Marc Lamont Hill Breaks Down Why Black People Should Care About Palestine

There is a saying in journalism that “all politics are local.”

The same can be said about white supremacy and the oppression it deploys against people of color across the word. All oppression is local. And that is probably why it is so easy for many of us, particularly black people, to lose sight of the fact that we’re not alone in our battle to take on the white supremacist constructs that harm all of us.

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There are few public intellectuals more capable of drawing oppressed people together around a clear message of unified, anti-imperialism than Temple University Professor Marc Lamont Hill. There are few subjects Hill can’t engage in with a razor-sharp precision and moral clarity. He is called on to discuss the failures of domestic policy and how those failures perpetuate racism.

His passion is discussing black internationalism with a focus on Palestine. So The Root asked Hill to come to the studio to share his thoughts on how black Americans can better be part of the black international movement to liberate all of us, no matter if we are in Ferguson or Palestine.

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There are there are currently exchange programs between United States and Israel,” he said. “So people in Israel who are complaining about policing can look to the United States and people in the United States that are complaining about policing can look to Israel as part of the dynamic of how policing happens. We have to be able to see those connections. I can’t completely address state violence if I don’t address the source of state violence. I can’t say as an American taxpayer that I have no responsibility to what’s happening in Palestine. Every time you pay taxes, you are funding the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, specifically the West Bank. That is happening under U.S. funding.

“The blockade on Gaza that’s happening by Israel and Egypt is happening because United States tax dollars fund Egypt and Israel. We are not blameless here as citizens black, white, red, yellow, whatever. We have an economic investment in the occupation of Palestinian territory. So we have something to say about this.”

Hill also explained what he’s been up to after his firing at CNN after he gave a United Nations speech on Israel and Palestine, how people misconstrued his words over “the river to the sea,” the intersection of the black freedom movement in the U.S. and Palestine, how he became interested in the Middle East and why black people need to care.

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior reporter at The Root. He is currently writing a book proposal that analyzes US-Russia relations from a black perspective.

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DISCUSSION

whatamithinking
whatamithinking

Yikes, y’all are gonna take some heat for posting this, whether it’s subtle or overt. This is certainly a pleasant surprise and a needed one on TheRoot.

I became sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle during early college years while engaging in anti apartheid protests in Brooklyn. To my mind the struggle of Black South Africans ran parallel to the Palestinian struggle and that the ideologies supporting both forms of oppression find echo in each other.

I remember the horror of finding out that not only the usual suspects (US & UK), but also Israel were strong supporters of the racist SA regime. It was a shock in Israel’s case given that the Jewish state was created for a persecuted people, and so reflexively thought they’d be on the side of the oppressed in South Africa. The horror was compounded when I learned of the fact that Israel  helped the South Africa regime with it’s nuclear weapons project: believe me, those weapons were not gonna be aimed at Europe or other white folks etc etc.

Props to Marc Lamont Hill on that score! But here’s a question though: why is it that every single black elected official in Congress supports Israel’s madness against the Palestinian people carte blanche, given our own struggle against American apartheid? Even such a staunch disciple of non violence, Cong. John Lewis (i am a fan), supports Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. Another question: why was the BDS movement against South Africa acceptable but currently not accepted against Israel & the  fascist Netanyahu? Maybe it’s really all about “the benjamins”! Just an opinion.

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