Yesterday’s show on Ujima was devoted entirely to the plight of the Palestinian people. Paulette is away on the far side of the Atlantic again, and she had left me with a prepared show full of guests for me to host.
What she didn’t leave me with was music. Given that the Palestinian situation is very much about state violence, I figured I could start with “Hell You Talmbout”, the protest song written by Janelle Monáe for the Black Lives Matter campaign. The song features Janelle, Jindenna and the whole of the Wondaland crew chanting the names of people of color killed by police in the USA this year.
Naturally, having done that, I had to read the names of the trans women of color killed in the USA this year. To get some idea of why people are so worried, here’s an historical comparison:
- 2010 – 14
- 2011 – 9
- 2012 – 15
- 2013 – 16
- 2014 – 10
- 2015 – 20 to date
Here are their names: Papi Edwards, Lamia Beard, Ty Underwood, Yazmin Vash Payne, Taja Gabrielle DeJesus, Penny Proud, Kristina Grant Infiniti, London Chanel, Mercedes Williamson, Ashton O’Hara, Amber Monroe, India Clarke, K.C. Haggard, Shade Schuler, Kandis Capri, Elisha Walker, Tamara Dominguez, Jasmine Collins, Bri Golec, Mya Hall.
I also wanted to find music by Palestinians. This led me to discover Doc Jazz, who I was very impressed with. Then I found a page of songs about the Palestinian issue, most of which were hip hop. Scanning through I noticed one artist described with gender neutral pronouns, which is how I discovered the wonderful Invincible. That’s another brilliant trans musician I can add to my playlists.
The first hour of the show began with an interview with Ed Hill, a Bristol-based activist who has made several trips to Palestine and knows the situation there well. He did most of the work putting the show together, and his main interest is the forthcoming European Championship soccer match between Wales and Israel which is taking place in Cardiff at the weekend.
Next up I had a chat with Eddy, one of the founders of the Palestinian Museum in Bristol. Thanks to Eddy and Rita, we are fortunate enough to have the first museum in the world dedicated to the Palestinian people. Washington DC has since followed suit, and Amsterdam is now building one.
You can listen to the first hour of the show here.
Ed Hill came back to talk to me at the start of the second hour. Our main topic of conversation was the arms trade, and how British companies profit from the Israeli military operations again Palestine.
Finally I was joined by the Rev. Sue Parfitt and Eddy Knasel. We wanted to make a point that the campaign in support of the Palestinians is not simply a case of Muslim against Jew, as it is often portrayed in the Western media. Many Palestinians are Christians, and many Jews support the Palestinian cause. Sue is an Anglican minister who has just returned from a visit to Palestine where she helped a local Jewish-run peace organization build houses for Palestinians made homeless by the Israeli army. Eddy is a Quaker, and part of an international, multi-denominational Christian organization called Kairos which is dedicated to helping the Palestinians.
Of course I had to end the show with a shout out to Nalo Hopkinson for becoming the first Jamaican writer to be a Guest of Honor at a Worldcon. Well done, Finnish friends.
You can listen to the second hour of the show here.
The full playlist for the show was as follows:
- Hell You Talmbout – Janelle Monáe and the Wondaland Jam Authority
- Rising Tide – Doc Jazz
- No Compromises – Invincible
- Gimme Hope, Joanna – Eddy Grant
- The Lebanon – The Human League
- Lei Lei – Maryam Mursal
- Our House – Madness
- Change is Gonna Come – Otis Redding
My apologies once again to Isaac, my engineer, for screwing up the order of play. Apologies also for the pneumatic drilling that you may be able to hear in the background during the show. There was nothing we could do about that. Hopefully the building work will be done by the time I am back on the air in two weeks time, because I am expecting to interview Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.