colonial mindset: want to change others without being changed

this morning i was a remote runner in the sankofa run in honor of mikayla miller. as usual, i was listening to podcasts. during these pandemic days wheni have no commute times, the only space i really make for listening to podcasts is running. feels sad, but it is what it is. ANYWAY!

i was listening to how to survive the end of the world: organizers in space. autumn brown mentioned something she and her sister, adrienne maree, talk about regarding colonization. she said, amidst a bunch of other brilliant thoughts:

“what makes colonization colonization is a colonizer changes, but does not want to be changed in response.” — autumn brown

:exploding head emoji:

one other piece of context is that she was mentioning this definition of colonization in regards to octavia e. butler’s brilliant verse of earthseed: all that you touch, you change. all that you change, changes you.

she also explained how this energy is the energy of missionaries. people travel to far lands to save people without wanting to be changed themselves. and, for those of us paying attention, we see how that’s turned out.

i just wanted to write this up because it resonates SO hard. i love that she was exploring the idea that colonization on this planet is not over or in the past. it is still very much happening and in many ways.

and in my work with organizations, i see colonial thinking everywhere, especially from leaders with hierarchal power who rarely if ever not had positional power. phew, that’s a whole ‘nother blog post! will save that for another day…

ok just one more thing before i close: of course, imho, this thinking from autumn (and adrienne) is just one definition, or even one aspect of colonial thinking. but naming it i think is really good and important step. it’s interesting because ‘colonial mentality’ is somehow a term that defines the mental state of people who have been colonized. how is that term not actually about the mentality of the people who are doing the colonizing? agent deletion is a truly wicked thing. what is the term for the thinking/mindset of colonizers?


words / writing / post-processing
332w / 11min / 7min