Decolonizing My Mind & My Planet: An Eco-Justice Fight

I write this as I enjoy the peace and calm the crickets outside my window bring. Living in the quiet suburban of the Bronx, I know I have the privilege of being somewhat insulated from the harsh hustle and bustle of other parts of the city. I know that who I am is thankfully a product of my environment. I am privileged in having a place to call home.

As a child, one of my earliest memories is offering money to people who are homeless. Though I did not know it at the time, this was my first introduction to the inequality of capitalism. And though never taking what I consider true action, I both hoped better for them and guilty for not being able to do more. From this entry point, I learned homelessness disproportionately affect people of color. I wanted to hold the failing education system and school-to- prison pipeline responsible. But looking further, I learned these issues were rooted in systematic racism and our country’s history of slavery, and finally in colonialism. The more I learned, the more I experienced, colonialism was the culprit.

Colonialism promotes a hyper-consumption, and disposability of items and life forms alike. If we as a collective shift towards more sustainable practices such as reducing, reusing, recycling, we are directly and indirectly valuing each life experience. There would not be room for the pillars of colonialism therefore dismantling it at its core. Simply, if we cared about life and respond in a sustainable manner, the way we should, many of the socio-economic issues we are facing now would not exist.

To take action against colonialism and thus capitalism and thus racism, and thus sexism and thus ableism, and thus specisim, is to fight climate change. So for this year and for my life, I pledge to do just that.

The fight to end colonialism, is the fight to stop climate change, is the same fight to save the world.

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1 Comment

  1. Amarissa, I really like that you pushed yourself to look further and ended up with settler colonialism!! I value your angle on climate change because it affects EVERYONE. However, there are some environmentalists who do not value their fellow human. Although they are committed to saving the environment, they do not care about the -isms that affect others. Weird but true.

    PS. PLEASE post what you would like to share with us about events and information that you shared in our meet-up. Much appreciated!

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