Bless My Liberal Heart! : An Open Letter on Force-Fitting My Americanness into the Shape of Dear Israel
To Each Honorable U.S. Senator:
An Act signed into law in Texas is rubbing up hard against my Americanness. When signed, it was proclaimed that, “Any anti-Israel policy is an anti-Texas policy.”
You’re considering passing a Federal law by the same name so that state and local governments across our nation must boycott homegrown companies boycotting Israel (S. 720 – Israel Anti-Boycott Act). For me— as an entrepreneur, a U.S. born citizen and a person of Faith and conscience— this Act feels like a political assault ripe and ready for a #MeToo-type hash tag.
The popular fact-checking site, Snopes, confirms that the Texas law (H.R. 1697 – Israel Anti-Boycott Act) "requires would-be government contractors to sign an oath promising they will not boycott Israel.”
I’m not being asked to compromise my homegrown values; I'm being asked to contradict them.
Dictating the shape of U.S. Americanness through state-sponsored terror is as American as apple pie. Israel is no stranger to the tactic of such coercion with its own human rights violations.
As a contractor consulting on all things Inclusion, I didn’t need a fact check. I recently witnessed the requirement firsthand within a city government RFP (Request for proposals) that has my name and my core competencies all over it. Initially enthusiastic about responding to the RFP, this requirement has given me pause.
Defending Life and Liberty is also quintessentially Apple Pie. Part of my response is voicing my protest in the form of this open letter, highlighting this example of rotten business gone bad as the world experiments and explores solutions within a “glocal” economy and diverse business communities, and inviting your suggestions to the real-time dilemma created for me by this Texas law.
Ironically, to sign the oath would represent failure of an Inclusion-competent code of professional ethics. Requiring my allegiance to the Israel Anti-Boycott Act as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practitioner seems to set the expectation that I facilitate results with an open heart to all people—with the exception of those dissidents whose moral beliefs or business values are improperly aligned with the state. I’m not being asked to compromise my homegrown values; I'm being asked to contradict them.
Sounds like the "pot calling the kettle black." As I’ve observed, our laws have some catching up to do when it comes to reflecting contemporary interpretations of traditional values about which our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and national anthem sing.
The phrase, “bless your heart,” by the way, has special meaning in the South. Like my Ma and her siblings before me, I enjoyed summers in Texas as a girl. In regional culture speak, these words translate to a direct insult. I opt to embrace my bent toward liberal thinkin’—and add a dash of humor to boot!
Malii Watts Carolyn
#BahiaAmawi #RashidaTlaib #Israel #Boycott #BDS #AntiBDS #TheEarthIsOneCountry
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