Palms sweaty, heart beating faster, a cool, knowing bead of sweat forms at the top of ones head. We can’t approach her, Gaza, because it’s forbidden. Israel is the Holy Land. God’s chosen people–we’re betrothed. But we feel. Our hearts are speaking. Our minds racing. There is something familiar about Palestine. The struggle resonates from a deep place of knowing. The violence(s) we have survived are communicating at a level only our ancestors understand. We speak this language. We know this pain. Silent deaths. Blinding oppression–prisons, apartheid, segregation, bombing of Churches, racial profiling, state control/violence–we know. Voyeurism–the world watches with mouths open as our flesh is torn, our minds our numb, we keep going. When the struggle is dilineated–we struggle with noting whether the story is our history..or their present. This shit is real. It’s natural-and we cannot even pronounce her name.
A lot of black folk are yearning to learn more about the situation in Gaza and cleansing themselves of pulpit Zionism. So many of us were taught that today’s Israeli’s are the direct descendants of the 12 Tribes of Judah. There is a sense of divine betrayal when speaking against Israel. So many of our pastors, reverends, bishops and Creflo Dollars have compared our struggle directly to people of ancient Israel–struggling in the wilderness, surviving slavery yet still being faithful to God and living. It’s an amazing tale. But those folks are not them–modern Israel–and not us. We are free–if not required–to note the modern lashing of flesh everywhere. We must note, identify and affirm humanity where it is being denied. We are not the same. It’s amazing what in-access to information will do to your politics, how it will claim your body, your mind and your allegiance (to power).
Let us stop playing footsie and take that first step toward freeing our hearts. Check yes. No one has to know just yet. It’s just coffee right? A walk to his/her/our story? Take it away Jill.