Colonization- Racism- Poverty- Climate crisis- Homelessness- Precarity- NIMBYism- Xenophobia- Hate- Apartheid- Corporate imperialism are all deeply connected. I am learning from Sylvia Wynter (see @WynterArchive) and Katherine McKittrick (@demonicground) about this. Long🧵(1/13)
Wynter explains that active ignorance about human origins is the root of the problem. We live a lie about what we are as humans. And that lie is that biology is the only real, foundational truth about us. We ignore the ways that stories make us what we are.
McKittrick p. 11:
3/ And yet we are deeply committed to an origin story telling us that biology is the only thing that matters. We mix myth with science. Wynter quoting Glyn Isaac (p. 36):
4/ The consequence is that we neglect the profound connections between language and biology, and the way that language “implements” stories about us (that come to characterize our biological existence in the world) (p. 27).
5/ These stories shape who we believe to be in our in-group and out-group (p. 27).
6/ And tell us how to act in ways favorable and morally sound according to our in-group (p. 27).
7/ And frame our contemporary myth: that we all ought to behave even more like homo-oeconomicus. McKittrick (p. 10):
8/ And motivate exclusion by constructed categories of race. McKittrick again (p. 10):
9/ Now here’s the kicker (this tweet and next): The divisions and exclusions created by the origin stories on which our faulty categories rely are necessary to sustain homo-oeconomicus (p. 43):
10/ And as a result, the most damning problems we face as humanity are all inter-connected, growing on a foundation of a false understanding of the myth in the middle of our origin story (p. 43).
11/ Wynter begins to outline a view of what must happen for change. We need to step outside our in-group, our “referent-we” as she calls it (p. 43):
12/ And as Wynter has made clear elsewhere in the context of COVID-19 (, stepping outside our referent-we demands that we narrate the origin story differently. (thanks to @balagonline)
13/ So as we work to dismantle the atrocious hate that seems to be everywhere these days, let’s reflect on how our assumptions about what we are (you and me!) might need to evolve as we do.

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