Our Next Move(ment)
I dedicate this post to veterans and victims, of conflicts at home and abroad, whether civil veterans of struggles against white supremacy and military power or military veterans who fought for the hope of democracy and human rights. A lot is broken but together we can fix it.
Our Next Move(ment)
by Becky Rafter, Executive Director
As you read this, people across the U.S. are being assaulted because of the way the look or the way they live their life. ENOUGH! The widespread violence, desecration, discriminatory acts, and threats are being perpetrated by people emboldened by a Trump presidency.
These are people with internalized superiority regarding their race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual identity, gender, citizenship status, class, etc. This phenomenon is a less talked-about element of racism and oppression, which furthers structural racism, sexism, queer- & trans-phobia, ableism, Islamaphobia, etc. We have this too y'all.
The next four years are going to drastically affect our communities and Georgia WAND's work. President-elect Trump is already appointing transition officials who blatantly diverge from current policies. He appointed climate skeptic Myron Ebell to head the EPA transition team, and energy lobbyist Mike McKenna to DOEs. We must protect our wins, including our newly minted and hard-fought projects with EPA and Savannah River Ecology Lab in Shell Bluff, GA.
Despite all of these problems, and very real personal fears, we WILL win. This movement, this continent, the Earth. Georgia WAND is doing our part in the movement for justice -and with your continued support we are stepping up our fierceness.
Georgia WAND has just hired an incredibly talented new Program and Communication Manager, Lindsay Harper (see above). We had an awesome election cycle, simultaneously getting folks out to the polls and equipping them with critical education about issues facing their communities. Plus, this month we are launching another major initiative in Shell Bluff, GA, with the EPA, who is overseeing a Technical Needs Assessment process for the community (see below).
Despite the ugliness of this election and its aftermath, I firmly believe there is a critical mass of voters and non-voters, on all sides, who believe in humanity and want to protect it. But if we're going to fight strategically, we will have to find ways to reconcile, heal, acknowledge pain, privilege, and power. And be willing to forgive. It goes against our egos, the power structure, and social mores. But we have to find every commonality possible. People matter more than politics. Ending violence and war, stopping climate change and environmental injustices, re-balancing political power, and ending white supremacy means challenging white folks and people with internalized superiority, across the political spectrum, including self-identified "liberals," to make a deeper commitment to the cause for justice.
We must get stronger and get more people speaking out. We must meet people where they are, as we are able, and build with them in any way possible. We must deepen our commitment to liberation and justice for all people, especially people of color and those who have been denied it for centuries. We must steward the natural resources of this planet. We must look at solutions through an intersectional lens. We must take leadership from those who are directly affected. And we must challenge ourselves and the people we know, not to not tear them down or judge them, but to fight harder, speak more loudly, take more risks, and love more deeply. So that we can all live long lives and die veterans of a movement for racial justice, gender equity, and humanity.
Promise me you will help.