Image for post
Image for post

Originally posted in By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) Volume 1: Issue 4

When we think of the challenges facing Black people in this country it’s easy to see why climate change and the environment often slip down to the bottom of the list. Police murders, lack of quality education, mass incarceration, homelessness, unemployment and underemployment, gun violence — these issues and many more grab the headlines and people’s attention, and rightfully so. However, we should realize that even though environmental issues often receive less attention, it doesn’t make them less important.

There’s a great Instagram page called Philly Housing Projects that exposes the harsh environmental and social conditions many urban Black people are forced to live in. The decrepit streets and sidewalks, the illegal dumping and litter, the vacant lots and abandoned houses — this is what many of us wake up to and see every single day. The question we must ask is why some people live in clean, well maintained and greenery filled spaces while others live in polluted and violence ridden places that look straight out of a horror movie. …


Image for post
Image for post
Clockwise from left: Images of trangender people murdered in 2019; colorized photo of a gay man imprisoned in Auschwitz; homophobic church sign; aftermath of violent attack on two lesbian women in England

Hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people are at their highest levels in over a decade, with dozens of trans people murdered in the U.S. in 2019 alone. Not coincidentally, right wing fascists are consolidating power across multiple continents, led by vile homophobic and transphobic figures like Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro. Society is however changing whether some people like it or not — less than 50% of U.S. teens now identify as straight.

Considering the very real threats and the shifting social landscape, LGBTQ+ people’s right to exist and thrive should be a year round topic of conversation and not only confined to the ghetto of “Pride month.” Understandably, most are so grateful for the limited rights we do have that we never stop to ask exactly why acceptance and equal rights have been so elusive and slow to materialize. Who benefits from the suppression of sexual and gender diversity, and why has it been so difficult for those in our society who exist outside of the norm to even live let alone thrive? …


Image for post
Image for post
Peter Lombard’s 1166 CE Commentary on the Psalms, one of the earliest examples of blatant antisemitism in western art

Some years ago I published a series of podcasts entitled ‘Treyvon Martin and Civilized Racism,’ and ‘Civilized Racism Pt. 2' with Layla AbdelRahim, a Canadian anthropologist, theorist and scholar. Our discussion was an exploration of how society’s institutions enable and perpetuate racism and systems of racial privilege. Although there are some major differences, antisemitism exists on the same continuum as racism and can be deconstructed using similar methodologies. This essay is meant to be a counterpart to the discussion about civilized racism, and a challenge to think about antisemitism (and by extension all forms of oppression) in a new way.

Antisemitism reveals beyond a shadow of a doubt the structural weaknesses and moral bankruptcy of western society’s institutions. …

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store