Mindy Fullilove: Disaster in the Context of Unmitigated Disaster

The study of resilience is concerned with the ability to recover function after a disturbance. It is generally recognized that the ability to recover is not infinite and depends on initial conditions of the material that is stressed. Mindy proposes to set initial conditions for community recovery from climate change with the creation of the US Constitution, which enshrined that provision that slaves be counted as 3/5’s of a person, making racism the “DNA of the nation.” The recent expression of this DNA in policies of serial forced displacement and mass incarceration have, it has been argued, created a voracious machine of community destruction that is widening its reach from the initial victims in the African American community to much wider segments of the US population. This machine can push the ecosystem towards a permanent state of criminal enterprise hyperviolence, such as that seen in some parts of Mexico and Italy. Mindy suggests that remedies to climate change will be driven by this powerful social system, but other alternatives exist and should be pursued.

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