Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Science March in Seattle Was Racist

That's right I said it! Lol hold on unbunch your underwear and read on.

Like many communities, the science community overall as well as the skeptic community have has serious issues with privilege. They're dominated by cishet white men and tend to put out the message that the only things that matter are facts and evidence and numbers and such, ignoring lived experience and the importance of emotion (perhaps with the exception of the psychology community but still, lots of problems there). Anything that can't be quantified is looked on with suspicion and less importance is placed upon combating underlying prejudices within the community.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of science. If I had to choose one issue that is the most important in the world, it would be climate change, because every year it becomes more disastrous. Climate change-related devastation is already here, it's just affecting poor people of color first so everyone who's not one or more of those things doesn't much care. Anyway.

There are multiple reasons I didn't go to the March for Science in Seattle. One was that a family member needed my help that day. Another was that I'd gotten pretty drunk the night before. Another was that I was generally tired from doing a lot of crap this month. Another was that the weekend before I'd been disappointed by the Tax March and didn't expect better from this march because I knew it was going to be run by privileged people. And I was not wrong.

According to the Block the Bunker Facebook group (who have now moved on to the new youth jail issue but the page is still operating), the people in charge of the Seattle March for Science refused to even meet with them, and when a representative attempted to speak at the rally about the new youth jail anyway, they got the police to remove said representative, literally carrying him off the stage by the arms and legs.

The statement put out by Block the Bunker says that it wasn't just them, but multiple grassroots organizations led by people of color were ignored "told they weren't welcome" by the March for Science leadership who "refused to allow grassroots social justice organizers into the room." That's fucked up.

If they thought that the March for Science had nothing to do with racial issues, that is a function of white supremacy. And they are pretty ignorant about science. Or at least any science that isn't all about us white people.

Don't take my word for it. Read the full statement by Block the Bunker here. If you're a part of the scientific community in any way and you're white, think about how you can work to deconstruct white supremacy within that community. Because it's a serious problem.

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