Amy Hunter Talks on Race and Palestine

12 Dec

Amy Hunter, who is now the manager of diversity and inclusion at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, spoke on Friday, Dec. 9, at the Christ Lutheran Church in Long Beach, on the similarities between racism in the U.S. and Palestine to more than 20 people.

People for Palestinian-Israeli Justice hosted Hunter’s talk.  Jewish Voice for Peace-LA and the Long Beach Area Peace Network co-hosted.

Dennis Korteuer, who is a Professor Emeritus from Cal State University, introduced Hunter.  In part, he said, “Hunter’s been seen on CNN, ABC, NBC, PBS, and interviewed by NPR and a host of print media publications.  She has published works and has presented on issues of race and social justice throughout the United States and globally.”

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He ended his introduction by quoting Hunter: “My lens is truth and liberation. My stance was a bit calmer before going to Palestine and now my sense of urgency has heightened.  With my travel to Palestine, there were so many similarities to what I had participated and witnessed in Ferguson.”

Near the beginning of her talk, Hunter admitted she uses Critical Race Theory, which Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab defines as “a theoretical and interpretive mode that examines the appearance of race and racism across dominant cultural modes of expression,” as a way to understand the history of property rights.

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She then explained the racist connections she saw between the United States and Palestine.  She said, “When I went to Palestine, of course, those things resonated…. This is America, with native-American people and the stealing their land and so it wasn’t hard to make the connection.  The over-policing of black bodies looked like the over-policing of Palestinians, while I was in Palestine and the conversations were very similar.  And so not only is it important to recognize what colonization in the country looks like, but globally what looks like to really inspire a global movement to decolonize.”

She soon defined what she meant by decolonization, when she said, “(It) will have to look like something different and if you’ve never belonged to community, it’s really hard to talk about community building, but ultimately … that’s what solidarity will look like between blacks and Palestinians … because the similarity between the communities are so very the same.”

Near the end of her talk, she said, “I would like to see a different world for my children, for all children and that’s why I do this work…. I’m pretty intentional to say what liberation looks like, what free looks like.  I’m really … clear that I’m not free until they’re free.”

Hunter’s Lucky Zip Codes TED talk may be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g36ijwr3wc8.

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