Thursday, August 15, 2019

Protect Mauna Kea, Fellow Feminists

I meant to post about this a while ago but apparently forgot. Mauna Kea is a mountain that is sacred to Native Hawaiians and we white people, who overthrew the Native Hawaiian government so we could have a military base in the Pacific, won't stop building fucking telescopes there because it's a good place to look at stars. And that's apparently so much more important than respecting the culture of the people we've already shat all over.

But don't take my word for it, fellow white feminists. Read this:

Decolonize Feminism: Why feminists should care about Mauna Kea

Some of our members have already been pushed out of their homelands permanently so that those lands could serve foreign military and corporate interests that benefit a thin layer of local powerbrokers. The bitter pain of this forced separation is beyond words. We will not bear witness to a similar process in Hawai‘i carried out against our Native sisters and brothers. We cannot accept the treatment of Native Hawaiians by the state. Kānaka ʻŌiwi should never be criminalized or vilified for protecting their land. 
Genocide is not just the gas chamber — it is also all the steps and actions that devalue a group of people to the point of disappearance. TMT is cultural genocide perpetrated in the name of science.

"TMT" refers to "thirty-meter telescope," which is yet another thing they're trying to build on top of the sacred mountain. Scientists have said that because of such and such whatever, the top of Mauna Kea is ideal for viewing space with this kind of telescope, and so they don't want to move construction. Now, I like astronomy. It's a really interesting field of science and it does have many important applications to improving life on Earth. But please explain to me what is so important about looking really far into space that you need to building something on the most sacred part of a sacred mountain and burial site for Native Hawaiians? It's not like they don't have other options. Mauna Kea just happens to be the best one. But it shouldn't be an option at all if it's destructive to an already devastated and oppressed culture.

Recently, these astronomers complained that they've missed over 2,000 hours of observation time due to those pesky protesters trying to protect their sacred land from desecration.

Asteroids, including those that might slam into Earth. Clouds of gas and dust on the verge of forming stars. Planets orbiting stars other than our own. 
This is some of the research astronomers say they have missed out on at 11 observatories on Hawaii's tallest mountain as a protest blocks the road to the summit, one of the world's premier sites for studying the skies.

That's how the article starts. Fantastic fearmongering there by AP. "We have to desecrate Native Hawaiian land or else WE COULD BE WIPED OUT BY AN ASTEROID LIKE IN THAT ONE MOVIE." Nevermind that it's extremely unlikely that an asteroid big enough to cause a problem would hit Earth - much less likely than us dying out because of climate change. But also they can't look as gas and dust and stuff! How awful!

But here's the real reason these scientists are upset:

Astronomers cancelled more than 2,000 hours of viewing at Mauna Kea's existing telescopes, work they estimate would have led to the publication of about 450 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. 
"Any one of them could have been spectacular, could have been Nobel Prize-winning science. We just now will never know," said Jessica Dempsey, deputy director of the East Asian Observatory, which operates one of Mauna Kea's telescopes.

Awwwww poor white lady denied a Nobel Prize by the mean protesters who want you to stop building more telescopes on top of the bodies of their ancestors.

Fuck this shit. Fuck every one of these asshole scientists. Fuck your entire careers if you would get to the top by stepping on the necks of oppressed indigenous peoples. Fuck the telescopes. Protect Mauna Kea.

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