Posted by: r.m. | January 1, 2009

“Born Palestinian, Born Black”

From the Black Workers for Justice statement on the massacre in Gaza (December 31, 2008)

“The Black Workers for Justice  joins the tens of millions of people around the world who are outraged by the vicious assault by the Israeli Defense Force on the Gaza Strip.  As of New Years Eve, the death toll is 380 Palestinians with over 1400 injured, overwhelmingly civilians. Innocent men, women and children in the densely populated city of 1.5 million people continue to be at risk.

The Occupation of Palestinian territory is classic colonialism with apartheid features including a wall that restricts people’s movement for work, business, culture and family life. This Occupation continues to be supported by the US government. The F-16s and Apache helicopters as well as the TOW, Hellfire and Bunker missiles that are being used are provided by the US government meaning that our tax dollars support this carnage and oppression. The US government provides Israel with $3 billion in military aid annually.

Black People Express Their Humanity

Our history and recent experiences remind us of how white supremacist and imperialist regimes respond to misery and suffering.  The legacy of slavery and Jim Crow segregation should be a constant reminder to us. Katrina, our most recent experience with inhumane policies and treatment should move us to determined and immediate support for Palestinians. We feel the pain of the Palestinian people….”

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*the title of this blog post is taken from Suheir Hammad‘s book of poetry and title poem “Born Palestinian, Born Black.” Hammad, in turn, was inspired by June Jordan‘s statement that she was “Born a Black woman but now am become Palestinian.”

I was born a Black woman
and now

I am become a Palestinian
against the relentless laughter of evil

there is less and less living room

and where are my loved ones?
It is time to make our way home.

an excerpt from Moving Towards Home, June Jordan


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