In regards to “Climbers Reckon With Bigotry,” (Moab Sun News, July 16, 2020). I looked up the term “Black Sambo” and found a few things that refer to that name. One is the chocolate dessert Black Sambo from the Philippines; the others refer to a board game, a restaurant chain, the original book by Helen Bannerman about a South Indian boy, a Japanese adaptation about a black Japanese puppy, as well other adaptations that were considered highly controversial and racist.
So my question to the climbers out there who are insulted by these names and who are all for changing the names of routes is, who is the decider? Will we now have to submit our names to a committee for approval? One person’s insult is another person’s giggle, we all perceive things differently. For instance, “Czechoslovakian Vagina” made me laugh. With all of the apocalyptic things that are happening in our world, COVID-19, climate change, extreme drought, Moab being totally ruined, overrun and overbuilt: climbers are in an uproar about this?
How about all of the environmental destruction climbers do, when was the last time you plopped your pack onto plants? I care deeply about the impacts climbers have on our natural environment and the lack of respect climbers have for it, from playing music at the crags, rope swinging off climbing anchors, flying drones, all the excessive yelling, climbing where birds are nesting, exploiting climbing areas for ego, etc. Where’s the uproar about OUR impacts as climbers?
This whole name thing is silly and stupid. I don’t give a rat’s arse what first ascensionists name their climbs but I do care about freedom of speech and protecting that person’s right to name their climb whatever they want. Foremost I care about the environment and am constantly frustrated seeing the lack of respect climbers have for it.