Are we a selfish nation?
Unmasking, decriminalizing drugs and mutual accountability
“I don’t know how to explain to you that you should care about other people” is a question I find myself asking at least once per day. Because the idea that wearing a mask is the worst consequence of this pandemic is absurd. It’s not that millions of people have died or still struggle from COVID’s lingering effects. It’s not that millions of children have lost parents or guardians. It’s not that millions of disabled and immunocompromised people have been repeatedly exposed and disadvantaged by a system that doesn’t care for them. It’s not that most of us are waking up each day to a mountain of endless grief and stress. But, masks…
Masking up doesn’t hurt anyone. Not to mention, there is an extreme amount of ableism driving the anti-mask movement that is completely divorced from science and reality. Sure, it’s inconvenient and uncomfortable sometimes, but it doesn’t cost people their health or wellbeing. I most certainly look forward to a time where we might not have to navigate the circumstances of a pandemic in our everyday lives. But until then, shouldn’t we be doing everything we can to ensure that no one more person is lost to this horrific virus?
And on this Earth Day, as we stare down an accelerating climate crisis that is ravaging our environment and impacting our lives, shouldn’t we reckon with the consequences of our carelessness? The “unmasking of a selfish nation” is representative of how we got here, but it doesn’t have to be who we are.
If and when we remember that we are not separate from each other and from the planet we call home, perhaps then we’ll realize that we have to care for each other and living things. And that our collective survival depends on it.
The unmasking of a selfish nation. Covid 19 didn’t change America. It revealed our cruelties and churlishness in a time of unprecedented crisis. [click to tweet]
How to make change slowly. Making a difference is not just about charismatic leaders and huge protests. As these books show, social and political shifts are usually the result of sustained, unseen work. [click to tweet]
The right’s fixation on "grooming" and child welfare didn’t begin with QAnon, but has a long history on the Christian Right. Here’s the real source driving the recent proliferation of anti-LGBTQ bills around the country. [click to tweet]
Realizing Our Abolitionist Dreams. But in order to make it real, we have to understand that every relationship with other people, or with the land we are on, is practice ground. [click to tweet]
This is better than an apology. What matters most is how couples repair when they mess up—rebuilding the bridge of connection before it becomes consumed by negativity. [click to tweet]
Despite the movement to legalize cannabis, police in the US make a marijuana arrest every 37 seconds. And while Black people and white people use cannabis at similar rates, Black people are 3.6 times more likely to be arrested for possession than white people (source: @aclu_nationwide ). Even if someone does not receive jail time, there are often still serious consequences from being arrested/convicted, like: losing your job, being ineligible for public housing, having your drivers license suspended, and jeopardizing your eligibility for federal student loans.
We must end the war on drugs and repair the harms of prohibition, which has disproportionately harmed Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and low-income communities. Follow these organizations for where to get started.
@after_incarceration: They are made up of students, professors, public defenders, peacekeepers, activists, and advocates. After Incarceration draws upon their lived experiences to identify the many ways in which all lives intersect and affirm the value of every human being.⠀(Thanks @msconthemove for the reference)
@lastprisonerproject: Last Prisoner Project works to redress the harms of cannabis criminalization through legal intervention, education & criminal justice reform advocacy.
Art by @thesweetfeminist
So much of our suffering can either be attributed to either our lack of accountability or our dependence on punitive systems of criminalization or incarceration. But Mariame Kaba reminds us that reform is insufficient:
“We are deeply entangled in the very systems we are organizing to change. White supremacy, misogyny, ableism, classism, homophobia, and transphobia exist everywhere….We have all so thoroughly internalized the logics of oppression that if oppression were to end tomorrow, we would be likely to reproduce previous structures”
In her latest blog series, Murmerations, adrienne maree brown says that realizing our abolitionist dreams require us to practice embodied accountability wherever we are. And while “these times are urgent”, it is a slow movement that will repair the past and build the future. What are you practicing?
Words by #bellhooks
Earth day also happens to be my mother’s birthday :-) On this day and all days, may we return to the mother and protect the sacred.
Art by @katja.perez
We’re doing a book club! American Detox is an invitation to grapple with how we’ve been shaped by a toxic culture rooted in separation, supremacy and scarcity and what it’s going to take to heal. Join us for a community of practice (starting June 7th) as we ask hard questions of ourselves and one another and do the inspiring work of reimagining a wellness that works for everyone. Save your seat!
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