Lee Miller, Untitled (Saint-Malo Boot) 1944
They call us now.
Before they drop the bombs.
The phone rings
and someone who knows my first name
calls and says in perfect Arabic
“This is David.”
And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies
still smashing around in my head
I think “Do I know any Davids in Gaza?”
They call us now to say
You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
Your house is next.
They think of it as some kind of war time courtesy.
It doesn’t matter that
there is nowhere to run to.
It means nothing that the borders are closed
and your papers are worthless
and mark you only for a life sentence
in this prison by the sea
and the alleyways are narrow
and there are more human lives
packed one against the other
more than any other place on earth
We aren’t trying to kill you.
It doesn’t matter that
you can’t call us back to tell us
the people we claim to want aren’t in your house
that there’s no one here
except you and your children
who were cheering for Argentina
sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
counting candles left in case the power goes out.
It doesn’t matter that you have children.
You live in the wrong place
and now is your chance to run
It doesn’t matter
that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son’s favorite blanket
or your daughter’s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
It doesn’t matter who you are
Prove you’re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.
Running Orders, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha
tammy-chu said: Hi! I appreciate what you are doing to spread awareness about the whole situation but why don't you post more pictures of the children and people who are dying everyday day in Gaza and let the world see how monstrous Israel is.
Hey :) Thank you. This post by stay-human explains it best:
I am so, so, so tired of seeing pictures of mangled children, of parents with faces contorted in grief, of corpses that are charred, with missing limbs, with holes in them. A few days ago they were circulating a picture of a child from Gaza who’s skull had been cracked open and hollowed out. Stop it. Stop circulating these pictures.
There’s a reason you only see these pictures of brown and black bodies from third world countries. Think about it for a second, have you ever seen pictures of the dead from 9/11 or the Boston bombing or any of the hundreds of school shootings that happen in the US?
But see those lives matter so much more, you don’t need a picture of a burned body to care, just the thought of it happening is enough to make you horrified. And the thought of anybody publishing pictures from the events I just mentioned probably repulses you, so why don’t you have the same reaction to the images coming out of Gaza?
I used to think that people needed to see these pictures, to know what’s going on, to be forced to care—but it’s fucking bullshit. It’s bullshit that people should have to make an exposition of their private pain for you to care about atrocities against humanity. Knowing what’s happening there should be enough, pictures of destroyed homes and explosions are more than enough proof if that’s what you’re after.
It’s beyond cruel that people who have just lost those that they love, parents who’ve lost little babies, should then be expected to make a performance of their pain so that maybe just maybe this stupid fucking apathetic world will care for once. People are expected to air their grief so your stupid ass will have something to cry over and be ‘moved’ by. I’m so sick of people’s grief being put on display for the disinterested viewer who can switch it off and walk away at any time, who couldn’t possibly understand what it’s like.
There is a certain respect granted to the dead and to the grief of those from privileged backgrounds. To deny someone that respect is to belittle the greatness of their loss and to reduce their pain to the politics it stems from; it is to say their human experiences are somehow less—and it goes hand in hand with the racist and disgusting idea that those brown and black people who live in strife ridden areas, those who have to fight for their lives, somehow value life less. Only those we dehumanize are denied respect like this.
Enough. Stop making a spectacle of their grief, stop making a spectacle of the dead.
Children wearing Mardi Gras costumes in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Photograph by John Hypolite Coquille, National Geographic
"I’m dealing with what goes into making an African-American myth, but slavery still exists. The jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk calls it volunteer slavery. We elect to become servants to a certain system or company or product. We don’t open ourselves to the total choices of freedom. We look at a limited palette and choose from that."
Anne Klein with a Baby in Transit
shoes, wire, washers, screws
To employ “both sides” rhetoric completely misrepresents the situation. It is not “both sides” who take thousands of political prisoners. Both sides do not systematically torture each other. Both sides do not control each other’s freedom of movement, or access to the sea, drinking water, and education. — A Plague on One House by Greg Shupak (July 17, 2014)