Saturday, April 13, 2013

Talking 'bout mainstream environmentalists/NGOs and the voices they've ignored.

Hold up.

You want to talk about being an "inclusive" movement? You want to claim ethnic and racial diversity within your organization? AND you're telling me you identify as an ally to marginalized communities?


No, you wont get brownie points for noting that you have come a 'long' way since the early 2000s or by requiring employees to sign a 'commitment' to anti-oppression or conducting anti racism trainings that are solely facilitated by hipster folk who describe themselves as 'integrated' as if that wasn't racist in itself.

Your network consists of 89% affluent and proud, white folk. With this comes a lot of privilege, ignorance, dominance and assumed entitlement.

Your segregation is sickening.

Want connection, solidarity and greater power in our movements?
First ask yourselves this --- are you willing to step to the side and let us share OUR stories --- the issues WE face in OUR communities, the campaigns WE formed? Are you ready to acknowledge that we may not be looking for your active ally-ship? Yes, I said it! Your self indulging and unspoken attitude that you display to prove your willingness to save us all from ourselves and Big Fossil Fuel industry is called white savior mentality. We will NOT hesitate to tell you that we do NOT need to be saved.

Want to really help?
Work 'with' us --- not 'for' us.

Understand that in an ally-ship to marginalized groups you must,
1) ask whether we are seeking active ally-ship 2) let US determine how you can be a resource/ support in OUR campaigns

STOP speaking for us --- saying things like "we're seeking justice for low income, minority, people of color communities." Your lack of interaction and engagement with our communities says it all --- you don't understand our struggles, our identities, our perspectives!

We're the ones on the front lines, these are OUR stories, this is OUR reality and we have a message: don't claim ally-ship when all you're doing is conveying your white savior mentality!

We don't need your leadership, what we need is for you to back down, listen up and learn your place in our battle --- it's called being an ally!

Throughout history there have been way too many folk like you trying to 'help' by trying to speak/act 'for' us rather than working with the members of our communities and asking whether your ally-ship is needed and if so, where it is needed. Acting your own way without our consent, rapes us of our culture and identity.

WE are the marginalized communities. WE are in the front line of extraction and burning of fossil fuels. WE are not only fighting environmental racism but we're also fighting colonialism, white supremacy, genocide & all intersections of oppression.

So check your privilege --- don't make this a one-sided movement.

This is an ongoing conversation: our struggles, our stories & our resistance. We will NOT be silent and we will NOT be idle.

We don't expect to see anyone that looks like us in your organization that can testify to having shared experiences or similar background. As long as you continue to push the real faces of oppression aside, you will never know true solidarity, ally-ship or community power. So, it's about time you STOP speaking for us as if you do understand. about privilege....

from Tar Sands Action movement

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