Letter: With a free Barbados, free Palestine

letter to the editor

And there we have it! As we celebrate one day of The Barbados Republic, I challenge the Zionist movement to reconsider the violence of borders. Border violence, especially militancy backed up by the US, reminds us that colonialism is still amongst us and within every powerful room. Violence is not the only way to lobby and organize for any struggling people; there is always another option. Resistance is colonial vengeance, and we certainly can differentiate them by looking at the roots.

Did you know that the Zionist movement once contemplated establishing their Jewish homeland in Kenya? Contrastingly, former Ugandan President Idi Amin weaponized nationalist violence against Asians in Uganda to maintain the state of (Black) Uganda during the first years of independence. This shows how anyone can use empire tactics. We need to be keen to question and call out colonial violence everywhere, including anti-rainbow sentiments. By acknowledging that the beginning of nations is not the end of the colonial struggle, the Palestinian conflict can benefit from perspectives that center life, and radical imaginations that reject traditional binaries of oppression.

Nothing is new under the sun, and everything has truly been done except the revolutionary. If we can learn anything from the daily struggle of formerly colonized peoples including Barbados, immigrants, refugees, rainbow folks and all the lives we've lost to colonialism, may we learn to value every life and that it's time to imagine territories integrated on values that include difference. 

To this end, Duke University should continue to foster and support Indigenous affinity groups. I am especially proud of our Freeman Center for Jewish Life (which also has bomb dinners), Amandla Chorus (the first to teach African languages on campus), the Duke CSGD, the CMA, the Wekit, the Duke Center for Muslim Life, the Duke Mitchell-White House and especially the Mary Lou Williams Center (the home of soul). Students need to continue advocating for equity and challenge everyday colonialism by calling it out.

Nations are always coming up, and propositions for new territories, for example the East Africa Community. Looking at Barbados, we can decide what kind of nations we will build. It is time for the new generation to outdo its predecessor. It is upon our generation to change the world for the better, and it starts with you who are reading this. Difference should not only cause strife, ya feel?

James Mbuthia Ndung'u is a Trinity senior. 


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