The people who live on the Gulf of Mexico are no doubt taking a huge hit from the BP oil disaster, but this film aired on Al Jazeera English pulls the lens back to a wider view of the oil industry in the Gulf over time.
I was especially moved by the stories of folks at the end of the piece who speak very clearly about the toll this industry has taken on their lives and communities. One woman in particular calls out the use of the term "resilient" to describe the historical battering of coastal citizens.
I am really grateful to this woman. I think she's absolutely right that it's a way of denying the actual suffering so that the industry can keep on doing what it's doing, or so the rest of us can sleep at night as we go along with continued use of fossil fuels without protest. It's a term often applied in other situations -- the ability of kids to heal from horrific abuse, of the mountains of Appalachia to recover from the assaults of surface mining, or of Indigenous people of the world surviving genocidal colonial occupations of their homelands.
"Stop calling me resilient!" she said. "I'm not resilient!"
I hear you, Sister.
Naomi Klein consulted on this film. Please check out her great article, Gulf oil spill: A hole in the world, at OpEd News.