Naomi Wadler, 11, an elementary school student from Alexandria, Va., spoke during the “March for Our Lives” rally against gun violence last Saturday in Washington, D.C.
There is an Arab proverb that says “You eat alone, you die alone”, one which also applies here in America, albeit with a slight change; “You march alone, you die alone.”
Martin Luther King Jr’s who was killed 50 years ago in Memphis, TN. his political activism evolved from provincialism to internationalism, fighting for civil rights in America to fighting for human rights around the world; from racism and violence in this country to racism and violence in countries of colored people. MLK was contained and tolerated as long as he kept himself inside the civil rights church. Once he broke this chain and moved out of the pigeonhole he addressed violence committed against people of color, not just in America, but in Vietnam and around the world.
“I am convinced that it is one of the most unjust that has ever been fought in the history of the world. Our involvement in the war in Vietnam has torn up the Geneva Accord. It has strengthened the military-industrial complex; it has strengthened the forces of reaction in our nation. It has put us against the self-determination of a vast majority of the Vietnamese people, and put us in the position of protecting a corrupt regime that is staked against the poor.” One of Martin Luther King Jr’s most powerful quotes in his political struggle that you won’t hear on MLK day.
Every year on MLK day, we cleanse King’s Speech from his far reaching radical political vision that transcended our border and connected our local politics to the outside world. We can only hear about his personal dream, that “…my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.“ MLK realized that to change America inside, he could not march alone, he must march with all oppressed people around the world. MLK incidentally was assassinated on April 4th, 1968 in Memphis, TN. There, against all warnings, he went to support Trash collectors strikers, he wasn’t talking about racial justice, , he was talking about economic justice.
Now we see our political movements in America marching alone, from Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, the Women’s Movement, students’ movement, anti Islamophobia. All these movements do not realize that their struggle is the same, the oppressor is the same here and abroad. It is hidden in Wall Street Jihadists, American Taliban, Christian Rights, in the evangelical racist movement, the threat is not coming from the Muslim brotherhood, it is coming from the Koch brothers, from the Citizen United cult. The women’s movement must realize that it is not just American women who are sexually abused, and that the #MeToo movement is not just about celebrities and rich white women. Women around the world are abused either by our government or by oppressive regimes that are supported by our governments in Israel, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Syria.
Our students need to realize they are not the only ones who are victims of gun violence in America, but also lots of students around the world are killed and fall victim to our own gun violence in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Palestinian, and Egypt. When the Apartheid regime of Israel killed and arrest and imprison young Palestinians. When the Arab Spring broke out seven years ago, it captured the imagination of the world for its broader human rights demands, dignity and justice. It was a perfect social storm where all movements got together in a transformative moment in history, and 18 glories days toppled a 30 years of dictatorship. However, Students, Women, and blacks here are marching alone. #MarchforOurLives, March to stop guns in America, however American guns stopped the mostly peaceful movements in the Arab Spring March in Egypt, Syria, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen.
The 11-year-old African American student who captured our imagination and headlines, declared that “I am here today to acknowledge and represent the African-American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don’t lead on the evening news. I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics; instead vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential,“ Naomi Wilder told the crowd in Washington, D.C during the #MarchforOurLives. I hope she included women of color around the world.
Russia has been bombing using chemical weapons killing hundreds of thousands of Syrians while the West looks the other way, but when Russia was accused of using a nerve agent in an attempt to kill a former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia recently in the UK, Western allies along with the US are now expelling Russian diplomats and imposing harsh boycotts and sanctions.
American exceptionalism, now professed by President Trump and his anti-world hostile government, and the ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan again isolates America. Trump may have had sex with a porn star, he may have paid her hush money and Stormy Daniels may have spanked Trump’s big behind a few times with a magazine and got the narcissistic maniac to stop tweeting about himself for a few days, however the 24/7 media coverage of the sex scandal is ignoring the fact that Trump is not just an admirer of porn stars, he is also an admirer of other political porn, including rising star Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, who is committing war crimes in Yemen.
In addition, Trump is also an admirer of Egypt’s General el-Sisi who headed the Forced Virginity Test division during the Egyptian revolution, massacred 1000 people in a one day, the General who raped the country and forced millions of Egyptians to perform an oral act of support during a fake presidential election. General el-Sisi, who kidnapped and jailed his political opponents, forcing a token presidential candidate to run as a political whore to complete the biggest political porn show of Egyptian History, where people have the choice to vote for him, or fear retribution and security threats. The election now in Egypt is like the big fat Egyptian wedding of a rapist who is forcing his victims to marry him.
I marched with America, in Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, Women March, “#MeToo March, $15 march, Students March… so For all peace lovers and campaigners against gun violence, please #MarchforOurLives too.
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