Vic Mensa has been outspoken on subjects such as institutional racism and the sensational coverage of violence in his native Chicago. He recently translated that candor into an essay written in the first person for Time magazine, addressing what he called “the treacherous denial of human rights to the Palestinian people living under occupation.”
While writing for Time, Vic shared a series of anecdotes from his 2017 trip to Palestine organized by the activist organization Dream Defenders.
“Walking the ancient streets of the Old City, I watched a Palestinian boy thrown against the wall and frisked by Israeli soldiers in full military gear, carrying assault rifles with their fingers ever present on the trigger,” Mensa wrote. “Our guide tells us he’s likely been accused of throwing stones, a crime punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison. Take a moment to process that.”
Vic pointed out that he is not anti-Semitic and does not want his views to be characterized as “an attack on people of the Jewish faith.” He also pointed to parallels between Palestinian citizens and those in Flint, Michigan and other American cities as it related to lacking basic necessities such as clean water.
“The parallels between the black American experience and the Palestinian experience are overwhelming,” Vic added.
Most trace the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine back to the 1948 War or the Arab-Israeli War. Protracted conflicts in 1967, 1973, and 2005 have led to increased opinions that the region won’t see peace in the near future, and made total comprehension of the conflict progressively more difficult.
As Vic Mensa noted, he is not “familiar with every nuance of the longstanding turmoil” between the two nations. But you can get his unique perspective on the situation by checking out his full essay via Time.