It’s More Than Just Protests for Palestine, It is Existential Hope for the World

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

Nobody wants to know how the sausage is made. We don’t really want to know how America came to be in its current form—to the extent that some states have openly tried to ban essential accurate history from being taught.

Americans have been told that Israel is their only true ally in that region of the world. But nobody wants to know how that situation came to be, not to mention it isn’t even accurate and anyway, with friends like that……

It’s comforting to think in simplistic terms, to avoid confronting the ugliness of history and actively opposing that same unhinged supremacy that created this world that we currently live in. A world of massive inequality, increasing existential threat, and a misery index on the rise. To bring about something radically different for humankind would be to address the violence inherent to settler colonialism and, in a clear-eyed manner, address the very much ongoing philosophy that the deranged ruling elite have decided is worth continuing at the cost of the vast majority of humanity.

The young on our campuses are exhibiting bravery beyond compare. They have been strong enough to look into social media and instead of following and repeating knee-jerk red tribe/blue tribe memes, they have used it to watch the lives of others with incredible clarity. They have used the technology at hand to connect with empathy to individuals half a world away. The very best use of technology, and most likely why they want TikTok to be banished since that has been an effective medium for this type of sharing. The  oung have used common sense to understand that they are witnessing an ongoing genocide taking place in our time as well. They have learned history and for many Jewish protesters instead of learning it as a “never us again”, they learned it as a “never again”–the distinction that means everything. The bravery those protesters are showing is next level, to be called antisemitic as a Jewish person must be a mindfuck of the first order.

The tools of the colonists are many and varied, hywith pocrisy, violence and gaslighting being the supreme triad. The students are wise however, more wise than the old and rusting regime of colonialism and perversion that those in power want to go on forever (or at least until they kill us all off with their depravity).

Hypocrisy comes in the notion that a settler taking over another human’s home is just natural and right and that person who occupied it previously is to quietly and nonviolently go away or more preferably die. Property rights are paramount in the rhetoric, but ultimate property rights exist only for the few and for those who facilitate the industrial complex they represent. The notion that Great Britain could step in and give some of Texas to a random group for an essentially racist reason (as in put ’em over there we don’t want ’em here) and that those same Texans would be displaced and murdered should they be a little ticked off about it…..and then have the entire world gaslight them and perform a massive guilt transference (as in– Germany did the holocaust, but let’s push that antisemitism onto the Palestinians)–well it all starts sounding insane. It sounds that way because it is. But more and more of the youth are understanding the baffling nonsense of this and that clear-eyed understanding is what it will take to change the world.

Often people can’t conceptualize the difficulty others face in their lives without having it put in terms they understand. It’s a terrible limitation most people have. This would be like men who can’t fathom protecting women’s rights until they realize “well I have a daughter so this isn’t okay.” They can’t feel strongly about a situation unless it is their own life being attacked or if the situation can have effects on people close to them. Another broad example would be something along the lines of not being against the war in Vietnam back in those days until you had your draft card come up. I’d say it’s the most enormous and troubling aspect of the human psyche that it takes an immediate threat to change a belief system. The enormous issue is that our deranged rulers are functioning at a global level at this time. In times past the horror was definitely there, but even the heights of Empire in terms of Rome, Great Britain, Spain….there was no existential threat to all humans in the world from their behavior. Now there most certainly is.

The consciousness of the majority has to enlarge in a similar manner or that discord will be the end of us. You can’t have only personal and up close morality on a planet that now has technological capabilities to murder so many from afar. So often our leaders aim for short-sighted  profit over having a life sustaining planet. The irony inherent is that if you don’t care about others far away, eventually this will come to your doorstep and then it’s probably too late to stop.

This is why the young who are protesting give off such hope. For many of these protesters, this is not an issue that will hit them directly any time soon (well maybe in terms of our nation sending so many funds that way it does, but in the more direct sense, it doesn’t change their day to day). Yet these brave young people are risking it all for others. In short, they have broadened their empathy and consciousness to the full extent that technology has allowed. They care about others far away as they care about those close to them. This is what will be required if this world of humans has a chance to continue. You can’t have global and instantaneous destruction possible paired with a care only for yourself or your family. This is what comes from such a discord in technological advancement paired with no true broadening of care for our other companions on this short life journey. Wouldn’t we scoff at someone who lived 6,000 years ago making a distinction that they were in the “Green Valley Subtribe A”, led by Konner with a K, not an idiot 3 miles away in the “River Path Subtribe G” led by Jim-Who-Whines. Why, those monsters over there don’t even know how to make pottery with geometric shapes. They deserve to die, says Konner.

The thing is, we do have the capacity to rise above it and care about others in far-flung regions, but our society makes not caring the norm. This successfully steals the oxygen needed to allow more individuals to relate to the world in a more kind manner. A greenhouse full of toxic gas won’t thrive. We are a nature/nurture creation (I’d say much more heavy on nurture) and when all of our nurture has been that of a normalization of violence, then it’s not a shock when the culture is violent. But at some point that normalization needs to end, and these students are very much a part of that change. It’s heartening that these young, technologically adept individuals are in some manner connecting to the more egalitarian ethos that seems to have been more prevalent in “primitive” society of the past. Sometimes the world is cyclic, not linear. We require the kind of thinking that considers what decisions will look like multiple generations forward. Certainly not the kind of decision making we see in our world leaders who are doing a good job if they can read a teleprompter, not shit in court, and can keep from having any blackmail tapes released.

Those of us who are older need to be the best allies we can be, to shame those in our age groups who simply don’t care or actively oppose the students–we need to assist in any way possible. In short, we need to not be a tool of a rotting Empire and a hindrance to a better future. We have been part of the violence nurturing culture and we need to very much be a part of its unraveling.

Kathleen Wallace writes out of the US Midwest. Her writing is collected on her Substack page.