Indigenous Activists: Greta Thunberg Popular Because of White Supremacy

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate change activist from Sweden, attends a Senate Climate Change Task Force meeting on Capitol Hill, on September 17, 2019 in Washington, DC. On September 20th students from around the world plan a walk out to demand action on climate change. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Organizers say millions of youth around the world have joined the Fridays for Future student walkouts to protest climate change. They have hailed its founder, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden, who is currently on a North American tour to join protests and speak out on the alleged emergency facing the world, including at the United Nations last month.

And while Thunberg has been careful to cater to indigenous groups and their activist supporters – she has claimed some protests are taking place on indigenous land – many are now turning on her, claiming that she is getting attention because she is white and that support for her is proof that white supremacy and white privilege are alive and well.

“Y’all need to ask yourselves why you find it so much easier to hear from white people, regardless of age, when it comes to the violence they have caused across the world,” No White Saviours tweeted.

“It is a SYMPTOM of global white supremacy that certain people are HEARD & given a platform, certain people have access to the RESOURCES to be the HEROES that the world will pay attention to.”

“Greta should have grabbed some children from Flint or NJ and took them to the UN. They are impacted right now by environmental terrorism caused by racism, White Supremacy, and racialzed governance. Greta at the UN was the epitome of White Privilege/White power= Save white kids!” Marley K tweeted.

“Propping up Thunberg over Indigenous people who have been fighting this battle for ages can’t be reduced to it’s the message that counts.”

Thunberg’s message isn’t an accurate assessment of the threat of the climate crisis (if it was white supremacy would be more explicit),” Hari Ziyad  tweeted.

“Thunberg’s message is that we need to always think of protecting the little white kids. The same message that is part of the problem in the first place,” Ziyad tweeted.

Activists seem to believe that this has long been an issue with “people of color” have long been believers manmade climate change.

“No disrespect to Young Greta, but a quick tutorial on “White Supremacy”… El Viejo Ebro tweeted.

“INDIGENOUS PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WARNING EVERYONE ALL OVER THE GLOBE ABOUT “CLIMATE CHANGE” FOR DECADES!!” one person tweeted.

“There is no mention of them now that this is mainstream. Just Greta…” he tweeted.

“I’m glad to see so many sharing @GretaThunberg ‘s #HowDareYou message,” another tweeted.

“However, Indigenous peoples have been saying this for 500 years. So it is not a new message. Her message has political and cultural authority due to white supremacy.”

“White environmentalists are instead urged to support and raise awareness of the work being done by people like Canadian Indigenous teen Autumn Peltier, an advocate for water protection of the Great Lakes, and ‘Little Miss Flint’, a youth activist raising awareness of the US city of Flint’s water crisis,” the New Zealand-based Newshub website reported on the backlash.

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