Despite living in a city like Memphis where there are deep cuts from racism and poverty I rarely talk about racism, or politics, or economics. But I was thinking alot about them today. I watched a story on a little place in MS called Turkey Creek, where direct descendants of black slaves were fighting to save their historical town. No one would help them, not the state or federal govts, not the NAACP, not even the people you would think would fight for their rights. Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, and many more of these powerful figures would talk on end about the injustice of these events, and about the tragedy of what would happen to the land these people have lived on for 150 years, but they have not raised one finger to help the citizens of Turkey Creek fight for their rights.
The city even bulldozed a very old graveyard, and built apartments right over the historical grave sites. It was not saved because it was never mapped out for the National Historical Sites Listing. Things continued to get worse until it was discovered that there are many types of endangered or threatened bird species living in that area. That is when the Audubon Society stepped in, and now they are making huge chunks of Turkey Creek protected habitat for these birds, consequentially saving the citizens homes from the bulldozers.
There was an interview with a town advocate on the latest episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The guy says that when the outdoor enthusiasts showed up in their town, things quickly began to change for the better. Citizens were even educated to identify birds different bird species, and to help the Audubon people to count these animals for study.
The whole thing just shows that for people in power the only thing that matters is profits. But bird people REALLY love birds. And if hanging out with the bird nerds, or whoever is in a position to help us save our country - our planet, well then I'm more than happy to do so. Hey I like birds! I must admit that I do like the planet in general more than people. I just want to see Turkey Creek citizens keep their ancestral homes. I want to see them given more opportunities to learn the tools that will help them better their town and themselves. I want to see the history preserved, for future generations to experience. I want to see us working together, no matter our personal motivations, to better ourselves and our world.