This society is governed by a global system of White supremacy, which places American imperialism at its center. White civil society exercises control over the major organs of global finance and military power that maintains the global system of White supremacy. The U.S. has engaged in terrorist military interventions and policies that have resulted in mass human suffering as a part of its imposition of this global system of domination. This includes military interventions in Iran, Chile, Iraq, Grenada, Vietnam, Libya and many other countries, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of lives being lost.
The U.S. has a history of being complicit with oppressive regimes and carrying out oppressive policies that support its foreign policy objectives. One example is U.S. support for the apartheid South African regime that engaged in brutality against those seeking liberation. That regime slaughtered protestors, engaged in political assassinations, condoned acts of sexual violence against South Africans and other forms of state-sanctioned terror. The United States government had to be pressured by social movements to oppose the South African regime. In the mid 90’s, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iraq as a response to their invasion of Kuwait. Then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, was asked if she thought that the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children that were killed as a result of the sanctions were worth the pursuit of U.S. foreign policy interests, to which she said, it was worth it.
In the example regarding South Africa, the U.S. supported a terroristic regime, and in Iraq, the U.S. imposed a policy that killed 500,000 people. Americans have no moral authority to demand that anyone condemn the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians. The two examples of U.S. complicity in state-sanctioned terror and mass human suffering are at least as disgusting as what Hamas did. America has too much blood on her hands to establish any moral litmus test.
Israel is an extension of U.S. foreign policy and has been complicit in America’s imperialist agenda. In fact, it was America and Europe’s colonial position in the world that made the Balfour Declaration of Palestine as the desired location of the state of Israel in 1917 politically salient. Most Americans are not aware of the terror that the United States has unleashed on people of color around the world because it would expose the global system of White supremacy and weaken its power. Similarly, most Americans are not informed about the decades of normalized violence and oppression that the Israeli government has subjected the Palestinians to.
The destruction of Palestinian communities, economic starvation and many episodes of military violence (supported by U.S. tax dollars) is the kind of state-sanctioned terror that aligns with the larger system of American imperialism. One aspect of the global system of White supremacy that has been exported around the world is the plantation structure of the relationship between White civil society (Israelis are phenotypically and culturally associated with western civilization which gives them proximity to Whiteness) and people of color.
As Hubert Harrison once said, “the chattel slave was compelled to work by brute force; the wage slave is compelled to work by starvation.” The ability to starve a community in order to control them is a mechanism of White supremacist colonial oppression. America (White civil society) is able to starve communities around the world, and in this country to control Black people and other people of color.
Israel is positioned to starve and control the Palestinian people. Some people may read this and say that there is no expression of sympathy for the suffering of Israelis. To that, I say that the most powerful entities in the world have amplified the suffering of the Israeli people, and they continue to get massive amounts of support and sympathy. While I am sensitive to all human suffering, I will not allow that to justify rhetoric that denigrates the humanity of Palestinians and excuses the oppressive policies and practices of the state of Israel. Many more Palestinians have died in the course of this conflict, and I don’t see the same sympathy for those lives that are being demanded for the Israelis lives. Don’t demand that anyone have sympathy for Israeli lives until you demonstrate a commitment to the freedom of Palestinian people.
CASA in Action, a national immigrant rights organization, put out a statement in support of the Palestinian people earlier this month and has been met with significant backlash. The Montgomery County Senate Delegation issued a letter on Nov. 8th condemning their statement as anti-Semitic. This characterization of their statement is simply a way to impose their ideological perspective and political support for the state of Israel through a kind of moral gaslighting that seeks to avoid the inconvenient conversation about the Israeli oppression of Palestinian sovereignty. Additionally, the threat to CASA’s funding is an extension of the plantation structure mentioned above that threatens to remove vital services that are provided to immigrant communities in Maryland in order to impose an adherence to the global system of White supremacy that most Americans continue to be complicit with.
I don’t expect most people to agree with LBS’s radical political perspective, but to punish an organization that provides much needed services to a community because they express solidarity with a people that are currently being oppressed is a tragic example of the system of White supremacy operating through people who claim to be interested in social justice.
As a person of African descent, I am clear that we will not be free until we are able to practice sovereignty and that this is a threat to the global system of White supremacy. We should stand in solidarity with oppressed people struggling for their sovereignty, knowing that this is a threat to the social order. Allowing the Montgomery County Senate delegation to exercise the power of the American plantation in order to impose the existing social order is not just a threat to CASA and the immigrant community, but a threat to Black people who seek to practice sovereignty.