I don’t want to talk about it anymore, I just want to do it. Those words may come from a person on the verge of suicide but also come from a person newly in love, wanting to give permanence to their relationship. I am not participating in either of the two activities and I never intend on participating in the first one. Yet I feel that the statement speaks for me. In small part I think it has to do with my new feelings concerning the activist conversation. I feel betrayed and the betrayal makes me mad. I’d made it my career to work in “civil rights” or “social justice”. The quotes around those will most likely infuriate some people. I would ask those people if we have achieved what is necessary to remove the quotes. When you take up this kind of work (that is work that is formally known for being activist in nature) you receive constant praise from those outside the field. To them you’re only doing right. I worked with the city to make sure that the Department of Neighborhoods allotted money to safe routes to school for youth. Yet a student of mine recently died from stab wounds. People outside of the “work” would not consider this to be my failure. In a lot of ways, they would be right. I did not manufacture the knives and was not part of the gang. But I would hold myself accountable. I have dedicated myself to the virtues in quotations and to not hold accountability seems to be counterintuitive and dishonest. If this sounds like a ridiculous burden, then I would advise to look at the ridiculousness that is changing personal dietary plans and calling yourself engaged. It’s fun to be an activist until you have to be one. And yet, those of us with experience still entertain blog posts written about how some T.V show is racist or promotes practices that are bad for the environment. Until we have solved the problem I think it’s safe to say that none of us have the needed answer. So why is there so much pride in the information we do have yet so little action. We’re quick to talk about the intersectionality of oppression but not the intersectionality of oppressors. Quick to critique famous people, but unable to talk to our own family members much less ourselves. I’d like to see those tweets putting your brother on blast. There is no team to be on. I know that as I reached the end of this bit that the thoughts started become a little scatterbrained; I also know that some of this can sound like a condemnation of people involved in the movement. I know it can look like that in class. I love people but we are getting in our own way. I love people which is why I have to talk about it.
I have mentioned that this actually only takes part of why the first statement resonates with me. I am leaving the positive stuff for last. The main part is just drive. I am convinced that solving the climate crisis is going to happen before the crisis “solves” us. Either an alternate economic system is transitioned to, the current one collapses, or both. The functions put in place lead this way. This does not negate activism, there is reason to fight for the people caught in the process. That we don’t want become prisoners of our time, both literally and figuratively. My goal is to solve each and every crisis we need to solve. There will need to be tools that are largely new to do this, I am ready for all of it and spend a lot of my thinking amassing information and developing literal strategies. Settling for anything else is compromising my morals and is a threat to the larger movement. I need sleep. The video and it’s uploading is evidence that it is already worth it.