|On May 29th, 2020, 350.org posted the statement “What we must do to dismantle white supremacy” on their blog. If you have not already done so, I ask that you take a moment to read the post and reflect on the roles that you as a climate activist, and 350 Spokane as an organization of climate activists, have to play in ensuring the dismantling of institutions such as the carceral system and white supremacy.
As I reflect on the local protest this past weekend, I am struck by two things. First, the call to action by our community: White silence is violence. It is not enough to be against racism, but we must be wholly and actively anti-racist. Secondly, 350 Spokane’s mission statement advocates for “a just transition to 100% fossil-free energy and a low-carbon economy that works for everyone.” As we also acknowledge that the climate crisis is already threatening communities which are low-income, indigenous, and/or communities of color, so we must understand that the fight for climate justice is inherently an intersectional one. We must constantly be seeking ways to be and do better, and that includes amplifying voices of color, making space, and ensuring that 350 Spokane continues to grow with the anti-racism movement.
It is imperative that each of us reject the notion that nothing can be done about white supremacy. We have the power to take action. As outlined in the statement, some immediate actions include:
Additionally, it is essential to listen to the people most impacted by our racist system and build a movement that is rooted in the needs of the most oppressed, to think critically about the narratives we tell, and to exercise compassion toward one another. It is important that each of us do the work to discover our individual biases and confront our own racism, in a way that does not burden Black people or people of color. In addition to the resources listed by 350.org, read about what white people can do for racial justice, and pay special attention to local Black-led efforts here in Spokane.
I will end this with a few words from Dominique Thomas, a 350.org member and organizer: