Reading George Fox

They Cannot Wait

This isn’t the preeminent crisis at the moment, but I wrote a response on the urgency of carceral state reform and thought it worthy to post directly on my blog. The full conversation is here. You are right that we need to work on getting buy in from the rank and file. But even if you’re correct and the system only fails 20% of the time, that’s thousands of innocent people suffering. They shouldn’t have to wait for justice because it’s hard to get the rank and file on board. Also, there will be times when it is simply not possible to convince them. If we reduce the incarceration rate to triple the European average, the majority of prison guards will lose their jobs. They are going to fight hard as hell to keep their livelihood. Or an example from Pennsylvania: if a former prosecutor turned Republican State Senator, multiple rigorous studies, and participating in a five year commission couldn’t convince the DAs to accept reform, the hill is a pretty steep climb. How many people suffered unjustly while we were trying to persuade them? So, at the same time we work within the system, we must also, as Dr.…

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Fouad Dakwar on Being Palestinian

I often put on this act of a fearless fighter when talking about the mistreatment of my people, but tonight I had a direct one-on-one conversation with someone who actively denies the humanity of Palestinians (one of the apparent majority) that resulted in me crying non-stop for thirty minutes straight. It had me wishing I wasn’t Palestinian because I wished I were part of a group that received some sort of empathy from fellow humans. The truth is that being Palestinian is one of the hardest things I will ever go through and that no matter how much hope I am given from peers and emerging humanitarian organizations (particularly American-Jewish ones), I will constantly live with the fear that our narrative will conclude the way the Native American one has now- with genocide of the majority of our people, theft of ALL of our land, and the complete dehumanization of our people in order to do it quickly. We’re on our way there and I don’t know how much more I can ask for help and allyship. If you somehow don’t condemn the current treatment of Palestinians, delete me from your friends list because we are not friends. My friends…

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Three to Four Times

As Hari Ziyad wrote for Afropunk “[t]he news of her hospitalization follows a report by NPR exploring how systematic racism leads to Black mothers in the U.S. dying at three to four times the rate of white mothers. Anti-Blackness truly is unrelenting and multi-faceted, and Erica Garner knew this better than most.” Erica Garner, Eric Garner’s daughter, is in the hospital following a heart attack. She’s only 27.

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Some Rough Thoughts on Anti-Racism

From a Letter to Jeff Hitchock My own leanings towards anti-racism started to crystallize last winter during my term at Pendle Hill: I took a Facilitating Group Learning course and was paired with an African American member of Cambridge Meeting, Michelle Brimage. It took much work and sitting together in the fire to come to trust one another: it was worth it. We both learned and grew. People of color have played a significant role in my life. My African American nanny took me on play dates in her neighborhood; I was given the loving nickname “Jamal” in high school for sitting at the Black kids lunch table; Artists of color have been important collaborators (I’m a lighting designer). I considered myself pretty racially enlightened. Through the work at Pendle Hill, I realized that it is impossible to be White in America and not be racist. The most personal aspect of my own racism is, from a young age (I remember it from 5), I have never been attracted to a Black woman. My dearest friend is a beautiful woman; we connect on a deeply spiritual level; I can truly say I love her. The buds of a romantic relationship,…

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