By Ernesto Saavedra
In Native American/Indigenous communities, there exists this deep sense of living and thinking holistically. Everything is connected to everything in one way or another. We humans are no more important than a river tree blowing in the breeze, to the bee resting on its leaves. Thus, everything that we do in our lives has an impact. Its effects coming almost immediately and or taking generations to blossom. Unfortunately, this wisdom seems to have gotten lost.
It seems to have gotten lost in the genocidal remains left behind by Manifest Destiny. In the roots of trees growing strange fruit Billie Holiday so eloquently sung about. In the tears of a Palestinian mother holding pieces of her child just hit by an Israeli missile made in the United States. Lost in the young boy from El Salvador migrating alone to the country responsible for the violence and poverty he is fleeing, only to find that he is not welcomed there either.
The summer is hot, and places like Fresno are in a drought. Still, the seeds of colonialism, imperialism and White supremacy contiuue to grow, uncontrollably at times. These seeds don’t give life. Similar to genetically modified corn, they destroy everything in their path and suck up all the resources. The soil in which they grow is polluted, as are the animals, including us, that eat it. It simply just isn’t natural and it’s natural to react.
When someone picks up a gun, rock or slingshot to defend themselves and their family, I don’t get upset. When someone burns the flag of imperialist countries, the U.S. flag being the most popular to light up, I don’t get upset. When someone breaks the window to a corporate store during a march, causes damage to police property, or steals diapers and other basic necessities because they are poor, I don’t get upset. It’s the result of things coming full circle, and I welcome it. These are acts of self-defense.
Now, I’m not condoning the rockets being launched and hurting innocent Israeli people, there will always be two sides of the story. However, when you have the state of Israel bombing and raiding homes and hospitals, as a person of conscience and coming from an oppressed people, I can’t help but empathize with the Palestinian people. Their struggle is my struggle.
The make-up of our views sprout as a result of our lived experiences, and what we see, read, and hear. This is where the media can be a very powerful tool that, like Malcolm X once said can “…make the innocent guilty and the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”
If you watch, read and listen to corporate-run media, you would think the state of Israel and the United States are the victims. They defend themselves against young children crossing their borders looking for refuge. Against Palestinian boys playing soccer on the beach. As a result, the Community Alliance seeks to take our media back and report on stories from the perspective of those marginalized. Those that probably wouldn’t be heard otherwise.
Supporting alternative, progressive media like the Community Alliance is an act of defiance. I recognize that it’s not everything, but you are choosing to go against the grain. To say “f**k Fox news! Bunch of liars!” Cheers to all of you who have supported us either through donating, advertising, taking pictures and writing for the paper.
Remember that we are all connected, and what we do today will affect generations to come. I might not see the change I wish to see in my lifetime, but while here, I’m going to work on getting closer to it. In the words of Black Panther Fred Hampton, “You can kill the revolutionary, but you can’t kill the revolution!”
Hope this paper inspires you to think outside the box, learn and revolt.