DeColinize with Me, Part II

In Part I of this series, I finished with the undeniably underwhelming cliffhanger of why I’ve changed the title of my blog from Sesquipedalian Obscurantisms to Decolonizing Coileán, marking the transition with my opinion that Hope is not an emotion that I like to cultivate.

Allow me to explain.

To start, Sesquipedalian Obscurantisms excelled at capturing a few facets of my personality: “obscurantism” refers to how I enjoy confusing people playfully and “sesquipedalian” gets at my affinity for using uncommon, “big” words (words too big even for the SAT). But the happenings of recent years have taught me some things about the world. These teachings have in turn led me to devote more and more time to contributing to the movements for social and environmental justice; that is, movements for the liberation of all beings.

So, I thought Decolonizing Coileán was a dope renewal of a title since I’m undergoing a process of self-decolonization. That means I’m working to undo all of the false assumptions about life, humanity and the universe that the dominant white colonial settler culture – heteropatriarchal ecocidal white supremacist capitalism, the United States of America itself – has implanted inside me over the course of my life up to adulthood. For example, the idea that the United States is a legitimate country founded upon the ideals of freedom, justice, and equality for all by good, hard-working people; the notion that the economy is more supreme even than nature, and that we can simply keep growing it at whatever cost to our species’s life-support ecosystems; the idea that Columbus discovered North America; and white supremacy. Decolonization also entails reconnecting with one’s heritage in order to claim it as a way of re-establishing traditions, foodways, and philosophies that can help us undertake the transition beyond the oppressive systems that make war against the women, the Indigenous, the poor, the brown, the black, and the non-human beings of this world.

What about the title of this series, though? “Decolinize” also reveals the process of undoing my name. I’m seriously considering changing my Anglicized name to the Gaelic (Irish) version: Coileán, to reject the Anglicized version – some would say a bastardization – of my name.

That more or less sums it up: I’m a white man-cum-white accomplice to planetary and societal liberation struggles, and my sleeves are rolled up. I’m cutting my teeth in the streets… with white supremacy, structural racism, extractive economics and imperialism in the cross-hairs.

I extend my hand to you, dear reader, to hop on board the Justice ship. It is never too late to board, but for real, time is very short. You are needed.


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