Projection, US Embassy in Berlin
"In my heart of hearts, I wanted to do the right thing, but selling drugs was easy. Everyone was doing it. I mean, I’m not using that as an excuse, I made my own decisions. But I grew up around these Robin Hood figures who would sell drugs, then buy supplies for kids who were going back to school, or pay rent for an old woman who was about to get evicted. All my friends were doing it. It almost seemed fashionable. I never felt proud of it. I always thought I’d transition to a job with the Transit Authority, or a job like this— something I’d feel good about, but instead I transitioned to jail. I did six years. When I got out, it was tempting to go back to the easy money, because everyone around me was still doing it, and I couldn’t get a job. But luckily I found an agency that helps ex-cons, because there aren’t many companies looking to give people a second chance. I’ve had this job for a few years now. You know what product I’m selling now? Myself. Everyone around here is my client. Times Square is a drug to these people. And I’m picking up all the trash so that they can have the full Times Square experience."
The Palestinians in Gaza live in conditions that now replicate those first imposed on Jews by the Nazis in the ghettos set up throughout Eastern Europe. Palestinians cannot enter or leave Gaza. They are chronically short of food—the World Health Organization estimates that more than 50 percent of children in Gaza and the West Bank under 2 years old have iron deficiency anemia and reports that malnutrition and stunting in children under 5 are “not improving” and could actually be worsening. Palestinians often lack clean water. They are crammed into unsanitary hovels. They do not have access to basic medical care. They are stateless and lack passports or travel documents. There is massive unemployment. They are daily dehumanized in racist diatribes by their occupiers as criminals, terrorists and mortal enemies of the Jewish people.
I never remember, like saying, ‘I’m gonna join the civil rights movement’—that’s all I knew all my life, some aspect of it, even before it was called the civil rights movement.
When I first, years ago, saw my first picture of black men hanging from trees, well, I could scarcely know the meaning of things. Or I remember things that stuck in my head, this family strung up and the woman was pregnant and they opened the belly up, the baby had fallen out…so I can’t say I joined [the civil rights movement]; I was born into it.
Racism is a disease of democracy. Our country could be one of the greatest that God ever imagined, were it not for this thing of racism….This grand experiment that is America is tainted by racism and bigotry, and these kinds of hatreds…This ridiculous thing of racism.
(Source: Mother Jones)