The Price of No

A pro-Palestine rally in Brooklyn, New York, on October 28, 2023; a hand-lettered sign reads "Stop the Genocide"
Image: ishmael daro from New York [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

by Hafizah Geter

“Because our status quo is self-expression, sometimes the most effective mode of protest for artists is to refuse.” These were the words of former New York Times poetry editor Anne Boyer, who resigned in protest of the paper’s biased coverage against Palestinians last November.

Refusal is the conversation of the moment for those who, like me, are privileged to live in the relative safety of the Western world, and without the experience of war. In the U.S., the privileged are currently absorbed by the question of whether, at the risk of a second Trump election, we can afford not to vote for a Democrat—even if the Democrat in question is co-architecting a genocide.

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