Tag Archives: BlackWomxnMatter

Why Climate Change Matters to Black Lives

Climate change is both a global issue and an environmental justice issue that threatens people of color lives the most.

The same moral justifications that support the Department of Justice and its derivative the police institution, which permits the murder of Black and Brown people, also serves as the moral foundation for maintaining economic disparities, political disenfranchisement, environmental injustice and as a result climate change. If we want to stop killing of black people, we cannot only look at the direct killings, done by police officers we must also look at the slow, insidious killing of black people through environmental pollutants.

As with most things in this racist system, marginalized communities like people of color, migrants and poor people get the short end of the stick. (Poor) Black people are literally breathing different air than rich white people, the places with the lowest air quality and highest levels of toxins are also the places where the majority of minorities live due to the lower cost of living in these places. This is why Black people have the highest rates of asthma and why black woman have high rates of infant mortality. Although climate change is affecting the entire planet, as with everything else, black people are getting the worst of it. We have already seen this during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, where Black people were the last to be rescued from the wreckage, and with climate change these disasters are becoming more frequent. As natural disaster frequency increases, those with money and power will be able to protect their own, leaving marginalized communities to fend for themselves.

If Black Lives Matter as much as White lives, we would have already done something about climate change. But it is not the elite and privileged in the USA, England or Germany who is already being affected by climate change but black and brown lives throughout the rest of the world. Droughts have already caused thousands of preventable deaths in Africa, the monsoons are already drowning people in India, the decreased snow-pack is already causing shortages of freshwater in South America, the melting glaciers have already caused thousands of Indigenous people in the Arctic to be displaced and the rising tides have already risen over Pacific Islanders homes. The failure of the Global community to take action on climate change to stop these impacts tells us that those in power do not believe #BlackLivesMatter.

To oppose one part of the system, and in particular Police Brutality, without recognizing the larger superstructure that is maintained by racist ideologies will not serve to unhinge the system that oppresses us. This superstructure, just like police brutality, is hinged to capitalism, and capitalism, as Malcom X said, cannot exist without racism. Capitalism is an extension of colonialism, which entails the exploitation of both our people and the earth, dislocating and destroying the relationships countless peoples once had with the earth, and commodified both. The White Supremacist Ideology emerged with colonialism as the Europeans systematically exploited the labor of people of color; the Indigenous from the ‘Americas’ and the Black People stolen from the African continent to be enslaved. This is the ideology and system of justifications that has been transmitted to the contemporary corporations that continue to exploit the people and the earth. So, opposing police brutality and not the slow, insidious killing of black people through environmental pollutants is simply not enough.

Climate Change matters to Black Lives because we are the first ones impacted and the most impacted globally, and at its base are the core racist ideologies that have led us to challenge police brutality.


“In early May 2015, a group of cisgender and transgender Black womxn who live, work, play and struggle in Seattle decided to create an accessible space for mourning state violence and police brutality against our own. While it is our duty to fight for all Black lives, we envision a movement that prioritizes Black womxn and girls alongside Black men and boys. Our bodies are tired and our trauma is fresh; therefore, we propose convening a memorial honoring the lives of Black womxn impacted by and lost to state violence, an event free from competing with opportunistic white voices, harming our bodies and minds or risking arrest in the streets.

Our #BlackWomxnMatter memorial is a part of a national day of action to end state violence against Black womxn and girls. We will lift up the names and stories of womxn erased by patriarchy and respectability politics like Mya Hall, a transgender sex worker killed by police in Baltimore just a few weeks before the murder of Freddie Gray. We will also express our solidarity with Black womxn survivors of state violence in our own backyard and beyond, such as Miyekko “Koko” Durden-Bosley, whose eye socket was broken by a Seattle police officer last year. We hope the memorial serves as a space for not only grieving, but also community-building so we can begin the crucial work of transforming and dismantling institutions that make Seattle unsafe and unwelcoming for all Black womxn.”

(Cited From the Event Page
https://www.facebook.com/events/438134526350453/441526256011280/ )

This was a powerful, healing moment when the community came together both to grieve and set the agendas for our own futures.

Womxn are not only in the struggle, they are the vanguards in our struggle. These women are some of the most powerful, passionate, intelligent, wise and selfless people I have ever met.