Tag Archive: activism



“The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a liberal is open to everyone’s views; a progressive is as narrow-minded and judgmental (more?) than any conservative.” — Doug Reitsch, Pharmacist at Kamilche Pharmacy in Shelton, WA

According to this myopic internet definition, being “open to everyone’s views” is good and something people should strive for. That is easy, of course, if “everyone’s views” are benign. And if they are not, you can still be “open to everyone’s views” if you are secure in your comforts, privileges, and power, and “everyone’s views” do not perpetuate your oppression. Continue reading


Transcending is a perpetual one-way street for black people, yet famous white people like Antonin Scalia, David Bowie and Merle Haggard weren’t asked to transcend their whiteness for black people to recognize their importance. They didn’t have to transcend being Italian-American, British or an Okie from Muskogee. They were just accepted for being who they were.

Continue reading at: Muhammad Ali and Other Black Celebrities Didn’t ‘Transcend Race’


In the light of King’s powerful demagogic speech. … We must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and national security. —FBI Director William C. Sullivan, Enemies: A History of the FBI

Today the USA celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the same country that arrested him 30 times and used its powerful surveillance apparatus, the FBI and the NSA, to target him as “the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation” right after he gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. This is the speech that colorblind adherent exploit when they resist efforts to address racial inequity. But Dr. King’s speech is the same one in which he denounced police brutality against Black people, and insisted that it was “the time to make real the promises of democracy.”

It comes as no surprise then that Dr. King was later assassinated a mere 5 years later—some, including his family, say by the government. Continue reading


Eating animals is wrong, vegans say. But so is eating slave-made chocolate, or wearing sweatshop clothing. Guess which one vegans of the Global North care about?

Not that one issue is more important than another, but it is more than frustrating when I see vegans (mostly vegans of the global north) say “this is cruelty-free” about products made from human suffering. Vegan chocolate cake made with trafficked child labor? Mmm, delicious

I wish vegans would demand fair trade/ethical goods, protest the prison-industrial-complex, or fight against food deserts as much as they put effort into getting vegan Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

What prompted me to write this was a series of exchanges I saw on Twitter, where white vegans from western nations were admonishing people of color for eating animals as part of their cultural identity. Continue reading


A screen capture of a Facebook post by Bryant Terry, food justice advocate and author of the "Afro-Vegan" cookbook.

A screen capture of the Facebook post by Bryant Terry

If you have shared innumerable posts about how humans can be more compassionate towards animals and you have not said one peep about police terrorizing and killing little black girls and boys, a terrorist killing 9 black people in a church this month, 6 black churches being burned to the ground in the past week, and the myriad ways that anti-black racism manifests, I encourage you to think long and hard about how you might expand your “compassion” and fight for justice for all living beings. —Bryant Terry


Black "Eat Your Ethics" tote bag from Food Empowerment Project

Black “Eat Your Ethics” tote bag from Food Empowerment Project

Water privatization, overgrazing, pesticides, food security. These are clearly issues of sustainability with regards to our food systems. Yet, the term “sustainability” doesn’t quite adequately address related issues of labor rights, food access, and environmental racism that are also part of the path that our food takes to get to our plate.

This is where food justice comes in. Food justice is a holistic, equitable, and intersectional approach to food systems and a welcome alternative to the growing food movement that led by some of the most privileged individuals around.

There are many great organizations working on food justice issues. I’m particularly impressed with Food Empowerment Project and had been meaning to write about the organization for a while. Founded by activist lauren Ornelas in 2006, F.E.P. seeks to promote a more just and sustainable world by informing consumers of the impact their food choices have on other people, animals, and the environment. One of my earliest exposures to F.E.P.’s work came when I was first seeking ethical alternatives to conventional slave-made chocolate.

F.E.P. is perhaps best known for its Chocolate List, a resource that many chocolate-lovers have come to rely on for ethical sources for chocolate. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know lauren and even help represent F.E.P. at community outreach events. She is what I wish I could be, and F.E.P. the organization I wish I had founded. F.E.P.’s approach to food justice addresses all the issues that are impacted by our current food systems: animals, the environment, human labor and slavery, and our food choices. Not only does F.E.P. take an intersectional approach to food justice, but the information material is very accessible and informative.

Check out the F.E.P. website FoodIsPower.org

 

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