I don’t have a lot of coherent, non-ragey, non-heartbroken thoughts right now, especially while grunting and sweating through a progressive overload leg workout, because of THINGS. So here is some ramble.
How are we supposed to keep going with normal life? There is a pandemic. Fully one of two of our political parties are fine with the attempted coup on our country and a general dismantling of our democracy. This is not f*cking normal and I’m tired of having to live life like it’s normal. This was all so, so preventable. Everyone who voted Trump and all of the current seditious GOP senators own this. History will not be kind to you, and hopefully our judicial system won’t be kind to the traitors who participated in and incited the violent insurgence on January 6.
In the midst of all my “WTF”, one shining grace for me is being able to work for an organization that takes politics seriously. My employer is starting to take some real, principled, important stands against the folks who aided and abetted the riot, in the ways we can for a conservation organization. For an org that has always worked with anyone who wants to promote and advance conservation, believing it takes all hands on deck, this is a big step.
My org is also making a huge effort towards dismantling the white supremacy baked into its work and the founding of the organization. The ugly truth of all things American is that white supremacy is embedded in everything. It may not have been our choice to put it there, but we HAVE to make the choice to undo it otherwise we are complicit in its continuation, in the oppression it perpetuates. Even if that means tearing everything to the ground and starting over.
I really believe that we can’t do effective conservation if we are not addressing social injustice. Conservation is about advancing the wellbeing of all living creatures; if we ignore how our efforts to protect nature are contributing to the oppression of individuals and groups in our own species, then we are failing. We fail our fellow humans, and we will eventually fail the planet. It’s all one. Justice is justice is justice.
One thing I found today, on our company’s vast list of resources, is a template for making a Native Lands Acknowledgement. The idea behind this is that everyone starts their conference, meeting, or introduction with a statement about the original inhabitants of lands they themselves now occupy, to honor the native peoples and acknowledge the injustice that has resulted in our living here now. I’ve been thinking of what I want mine to be. Once I figure it out, I will share.