Prophet and GOAT status holder, James Baldwin, wrote in his opus, No Name in the Street, “Muhammad Ali, formerly Cassius Clay, is a vivid example of what can happen to a Black man who obeys the American injunction, be true to your faith, but his press has been so misleading that he is also an unwieldy and intimidating example.” Brother Jimmy continues, “Muhammad Ali is one of the best of the ‘bad niggers’ and has been publicly hanged like one…” Without knowing it (or maybe he did, he was, afterall, a prophet), Baldwin adroitly portrayed the baleful conditions associated with being a profound, unapologetic (as it was written by the dear and brilliant sister Charlene Caruthers) , and non-tone policed Black person in the United Statesian climate/environmental “movement,” and the nonprofit industrial complex writ large.
One year after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which Big Green groups hailed as a 'climate justice bill,' the truth is surfacing that this legislation is lining the pockets of the fossil fuel industry to the detriment of frontline, especially Black and Indigenous, communities. Clearing the FOG speaks to Anthony Rogers-Wright, a national racial and climate justice advocate, about the ways Joe Biden and the Democrats are failing to address the climate crisis and Big Green groups are turning away from climate justice to embrace Green Capitalism. Rogers-Wright also describes better alternatives to the Big Greens and where people can focus their efforts effectively to struggle for a just and livable future.
Already stressed by the threat of coronavirus and widespread unemployment, the United States has erupted into protests after the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. Now, prominent groups in the environmental movement — which has long struggled with a dark, racist past — are speaking out against institutional prejudice and calling for the movement to better prioritize social justice. “For too long conservation and environmental movements have not spoken up to address the long-standing challenges that non-white communities face,” Fred Krupp, the president of the Environmental Defense Fund, said in a statement. “Environmental organizations should work to bring down the barriers that affect Black, people of color, and Indigenous communities.” The League of Conservation Voters, Earthjustice, 350.org, and the Sierra Club also issued statements.
By Yessenia Funes for Colorlines - In a new open letter, a group of 11 Gulf Coast environmental justice activists are demanding "respect and solidarity" from national "Big Green" organizations that they accuse of exploiting their local disasters for financial gain and treating poor people of color as "poster children for environmental injustice." The activists, who hail from EJ groups including 350 Louisiana, Houstonians Against Tar Sands and Radical Arts & Healing Collective, published the letter on a New Orleans website June 27 and sent it to Colorlines yesterday.
All of the elements required to create climate justice seem to be in place. The climate movement can put hundreds of thousands on the streets, organize creative civil resistance, get thousands to risk arrest and mobilize blockades of tar sands, fracking, oil pipelines and mountain top removal. Polls show high levels of public support for taking action on climate change. A 2014 Gallup Poll shows 65% of Americans support emissions controls and a 2014 George Mason-Yale study found Americans were twice as likely to support a congressional or presidential candidate who strongly supports action to reduce global warming. Yet, despite all of this, the climate change movement is unable to move U.S. or UN policy or force the economic system to respond adequately to the climate crisis.