The decade's most triggering comedy
As BLM signals support for Hamas, Patrisse Khan-Cullors’ memoir reads more like prophecy. When they call you a terrorist, Patrisse, they just might be right.
I usually walk past the open-air bookseller on the corner of 68th and Columbus without a second thought, but last weekend, a book stopped me in my tracks. Its bright jewel-toned jacket colors set it apart from piles of other homeless tomes strewn atop a folding table, waiting for second, third and fourth sets of hands to claim them, leaf through their pages, and rescue their sentiments from obscurity.
Feigning the nonchalance of an Ariana Grande song, the cover read in all lowercase, “when they call you a terrorist — a black lives matter memoir, patrisse khan-cullors & asha bandele with a forward by angela davis.”
My friend peeked at the book over my shoulder. We paused. ”In light of recent events,” he said, “it might be time to bring that one back.”
“I think the first time I heard that we were being called a terrorist organization — that the leaders of Black Lives Matters were terrorists, I didn’t know how to respond…” khan-cullors said in a 2018 interview with NBC News. “…what we call for always is peace. We’ve called always for justice. What we’ve called for always is dignity.”
A quick perusal unlocked a vault of repressed memories from 2020, George Floyd’s death turned the country into a tinderbox, and BLM lit the match: looters leaving stores uncontested with shopping carts full of goods. Small businesses hanging We Support Black Lives! signs to no avail — they’d have their windows smashed in or their buildings burnt out by morning. Young cops, mothers and fathers, shot point blank while resting in their squad cars. A football star shot while helping two mugged women. A 77-year old police chief found dead in front of Lee’s Pawn & Jewelry Shop in St. Louis (his shooting was streamed on Facebook Live).
Instead of condemnation for these riots, there was celebration and self-flagellation, especially among young liberals. Well-meaning friends with hearts for “social justice” posted black squares and reading lists (many touting Patrisse’s book) on Instagram with captions like, “Take time away to educate yourself. It’s not your black friends’ job to do it for you.”
Fortune 500 companies and educational institutions were quick to issue statements in support of the movement. Our political betters, including the sitting Vice President, promoted bail funds for those arrested while protesting. DEI initiatives and “unconscious bias trainings” were instituted across the country.
The divisive language of Critical Race Theory and anti-Western sentiment seeped into our everyday lives. Police became the progeny of slave catchers. “…[neither] the race or class of any one officer, nor the good heart of an officer,” khan-cullors’ book reads, “could change that.” Whiteness became a dirty word, representative of a vague colonialist oppressor. The oppressed acted with impunity.
“The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination,” said race-baiter and children’s book author Ibram X. Kendi. “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
As the country reopened and people returned to work and school, tensions cooled from a rolling boil to a simmer. That is, until October 7th, when Hamas terrorists flooded the Israeli border, murdered over 1,400 people, and dragged another 240 hostages into Gaza (that number continues to rise as bodies are identified). It was the single deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust.
Videos published by Hamas terrorists shock the conscience — young women sodomized next to their friends’ corpses. A beheaded pregnant woman with her child cut from her stomach. Broken women, half-naked, paraded through the streets by terrorists armed with Uzis. Whole families annihilated. A baby cooked alive in a kitchen oven while its mother is raped next to her dead husband.
For a moment, the world stood still in what many thought was collective grief. And then, to their horror, people began to cheer. Instead of condemnation for Hamas, there was celebration and justification. In the week following the attack, reports of antisemitic incidents in the US spiked 300 percent year over year. A rash of pro-Palestinian protests broke out across the world, from London to Times Square to Nashville. Queers stripped for Palestine.
College groups — many of whom had supported Black Lives Matter years — came out with Pro-Palestinian statements. Six hours after the attack, thirty four Harvard student groups signed a letter on the “Situation on Palestine,” stating, “We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.”
“Today, the Palestinian Ordeal enters into uncharted territory,” it continues. “The coming days will require a firm stand against colonial retaliation.”
Students at Columbia University beat an Israeli student with a stick after he confronted a woman tearing down pictures of hostages. At Cooper Union College, Jewish students barricaded themselves in the library as protesters banged on the door, chanting, “long live the Intifada!” while the university president, Laura Sparks, escaped through a back door. The list of participating campuses — Stanford, NYU, Northwestern, Georgetown, George Washington, Berkeley — stretches on ad nauseam.
“Honor the martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for liberation,” they chant. “Glory to our martyrs. From River to Sea, Bears for Palestine.” At Michigan, my alma mater, one protest sign read: “There is only one solution: Intifada revolution.” The rhyme echoes past atrocities with a chilling finality.
The first and second intifadas were waves of murderous violence that killed and maimed thousands of Israeli Jews.
Calls for an intifada on an American college campus are a direct threat of violence against Jewish students.
Authorities must investigate.pic.twitter.com/LZuFFUzuNh
— Avi Mayer אבי מאיר (@AviMayer) January 15, 2023
Not to be outdone by college students, Black Lives Matter Grassroots, issued a statement of its own: “Black Lives Matter Grassroots stands in solidarity with our Palestinian family who are currently resisting 57 years of settler colonialism and apartheid…as a radical Black organization grounded in abolitionist ideals, we see clear parallels between Black and Palestinian people.”
Anti-racist baby-book writer Ibram X. Kendi chimed in: “To care about the lives of Palestinians is to demand the end to these crimes against humanity. #CeaseFireNow”
For many who posted black squares and reading lists after the death of George Floyd, this was a nauseating betrayal. A tweet from BLMChicago of a sleekly branded Palestinian paraglider on his way to massacre young Israelis with the caption “That is all that is it!” sparked a great awakening.
A friend of mine, so roughly woken, sat beside me on the Upper West Side, speaking in hushed tones about the conflict. “Everyone is believing the wrong thing,” she said, hurting. “How is everyone believing the wrong thing?”
This is what happens when you take critical race theory to its logical end, I wanted to say. When the comforting platitudes of progressive identity politics — the simplistic language of oppressor and oppressed — actually lead to terrorism: when the victimized act, from the river to the sea, with impunity; when zionism, self-determination and colonialism are interchangeable in our cultural lexicon; when the “noble savage” resisting the oppression of the colonizing white man takes their jihad too far.
It’s no matter that Israelis are not “white, western colonizers.” No matter that Arabs make up over 20% of the Israeli population. Because Israel is the singular stronghold of Judeo-Christian values in a vast Pan-Arab expanse, they are the imperialists who must be destroyed. The precision of the weapon is of no consequence. Ask the Hamas terrorists who decapitate people with shovels.
Or, take it from our own Patrisse Khan-Cullors, ahead of the curve circa 2015: “Palestine is our generation’s South Africa…if we don’t step up boldly and courageously to end the imperialist project called Israel, we’re doomed.”
I slammed the book shut and threw it back on the folding table. When they call you a terrorist, Patrisse, they just might be right.
Grace Bydalek is a writer, performer, and administrator based on New York’s Upper West Side. She is the director of the Dissident Project. Instagram: @grace_daley
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.