In his article “Return the National Parks to the Tribes” David Treuer reminds us that national parks are the result of Indigenous dispossession. Everglades National Park is Seminole land. Olympic National Park was created by a violation of a treaty with the Quinault tribe. The first white people to ever see what is now Yosemite National Park were members of a California militia, intent on slaughtering and driving Miwok people off the land and into reservations. “Native people need permanent, unencumbered access to our homelands,” wrote Treuer, an Ojibwe author and historian. “All 85 million acres of national-park sites should be turned over to a consortium of federally recognized tribes in the United States" (The Atlantic).
Aristotle said, “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime” (Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality). But in the wake of violence in impoverished Black communities, we often only hear the same refrain: “Why is no one doing anything about this?” The idea that nobody in Black communities works to stop community violence is racist, classist, and false.
The Freedom Georgia Initiative springs from a “desire to create generational wealth for our families” in a place where “restoration, recreation, and reformation” are possible. The ability to conserve family resources and enjoy ample rest and recreation has been denied to generations of Black families. As an explicitly pro-Black city in an anti-Black nation, Freedom, Georgia hopes to be a new start (Complex).
Neighborhoods of color affected by redlining, historic bank and government-sponsored housing discrimination, are five degrees hotter than non-redlined neighborhoods since they have dramatically less tree cover. In Portland, OR, they’re a shocking 13 degrees warmer (NPR). Communities of color are where state and business elites dump toxic chemicals, coal-fired power plants, and chemical factories across the country. “The climate emergency will have a disproportionate impact on Black and Brown communities” (Guardian) since “the lack of equitable investment in low-income communities leaves people even more at risk for climate change impacts” (NRDC).
Citizen is a privately-owned “public safety” app that reports neighborhood crime to residents. It has 5 million active users, more App Store downloads than Twitter (Forbes), and is backed by venture capital firms like Sequoia Capital, which is also investing in heavyweights like Cisco, Instagram, and YouTube (Sequoia). It’s a rebrand of an app called Vigilante, which actually encouraged users to go after suspected criminals (Tech Crunch). After the Pacific Palisades fire last month, Citizen sent the full name and photo of a suspected arsonist to 860,000 users. Citizen put a $30,000 bounty on this man, who was unhoused (Oaklandside), and, as in its days as Vigilante, encouraged its users to “get out there and bring this guy to justice” (Vox). As it turns out, he was innocent.
Carlette Duffy, a Black homeowner in Indianapolis, received an unusually low appraisal value for her home. After reading reports of discrimination in home appraisals, she contacted a different company. This time, she was sure not to reveal her race or gender, keeping all communications to email. For the home visit, she removed all photos of herself and her family from her home, and asked her friend’s white husband to act as her brother. As a result, the appraisal of Carlette Duffy's home more than doubled, jumping from $125,000 to $259,000 (NBC News).