Blog Archives

Moving forward

How do you go forward when you know that just like the majority of every generation before ours, the majority of this generation is also going to act like a bunch of stubborn mules holding up the status quo of racism, oppression, and colonialism with their willful ignorance and silence in the face of injustice.

If this generation was born in the 1880s instead of the 1980s, they’d all be sitting on the sidelines while a few “radicals” demanded women have the right to vote. If this generation was born in the 1940s, they’d all be sitting back while “troublemakers” got ketchup and mustard dumped on them at segregated lunch counters.

Bystanders enjoying the fruits of the radicals who came before them.

Agitating China

A facebook friend of mine just posted this as his status:

I plan on visiting China this summer and while there, of course, I plan to see what my limits are. I didn’t disclose this information to my mother but knowing me, she made a point to warn me against it a few days ago. I replied that there was nothing the Chinese government could do to me – I’m an American citizen. And she replied that what they couldn’t do to me, they’d do to my grandfather’s family, whom we plan on visiting. She told me that they make a decent living right now and may be employed by the government, but if they discover (which I imagine they’d easily do if I blog from China) that their employee is related to an agitator whom they hosted, then things could go south for my grandfather’s family pretty quick.

And so I am left wondering how to circumvent this potential consequence of my exercising my human rights in an oppressive country. I’ll be looking into that until I go… Should be a fun trip!

Bono is Misinformed. You probably are too.

Bono said in the NYT that it’s a shame there are no Ghandis or MLKs in the West Bank. When people say this, by defacto, they say all people who stand for the Palestinian cause are terrorists. Not people to be negotiated with. They have no legitimate grievances right?

Well now there is a response on CNN (by Bill Fletcher Jr)! Thats a big outlet for this often ignored issue! http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/02/16/fletcher.palestinians.protest/index.html

Selected quotes follow:

…Whether they are engaged in armed struggle or nonviolent direct action, it does not matter: Palestinian activists are often portrayed as extremists who threaten life and property…

…recent arrests of Palestinian human rights activists Jamal Juma’, Abdallah Abu Rahma, Ibrahim Amirah and Mohammed Othman are prime examples…

…These recent crackdowns make even more ironic the hope expressed by Bono last month in The New York Times “that people in places filled with rage and despair, places like the Palestinian territories, will in the days ahead find among them their Gandhi, their King, their Aung San Suu Kyi.” As a commenter on his column noted, these people exist today and have existed within the Palestinian movement. They are just in jail … or dead.

Bassem Abu Rahme, for example, was killed by a teargas canister fired at close range by an Israeli soldier on April 17 [2009,] while taking part in one of the weekly nonviolent protests that are regularly met with tear gas, billy clubs, rubber bullets and the threat of arrest…

…this repression becomes a means not of suppressing violence, but of suppressing all resistance to injustice. This is experienced today by the Palestinian movement…

…Its objectives are caricatured and maligned by Israel in order to make the repression easier…

…Even though Jim Crow was the law in much of the United States, King and countless others were prepared to break the law and, thereby, threaten the stability of this country. He was branded a communist, a malcontent and a criminal, all with the aim of discrediting him. And, when that was not enough, and his following did not disappear into the night, he was harassed and faced repeated death threats, ultimately leading to his murder.

The condemnation of Palestinian activists as terrorists, no matter their approach, shares a great deal in common with the manner in which King and African-American freedom fighters (and their allies) were demonized and repressed. It was the basic cause that needed to be destroyed by the oppressor and not just the individuals…