Aubrey Barnes: Israel and Palestine, Pardon My Boldness.

(Photo provided)

(Stand with Israel Side)
Pardon my Boldness.
I ain’t ever Walk in Yo Shoes.
Ain’t ever Lived under Y’all Roofs.
Ain’t never had to sit through sixty seconds 
That felt like sixty hours,
Anxiously waiting for Family to text back,
Saying that they are Safe.

But I don’t Believe
It’s as Complex as He say it is. 
He Who has Read History, 
but never Heard Stories.
He Who carries non-violence 
in da Same hands that’d Swing back 
If born within Borders.

He Who travels da “Humble” route.
Where You Eat a Punch, and not Dish it back.
Calm that Fire of Rage, battle that urge to Fire back.
Let God fight your Wars, 
even if it take another Seventy-five Years to be Saved.
Even if You turn Nomad to Yo own Land.
Even if They Shot Yo Sister, and Kill’d Yo Dad.
Don’t give Mind Permission to Know Mad.

I don’t Believe
It’s as Complex as He say it is.
Imagine if One day America decided to continue they Crusades,
Press Pueblos wit they Piety and Politics,
Indoctrinate Them wit they sovereignty,
Use Faith to fool folks into thinkin’ We fight for freedom
Just to Force ‘em further outta They Homes.
Rip Family Trees from They Roots;
Whether by Bars. Bullets. Bombs. Brutal Tactics.
Would we not expect da Bully’d to Respond wit Action?

Do we Shame the Daughter who follow’d They Mothers Down South Doctrine
Which Preach’d if Yo enemy strikes Your Face, Bruise they Jaw?
I Know that these parallels are like comparing a cut to crucifixion.
And these Fists that were thrown were da Kind 
That blew up bodies of bystanders upon impact.
I Know that Hurt People have Harm’d and Hurt People,
But ain’t we been taught to fight Fire wit Fire,
Even when We Know everyone will be Burnt in that Battle?
It ain’t bout condoning or condemning da Canvas we Facing,
But understanding that Colonialism is da Artist
And how He’s influenced how Palestine is Painted.
It ain’t as complex as He Brush strokes it.

(Stand with Palestine Side)
But pardon my Boldness.
I ain’t ever Felt Y’all Pain.
Ain’t ever Seen Y’all Sights.
Ain’t never walk’d Streets to grocery store
past Tanks occupying driving lanes,
Anxiety pressing on lungs as they Pass’d
Praying They weren’t Heading to turn Home to Rubble.

But I don’t Believe
It’s as Simple as She say it is.
She who ain’t never visit soil stained in shrapnel.
She who never Studied Language outside of English.
She who ain’t never Carry’d Y’all Cross
Yet Speaks as if a Savior.

I don’t Believe
It’s as Simple as She say it is.
She who simply says cast stones at Civilians, 
Crack cranium of those made guilty of worst sin,
And celebrate every bullet that bloodsheds,
Cheer wit every recoil of Pistol
That *Booms* Brain as barrel bursts kin.

As if da Enemy ain’t analogy to Antagonist.
As if this ain’t a tale of Displaced Peoples 
Put against Displaced Peoples.
As if Bystanders and Babies ain’t Buried under Buildings.
As if Brothers.
Don’t Wail Pains of Grief,
Puddle potholes wit Psalm Twenty-Two Tears
Hitting da Ground Harder than bombs that Break Concrete.

I don’t Believe Her
Cuz She got da Luxury of Listening 
Far enough away where She can 
Curse a Country wit no concern of Crucifixion.
Where Her Protest paved by Privilege
Protects Her from Punishment.
It ain’t as Simple as She say it is.

Simple as her White tears that Pour a Privilege purity.
Giving permission to avoid what’s Real to win Appeal,
That da Answer is to dish back da Hurt and Harm to Heal. 
As if Allah’s Arms of Empathy don’t Stretch over All Middle East Mud.
As if Jesus Pierced Hands ain’t Shed Middle East Blood.

But please, Pardon my Boldness.
I’m only a Smokey Similes to Palestine,
A Murky Metaphor to Israelites.

Which is why I don’t Believe
Our Answer is without Error.

We who duck Simplicity and Complexity.
Opt out by saying Their Opp is not Our Enemy.
We who Resist Seeing a lil bit of Us in Eyes of Middle East.
We who Say They Problems ain’t ‘Black’ Problems.
We whose Heart been so Bankrupt
That We unable to Withdrawal Love
That Covers All Neighbors
Cuz We was taught They was Counterfeit.
A populations of Prodigal Sons,
that came Home and Stole our Thunder,
As if They wasn’t Snatch’d of They Fire.

We was taught They was Thieves from Black Israelites.
They Fought and Protest after Seeing our Brutality on TV Satellites.
One side made murals of slaughtered Men they never Met.
The other side took to Streets in Protest People they never Knew. 
Jews stood arm and arm as allies when we was treated as cancers.
Poems of Palestine gave Black Pride to Black Panthers.
All for us to Turn up Nose and Give Spit as Our Answer.
We ain’t without Error.

But, Pardon my Boldness.
My Audacity to have da Gut to Dare
That we All a lil Wrong.
We All are too Simple.
We All are too Complex.
We All are to with Error
If We Forget that We All have to Walk Together.
That we All have to March Together. 
In a Love that Halts Flames,
And Cease Fires.

Pardon My Boldness.

Any views or opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Watershed Voice staff or its board of directors.