We at Regeneración stand in solidarity and support with Black people and Black communities to bring an end to systematic racism, injustice and white supremacy.
Healing the hurts of racism
Racism - both individual and personal, and systemic and institutionalized - is now more out in the open.... and millions of people around the world are joining together to demand justice and end these systems of oppression.
Humankind is facing the triple crises of a pandemic, environmental collapse, and racial injustice. Black people are uniquely and disproportionately affected by all three.
The rich continent of Africa was colonized over several centuries, and much of its wealth and many people stolen. Africa is projected to be the hardest hit continent by climate change. The continent is currently facing enormous environmental challenges such as locust swarms, extended droughts, and rising temperatures, yet, because of foreign interference and exploitation, has few resources to confront these challenges.
Wealthy countries who exploited and profited off of African countries, including the United States, are not stepping up to cover the costs of the climate disruption their practices and policies caused.
Many of us haven't seen the connection between our lifestyle and others. Powerful forces have purposely kept invisible the people who are forced to sacrifice their health and lives to fuel never-ending consumerism for people in wealthy countries.
The transatlantic trafficking of humans through the inhumane institution of slavery brought to what are now called the Americas contributed to setting humanity on a course of continued dehumanization and constant destruction of Earth’s living environment, as the earth suffered through the genocide of indigenous people, theft of land, filling of wetlands, deforestation, and damage to and destruction of countless ecosystems.
Daily newscasts are finally acknowledging the ongoing, relentless targeting of Black people around the world through state sanctioned violence and systemic racism.
So as we begin to acknowledge the unequal opportunities that we’ve been given as white and non-Black People of Color, we should also ask ourselves-
How has my life been made more comfortable at the expense of another life in Africa?
(for example, by the use and frequent replacement of cell phones which utilize heavy metals mined with child labor in the Congo.)
Now that we know such levels of consumption are killing people and destroying the living environment of the Earth, what do we do?
We are stuck inside an unworkable system, and it can seem impossible to prevent further oppression as we simply lead our daily lives, when how we move, what we eat, and what items we use may all be causing harm to someone, somewhere - often still invisible to us.
Nevertheless, we believe it's possible to release the accumulated outrage, grief, frustration, numbness and discouragement from centuries of the kidnapping of people, stealing of land and resources, policies of genocide, forced labor and institutionalized inequities that shaped the United States as a country and continue to this day, so that we can take all actions needed to end racism.
It's possible to unite together across differences, so white people who descended from the colonizers follow the lead of people of color whose ancestors were targeted for destruction and who continue to be oppressed through institutionalized racism and individual persecution.
To paraphrase Solana Rice, Co-founder of Liberation in a Generation, people of color must be at the center of conversations (local, national, political) because it's now recognized that they are at the center of the entire economy. - truly people of the global majority -
We are heartened by seeing small steps forward in changing unjust laws and policies. But for policy changes to pass and be retained, we must also remove racism from the minds of individuals.
Racism is passed down by white people from generation to generation, via misinformation and lack of information, tangled together with fear, discomfort, guilt, and ignorance.
Racism is internalized by people targeted by it, and that too causes damage and intergenerational trauma.
We can each decide racism ends with us, that we won’t pass it on, and find ways to heal all the hurts we carry from the brutal history of racism in human society.
We can embody our ancestors’ “wildest dreams,” like Black medical student Sydney Labat said after visiting a plantation museum with fellow medical students.
We support Truth and Reconciliation processes throughout society as one structure for healing and applaud Congresswoman Barbara Lee's efforts to do this through legislation.
We encourage everyone to find appropriate and safe settings to listen without judgment to others' experiences, protest, read, watch films, and together participate in eradicating racism from individual minds and from human societies starting today.
Finally, we at Regeneración call for people living with more than enough to cut their consumption in half NOW and return the unspent money to the low income communities of color who created that wealth in the first place. It is time to wrest control of the future of life on Earth from the small numbers of people who seem intent on stealing a livable future from everyone. Ending racism is an essential part of protecting our livable planet. Join us!
Nancy Faulstich, Regeneración Director