Saturday, July 19, 2014

Puños de Gaza and mestizo children on our border.

I am in Taos for the weekend, for the Fiestas de Taos, surrounded by histories of peoples going back tens of thousands of years. I'm eating well, staying in the great Casa Taos facility, anticipating sitting down with one of America's greatest writers, advocate of Chicanismo--and I should be primed to do a worthy posting today.

I'm not.

My head buzzes with bits and scenes, descriptions and words about 50,000 children attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexican border, niños you've read and heard about for weeks. Children that certain heartless Americans don't want here, don't want to take in, not considered good enough to be taken care of, like adults are supposed to treat children. Hatred, racist epithets and the basest behavior of my species featured on headlines and newscasts, every day.

I could say or write thousands of things about that, but I can only manage a few.

Because, also buzzing in my head is the running casualty list coming out of Israel. A number that's passing 200. 200, including children, Palestinians who are being attacked by technologically superior armed forces led by Israeli generals, directed by the Israeli government and supported apparently by the majority of Israeli citizens who do have civil rights. And paid for by my taxes.

My gov't says we support "the right of the Israelis to defend themselves." [Last I heard, at least one Israeli had been killed during the time that the 200 Palestinians were slaughtered.]

The Israeli's actions remind me of a conversation I once had with a Jewish woman. She said she agreed with the Chicanos' Aztlán, the lost location of the Aztec's original homeland in the U.S. Southwest. That for Chicanos to gain their civil rights, their rightful place in this country, retaking Aztlán was an honorable goal. And that that's all the Israeli's were doing in Palestine.

If the Chicanos were to retake Aztlán like the Israeli's are disenfranchising Palestinians, like they are dismembering the Palestinian homelands, like they are dislocating families, like they are strafing kids on beaches, with missiles, then the Chicanos would be guilty of crimes against humanity, of genocide, of neo-apartheid. Yet, somehow my President says, the Israeli's "have a right to defend themselves." I agree with him no more than I agreed with that blinded Jewish woman.

What the Israelis, particularly the Zionists, have done and continue to do in Palestine is not about being Jewish. The "Jews" are not the problem; the Zionist apartheid is. I've noticed some Chicanos getting sloppy in the heat of their anger and disgust about this crisis. Don't get sloppy. All Anglos do not support the mistreatment of the border mestizos. Nor are all Jews responsible for what goes on within Israel. Many within both countries actively oppose their governments' inhumanitarian actions.

There's so much more to say, but my head's too buzzed.

I'm in no mood to review a book, post some of my fiction, share pics of my trip to Taos. Because there are children on opposite sides of the world--around the U.S. southern border and behind concrete walls and barbed wire in Gaza--children who are an embarrassment to my government, forming two humanitarian crises that the American people, as a whole, are not buzzed about.

Two humanitarian crises that make it difficult for me to enjoy myself in Taos.

I believe, that's how it should be.

Not just for me.


Go to Border Angels if you can aid the Border children. Do what you feel you can about the children in Gaza.


Anonymous said...

If Palestinians would stop shooting rockets at Israel and lay down their arms, there will be peace. Then both sides can coexist, but Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. They do not want to coexist with Israel, which is why there won't be peace in this area until Palestinians change their position. As for those poor children at the border, we need to feed them, treat their health issues, and secure the border because we cannot sustain the world's poor. That's just a sad reality.

Anonymous said...

In response to the Anonymous, above: Both sides cannot coexist, under the present conditions, because one side is the colonialist-style occupier and the other side is the Palestinian occupied people. I don't know any people individually nor as a group who would want to "coexist" with their occupier. The "change in position" that the oppressed is to throw off their oppression. Always has been. Poor children should be fed and well-treated--whatever that costs.

Sandra Ramos O'Briant said...

Reading a history of 19th century Richard Burton, translator of Arabian nights. He traveled in the Middle East disguised as an Arab way before Laurence (of Arabia). The maps of Asia and the Middle East were way different back then. "Palestine" was plastered across a huge swath of land, including what is now Israel and Gaza. England had been busy for some time colonizing this and that, and let's not forget what America did with Manifest Destiny. I'm not saying this as an excuse for what's happening in the world now: in Palestine, in Russia,Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. Only that "history" makes it seem long ago, different people and a different time. Now, w/instantaneous news and cell phone feeds the brutality is up front and "living and dying" history. Colonization is so passe. It needs to stop.

Sandra Ramos O'Briant said...

I don't blame families for sending their kids out of dangerous countries: the Jews did it with their children and many countries opened their doors. The rabid response on the part of some Americans to the plight of these children is shameful. There is no easy answer to the immigration question. Obama is following the law; the kids must go through the mandated procedure to find legal relatives in this country . . . until the law is changed. Let's put some economic sanctions on Latin American countries until they deal with this problem in their own countries. I fear that suitcases of American money goes into the wrong hands. Also, we should decriminalize drugs in the U.S.

Thelma T. Reyna said...

Rudy, what you say is all true. It's heartbreaking that our global civilization has not yet evolved to the point that the proverbial "red line in the sand" is the massacre or abuse/neglect of children--all children, any children, anywhere in the world. Imagine how different global society would be if not one country--not ONE anywhere on earth--allowed the maiming, terrorizing, or slaughter of children. If this red line stopped everyone dead in their tracks, caused them to stop whatever they were protect the children. Oh yes. How very, very different the world would be!

Anonymous said...

My ancestors from the southern region of New Mexico did not want to coexist either with their occupier. Eventually my people were able to find a way to coexist peacefully, in spite of a history of early persecutions. Since it appears that Israel is not going away, it would benefit both sides to find a way to live in peace and avoid bloodshed.

Anonymous said...

Thelma and Sandra, I welcome your words and sentiments. Colonialism--ours, Israel's, others'--created the present situations. They will be eventually solved by those who are being oppressed. The remainder of us are important only to the extent that we assist those oppressed.

Raymond Espinoza said...

Thelma, you are so right about our global civilization not yet evolving. I was shocked and horrified when I first learned about honor killings, and the abuse of women which are tolerated in some of these societies. The persecution of guys is also intolerable. At least women and gay people have more rights in Israel.