A CASE, A CALL : SUMMARY AND RESPONSE TO TA-NEHISI COATES
It is this inescapable dehumanization and disregard, then, that legitimates the need for remuneration—this is the “case” for reparations. However, Coates does not call for monetary compensation or radical policy changes (material reparations) as a means of equalization (though the latter might certainly play a role in tangible reparations). Rather, Coates demands symbolic reparations: that we recognize race; that we study the contours of its face and pay due attention to its fingerprints; that we be critical of our own dispositions; that we abandon the mythologies of American Exceptionalism and ‘social progress’ and instead actively start conversations within our communities about the tangible violence that institutionalized racism, both explicit and implicit, causes.
critics and catalysts of collective action : how power and value systems affect environmentalism
When we identify environmental problems as problems of collective action, we accept the assumption that individual actors have some power over how environmental issues are dealt with. However, we must note that though all individuals exist in social worlds, they do not necessarily have equal footings within those worlds. Social constructions of race, class, and gender not only influence the degree of power that individuals have over their own lives, but these constructs also govern how loudly those individuals’ voices resound in discourses concerning greater social issues, including environmentalism. The inequitable distribution of power within a society can no doubt lead to the marginalization of certain groups of individuals, too often silencing the cries of those who are most intimately affected by environmental tribulations.