Over the past few months, people and organizations who have been public in supporting a permanent ceasefire and an end to Israel’s US-funded genocide of Palestinians have been experiencing consequences. I know colleagues who have faced harassment and intimidation at work for wearing a keffiyeh. Others whose organizations have been losing funding from existing funders because they put out a statement calling for a ceasefire. A colleague told me a donor who had committed to hosting a fundraising event pulled out last minute because one of the org’s founders and board members have been vocal in condemning Israel’s genocidal actions. I’ve lost a few thousand followers, had keynote invitations rescinded, and have had to deal with online harassment since my post on October 17th.
None of this, of course, is going to stop us. The things we face are nowhere near the horrors Palestinians are experiencing right now, and we all need to be even more forceful in speaking up. Israel is now carpet-bombing Rafah, where Palestinians civilians had been ordered to evacuate to. All of us in the US are funding it, as our elected officials get ready to approve sending more than $17B dollars to Israel to continue its genocide of Palestinians. It should horrify all of us in this sector that we could solve homelessness and have universal healthcare and education, but instead, our tax dollars are being used to massacre children and civilians in Palestine every day.
This week, Saturday specifically, marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year, ushering in the Year of the Dragon, widely considered the most powerful of all the Chinese Zodiac animals. Dragons are apparently smart, creative, persistent, visionary, and talented. Which is why some people—don’t ask who—would consider me a Dragon, instead of my actual sign…the chicken, known for occasionally crossing roads.
Hi everyone. This post will be short. This week, January 21st to 28th, activists, led by Palestinian journalist Bisan Owda, are calling for a global strike to push for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. In Bisan’s words: “Strike from the economic movements, work and your normal life because nothing is normal in this life. Strike as much as you can and protest…for a whole week or until this madness ends! You can disrupt the economies that support genocide and make your voices and our voices heard!”
Israel has massacred over 25,000 Palestinians, including over 10,000 children, and unless we stop it, will continue to do so, with support from the US, UK, France, Germany, and Canada, countries that are themselves guilty of multiple war crimes and genocides.
If like millions of people around the world, you’re angry and heartbroken by what’s happening, please join in the strike. Here are some things you can do this week:
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and this year it will probably be even more surreal than usual. Normally, we see the plethora of politicians and people who would have opposed everything MLK stood for, now quoting and praising him. This year, be on the lookout for MLK quotes from people and organizations who have remained silent on Israel’s genocide of Palestinians, including the massacre of over 10,000 Palestinian children. If this is you, lean on MLK’s courage and use this day to break your silence.
The rest of us, however, are also not off the hook. I see the same quotes being used, the ones that are positive and hopeful, that won’t cause any offense. Those words are important, but don’t forget all the other things Dr. King said that we often conveniently ignore, including “The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and the evils of racism”
And “Why is equality so assiduously avoided? Why does white America delude itself, and how does it rationalize the evil it retains?”
The quote I often think about is the one on white moderation. He warned that the biggest threats to justice are not the overt racists who wear hood and burn crosses, but the “white moderate,” the seemingly nice people who profess to have the same goals, but who always prioritize civility, respectability, and a type of “peace” that doesn’t call for justice.
Hi everyone. I hope you’ve been able to have somewhat of a break over the past few days. I know many people are returning to work this week, and it is always difficult, so every year for the first blog post of the year, I try to start with something upbeat and humorous. But everything reminds me of the horrors happening around the world. The beautiful fireworks on New Year’s Eve were a reminder of bombs Israel is still dropping on civilians in Palestine, funded by the US with our tax dollars. Even as we celebrate a new year with the renewal it brings, millions around the world are starving, freezing, and dying. So many of them are children.
It would feel disingenuous for me to go about as if the arbitrary transition of one calendar year to another somehow magically ended multiple ongoing genocides in Gaza, Sudan, Congo, Tigray, and other places in the world. Instead, I have hopes and wishes for all of us and our sector this year. In spite of everything, or more likely because of everything, I am still optimistic of the role we play in creating a just and equitable world. For 2024, in no particular order: