A tale of two oppressed communities

Taken from an Oct. 7 audio recording at prisonradio.org.

At first glance, the communities of Ferguson, in Missouri, and of Gaza, in the Israeli occupied territories, share virtually nothing in common.

One is situated in the richest country on earth.  The other sits on ancient lands, lands that are constantly shrinking under the occupation.

One is predominantly African-American; the other is populated by Palestinian Arabs.

One is ostensibly free; the other is largely under the military control of a foreign power.

What unites these two communities is the commonality of oppression, for both experience the ubiquitous presence of armed outsiders, whose job, it seems, is to make their lives miserable.

Ferguson, Missouri — where the overwhelming majority of the population is Black — lives under a predominantly white administration that cares little for that community. It is a living snapshot of an affront to democracy.

Gaza — where the majority of the population is Muslim and Christian Arabs — lives under the constant threat of military occupation and control of every aspect of Gazan life.

Oh, and yes, oppression kills.

In both societies, racism against the inhabitants takes on stark and undeniable violence against the people. There, special repression is reserved for the young.

We saw that in Palestine, where children were targeted by Israeli police for horrific violence, beatings and even killings.

Ferguson burst on the media scene after the ugly shooting of a teenager named Mike Brown.

As for Palestine, generations have lived shattered lives, especially since 1948, when the League of Nations (later to become the United Nations) ceded Palestinian lands to the newly constituted state: Israel.

Through land theft, guerilla raids and terrorist attacks, the Palestinians have been whittled down to their miserable present — modern-day Bantustans where they are living on the shredded margins of their ancestral lands. Like the Indians of U.S. memory, they live in the equivalent of reservations; the worst land theft.

As the recent Gaza-Israeli war showed us, the Zionists place no value on Arab lives.

The Zionist state was built on Europe’s bad will, for although under the trusteeship of Britain, they offered other people’s lands — not an acre of their own.

That bad seed has sprouted into the horror of today.

Two communities; one oppression.