Video: Checkpoint By Jasiri X

28 January 2914 — Mondoweiss

From Ferrari Sheppard’s website Stop Being Famous:

Up-and-coming Pittsburgh Emcee Jasiri X releases “Checkpoint,” a chilling music video documenting his experience visiting Palestine in 2014. The video features footage Jasiri himself captured of Israeli soldiers, as well as newsreel clips of IDF brutality against Palestinians and internationals. Watch closely, Ferrari Sheppard of Stop Being Famous has cameo in this powerful video.

Share and Enjoy.

And here are the lyrics:


Journal of the hard times tales from the dark side

Evidence of the settlements on my hard drive

Man I swear my heart died at the end of that car ride

When I saw that checkpoint welcome to apartheid

Soldiers wear military green at the checkpoint

Automatic guns that’s machine at the checkpoint

Tavors not m16s at the checkpoint

Fingers on the trigger you’ll get leaned at the checkpoint

Little children grown adults or teens at the checkpoint

All ya papers better be clean at the checkpoint

You gotta but your finger on the screen at the checkpoint

And pray that red light turns green at the check point


If Martin Luther King had a dream of the checkpoint

He wake with loud screams from the scenes at the checkpoint

It’s Malcolm X by any means at the check point

Imagine if you daily routine was the checkpoint


Separation walls that’s surrounding the checkpoint

On top is barbwire like a crown on the checkpoint

Better have ya permits if your found at the checkpoint

Gunmen on the tower aiming down at the checkpoint

The idea is to keep you in fear of the checkpoint

You enter through the cage in the rear of the checkpoint

It feels like prison on a tier at the check point

I’d rather be anywhere but here at this checkpoint

Nelson Mandela wasn’t blind to the check point

He stood for free Palestine not a check point

Support BDS don’t give a dime to the checkpoint

This is international crime at the checkpoint

Arabs get treated like dogs at the checkpoint

Cause discrimination is the law at the checkpoint

Criminalized without a cause at the checkpoint

I’m just telling you what I saw at the checkpoint

Soldiers got bad attitudes at the checkpoint

Condescending and real rude at the checkpoint

Don’t look em in they eyes when they move at the checkpoint

They might strip a man or woman nude at the checkpoint

Soldiers might blow you out of ya shoes at the checkpoint

Gas you up and then light the fuse at the checkpoint

Everyday you stand to be accused at the checkpoint

Each time your life you could lose at the checkpoint


If Martin Luther King had a dream of the checkpoint

He wake with loud screams from the scenes at the checkpoint

It’s Malcolm X by any means at the check point

Imagine if you daily routine was the checkpoint


At the airport in Tel Aviv is a checkpoint

They pulled over our taxi at the checkpoint

Passport visa ID at the checkpoint

Soldiers going all through my things at the checkpoint

Said I was high risk security at the checkpoint

Because of the oppression I see at the checkpoint

Occupation in the 3rd degree at the checkpoint

All a nigga wanna do is leave fuck a checkpoint

Sheppard and Jasiri X were traveling together in Israel/Palestine on a delegation organized by the Carter Center of prominent African-American journalists and artists. You can read more about the trip on Sheppard’s site here, here’s an excerpt:

In Jerusalem, I witnessed great religious and ethnic diversity. I saw Arabs, Asians, Europeans, Africans, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Christians, all scrambling in Old City Jerusalem towards their various destinations. It was postcard worthy.

The variety of cultures in Jerusalem is outstanding. Similar to many societies however, Palestine-Israel presents a polished version of itself to tourists, where 5-star hotels in Tel Aviv and tourist attractions in Jerusalem cloak its brutal realities. The fact remains that our delegation was subject to a type of racism I’ve only experienced in the southern states of the United States of America. Of course, to a Jew or a middle class Palestinian living in Jerusalem or Nazareth, my observations may sound like exaggerations, but for the African migrant sleeping on the ground in South Tel Aviv, or for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, my evaluations are dead on.

The blatant, systemic subjugation and profiling of Arabs was most pronounced when our tour guide, a middle class Palestinian woman, was forced by IDF soldiers to exit our tour van and pass through a checkpoint on foot. As all Palestinians must do, she was told to place her thumb on a scanner to pass through a turn-style at a checkpoint. The members of our delegation were no exception to IDF scrutiny. The light skinned blacks in our delegation were interrogated and asked bluntly if they were Arab, and if not, what the last names of their fathers’ were. Palestinians and progressive Israelis told our delegation story after story of the abuses and degradation they’ve suffered at the hands of Israeli settlers or soldiers, and we witnessed some of this treatment first hand. Along with the rampant home and land confiscation in the West Bank (in which settlers receive state subsidies), agricultural violence is on the rise, as settlers uproot and destroy the olive trees Palestinians rely on for income and nourishment. More sinisterly, public beatings, arrests and shootings are common, particularly in the West Bank. Without charges, a Palestinian can be imprisoned and held for months or years under administrative detention. The same law does not apply to Jewish Israelis. In fact, Israeli citizens can commit a range of crimes against Palestinians with near impunity.

Read the rest of Sheppard’s post “I Traveled to Palestine-Israel And Discovered There is no ‘Palestinian-Israeli Conflict’” here.

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