I won’t try to recount here the cruelty of man towards one another, it’s quite plain to see if you are willing to look. Though, I will say that the asymmetry of violence is so absurdly obvious that I find it hard to believe that anyone could truly believe that the Israeli response is measured and reasonable. But I digress. What I really want to speak about is the concept of:
The Indivisibility of Justice.
I first came across this idea from a lecture given by Angela Davis, who was in turn inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s belief that justice is indivisible. What MLK and Dr. Davis are both getting at is the idea that justice and dignity for one group is inseparable from another’s. Or practically speaking, seeking Black Liberation is no different than advocating for Indigenous sovereignty, which is no different than Freedom for Palestine. In other words, like MLK said:
"No one is free, until we are all free."
On its surface, this is not a particularly difficult concept to understand, but in practice, there is immense amounts of resistance towards such a concept. Take the recent events occurring in Gaza. For anyone who even tacitly follows the events, Western media paints the issue as “complicated.” To this I respond: why?
Report after report, public statement after public statement.
"We condemn the violence of HAMAS and we are committed to the right of Israel to defend itself.”
What of the right of Palestinians to defend themselves? Where are the condemnations of Israel’s overbearing response to what amounts to meager acts of Palestinian resistance? Regardless of your stance on the conflict, one cannot, in good faith, say that the situation is being presented in an even handed manner.
What the idea of the Indivisibility of Justice calls for, is to recognize the connected nature of both international applications of oppression and resistance to it.
Again, and I won’t shut up about it, solidarity is the answer. Unity of purpose and an intersectional worldview will set us free. Why is a coffee company giving space to a Black man to write about social justice? Because the advocacy we promote for equity in coffee and the dismantling of imperialistic structures of oppression and exploitation are inseparable from the ongoing violence occurring in both our Palestine and our own backyards.
Palestinians understand the concept of solidarity and the indivisibility of justice. During the summer of 2020, when the world rose up against anti-Black violence, Palestinians were among the first to stand united with BLM.
We need to keep that same energy from last summer, because the struggle is far from over. Be it a ceasefire between Palestine and Israel or the conviction of Derek Chauvin, these are as much distraction as they are incremental justice. As 6 people were killed by police within 24-hours of Chauvin’s and the Israeli Defense Force tear gassed worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque hours after the ceasefire.
There are huge amounts of money, power, and influence at stake in the struggle for justice. And only unity with all oppressed people has the power to resist such forces. The enemy of oppression thrives on complacency and apathy. We need to keep the pressure on and demand justice in every instance it shows itself.
Phot credit: Carlos Latuff (Twitter @latuffCartoons), for The Middle East Monitor
Charles joined Rabbit Hole in the Fall of 2020 as a creative consultant. He has been both a professional photographer, videographer, and writer. After completing his MA on the History of Racism, he strives to be socially engaged in all aspects of his personal and professional life. When writing, he follows the mantra of Dr. Cornell West: “bear witness and speak truth to power.”