We recently posted about the problem with using terms like permaculture and regenerative. Let’s dive deeper into that. A thread:
Brands appropriate Indigenous language & land-use practices, brand them as white concepts, & then commodify them. But whether it’s permaculture or regeneration, the founding principles are based directly on BIPOC knowledge.
This trend of “rebranding” Indigenous knowledge consistently positions white people as the problem-solvers and solution-generators, while positioning people of color as the laborers or beneficiaries. This stretches back to the beginning of colonization.
Enslaved Africans were enslaved for knowledge, not labor; but white people are threatened by this story as it questions their supremacy.
Instead, we rebrand BIPOC knowledge to make it more palatable and safe for white people. I guess a spoonful of (white) sugar helps the medicine go down.
Why is it so hard for white people to recognize that BIPOC have the solutions? Why do people flock to an idea presented by a white person but are threatened when it comes from a BIPOC? Why are ideas that come from BIPOC overlooked, while white-led initiatives are championed?
George Washington Carver and Booker T. Whately should be mentioned in the same breath as Steiner or Rodale for their work in agriculture, especially since they directly mentored and helped thousands of the most important food producers in the US.
This trend is indicative of a deeper sickness in our society, the white supremacy that permeates everything; the white liberal elite is as guilty of this as everyone else.
These terms are not neutral. It’s time to give credit back. It’s time to give land back. Our agricultural system is a 10,000 year old history of whitewashing. Let’s start by listening to the right stories.
On this point: why does @kissthegroundCA have twice the followers of Gather Film, an Indigenous-led production? Let’s change that.
Here are some incredible resources to begin learning:
articles by Chris Newman of @SylvanaquaFarms, @soulfirefarm's Farming While Black, @KosherSoul, @thegardengriot's Freedom Farmers, @whetstone_mag, @nowhitesaviors, Land in Our Names
@40acresproject, @acresofancestry, @rowenwhite_seed, Indigenous Food Sovereignty, Native Food Alliance, and Gather film.

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