You could say these times are extremely charged with tension. As the COVID-19 hit us all with different levels of intensity, you could cut the tension in the air with a knife. Or a gun. Or a cramped note that says “everything is OK.”
Israel is a very specific case of colonialism, white supremacy, conservatism and religious fanaticism, militancy, Western pseudo-liberalism, patriarchy – and what not? A familiar but rare brew in its specific seasoning.
“Unlike anywhere else in the world” you might say and therefore sometimes feel is that “it is impossible” to compare it to anywhere in the world, that there isn’t nor will there ever be a parallel on to this local extremism. True as it may be, the intuitive conclusion that emerges from this is wrong: yes, we are indeed “specific” in our circumstances, but not only we *can* compare, we must. Constantly.
We live in an insane super-ultra-post-post era, where everything can be broadcast anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds. No need to hold, no need for middle men. No need for explanations or interpretations to what we just saw. Thre’s is #No_Filters. The “local culture” one might live in, consists of infinite individual pieces that are affected every minute of every day by huge waves of information from anywhere in the world. ANYPLACE.
Living the “West” in any form possible within society – whether in art and aesthetic standards, through economics, social sciences and human psychology to basic morals and justice values – does not indicate that we have filtered out the racist grounds on which the whole “West” is based. The Holocaust and the Second World War Happened in the so called “West”, The “Western” “New World” aka America was created by bloodshed done by the same “West” so to this day there are dozens of countries left in enormace debts to the “West” who plundered all their resources and built some more “West” with it, in which the robbed people will live at the bottom of the social-ladder.
What in these values spells “social progressiveness” is beyond me, but even more beyond me is how quickly people forget.
One of the main trends I have not yet been able to get used to is the utter surprise (which seems quite honest) that is showcased again and again by so many Wyt people in my Facebook feed. The “surprise” they have when encountering racism, in all its deadly arc: From an employer calling his employee the N-word on a group chat in a WhatsApp, through a civilian lynching of an unarmed and frightened person in the town square to the public representative or senior police officer who boasts about skin-based profiling.
This mere surprise is racism, too.
Not maliciously, not intentionally or to spite, perhaps even innocently, but it is important to remember that racism does not have to be self-aware in order to exist. Sometimes it’s just the background.
The naïve lack of belief that “such a thing cannot happen” is not only opacity in the face of the oppressed, it is also a white supremacy in disguise: because it is on the one hand to cancel years of cries, testimonies, lamentations, questions, demands for justice and warnings and on the other to anchor a fantasy where the White homogeny for some reason “is not capable of such a thing.”
It retroactively erases countless injustices and atrocities committed by it, so that each time it is like “the first time”. Each injustice in the Torah is treated as a single mistake and not a pattern. The error is a standard deviation / deviation from the order / weeds. Call it whatever you want. But it’s blurred the previous points so we do not see the line. Because if you remember the line – what is there to be surprised by?
The recent murders (Iyad al-Khalek, Israel Bunch, the late Mustafa Yunis here, the late George Floyd ‘Ahmud Arbari, the late Bryona Taylor and Sean Reed in the USA) were not only sponsored by the Corona, they had ancient roots that became the triggering of the trigger is much easier than in front of “white” citizens. Incitement and the spread of hatred by senior officials and politicians end in the street, and with horrific statistics, Israeli police shoot Arab civilians 64 times more than Jewish citizens, and almost never stand trial. If in the US 99% of police officers do not stand trial after a lethal shooting, the situation in the country is not much better when the most detailed State Comptroller’s report (2017) claims that only 3% of DIP complaints end in an indictment and the majority are “not examined at all”.
A predatory system whose actions have no consequences, will just go more extreme to preserve itself. Without criticism or deterrence there is no reason for the frequency of these “standard deviations” to ever “straighten out.” There really is no, and there was no “surprise.”
This surprise is doubly strange to me in a world where there is so much evidence in mainstream art:
Every piece of black art, living or dead, that has existed in a white and violent world has spoken to her experience at one point or another in her career, not to mention the tens and hundreds of artists who are living right now and talking their reality all the time. Not their “opinions” about reality, but the physical reality they must live.
The kicking “gangsta” culture that has been paved to be supposedly the main culture in hip-hop for years has been pushed aside and the stereotype in which blacks and minorities “attract fire” is absurd and façade while in 2020 unapologetic young voices still shout the same struggle only in pastel colors and millennial self-awareness. If you’ve even heard one album or read one book by a black artist. In the last 30 years, you’re probably got a glimpse of a reality that involves violence and racism from institutions.
We talk and ache and live and create all the time. Not necessarily in accusation or preaching, and not really in whining, but simply by drawing the world as it is, a piece at a time, even if it is just a line in a song.
All A. women who do not live this reality should just listen.