Why don’t we go back to where we came from?

White people do not belong in North America

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Victory for the Water Protectors, by Kent Monkman, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 84” x 132”

Canadian Oil Spills in North Dakota

Existential Questions

We should go home. We don’t belong here. We have destroyed this land.

We have made life about money. We are a self-centred, violent culture who live our lives by dehumanizing other people.

Our goal is to compete with others over scarce resources. Why is my life more important than anyone else’s?

White people do not belong in North America. Why don’t we go back to where we came from?

I was born here. I did not have a choice about where I was born. I had no choice over who my parents were. I had no choice over the culture I was raised in.

I was born into a world where we were taught that we were making progress. It turns out that we are participating in the economic progress of a nation state. A nation state is a political system that has a monopoly on the use of violence and force within arbitrarily defined geographic borders. We work to pay off our debts by accumulating capital for corporations and contributing to the GDP of the nation state. When we pay off our debts, we can die. According to the religion of the state, we will have fulfilled our responsibility as citizens, and we will have achieved happiness.

The work that we do involves the selling and purchasing of goods and services. Personal property is a religious cult that we serve with our labour. We earn money by promising to give our time and labour to corporations. Corporations have legal personhood. They are more valuable than humans, because the measure of value is capital. Humans die, but corporations can continue indefinitely, if they are profitable and continue to grow. If you own capital, you have influence, status, and agency. We call this celebrity, wealth, and power. If you do not have capital, you are worthless. Therefore, a corporation is more valuable than a human being.

For the sake of celebrity, wealth, and power, we steal, kill, and destroy. We steal land and extract resources from the land, we kill the people who lived on this land for thousands of years, and we destroy all living things on the earth to create capital. We wage wars, destroy people’s homes, and starve them to death, over access to resources, so we can create more capital. We are participating, with our time and labour, in a cult of death.

Kent Monkman — Studio Tour

How can we fix this? How can we return what we have stolen? How can we bring back the dead? How can we repair the damage?

We need to return this land to the condition in which we found it. Then we can leave and go back to where we came from, back to the dust from which we came.

For dust we are, and to dust we shall return.

To bring life to the Earth, we must die.

Reckoning With Genocide

Remembrance Day in Canada

Written by

Designer, writer, educator, social architect, founder, Builders Collective, Leading with Design. https://stephenbau.com

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