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Movement for Black Lives

  • A masterclass in Palestine solidarity

    By using his platform to elevate marginalized Palestinian views onto the global stage, Marc Lamont Hill's UN speech challenged the unequal parameters of permissible thought on the conflict. Watching Marc Lamont Hill’s speech at the United Nations on Wednesday was like a breath of fresh air. Unlike the mundane and repetitive remarks made by aging diplomats, Hill delivered a powerful articulation of the Palestinian struggle and how he, as a Black American, identifies with their cause. More provocatively, Hill reflected upon the history of Black resistance to “American apartheid,” which ranged from nonviolent boycotts to slave revolts, saying that true…

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  • An important lesson on privilege, courtesy of Peter Beinart

    In a recent article comparing Jewish anti-occupation activists IfNotNow with Black Lives Matter, the prominent Jewish American columnist creates divisions precisely where alliances are needed. By Tom Pessah The word privilege gets thrown around a lot in activist circles. People tend to interpret its use as an accusation, which it sometimes is. But reflection about privilege can also be a crucial tool for building social justice movements across different groups that enjoy unequal resources. [tmwinpost] Those of us carrying privilege around need not apologize for it, — you can’t blame yourself your social location. However, by taking responsibility for it…

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  • The end of American exceptionalism

    Trump has shown that the U.S.'s democracy is just as flawed and illusory as the many countries that it has preached to for decades. And that's a good thing to admit. In a Daily Show segment covering the U.S. presidential race last year, Trevor Noah told his audience that, “as an African, there’s just something familiar about Trump.” Noah compared some of Trump’s statements with those of leaders from his home continent – Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Uganda’s Idi Amin, South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi – concluding that Trump is actually “the perfect African president.” It was a joke that pointed to a…

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  • Occupation denial is pushing me out of my Jewish community

    I can no longer remain silent as many in the Jewish establishment continue to support the occupation, publicly reject the Movement for Black Lives, and remain silent on Trump. By Jenn Pollan Four years ago on a 100 degree day, I sat on the porch of a home in Bethlehem while a Palestinian man named Samer pointed to the Israeli settlements that surrounded his home. As he spoke Samer fiddled with a small cross necklace I previously failed to noticed he was wearing. When he saw I was looking at the necklace, he paused and said with an almost alarming casualness: “This is…

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  • Black Lives platform is a victory for transnational struggles

    Black American activists have delivered a powerful message to Palestinians and other oppressed communities around the world: you are not alone in your causes. Of all the discussions I ever had about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, undoubtedly the most engaging ones were with delegations of black Americans who visited the region to learn firsthand about Palestinians in the occupied territories, inside Israel, and in refugee camps. These groups – made up of community organizers, students, journalists, judges, and others – not only found commonalities with the experiences of Palestinians, but shared their own lessons of struggle against racism, state violence, and…

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  • Black Lives Matter should change 'genocide' language — proudly

    The movement can set a precedent by displaying commitment to self-criticism, accuracy, and partnership — values sorely needed in America right now. The policy platform released by the Movement for Black Lives represents an exciting milestone for a grassroots social movement. But like all first drafts, it gets some things wrong. If the movement is committed to the long haul, it will accept criticism from supportive observers as part of the process, and create a better, more inclusive product in the future. [tmwinpost] The MBL movement swept aside fears of clicktivism and slacktivism, in its remarkable evolution from the “Black Lives Matter”…

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  • The Black Lives Matter platform: How the Jewish community got distracted by one word

    While numerous major Jewish organizations and leaders have remained silent, many in the U.S. Jewish community have been thrown for a loop by black American solidarity with the Palestinian struggle, and the terminology that sometimes includes. The Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of more than 50 organizations representing black Americans, published a comprehensive platform this week that addresses the systemic racism, violence, oppression and discrimination faced by their communities. The document, which is not shy in declaring that not all of its needs can be addressed with policy, also includes six policy briefs — End the War on Black People, Reparations, Invest-Divest, Economic Justice, Community Control,…

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