Sierra Club Op-Ed: Racism is Killing the Planet

Memorial at the site of Floyd’s death / Photograph courtesy of Tony Webster under CC BY 2.0

Hop Hopkins, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Sierra Club, is out with a powerful piece in Sierra Magazine detailing the inextricable connection between the  climate crisis and white supremacy.  In the piece, he details the intersectionality between the white colonizermentality, slavery, ongoing structural racism, the modern plundering of our planet, and the murder of George Floyd by Minneappolis police.

As he notes in the piece:

You can’t have climate change without sacrifice zones, and you can’t have sacrifice zones without disposable people, and you can’t have disposable people without racism. 

We’re in this global environmental mess because we have declared parts of our planet to be disposable. The watersheds where we frack the earth to extract gas are considered disposable. The neighborhoods near where I live in Los Angeles, surrounded by urban oilfields, are considered disposable. The very atmosphere is considered disposable. When we pollute the hell out of a place, that’s a way of saying that the place—and the people and all the other life that calls that place home—are of no value. 

In order to treat places and resources as disposable, the people who live there have to get treated like rubbish too.

Read the full piece online here.

Author:

The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

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