Racism and rhetoric, from Ferguson to Palestine

In the United States, “Ferguson” — the name of the town where unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot to death by a police officer last August — has become a shorthand name for the free reign given to police to murder black people in the streets (and parks, stores, even their own homes) with impunity.

At the same time as Brown was murdered, the world watched as Israel was given free reign to murder Palestinian people in the streets of the Gaza Strip (and beaches, cafes, hospitals, even their own homes) with impunity.

One commonality faced by folks in struggle from Ferguson to Palestine is the all-too-frequent refusal to recognize their oppression as oppression.

For example, in public discourse, I have noticed a consistent rhetorical positioning of police officers and Israel — rather than unarmed black people and Palestinians — as the real victims of brutality and violence…

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