“The sense of impotence and dread in rural America is a consequence of decades of economic extraction and exploitation carried out in the guise of rural economic development. Rural areas are suffering the consequences of prolonged “economic colonization”—a term typically used in reference to neoliberal economic development in nations previously colonized politically. Rather than being colonized by national governments, most economic colonization today in rural America, and indeed in rural communities around the world, is carried out by multinational corporations. (more…)
Have you been listening to Earth Matters?? This fabulous podcast series gives voice to indigenous activists, environmentalists, and people around the globe working for social justice. We cannot recommend it highly enough. Hailing from Australia’s community radio station 3CR AM, Radical Radio, you can stream episodes online or download straight form iTunes.
The link above will bring you to this past Sunday’s episode, “Creative Dissent: the pen (and voice is mightier),” which spans themes of deep connection to land, climate change, colonialism, “nationalism, nuclear disaster, direct action and love on the frontlines” in the voices of actives poets.
After Dr. Luz Calvo was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, she and Dr. Catrióna Esquibel, her partner, searched for an explanation.
Drawing on their experience as ethnic studies professors—and as Chicanas—they started examining the effects colonization has on a culture’s diet. Their findings? The all-American combination of carbs, sugar, and processed foods was making Latino immigrants sick, and repeating a harmful pattern they could trace throughout history.
Latin American food culture has been eroded by colonizing forces: Spanish missionaries forcing Mexicans to start eating bread and cheese instead of corn and beans, to white reformers in the 1920s who told immigrant Mexican mothers that feeding their children tortillas would lead to a life of crime, to Coca-Cola’s current obsession with marketing toward Latino youth. All has been to the detriment of both Latino health and culture.
I talked to Calvo and Esquibel talked about their new book, Decolonize Your Diet, the Latino Paradox, and what we can learn from Mesoamerica when it comes to agriculture. To read more by Shelby Pope, click HERE!
What We Want vs. What We Can Get:Colonizing Ourselves
Colonization can take place in many ways. One of the ways that it occurs is diverting our energy away from organizing for what we actually want, to instead organizing for what we think we can get under the current system.
Large environmental groups in the U.S. have diluted community activism for decades. When coalfield communities wanted to ban strip mining in the 1970s, the large environmental groups steered them toward “practical” alternatives, such as the regulation of the practice, rather than the banning of it. Today, of course, those laws do nothing to keep mountain tops from being blown off in West Virginia, or to prevent longwall coal mining in Appalachia from dewatering streams and polluting drinking water. Long-term effects of those practices, of course, include the combustion of coal, which is not-so-slowly cooking the
And it’s not just stories of yesteryear – today, communities who know that they need to ban fracking, factory farming, pipelines, and other developments are reminded by the large environmental organizations that banning those operations is not only impractical, but illegal and unconstitutional under the U.S. system of law