Words From the First Intifada

This piece was written after the Israeli massacre of Palestinian youth at the Lebanese border with Palestine on the Day of Return, May 15, 2011.

In 1987, after the First Intifada started, I remember sitting in a coffee shop in New York and overhearing words that stung and burned and never left me. I wrote down my thoughts in a sketchbook at the time, but never brought them forward; I forever regret not having said anything at the time. Last Sunday, two-and-a-half decades later, I took part in the debut of the Third Intifada in Maroun Ar-Ras at the border between Lebanon and Palestine. I recall these words now, updated as the occasion warrants.
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O, Destroyer! [Dedicated to #Gaza]

I wrote this on the last day of the July War 2006 in Lebanon. I dedicate it to Palestinians especially those in Gaza now under attack. The diaries written during that war are still up, and still apply. [link to diaries]
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Existence is Resistance.

Yesterday I made my way from Bayonne to 1-4-5 and St. Nick’s in Harlem (thank God for public transportation) where I met up with Ayman El-Sayed (aka “the Lebanese Ether”) and Nancy Mansour (aka “Harrabic Tubman”) the hosts of the radio show “Existence is Resistance”. We drove up to Damatrix Studios [link to studio web site] in the Bronx where each week Ayman and Nancy give us heavy doses of cultural and political resistance in the form of music and discussion of the situation in occupied Palestine and Southwest Asia. On a lighter note, they also expose the myth of “Israeli” food by prank calling “Middle Eastern” restaurants, as well as force guests to guess translated-into-Arabic song lyrics (I failed miserably here) just for a dollop of fun with your political hommous….all in all a great balance, as well as a great honor and privilege for me to appear as a guest on their show.
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Karma and adoption

Originally posted on Transracialeyes:

Karma is a complex concept which, because I come from a mainstream Christian upbringing, I am learning through the work of others.  Karma was not in the Colorado cultural air I breathed growing-up, though it has been making inroads to the western mind for decades. To make a general statement, Christians (and Episcopalians, I am one, as a subgroup) do not know what to do with the notion.  Karma is entertained but kept as a mere hypothesis.  Western Anthroposophic circles present a comprehensive view of reincarnation which is what I have in mind here.

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Boycott, Divest, and Sanction #BDS

Excerpted from the art and design blog, Design Altruism Project [link to blog]:

This is a movement for global justice, both political and economic. It focuses on the various levels of displacement, dispossession, and disinheritance that formed the active undergirding of globalizing capitalism as represented by apartheid South Africa, and today, apartheid Israel. This is not a “singling out” of one nation or one people; this is instead the focus on an offense against human rights and decency that becomes representative of all struggles worldwide for equality and dignity for all.

"Believe in stone and survive"

The article is illustrated with posters produced by the Beirut-based artists’ collective Jamaa Al-Yad [link to web site].

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“Racism’s labyrinth”.

Originally posted on Transracialeyes:

I came across this essay by Prof. Asma Barlas [ link ], entitled Racism’s Labyrinth. It’s a quick read, but quite interesting on a number of levels. An excerpt:

Whether white people want to claim their whiteness or not, whiteness claims them by positioning them as potential saviors of people of color. Liberals speak on our behalf; feminists tutor us, and conservatives discipline us, all of which are ways of saving us from ourselves. I am no stranger to the Catholic redemption narrative, but what I find foreign are the salvational pedagogies of a racism that is packaged as a secular good. Having dispensed with the idea of a religious savior, it seems Western secular democracies have embraced a racial logic that allows all white people to play at being redeemers. Now, everyone can save me, though for what reward, remains debatable.

Even though this secular whiteness feels foreign…

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#Malawi reads #Madonna.

The following is the full decree from President of Malawi, Dr. Joyce Banda, concerning a VIAP (Very Important Adoptive Parent), aka “Madonna” [link to full text]:

Claims and misgivings have been expressed by Pop Star, Madonna and her agents, against the Malawi Government and its leadership for not giving her the attention and courtesy that she thinks she merits and deserves during her recent trip to Malawi.
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On “radical psychology” and adoption.

I’ve been lamenting (for want of a better term) the lack within the various domains that undergird adoption in no small way (social work, psychology, psychiatry, etc.) of any “radical” alternative for adoptees to follow to find some sense of mental and physical well-being. Many argue theoretically that this is a given of these areas of study, that they aid and abet dominant power structures, and thus offer no solace to an adoptee who understands implicitly the devastating contradictions of her dispossession, displacement, and/or disinheritance, and yet cannot find societal acknowledgment of her state of mind.
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Sleeping Giants in #Adoption: Schedule up shortly!

AIC-save-the-date

Two years ago I presented at the Adoption Initiative Conference and I was blown away by the energy and force of those attending and presenting. I’m happy to now be on the Conference Committee, and am looking forward to next year’s event—I hope many of those who read here might consider attending. Registration is now open.
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France, Russia, adoption, and humanitarian imperialism.

Originally posted on Transracialeyes:

Many adoptees who have returned to their places of birth can identify I think with the reality of countries such as Lebanon, which boasts 7,000+ “non-governmental organizations”, which is one NGO for every 500 people who find themselves within this country’s current borders. We often joke here that the millions of dollars that these NGOs receive should just be divvied up equally among us, to spare us the political and (often) religious baggage that comes with such aid.

Jean Bricmont refers to this as one aspect of Humanitarian Imperialism [ link ], in which the former tools of imperialism, namely armies and colonies, are replaced by more insidious methods tied to economics and culture. In Noam Chomsky’s discussion of the subject, [ link ] we come across this interesting quote concerning Haiti, a country endlessly targeted and undone, perpetually deemed in need of “saving”:

In brief, Haiti falls into the…

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