What counts as “authentic” decolonization as the term takes over our social media and influencer bubbles? And how we can sharpen our activism.
Decolonization has taken over our social media timelines with a vengeance. With hundreds of thousands of “decolonize” hashtags, several articles, op-eds, and surveys on the subject—and plenty of Twitter fighting over the term—one thing is clear: decolonization is all kinds of trendy these days. So, we are naturally forced to ask: What counts as “authentic” decolonization in 2020? Much irritation is generated around how terms like “decolonization” or “decolonize” or “decolonizing” are used, and who is allowed to use them. Only this week, a writer was being flogged on Twitter for saying that it is time to “decolonize” the World Bank and IMF on Al Jazeera. No real attention was paid to the powerful institutions he was criticizing but to the fact that the writer used the term “decolonize.” With these debates getting so territorial and snarky, it’s time to break it down for the haters and the mockers so we can discern the fake from the feeble and the nefarious from the silly.