“I had been standing in line for over an hour.
As I waited to pick up my name tag at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September, nearing the last quarter of a long line, I noticed a white woman and a group of her peers crashing the line ahead. Others around me looked uncomfortable but said nothing. I gently nudged the woman who had jumped in front of us and asked, “Has the irony of cutting the line at a social justice event occurred to you?”
The woman turned and insisted, “This is not a social justice event.”
I was livid at this response. As a woman of Indian origin working in sub-Saharan Africa and living in present-day America, I did not understand how a person could view climate change as anything but a social justice issue. I am deeply aware of how inequity perpetuates both human and environmental degradation in our world. Were we not gathered in San Francisco to ensure that everyone, everywhere has what they need to prosper as the planet warms? Could she not see that “cutting the line” is what got us here in the first place?”