Geology Class Reminded Me of Oppression

An elephant grave illustration (illustration taken from TV Tropes)

For my geology class I am watching a series of episodes from a show called Prehistoric Road Trip. Basically, a white geologist, whose name I do not remember, is driving around the united states to different historic areas where fossils of many life forms exist and she’s vlogging it.

I find my way to episode three when the white geologist goes into a story about her childhood. The story goes along the lines of her remembering a time when a realtor wanted to build houses in an area where there was a hill. At the time, they start to demolish the hill and as they did, they realized that there are piles and piles of elephant bones. In the moment, the relator and his team realized that the area was “too special” to have houses built on it.

I had to pause the episode and look over to my significant other at the time. My mind wasn’t on fossils anymore. It was on gentrification.

My question to my significant other at the time was, “why are dead animals more important and deserve more respect than poor people and people of color?” It seems to me that even when these people are still living, breathing, and making memories in their homes that doesn’t matter nearly as much as our dearest exotic animal fossils. People are forcibly removed from their homes because white people want to build several Starbucks. How is that okay?

Obviously, he didn’t have all the answers to my thinking mind and neither did I. But let’s face it, white people have always seen poor people and people of color as the REAL animals in this world. They sure do love their dogs and exotic animals as if they are a part of the family though. And even then, they still exploit those dead or alive animals for their own monetary gain.

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