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So the semester ended for me here at Vassar, and as all the seniors moved out of their on-campus apartments they threw out a lot food. So my friends and I did the reasonable thing for a bunch of broke students who are working on campus during the summer– we grabbed our backpacks and hit the dumpsters.

This isn’t the first time I’ve dumpstered food, I lived off of it last summer. And I run into a lot of freegans on my dives, especially when in big cities. But the one thing I never run into are freegans of color besides myself, and occasionally a close friend of  mine. So my question is– where are these freegans of color?

Freeganism is a largely white middle-class movement (that seems to forget that poor folks have been eating garbage forever). And when I’m dumpster-diving I seem to have a few more issues to deal with, as a Black male, than my white comrades. They aren’t nearly as afraid of the police (or security), or threats of calling the police (or security), nor do they get harassed by law enforcement while diving to the degree that I do. I got harassed by security several times while diving on my own campus, until my white friends pop their heads out of the dumpsters. I’m also extremely embarassed for people to see me diving, because I can tell that I’m not just me, I’m also a representation of Black people in general.

So other than that I was wondering if any freegans of color can shed light on experiences.

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3 Comments

  1. Great post. I don’t know if you’re the same RD as the facebook apoc page, but you have a cool blog.

  2. I know this is an old post, but I got here through Vegans of Color and I’m really gobbling up your blog. I have dumpster-dived many-a-time, and being obviously non-white yet not Black, and vaguely something else which people usually can’t put their finger on (I’ve got a crooked, down-turned nose and sloped eyes and my family is from Mexico), I fear the cops more than my white friends do. To a cop, I may look “Middle Eastern” especially since I frequently wear a headscarf. Anyway, in Texas (dun dun dun), the only kids I know that are non-white that go dumpster diving are my own close friends. But I know a whole lot of white kids that do… I guess I’m rambling and just repeating what you said. :]

  3. sorsofilia

    I hear that. I often forget that the racial ambiguity that comes from not phenotypically fitting the images people hold in their racial imaginations can cause some people (people used to profiling, i.e. cops) to push you into their more feared Other.

    Good luck with your diving.


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