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(en) Environmentalism: Lack o Racial Diversity

From craziersweet <clubs-mail@yahoo-inc.com>
Date Sun, 27 Aug 2000 03:21:19 -0400


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Interview with New Afrikan Anarchist POW Ojore N. Lutalo.
Questions posed by Tim Lapietra.
Friday - June 25th, 1999

"Go to the people/Live among them/Learn from them/Love them/Serve them/Plan with them/Start with what they know/Build on what they have. . . ." - The Late Kwame Nkurmah

Question: What are your thoughts on the environmental movement as you see it today?

Answer: I see today's environmental movement as a predominantly white self-serving movement of privilege; so my first question to the environmentalist movement is: Whose environmeny are they trying to preserve? If the movement is based on "Amerikan" ideals, I am against
it! I don't agree with anything that would work to destroy individual ethnic ideantities in order to create a one-minded people. To serve and be helots to a draconian government and/or religion that I feel strip away any sense of self, and manipulate the people to make
judgements based on color and class. If the movement is geared towards preserving an environment that is based on an un-oppressive and non-materialistic frames of reference that values and takes pride in family values as well as the qualities of life, and promotes
becoming educated in one's individual ethnic background and RESPECTING other cultures, I'm supportative of their endeavors. I also support what Green Peace is trying to achieve around the world.

Question: How do you feel that white environmentalists (who make
up the majority of the Earth First! (EF) Movement) could better reach
out to people of color?

Answer: First, the predominanty white movement must come to
terms with the REALIZATION of their own OPPRESSION as it's
being articulated by Julius Lester in the enclosures entitles "The
Oppression of Whites," and "Look Out, Whitey! Black Power's Gon'
Get Yor Mama." The vast majority of white people in Amerika do not
see, or consider themselves to be OPPRESSED, and
DISPOSSESSED. Most whites reject this reality out of white
arrogance. They are blinded by their supposed white skin privilege
that the government promotes, and they REJECT the fact that they
are a being manipulated by the government who benefit from racial
rancor, and that "Racism_is_not_an_emotion:
It_is_an_intentional_political_construct,
backed_by_the_government_and_institutions." (Helen Parilla)
People of color are not anti-environment. Most people of color are not
even aware that an environmental movement exists. People of color
cannot afford the PRIVILEGE of worrying about a tree, and being
able to worry about a tree is a privilege; and this fact is something
that white environmentalists must come to terms with in their
dealings with people of color who are truly oppressed and
disenfranchised; and often have to spend their every wakening hour
dealing with the onus of finding ways to feed themselves; clothe
themselves, pay their exorbitant rent; deal with the everyday racism
in their lives and the high cost of medical care while contending with
police brutality and the very real prospect of becoming victims of
crime by other dispossessed people of color in quest of money that
they need to pay their bills and feed their various drug "addictions."
White environmentalists must be willing to do what the Late KWAME
NKURMAH is suggesting here: "Go to the people/Live among
them/Learn from them/Love them/Serve them/Plan with them/Start
with what they know/Build on what they have." Also, if white
environmentalists take heed to Kwame Nkurmah's sound advice,
they must STRUGGLE hard against the tendencies of going into
communities of color and start acting as SAVIORS of the
downtrodden like so many others have done in the past. "Some
whites view themselves as saviors, and they only feel comfortable if
they are working with people of color with A VICTIM-FOCUSED
IDENTITY!" (Excerpt from an article entitled "Being White" by Dr.
Barbara Reynolds. . . Daily Challenge, The City's Only Black
Newspaper - June 16th, 1999)
 White environmentalists must be willing to get into the "trenches"
with people of color in order to combat the mistruct that some people
of color harbor towards white people. . . . If they are not ready to get
into the trenches, there will always be a lack of trust and
understanding of each others' motives; and the driving forces in their
struggles. . . .

Question: How do you see ecology as it pertains to the urban black
community?

Answer: As I see it, black communities are the dumping ground for
big business pollutants, and black urban communities are set-up
and designed for failure, economically and socially. The best one
word description would be decadence!

Question: To what degree do you feel that privileges (SUCH AS
WHITE PRIVILEGE AND CLASS PRIVILEGE) play as a role in
shaping the environmental movement?

Answer: The roles of white skin privilege and class privilege are
paramount in shaping the environmental movement because WHITE
people who predominate the environmental meovement do not have
to contend with ills that the downtrodden have to contend with in
their everyday lives! If they are left alone to shape the movement, it
will only become another tool of an oppressive and capitalistic
government! At first, it might appeal to many people, but if it is left
alone to develope on its own, it would lonely serve the interest and
concerns of the few; like the "neo-racists" of the Anti-Racist Action
(ARA) groups who set agendas to resist racism without the voices or
sgnificant input from those who are affected by the oppression the
most - people of color.

Question: What would you say to an environmentalist who is a
misanthropic and consequently neglects social issues?

Answer: I would ask her or him to question their humanity. I would
ask her or him to question the nature of their own oppression and
their racism because in order to be a true environmentalist, you must
first address the concerns of SOCIAL issues. Considering we as
human beings are the superior members within our environments,
any issues we have will carry over and reflect on our surroundings;
and effest it. . . .

Question: Any final comments?

Answer: I would suggest to white environmentalists that they read
the below listed literature because "tragically, many radical whites
who had been allies in the Black Liberation Struggle began to
question whether the struggle to end racism was really over, as they
moved into their new liberal positions." (Excerpt from the book
"Killing Rage" by Bell Hooks - Page 190 from the Chapter:
Overcoming White Supremacy) For the most part, this behavior has
always been the practice of whites who have involved themselves in
the issues of people of color, and I don not see it being any different
with some segments of the now, predominantly white
environmentalist movement here in North America. . . .

(1) The Oppression of Whites
(2) Look Out, Whitey! Black Power's Gon' Get Your Mama
(3) Being White
(4) Killing Rage
(5) Political Perspectives: White Supremacy

Ojore N. Lutalo
PO-861-59860
Trenton, NJ 08625-0861

"If our young people are to know their past, if they are to know what
and who they are fighting for, and know what and who they are
fighting against, our history must be interpreted, written, taught from
clearly worked-out ideological principles based on concrete goals
and objectives." - Dr. Anderson Thompson

"Racism is not an emotion: It is an intentional political construct,
backed by the government and institutions." - Helen Parilla

Reverse discrimination is an elitist white-male constructed
psychological profile of a groups whose institutionalized privileges
are being eroded, not by minorities and women, but by the
contemporary global marketplace.

Word From the Ghetto
Global Challenges. . .

The Challenge for 1999
A Political Question Mark

Its Never Too Early To Send a Message: Transformed by Time

Global Perspectives Pledges Commitment!

Contact Information: Ojore N. Lutalo; PO-861-59860; Trenton, NJ
08625-0861.

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