Hold them accountable: Rupi Kaur slams ‘Biden administration’ | The Express Tribune


After facing immense backlash for claiming that one post won’t make a difference, Selena Gomez’s makeup brand’s Instagram page took to share a post that shed light on what they claim is a “humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” Rare Beauty’s Instagram issued an official notice, sharing their intent to help out.

“We are devastated by the images and reports coming from the Middle East,” read the statement. “Thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians have been killed in Israeli airstrikes and millions of civilians have been displaced and left without access to food, water, medicine, or basic necessities for survival. A large number of these victims are children. Palestinian civilians must be protected, period.”

It continued to state, “We remain heartbroken by the horrible terror attack against innocent civilians in Israel on October 7th, many of them also children. There is no situation where attacks on civilians are acceptable. We strongly denounce any and all forms of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. We urge everyone to support humanitarian organizations working tirelessly to provide aid and relief to those in need. Every bit of help can make a difference.”

It went on to say, “Rare Beauty will be making donations to the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies – Magen David Adom, and Palestinian Red Crescent Society – who are providing urgent care on the ground. We will also be donating to UNICEF to help get urgent medical relief and resources to the children of Gaza. The DNA of our company is rooted in inclusivity. Our company is diverse and employs individuals from various backgrounds including race, creed, sexuality, gender identity, & religion – many of whom have been directly impacted by the recent violence.”

The brand said further, “We also recognize that our community is made up of many people from different backgrounds who are also affected by the recent violence, so we ask that everyone please treat each other with kindness and compassion during these times. As a company that aims to reduce the stigma associated with mental health, we understand that in these particularly trying global circumstances, everyone’s mental health is suffering. We encourage you to reach out if you need help. If you are in the United States and need suicide or mental health-related crisis support, or are worried about someone else, please call or text 988. Your call will be directed to a local mental health crisis centre. If you are located internationally, please visit findahelpline.com for a global list of helplines, hotlines, and crisis lines that can support you.”

However, one X user pointed out how Gomez was still “both siding” the situation, especially given that Magen David Adom is Israel’s National Emergency Pre-Hospital Medical and Blood Services Organization. “She’s donating to Magen David Adom who support the IDF and the killing of Palestinian kids,” said the user of the site formerly known as Twitter. “This is a ‘both sides’ post. Why are you donating to MDA which is literally supporting the IDF? Supporting both sides is not activism.”

On the other hand, Huda Beauty showrunner Huda Kattan, took to her and her brand’s page to share a post with text that read, “It’s been a month of immense suffering in Gaza, and unfortunately things are getting worse. It’s important that we always stand on the side of the oppressed and use our platforms to shed light on any injustice. We cannot stand by and pretend like this is not happening. Our Huda Beauty brands, including Huda Beauty, Kayali and WISHFUL, will be donating $1 million to humanitarian organizations in Gaza. This is only because of you that we are able to make this donation, so thank you for your support. Together, we can bring change.”

In the caption, the statement read, “One month has gone by and we’re still seeing tremendous suffering in Gaza. We’re committed to helping in any way we can. Due to the current blockade and humanitarian challenges, it has been incredibly difficult to find ways for aid to enter Gaza, but we are committed to finding a way to reach people there. We will be sharing organizations we are partnering with who are on the ground providing support and who we are partnering with.”

Rupi Kaur, known for her poetry, also penned a lengthy note of support for Palestine, speaking up against complicit powers. Taking to X, she shared, “A few days ago, I received an invite from the Biden administration for a Diwali event being held by the VP on Nov 8 2023. I’m surprised this administration finds it acceptable to celebrate Diwali, when their support of the current atrocities against Palestinians represents the exact opposite of what this holiday means to many of us. Diwali is celebrated by people of South Asian heritage worldwide. In the Hindu and Jain traditions, Diwali is the celebration of righteousness over falsehood and knowledge over ignorance.”

She continued, “In the Sikh tradition, during the time of Diwali, our sixth guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, helped free 52 fellow political prisoners from unjust imprisonment. We call this day Bandi Chhor Divas. I have always used this day to reflect on what it means to fight for freedom against oppression. Today, the American government is not only funding the bombardment of Gaza, they continue to justify this genocide against Palestinians, regardless of how many refugee camps, health facilities, and places of worship are blown to bits.”

Kaur stated further, “They reject the call for a humanitarian ceasefire – a baseline action being demanded by the United Nations, organizations like Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross, and a majority of countries. Over 10,000 Palestinians have been killed. The UN says 70% of the dead are women and children. We have seen Israel use white phosphorus bombs, which Amnesty International says must be investigated as a war crime. We’ve seen footage on CNN of Israeli settlers kicking out and occupying the homes of Palestinians in the West Bank.”

She further implored her “South Asian community to hold this administration accountable.” She said, “As a Sikh woman, I will not allow my likeness to be used in whitewashing this administration’s actions. I refuse any invitation from an institution that supports the collective punishment of a trapped civilian population – 50% of whom are children.”

She went on to state, “As a community, we cannot remain silent or agreeable just to get a seat at the table. It comes at too high a cost to human life. Many of my contemporaries have told me in private that what’s happening in Gaza is awful, but they aren’t going to risk their livelihood or ‘a chance at creating change from the inside’. There is no magical change that will happen from being on the inside. We must be brave. We must not be tokenized by their photo-ops. The privilege we lose from speaking up is nothing compared to what Palestinians lose each day because this administration rejects a ceasefire. When a government’s actions dehumanize people anywhere in the world, it is our moral imperative to call for justice. Do not be afraid. Stand with the world and demand a humanitarian ceasefire. Many voices will join you when you speak. Let us sign petitions. Attend protests. Boycott. Call our reps and say – stop the genocide.”

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