New Zealand: Global Bleaching is Alive & Well

From CNN: At least 49 people were killed and 20 seriously injured in mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch Friday, in a carefully planned and unprecedented atrocity that shocked the "usually" peaceful nation.

First, genocide of the "other" in the name of maintaining white dominance is not new to New Zealand - how do you think it came to be called "New"? The indigenous Moriori were nearly obliterated by colonizers.

In Decolonizing Wealth, another way to describe this is “global bleaching”.

In their intoxicated rush to consolidate wealth, colonizers reduced the number of religions, languages, species, cultures, social systems, media channels, political systems, etc. On all scales, global to local, this homogenizing campaign—global bleaching, you could call it— made the world not just more bland and boring, but also less innovative and less resilient. Evolution and innovation arises from difference and variation, not from sameness. These are fundamental principles of life. For us to have carried inside ourselves the possibility or even hope of a different world is powerful all by itself.

Our hearts grieves for the victims in New Zealand and for all of Muslim relatives who are impacted. We also grieve for a world that still subscribes to whiteness and Christianity as the only state of being. Until we grapple with this sad truth, we'll not be able to move forward in collective healing.

In her book Medicine Stories, the curandera-historian Aurora Levins Morales writes:

“Ours is a society that does not do grief well or easily, and what is required to face trauma is the ability to mourn, fully and deeply, all that has been taken from us. But mourning is painful and we resist giving way to it, distract ourselves with put-on toughness out of pride…What is so dreadful is that to transform the traumatic we must re-enter it fully, and allow the full weight of grief to pass through our hearts. It is not possible to digest atrocity without tasting it first, without assessing on our tongues the full bitterness of it."

From the Pillars Fund - on days like this, especially as many of us head to Friday prayers, it is important to take care of one’s self and to be aware of one’s surroundings. Secondary trauma affects many people in our communities. Muslim Wellness Foundation, Inc. has created a helpful toolkit for coping with trauma that includes a section on “Coping with Traumatic Events & News.” We encourage anyone who may find it beneficial to have a look, and please share with others who may need it right now.

Pillar Fund is a great place to give if you're looking to help.

Today we grieve, tomorrow we heal and continue our fight against global bleaching.

Edgar Villanueva