Critical Race Perspective On Orientalism Tuesday Night @ CUNY Law

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Recent events — the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris, the arrest of a 13-year-old Muslim for bringing a clock to school, the ongoing wars in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and the resulting refugee crises — prompt us to consider how Western biases and perceptions of the MENA region affect conflict, shape foreign policy, and operate in individual client work (legal, activist, etc.).

The United States and Europe have recently intensified their complicity in oppressing the MENA region; we bear frequent witness to the corresponding prejudice against Muslims and diasporic MENA individuals. Queer activists must therefore pay close attention to the heteronormative, patriarchal language and imagery used by the West to frame its “Other”. Imperialism, racism, exotification and eroticization affect all interactions of Western human rights activists, NGOs, and lawyers with MENA people. Join us as we explore these issues from a queer and human rights perspective.

 



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#CancelPinkwashing: No Room For Pinkwashing at Creating Change

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We know that military occupation, ethnic cleansing, racism, and colonialism are incompatible with queer liberation and with fundamental human rights.

That’s why we’re disappointed that the National LGBTQ Task Force allowed the organization “A Wider Bridge” to host a reception on “LGBT Life in Israel” at the Creating Change conference.  The Task Force has since cancelled the event thanks to the advocacy of solidarity activists. A Wider Bridge partners with the Israeli Consulate and the right wing Israel advocacy organization Stand With Us to put on pinkwashing events that are boycotted and protested by queer and trans activists across the United States. We understand this (now cancelled) reception to be part of a broader Zionist political strategy to “pinkwash” Israel’s complicity in violating Palestinian human rights.

Pinkwashing is an explicit strategy that the state of Israel and Israeli advocacy organizations engage in to try to improve Israel’s image which has been tarnished by its global reputation for ethnic cleansing and apartheid. By shifting the focus to a very narrow definition of LGBT rights (exclusive, of course, of queer Palestinians), these Pinkwashing efforts normalize the occupation of Palestinian land by distracting from the violent, inhumane actions of the Israeli settler state.

We condemn any efforts to discuss “LGBT Life in Israel” that cultivates pinkwashing propaganda and does not center the decolonization of Palestine. After bold advocacy by migrant justice activists and organizations, Creating Change pulled ICE off the program and apologized for offering space to a force of brutal violence in queer and trans lives. Immigration enforcement should not be pinkwashed at Creating Change, and neither should Israeli occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

In seeking accountability from the Creating Change conference and the National LGBTQ Task Force, we demand that:

  1. The Creating Change conference release a public statement attesting to why the reception hosted by A Wider Bridge was cancelled (specifically, as a move to counter pinkwashing and Zionist efforts in solidarity with the Palestinian people).
  2. The Creating Change conference commit to opposing future efforts that promote Zionism and pinkwashing of the illegal occupation of Palestine–whether those efforts appear in workshops, caucuses, plenaries, organizational sponsorships, and more.
  3. The National LGBTQ Task Force publicly endorse the Palestinian right of return and the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Opposing racism, colonialism and ethnic cleansing is central to queer and trans liberation.

Just as we cannot make space for ICE to be promoted at Creating Change, we must oppose Creating Change being a platform for Israel advocacy organizations that seek to cover up the brutality of the occupation. We call upon all who are committed to justice and in solidarity with Palestinian people to join us in demanding accountability from the Task Force and a clear message that Creating Change is not a space for pinkwashing.

Signed,

Tarab NYC
Darkmatter
alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society
Aswat – Palestinian Gay Women
Jewish Voice For Peace
MASGD (Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity)
Gay Liberation Network
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid Seattle
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid New York
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid Vancouver
Q-Pen
Hampton Institute
Queer Detainee Empowerment Project
Z Collective
Trans Student Educational Resources
Southerners On New Ground (SONG)
Queers Against Israeli Pinkwashing

Contact Tarab@TarabNYC.org, Bashar.Makhay@gmail.com or message us via facebook to add your endorsement. Most recent updates can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/170607083302401/

Starting off with a busy 2016!

Hey everyone! January will be a busy month for Tarab NYC starting with mixer to celebrate the start of 2016 on January 11th. Followed by an event at CUNY Law School discussing Critical Race Perspective on Orientalism. Then we are off to Chicago for the Creating Change Conference to host the Queer MENA Caucus and present our Critical Race Perspective on Orientalism workshop. NYC friends, we can’t wait to see you and Chicago friends, message us, lets collaborate!

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In NYC @ Henrietta Hudson – January 11th

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In NYC @ CUNY Law – January 19th  / In Chicago @ Creating Change January 23rd

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In Chicago @ Creating Change January 22nd

Ugly Sweater Potluck: A Queer POC Holiday Gathering

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Come celebrate the season with old friends and new this Saturday! GAPIMNY, Q-WAVE, SALGA-NYC, and Tarab NYC are joining forces on December 19th to throw a fantastically fun holiday potluck, full of tacky holiday sweaters and tasty treats! (And in our own private lounge no less!)

When: Saturday, December 19, 2015, 4-7pm
Where: SNAFU Bar and Lounge, 127 E. 47th St (between 3rd and Lex Aves)
Cost: Free!
FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/872883832809412/

If you’re able to, please bring any savory or sweet snack/food item to share. If you’re not able to, come anyway! There’ll be happy hour drink specials, beautiful LGBTQIAGNC folks and allies, and games galore.

We’ll be playing a gift exchange White Elephant game, so if you’d like just bring a regiftable/slightly used/funny/odd/indescribable present (that is wrapped or in a bag) to play along!

We’ll also be gladly collecting donations all night for the Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBTQ youth in NYC. They’re especially in need of new winter gear (hats, gloves, and scarves), new socks, school supplies (notebooks, markers, etc.), and candy. We also accept $$ for the kids. 🙂

See you this Saturday!