In the House Intelligence Committee hearings, California representative Jane Harman (Democrat from California and chair of the House Intelligence Committee) put it bluntly: “We can no longer expect an Intelligence Community that is mostly male and mostly white to be able to monitor and infiltrate suspicious organizations or terrorist groups. We need spies that look like their targets, CIA officers who speak the dialects that terrorists use, and FBI agents who can speak to Muslim women that might be intimidated by men”.
For this reason, the [Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence] program wasn’t aimed at students attending Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or other Ivy League schools or internationally renowned universities like Stanford or Berkeley or the University of Chicago. The program’s architects consciously directed it at schools where minority students are the majority—predominantly African American and Latino universities, which are chronically underfunded. Perhaps this reflects the shape of “multiculturalism” in a militarized society: the government’s spy agencies and armed forces recruit minority students from low-income regions in order to “monitor and infiltrate” people (“targets”) that look and speak like them.
Lenin, at the turn of the century, wrote a book entitled Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. If one would read this little pamphlet one would see here that Mr. Lenin had precisely pointed out that all of the world had already been conquered and divided by colonial powers. There was nowhere else in the world left to be conquered and divided by colonial powers. This is the time when Zionism comes to rise. Zionism comes to look for a state when everywhere else in the world had already been dominated. Thus in order for Mr. Herzl to get a country for Zionists what he did was attach himself to imperialism. British imperialism in this case quite specifically. Of course as an African who suffered under the heels of British imperialism, I can have no love for it and certainly I cannot love anyone who attaches themselves to it for the foundation of a state and then call this a “liberation movement”. Liberation movements fight against imperialism – not with it! The legal foundation of the state of Israel is what is known as the Balfour Declaration. This declaration was issued in 1917. A man in the government of Britain named Balfour wrote a paper and promised the Jews a national home. The national home he promised them was an area which Britain was colonizing – Palestine. Palestine did not belong to the British just like Ireland doesn’t belong to the British even though they have troops there. But here these British imperialists signed a note and gave it to the Zionists and they accepted it. Where is the mortality in this? If you say that Israel belongs to you then you do not go to British thieves to get it, you go and take it. Once you go to an immoral being such as British imperialism and this becomes the basis for you getting the land, then clearly those who are true liberation fighters must question this […] Zionism is certainly not a liberation movement because it never fought against any imperialism as a matter of fact today Zionism is the baby child and infant protector of imperialism in the Middle East. It carries out the interests of American imperialism. If our tax dollars would stop being given to Israel, the state would sink tomorrow. And certainly no one can deny that American imperialism is the leading imperialist force in the world. So we cannot see how a “liberation movement” is so tied string and ham to American imperialism.
According to the dominant discourse of “white privilege” for example, white supremacy is primarily a psychological attitude which individuals can simply choose to renounce instead of an entrenched material infrastructure which reproduces race at key sites across society – from racially segmented labor markets to the militarization of the border. Whiteness simply becomes one more “culture,” and white supremacy a psychological attitude, instead of a structural position of dominance reinforced through institutions, civilian and police violence, access to resources, and the economy. At the same time a critique of “white privilege” has become a kind of blanket, reflexive condemnation of any variety of confrontational, disruptive protest while bringing the focus back to reforming the behavior and beliefs of individuals. We contend that privilege politics is ultimately rooted in an idealist theory of power which maintains that the psychological attitudes of individuals are the root cause of oppression and exploitation, and that vague programs of consciousness-raising will somehow transform oppressive structures.
In California some of the most racist policies and “reforms” in recent history have been advanced by politicians of color. We are not interested in increasing racial, gender, and sexual diversity within existing hierarchies of power – within government, police forces, or in the boardrooms of corporate America. When police departments and municipal governments can boast of their diversity and multicultural credentials, we know that there needs to be a radical alternative to this politics of “inclusion.” Oakland is perhaps one of the most glaring examples of how people of color have not just participated in but in many instances led – as mayors, police chiefs, and city council members – the assault on poor and working class black and brown populations. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan speaks the language of social justice activism and civil rights but her political career in city government clearly depends upon satisfying right-wing downtown business interests, corrupt real estate speculators, and a bloated and notoriously brutal police force.
There is no more depressing cautionary tale of the fate of 1960s-era politics of “changing the state from within” than the career of Oakland Mayor Quan. Quan fought for the creation of an Ethnic Studies program at UC Berkeley in 1969, but in 2011 penned a letter to Occupy Oakland listing an array of state-approved social justice nonprofits in order to justify mass arrests and a police crackdown on protesters attempting to establish a community center and free clinic in a long abandoned city owned property. In response to a season of strikes, anti-police brutality marches, and repeated port shutdowns in response to police assaults, the state offered two choices: either the nonprofits, or the police. Quan and other municipal politicians are part of a state apparatus that is rapidly increasing its reliance upon militarized policing to control an ‘unruly’ population, especially poor people of color in urban areas. Policing is fast becoming the paradigm for government in general.
When activists claim that poor black and brown communities must not defend themselves against racist attacks or confront the state, including using illegal or “violent” means, they typically advocate instead the performance of an image of legitimate victimhood for white middle class consumption. The activities of marginalized groups are barely recognized unless they perform the role of peaceful and quaint ethnics who by nature cannot confront power on their own. Contemporary anti-oppression politics constantly reproduces stereotypes about the passivity and powerlessness of these populations, when in fact it is precisely people from these groups — poor women of color defending their right to land and housing, trans street workers fighting back against murder and violence, black, brown, and Asian American militant struggles against white supremacist attacks — who have waged the most powerful and successfully militant uprisings in American history. We refuse a politics which infantilizes us and people who look like us, and which continually paints nonwhite and/or nonmale demographics as helpless, vulnerable, and incapable of fighting for our own liberation. When activists argue that power “belongs in the hands of the most oppressed,” it is clear that their primary audience for these appeals can only be liberal white activists, and that they understand power as something which is granted or bestowed by the powerful. Appeals to white benevolence to let people of color “lead political struggles” assumes that white activists can somehow relinquish their privilege and legitimacy to oppressed communities and that these communities cannot act and take power for themselves.
First, Afro-Palestinian have always fitted in the Palestinian anti-colonial struggle for national liberation they participate in resistance and mobilizations against the occupation. The first Palestinian woman to organize a commando operation in “israel” was Fatima Bernawi and she is Afro-Palestinian.I don’t know where you got that Afro-Palestinians “don’t have the right to be on the land” they are indigenous to the land just as any Palestinian. I suggest you look at these links to resources i provided below to learn more about the community and their struggles and aspirations.
Article: Black, Proud and Palestinian
Photo Portraits: Portraits of Afro-Palestinians from Jerusalem and Jericho
Articles about Afro-Palestinians in Gaza:
Darg Team Palestinian Hip-Hop group group from Gaza that is made up of Afro-Palestinian members (The second article above talks about them)
This is a great article although Budour discusses Eritrean and South Sudani refugees in “israel” she also writes about Afro-Palestinians.
You can read about Fatima Bernawi here beginning on page 10:
They give you little bullshit amounts of money in exchange for your working – wages and so forth – and then they steal all that shit back from you in terms of the way they got this other thing set up – his whole credit gimmick society man, consumer credit, buy shit buy shit on credit, he give you a little bit of shit to cool your ass out and then steal all that shit back with shit called interest – the price of money. Motherfuckers in non-producing, non-existent industries ya know motherfuckers who deal with paper. There’s a cat who would stand up and say to you he’s “in mining”, and he sits in an office man on the hundred and ninety ninth floor in some motherfucking building on Wall Street, and he’s “in mining” and he has paper, certificates, which are embroidered and shit you know, stocks, bonds, debentures, obligations, you know, “he’s in mining”, and he’s sitting up in Wall Street and his fingernails ain’t been dirty in his motherfucking life; he went to Phillips Andover or Exeter, he went to Harvard, he went to Yale, he went to the Wharton School of Business, and “he’s in mining”?
The motherfuckers who deal with intangibles are the motherfuckers who are rewarded in this society. The more abstract and intangible your shit is, come on stocks? What is stock? Stock certificates is evidence of ownership in something that’s real. Ownership. He owns and controls and therefore receives you know the benefit from, that’s what they call profit. He’s fucking with shit in Bolivia, he’s fucking with shit in Chile, he’s Anaconda, he’s United Fruit, he’s “in mining”, he’s in what? He ain’t never in his life produced shit. Investment bankers, stock brokers, insurance man, it’s motherfuckers who don’t do nothing. We see that this whole society man exists and rests upon workers and that this whole motherfucking society controlled by this ruling clique is parasitic, vulturistic, cannibalistic and is sucking and destroying man the lives of motherfucking workers and we have to stop it because it’s evil.