A call for solidarity between FAMU students and Palestinians

Mural of George Floyd in Gaza City, Gaza. Photo courtesy: Getty Images

In the vast tapestry of activism and resistance, threads of solidarity weave together seemingly unrelated struggles, revealing a shared commitment to justice and liberation. As students of Florida A&M University, we stand at the intersection of history and the present, confronted with an opportunity to understand and embrace the parallels between our fight against racial oppression and the ongoing struggle for justice in Gaza.

The echoes of history rebound back to the June 1967 war, a pivotal moment when Israel’s conquest of the West Bank and Gaza drew striking similarities to the racialized violence experienced by African Americans in their own country. Activists within the Black freedom movement recognized an unsettling familiarity, a shared narrative of resistance against oppression.

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) highlighted the connections between our struggles by publishing a primer on the “Palestine problem.” In their words, Zionism was identified as an imperial project perpetuated by the “white western colonial governments” of the United States and Europe. The discourse of colonization and oppression exceeded geographical boundaries, linking the circumstances of African Americans to that of Palestinians.

Sadly, history continues to repeat itself, and the U.S. government often finds itself on the wrong side of the struggle for justice. Our government’s support for oppressors and its invalidation of the oppressed is an unsettling reminder that the fight for justice is an enduring one.

Amidst the challenges faced by the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, the world witnessed a remarkable display of African American resistance against militarized police forces. This resistance not only resonated within the confines of our nation but also across the Gaza-Israel barrier walls, providing inspiration and solidarity to Palestinian youth. The shared experience of confronting systemic oppression united us in a global struggle for justice.

As students of Florida A&M University, we are successors to a legacy of activism and resilience. However, as we reflect on our own history, it becomes imperative to acknowledge the interconnectedness of our struggles and extend our solidarity to those facing injustice beyond our borders.

The call to action is clear — we must do better in publicly supporting Palestinians on our campus.

In the spirit of unity, let us amplify the voices of those who yearn for freedom, justice and dignity by educating ourselves and organizing peaceful protests and awareness campaigns. Florida A&M University can be a beacon of solidarity, illuminating the path toward a future where the struggles against racial violence and subjugation are seen as two sides of the same coin.