Call to Act! Against Asteria

Beneath the saccharine veneer of Disney's "Asteria)" project lies a reality starkly at odds with its advertised "campus of discovery." This (topic:: proposed development, slated for the headwaters of the Haw River, ignores the centuries of Indigenous dispossession and Black enslavement that have ravaged this land, while simultaneously threatening the ecological health of the river and the future of the surrounding communities. From Disney's press release on Asteria:

The community will come to life on 1,500 acres in the heart of North Carolina's picturesque Chatham County. Ideally situated in the town of Pittsboro, residents will have access to metropolitan amenities with the charm of a small town. Plans call for more than 4,000 residential units including single-family and multi-family homes...
...Asteria community homeowners will become part of a club with amenities planned to include a wellness and recreation center, restaurant, sport courts, swimming pools, community garden and plenty of outdoor space for lawn games, events and fire pits. The club will feature enrichment programming only Disney can deliver. Some of the experiences under consideration include storytelling dinners inspired by Disney tales, lessons with Disney artists and family fun days with Disney-themed activities...
...The team at Walt Disney Imagineering has spent significant time researching, visiting and immersing themselves in the region to develop the Asteria community's unique theme. Influenced by the nearby universities in the famed Research Triangle, the community is envisioned as a campus of discovery – a place for exploring and learning.

The very concept of a "discovery" narrative conveniently erases the long and painful history of this region. The land that Disney now seeks to colonize with its sanitized family entertainment has been home to Indigenous communities for millennia, and a battleground for colonial genocides for centuries. Disney's romanticized vision of "discovery" ignores the brutal realities of colonialism and slavery that continue to play out through the present.

This erasure - and the imagination of the land as undiscovered - is simply another cycle of the colonizer-settler's "moves to innocence," as described in "Decolonization is not a Metaphor":

Settler moves to innocence are those strategies or positionings that attempt to relieve the settler of feelings of guilt or responsibility without giving up land or power or privilege, without having to change much at all.

If the history of this land extends only as far back as UNC and Duke Universities, then the potential sites of Asteria are truly new land, ripe for discovering... whatever it is one discovers inside Disney places.

But there's more harm in Asteria than historical erasure and the genocides it facilitates.

The Asteria project poses a grave threat to the region's ecological resilience. The Haw River, the lifeblood of Chatham County, is already facing increasing pressure from droughts, floods, and rising temperatures as the climate weirds. Adding thousands of new residents will only exacerbate these challenges. The sprawling development will fragment and pollute the waterways, jeopardizing an ecology already in deep peril from things we cannot change or control. This won't just affect some leftist ideas of historic morals: it will make it impossible for anyone to live here, in a Disney place or not.

Asteria is not just a development project; it is a symbol of ongoing colonial expansion and environmental disregard. It represents a future where profit takes precedence over the health of the land, the truth, and our own survival.

Disney wants to literally bulldoze over the past to "discover" a destroyed future.

But we don't have to accept this dystopian vision. We have the power to resist this colonial project and build a better future for ourselves and generations to come.

Here's what you can do:

Together, we can rise up and say NO to Asteria. We can protect the land, honor the past, and build a future where sustainability and respect for all living beings are paramount.

Let's not let Disney bulldoze our past and our future. Let's choose a path of truth, justice, and environmental responsibility.