Thomas brought up Titanic because he had a question: Were there really mountains of ice like that, floating in the water? I told him there were. Were they melting? Yes.
“So it seems to me that if they’re melting, there’s still plenty of water to come,” he said. “And sea level’s going to rise up. And that is danger. Isn’t it?”
“Yes,” I said. “It is.” My apologetic voice came out high and meek, and Thomas laughed at the sound of it. Someone pointed out that the ice must be very far away, but Thomas explained that the seas are connected, and I offered the analogy of a bowl, how the water rises everywhere no matter where you pour it in. “We have come to an answer now,” said Thomas. “Because you’re telling us there’s still ice — drifting, or sitting on the hills?” Reluctantly, I described places with ice as far as you can see.
“This gives us ideas that there’s still more to come,” Thomas said. “The water is still going to rise.” I finally realized that until that moment, he’d been worried but uncertain about the rising water. He’d been hoping that his people could still hang on: If things didn’t get any worse than this, if the sea didn’t get any higher, if there was no more ice to melt, then they could stay and cope. Things were tenuous but workable. And I had just delivered the news that crushed that hope. Kulenus would have to evacuate.
“I am sorry about our island,” Thomas said, speaking slowly. “But life is important.”
In honor of the 20,000 UH Manoa students who went back to school today, four things about The Bus.
1) It makes me incredibly happy that I know two former city & county employees who had the idea to have a Bus Riders Appreciation Day and stood at the King & Punchbowl bus stop handing out donuts and saying thanks to commuters.
2) Having a bus pass makes riding the bus much more appealing (no need to count change or hoard transfers), but only bus riders buy bus passes. If various deep-pocketed environmentalists in town could subsidize week-long trial bus passes, I suspect some drivers (especially those who work near UH campus or downtown) can be tempted to make the switch.
“We have a very loyal ridership in Honolulu for many, many years,” [Roger Morton, president of Oahu Transit Services] said. “Our ridership on a per capita basis is the fifth highest in the country, only succeeded by a few of the very large cities such as New York City, Boston, San Francisco and Washington D.C.” A large part of the ridership can be attributed to the seniors who use the bus. An estimated 36,000 seniors are bus card pass holders. Overall, however, Hawai‘i has a diverse demographic of riders who come from all facets of society—low income, high income, workers, students from elementary to the university level. In fact, at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, around 18,000 students receive a free bus pass (the cost is included in their fees) for the year. Even tourists use our buses, making up an estimated eight to 10 percent of the ridership.
4) The McGill University study that placed bus riding at the very bottom of the hierarchy of satisfaction for student commuters? (“Which Mode of Travel Provides the Happiest Commute?” at CityLab) Oh, Montreal with your snow and ice, I don’t trust your applicability at all. Also every time I catch a ride to campus, there’s a hot scramble for free street parking near campus. The walk from the car to my department is often longer than the bus ride to campus.
In their article “Decolonization is not a metaphor,” Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang elaborate on anthropologist (and former community planner!) Kim TallBear’s description on how “blood”-based identities can be racialized in very different ways*.[* as originally cited in the Boston Globe… remember the whole Elizabeth Warren is a Cherokee hullabaloo?]
Also, a reminder how statistics are state numbers. I had no idea about Virginia’s so-called “Pocahontas Exception” but now I know. WTF.
Tuck, Eve, and K. Wayne Yang. “Decolonization is not a metaphor.”Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1.1 (2012).
Through the one-drop rule, blackness in settler colonial contexts is expansive, ensuring that a slave/criminal status will be inherited by an expanding number of ‘black’ descendants.
Yet, Indigenous peoples have been racialized in a profoundly different way. Native Americanness is subtractive: Native Americans are constructed to become fewer in number and less Native, but never exactly white, over time. Our/their status as Indigenous peoples/first inhabitants is the basis of our/their land claims and the goal of settler colonialism is to diminish claims to land over generations (or sooner, if possible).
That is, Native American is a racialization that portrays contemporary Indigenous generations to be less authentic, less Indigenous than every prior generation in order to ultimately phase out Indigenous claims to land and usher in settler claims to property. This is primarily done through blood quantum registries and policies, which were forced on Indigenous nations and communities and, in some cases, have overshadowed former ways of determining tribal membership.
In 1924, the Virginia legislature passed the Racial Integrity Act, which enforced the one-drop rule except for white people who claimed a distant Indian grandmother - the result of strong lobbying from the aristocratic “First Families of Virginia” who all claim to have descended from Pocahontas (including Nancy Reagan, born in 1921). Known as the Pocahontas Exception, this loophole allowed thousands of white people to claim Indian ancestry, while actual Indigenous people were reclassified as “colored” and disappeared off the public record.
…the government sees aboriginal justice initiatives (aimed at aboriginal offenders) and a national DNA database for missing persons as appropriate measures…Surely tracking indigenous girls’ DNA so they can be identified after they die is not the starting point for justice. Indigenous women want to matter before we go missing. We want our lives to matter as much as our deaths; our stake in the present political struggle for indigenous resurgence is as vital as the future.
So do we need an inquiry?
We need to stop the killing of 15-year-old native girls. We need to put an end to the abduction of indigenous women. We need to overhaul a justice system in which justice is so distorted that it is no longer recognizable. We need no more excuses, no more condolences, no more lists of missing women. We need an end to treating violence as mundane.
An inquiry will only help if it has action attached and if it shifts power into the hands of indigenous women, meaning it is led by indigenous women…Accountability means supporting existing anti-violence measures already being initiated by indigenous communities. These include rite-of-passage ceremonies to restore honour for young women, the Moosehide Campaign in which native boys and men take on culturally-relevant responsibilities to end violence toward women, and mentoring between girls and women which fosters the resurgence of women’s cultural roles at a local level…Accountability means supporting indigenous visions of justice, restoring our humanity and upholding girls’ resistance and leadership.
Treating our deaths as unremarkable is a form of violence that needs to stop along with the murders themselves. Taking steps to end the violence now is the only route to justice.
In the nightmare of participation, political subjects become caught in the logic of an iconic participation, a representative participation that has been exaggerated to the point of hollowness.
The power of this participation is the power of the mesmerizing icon: It sustains the nightmare that we cannot wake up from, and it compels us to go on playing our assigned roles. Why has participation become a nightmare? The history is longer than we can tell here. Start looking a few decades back, to the 1980s, when the Western political model of participation as a legitimizing force emerged—a significant step in the evolution of late capitalism’s political theater.
It is participation as instrumentalized political practice. Participation becomes a scripted scenario of liberal democracy, into which you insert the necessary actors, props, lighting, cameras, and mechanized monsters.