Saturday, January 7, 2012
A Black Environmentalist's Perspective
If you have read any of my other blog entries, you would learned how my discovery and interest in the Environmental Movement came after I was introduced to David Korten, the author of "The Great Turning". In 2007, I along with a couple of friends traveled to Columbus, Ohio to what was being billed as the first gathering of the Great Turning Navigators.
When I returned from that gathering, I determined to become the Great Turning Navigator for my city. After meeting David Korten, reading his book, and gaining an understanding of “Peak Oil”, and the future affects we as a human race could possible find ourselves facing. In order for the environmentalists I begin meeting to help me understanding the conditions they saw for our future, was to have me think about a 1981 move titled “Mad Max”; where people would kill for a once of fuel. It wasn’t until I had such a visualization that I begin to realize, if we did not start preparing our future generations for the kind of life, the lost of fossil fuel would cause on this planet, the disappearing Black Community that Minister Farrakhan is warning us about, would become a disappearing world.
Now please don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those Doom’s Day kind of person, but once I was able to understand the depth of what the environmentalists were predicting, my past Civil Rights Community Organizing mentality kicked in, and I saw preparing black people, (who as usual would probably be the last to be told of these circumstances), as my independent responsibility.
Then my concerned became, how do you take a portion of the population that has been disenfranchised from mainstream society, who due to survival circumstances, were far removed from the kind of concerns being expressed about the environment?
In may ways black people in America are similar in nature to the people in the Republic of China, as far as how they also feel about the concerns being leveled at them for their environmental missteps. They feel, America or the Western world has only now, after years of their own excessive living and development, decided it is a problem, and wrong for the Chinese to do so. Just when they (the Chinese) have reach a point of pulling themselves out of the dark ages, they are being told by environmentalists, by them excessively enjoy the benefits of their labor, they are being a major destroyer of the planet, environmentally.
In many ways we as a race are facing similar circumstances. It kind of goes with what Minister Farrakhan was saying about us talking our eye off the prize. Many of us have reached the point in life, where being able to enjoy the thrills of life can finally be a reality. So how dare someone like me try to tell you your directions in life is destructive. How can I possible expect you to listen to what I am trying to say? With all of the pressing issues we have in our communities around the country and world, who am I to speak negatively of your choice of directions in life?
My main justification for understanding is because I realize if I were you, and someone was trying to say the things I am going to be saying to you, I would have those same concerns myself. But I also realize, for me to assume my independent responsibility, I need to find a way.
It is not my intentions to say that I have the answers, as much as show you why I think we as a race were born to figure it out. This is where my spirituality has been expanding long with my environmental awareness too. I truly believe Black America’s lifestyle with its ability to survive and prosper, has always been apart of God’s master plan.
While most are totally at a lost as to where we as a race of people go from here, I truly feel we are God’s chosen people, who were regulated to a second-class status so we could truly, under the proper tutelage, discover our true purpose in life.
I am using this blog posting to stress how David Korten became my personal environmental intellectual guide, what he taught me about “Peak Oil”, and to then show how the movie Mad Max 2, help me visualize the need for me to get involved.
I am going to end this posting by sharing a statement that I got from David’s book that became my sign from God that I was where he wanted me to be, and since having that realization, the picture included with this posting is showing me doing what I feel some of us really need to be trained to do; teaching both our elderly as well as our future generations of their individual responsibilities too. The above photo is of me taking time to teach our elderly about the environmental movement, and why they are still needed to help us teach their grand children too. Our baby-boomers (me included) have knowledge that each of us who can, needs to find a way to extract. The statement I am ending on will show why, I say we need to do so.
David Korten says in his book:
Leadership to create a world that works for all is more likely to come from those who live in the real world and consequently are intimately acquainted with the injustice, violence, and environmental failure that the Empire has wrought.
Empire (an imperial or imperialistic sovereignty, domination, or control)
Wrought (put together, created, or a carefully wrought plan)
Our elderly figured out how to overcome such circumstances, and for us to develop into the kind of leaders the above statement says will be needed; we need to figure it out too.
My next posting will start sharing how I feel we might be to become or transform those kind of leaders in America and/or this planet.