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Two Books: An Introduction Part IV

Who's Got Your Back(yard)?

Book One: My name is How to Be an Antiracist. What is yours?

Book Two: My name is Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard. Nice to meet you.

Book One: Where are you from?

Book Two: Belief. And you?

Book One: Hope.

Book Two: What brings you here?

Book One: I have a short list.

Book Two: Well, too often we think we must intimidate with shame and blame. Seeds are quite small and seeds change everything. Which are your seeds?

Book One:

1. Definitions

2. Dueling Consciousness

3. Power

4. Biology

5. Ethnicity

6. Body

7. Culture

8. Behavior

9. Color

10. White

11. Black

12. Class

13. Space

14. Gender

15. Sexuality

16. Failure

17. Success

18. Survival

Book Two: We have a lot in common. Especially starting with that which is closest to us and expanding into our less known opportunities.

Book One: Our own backyards, so to speak?

Book Two: Exactly. Let me explain.

One. The Dreamers

Two. A New Approach to Conservation

Three. The Importance of Connectivity

Four. Shrinking the Lawn

Five. Homegrown National Park

Six. Rebuilding Carrying Capacity

Seven. Are Alien Plants Bad?

Eight. Restoring Insects, the Little Things that Run the World

Nine. What Have Weeds Done for Us Lately?

Ten. Will it Work?

Eleven. What Each of Us Can Do

Book One: We share a language though our vocabulary differs some.

Book Two: Where do you hear we connect most?

Book One: “As we critique the privilege and inaction of racist power, we show our privilege and inaction by critiquing every effective strategy, ultimately justifying our inaction on the comfortable seat of privilege. Anything but flexible, we are too often bound by ideologies that are bound by failed strategies of racial change.” (214)

Book Two: I understand a little of inflexibility, critique and lack of action for want of expansive action. Change begins in our backyards. “Building Homegrown National Park will be the most ambitious restoration initiative ever undertaken. . . and we will do it by living with nature instead of living apart from it.” (214)

Book One: Too often we blame close mindedness; we blame hate; we blame stupidity; we blame lack of commitment. The fault is not in our vocabulary but in our application of it. “What if we blamed our ideologies and methods, studied our ideologies and methods, refined our ideologies and methods again and again until they worked?” (214)

Book Two: “. . .if we can destroy habitat with blinding speed, we also have the intelligence, knowledge, and ability to restore it.” (214) I am a Believer.

Book One: And I, Hopeful. We are everywhere, even when it is nowhere. It does not depend on where I am, only what I do. Still I ask, “When will we finally stop the insanity of doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result?” (214)

Book Two: “Many of us have already begun this worthy task, and the results are immediate, encouraging, and enormously satisfying. Imagine the sense of accomplishment that will come from having a role in life’s salvation.” (2140

Book One: In the end we are asking the same question, not what happens if we do act, but what are the consequences if we don’t.

Kendi, Dr. Ibram X. (2019). How to be an Antiracist. Penguin Random House: New York.

Tallamy, Douglas W. (2019). Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts

in Your Yard. Timber Press, Inc.: Portland.


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