The recent murders of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Alex Nieto, Renisha McBride, John Crawford, and Vonderrit Meyers Jr. are all systemic expressions of an extractive economy – one that says that white lives matter more than the rest of the living world.
The dominant economy asserts that young black men are completely expendable, mountaintops & peoples in Appalachia are completely expendable, indigenous knowledge that cultivates our global food & medicine cabinet is completely expendable.
The insane ideology that says we can dominate, subjugate, and enslave our earth is the same ideology that justifies mass incarceration, the criminalization of black communities, and the existence of a militarized police state. It is the same ideology that says women and their bodies exist primarily to serve the sexual desires of men.
Said another way: there is no fracking or mountaintop removal or hydro damming or coal mining without the violent removal of people from place and the ensuing subjugation or enslavement of their labor.
Economy simply means management of home. Economy is how we organize relationships in place. This “management of home” can be good or bad, depending on how you do it and to what ends. The purpose of our economy could be turning land, life and labor into property for a few, or returning land, life and labor into a balanced web of stable relationships.
The dominant economy has globalized the mismanagement of home…and this mismanagement is having catastrophic consequence. The murder of Mike Brown and other victims of racist police actions against black communities is an unspeakable consequence of this dominant economy.
The mono-cropping of our lands, our cultures, our minds and our bodies is an imperative for this economy to function ‘well’. The all-out assault on the cultural & biological diversity of our planet is a necessity, for industrial capitalism to work. In this economy, diversity gets in the way. It is ‘inefficient’. It impedes growth.
All to say: this economy is on a collision course with nature. It is on a collision course with Life itself.
The current rebellion in the streets of Ferguson begs the question: will we continue to uphold, participate in and suffer the consequences of this violent extractive economy?
Or will we completely dismantle the extractive economy while re-building local, living economies that restore & repair our relationship to earth & each other? (Reparations: Repairing our Relations.)
It is clear: Social inequities are a key form of ecological erosion.
Ferguson & St. Louis…Palestine…Detroit…Chiapas…The Gulf Coast.
These communities are all at the frontlines of the ecological crisis.
And they are also at the forefront of change.
It is upon all of us to support these frontlines.
This weekend, all eyes will be on Ferguson.
The time to act is now.