Laura Al Bast
A group of over 60 black and Palestinian artists, activists and scholars released a video through the Black-Palestinian Solidarity community Facebook page on the evening of October 14 of this year.
The video supports the solidarity movement that has been rising in response to last year’s Gaza Strip atrocities and Ferguson’s ongoing injustices.
“Every 28 hours, a Black life is stolen by police or vigilantes in the United States.
Every 2 hours, a Palestinian child was killed in Israel’s attack on Gaza last summer.”
The three-minute video, entitled “When I See Them, I See Us”, compiles the names and stories of deceased children, women and men from both communities, who left the world while still fighting the unjust and criminal acts of their oppressors.
Lauryn Hill, actor and comedian Youssef Erakat, activist Remi Kanazi, professor Cornel West, author Alice Walker, and several others all narrated the spoken poem while holding signs with phrases reading “Racism is systemic. Its outbursts are not isolated incidents”, “Your walls will never cage our freedom”, and “Gaza stands with Baltimore”.
The Black-Palestinian solidarity movement is not a new thing. The strongest support for the Palestinian cause came during the 1960s with none other than Malcom X, who wrote for the Egyptian Gazette in 1964, attacking the Zionists’ logic and highlighting the similarities between the African and Palestinian struggles.
A number of incidents have been recently taking place, such as Eric Garner’s suffocation by a police officer. Garner’s final words were, “I can’t breath! I can’t breath!”.
Similarly, four months later, Minister Ziad Abu Eid was killed when an Israeli officer held him from the throat.
This prompted activists to start the hashtag #icantbreath in order to draw a connection between the death of a Palestinian and the death of a Black citizen in the U.S.
Other incidents, such as the controversial shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, also prompted protests. Brown’s death was followed by weeks of protests and an outlash from police forces on demonstrators through the usage of tear gas and rubber bullets.
In August of the same year, the Gaza Strip was under attack by the Zionist entity. The corpses of dead children were piled atop each other in ice-cream freezers because morgues could no longer take in any additional bodies.
The Black-Palestinian community faces racism, injustice, and violence on a daily basis.
Black Lives Matter protestors organized peaceful demonstrations and sit-ins that clashed with the Police Chiefs’ Convention in Chicago this month, and many ended up getting arrested.
And after a series of clashes in the Aqsa Mosque between Palestinians and Israeli settlers, more violence has bred a third Intifada in Jerusalem as car attacks, clashes, and protests ended with a number of both Israelis and Palestinians dead.
The racism doesn’t stop here, though, as civilians themselves in Israel are attacking innocent people for the crime of looking ‘Arab’. In an incident on October 13, a man repeatedly stabbed another in a supermarket in Haifa, yelling “You deserve it, you bastard Arab!”, while the victim screamed, “I’m a Jew, I’m a Jew”.
The Black-Palestinian Solidarity community movement brings hope and awareness to those who do not know or understand the struggle of being different and belonging to a minority in one’s own indigenous land.