Happy Veteran’s Day? 😔

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When I consider a “holiday” like Veteran’s Day, my first thoughts don’t evoke a sense of gratitude toward elders who fought in “just” wars against fascism, or even those revolutionaries and radicals who have wrested their freedom from the hands of tyrants and labored tirelessly to free themselves and others from oppression. Unfortunately, it seems to me that our military serves more to protect corporate interests and the insular efforts of our monied elite to keep themselves protected from those they steal from, in order to build their protected fortresses and global empires.

I mostly consider the perpetual pogroms of the modern age, and the many unjust and unnecessary imperialist ventures that continue to take the lives of young men and women, to be more for the sake of unfettered capitalism, mass consumption, and the continuance of American cultural hegemony than anything else. So while I am thankful for the amenities of modern life and the efforts of those who risk their lives to protect our “freedom and security,” I am equally disgusted by the blind patriotism and imperialist mindset implicit in simply wishing everyone a happy Veteran’s Day.

I mean no disrespect to our fallen soldiers and their families, nor do I want to trivialize the sacrifice that members of our military make to serve our country.  However, I don’t believe that “freedom isn’t free” and I will not accept the idea that violence and war can ever lead to reconciliation and peace.  So please forgive me if this seems offensive, off-putting, even treasonous, or a complete betrayal of American sensibilities. Often, I feel those things when I see patriotic memes and statements about our benevolent military.

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Where are we taking this?

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There is nothing so freeing, yet so restrictive, as being your own boss, managing a small business, and striving for entrepreneurial excellence.  Then, there’s the balance of maintaining family life, holding true to one’s convictions, vision, and life goals.  Simply aiming for the ideal can only take one so far. Being present in every situation is of the utmost importance, yet vigilance may be hard to come by in times such as these. Still, we mustn’t squander the privilege of this opportune moment.

That’s the way it goes…

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“When something is new, they say ‘it’s not true’.
When its truth becomes obvious, they say, ‘it’s not important’.
When its importance cannot be denied, they reason, ‘it’s not new.'”

William James

sheiswearei

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History unfolds like a storybook of mythological tales; herstory untold, has been subdued and relegated to reside in the background of reality. Our window into surreal banality, is the faerieland of our loving; living creatively for the sake of sanity. Warning bells ringing, bringing presence of peace to present future past, our destiny, fast releasing, manifesting ethereal planes of fifth dimensional finality.

hopeful

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I hold a hope in my heart for our city, our state, even our world, as sad a shape it seems to be in. Above all, I hope for our children.

palestine/ferguson

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thepeoplesrecord:

Palestinians express solidarity with the people of Ferguson
August 17, 2014

We the undersigned Palestinian individuals and groups express our solidarity with the family of Michael Brown, a young unarmed black man gunned down by police on August 9th in Ferguson, Missouri. We wish to express our support and solidarity with the people of Ferguson who have taken their struggle to the street, facing a militarized police occupation.

From all factions and sectors of our dislocated society, we send you our commitment to stand with you in your hour of pain and time of struggle against the oppression that continues to target our black brothers and sisters in nearly every aspect of their lives.

We understand your moral outrage. We empathize with your hurt and anger. We understand the impulse to rebel against the infrastructure of a racist capitalist system that systematically pushes you to the margins of humanity.

And we stand with you.

We recognize the disregard and disrespect for black bodies and black life endemic to the supremacist system that rules the land with wanton brutality. Your struggles through the ages have been an inspiration to us as we fight our own battles for basic human dignities. We continue to find inspiration and strength from your struggles through the ages and your revolutionary leaders, like Malcolm X, Huey Newton, Kwame Ture, Angela Davis, Fred Hampton, Bobby Seale and others.

We honor the life of Michael Brown, cut short less than a week before he was due to begin university.  And we honor the far too many more killed in similar circumstances, motivated by racism and contempt for black life: Ezell Ford, John Crawford, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Tarika Wilson, Malcolm Ferguson, Renisha McBride, Amadou Diallo, Yvette Smith, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Kathryn Johnston, Rekia Boyd and too many others to count.

With a Black Power fist in the air, we salute the people of Ferguson and join in your demands for justice.

Signatories

  • Susan Abulhawa, novelist and activist
  • Linah Alsaafin, graduate student, SOAS
  • Budour Hassan
  • Rinad Abdulla, Professor, Birzeit University
  • Ramzy Baroud, Managing Editor, Middle East Eye
  • Diana Buttu, Lawyer, Palestine
  • Rana Baker, graduate student, SOAS
  • Abbas Hamideh, activist and organizer
  • Abir Kopty
  • Ahlam Muhtaseb, Professor, CSU
  • Alaa Milbes, Ramallah, Palestine
  • Alaa Marwan, Ramallah, Palestine
  • Nour Joudah, Washington DC
  • Ali Zbeidat, Sakhnin, Palestine
  • Areej Alragabi , Jerusalem, Palestine
  • Areej Saeb, student, Jerusalem
  • Asma Jaber
  • Beesan Ramadan, Nablus
  • Dina Zbidat, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Dr Jess Ghannam, UCSF
  • Huwaida Arraf, Attorney, New York
  • Nejma Awad, Tetra Tech DPK
  • Monadel Herzallah, USPCN, San Francisco Bay Area
  • Ghassan Hussein
  • Dinna Omar
  • Randa C. Issa
  • Amal Khoury, MD MPH, Washington, DC
  • Amani Barakat Moorpark, California
  • Fadi Quran
  • Fajr Harb
  • Falastine Dwikat, PCACBI
  • Hala Gabriel
  • Khaled Jarrar
  • Osama Ahmad, AMP Bay Area director
  • Hala Turjman
  • Halla Shoaibi, Birzeit University
  • Harun Arsalai
  • Zaid Shuaibi
  • Hurriyah Ziada
  • Dima Eleiwa, Shujaiyah, Gaza, Palestine
  • Jamil Salem, Birzeit University
  • Karam Saleem, International Solidarity Movement, Palestine
  • Khaled Barakat
  • Khuzama Hanoon, Palestine
  • Laila Awartani, Ramallah, Palestine
  • Lana Habash, Let’s Go There Collective
  • Lana Khoury, Washington DC
  • Yousef Aljamal, University of Malaysia
  • Safwan Hamdi
  • Leena Barakat
  • Lema Nazeeh, lawyer
  • Yara Kayyali Abbas, Palestine
  • Mariam Barghouti, Birzeit University
  • Mohammad Ayyad, graduate student, SOAS
  • Nader Elkhuzundar
  • Nancy Mansour, Existence is Resistance, New York/Palestine
  • Mohammed Alkhader, Birzeit University
  • Nazik Hassan, attorney, Riverside, California
  • Nora Taha
  • Rena Zuabi
  • Roleen Tafakji-Haidami
  • Samera Sood
  • Sana Ibrahim
  • Sherene Seikaly, UCSB
  • Taher Herzallah
  • Tamara Reem, Washington DC
  • Ahmad Nimer, Palestine
  • Riya Al’sanah, journalist, London
  • Alaa Milbes, Ramallah
  • Belal Dabour, Gaza doctor
  • Huda Asfour, PhD, Durham NC
  • Iyad Afalqa, Irvine, CA
  • Ruba Leech, Portland, OR
  • Rashad Al-Dabbagh, Network of Arab American Professionals
  • Maysoon Suleiman-Khatib, Civil Rights Specialist
  • Diana Alzeer, Ramallah, Palestine
  • Mona Kadah, Boston MA
  • Lucy Garbett, Jerusalem, Palestine
  • Hadeel Assali, Columbia University, NYC
  • Magid Shihade, Oakland, CA
  • Tamara Tamimi, Palestine
  • Hammam Farah, psychotherapist and editor
  • Dina Elmuti, Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture
  • Laila Hamdan, Portland OR
  • Bushra Shamma, VA, USA
  • Rev. Fahed Abuakel, Presbyterian minister , Atlanta, GA
  • Rehab Nazzal, artist, Canada
  • Ezees Silwady, Palestine
  • Dua’ Nakhala, freelance researcher, Belgium
  • Amal Oweis, Palestine
  • Shaheen Nassar, UCR
  • Amin Dallal, youth counselor
  • Dr. Tariq Shadid, surgeon
  • Zaha Hassan, Esq
  • Randa Issa, PhD
  • Murad Saleh, GED
  • Lila Sharif, Ph.D
  • Sa’ed Atshan, Ph.D
  • Rasha Khoury, MD Jerusalem
  • Hadeel Assali, Columbia University, NYC
  • Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, Associate Professor of Race and Resistance Studies, San Francisco University
  • Tanya Keilani
  • Shahd Abusalama

Organizations

  • American Muslims for Palestine
  • Free Amer Jubran Campaign
  • International Solidarity Movement, Palestine
  • Let’s Go There Collective
  • Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
  • Students for Justice in Palestine, University of New Mexico
  • The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat
  • Bay Area Intifada, Bay Area
  • PAWA, Palestinian American Women Association
  • NSJP, National Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights
  • Mashjar Juthour, Palestine
  • Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee
  • Al-Awda NY, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition
  • Stop the Wall
  • The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

Source
Photo: Hamde Abu expresses solidarity with Ferguson.

struggle

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Feeling very weak today, and more afraid than concerned, to say it…having learned, or rather, having been conditioned to deny the heart, and all that matters; the expectations placed on a man, leave little room for free expression, loving, and reflection.