Several activists and organizations have recently pulled out of this year’s Creating Change conference over concerns of pinkwashing when the conference included an Israeli organization called A Wider Bridge. The organization TarabNYC started the #CancelPinkwashing campaign to seek accountability from the conference and to oppose the pinkwashing done by the Israeli government and related organizations (like A Wider Bridge). TarabNYC released a statement and several demands on this ongoing issue and have the support of other organizations and collectives like Black Lives Matter: Chicago, the poetry duo Dark Matter, Dean Spade, and the US Palestinian Community Network.
— DarkMatter (@DarkMatterPoets) January 22, 2016
In one of its recent statements, TarabNYC also describes pinkwashing, saying that it is:
… an explicit strategy that the state of Israel and Israeli advocacy organizations engage in to try to improve Israel’s image which has been tarnished by its global reputation for ethnic cleansing and apartheid. By shifting the focus to a very narrow definition of LGBT rights (exclusive, of course, of queer Palestinians), these Pinkwashing efforts normalize the occupation of Palestinian land by distracting from the violent, inhumane actions of the Israeli settler state.
— dean spade (@deanspade) January 22, 2016
There’s so much that goes into this situation that’s more than just the conference but I support #cancelpinkwashing and the work done by many like TarabNYC. And I support everyone who have also called out the conference’s decision to also invite Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) representatives for a caucus because creating a safe space for all should not also include the exact people doing the oppressing.
To learn and understand more about pinkwashing:
- There is a documentary called Pinkwashing Exposed: Seattle Fights Back
- Stefanie Fox recently wrote an article called ‘In Praise of Discomfort: Learning from Dr. King and Confronting Pinkwashing’,
- And there is an online hub called Pinkwatching Israel, which is a queer powered BDS movement