Una historia más hermosa y prohibida que la de Amarte Duele.
If you feel helpless, there are ways you can channel your rage and sadness in real life.
1. Join a peaceful protest.
They’re happening all around the country tonight, including at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, around 7 p.m. Eastern.
2. Recognize that Michael Brown’s death was not an isolated incident.
In 2012, more than 300 black people were executed by police, security guards, or vigilantes. In the last month, three other unarmed African-American men—Eric Garner in New York, John Crawford III in Beavercreek, Ohio, and Ezell Ford in Los Angeles—have been killed by police. Those are the ones we know about.
3. Stop saying “This can’t be happening in America.”
I understand the impulse, I really do. But that impulse only comes to those who are insulated and isolated from how America treats poor people and people of color every day. Langston Hughes wrote “America never was America to me” in 1935. If you didn’t quite understand that poem in your junior high or high-school lit classes, read it again, while you think about what’s happening in Ferguson. Let it sink in.
4. STFU about looting.
And call out your friends and family members who won’t. It’s been five days since Michael Brown was murdered. On one of those days, some furious, grieving citizens caused some property damage. Nine have been arrested. Every other day since then, police with more gear than American soldiers going into battle have been occupying the neighborhood where Brown died, attacking peaceful protestors with tear gas and rubber bullets. They’ve tear-gassed a state senator and Al-Jazeera reporters, and arrested an alderman. They’ve demanded that reporters leave the area and arrested two who didn’t move fast enough. “Disproportionate” doesn’t begin to describe it. If you look at all that and still think it’s important to talk about looting for “balance,” you should know that you sound like a racist asshole.
5. Look Around You.
If you live in an urban environment, you’re in a position to bear witness and document inappropriate and abusive police behavior. If you see an African-American neighbor being detained by police, wait to see what happens. Get your phone out. Download the ACLU’s “Police Tape” app, and if you see something that looks off, take a video that will upload directly to their servers, in case your phone is confiscated. Whatever police may tell you, this is your legal right.
7. Educate yourself about the systematic inequality that leads to civil unrest.
The St. Louis American ran a powerful editorial today that fleshes out the history of Ferguson. When you finish reading that, go somewhere quiet for a bit and settle down with Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “The Case for Reparations.” Don’t stop there.
8. Put pressure on your elected representatives.
Institutional abuse of African-American citizens is happening all over the country, and it demands a federal response. Talk to your senators and congresspeople about enacting policies to protect citizens from their protectors. While you’re at it, maybe suggest they work to limit the amount of military weaponry police can inherit from the armed forces.
9. Listen to your African-American friends when they try to tell you why this hurts.
If you don’t have any African-American friends, you might want to think about why that is.
10. Okay, go ahead and tweet.
And Facebook. Tumblr. Instagram. Vine. Amplify the voices of people on the ground, and help counteract the damaging narratives being propagated by some mainstream media organizations. It’s the very least we can do.
For white people wanting to know what they can do to help.
A number of leading Iranian filmmakers, including Ms. Leila Hatami, have just issued a letter to Palestinian children in Gaza and in solidarity with them are going to donate blood to be sent to Gaza […]
Here is an English translation of the Persian text of the letter Iranian filmmakers have written to the children of Gaza—English translation is by Professor Mahmoud Sadri—
In the name of the God of “Olives”
An epistle to the children of Gaza:
Greeting, people of Gaza,
Mothers in late pregnancy,
Are the olive trees you planted leafy yet?
Can one enjoy them on the “Iftar” spread?
We have heard it has been rainy over there, these last few days.
We do not understand why this rain does not become a deluge,
To wash you into the Nile – that lady of blue tresses?
We do not know why this rain obliterates your houses?
Rain does not shred children into pieces, does it?
Rain does not open gashes in people’s chests, does it?
Rain does not smash skulls, does it?
Rainstorms create flash floods,
Why is the flash flood of Gaza bloody?
Rain brings thunder and lightening,
Clouds rub against clouds, the sound grows fearsome,
But it does not annihilate, does it?
Rain rejuvenates the roots of olive trees; it turns earth green,
Why is the rain over Gaza burning olive trees?
Rain comes with the weatherman’s warning.
Why is your rain so abrupt and brusque?
Why is this rain savagely razing the earth?
Rain lets children shelter their dolls under their umbrellas.
What rain is this that makes the dolls into umbrellas for children, entangled with them, in their graves?
I saw a cat, roving in the rubble of Gaza, lost, lamenting,
Avoiding the shreds of flesh, detritus of the lives of the Children of Gaza.
She recognizes the children who shared their meager meals with her, in rainy days past.
The lady of Gaza/Palestine:
If the rain over Gaza gives you leave to carry your baby on your back out of the wreckage, do not forget to take along pen and paper.
Write my lady; say:
“Rain gave me leave to leave.
We were not home, when the walls collapsed.”
Write my lady, so your man does not go mad with grief, at the sight of the rubble of his house, to imagine his beloved, the flesh of his flesh, are buried alive under the ruins.
You may ask, by the way: “where would I leave the note, so my man can find it? There are no walls standing”.
Write my lady; you can trust your letter to the wind. You can entrust it, like in old legends, to the beak of a bird.
We have heard that your neighbor yonder – the same one who came over in 1948; the same one with whom you shared your bread and water,
The same neighbor of 1948 who bemoaned the horrors of Hitler’s crematoria,
The same neighbor who had told you your home is the cradle of the prophets,
The same neighbor who had told you: Palestine is the land revelation,
The same neighbor who had told you: are Muslims not famed for their hospitality? Don’t they host any lost wayfarer for three days, without question?
Lady of Gaza/Palestine:
You had replied: Yes, we are kind, hospitable, cannot be otherwise.
Lady, we have heard that your neighbor yonder now watches your slaughter from hilltops in jubilation, as if from the galleries on an amphitheater.
Lady Gaza/ Palestine:
You were hospitable to the unannounced guests of 1948. They have now left you in the rubble of a prison in exile. They witness your torment and desolation. They have been watching you; up to now, up to this moment.
Lady Gaza/ Palestine:
Your poets have composed lines that have sunk, like so many bullets, into your faithless neighbor’s heart. Your children have abandoned school and have taken up arms. They realize that in a land they do not have the schooling they have will come to naught.
Lady Gaza/ Palestine:
Your once abandoned neighbors have now found many keepers:
The same people who pushed them out their own lands now have turned into their defenders, raining bullets on you; you who gave your neighbors shelter. Your neighbor’s erstwhile enemies now build iron domes above their heads and abet them in their slaughter of your children.
Lady Gaza/ Palestine:
We are left on this shore, pen and camera in hand.
We are left astonished: what is to be done?
How do we come to pay homage to your prone body?
Your shameless neighbor has blocked all of the paths to us — your guests.
Lady Gaza / Palestine:
We were thinking: now that bullets rain on you,
Now that the deluge of blood has carried away your children,
May be we can infuse life into your children’s innocent bodies, from our own veins.
Nope. My bat.
It’s all the city planner’s fault. [x]