June 19, 2021
JUNETEENTHFROM ROBIN KELLEY:
Today many of us are commemorating Juneteenth, the date in 1865 when emancipation was officially declared in the state of Texas.
Two months after the Confederacy surrendered and enslaved people—with help from the Union army—brought down the system of chattel slavery throughout the rest of the South, Texas was one of the last holdouts. Juneteenth was just declared a national holiday, but African Americans have been celebrating this day for a century and a half, and it was always bigger than Texas, bigger than the United States, even bigger than the dark night of slavery.
Before it became “Juneteenth” it was called “Jubilee Day.” Jubilee comes from the Bible, Leviticus chapter 25, which promised the freeing of all slaves, the cancellation of all debt, and the return of the land to divine authority—which in our tradition meant stopping the privatization of land and the dispossession of people through settlement (“the land is mine, and you are coming into it as aliens and settlers”).
Juneteenth, then, is also our opportunity to link Black and Indigenous struggles. I connect the original meaning of Juneteenth with Palestine. The principles of Jubilee apply to people dispossessed in their own land, trapped in state-sanctioned enclosures and subject to military assault, carrying debts imposed by illegal occupation.
It is impossible not to reflect on the condition of Palestinians on this somber day, as Israeli forces resume their bombing of Gaza just weeks after an eleven-day assault that killed 243 Palestinians—including 66 children—and displaced thousands.
As a descendant of enslaved Africans on this land, I am not alone. Between the Ferguson uprising in 2014 to the protests of the murder of George Floyd, Black-Palestine solidarity has only deepened. From the halls of Congress, Ayanna Pressley, Cori Bush, Ilhan Omar, and Jamaal Bowman recently connected the struggles of Palestinians with the Black freedom movement. Palestine Legal not only sees these connections but puts them in practice. As a board member, I’m proud of our consistent support for activists, scholars, and various organizations fighting for Palestine in the face of intimidation and censorship, as well as our support for Black and Indigenous movements for liberation. Thank you for joining us in this critical work.
June 12, 2021
Today is Loving Day, the anniversary of the 1967 (!!!!) supreme court decision in Loving v. Virginia, which struck down laws against “interracial” marriage which existed in 16 states (!!!!). It’s a global day of education and community, love and solidarity.
June 11, 2021
In April, 2021 the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published its annual analysis of trends in global arms sales and the winner — as always — was the U.S. Between 2016 and 2020, this country accounted for 37% of total international weapons deliveries, nearly twice the level of its closest rival, Russia, and more than six times that of Washington’s threat du jour, China.
June 3, 2021
34) Under the Knife
The US is a rich country with a shitty health care system. What went wrong? The short answer: capitalism. Good medicine at its heart requires trust and an assumption of honesty and good intentions; the market requires nothing more nor less than profits for shareholders. The corporate capitalist capture of health care destroys the natural underpinnings of care and compassion. We’re joined today by Howard Waitzkin, a primary care physician and sociologist who has taught social medicine at a wide range of clinics, colleges, and universities, including the United Farm Workers Clinic in Salinas, California; La Clínica de la Raza in Oakland; Stanford University; Massachusetts General Hospital; and the University of California.
June 1, 2021
We are tired of parades, memorials and pageantry.
Take back your “thank you for your service” and 50% off sales.
We want people to live without threats of U.S. bullets and bombs.
We remember the enormous loss of civilian life that is forgotten in today’s memorials and hidden from view in the U.S. consciousness. America has no space on its calendar to memorialize these victims.
We grieve the loss of friends and the death of veterans unable to forget the tragedies and forgive themselves.
We are ANGRY that there is a holiday that glorifies nationalism and patriotism and ignores the trauma that U.S. militarism enacts all over the globe.
We are filled with rage as we continue to watch the empty political platitudes from the two largest political parties praising soldiers and veterans as they continue to send them off to wars that line the pockets of the rich.
We are frustrated that mainstream media and popular culture glorifies U.S. militarism.
We are exhausted from nightmares of our participation and the images of ongoing trauma from a system of violence we once propped up. We live with the wounds of our moral injuries, scabs that we can’t let heal for fear we’d recreate the injury.
On Memorial Day we don’t want to remember and we are afraid we will forget.
All we know for sure is…
Donate to Veterans For Peace
Veterans For Peace
3407 S. Jefferson Ave, #219
St. Louis, Missouri 63118