News flash


Reclaiming Our Intelligence
Marilyn Robb

November 11 & 12

Knowing our

December 2 & 3

Connecting with a “Blue Suit”

Being part of the Sustaining All Life team at the Global Climate Action Summit contradicted my discouragement. I was able to try new things because I felt connected to the Co-Counselors who were with me.

At one point I was eating in a restaurant with two other Co-Counselors. Sitting next to us was a white man who looked like he had come from the summit. Earlier in the week some activists had said, with anger and disappointment, that the “blue suits” (which I took to mean politicians, government representatives, and representatives from corporations) did not care about the priorities of Indigenous people and would not implement effective measures for preventing climate change. I had started to feel that “blue suits” were bad and to feel afraid of connecting with them.

I hesitated to start a conversation with the man sitting next to us, who was indeed wearing a blue suit. But one of my fellow Co-Counselors said hello and asked him if he was with the summit. He said that he was, and we started talking with him about the summit, what we were doing, and what his role was.

He was excited about and thanked us for our work, in particular our commitment to ending racism. He told us he was an environmental activist who had decided to run for political office (and won) so that his community would no longer be led by an openly white-supremacist.

He said that many of his town’s residents were white people whose ancestors had fled to California (USA) from the Dust Bowl [a region of the United States that in the 1930s suffered from severe dust storms and drought]. He talked about being frustrated that many of these folks were now unwelcoming to new immigrants. He also shared some discouragement about the summit.

I was surprised by how open and warm he was, and I could tell [notice] that he was getting some discharge from being listened to. He gave us his contact information, and we got his permission to stay in touch.

Wong Shin Ming

Oakland, California, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list
for leaders in the care of the environment


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00