@samuelsycamore I had a lot more thoughts after listening, of course this is when the site goes down! Goddamn technology.
One thing to get out of the way: I’ve always been #teamdeloria when it comes to American occupation, but current dates now confirm humans in the Americas since at least 130,000 bp. So I would strongly discourage talk about humans not being native here. That said, even if the Bering Strait theory were true for all American occupation, arriving on foot 12-17,000 years ago would certainly qualify as well-naturalized in my book.
Just getting things rolling on the theme of the thread.
Language needs some clarification.
Contra Danny Boy and Arthur, white privilege exists. Duh. There’s many ways where that might apply to “rewilding” in terms of how things go down when you stumble across sketchy white trash/rednecks in wild or wilderness areas. That’s a given.
For example, where we live is insanely poor. It takes no money to have access to the wild, particularly here. But the encounters with people if/when they do happen, could go down very differently than if you’re a white guy. Fortunately, we rarely see people where we’re at.
Getting that out of the way, there’s a perception that anything related to woods/wild access is a white thing. That’s absolutely not true, but can be the circumstance. In rural Missouri or rural Pennsylvania, yeah, outside of small pockets, it’s almost all white. But in the south? Found it to be very different. There are sketchy backwoods areas there, but the racism and history in general is both alive and well. Roy Wood Jr put it well, “in the south, you know where you stand.” It’s not as polite as it can be elsewhere, but remains very divided. That means things like hunting and foraging aren’t just associated with poor white people or, worse, urban hipsters.
Now globally speaking, the people living wild are nearly 100% not white. Those of us actively making the efforts are a very small fraction on the larger scale.
The problem with this discussion is that it’s really so biased by urban experience. It’s not that it isn’t relative, but that it’s easy to conflate rewilding with REI backpacking adventures. One takes a lot of money, the other can take none. Access to wild areas? This is where the distinction between wilderness and wildness is an issue. But if you live in a city and there aren’t any good city parks or abandoned enclaves, things like that, then it takes money to get away from them.
At the core, rewilding is enskilling. It’s about self-sufficiency and community-building. In its purest forms, it means no money, free food, and free living. The problem, as it’s always been, is the law and private property. Obviously those are huge issues and ones that need addressed, but we have to distinguish that in general.
The current pop-rewilding “movement” is a hipster trend. Nothing in Danny’s 30 Day version really goes much further than “how to enhance your hobbies” which, again, is not the same thing as going wild. It’s also a lot easier to say it’s an urban white thing.
I think the biggest divide is the urban one. And I don’t encourage anyone to live in cities. All other issues about white privilege apply in this realm just like any other. By no means do I think it should be glossed over. Racists need to be confronted and it can’t just be non-white people having to shoulder that.
On the other hand, there’s nothing about rewilding, outside of Instagram-style, #vanlife, “find-a-spring”-break “rewilding,” that necessarily means it’s the exclusive or innate property of white people, particularly white men. But it does mean, as @Peter_Michael_Bauer pointed out, that white men can get away with a lot more shit than literally anyone else here in the States because of white privilege.
And that breeds the kind of entitlement that lets some shifty white dude take a term that’s been in use for nearly four decades, claim they made it up, sell magical antler velvet Viagra, copyright it, make it a shitty self-help plan, and then claim the white privilege/entitlement - that they are the posterboy of - never actually existed. Speaking hypothetically, right? Ha!