Wednesday, December 27, 2017

#MeToo and #EarthToo: Stop Raping the Earth!

It has been a long time since I have come to put word to keyboard here, due to a busy fall semester and sheer exhaustion from trying to keep up with the endless barrage of dishonest statements, disheartening actions, and destructive policies coming out of the Trump White House. The new "tax reform" bill that will greatly enrich the already greatly rich and over time, bankrupt the government in order to destroy social programs that help the non-rich and the non-white  is only the last in a long list of insults and atrocities. I am losing hope that much can be done anytime soon to block the triumphal march of idiocy and hatefulness that Trump is leading, with the docile support of a supine Republican majority, many of whose members may also revile The Donald but are willing to go along with him for the sake of right-wing treats like tax cuts and the weakening of regulations on banks, telecom companies and other powerful corporate interests. I take heart that opposition is rising, and that the election of the Democrat Doug Jones over the disgusting Bible-thumper, child humper Roy Moore in Alabama, coming after the trouncing of pro-Trump candidates.

The defeat of the Roy Moore candidacy had much to do with a highly energized African-American electorate in Alabama, with black women turning out in astounding numbers bespeaking iron determination. There was a definite Civil Rights angle to this situation. Roy Moore had made a shocking statement during the campaign suggesting that he saw the slavery period as one that was better for American families than the current day. Doug Jones, in contrast, had, as U.S Attorney for the northern district of Alabama in the late 1990s, successfully prosecuted two KKK members who had been involved in the racially-motivated terrorist bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist church in Birmingham on September, 15, 1963 that caused the deaths of four young African-American girls. This was remembered and was one of the reasons Jones got such strong African-American support.  It is heartening that Jones had the courage to carry out these prosecutions, which resulted in the conviction of Thomas Edwin Blanton in 2001 and Bobby Frank Cherry in 2002 It is equally impressive and inspiring that African-Americans, especially black women, had not forgotten this important history and were eager to elevate a Civil Rights champion over a Civil War apologist in the election.

Of course, another major factor in Moore's defeat were the revelations of his past pursuit of teenaged girls when he was a district attorney in his thirties, in the early 1980s. The women who came forward to speak of their painful experiences being pressured by Moore to go on dates with them and to then, in some cases, endure various degrees of  molestation, were denounced by Moore and his most prominent supporter, President Trump, but a large enough segment of the Alabama electorate believed the women's stories, and this lessened white support for Moore, particularly among white women, enough so that the combination of lukewarm white support for Moore and red-hot black opposition made the difference. This came in the context of the flood of revelations of male sexual abuse of women in Hollywood, politics, and elsewhere that has ended the careers of powerful men from Bill O'Reilly to Harvey Weinstein to Matt Lauer to Al Franken. Social media played an important role, with many women using Twitter and the #MeToo hashtag to publicize their personal stories of abuse and pain.

Here, I want to suggest,from a more specifically Pagan angle, that the hashtag of #MeToo could be given an environmental equivalent, an #EarthToo campaign, that could be used to "out" egregious polluters and destroyers of the environment, past and present and to mobilize public sentiment against the devastation and desecration of our natural environment. When we think about the violation of women by men, we who are Pagans might take this a step further to confront the ugly practice of multinational corporations raping the earth for reasons of greed and lust for profit. I recall reading that in Lithuanian folklore, there was once a tradition of farmers asking the earth for forgiveness for causing it pain prior to forcibly opening the soil for tilling and sowing.

May this become a battle cry heard far and wide , so that corporate predators of Mother Earth will be treated to scorn and shame in 2018 as were sexual predators in 2017...#Earth Too!  Stop Raping the Earth!

1 comment:

Ananta Androscogginn said...

It's like they are working their hardest to bring about a New Dark Age on this earth.

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