All the things that North Philly Peace Park is, and will become, are part of a continuum of collective dreaming, striving, and will toward self-determination: the heart of all Black struggle. The life of Black people in this country has always been defined by the tension between our demand for sovereignty, and the violent refusal by the State at every juncture to entertain the mere idea. From the murder of Octavius Catto, situated at the center of a relentless campaign of anti-Black violence against our attempts to vote, to the institutionalized violence of the police, carceral system and the courts, any whiff of Black mobility or agency is met with full-throttled resistance by the State and its proxies.
Hunter's Mind — or ADHD if you must — allows me to glimpse both the underlying systems that reinforce domination, and the ley lines along which alternative lifeways might be built. The utter soup that is my mind under capitalism requires serious organizational structure in order to even function. And so my thoughts naturally gravitate toward and coalesce around any possibilities for breaking down silos, traversing boundaries of animus and distrust, fostering communication, and synthesizing many different kinds of work into a more cohesive vision.
Even as Bill Gates writes books laying out the "solutions we have and the breakthroughs we need", his cynicism prevents him from actually believing any of it. Not only does he have no faith in people to muster the collective will to prevent climate catastrophe, he has neither faith in corporations to abandon their centuries-long commitment to extraction and exploitation, nor in his own ability to "innovate" a way out. In light of this, he would seem to be preparing for inevitable disaster, and in his arrogance, would situate himself as an arbiter of life and death.
Whatever technologies, models, and organizational structures we develop, to orient ourselves toward social and economic justice, we must also make space for the unwilling and the unable to be independent, self-determined, and safe. This means insulating them against the violent death throes of our system of capitalism, white supremacy, and imperialism, as we replace it with something better.
The moment demands a mass mobilization of people and collective will. Which means bridging gaps: in knowledge, resources, understanding, and empathy. In our conversations, and in our work around sustainability, we have to integrate those things which support and affirm our rights to healthy, dignified lives, so we even have the capacity to take on something so grandiose as “saving the planet”.