The organizers also clearly violated their own Southeast Convergence for Climate Action Anti-oppression Policy, which states, "In order to create a safe and productive environment for activism and community, we will not tolerate behavior that demeans, marginalizes, or threatens people. " Well our fearless leader communicated back to us that he felt demeaned and marginalized. He also stated that his son felt threatened (See video below). Of course, knowing our fearless leader he was more than prepared to protect himself and his son from any harm. But they were on private property deep in the mountainous back woods in Brevard near Asheville, North Carolina. And the two of them were vastly outnumbered.
This was a traumatic incident for McDonald's son, but he has been assured that it is a great learning experience. Although it will be imprinted on him for the rest of his life, it should not be attributed to the South. Blame lays with elitist radicals bent on a purest mission. We abhor this purist ethic and it led to a perverse place in the past. And we do not hold the same beliefs or goals.
All of this is simply a 21st Century manifestation of the racial underbelly of America as exemplified by the mindset of some elitists in the past:
March of 1857, the United States Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, declared in Dred Scott v. Sanford that all blacks -- slaves as well as free -- were not and could never become citizens of the United States. The case before the court was that of Dred Scott, a slave who had lived in the free state of Illinois and the free territory of Wisconsin before moving back to the slave state of Missouri. He appealed to the Supreme Court in hopes of being granted his freedom. Taney wrote in the Court's majority opinion that, because Scott was black, he was not a citizen and therefore had no right to sue. The framers of the Constitution, he wrote, believed that blacks "had no rights that the white man was bound to respect..."
We are certain that we will not experience such intolerance at the upcoming Bush Administration climate change summit. AAEA will share its backwoods experience with the participants of this summit.
Fortunately, there is not unanimity on our expulsion: One participant sent us the email below:
"It was disturbing for me to hear today about your expulsion from the Convergence. I can't understand intolerance of this nature. Ideas and information need to be exchanged freely, even if we disagree. I regret deeply this happened to you and your son and I can assure you the Canary Coalition had no part in asking you to leave, nor were we informed of such a decision by anyone at the camp...I'll be glad to continue this conversation with you, if you're willing."
Avram Friedman, Executive Director, Canary Coalition firstname.lastname@example.org