Mark Alexander / November 4, 2021

Is Your Community Meeting ‘Outdoor Equity’ Standards?

I am pleased to report that our city did not even make the top 20 list this year.

Living in the mountains of East Tennessee, we are surrounded by the extraordinary beauty of God’s boundless creation. For that reason, the nearest city, Chattanooga, regularly rates high on scales measuring recreational quality of life in national publications.

Consequently, I chastise colleagues who post those ratings on social media pages because we do not want to attract “undesirables” to our state — you know, those wealthy white-privileged left-elitists from California and New York who will bring all their socialist political baggage with them.

We are content with our “deplorables” status, as Hillary Clinton infamously labeled grassroots Americans ahead of her 2016 campaign. (She lost.)

Despite Clinton’s unmitigated arrogance, self-identifying as a “deplorable” soon became synonymous with being a supporter of family, faith, and freedom. You know, much as that now-ubiquitous chant “Let’s Go Brandon” has also taken on new meaning in American folklore.

Our city rates especially high for its outdoor activities, with the Tennessee river flowing through its mountain canyons and some of the best camping, climbing, caving, biking, kayaking, water skiing, rowing, and hang gliding locations anywhere. And it’s a great place to be in front of a campfire on a beautiful vista at the end of the day.

However, while the state, district, and county in which Chattanooga residents have the privilege of residing is decidedly conservative, the city has, as with many decaying urban cesspools across the nation, fallen under the control of leftist Demo mayoral regimes over the last decade. Consequently, Chattanooga now ranks among the worst managed urban centers in the nation — so bad, in fact, that the most recent WalletHub rating declared Chattanooga “the fourth-worst run large city in the country, behind Washington, D.C., San Francisco and New York.” That rating is compliments of ineffective woke mayors too busy with “internal affairs” to be bothered with making life better for our citizens. That terrible rating was not an outlier — Chattanooga also ranked number four from the bottom of the list the previous year.

That notwithstanding, twice in the last decade Chattanooga has ranked number one in Outside Magazine’s Best Towns — the only city to achieve that distinction twice. That prompted one editor to proclaim, “Two days in the city should be enough to convince you to make the move.”

And that is exactly why I don’t want these ratings on social media!

But this year, Chattanooga is nowhere to be found in the list of “most livable cities,” and for reasons I am glad to promote nationwide: We ain’t woke enough. We don’t meet the new woke supremacist narrative on outside activities.

Apparently Outside Magazine, like many other city rating sources, is now edited by delusional wokesters, one of whom insists: “The past year showed us all that having access to the outdoors is essential for our health and well-being. It also magnified the inequities inherent in that access.”

Thus, there are new “equity” criteria required to make the list, including the following:

“Diversity: A 2021 report from personal-finance site WalletHub ranked the 501 most populated cities based on the diversity of their socioeconomic, cultural, household, and re­ligious makeup. The rankings drew on 13 specific metrics, including educational attain­­ment and languages spoken. On the scorecards we include for each city, we provide that city’s WalletHub ranking.”

“Sustainability: A 2019 WalletHub report ranked the 100 most popu­lated cities according to in­vestment in green initiatives. It used 28 metrics, including air quality and the ability to get to work using public trans­portation. Again, on our scorecard, we give the WalletHub ranking.”

And of course…

“Outdoor Equity: In addition to our own reporting, we used data from a 2021 Trust for Public Land report on the percentage of each city that consists of parkland, along with the percentage of residents of color who live within a ten-minute walk of a park.”

“Outdoor Equity” is a prime example of the soft bigotry of the racist Left’s low expectations, assuming that “people of color” are incapable of figuring out how to take a hike.

Outdoor ratings should be based on outdoor activities, but now it’s all about “outdoor equity.” I am shocked there was no rating for a city’s accommodation of “gender fluidity” in recreational activities, but I bet there will be a category for that next year!

Thus, I am pleased to report that, on the leftist metrics of diversity, sustainability, and outdoor equity, Chattanooga does not even make the top 20.

However, the current Demo mayor, who busied himself promoting “equity” to attract “residents of color” to his voter rolls while campaigning last year, was quick to announce after his election in May of this year a new “Department of Equity & Community Engagement.” According to the mayor, this department will ensure that everything the city does will be filtered through “an equity lens” to ensure “diversity, equity and inclusion across the city.” The chief equity officer will report directly to the mayor.

That’ll fix it! Surely Chattanooga will make the top 20 list next year!

Pardon me while I go post our consecutive worst-run city ratings, as well as our failed diversity, sustainability, and outdoor equity ratings, on social media.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776

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