Considering the silence coming from the US Congress in the wake of the New Zealand terror attack it is a strange irony that only a week ago it came up with a resolution to denounce bigotry and used a Black woman, Representative Ilhan Omar as a prop to motivate their action. In actuality the resolution was not motivated by what Omar’s “supposedly” said that was misinterpreted purposely as anti Jewish, but rather, who was saying it, exposing their own anti-Black bias.
The hypocrisy is absolutely glaring. Congress in essence called out a Black woman who tried to bring attention to the oppression of another people of color, a people, the Palestinians, whose suffering and mistreatment at the hands of the Israeli government which the Congress and the US power structure consistently turn a blind eye.
Ironically, Congress has written an empty resolution condemning bigotry, but have not lifted a finger to address the fall-out from White Supremacy as carried out institutionally in the “land of the free.” There are no sweeping resolutions to rid this nation of ghetto’s, or to roll back the laws that led to a kind of legalized slavery (mass incarceration), which has so negatively impacted the Black community. There are no resolutions to federalize education, guaranteeing all youngsters get an equal opportunity to take their talent as far as it will go. No demands to end discrimination in employment.
Yet we are to believe the US House of Representatives is opposed to bigotry? They haven’t solved the water crisis in Flint,or mandated that all the damned Confederate statues honoring the traitors of the so-called “lost cause” be taken down. They won’t even pass a toothless resolution, (that’s what it is cause it has no power) to insist that law enforcement stop treating Black folks like second class citizens and shooting them with impunity.
Hell it refuses to call violence against Muslims, Black people and Jews designed to terrorize and intimidate those populations; terrorism.
This is the legislative body of the same settler government that voted down a United Nations resolution drafted last summer “deploring the use of excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians,” while labeling it as “morally bankrupt.”
Moreover US legislative bodies steadfastly refused to pass an anti-lynching resolution when the White terror was in vogue. Passing legislation to outlaw the violence was out of the question. Yet it mustered the unmitigated gall to call on the carpet a Black woman for calling out the mistreatment of a people of color.
Talk about old tropes, stereotypes and old prejudiced sayings (which some incidentally are unfamiliar with, especially as it relates to Israel), have revived old Jewish and Black suspicions, which serve neither side well.
It does not serve the US Jewish community to place a microscope on everything Black folks do or say. In fact it is sometimes self-defeating. Black people have the right to criticize Zionist Israel especially if that criticism is not based on its Jewishness, but its wrongs.
It is not helpful to assign old meanings to everything someone says, especially if the context indicates that nothing offensive was meant. In the case of the firing of Marc Lamont Hill by CNN, establishment figures and people with influence conspired to have him fired for saying, “from the river to the sea” after a speech in which he made clear that he was defending the rights of Palestinians to simply live in their occupied territories.
In the same vein, outrage lead (at least it was reported as such) by influential members of the Jewish community in Alabama caused the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s to withdraw its decision to give Angela Davis the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights award. This happened despite Davis’ long established record as an opponent of all discrimination including anti-Jewish hatred. The Institute later changed its mind, and awarded Davis. But it reportedly was influenced to deny Davis the award because of her advocacy for Palestinian rights. If this is true it did not serve either community well. It only served to raise suspicions among two groups that are both the target of White Supremacy.
Ironically going after Hill and Davis is like throwing the hypothetical baby out with the bath water. Both have distinguished careers as human rights advocates and anti-racist fighters,which include opposition to anti-Jewish bigotry and hatred.
Make no mistake if this country does use race in a last gasp attempt to save US Imperialism, it will go after Black folks first, Brown and other folks of color will follow, but Jews will not be far behind as witnessed by the current climate of hatred.
As S.I Rosenbaum pointed out in a recent Boston Globe editorial, because Jews in the US appear “White” there is a temptation to apply what he called “one of the oldest minority survival tactics — assimilation into white supremacy and its agendas.” He further explained that, “the essence of this strategy is collaboration, capitulation, and cowardice. It’s the hope that when they’re rounding people up, they’ll come for someone else first, and maybe never get around to you and yours. Maybe you can even slow that progress by rounding people up yourself.”
Rosenbaum warned that, “White supremacy could turn on us at any moment.”
And to be absolutely clear, the White power structure holds REAL POWER in this country!
Ilhan tried to make a point about AIPAC as a lobbying group that attempts to influence “domestic” policy by giving money to candidates. While that is true (and this is a very important distinction) AIPAC does not influence US “foreign” policy. The US’s unequivocal support for Israel is US government policy and is borne out of the desires and aims of US Imperialism, not some lobbying group. US Imperialism does exactly what it wants to do and is controlled by nobody and no other entity, other than itself.
The tail does not wag the dog!
The Lamont Hills’, the Angela Davis’s the Ilhan Omar’s, can criticize Israel all they want and it won’t change Israeli policy toward the Palestinians. But the power structure wants them silenced because they fear the potential of consistent advocacy on the Palestinians behalf, they fear a real a Movement, they fear the real moral authority (borne out of its own oppression) that Black advocates bring to the cause that would have the potential to expose the immorality of Israel’s occupation and oppression of the Palestinians.
justice then peace