Indigenous Rapper on Climate Activism and Intersectionality

Indigenous activist and hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is one of the young people suing the U.S. over inaction on the climate crisis. Here, he explains why communities of color are key to the climate conversation.

Humanity and life on Earth are being fundamentally changed

Indigenous climate activist and hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez has been advocating for the environment since he was 6. Martinez is 1 of 21 young people who filed a 2015 lawsuit against the federal government for its inaction on climate change. The Obama and Trump administrations both tried to get the lawsuit dismissed. It now awaits a ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on whether it can go to trial.

“The U.S. government has known about the climate crisis, has known about the contribution the fossil fuel industry has for over 50 years and has failed not just to adequately act on our behalf, but has directly gone forth to perpetuate this crisis by subsidizing the fossil fuel industry by opening up opening up federal lands for exploitation and extraction. My generation is going to be the most affected and we are we are claiming that the actions taken by the government are in direct violation of our constitutional rights. This is us experiencing the loss of our homes and our communities due to permafrost melt in Alaska, or due to sea level rise in Florida, or due to the wildfires that I've experienced in my backyard in Colorado. This isn't just about like polar bears and sea level rise. This is about humanity and life on Earth being fundamentally changed forever. And that is what we are up against. That's why this is a crisis. That's why this is an emergency. There's so many things you can do in your own homes — like not let the water run. Young people are standing up all over the planet because we see climate change as a human rights issue,” Xiuhtezcatl Martinez tells Brut.

As the youth director of Earth Guardians, Martinez trains young people from around the world to lead climate movements. He’s also launched NOW, a subscription service for people who want to fund reforestation — with the goal of planting a trillion trees in 10 years. Martinez says it’s vital that the environmental movement include the voices of indigenous peoples and communities of color.


10/04/2019 10:19 AM


  • Peyer W.
    10/31/2019 07:06

    You mean she, not he.

  • Candice I.
    10/31/2019 02:23

    So most of your ppl on here think that instead of taking responsibility for our mess, let's be lazy cowards, and point the finger elsewhere. Instead of coming together and getting it done as a whole. And let's just say, to entertain the simplest of brains on this thread, what if climate change isn't real. Then we still have a world that's clean, with fresh air, and the quality that will improve life in general. It's like watching a bunch a teenagers get scolded in this thread. "I didn't do it, blame China." We all are doing it Grow the the hell up. In the meantime the youth are making us look like morons. Then heres the older generation. "If we keep denying it, it cant be true.". Humans are a plague to this earth. Extinction cant come soon enough.

  • Sandy B.
    10/31/2019 00:21

    That's , ONE , UGLY , GIRL !

  • Maurice W.
    10/30/2019 16:19

    Read it and weep climate liars

  • Patrick W.
    10/29/2019 19:54

    Go sue India and know, the places that don't have any kind of regulations or care.

  • Paul S.
    10/29/2019 09:29

    Another jerk off loser. Hey Brut what's next human sacrifice?

  • Jack Y.
    10/29/2019 01:19

    The modern version of chicken little

  • Jacob L.
    10/28/2019 17:03

    There is no climate crisis. Next

  • Chip G.
    10/28/2019 00:45

    Cuckoo cuckoo

  • David W.
    10/27/2019 23:58

    9 circuit court a joke ,do it in a real court

  • Steven P.
    10/26/2019 17:52

    There's nothing that can be done .... Damage is irreversable .... Like all the other past Ages, this one will also come to an end ....

  • Gerald S.
    10/26/2019 01:27

    Hey climate control fanatics - why did Obama just buy a $15 million dollar beach front property ???

  • David D.
    10/26/2019 00:37

    God word said there would be season. Now with winter coming on you have to wait few months to get back in global warming? That if you don't freeze your butt off?

  • Ethan S.
    10/25/2019 13:14


  • Bradley Y.
    10/25/2019 12:46

    yea can't say the US has passed any regulations regarding the environment over the last 70 years. clean water act has nothing to do with the environment at all or creating the EPA.

  • Towney K.
    10/23/2019 20:48

    Sounds like he's been indoctrinated since he was a child to believe whatever he's told. I have no issues with doing things that are better for the environment, there is no bad in that. What I do have an issue with is making kids buy into a ideology at such a young age, that includes religion. If my kid asks me about my religious believes I will explain it to them the best I can and hope they see the positive and find joy in it as well but I'll never MAKE my kids believe what I believe as far as my religion or ideologies go nor speak on behalf of myself and my beliefs.

  • Bryan N.
    10/23/2019 02:47

    If your using equipment made in a factory causing global warming that runs on energy that is causing global warming your the problem not the solution

  • Sam H.
    10/22/2019 22:19

    Go tell China, Brazil or India. No I didn’t think so.

  • Clyde A.
    10/22/2019 19:24

    Dude quit drinking the koolaid

  • Christopher W.
    10/22/2019 06:38

    Go sue China first. They’re by far the worst.

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