By Kateri Boucher
Last year for my Sociology senior thesis, I chose to research the interactions between two environmental justice (EJ) organizations in a majority-Black city with a rich and complicated history of EJ work. I had made connections with folks in the EJ movement when I had lived there for a few weeks the previous summer, and I figured that studying these two organizations would be a perfect way to both learn more and get involved in work that I was drawn to. I did some background research, and then traveled to the city for a week to do interviews with members of both organizations. After documenting my findings, I submitted the paper and got a near-perfect grade on the first draft. I was proud of my work, and I was rewarded and praised for it. Continue reading
A [re]post from Ijeoma Oluo’s speech at “Interrupting Whiteness,” an event held on June 1, 2017 at the Central Library in Seattle, co-hosted by KUOW Public Radio.
Hi, I am Ijeoma Oluo, and I am a mixed race black woman who was raised by a white mother in this very white city.
I have a Ph.D. in whiteness, and I was raised in “Seattle nice.” I was steeped in the good intentions of this city and I hate it. I love this city. I love you guys. Also, I hate it. I really do.
And I’m going to talk a little bit about why. I write about race, and I’m regularly reached out to by really well-meaning white people who want to explain to me what my work is like to them as a white person and the white perspective that I’m missing.
And the only part of the white perspective I’m missing is the ability to be unaware of the white perspective. Continue reading
An excerpt from Bayo Akomolafe’s “Homo Icarus: The Depreciating Value of Whiteness and the Place of Healing.” Dr. Akomalafe is globally recognized for his poetic, unconventional, counterintuitive, and indigenous take on global crisis, civic action and social change. He is the author of the about to be published These Wilds Beyond Our Fences.
To address Charlottesville is to meet the implosion of white order and normativity. It is to go by way of a prevalent distrust in the political order, a coming to terms with the real limits to the power of neoliberalism to cater to our basic needs and yearnings as an ever-emerging co-species. It is to touch upon the silent racialized class war that is still being fought – only under other names and so invisibly as to now be expected. It is to exorcise the demons of fruitless wanderings and search for land. It is to meet those who are broken, who – like the rest of us who might claim some sanity or goodness to ourselves, who might consider ourselves on the right side of history, who might think of ourselves as progressive and welcoming to diversity – are not yet at home. Continue reading
From Ruby Sales, excerpt from interview on On Being.
Let me just say something before we have a question. I really think that one of the things that we’ve got to deal with is that how is it that we develop a theology or theologies in a 21st-century capitalist technocracy where only a few lives matter? How do we raise people up from disposability to essentiality? And this goes beyond the question of race. What is it that public theology can say to the white person in Massachusetts who’s heroin-addicted because they feel that their lives have no meaning, because of the trickle-down impact of whiteness in the world today? What do you say to someone who has been told that their whole essence is whiteness and power and domination? And when that no longer exists, then they feel as if they are dying or they get caught up in the throes of death, whether it’s heroin addiction. Continue reading