This blog post is part of our response to a recent article in the online magazine VICE: Debate Over Racism Has Split One of the World’s Most Famous Climate Groups
XR America exists because of a burning desire to lean in strongly, NOW, to mobilize a critical percentage of the population of the United States to take non-violent direct action and halt the accelerating breakdown of earth’s natural life-support systems.
This planetary catastrophe is not just a matter of “clean air” or “water quality” – it’s a matter of life and death for all inhabitants of Earth: All humans, all animals, all plants, and according to the most dire reports, all microbial life.
XR America can plainly see that the worst of the current climate-destroying abuses are concentrated on the communities that have traditionally been marginalized by the all-consuming ethic that commodifies life and the life-sustaining systems of our living Earth:
- toxic landfills and chemical dumping grounds are zoned near the population centers of people of color;
- pipelines, with their localized and short-term ecosystem-destroying spills and their globalized and long-term destabilizing of the delicate balance of O2 and CO2 in the atmosphere, run through the remaining lands of Indigenous nations;
- industrial facilities and mining sites operate far from the gaze of the wealthy and the privileged;
It is also obvious that outside of these point-sources of death, the traditionally marginalized communities of people of color, Indigenous people, and the poor are systematically disadvantaged by lack of access to good-paying jobs, health-care, and the exercise of their right to vote – all of which would temporarily remediate the worst of the abuses.
And yet – the just society we at XR America want to live in cannot come into being if we are all dead.
The suggestion that XR America is in denial of the racial and class dynamics of oppression, or that XR America wishes to prioritize saving the lives of one group over another, is ridiculous, defamatory, and distracts from the issue at hand.
While humans argue over who among us is worthy or deserving of leading the charge to halt the climate collapse and ecological emergency, atmospheric CO2 concentration rises to suffocating levels, oceans acidify to sterility, and entire species of fellow earthlings are eradicated.
Social science research shows that to pull-off the feat of achieving civilization-wide changes in behavior, 3.5-5% of people must be mobilized, and have the support of at least 50% of the population. We look outside the extremes of our current American political landscape and see the ripe possibility that there are many people who would take to the streets to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2025, motivated by the simple truth that it is NOW or never for each and every one of us.
Acting NOW to mobilize 50,000 arrestable people and hundreds of thousands of supporters to march on Washington D.C. and force government action on the climate and ecological emergency provides the best possibility that there will be a future for humans on Earth at all.
We have launched this new XR mobilization to remove any barrier to participation in this effort.
We stand in solidarity with all chapters of Extinction Rebellion, including XR US, to press relentlessly forward in all available efforts to save Life on Earth from extinction.
XR America looks forward to the strategies, solutions, and actions that will come from XR US’s unwavering commitment to following the lead of traditionally marginalized people; it is certain that untapped wisdom and power will be unleashed when this happens. XR America will be working hard to mobilize using a “big tent” model, where we welcome anyone who agrees with our demands and abides by our principles, and who wants to fight for their life.
We will live together or we will die together.
We will see you on the front lines.
Questions or comments for us? Contact us here.