My name is Leslie Anne Wilkinson and I am a White Womxn who goes by she/her pronouns.
I wanted to get this out of the way first, since some may question my ability to speak on the matters I will address in this article. However, I sincerely believe that SILENCE IS VIOLENCE, and therefore I must speak up. At the same time, I also acknowledge that SPEECH IS VIOLENCE, and so I have chosen my words very careful from within an intersectional framework and in the context of white allyship.
It has been over a year since the nation was witness to the brazen and heartbreaking MURDER of George Floyd in broad daylight. Like many of you, I was shocked to the core and have spent many long months agonizing about my complicity in that monstrous act. To that end, I have watched the horrific video of George Floyd’s MURDER no less than seven times – a difficult experience, but necessary in order to confront the specter of my own toxic white privilege and to grow and become a better person.
Suffice to say, it has taken an emotional TOLL me. For a long time, I was wrecked, drained, and completely overwhelmed. But out of that arduous personal journey, I believe I have found HOPE.
I believe I have discovered my personal truth as to how I can help dismantle entrenched intuitional and systemic racism against BIPOC and (especially) 2SLGBQT BIPOC Folkx.
The answer? Healthy, organic, non-GMO, additive-free foods.
Think about it. It’s all so obvious. Widespread access to organic, non-GMO foods is all but essential to undoing the legacy of White Supremacy and advancing an equitable and sustainable framework moving forward.
Right now, too many members of marginalized communities live in what are known as Food Deserts, which are simply the continuation of Red-lining policies under a different name. Sounds shocking? Not when you consider that mass incarceration is literally the continuation of slavery, and charter schools are literally a revived form of Jim Crow.
It’s all in this excellent documentary I watched on Netflix called 13th – which is one of my very few sources of information about Black and Brown Folkx – since as mentioned, I have white privilege and can choose not to speak to them if I wish.
I loved 13th so much that I rented out my local cinema for a private screening and invited my entire neighborhood to come watch in silent pain and reflection. Those who were invited and did not intend were immediately blocked from social media, removed from my social circles and were reported to my local NAACP chapter.
No, there were no Black and Brown Folkx in attendance - but that's besides the point.
So, we must first begin by dismantling the problem of food deserts, but we must dismantle them in such a way that will allow for the sustainable (and equitable) access of healthy, organic foods. This means we must also dismantle the white (male) supremacist institutions of Big Agriculture and Factory Farming. Think about it. What is a factory farm but essentially slavery against non-humans? It's all in this other documentary on Netflix I watched – Cowspiracy, which is also my only information on the subject.
Now, I’m not saying that being grown in cages, force-fed gruel, and eventually slaughtered for food is anything even remotely like the pain and suffering BIPOC Folkx suffer in our country today. At least, cows and chickens don't have to live with the never-ending nightmare of being pulled over for a broken tail-light and literally murdered by the police - something that (I'm led to believe) happens multiple times a day. Nonetheless, and as you can see, there is fertile ground for solidarity between the two movements.
Only after completing the hard work of dismantling these unjust and racist systems, which produce enormous amounts of (as mentioned, non-organic) food, can we begin to address the necessary work of producing just enough of the right kind of food to ensure marginalized communities are not forgotten and that we also protect the planet.
If you’re looking at me sideways, I understand. It’s not just a paradigm shift. It is a paradigm shift. But we have to start somewhere, and I believe – irregardless of what you read in the mainstream right-wing media – that access to clean, guilt-free, organic food is one of the top issues facing marginalized communities today.
This will – and must be – a community-driven effort. It requires both activists on the ground, but also government officials to make and enforce the necessary anti-racist policies: such as banning all sodas and sugar-added foods, banning all fast-food chains which prey specifically on BIPOC Folkx (like McDonald’s, Popeye's, Long John Silver’s, etc), and finally supporting efforts to mitigate shoplifting penalties which often fall hardest on Black and Brown Folkx, and which are often used by Big Retail to justify their racist policy of ignoring marginalized areas.
I know what you're thinking - Leslie, what if these Black and Brown Folkx do not want to rid themselves of some of America's favorite dining options? Trust me, the Black and Brown Folkx are not stupid MAGA types, they agree with me and will view our dietary mission for what it is - salvation.
Call me crazy, but I dream of a world in which my grandchildren (if I had any) will be able to visit any part of this country and easily find a Whole Foods within walking distance. Of course, it may be too dangerous for them to visit certain stores within walking distance, but that's why we must also dismantle the police, so that Black and Brown Folkx will be able to safely work for Uber Eats without fear of being pulled-over.
C'mon people, this isn't rocket surgery here!
Organic foods should NOT be merely a luxury product for the privileged few. 2SLGBQT BIPOC Folkx should also have the ability to indicate their moral superiority by paying unnecessarily higher prices for basic things. That's not a "handout". That's what I call JUSTICE.
Join me if you dare to make a CHANGE. Join me to end racism and white cultural domination… by supporting organic, non-GMO, farm-raised, all-natural, and gluten-free foods.
If we work TOGETHER, we CAN make a difference. Thank you.