Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Responding to the Invasion, Some Fail

Stacy M. Brown is Senior National Correspondent of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, which describes itself as "the collection of more than 200 Black community news." She writes

Black Americans have expressed a range of emotions regarding Hamas’ recent and deadly attack on Israel, with many taking to social media to highlight what they perceive as a lack of support from Israel and some members of the Jewish community for the Black Lives Matter Movement.

The sentiment was especially pronounced after George Floyd’s assassination in Minnesota in 2020.

Brown notes that in a statement released Saturday, her own organization

representing the Black Press of America, forthrightly condemns the brutal, fatal terrorist attacks today on the Jewish people and the nation of Israel by Hamas. Terrorism against innocent civilians in Israel and in any other place in the world can never be justified, tolerated, or sanctioned. We stand firmly in solidarity with Israel.

As heartening as that is, she explains also

Numerous posts on social media platforms feature hashtags like #BLM and #PLM, underscoring the perceived parallels between the struggles of Palestinians and African Americans in their fight against systemic racism. One widely circulated message emphasized the cross-border nature of these movements, stating, “Palestinians & African Americans have been [creating] a social movement, without borders, to fight systemic racism. As part of international protests, in Palestine/Israel signs read ‘Justice for Eyad. Justice for George.’, ‘Black lives MATTER. Palestinian lives MATTER.’”

Most significantly, one prominent organization

Black Lives Matter Grassroots, a collection of racial-justice activists, released a statement “in solidarity with the Palestinian people” on Tuesday, days after Hamas terrorists slaughtered at least 900 Israeli civilians.

“When a people have been subject to decades of apartheid and unimaginable violence, their resistance must not be condemned, but understood as a desperate act of self-defense,” the group said.

The organization said it “stands in solidarity with our Palestinian family who are currently resisting 57 years of settler colonialism and apartheid.”

“As Black people continue the fight to end militarism and mass incarceration in our own communities, let us understand the resistance in Palestine as an attempt to tear down the gates of the world’s largest open air prison. As a radical Black organization grounded in abolitionist ideals, we see clear parallels between Black and Palestinian people,” BLM Grassroots said.

They may flatter themselves by considering themselves "abolitionist," but there are numerous nations with widespread practice of slavery, of which two are not Israel or the USA. Still

“We, too, understand what it means to be surveilled, dehumanized, property seized, families separated, our people criminalized and slaughtered with impunity, locked up in droves, and when we resist they call us terrorists,” the statement adds. “We, too, dream of a world where our people may live freely on decolonized land. May the borders, checkpoints, prisons, police and watchlists that terrorize our communities crumble and may the world we build from their ashes honor those who have fallen in struggle.”

Those police and prisons sure make living in the USA resemble hell on earth. I'm not sure who is being surveilled, their properties seized while they are being slaughtered, but it's nowhere I'd want to live. And nowhere I, as an American, recognize. Moreover

The group concluded by calling for the dismantling of the “entire apartheid system” and urging the U.S. government to “immediately stop funding war and redirect the $4 billion in annual spending from the Israeli military to repair the damage caused by U.S.-backed wars, military air strikes, coups, and destabilizing interventions against oppressed people around the world.”

You'd almost think it's the USA which has invaded the sovereign nation of Ukraine (or Israel), or has placed Uyghurs into concentration camps. or is among the ten countries which currently utilize slavery on a large scale, or extracts forced labor from its citizens, secretly incarcerates political dissidents, and prohibits emigration.

Black Lives Matter Grassroots apparently is no breakaway faction of the Black Lives Matter Global Network. Rather, as explained by Wikipedia

The establishment of Black Lives Matter Grassroots and the establishment of the BLM PAC were simultaneously announced on October 9, 2020, in the "2020 Impact Report" document. It seeks to retain the original BLM movement's origins and unify its many chapters under the new BLM Grassroots name. It pushes for more unified, targeted stances on various issues which impact the black community, along with social and economic justice in general.

Understanding a social justice movement is typically imperfect, though some comprehend better than others. Amar'e Stoudamire was raised in the USA as a Baptist, played in the National Basketball Association, moved to Israel and played in its league and for the Canadian men's national basketball team, became an Israeli citizen (though owning property in the USA), and converted to Judaism. Saturday, on an Instagram post

I woke up this morning with some disturbing news out of Israel that Hamas [are] kidnapping children, putting them in cages, killing women, killing the elderly. That's some coward s**t. That's cowardly. And for all y'all Black Live Matter [supporters] who ain't saying nothing, [saying] 'Let me figure out exactly what's happening before saying anything', f**k you," he said passionately.

"Figure out what? It ain't never been cool to kidnap kids and put them in cages, ain't never been cool to kill women and [the] elderly. Never been, no matter where you're from, what you represent, or trying to be. Don't matter. They never been no cool," he continued.

Stoudemire singled out people who struggle to pick a side or stay quiet when people are dying.

"And then you go on high and put the kids in front of you as a barricade. That's some coward shit. All you politicians who always have to say something on the contrary, I see you, f**k you. All you Black Lives Matter people who always have something to say and always support everything else and are quiet now, f**k you too," Amar'e said.

"Only place in the world where I can go tour, study, and eat cultured food. Only place in the world," he said about Israel. "Some coward s**t dawg... If y'all support it, f**k you. Me and my momma, we don't respect none of y'all for that. Peace."

The response of private individuals, politicians, organizations, and other parties to the terroristic war launched by Hamas tells us a great deal about the values of those parties, and that includes- profanity aside- Mr. Stoudamire and the increasingly reprehensible Black Lives Matter.


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