Day #20 – July 26, 2014 – Palestinian Lives Matter!

In front of Baltimore church

In front of Baltimore church

Finished listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates‘ audiobook “Between the World and Me” on the MARC train into DC yesterday.  The story is a first person letter to his 15 year old son about his reality of growing up in a black body, and how people who think they are white can control, torture and snuff out black bodies with impunity.  For some people who think they are white, this might be a disturbing book to read.  I suspect those people won’t even try.

I also saw the connection between the black bodies in America and the Palestinian bodies in the occupied territories that Zionists control.

Maybe there’s a shared dialogue as well.

There are Americans proclaiming “Black Lives Matter” in response to cops killing blacks with impunity.  The police had power over each black body and snuffed each out.

April 30, 2014: Dontre Hamilton (Milwaukee)

July 17, 2014: Eric Garner (New York)

Aug. 5, 2014: John Crawford III (Dayton, Ohio)

Aug. 9, 2014: Michael Brown Jr. (Ferguson, Missouri)

Aug. 11, 2014: Ezell Ford (Florence, California)

Aug. 12, 2014: Dante Parker (Victorville, California)

Nov. 13, 2014: Tanisha Anderson (Cleveland)

Nov. 20, 2014: Akai Gurley (Brooklyn, New York)

Nov. 22, 2014: Tamir Rice (Cleveland)

Dec. 2, 2014: Rumain Brisbon (Phoenix)

Dec. 30, 2014: Jerame Reid (Bridgeton, New Jersey)

March 6, 2015: Tony Robinson (Madison, Wisconsin)

March 31, 2015: Phillip White (Vineland, New Jersey)

April 2, 2015: Eric Harris (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

April 4, 2015: Walter Scott (North Charleston, South Carolina)

April 19, 2015: Freddie Gray (Baltimore)

Standing up and proclaiming “Black Lives Matter” often elicits “All Lives Matters”.  It’s happened to me several times when I wear my “Black Lives Matter” T-Shirt around Baltimore and no retort seems adequate.

Of course, all lives matter but my T-Shirt doesn’t say “Only Black Lives Matter”. My T-Shirt is saying that black lives should also matter.

Responding to this by saying “all lives matter” is willfully going back to ignoring the problem. It’s a way of dismissing the statement by falsely suggesting that it means “only black lives matter,” when that is obviously not the case. And so saying “all lives matter” as a direct response to “black lives matter” is essentially saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem.

The same tit for tat is happening among pro-Israel and pro-Palestine advocates. They seem to be talking past each other, at least on social media.

I was yelling “Palestinian lives matter!” as Israel killed thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza last summer. In fact, Israel kills Palestinians almost daily in the occupied territories, seemingly without feeling any consequences by the U.S. Congress or the international community.

Netanyahu and pro-Israel supporters respond “Israeli Lives Matter” and “we have a right to defend ourselves!”  That response is just like those who reject the “Black Lives Matter” declaration.  They want to deflect attention away from the structural problems (Israel’s Occupation of Palestine, the multi-year blockade of Gaza, the daily humiliation of Palestinians at the checkpoints, etc.) and want all of us to just go back to ignoring the problem.

No!  We’re not going to ignore the problem, neither the racist subjugation and treatment of black bodies in this country, nor the Zionist subjugation and treatment of Palestinian bodies in Gaza and the occupied territories.






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Filed under Gaza, Israel, People

One response to “Day #20 – July 26, 2014 – Palestinian Lives Matter!

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