Environmentalists tend to be well-meaning, forward-thinking people who believe in preserving the planet for generations to come. They will buy reusable cups, wear ethically made clothing and advocate for endangered species; however, many are hesitant to do the same for endangered Black lives, and might be unclear on why they should.
As a Black environmentalist, I’ve struggled with this. Why is fighting for my humanity considered an optional or special add-on to climate justice? I’ve stood beside white environmentalists during climate protests, but I’ve felt abandoned by my community during acts of unjustifiable violence toward Black and Brown people. I’ve had enough. The time is now to examine the ways the Black Lives Matter movement and environmentalism are linked.