I died this year and I wish more of you died with me

The politics of genocide in Gaza has killed me and my sense of humour

In Summary

• The resistance against occupation in Palestine makes me think about the Mau Mau

A depressed black woman isolates from white company
A depressed black woman isolates from white company

A friend texted me a meme that read, ‘2023 basically said: “But did you die, though?”’

Usually, I’m a sucker for a good meme, but this time I really couldn’t find anything remotely funny about it. Watching what’s unfolding in Gaza, watching what’s been happening in Sudan and Congo, and finally beginning to understand the politics of how these horrible things are still happening has, unfortunately, killed me and my sense of humour.

I had been running round in circles, looking for purpose and feeling sorry for myself. Now I’m called upon to take my position as a witness to these genocides, and it has grounded me. I never knew what faith was until I watched the people of Gaza embody what it means to live in faithfulness. There is no forgiveness for turning a blind eye now.

I looked at that text for a while, wondering if this was a conversation I wanted to begin with my friend. They have been very silent on Gaza, like many Kenyans, they don’t really see how this is an issue — for them. I try to approach the topic with understanding because maybe it’s my lived experience now that’s influencing my activism.

I currently live in imperialist America, the land where you are truly free under the condition that you are white and have some sort of European descent because let’s face it, the land of the brave and the free is really the occupied land of Native Americans murdered by genocide and pushed to reserves. Sound familiar?

I live in a small town where people like me are always asked, “Well how in the hell did you land in (add name of small town)?” This is often followed by sentiments that are supposed to make you feel like you are lucky to be here. I hate meeting new white people. I have no white friends and I am scared to death of white women.

I’m used to driving and seeing Confederate flags on people’s vehicles, their businesses, their clothing and on some rare occasions, at church. One time someone walked into a restaurant my sister was in with a ‘Proud to be in the KKK’ shirt. Trump 2024, MAGA and Blue Lives Matter posts are everywhere, and my school has had two rallies for the Republican party.

So, it’s pretty safe to assume these people are not surprised I’m here because it’s so far away from Kenya.

When I think about the resistance against occupation in Palestine, I can’t help but think about the Mau Mau fighters in Kenya. I think about the history lessons that told me Kenyan culture before the white man was primitive and backward. I think about how confused our ancestors must have been when these foreign people, with their foreign tongues, their foreign clothes, their foreign ideologies and their foreign cultures, invaded their homes and claimed them as their own.

I think about all the atrocities that were not documented and I think about all the people who died alongside their voices and their experiences. I think about how they would have wanted someone to speak up for them and for them to not stop speaking until their humanity was restored.

What Independence are you celebrating when your President and his corrupt government have failed to solve unemployment and the economic crisis, so they resort to modern-day slavery? After chasing away Palestinian farmers from their lands (I know this story sounds familiar), Ruto has offered 1,500 Kenyans to go work on the fields of stolen land ruled by colonisers. The man has spent hundreds of millions in useless foreign trips that we all know do nothing for us.

All this in the name of God, the father of a Palestinian-born brown man, who you are all getting ready to celebrate.

Colonial occupation should be your business, if only for the sake of the blood that was shed by your ancestors and on the cross for the sins of your imperialist masters and their yes-men, like the man in Kenya’s State House cosplaying as President. Come fight me on Instagram. Free Palestine! Free Congo! Free Sudan!

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