A coalition of lawmakers and civil rights groups has a message for the National Park Service: your uniforms and vehicles are “very threatening” to Latinos.
Maite Arce of the Hispanic Access Foundation delivered the “really tough” message during a press conference on Thursday:
“It’s such a shame that something as simple as the uniform and it’s similarity to the border patrol’s uniform — in the coloring — could be very threatening to certain segments of the Latino population. So a discussion about that is going to be really tough.”
National Park Rangers…
The coalition made multiple recommendations to the Park Service, including:
Assess the cultural implications of existing agency uniforms, offices, signage, and other facilities. For example, the Park Service law-enforcement vehicles look like those used by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and uniforms have law enforcement connotations, both of which present a significant impediment to engaging all Americans.
Review names of sites throughout system for cultural bias. Some may require comprehensive name changes to reflect a broader and more inclusive history.
The coalition is asking President Obama to issue an executive order directing the Department of Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to “adopt guiding priorities for a more inclusive approach to National Parks.”