The Decolonial Thought

Although I can’t entirely articulate it yet, I have started to think the decolonial thought. Put crudely, the decolonial thought is along the lines of:

Our prevailing understanding of our culture and history has been shaped at every level by white settlor men and it is beyond time to start listening to somebody (everybody) else.”

The decolonial thought - prompted in me by the toppling of Colston's statue in Bristol, now on display in a museum.
Colston’s statue on display at M Shed, Bristol. The coverage of the Black Lives Matter protest in my home city of Bristol one year ago (during which the statue was toppled) first prompted me to have the decolonial thought.

According to the internet, the human population of planet Earth is around 30% white and 48% male. I’m quite good at maths, so I can tell you this means white men make up around 14% of the global human population. My conclusion from this is that the white male is not the default human!

Add in other qualifiers like straight, cisgender and able-bodied and ‘Man’ of ‘mankind’ can be seen to be a tinier and tinier proportion of our global population.

The way we have been led to perceive our past, present and future serves a tiny proportion of humanity. It is not healthy, for us or the planet.

NOT THE UNIVERSAL MAN/HUMAN. I find it interesting (possibly telling) that this Da Vinci sketch did not attract much interest until the 19th Century.

The decolonial thought is a valve or a sphincter, like Timothy Morton‘s ecological thought. Once you’re through, there is no going back.

Of course there are ecological thoughts. […] But there is a particular kind of thinking that I call the ecological thought. It runs like a strand of DNA code through thousands of other kinds of thoughts. […] It is not simply a matter of what you’re thinking about. It’s also a matter of how you think. Once you start to think the ecological thought, you can’t unthink it: it’s a sphincter – once it’s open, there’s no closing.”

Timothy Morton, The Ecological Thought

The decolonial thought and the ecological thought are also connected through the cause of climate justice. Although I have much more thinking to do around these big thoughts, what I take from this in brief is: