by Mohamed Jean Veneuse
To be clear, valorized figures like Alexandra Ocasio Cortez and social movements like that of Bernie Sanders and the Women’s March are - in fact - not decolonial at all. Their sole strategy depends on voting, reforming laws, protests of equality, and a national assimilationist politics of citizen rights. In adopting the former strategy they constantly evoke two central pillars of representative-democracy: (neo)liberal humanism and multicultural identity politics, both which are founded on supremacist Enlightenment values. In relying on these colonial/imperial ideals and this approach these movements are ultimately – whether they recognize or not – re–entrenching Euro-American white ascendance and individualism. Till the historical present, these human rights paradigms and identitarian reference points continue to structurally and symbolically humanize white bodies and contribute to the reified dehumanization of people who are Indigenous, Black and People of Color. Contrary to the popular belief that this strategy can usher cataclysmic change – numerous radical Indigenous, Black, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh, as well as a minority Arab and Muslim knowledge keepers and movement organizers – have exposed and continue to tirelessly argue against the destructive implications of this strategy that – again – is not decolonial at all.