, 16 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
This #EarthDay, I want to talk about my journey toward finding my voice in the environmental/climate movement. Cause, in the words of Langston Hughes, it ain’t been no crystal stair.
Ever since I got involved in the environmental space 5 years ago, it became real clear real fast why the movement was so anemic. Simply put, the movement was telling itself an incomplete story that rendered people—esp. people of color—to the margins.
People of color are largely invisible in this color-blind movement. And I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about that. But I know how I do feel: dismissed, silenced, erased. But also motherfucking determined to make you see me.
Before I started writing, I can’t tell you how many people told me that my ideas were stupid. That they were too abstract. That they were “just” my experience. That they were lazy. That there was no “there there.”
And I have to admit that part of me felt that maybe it was trite too. These are things that seem so obvious to me, so maybe everyone else knows them, but they just don’t care? Maybe this part of the conversation happened already, but I wasn’t in the room?
But, I knew there were things that needed to be said, and I kept listening for them. But I never heard them. So finally, I said them myself. #YOLO
So, I talked about the connections between slavery and climate change. Connections that I can’t not see. medium.com/@maryheglar/bl…
Slavery "fueled the antebellum economy, which bankrolled the industrial “revolution,” which launched today’s climate crisis. The dots are all there, aching for connection."medium.com/@maryheglar/bl…
I wrote about the emotional toll of accepting climate change and all the stages of grief, because climate change isn’t clinical, it’s human. It’s emotional. It’s heartbreaking.
Climate change is enraging: “Don’t give into that shame. It’s not yours. The oil and gas industry is gaslighting you.These fuckers are locking you and everything you love into a tomb. You have every right to be pissed the fuck off.” medium.com/@maryheglar/wh…
I wrote about the recklessness of thinking of the climate movement as a special pony devoid of a historical precedent and divorced from other movements for justice. Because this ain’t about science, y’all.
“So the next time you want to “educate” communities of color about climate change, remember that they have even more to teach you about building movements, about courage, about survival.” medium.com/s/story/sorry-…
I wrote about how the environmental movement’s inconsideration of people of color is so entrenched it shows up even in its anthem. damemagazine.com/2019/04/16/thi…
“White people don’t stop to think, for example, how this song sounds to… people who don’t look like them. We are an afterthought. And how can you care about someone you literally refuse to see?”
I need the environmental movement to win. We all do. but there are parts of it that baffle me, that alienate me. Others that piss me the fuck off. And I refuse to be silent about them any longer.
To close out this CRAZY long thread, I’ll just paraphrase Ntozake Shange “I’m gonna do exactly what I want to/ and I won’t be sorry for none of it. I will raise my voice & scream & holler & tell all your secrets bout yourself to your face” neverdateawriter.com/2011/06/03/sor…
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