The effectiveness of the Audobon society to halt the erasure of Turkey Creek on behalf of birds over the efforts of local black activists on behalf of humans left The Daily Show's Wyatt Cenac puzzled. Watch below as he lampoons the environmental movement’s value of wildlife over humanlife.
His segment highlights the classic tension between social justice and environmentalism and hints at the debates within the respective movements. When the Audubon society gathered volunteers to build thousands of bird houses for birds affected by Katrina, that effort can be criticized as insensitive to human victims. But Rev. Al Sharpton is misdirecting blame when he accuses the Audubon society of putting animals before people when they actually championed and advanced the preservation of Turkey Creek.
It’s a million dollar question; do the two movements need to be at odds? How do we reconcile the efforts of naturalists with the efforts of social justice workers? How can environmental justice inform both camps?
If you want the non-ironic story on Turkey Creek, check out Turkey Creek Community Initiatives.