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‘Protest in the form of a prayer’: Dream Defenders demonstration in Nazareth makes connections from Ferguson to Palestine

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We sit in a sea of settlements

While the sound of suffering

Sails lost in the listening

As the voices of heartache hail

The power of presence

People as portals

Passports to heaven

Here is a protest in the form of a prayer

– Poet Aja Monet

This powerfully moving video of a flashmob in Nazareth by the recent Dream Defenders delegation to Israel/Palestine is an earth shifter. The demonstration was coordinated by Patrisse Cullors co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter and the video’s Vimeo page explains:

a historic trip to Palestine, freedom fighters from Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, New York, Ferguson, and Atlanta were able to witness firsthand the effects of Israeli apartheid and occupation, and to learn from the people who are actively resisting on the front lines.

In Nazareth, the delegates decided to do a solidarity demonstration as a call for support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign that was called for by Palestinian civil society in 2005.

Having witnessed Israeli apartheid and the occupation “first hand – from the people who are actively resisting on the front lines” journalist Marc Lamont Hill says (2:22 min):

We came here to Palestine to stand in love and revolutionary struggle with our brothers and sisters

We come to a land that has been stolen by greed and destroyed by hate

We come here and we learn laws that have been co-signed in ink but written in the blood of the innocent and we stand next to people who continue to courageously struggle and resist the occupation

People continue to dream and fight  for freedom

From Ferguson to Palestine the struggle for freedom continues

As the demonstration continues, my heart is captured.

This action was beautifully filmed and edited by Thorstein Thielow. The protesters echo Sweet Honey in Rock’s famous ode to Ella Baker, movement building and working for justice, Ella’s Song:

We who believe in freedom cannot rest

We who believe in freedom can not rest until it’s won

We who believe in freedom can not rest

We who believe in freedom can not rest until it’s won

We who believe in freedom can not rest

We who believe in freedom can not rest until it’s won

Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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85 Responses

  1. Scott on January 15, 2015, 1:21 pm

    Marwan Barghouti IS Michael Brown!

    • K Renner on January 16, 2015, 10:06 am

      That’s an insult to Marwan Barghouti and I don’t agree with it at all.

      He’s (Barghouti) a political prisoner more then anything else and however unjustifiable or preventable Michael Brown’s death was the fact remains that the altercation happened after he stole cigars from a store and intimidated the owner.

      Saying as much shouldn’t be taken as condoning the manner in which he died, although I can imagine some will jump to that conclusion.

      • Mooser on January 17, 2015, 1:32 pm

        “the fact remains that the altercation happened after he stole cigars from a store and intimidated the owner.”

        Oh, please. Well, then I guess I should be dead fifty times over. I’ve been accused of much worse.

      • OyVey00 on January 17, 2015, 2:09 pm

        Mooser, there must be a lot of tapes of you doing nasty stuff out there then. I’m curious, so please tell me where I can watch them. Thanks~

      • annie on January 27, 2015, 3:21 am

        Saying as much shouldn’t be taken as condoning the manner in which he died, although I can imagine some will jump to that conclusion.

        you’re a bigot. saying as much should be self evident, although i can imagine you’ll jump to the conclusion it isn’t.

  2. annie on January 15, 2015, 2:05 pm

    when they dabke to ella’s song i feel chills thru my whole body, and i have watched this now over and over. the first time tears sprung to my eyes. the poetry, lamont hill’s intro..the chanting, all of it just moves me way beyond expectation.

    • Kathleen on January 15, 2015, 7:03 pm

      “power of presence” The words, the poetry, the singing, the movement, the bravery…powerful and oh so moving. Thank you dream defenders and thank you Annie for bringing this to our attention. Ultimately the same struggle at the core.

  3. Marnie on January 15, 2015, 2:24 pm

    What a thing of beauty to behold. Thank you Dream Defenders for blessing the land with your presence!

    • RockyMissouri on January 16, 2015, 10:50 am

      What a beautiful way to phrase that sentiment….. Just a few words and they have touched my heart.

  4. Kathleen on January 15, 2015, 3:52 pm

    It has been so incredible to watch light bulbs go off in black America about the decades long struggle for the Palestinians and the similarities of this struggle to apartheid in South Africa and to the struggles African Americans have dealt with for several centuries. Drawing parallels..healthy This has been a long time coming and is happening

    • RoHa on January 15, 2015, 6:48 pm

      I don’t understand. You say black Americans are being plunged into darkness about the struggle, and yet you say it is healthy. That doesn’t sound like you.

      • Mooser on January 16, 2015, 5:53 pm

        “It has been so incredible to watch light bulbs go off…

        In the sense of, for instance, flash bulbs which illuminate something. And, because flash bulbs illuminate brightly and with a pop, too, are then burnt out, so people often used to, still do, speak of a flash bulb “going off”, like a firecracker, rather than ‘lighting up’ or ‘going on’. And a flash bulb “going off” illuminating, and then preserving a scene as a still image, (which may then Vorkapich into a newspaper photo with headlines above it, being read by the very people in the photo) is a standard cinematic device. See it all the time.

        EDIT: I forget what that’s called, but it’s not a Vorkapich, it’s something else.

      • Kathleen on January 16, 2015, 10:52 pm

        “you say black Americans are being plunged into darkness about the struggle, and yet you say it is healthy” Not sure who you are saying this to? Did not say anything of the kind. When any oppressed people are able to develop enough empathy to look at other people’s struggle and finally see the similarities this is movement forward for all. Blacks being involved with the Palestinian solidarity movement is a relatively new development and an incredibly welcome one.

      • RoHa on January 16, 2015, 10:56 pm

        “Not sure who you are saying this to? Did not say anything of the kind.”

        You said light bulbs were going off. When the lights go off, darkness follows.
        When lights go on, darkness is dissipated.

        If “light bulbs” was a typo for “flash bulbs”, as Mooser seems to think, then I understand what you mean.

      • Mooser on January 17, 2015, 1:38 pm

        “If “light bulbs” was a typo for “flash bulbs”, as Mooser seems to think”

        No, I did not say it was a “typo”! I said it was “used in the sense of”. I chose that option so as not to loose anything.

        Now if you want to be helpful, what is the name of that cinematic effect?

      • RoHa on January 17, 2015, 7:32 pm

        So is that “light bulbs” doesn’t mean “light bulbs” but “flash bulbs”, or that “off” doesn’t mean “off” but “on”?

        The cinematic effect I’m thinking of is from cartoons. When a character has an idea, a light bulb goes on over his head. When the idea turns out to be a dud, the light goes off.

        And the cartoons wouldn’t lie to me.

  5. michelle on January 15, 2015, 4:42 pm

    .
    good news from Nazareth
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  6. OyVey00 on January 15, 2015, 7:37 pm

    I said this before, but promoting this nonsense is extremely
    damaging for the Palestinian cause.

    What these shills are protesting for is a free pass to commit crimes without being harrassed by police. Palestinians are not violent ghetto thugs and Nazareth is not Ferguson.

    • Blackandbrown on January 16, 2015, 9:09 am

      OyVey is obviously a bigot for labeling all who protest police brutality against people of color in the U.S. as shills who promote nonsense. OyVey’s most ignorant comment that the activists are calling for a free pass to commit crimes without being harassed by police is a reflection of just that, his bigotry and ignorance. Who is calling for a free pass to commit crimes? Are all people of color who have been wrongly harassed by U.S. cops, or in some cases killed…are they all violent, ghetto thugs?

      I was just curious as to what other ignorance OyVey has spewed in past comments on Mondoweiss and I see that he foolishly believes Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are still highly influential in the black community. Don’t let Sharpton’s piddly tv show or his relationship with Obama confuse you–Sharpton is quite irrelevant and has been for some time. Even Eric Garner’s family didn’t want Sharpton speaking at his memorial. Jesse Jackson? Seriously? When is the last time anyone has even seen this guy?

      OyVey, go back to burning crosses and riding on horseback in your white cone-shaped mask and robe. Your comments seem a bit out of place on Mondoweiss…you’d feel more at home at KnightsoftheKKK dot com.

      • Bumblebye on January 16, 2015, 1:12 pm

        It’s been my strong suspicion since s/he turned up that the two noughts stand in for the two o’s of the “Occidental Observer” – so not far away from the kkk.

      • Mooser on January 17, 2015, 1:44 pm

        “It’s been my strong suspicion since s/he turned up”

        Who cares? Since “OyVey00″s main ingredient is cowardice, he’ll never say anything. He’ll wink and nod and think he’s so clever.
        Just another bigoted punk.

      • annie on January 19, 2015, 2:50 pm

        blackandbrown, if you’d like to read oyvey’s past racists statements just click on his name and it will take you to his archives. and there’s a bunch of them here: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/11/justiceformikebrown-ferguson-palestine

        you also might like to read this article here, for background on some of the kinds of transactions we get here: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/08/hasbara-spewing-semitism

        frankly i find it very infuriating after writing a post to have it poisoned by a caustic bigoted comments.

      • OyVey00 on January 19, 2015, 3:47 pm

        “Oh my god, people disagree with me. This is so offensive!”

        Maybe you should disable the comments on your posts then?

    • Abu Malia on January 16, 2015, 10:47 am

      “What these shills are protesting for is a free pass to commit crimes without being harrassed by police. Palestinians are not violent ghetto thugs and Nazareth is not Ferguson. ”

      What a racist peace of scat this Oy Vey creature! To argue that Palestinians do not benefits from linking their struggles to that of A. Americans is one thing (although i don’t buy into this), but to reduce them to ghetto thugs who’s only agenda is petty crime is disgusting.

      It is ultimately the Palestinians who decide the tactics and strategies of overcoming this on going Nakba.

      I’m sure you think Soweto was full of petty criminals too! There are plenty of websites that will up-vote your racisit drivel, but here, your support will be limited to the few anti-black folk who unfortunately contaminate this site.

    • Marco on January 16, 2015, 1:42 pm

      OyVey’s words are indelicate, but I substantially agree with him here.

      Consider – Palestinian solidarity activists routinely compare Israel to apartheid South Africa.

      By the transitive property, I suppose we should put an equal sign between Ferguson and South Africa under white rule.

      I don’t buy it. One hopeful day, when Jews, Muslims, and Christians live side by side in Palestine under formal de jure equality, then this type of solidarity campaigning will make sense. In a hypothetical future one-state, issues of economic injustice, racism, and police misconduct will rise to the fore in Palestine, but first things first.

      • Mooser on January 17, 2015, 1:46 pm

        You know what, marco? I’m pretty sure that if every goddam problem in the ME was solved, people mioght still be accused of stealing cigars and intimidating store owners, and the police will still have to handle those things.

        Make sure you don’t get hungry, marco, make sure you don’t get hungry.

    • Marnie on January 17, 2015, 3:32 am

      If you’ve said this before and you continue to be able to post here, consider yourself damn lucky. Violent ghetto thugs? Spoken like only a white supremacist can!

      • K Renner on January 17, 2015, 12:57 pm

        I don’t think he said that “Black people” as some collective are “violent ghetto thugs”.

        I would agree that the people who made Ferguson infamous by looting and burning buildings down first and foremost, and so eclipsing any legitimate message in the way of protest, are the epitome of violent ghetto thugs.

        To that extent, it is nonsensical and incredibly insulting to Palestinians and those who uphold the Palestinian cause to try and draw some kind of co-relation between the occupied West Bank and Ferguson out of some far-left internationalist solidarity ideal.

  7. Eva Smagacz on January 16, 2015, 4:42 am

    OyVey, Can you provide an example of something that would promote the cause of Palestinians better?

    • OyVey00 on January 16, 2015, 5:37 am

      Even doing nothing would be better, since this is not helpful at all, it is damaging. By allying with fringe groups like this you cause people to associate Palestinians with Ferguson looters.

      If you want an advice: Do not appease the fringe, but try to bring discourse about Palestinians to the center of society. Who you want to appeal to is not black power groups and anarchists, but intellectuals who represent the whole American society. Because these are the people who control the public discourse and can change it.

    • K Renner on January 16, 2015, 10:11 am

      Not comparing it to the “struggle” in Ferguson, or more specifically not having the comparison made by people who think that they’re “revolutionary Black nationalists” who call Obama and the African-American middle and upper classes “house negroes” or something similar.

      If anything, they could focus on the fact, independent of the rioting in Ferguson, of the seemingly rampant over-militarization of police forces in multiple states. They could focus on the fact that some high-profile figures in some state police forces seem to think that the Israelis provide some kind of great insight on how police services should behave when it comes to dealing with protest of any sort, which is in itself pretty frightening to me.

      But this “Black power revolutionary Black nationalists salute you” sort of thing is unhelpful, not least because the two situations are absolutely incomparable.

      • Mooser on January 17, 2015, 1:49 pm

        and however unjustifiable or preventable Michael Brown’s death was the fact remains that the altercation happened after he stole cigars from a store and intimidated the owner.”

        So is that how you make shit smell good?

  8. Scott on January 16, 2015, 7:32 am

    Eva, I agree with Oy Vey here. Basically I think the movement should continue what is has been doing– publicizing conditions in Israel Palestine and pointing out implicitly or explicitly how contrary to modern Western values Israel’s attitudes and actions are. Highlighting the contradiction between Israel’s actions and American values. My comment at the top of the thread was intended ironically, though no one seems to have picked up on that (not sure what that says about the comment or readers).

    • OyVey00 on January 16, 2015, 11:18 am

      The problem is that there are too many ideological zealots here who conveniently choose to ignore facts if it suits their ideology. Ironically, they are like the zionist apologists in this regard.

      Palestine doesn’t need fanatical left- or right-wingers. They need people with common sense.

      • K Renner on January 16, 2015, 1:07 pm

        I think the issue is that there are quite a few far-left internationalist types who do post here, and those specific views do end up appearing in the comments section as a result.

        As far as I see it, and how it is especially with a lot of advocates who’re ethnically Palestinian themselves, we need to have an emphasis on people who’re very well polished/slick looking who’re otherwise middle-of-the-roaders or moderates when it comes to other political arenas.

        This is increasingly the case, as I said especially with ethnic Palestinians in places like college/uni campuses, and this being the ideal for presentation doesn’t automatically cancel out people who see themselves as political liberals or conservatives on different issues, and it shouldn’t.

      • Felipe on January 17, 2015, 10:37 am

        Looks like the trolls are out in full force lately. I guess it is to be expected when a progressive non-Zionist site like mondoweiss is gaining much deserved recognition for being a great source of information and commentary on all matters Israel/Palestine. AIPAC and the Jewish establishment thought police are beginning to take notice and do not like it. Even more so when struggles for justice are rightly identified as being kindred in spirit. Issues of state-sponsored violence and oppression whether it is in Ferguson or Palestine have much in common despite what Zionist hacks posting here might argue. Their calls for “moderation” and avoidance of “radical” positions that might “harm” the Palestinian cause have grown old and stale. A few years ago they used to condemn Palestinian armed resistance against the Occupation as being nothing more than terrorism. Now that Palestinians are embracing non-violent strategies such as BDS and making connections with other struggles for justice, they whine about “lack of civility” and deride solidarity activists as nothing more than apologists for thuggery and criminal behavior.

        How utterly pathetic.

  9. Scott on January 16, 2015, 7:50 am

    If I could add. . . the danger of the Ferguson =Palestine equation is that most Americans are not all that sympathetic to Michael Brown or the cop-haters (much less the cop-killers). And so there is the possibility of ghettoizing the Palestine solidarity movement, putting it in a looney left place where mainstream educated opinion won’t bother to explore it.
    (Fwiw: I think Oy Vey understates or ignores completely legitimate black worries about police conduct).

    • K Renner on January 16, 2015, 10:15 am

      I agree with what you say here completely.

      There are those in the pro-Israel and especially the active hasbarist camp who want to shut down any debate whatsoever, and then there are those, who’re more dangerous in my opinion, who want to sideline and stigmatize the pro-Palestinian camp and try to make it look like some kind of fringiest far left movement that shouldn’t be taken seriously.

      Obviously as a member of the pro-Palestinian camp I understand the dearth of diversity within it– but we don’t need “proud Bolsheviks”. We don’t need people who’re trying to pretend that Ferguson is some kind of existential struggle against “the man” or other radicalist Black nationalist rhetoric.

      • Abu Malia on January 16, 2015, 1:28 pm

        So, according to to your line of thought KR, palestinians should shun their fellow travelers in the global south and their decedents in N. America to avoid disturbing main stream americans?

        Why do you think the marriage of convenience between American Fundies and Zios persist? They clearly aren’t praying for the same conclusion. Palestinian struggles are righteous and will succeed without the undignified appeasement of American whites or to quote the late, great George Carlin “The millions of semi-conscious Americans, day-after-day shuffling through the malls… Shopping and Eating, especially Eatin”

        May be Palestinian freedom fighters should switch to the AR15/M16 platform since the silhouette of the Kalashnikov is so disturbing to you.

  10. K Renner on January 16, 2015, 2:13 pm

    @Abu Malia,

    I’m just replying like this because the direct reply button isn’t showing up for me for some reason right now.

    “So, according to to your line of thought KR, palestinians should shun their fellow travelers in the global south and their decedents in N. America to avoid disturbing main stream americans? ”

    I’m saying that they should shun people who ultimately end up acting like radical black nationalists and who try to equate the Palestinian cause and struggle to the antics in Ferguson, which are now infamous for the sheer volume of useless looting and vandalism that occurred and ultimately over-shadowed any legitimate message that demonstrators in Ferguson had.

    I don’t know what you mean by “mainstream Americans” but my main concern is when it comes to those masses who’re more or less apathetic due to their lack of interest in world affairs in general, or because they’re otherwise wrapped up in the goings on in their own lives most primarily.

    I’m thinking in the Canadian, Torontonian sense when we come down to specifics, but the ideal is to show these people the reality of the situation when it comes to the Palestinians living in Gaza and under Israeli occupation, and to ideally create fresh supporters for the Palestinian cause.

    That is my main concern. Socio-political radicals like these may appeal to a certain far left type but that’s about it.

    “Palestinian struggles are righteous and will succeed without the undignified appeasement of American whites or to quote the late, great George Carlin “The millions of semi-conscious Americans, day-after-day shuffling through the malls… Shopping and Eating, especially Eatin”

    I never denied the righteousness of the Palestinian cause and I don’t understand the obsession that some far-leftists have with “white” people.

    I would gladly trade these Black radicals and the odd neo-bolshie who try and attach themselves to the Palestinian cause in favour of convincing people who beforehand were completely unaware of the situation to support the Palestinian cause through presentation of the facts– which I believe by and large are pro-Palestinian more then anything else– and in a way that doesn’t manifest itself as some kind of far-leftist fringe movement as these performers obviously belong to.

    “May be Palestinian freedom fighters should switch to the AR15/M16 platform since the silhouette of the Kalashnikov is so disturbing to you. ”

    I couldn’t care less what assault rifles they use as long as they function well– cheap cracks aside, it’d only be an issue if the man or woman holding the Kalashnikov pronounced themselves to be a neo-soviet or some such thing.

    • UshPhe on January 18, 2015, 2:53 pm

      you’ve obviously never heard of the concept of intersectionality in terms of movement-building. its about seeing and recognizing common bonds across struggles while still acknowleding the differences…the theme of last years SJP National Conference which I attended was Ferguson to Palestine, intersectionality. Palestinian activists asked groups like Dream Defenders to come and share their struggles and organize in solidarity. why is there such an issue with the concept of Black power I will never understand. somehow white people have it in their heads that Black power means that something has to be taken away from white people. and this is not just among conservatives but among liberals and people who love to just malign the “far left” as effectively and maliciously as conservatives…get a clue…go look up the politics of respectability and see why that type of racist mentality hinders social movements. Frankly I don’t understand the obsession that white liberals have with maligning the “far left”…especially since the Palestinian struggle is a far left struggle and any one of those college students will tell you that because it is a struggle against colonialism and oppression and ghettoization and everything that stems from that. it is not just simply about the occupation. Palestinians didn’t need your permission or approval to stand in solidarity with Black activists here so do them a favor and stop acting like they care about being “respectable” or “presentable”. It was Palestinians who gave protesters in Ferguson advice on how to deal with tear gas and vicious riot police. They recognize the connection…It doesn’t matter if you don’t.

      • OyVey00 on January 19, 2015, 3:17 am

        Okay if Black Power is no problem, then I’m sure White Power isn’t either. Maybe you guys should invite the KKK to your next meeting after all. Racial nationalists gotta stick together! You know, intersectionality and shieeet.

      • UshPhe on January 19, 2015, 1:32 pm

        I don’t engage in stupid and inane back and forth nonsense. If you wanna make a serious argument then make it, otherwise you just sound purposefully ignorant and frankly its rather insulting for the other person when they’re trying to engage in a real conversation and all you do is spout nonsense like “maybe you should invite the KKK to your next meeting”. No white power is a problem….because white supremacy is deeply embedded in the American political and economic system and it functions via a power differential…that’s why calls for mere “racial understanding” by white people and some Black people are absurd and don’t get to the root of the problem….the issue is not white people….its white supremacy…..how does one expect to solve a problem unless one gets to the root of the problem…white supremacy doesn’t derive from a dearth of understanding between the races just as the conflict in Israel/Palestine doesn’t derive from a dearth of understanding between Israelis and Palestinians or Jews and Muslims ….it derives from a system which white people built to maintain their political and economic privilege..tell me exactly how one makes kumbaya with a system which is oppressing you….the responsibility of Black people is to resist…..the responsibility of white people is to stand in solidarity and resist as well…because while the system was built by white people…..it can only be dismantled by both Black and white people…Black power, at least in the context it means for Ferguson activists and Blacklivesmatter activists across the country means resistance to white supremacy…if you think that’s a bad thing then you must think white supremacy is a good thing and should continue to exist for eternity. If you are arguing that Ferguson activists are Black nationalists who think we should live in a society in which Black people have supremacy over white people, then you are being purposefully dishonest. Power takes many different forms. power is not just “power over” or “power to dominate” one of those forms is the power to self-determine. in other words the exact same thing that Palestinians are fighting for.

      • annie on January 19, 2015, 2:36 pm

        UshPhe, i wouldn’t make the mistake of assuming everyone here is a “liberal”, even if they say they are. for example, there’s enough flagrant racism on this ferguson thread here > http://mondoweiss.net/2014/11/justiceformikebrown-ferguson-palestine < i thought my head would explode.

      • American on January 19, 2015, 3:46 pm

        @ UshPhe January 19, 2015, 1:32 pm

        Take it from a white person who supports the black’s greivences on inequality, the unfair Justice system for blacks and the Police discrimination and treatment of blacks—–you are using the wrong langauge in talking about it.

        Talking about ‘white supremacy’ instead of the ‘elite supremacy’ that it is and talking about ‘white people’ instead of ‘the racist’ —-is not the way to go.

        it sounds too much like the white racist who talk the same way about ‘black people’ . You need to narrow it down.

      • OyVey00 on January 19, 2015, 4:17 pm

        The problem is that “white supremacy” in the US only exists in your head. The mere notion that there is white supremacy in a nation that “positively” discriminates against whites on the labor market is ridiculous. Moreover, most minority groups in the US are doing just fine, some even better than whites. It’s just black Americans who can’t seem to get their stuff together, even with Affirmative Action, a black President and countless billions of dollars being poured into the development of their communities since the 1960s. By blaming their failure on some intangible “white supremacy” you are doing them no favor.

        I dare say that most Americans are well aware that black people are not oppressed in their country, so equating the very real occupation of Palestine to this kind of fantasy will inevitably damage the Palestinian cause.

      • UshPhe on January 20, 2015, 12:30 pm

        I suggest you read the New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. I suggest you read the writings of Atlantic Magazine columnist Ta Nehisi Coates….people who use evidence to back up their arguments rather than you who uses nothing but recycled talking points from the far right that I could easily disprove one by one if I wanted to. Then come back and tell me that white supremacy doesn’t exist in this country. In fact white supremacy exists all over the world…it exists in the case of Israel too…Mizrahi Jews are discriminated against by Ashkenazis. African refugees are kept in internment camps and are prevented from getting asylum.the ideology of Zionism is a white supremacist ideology…Israel is a state built on the foundation of white supremacy. do some reading for God’s sake rather then considering yourself a self–proclaimed expert on racism in America. the idea that Black people are favored in getting employment is absolutely laughable. you live in an alternate universe if you honestly believe that or else you’ve been so effectively brainwashed by right-wing propaganda. try to take some responsibility for the things you write and say. its well-known that African-American students need to complete two more levels of education to have the same probability of getting a job as their white peers. this is based on data from the bureau of labor statistics and the census. African-American millenial unemployment rate is 10 points higher than for their white counterparts. this is due to hiring discrimination, high incarceration rates, and lack of inherited wealth from past generations due to discrimination…if you read Alexanders’ book you’ll realize that the great majority in prison are non-violent offenders, casualties of the War on Drugs which disproportionately targets Black people for no good reason. no Black people do not do drugs more than white people despite what the media tries to make you believe. no the use of crack cocaine was not pervasive in poor Black communites when Reagan launched the war on drugs despite sensationalism by his adminstration and the media to make white America believe that there was a problem. the U.S. currently imprisons a larger percentage of its Black population than South Africa did at the height of Apartheid. and no this fact cannot be explained by rates of drug crime despite what you people want us to think. discrimination doesn’t end once prison is over. how are former Black prisoners supposed to begin their lives anew when their status as former nonviolent drug offenders prevents them acquiring a job? oh I guess they’re just supposed to pull themselves up by those proverbial bootstraps you people love to reference but in reality don’t exist. I could go on and on and on with facts (and sources if you want) that will challenge your ignorant view of the world…but I strongly suspect that facts which challenge your conceptions of how the world operates go in one ear and out the other. you’re so sure about what happened in the the Michael Brown case? how about the fact that the key witness lied about what she saw and had a history of overt racism. other minority groups have not experienced the level of deprivation and discrimination that Black people have faced in this country and continue to face in this country. come up with something more original than that. Billions of dollars poured into poor Black communities since the 1960’s.? where in the world do you get your information? Read http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/10/the-racist-housing-policies-that-built-ferguson/381595/ read http://www.epi.org/publication/making-ferguson/…ever heard of redlining? read about it in Crabgrass frontier by Kenneth Jackson..you can read about how the Federal Housing Administration and the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation subsidized segregation..or we can just go with your inevitable explanation…the majority of Black people are so lazy that they just haven’t cared about improving the quality of their lives better for decades. everything can be explained by laziness and a lack of initiative. if it stays the same for a hundred more years then its still laziness and lack of initiative. simplicity is so nice right? it means you never have to exercise your critical thinking skills…or challenge yourself to consider ideas you may find uncomfortable… read http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-american-history/371723/ and don’ respond until you have.

      • UshPhe on January 20, 2015, 12:55 pm

        @ American

        your argument is similar to the argument that it’s all really about class not about race…that argument has been recycled over and over again and its been proven false over and over again. Blacks at all economic strata except perhaps at the very very top have it worse than white people…its not all about class. and you know a lot of non-people of color love to complain that Black people are to sensitive when it comes to racism. Maybe they could learn to be less sensitive to the concept of white supremacy…maybe they could stop acting like its their own personal sense of morality and perceived goodness and integrity that’s being attacked. they love to complain about bleeding hearts…perhaps they could try to make their hearts bleed a little less when white supremacy is brought up in a conversation about race. why can’t Black people be permitted to describe their own oppression using their own terms. white supremacy can’t even allow them that…everything must be tempered…every demand must be “reasonable”…don’t you realize that these were the same arguments which racists were making back in the 60’s.this is why MLK broke his alliance with the Democrats in the late 60’s before his death….. respectability is an elite ideology that serves the interest of elites…it restricts social movements and while reforms are permitted one is never allowed to go as far as suggesting systemic change lest one want to be perceived as a radical….

      • annie on January 20, 2015, 1:23 pm

        why can’t Black people be permitted to describe their own oppression using their own terms. white supremacy can’t even allow them that…everything must be tempered…every demand must be “reasonable”…don’t you realize that these were the same arguments which racists were making back in the 60’s.this is why MLK broke his alliance with the Democrats in the late 60’s before his death

        I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

        I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

        http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

    • annie on January 19, 2015, 2:27 pm

      Socio-political radicals like these may appeal to a certain far left type but that’s about it.

      we keep hearing this rhetorical crutch here, people who try to buttress their (often racist) opinions by claiming they represent the majority. we had to listen to the pro israel crowd do this to us for years, make us feel like we only represented some fringe. certain far left types my a**, and you’re the silent majority i take it? i don’t think so.

      I would gladly trade these Black radicals and the odd neo-bolshie who try and attach themselves to the Palestinian cause in favour of convincing people who beforehand were completely unaware of the situation to support the Palestinian cause through presentation of the facts

      and your racist “Black radicals” b.s. framing, making radical sound like a bad word. as if supporting palestinians is “radical” and not just what decent normal moral people do. or pulling off an awesome unity action is “radical”.

      and besides, why do you have to “trade anything in” as if there is an either/or going on here. your speech is really offensive to me krenner.

      • OyVey00 on January 19, 2015, 4:28 pm

        Supporting Ferguson rioters is pretty radical I’d say. I don’t think the general public wants anything to do with anarchists who fight against the police. But feel free to prove me wrong.

      • annie on January 20, 2015, 1:09 pm

        i guess you missed occupy movement all around the country. ever heard of the 99% oyvey?

        feel free to prove me wrong

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

        the burden of proof is on you. you, who claims this nation “”positively” discriminates against whites on the labor market”. what’s next, white males face untold discrimination every day? not even an orchestra of violins will help that narrative. perhaps feigning faux sympathy for palestinians convinces some people, but not me. a turd by any other name still stinks.

      • OyVey00 on January 20, 2015, 5:15 pm

        99% of Americans would be over 300 million. Excuse me, but I have not heard of 300 million Americans going out and occupying stuff.

        Moreover, what makes you think I’m “feigning” sympathy for Palestinians? Do you maybe want to imply that non-leftists are not capable of sympathy?

  11. Marco on January 16, 2015, 3:30 pm

    You hear this type of rhetoric all the time at Palestinian solidarity rallies in the U.S.

    Speaker after speaker will step up to the microphone, and instead of talking about the siege of Gaza or settlement building in the West Bank, will pontificate upon police brutality in communities of color, gay rights, feminism, etc.

    Many left-wing activists seem eager to submerge the Palestinian solidarity movement into identity politics.

    • annie on January 16, 2015, 7:51 pm

      Many left-wing activists seem eager to submerge the Palestinian solidarity movement into identity politics.

      this is a palestinian lead movement, as it should be. in this country palestinian americans, it is part of identity politics. how could it not be.

      • K Renner on January 17, 2015, 1:02 pm

        It’s part of identity politics but it doesn’t change the fact that especially far-leftists and radicalists using an event that’s about Palestine and Palestinians to soapbox about whatever else they want to talk about isn’t a good thing, not least because it distracts from the topic at hand.

        When I go to a event created by members of the Palestinian diaspora or pro-Palestine advocates, I want to hear about Palestine– Gaza and the West Bank and the effects of the blockade and the Israeli occupation/”settlement” project.

        That’s why I’m going, because I support the Palestinian cause. I don’t want to hear about “we need more rights for transpeople” or about “Idle no more” and the highway of tears.

        Far leftists and “LGBT” activists and Aboriginal rights activists can all talk about those things on their own time at their own events.

      • annie on January 17, 2015, 4:05 pm

        well k renner, you’re just going to have to deal with it and get with the program. these kids on college campuses now, this all martin’s fault. that’s what you get for teaching children at a young age to have a dream. if you’re raised to think nobody is free until everyone is free this is what it’s come to! they grow up get out of a little social bubble and look around and see there’s a system out there once it starts oppressing you’re next on the chopping block. keeping people poor and divided and all that. there’s a lot of things people have in common. there’s also a lot of things we, as americans, can learn from the black struggle. they are leaders for one thing, in many arenas because they suffered generations of struggle. so more power to them for seeing others struggle as their own. because that’s what we should all do, see others struggle as our own. when people ban together they are stronger for it. it’s not just blacks, it’s latino and filipino and native americas and ..these kids are all banning together- uniting as it should be. and kids who are struggling with sexual identity, gay bi and trans kids, when you go out in the world and find walls blocking you out because of who you are, it’s not an altogether different thing whether its from the color of your skin or your sexuality. we need to lift eachother up. it’s not our job to tell people who they can and cannot align with. it’s happening partly organically over years – this is what’s happening today. and they when those same kids look outside the borders…the struggle of their people what’s happened to them – how their families came to this country – in many cases it’s colonialism. it just so happens what is happening in palestine today – others relate because of their own struggles, something maybe as a white person (assuming you are i have no idea) is something we have not considered.

        i was watching a demonstration on live stream in front of the fed building in oakland yesterday. really awesome, you can see some of the photos on twitter at these hashtags:
        #MLKshutitdown #3rdworld4blackpower

        #blacklivesmatter

      • annie on January 17, 2015, 4:23 pm

        and there’s a lot of jealousy about that of course, the pro israel lobby doesn’t like it one bit!

        always check #BlackLivesMattter hashtag https://twitter.com/hashtag/blacklivesmatter?src=hash

  12. Susan A on January 16, 2015, 4:08 pm

    I read the comments before I watched the video for once; don’t know why. All I can say is, they don’t look like a bunch of criminal thugs to me. Here’s some sarcasm: Blacks, all the same; Arabs, all the same; Muslims, all the same; Christians, all the same. Jews, all the same. We know this is not and cannot be true. ‘Shills’? They also look totally genuine to me too. As for ‘those masses who are more or less apathetic due to their lack of interest in world affairs in general, or because they’re wrapped up in the goings on in their own lives most primarily’, I should imagine, at least when referring to those in the former part of that sentence, that Palestine will be free or much closer to it before they begin to wake up. It’s those who are interested in humanity and world affairs but who are continuously misinformed who need to be woken up. Give them a break. Well done people! At least you bothered to go and find out what’s happening there, which is more than most have done. Thank you.

  13. tokyobk on January 16, 2015, 7:58 pm

    Marc Lamont Hill is a respected scholar and journalist, though Bill O’Reilly once said to him (a Columbia University professor): “say you’re a cocaine dealer — and you kind of look like one…”
    PS he is not really a black nationalist either so that is also a kind of silly lumping.

    And the shift is significant. Black churches have been traditionally Christian-Zionist. Scholars like Hill and Robin Kelley getting involved, whatever you think of their politics, is pretty major in the US I/P discussion.

  14. michelle on January 17, 2015, 12:00 am

    .
    okay i missed the notice
    what besides an active interest in a just world is required
    forget it
    .
    if justice isn’t for all it isn’t for me
    .
    the people of Palestine aren’t perfect
    the people of Ferguson aren’t perfect
    the people on the outside looking in aren’t perfect
    the one thing they all have in common is the desire for a better life/world
    through liberty and equal justice for every & all
    .
    those who seek to reject seek to divide
    break it up people there’s nothing (we want you) to see here
    .
    i don’t know who did what in Ferguson
    but i do know that yet another young person was chased and slowly murdered
    by a peace officer who couldn’t be bothered to try anything else
    then a bunch of suits with higher educations told him his fellow peace officers
    and the world that they did everything right that that’s how it is to be done
    .
    to a parent a child is the air
    what good is life without air
    .
    no justice no peace
    hands up don’t shoot
    i can’t breath
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

    • OyVey00 on January 17, 2015, 6:40 am

      i don’t know who did what in Ferguson
      but i do know that yet another young person was chased and slowly murdered
      by a peace officer who couldn’t be bothered to try anything else
      then a bunch of suits with higher educations told him his fellow peace officers
      and the world that they did everything right that that’s how it is to be done

      You say you don’t know about Ferguson and in the same sentence you claim that you know exactly how it was. Don’t you see the contradiction?

      That “young person” attacked a police officer in his own patrol car and smashed his face in, that’s why he got chased! And he got shot because he charged the same officer to attack him at full speed while having his gun pointed at him. There was no “hands up”. By god, please inform yourself!

      Was it absolutely necessary to kill him in that situation? I don’t know. But I do know that you and all other critics of Darren Wilson demand superhuman abilities of cops in a self-defense situation. You cannot expect someone to consider all possible outcomes of a situation in a split second. The law on self-defense explicitly gives people leeway to make errors of judgment in such a situation. Because it is as you said: Humans are not perfect – not even cops.

      • michelle on January 17, 2015, 12:59 pm

        .
        @OyVey00
        .
        you are posting to the wrong person if you believe that your
        ‘understanding’/view of my words will change their true meaning
        .
        it’s math
        start at the far end of each side
        locate the overlapping points
        add some common sense & logic
        this usually equals the closest we will get to the truth

        18 is teenager young man baby adult
        anything said by the officer that shot the bullets is highly suspect/questionable
        self defense is having no better/other option
        .
        history has taught all who care to see that the blanket of equal justice falls short of many esp. the black male offten leaving ‘him’ from a very young age to fend for himself in this world as best he can … this injustice (as does all injustice) quickly developed into a negative for every & all
        .
        “Therefore, all things whatsoever ye desire that men should do unto you, so also shall ye do unto them, for this is the law and the prophets”
        .
        G-d Bless

  15. michelle on January 17, 2015, 1:11 pm

    .
    btw hands up or not
    the ‘hands were up’ from the start
    one had the gun one didn’t
    one was chasing and shooting
    one was running away from bullets
    one had the power to kill
    one had the desire to live
    one made the choice to kill
    one died
    from start to end one had his hands up
    and one had a gun
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

    • OyVey00 on January 17, 2015, 1:34 pm

      I don’t think that math, logic and common sense mean what you believe they do.

      If St Michael lived by your prophet’s advice, he wouldn’t have died btw. Some people call this karma.

      • michelle on January 17, 2015, 5:00 pm

        .
        @OyVey00
        .
        you want to be believed but your ways/words are false
        .
        if you have/had a valid point you wouldn’t mis quote my postings
        your twisting of words is a discredit to you
        .
        this is how you show yourself to G-d
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

  16. Kris on January 17, 2015, 1:28 pm

    So Miami police have been caught using photos of black men’s faces for target practice. https://aclufl.org/2015/01/16/real-people-arent-target-practice/ This is a very effective method of psychological conditioning.

    Wonder if it has anything at all to do with the “training” that Israel has been giving so many U.S. police departments, including Miami’s?
    http://electronicintifada.net/content/israels-export-occupation-police-tactics/8485

  17. Boomer on January 18, 2015, 10:31 am

    As well as the Ferguson of today, perhaps Americans should be thinking of Montgomery, Selma, and Birmingham of 50 years ago. This morning I heard Krista Tippett’s interview with John Lewis, recalling the struggle of blacks in the South over 50 years ago. It was moving. For those who have time to listen, I commend it. Though I lived through those times, there was much that I didn’t know, or had forgotten. http://www.onbeing.org/program/john-lewis-on-the-art-and-discipline-of-nonviolence/5126

    The analogy with Israel/Palestine today is imperfect in many important respects; I don’t assert that the lessons from the American experience then provide an answer for the Palestinians now. Still, the history seems relevant to us, as Americans. Surely it is a reminder . . . how can we forget that injustice, that infliction of undeserved suffering, how can we perpetuate it? How can Mr. Obama, of all our presidents, continue on this path?

    • Walid on January 18, 2015, 11:16 am

      “how can we forget that injustice, that infliction of undeserved suffering, how can we perpetuate it? How can Mr. Obama, of all our presidents, continue on this path?”

      Boomer, Montgomery, Selma and Birmingham were right inside America and in its face. Palestine is 6000 miles away.

      • Boomer on January 18, 2015, 1:27 pm

        @Walid, re “Montgomery, Selma and Birmingham were right inside America and in its face. Palestine is 6000 miles away.” –

        Yes, as a practical matter, as a matter of “the facts,” I agree that your explanation is correct. Thanks for that. For most Americans, unless they are among the small minority that has a passionate attachment to Israel/Palestine, this issue is mostly “out of sight, out of mind.” Even when Israel’s attacks on Gaza, or futile attempts to break the blockage, or condemnation at the UN make the news, it is only briefly, and only a minority of Americans pay much attention to news from overseas. Some of that small but passionate minority is highly motivated, organized and influential. Our ruling elites pay attention to them. So those are the facts, and it is good to be aware of the facts.

        At the same time, my question was only partly about the facts. It was at least as much a lament, a protest, an expression of dismay.

      • Walid on January 18, 2015, 1:56 pm

        Boomer, I too feel the dismay at Arab indifference to the plight of the Palestinians and they are only across the pond from it.

    • Boomer on January 18, 2015, 1:31 pm

      michelle, I recall that very well; indeed I often think of it. I have spent considerable time not far from there. I’m not sure what point you wish to make.

      • michelle on January 18, 2015, 2:00 pm

        .
        Hello Boomer
        I hope this lovely day finds you well
        m
        .
        my post was in response to the post/comment
        that recalled life 50 years ago
        sadly we don’t need to look so far back
        would that we did
        .
        to see injustice in the rear view mirror of world history
        that would be a Blessing
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

  18. michelle on January 18, 2015, 1:51 pm

    .
    based on the outside
    .
    is there much of a difference
    in being seen as a terrorist
    or being seen as a thug
    .
    by that measure if a female
    even looks ‘at’ a male she is
    very interested in him
    she wants him bad
    the slut the whore the bitch
    she was begging for it
    just a glance and she’s the aggressor
    .
    right then
    and now the world makes sense
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

    • Boomer on January 18, 2015, 3:17 pm

      michelle, thank you.

    • OyVey00 on January 19, 2015, 3:22 am

      Indeed, just a punch in the face and even a Gentle Giant baby boy becomes an aggressor. What a sick world we live in.

      • michelle on January 19, 2015, 5:54 pm

        .
        @ OyVey00
        .
        ” The shot that entered the top of Brown’s skull caused the fatal injury”
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

  19. Boomer on January 19, 2015, 4:34 pm

    While sorting through a stack of papers today, I found a wonderful essay I’d saved from the local newspaper, where it appeared back in September. It first appeared in the Washington Post. It probably was mentioned before (perhaps by me), but is worth another mention. It’s by Naomi Shihab Nye, and is titled “On Growing Up In Ferguson and Gaza.” It starts like this:

    “I grew up in Ferguson, Mo. No one ever heard of it, unless you lived elsewhere in St. Louis County.

    “Then my family moved to Palestine – my father’s first home. A friend says, “Your parents really picked the garden spots.”

    “In Ferguson, an invisible line separated white and black communities. In Jerusalem, a no-man’s land separated people, designated by barbed wire.

    “My father and his family became refugees in 1948, when the state of Israel was created. They lost everything but their lives and memories. Disenfranchised Palestinians ended up in refugee camps or scattered around the world. My dad found himself in Kansas, then moved to Missouri with his American bride. He seemed a little shell-shocked when I was a child.”

    read the rest of it here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/08/28/on-growing-up-in-ferguson-and-gaza/

    • seafoid on January 19, 2015, 4:50 pm

      She’s a poet- I have one of her books. This is one of her poems

      Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal
      by Naomi Shihab Nye

      After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
      I heard the announcement:
      If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
      Please come to the gate immediately.
      Well — one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
      An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
      Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
      Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her.
      What is her
      Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
      Did this.
      I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
      Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
      Sho bit se-wee?
      The minute she heard any words she knew — however poorly used –
      She stopped crying.
      She thought our flight had been cancelled entirely.
      She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
      Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,
      Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
      We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
      I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
      Would ride next to her — southwest.
      She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.
      Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
      Found out of course they had ten shared friends.
      Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
      Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.
      She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
      Questions.
      She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies — little powdered
      Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts — out of her bag —
      And was offering them to all the women at the gate.
      To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
      Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
      The lovely woman from Laredo — we were all covered with the same
      Powdered sugar. And smiling. There is no better cookies.
      And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers —
      Non-alcoholic — and the two little girls for our flight, one African
      American, one Mexican American — ran around serving us all apple juice
      And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.
      And I noticed my new best friend — by now we were holding hands —
      Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
      With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
      Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.
      And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
      This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.
      Not a single person in this gate — once the crying of confusion stopped
      — has seemed apprehensive about any other person.
      They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
      This can still happen anywhere.
      Not everything is lost.

      • seafoid on January 19, 2015, 5:23 pm

        Someone like her couldn’t live in Israel, even if she were Jewish – because of the humanity that Zionism denies people.

        There is a deep trauma that drives Israel’s behavior and I have seen something like it in the fear of people who can’t believe they are worth anything. Everything for them is bad, there is no point in hoping for things to improve. Zionism is such a grim mental framework.
        It belongs in trauma studies.

      • bintbiba on January 19, 2015, 7:19 pm

        A big hug to Naomi Shihab Nye . True to her roots.
        And to you too , seafoid , for posting this sweet goodness !

    • annie on January 19, 2015, 5:58 pm
  20. just on January 19, 2015, 4:55 pm

    Thank you both.

    (I have read her poetry before, including that one… a tremendous force and voice. I want to live in that world, too!)

    • michelle on January 20, 2015, 2:39 pm

      .
      +1
      beautiful dreams can come true
      .
      awhile back i saw my first ‘rainbow circle’
      it circled the cloud covered sun
      all those different colors joined together
      not just side by side but full circle
      in a beautiful seamless bond
      .
      G-ds promise of peace
      .
      G-d Bless
      .

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