From Bolsonaro to Trump it can almost feel that right wing extremism is spreading across the Americas like a contagion. Within a day of being in office President Bolsonaro removed the ability to certify protected indigenous land over to the Ministry of Agriculture and rolled back protections for LGBTQ people in Brazil. Even in the USA with the Federal government shutdown due to an impasse over the funding of a border wall with Mexico has created a stark division within the American political system. To be against the building of a wall is one thing, it is another to ask who are we trying to keep out. Those fleeing gang violence in Latin America, targeted violence for being queer or trans, or forced economic migrants largely come from indigenous backgrounds. They rarely come from white European ancestry or they flee from ideologies that eliminated their sexual and gender identities. There are those who seek to build a wall out of a false fear of immigrants and there are those who argue that a wall will merely divide us. But there is another question to be asked, one that begins at the premise of our right to even have this debate.
You see, the question you must ask yourself is: How can you be against building a wall on land that was never yours to begin with? What you seek to keep out, was always here to begin with. They nurtured this land, they fished from these oceans, they gained life from these rivers. We fight over building a wall like a serpent eating it’s own tail for the real malevolence comes from where it always has. When white European colonizers crossed oceans to bring an ideology that separated the earth from those who lived on it. That treated it and the indigenous people who lived here as a resource to exploited for the gain of a wealthy elite that had no concern for their current or future wellbeing. What followed was a systematic land seizure and genocide of the indigenous populations in the Americas, followed but a global slave trade of African people to cultivate and exploit resources to serve a European mercantile economy. Current American hegemony does not erase a European history that forcibly industrialized nations and their economic systems laying the groundwork for our modern day climatological and ecological crisis.
The bolstering of rightwing ideologies from Trump to Bolsonaro is not a new phenomenon, it is merely an uncovering of what the Americas have alway been built on. The continuation of genocidal policies that seek to eliminate indigenous people for the economic gain of a small elite. From Standing Rock, to queer migrants along the border, to the indigenous people of the Amazon all of them have always been the protectors of the land we live on, for they have always known a truth that we do not dare to see. The Earth has existed without us and will do so again, we are not vital to her existence, but she is to ours. Justice necessitates a equation that prioritizes the protection and safeguarding of indigenous people globally, this is in the ecological and political advantage for us all. To be against Bolsonaro or Trump’s Wall is no longer enough, our future deserves more than us being in opposition. It is to take a stand for indigenous people and to a see future where they thrive as our own. It is to be pro-indigenous, pro- queer, pro-this land has never belonged to anyone to use as they please. I for one am done taking a stand. I am ready to take charge.
we would like to think the earth is dying
i wonder what will happen
to us (humans)
as she heals