This past Saturday, the 20th Anniversary of the attacks on the US on September 11th, 2001, Jacob Bender spoke at the official Philadelphia memorial service for the First Responders — 343 NYC firefighters and paramedics, 23 NYC police officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers.
Under a blistering sun, I joined nearly 100 activists and religious leaders from the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities who had gathered yesterday on the steps of the Montgomery County Court House to voice support for Sanaa Beaufort, an African American Muslim student at North Penn High School in Montgomery County.
Slavery made this nation rich. At its height, slavery was a $3 billion-plus industry and a major engine of the U.S. economy. Industries throughout the states both supported, and were supported by, slavery. By 1850, 80% of American exports were the product of slave labor. The estimated value of enslaved people increased 500% between 1790 and 1860, from $200 million to around $3.059 billion.
I was on the way home from school when I heard on the radio about the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis. Walking into our family home, I found my father sitting in front of the television, watching news of the assassination, his body already racked by the spreading cancer that would kill him exactly one year later. He was crying. It was the only time I ever saw my father cry.
At the age of 95, Dr. Anis Al-Qasem returned to God in Alicante, Spain, surrounded by his wife Amal and their children. The Palestinian community around the world and its political, legal, and social leaders and institutions mourned his death, as did much of the Arab media.
The real threat to American democracy was on full display yesterday, as it is woven into the very fabric of this nation by the “peculiar institution” of chattel slavery and buttressed and justified by the ideology of white supremacy.