Yes, I laughed when I read this. A lot. And I suspect that you will, too.
What is it? It’s the story of why a climate change group from New Zealand decided to dissolve themselves.
Now, you can be forgiven for assuming that they dissolved their organization because threats to the climate have been solved, and we’re all going to live forever. That would be nice, but they’re not saying that.
No, what they’re saying is too strange for that. In fact, if you really believe that climate change is a pressing issue in our world, then the reason that they give for dissolving their organization is just plain nuts (hat tip to here for the lead). The organization is School Strike 4 Climate Auckland (New Zealand), and here is the entirety of their Facebook post announcing the dissolving of their organization:
–CW: Discussion of racism–
School Strike 4 Climate Auckland is disbanding as an organisation.
This is under the suggestion and guidance of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) members of our group, as well as individual BIPOC activists and organisations. We are not holding any more climate strikes in the Auckland region. Our members have also separated from the national SS4C team. Going forward, we will only be using our social media to uplift BIPOC-led climate justice spaces in Auckland.
BIPOC communities are disproportionately affected by climate change, so the fight for climate justice should be led by their voices and needs, not Pākehā ones.
We are disbanding because, since 2019, SS4C AKL (as well as the wider national group, though we can’t speak on their behalf) has been a racist, white-dominated space. SS4C AKL has avoided, ignored, and tokenised BIPOC voices and demands, especially those of Pasifika and Māori individuals in the climate activism space. As well as this, the responsibility and urgent need to decolonise the organisation has been put off for far too long. SS4C also delayed paying financial reparations for the work BIPOC groups/individuals within and alongside the group have done for this organisation in the past.
This is a non-exhaustive list.
We apologise for the hurt, burnout, and trauma caused to many BIPOC individuals, including current and past members, as well as BIPOC-led groups. We also apologise for the further trauma caused by our slow action to take responsibility. We recognise that this apology can never be enough to make up for our actions on top of years of systemic and systematic oppression, racism, and the silencing of those who are the most affected by climate change. This apology is just one of our steps in taking accountability for our actions.
Our disbandment is well overdue.
We acknowledge that our attitude has been racist and dismissive of the voices that have rightly spoken out against us and we apologise deeply for the pain we have caused. In saying this, we also need to acknowledge that racism is a big problem within the SS4C NZ team as well, but that we have made this decision independently from them.
We recommend you all redirect your support, resources and involvement to BIPOC activists, spaces and causes, especially those that are led by Pasifika and Māori people. This includes groups such as 4TK ( 4TK), Pacific Climate Warriors ( Pacific Climate Warriors – Auckland ), Para Kore Ki Tāmaki ( PARA KORE KI TĀMAKI), Protect Mataharehare ( Protect Mataharehare ), Protect Pūtiki ( Protect Pūtiki), Save Canal Road Native Trees ( Save Canal Road Native Trees ), Te Ara Whātu ( Te Ara Whatu).
We also suggest supporting BIPOC climate activists in Aotearoa such as Aigagalefili (Fili) Fepulea’i-Tapua’i (@rascal.gal), Lourdes Vano (@lourdes.vano), and Luke Wihone (@luke.wijohn), Brianna Fruean (@briannafruean), Indi Logan-Riley (@indiamiro).
(Please see our Instagram post for their insta accounts https://www.instagram.com/p/CQAtpa6Nli-/…)
If you are a BIPOC-led climate/social justice organisation or a BIPOC climate/social justice activist, please let us know if/how we can help by messaging our Instagram, Facebook, or emailing [email protected] We will uplift your kaupapa and Mahi through this platform, or any other means available to us.
The climate justice space must be led by BIPOC groups and others who are disproportionately affected by climate change. In Aotearoa, this especially means Māori and Pasifika groups.
School Strike 4 Climate Auckland
That, ladies and gentlemen, is comedy gold.
Just to be clear, what they’re saying is that they’re going to stop working as an organization to prevent climate change because climate change affects non-white people more, but, because the people in the organization are overwhelmingly (maybe exclusively) white, therefore, they can’t help prevent a problem that hurts non-white people.
In other words, they’re saying that non-white people are on their own, but, hey, we’ll be cheering for you from the sidelines, giving moral support, gnashing our teeth in public displays of virtue signaling while we drive home in luxury cars to our gated communities feeling bad because we can’t help more because we have money and are white.
That’s the most convoluted way of saying “screw you!” to a group of people while feeling self-righteous about it that I’ve ever seen.