What a mess this is, alongside a glimmer of hope.

Monday reflections by: Annelise Fleming

It seems like these past month it has just been one bombshell after another. RBG dying, Trump getting COVID, ballots being sent out for the election, the cringe-worthy hot mess that was the first presidential debate, the Supreme Court nomination that is happening right now as I am writing this.As these events are occurring, our lives are stressful as hell. These events all will impact future generations, whether we choose to believe it or not. These bombshells that have been dropping has really had me thinking constantly about the state of this country and what lies ahead for our youth, particularly young women of color. I am anxious for what comes out this Supreme Court nomination, for this November, the climate of this country and world. It has continually been something on my mind and it seems like it impacts everything I do and how I operate. We can’t run away from it
either, which I think is also a huge part of the problem. There is no place to run when the environment is being exploited and harmed by capitalism. The president telling white supremacists to stand by; Black and brown people being murdered by the police every day. The issue of missing Indigenous women and children not being taking seriously when they experience some of the highest rates of murder, sexual assault, and police brutality. Being in a middle of a pandemic! It’s all connected.

I’m not surprised but I am tired.

Tired of all the bad news we have been facing 24/7. But with all these horrible events that have been happening, I have a glimmer of hope.

What doesn’t get talked about enough and often times loses our focus while we are caught up in the constant news cycle of national politics, elections, the world on fire, etc. is the underlying patterns of health, resilience and adaptability that maintain this planet in a condition where life can flourish and be transformed. When we pay more attention to the systemic relationships and interactions that are happening all around us, moving us towards life- sprouting seeds, joy and laughter of children, glimpses of birds and squirrels preparing for winter- We are in fact, resourcing ourselves and practicing what a regenerative, life-affirming culture looks like. We do this, so we can better show up to resource our community in the work that is ahead. Sure, it’s a small shift, but its a hopeful and necessary, joy-filled one. And it’s connected to the larger necessary transformation of the material basis for our society. Pay attention to what the sources are for your own nourishment, and what gives you hope. As Robin Wall Kimmerer teaches us-

In the settler mind, land was property, real estate, capital or natural resources. But to our people, it was everything: identity, the connection to our ancestors, the home of our nonhuman kinfolk, our pharmacy, our library, the source of all that sustained us.”

— Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Potawatomi

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The Harm of Performative Activism

Hi everyone, my name is Annelise Fleming and I am the intern for FCCAN this semester. I am excited to write for TimePeace. I’ve never written for a blog before but here it goes.

This past summer we saw a huge unrest within the United States and around the world with COVID-19 and the BLM protests that occurred (and are still happening even if mainstream media isn’t reporting it).

I’ve observed a few things that are different about the fires in our bellies right now, then in the past. First, the global pandemic has seized everyone’s attention, making visible the interconnectedness between us all. And it’s made us all available to physically, mentally, and emotionally respond to the injustices in our world. Second, the demands are not just for “police accountability” in the killing of Floyd, Taylor, Brooks, and McDade, but also for an end to anti-Black violence and white supremacy entirely. And third, the people unapologetically making those demands are from all racial & ethnic backgrounds- include white people of all ages, coming to terms with their own race privilege and challenging racism where they live.

Social media & white performativity

As a biracial women in the 21st century, I know when people are “down with the cause”. Whether it be in real life or over social media interactions. Over the summer, everyone was posting squares one day. But then a day went by, a week, a month and nothing else came from those people posting the black squares. Soon enough Instagram was back to normal. I was
seeing the normal posts of flashy cars, cute pets and the latest makeup look. The performative activism and fake solidarity was so easy to read.

Art work by YES Magazine Black Lives Matter Issue


I fully acknowledge that forms of activism are necessarily different for different bodies and various times in people’s lives. Donating money, sharing resources, protesting in the streets, talking with family members, recognizing inwardly the ideologies you were taught and unlearning them, reading anti-racist books, etc.

But I think over the summer the message just got lost. This white liberal or “woke” ideology has worked its way into our community not just in our social media feeds. I’m not sure where people got the idea that posting a black square would suddenly put them on the good side of things or down for the cause but let me just say something, surprise, It didn’t do anything.

You might as well have not posted anything if you weren’t going to do more for the movement. These are actual lives we are talking about here, not some photo-op to appear more woke to your audience, no matter the size of your audience. Movement works requires people to imagine a world where public safety does not require racist and violent policing, where there are no racial inequities in health care, and the debts owed by this nation for Black labor are paid. As Layla Saad said, “The point of anti-racism work is to protect Black lives, so if everything you do is for your benefit, then you’re just enhancing white lives.”

-Layla Saad

Bringing it Home

Fort Collins is one of those cities full of white liberals who fail to embody an intersectional or truly anti-racist life. I think it goes without saying what type of city Fort Collins is when I see more white people with dread lochs than I do with black people. That is the type of culture Fort Collins produces. Why is this accepted here? Where did this message of getting dread lochs when you’re white come from? What type of performance are you participating in?


Is it the depreciation of Black people and Black art? Is it the loss of your own people’s history and culture that has been replaced with settler colonialism and white supremacy? What do you think?

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A tribute to María Lugones

By: Shirley Man-Kin

María Lugones passed away on July 14th, 2020 early in the morning. Her writings and work taught me, and so many others, how to think and be in resistance, how to dwell in coalition, and every important lesson about queer love and queer worldmaking. 

Since I first heard about her struggle with cancer and subsequently her death earlier this summer, I have been reflecting on both her generosity and playfulness that shape her writings. In 1987 she wrote, “I am not a healthy being in the ‘worlds’ that construct me unplayful.” She goes to express how she was “scared of ending up a serious human being, someone with no multi-dimensionality, with no fun in life, someone who is just someone who has had the fun constructed out of her. I am seriously scared of getting stuck in a ‘world’ that constructs me that way. A ‘world’ that I have no escape from and in which I cannot be playful.”

Living through these times where there is such a concentrated amount of grief and death and rage, building and traveling to a world that is free of violence and domination feels like both a responsibility and a luxury. Both a defiant act, and an everyday practice of playing with and strengthening my imagination of what’s possible. Lugones’ very specific sense of world traveling: not touristic, not exploitative and appropriative, but rather about marginalized subjects intimately learning one another’s worlds is how I’ve come to be in relationship with those I’m grateful to call my chosen family, my queer family and friends. 

 She wrote, in 1994, “I ask myself who my own people are. When I think of my own people, the only people I can think of as my own are transitionals, liminals, border-dwellers, ‘world’-travelers, beings in the middle of either/or. They are all people whose acts and thoughts curdle-separate. So as soon as I entertain the thought, I realize that separation into clean, tidy things and beings is not possible for me because it would be the death of myself as multiplicitous and a death of community with my own.”

For Lugones, coalition was curdled-separation: a decision made by multiplicitous and impure selves to come together in order to resist the splitting and fragmentation that occur when one is embedded in worlds that fetishize purity, and to further curdle through their intimacies with one another.

And then turning to her writing in Pilgrimages/Peregrinajes (the only book she published over her very long career) during a time of pandemic, social distance, and the deep longing for touch and body-to-body connection this context has engendered is devastating. She believed so deeply in the transformative potential of embodied community building and collective action. She believed in the imperative of presence.

She understood that everyone has work to do in order to be in present and real. During my time at Colorado State University, I was a GTA for several courses in the ethnic studies and women’s and gender studies program. Some of the issues we were struggling with then — systematic targeting by university administrators, developing pedagogies that enabled predominately poor, multiracial, first-gen students to grapple with questions of intersectionality and the entanglement of racial, gender, sexual, and economic justice, and building beloved community in and through enmeshed spaces of extensive structural violence — necessitated bringing every lesson her writings ever taught me to bear.

Much ink has been spilled lately about feminist rage, about its use values, about its clarifying impact, about its ability to prompt radical shifts and fuel the psychic and physical breaks necessary to divest from toxic relationalities, both institutional and interpersonal. But precious little has been written about how to survive the consistent recurrence of rage, and what kinds of supports need to be in place to endure. I return again and again to her work to sort through this, and again and again to my memories of the spaces cultivated with my time in academic spaces pushing against the academic business-as-usual. 

In her essay “Hard-to-Handle Anger,” Lugones theorize what it means to experience foreclosed and illegible anger, anger that resonates within dominant worlds of sense as irrational, non-sensical, and thus dismissed. She calls this the kind of anger that “recognizes this world’s walls. It pushes against them rather than making claims within them.”

Her life’s work exhorts us to intervene on every front: to challenge the masculinist biases of decolonial and radical left thought, to articulate and enact resistances to Eurocentric and White-dominant modes of feminist activism and epistemology, to perpetually queer conceptions of kinship and collectivity. 

She has left us, in her transformative vision of decolonial feminism, a coalitional framing under which many can gather to engage in the multi-fronted work of historical recovery and the making of radical futures beyond the horizon established by colonial logics of profit, extraction and appropriation.

The spaces we navigate in community building work are often toxic- simultaneously poisoned and healing. In her life’s work, Lugones always insisted on the necessity of understanding ourselves as permeable and open, always already steeped in the waters we inhabit and traverse. As we continue to navigate and swim across borders imposed on us, let us hold closely to the wisdom Lugones has gifted us and may she rest in power. 

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Protect our Mobile Home Parks – Write City Council Today! / Proteja nuestros parques de casas móviles: ¡escriba hoy al Ayuntamiento!

~Sigue en español

City Council is holding a first reading/vote on mobile home zoning tomorrow (Tuesday). Two options have been proposed. Option A would create strict protections for mobile home parks so that they cannot be developed for other uses and residents cannot be displaced. Option B would allow for the introduction of other types of “affordable housing.” Our fear as an organization, and that of other organizations working directly with park residents, like Mi Voz, is that this will open the door to displacement of mobile home residents and owners. We don’t know if new types of affordable housing will actually be affordable and if undocumented tenants would be eligible for it. It also disrupts the community that has been built in the parks and makes it difficult for displaced owners to regain what they have invested in the purchase of their home.

Our many mobile home parks in Fort Collins remain one of the key forms of stable and affordable housing in the city and in the county, and are more important than ever during this financial crisis that we see lasting well into next year and in a city that has been very pro-development over the years.

You can read more about this issue in this article in the Coloradoan:

https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2020/07/30/fort-collins-nears-finish-line-mobile-home-park-preservation-plan/5535924002/

If you’d like to study the issue just a bit more, you can watch about 20 minutes of this presentation to City Council: https://fortcollinstv.viebit.com/player.php?hash=7ickCok2lL98#

Skip to hour/minute 1:58-2:20 specifically for information on options A and B. 

Fuerza Latina’s position is that we join with Mi Voz and fellow organizations in strongly favoring Option A, which protects the parks from redevelopment. We also support the extension of the moratorium on mobile home park development for an additional several months past its expiration at the end of this month, so that community organizations and park residents have more time to voice their concerns and weigh in on decisions. Timelines for organizing have been delayed due to COVID19.

Help us our and write to City Council before tomorrow’s first reading and let them know you support the moratorium on development and Option A to protect mobile home park residents in our area: cityleaders@fcgov.com

***

El Ayuntamiento de Fort Collins realizará una primera lectura / votación sobre la zonificación de parqueaderos de casas móviles mañana (martes). Se han propuesto dos opciones. La opción A crearía protecciones estrictas para los parques de casas móviles para que no puedan desarrollarse para otros usos y los residentes no puedan ser desplazados. La opción B permitiría la introducción de otros tipos de viviendas. Nuestro temor como organización, y el de otras organizaciones que trabajan directamente con los residentes del parque, como nuestr@s compañer@s en Mi Voz, es que esto abrirá la puerta al desplazamiento de los residentes y propietarios de casas móviles. No sabemos si los nuevos tipos de viviendas asequibles realmente serán asequibles y si los inquilinos indocumentados serían elegibles para alquilarlos. También interrumpe la comunidad que se ha construido en los parques y se hace difícil recuperar lo que los propietarios desplazados han invertido en la compra de su casa móbil.

Nuestros numerosos parqueaderos en Fort Collins son una de las formas clave de viviendas estables y asequibles en la ciudad y en el condado, y son más importantes que nunca durante esta crisis financiera que vemos durar hasta el próximo año en una ciudad que ha sido muy favorable al desarrollo a lo largo de los años.

Puede leer más sobre este tema en este artículo en el periódico el Coloradoan:

https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2020/07/30/fort-collins-nears-finish-line-mobile-home-park-preservation-plan/5535924002/

Si desea estudiar el tema un poco más, puede ver unos 20 minutos de esta presentación al Ayuntamiento: https://fortcollinstv.viebit.com/player.php?hash=7ickCok2lL98#

Pase a la hora / minuto 1: 58-2: 20 específicamente para obtener información sobre las opciones A y B.

La posición de Fuerza Latina es que nos unimos con Mi Voz y otras organizaciones para favorecer fuertemente la Opción A, que protege los parques de la reurbanización. También apoyamos la extensión de la moratoria sobre el desarrollo de los parques de casas móviles por varios meses adicionales después de su vencimiento a fines de este mes, para que las organizaciones comunitarias y los residentes de los parqueaderos tengan más tiempo para expresar sus preocupaciones y opinar sobre las decisiones que les afectan directamente. Los plazos para la organización se han retrasado debido a COVID19.

Ayúdenos y escriba al Ayuntamiento antes de la primera lectura de mañana y hágales saber que apoya la moratoria sobre el desarrollo y la Opción A para proteger a los residentes de parques de casas móviles en nuestra área: cityleaders@fcgov.com

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Healing Justice Offerings: QTBIPOC Meditation Space

“Without community, there is no liberation.” – Audre Lorde

Dear community,

However you are choosing to engage in the uprising to defend Black Indigenous lives and defund the police in the movements to abolish all forms of state-sanctioned brutality – remember that this has been the work of lifetimes, that these are changes that happen on the outside and the inside – and pace yourself.

In that spirit, we’re excited to invite our fellow Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous , People of Color (QTBIPOC) to our healing justice meditation offerings. These will be by-donation spaces, that happen monthly on the second Sunday of the month, beginning Sunday August 9th from 6:30-7:15pm. You’ll need to register in advance here.

We will make time to be in the spaciousness of our breath, and to ask what our heart wants. We will thank the land and its stewards.

If you are not a QTBIPOC, please continue to plug into spaces to unpack internalized anti-Blackness and transphobia over time, and without shame. If you can’t find a space that resonates with you, consider starting one with your loved ones. This is how we move with integrity and compassion. We are strong, protected, connected and loved. We need each other. We are all still learning. And so it is.

QTBIPOC Meditation

Meditation for Queer and Trans People of Color is a group meditation on Sunday nights, beginning August 9th, led by and for queer and trans people of color. Our time together will be spent in 5-10 minute meditations, sharing readings by rotating queer and trans authors of color, and sharing our reflections, struggles, and strategies for both self and community care. This group is for queer, transgender, and non-binary people of color only space in which to find stillness, solitude, and community during a time when our lives (and particularly the lives of Black and indigenous people) are more overtly in the crosshairs of violence from multiple fronts.

The meditation practice will incorporate space for people to share their struggles and their strategies for self-care and community care, and will facilitate relationship building among people seeking to define “healing” and “wellness” in a context in which true safety is not attainable. The space will use a politic of radical love as a guiding force, and incorporate spiritual teachings from Buddhism, other religious traditions, and QTBIPOC artivists both living and dead. 

Radical Love is amplified in community. Witnessing one another process, transform, emerge is a gift that we nourish and encourage. Where separation and isolation compound traumas, particularly those of oppression and disempowerment, connection and recognition serve to liberate us individually & collectively.

Register for the meditation series here!

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