, are they more likely to violate voluntary closures, shit on ledges, disregard religious beliefs, chastise female FAs, wang slap each other on the cyber space and find little merit in having a discussion about bias? Or are these just human nature, have nothing to do with race or class or ethnicity? And for Helen, does such a person climb better, send harder, never miss a beat while placing pro or rapping? That is since, none of this has anything to do with climbing (frame of mind) or the zone we experience on a good send.

By the way, thanks Helen, Dylan and Phillip. I tend to put climbers on a pedestal, And, I imagine their better natures are what we see at crags when things are harsh, accidents, deprivation etc. Things are different I guess when no ones watching or when the discussion tends toward the inflammatory since as you point out we like others, don't really see what we take as normal.

WTF should I care? Solipsism! Yay! The nonanswer to all questions!

Best, Me, Myself and I 
Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 768

All right, Mason, as annoying as this is, I'll give you a partial answer.

The one huge difference I see, is that climbing encourages a high level of trust in our partners. It isn't quite the same as being on a softball team, when someone can easily kill you.

Not all climbers have this, but those of us who do? Our relationship is perhaps like what can happen with cops and military, and the people who have their back. That, erases a heck of a lot of superficial crap, IMO. The respect level skyrockets.

But, this is ultimately how racism disappears in general, too. When the "other" is your son's girlfriend, or your really great coworker, or the short stop on that softball team? Gets really a lot harder to tolerate "ism", even in yourself.

This is why I regularly have the tiring conversations around gender on here (and off MP, with some of you). You're good people. How can you know what it's like for (fill in the blank) if (fill in the blank) won't help you understand what you have not experienced?

Good enough, sir? By the way, I still have no clue who you are, and yes, that still irks me, since you clearly know me and have commented on here. Slightly freaky.

Best, Helen

Tapawingo Markey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75
Old lady H wrote:

Of course not. But. Once you dump someone into the "ist" that you proudly are not, then you have left no room for anything but "us" and "them". 

A great deal of "ism" is merely business as usual. People may never even have thought of it as a behavior that hurt someone else, until it was pointed out to them. When it's the overall culture, or even the law itself? It takes time to shift. A great deal of time, frustratingly, but people do change, including society in general and laws follow suit, eventually.

That said, this thread belongs in the community forum. Has zip to do with climbers particularly.

Best, OLH

Eh, I really have to disagree with your opinion that “ism” - racism in this instance, is not as innocent as you make it sound or “business as usual”. Implicit bias maybe, but don’t confuse that with racism.

I get the choosing sides thing isn’t means to an end but complacency with racism isn’t the answer either.
Idaho Bob · · McCall, ID · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 450

Some are, most are not in my experience.

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 768
Tapawingo Markey wrote:

Eh, I really have to disagree with your opinion that “ism” - racism in this instance, is not as innocent as you make it sound or “business as usual”. Implicit bias maybe, but don’t confuse that with racism.

I get the choosing sides thing isn’t means to an end but complacency with racism isn’t the answer either.

Look, the David Dukes of the world may never change....but the world around them might. It is much easier to be a flaming racist in a biased society. Change the inherent bias, the racism stands out in high relief. Don't think I'm soft on this. I am not. I simply see the long view as where real change can happen.

Best, OLH
Philip Straub · · The Valley · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 0

I know this is standard to forums, where folks can anonymously and say essentially whatever they want with limited social consequence, but is this really the time an place to make jokes about a topic that, in its entirety and well beyond the climbing community, is a serious driving force in the lives of a great many people, many marginalized? Do you really want to make the answer to "Are climbers racist" more of a yes by making shitty jokes anonymously on the largest online community forum for our sport? Shame. We should be better than this. and others outside of the climbing world too, but given the general ethical and political sway of the climbing communities I've been parry to I'd expect better from us.

Thanks Mason for bringing this up. It's on my mind quite a bit, and I do think the Devils tower discussion (which I was admittedly a small contributor to) was an illuminating moment here, at least for me. I'd like this to be more of a part of our community. If we put as much effort into dissecting our part in the racial/societal/political/other struggles which affect our sport and surrounding (often) impacted communities (i.e. sovereign lands, extractive industries, in betweens, etc) as we do into discussing bolt placement or whether something really deserves to be an .11a we could work more efficiently in the right direction that much of our activity has the power to represent.

Also, as a side note/starter related to this, let's all stop saying 'biners. Say carabiners. Or make up your own fun word. saying an extra two syllables is a totally reasonable way to prevent saying a word that, although you probably don't mean it this way, is a well understood racial slur. 

rafael · · Berkeley, CA · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 50

There are certainly some racist route names out there.

Really, not many people want to be racist, which is good. The thing is, everyone has biases, some of which can be harmful. The true non-racist is someone actively examining themselves, their thoughts and actions, to evaluate whether what they are saying and doing are having a needlessly harmful effect on others.

This can be generalized to many other topics, not just 'isms.

Carolina · · Farmington, NC · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 75
ViperScale . wrote: I am foodist. I hate anyone who eats breakfast. You know how annoying it is to wake up at the campsite and walk around in circles for over an hour waiting for my lazy climbing partners to finish eating breakfast when I don't eat it and just want to go climb
Right there with you Viper.  Been in that one.  
Ira O · · Hardwick, VT · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 61

As far as Devils Tower is concerned, I don't think it's an issue if climbers being racist; it's an issue of climbers being selfish.  

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 768
Philip Straub wrote: I know this is standard to forums, where folks can anonymously and say essentially whatever they want with limited social consequence, but is this really the time an place to make jokes about a topic that, in its entirety and well beyond the climbing community, is a serious driving force in the lives of a great many people, many marginalized? Do you really want to make the answer to "Are climbers racist" more of a yes by making shitty jokes anonymously on the largest online community forum for our sport? Shame. We should be better than this. and others outside of the climbing world too, but given the general ethical and political sway of the climbing communities I've been parry to I'd expect better from us.

Thanks Mason for bringing this up. It's on my mind quite a bit, and I do think the Devils tower discussion (which I was admittedly a small contributor to) was an illuminating moment here, at least for me. I'd like this to be more of a part of our community. If we put as much effort into dissecting our part in the racial/societal/political/other struggles which affect our sport and surrounding (often) impacted communities (i.e. sovereign lands, extractive industries, in betweens, etc) as we do into discussing bolt placement or whether something really deserves to be an .11a we could work more efficiently in the right direction that much of our activity has the power to represent.

Also, as a side note/starter related to this, let's all stop saying 'biners. Say carabiners. Or make up your own fun word. saying an extra two syllables is a totally reasonable way to prevent saying a word that, although you probably don't mean it this way, is a well understood racial slur. 

"Biner" is short for carabineer. "Beaners" is a racial slur. Don't make something up where it doesn't exist.

OLH
Ryan Swanson · · Pepedidnothingwrong, freejg · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 50
This post violated Guideline #1 and has been removed.
Philip Straub · · The Valley · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 0
Old lady H wrote:

"Biner" is short for carabineer. "Beaners" is a racial slur. Don't make something up where it doesn't exist.

I'm not. I'm bringing up something that does exist and is often ignored. 

Ted S · · Nashville · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 15
Amrutha Renganathan wrote: I'm brown and most climbers are really nice to me. Some even hit on me. Some of them do ask me if I know their doctor or if I'm related to their one Indian friend but other than that- no not at all :)

I'd probably hit on you.

grog m · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70
This post violated Guideline #1 and has been removed.
grog m · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

And take a minute to note who the majority and miniority is here. Can you accept the possibility that you could be wrong? Can you accept that the majority of people may not agree with your thoughts and ideas? If you can't even fathom those two ideas then there is no point in debating.

You think you have the moral high ground and thus you can speak for whoever you want, completely ignorant that you may be the minority.

· · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 0

Vent much J? Never been called a Lorax. "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." Maybe try to be less billious it might improve your quality of life.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

General Climbing
Post a Reply to "Are climbers racists?"

This topic is locked and closed to new replies.