Hi, I’m Zilchexo, I’m a friend of Aly’s and I’ve kept up with Sunbeam at least somewhat since I think the Masto went up. I’m a disabled, non-binary, indigenous person of color from a colonized culture and I heard you guys were looking for outside perspectives so I thought I’d chip in.
Speaking from close to zero context here, I’m not sure why you’re so caught up with abolishing “whiteness” (wish there was a better word for this) from the server culture. To me it has always been an inevitable symptom of being online, and I’m pretty sure if Black separatists had a meaningful presence online it would be largely white (just look at Maoist-Third Worldists). I hate to say that I think a lot of the concern is symptomatic of the same settler mindset you’re trying to get rid of and is probably going to not be very effective and just drive away the less initiated.
What I can say is this. Emsenn is fundamentally right about a lot of things, like white communities carrying with them white problems. One thing I don’t agree with them on from what I got out of their “story” is that, despite talking about how they’ve decolonized their mindset elsewhere, they don’t seem to factor in how the order encourages people of color to adopt settler mindsets. They characterize the problem as uniquely white, and I just don’t agree.
Of course, Solarpunk is inherently rooted in indigenous liberation. I visualize a world where indigenous peoples program the local lifestyle to what they know is sustainable for the Earth. Now I’m not going to say that African-American people or Chinese-American people are in the same league as White people in regards to ecology, but I don’t see why they should have any special say over a lot of things. We also have to consider that not all Latinxs are especially indigenous; think of all the born-and-raised Mexicans who had a German grandfather and grew up wealthy or whatever. The Mexican Revolution was rolled back a lot, and plenty of Mexicans (though not a majority, to my understanding) identify more with whiteness than with indigenousness. You can apply that to my native Borinquen as well.
Basically, I just don’t think it’s reasonable to expect any large population, white or not, to be a certain level of decolonized. The poison is in the water, and the water is in the ocean.
Here’s what I think. Establish an opt-in council that all members of indigenous populations can assign themselves to; this is most people of color, but it is not all, and I think it’s a crucial distinction because most people who would otherwise be eligible for such a thing would be, for example, urban African-Americans, who, with all due respect, are not indigenous, and being raised as slaves within a settler culture makes them a part of that settler culture as well.
One thing that Emsenn is damn right about, though, I will say, is the need for Sunbeam City to determine its purpose. I have a pretty cynical view of Mastodon and online leftism, and it doesn’t help that I’m effectively a fursona non grata in furry Mastodon not because I actually did anything but because Ace and Masanbol of snouts.online (both white leftists, lol) decided I’m a shit-stirrer and banned me and shadowbanned my other accounts somehow when I tried to speak up about them and then had yiff.life do the same like a year later. Like Ace actually followed me just so he could disagree with any post remotely discourse-related that I made and intimidate me into agreeing with him or whatever, but I’m getting sidetracked. The point is that I feel like online activism is the modern equivalent of Trotskyist newspapers that basically preach to the choir and jerk themselves off and maybe some other people join in, but this never actually moves toward action. It’s where activism goes to die. Like if you’re an Online Leftist and you vote you’re batting above average because most of them want to say voting droolz and want to shitpost until a mass movement that agrees with their exact platform comes out the other end and are definitely not regurgitating COINTELPRO shit. But I admire a lot about the ambition here and I know that there is potential, so I’m going to signal boost that. You guys need a mission, and “spreading leftism” can’t be it (you’re on Mastodon for Christ’s sakes). For example, just to pull something out of my ass here, the last time Aly spoke to me about you guys I mentioned that developing, supporting, and promoting federated, anticorporate, “decolonized” services could be a decent venture for the Mastodon left. Then I had Secure Scuttlebutt (article does a dogshit job of explaining what it is as does everywhere else, but basically think of it as a peer-to-peer social network where your statuses and such are locally hosted) and OpenSimulator (for VR) in mind, but it could be just about anything. I like the idea of a co-operative, but I can see you guys are pretty broke and don’t know what to do with it; ultimately it’s the same shit, you guys need to decide what you’re going to work at. For example, in my polycule and circle, we want to work towards cohabitation so that we can support each-other through various ventures; it’s a freelance collective of people in IT, data hosting, consultancy, art, programming, etc. and the people we choose to exist in a symbiotic relationship with us, as well as, for example, a new concept for a bottling co-operative that it wouldn’t be strategically prudent to share. But I don’t see SBC like that, I see it as a very web-based thing, which is certainly not a bad thing, but you should try to step up from being a place to discuss theory.
Anyway, that’s my contribution, hope it helps.