The American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine (AFRP), the largest Palestinian American organization in the U.S., stands in solidarity with those who seek justice, fight racism and xenophobia, and promote human and civil rights for all.
Like many others around the world, we were horrified by the killing of George Floyd who, while being constrained and handcuffed, died while begging his tormentor to allow him to breath. The image of the police officer who pressed his knee onto Mr. Floyd’s neck and the other officers not intervening, complicit in their attitude, shows complete disregard for human life. It’s reminiscent of injustices Palestinian people endure daily under Israeli military occupation.
The death of George Floyd is not an isolated incident; it further exposes widespread prejudice against Black Americans and other groups in our society. As Americans, we reject the oppression and suppression of other Americans. We reject any militarization of our police departments and believe the role of police departments is to serve and protect, not to racially profile. The notion of keeping peace by using force is destructive and counterproductive. It’s equally distressing that some law enforcement agencies racially profile citizens, use militaristic tactics and choose to use their increasing budgets for foreign security training.
As proud Palestinian Americans, we are guided by the ideals of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence which states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
It’s time we all shed our past and present sins and help build a country that celebrates diversity and inclusiveness. It is our duty as a community to contribute to racial justice and understanding by educating ourselves and our members. Our values and our actions must embrace equality and justice for all.
Let us not forget Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and the countless others who needlessly died at the hands of their perpetrators. We’re doing our part to stop racism and we hope the greater American public will do the same.