TABACCO: For this Post I am breaking with convention. Normally, I would publish this under my Tabacco byline, not my Wyandanch byline. But Alice Walker is a Black author of great renown, America (including Wyandanch-Wheatley Heights) has a history of Segregation and Discrimination, and I want all those who read my ‘Wyandanch’ blog to have the opportunity to read this.
What Bishop Michael V. Talbert (Baptist) and Nancy Holliday-Watkins (Catholic) do to exploit and subjugate the citizens of Wyandanch & Wheatley Heights, the Israelis do to the citizens of Palestine. There is very little difference between Racial Exploitation and Religious Exploitation. Both Jews and Middle East Muslims are SEMITES! Talbert and Holliday-Watkins have learned these Fine Arts well from their White Christian & Semitic Israeli Teachers!
This time, the ‘Advisory’ will appear on my Tabacco byline!
Democracy Now! on September 28, 2012, broke down the Alice Walker interview into 3-separate categories:
Palestine Conditions “More Brutal” Than in U.S. South of 50 Years Ago, Says Author Alice Walker
Alice Walker on 30th Anniv. of “The Color Purple”: Racism, Violence Against Women Are Global Issues
Alice Walker, who wrote book ‘The Color Purple’
“Democratic Womanism”: Poet and Activist Alice Walker on Women Rising, Obama and the 2012 Election
Today, I republish the 1st category above. If you wish to read or stream one or more of the Alice Walker Interviews, go to the URLs indicated above with my blessings.
Palestine Conditions “More Brutal” Than in U.S. South of 50 Years Ago, Says Author Alice Walker
Friday, September 28, 2012
We continue our conversation with the legendary poet, author and activist, Alice Walker, who has also been a longtime advocate for the rights of Palestinians. Last summer, she was one of the activists on the U.S. ship that attempted to sail to Gaza as part of the Freedom Flotilla aimed at challenging Israel’s embargo of the Gaza Strip. Alice Walker also serves on the jury of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, an international people’s tribunal created in 2009 to bring attention to the responsibility other states bear for Israel’s violations of international law. Walker describes her upbringing in the segregated South, then goes on to discuss today’s segregation in the Occupied Territories. “The unfairness of it is so much like the South. It’s so much like the South of 50 years ago, really, and actually more brutal, because in Palestine so many more people are wounded, shot, shot, killed, imprisoned. You know, there are thousands of Palestinians in prison virtually for no reason,” Walker says. [includes rush transcript]
Alice Walker, award-winning author, poet and activist. Her book The Color Purple was published 30 years ago. It won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction, and was later adapted into a film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, and into a musical of the same name. Her latest book is The Chicken Chronicles, and before that, Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Palestine/Israel. She is set to participate next week in the fourth session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.
- Norman Finkelstein on the Role of BDS & Why Obama Doesn’t Believe His Own Words on Israel-Palestine Jun 04, 2012 | Story
- Norman Finkelstein: Waning Jewish American Support for Israel Boosts Chances for Middle East Peace Jun 04, 2012 | Story
- Noam Chomsky: Palestinian Hunger Strike a Protest Against “Violations of Elementary Human Rights” May 14, 2012 | Story
- Exclusive: Video from Gaza Flotilla as Israeli Navy Prepares to Intercept Boats Nov 04, 2011 | Story
- PHOTOS: Sailing Toward Gaza Aboard the Canadian Boat Tahrir With Freedom Waves Flotilla Nov 02, 2011 | Web Exclusive
- Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Alice Walker, CODEPINK Founder Medea Benjamin in Gaza to Mark International Women’s Day Mar 09, 2009 | Story
- It Takes People on the Outside: Prestigious Author Alice Walker to Confront Israeli Naval Blockade of Gaza on U.S. Aid Ship Jun 28, 2011 | Story
This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution. Donate >
AMYGOODMAN: But you have refused, Alice, to have your book translated into Hebrew for an Israeli publisher. Can you talk about your decision and who the publisher was?
ALICEWALKER: Yes. Well, actually, it was already published there in 19—I don’t know, 80-something. And at that time, there was no cultural boycott of Israel for its apartheid practices and its persecution of the Palestinian people. But now there is a boycott, and so I respect that boycott in the same way that I respected the boycott when there was apartheid in South Africa. And we were contemplating sending the film there, and I lobbied against it.
AMYGOODMAN: Talk about the parallels you make.
ALICEWALKER: Mean apartheid ones? Well, first of all, in Israel and the Occupied Territories, there’s this gigantic wall, which is, I think, the most offensive symbol of the apartheid. It not only segregates the Palestinians from the Israelis, but they also, at the same time, have stolen so much Palestinian land. I mean, they’ve essentially stolen what was all of Palestine. And it’s just horrible to see the treatment of the people. I mean, the checkpoints are dreadful! We went through some of them. And the way the Palestinians are treated is so reminiscent of the way black people were treated in the South when I was growing up. And it’s an intolerable situation. And that our country backs this treatment by standing with Israel through thick and thin is just unbearable.
AMYGOODMAN: I wanted to turn to a clip of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu talking about apartheid, talking about South Africa and talking about Israel.
DESMONDTUTU: Coming from South Africa and going—I mean, and looking at the checkpoints and the arrogance of those young soldiers, probably scared, maybe covering up their apprehension, there’s no way in which I couldn’t say—of course, that is a truth. It reminds me—it reminds me of the kind of experiences that we underwent. I mean, I was bishop of Johannesburg and would be driving from town to Soweto, where we lived, and I would be driving with my wife, and we’d have a roadblock. And the fact of our having to have passes allowing us to move freely in the land of our birth, and now you have that extraordinary structure that—the wall. And I do not, myself, believe that it has improved security, breaking up families, breaking up—I mean, people who used to be able to walk from their homes to school, children, now have to take a detour that lasts several—I mean, it’s—when you humiliate a people to the extent that they are being—and, yes, one remembers the kind of experience we had when we were being humiliated—when you do that, you’re not contributing to your own security.
AMYGOODMAN: Retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Alice Walker, your response?
ALICEWALKER: Well, I’m very happy that Desmond Tutu speaks out on this issue, because so many people are afraid to speak at all. And I think this is very dangerous. I think that wherever there is this kind of oppression, wherever you see people who are being humiliated, it’s our duty as human beings and as citizens of the planet to speak. You know, that’s all we can do: speak, at least.
AMYGOODMAN: You were in Gaza. Our producer Anjali Kamat in 2009 interviewed you while you were there. I want to play a clip of that.
ALICEWALKER: It’s shocking beyond anything I have ever experienced. And it’s actually so horrible that it’s basically unbelievable, even though I’m standing here and I’ve been walking here and I’ve been looking at things here. It still feels like, you know, you could never convince anyone that this is actually what is happening and what has happened to these people and what the Israeli government has done. It will be a very difficult thing for anyone to actually believe in, so it’s totally important that people come to visit and to see for themselves, because the world community, that cares about peace and cares about truth and cares about justice, will have to find a way to deal with this. We cannot let this go as if it’s just OK, especially those of us in the United States who pay for this. You know, I have come here, in part, to see what I’m buying with my tax money.
AMYGOODMAN: That was the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker in Gaza in 2009. Last summer, she was one of the activists on the U.S. ship that attempted to sail to Gaza as part of the Freedom Flotilla aimed at challenging Israel’s embargo of the Gaza Strip. Dubbed The Audacity of Hope after President Obama’s bestselling book, the U.S. ship was stopped by Greek authorities just as it set sail. Alice Walker spoke to Democracy Now! producer, Aaron Maté, from the ship as it was being turned back.
ALICEWALKER: It feels really good to know that the world is watching, that there are people on this earth who care about the people of Gaza so much that we all got out of our houses and into our various cars and planes, and we made it to this boat, and we actually tried to cross the water to get to the people of Gaza, especially to the children, who need to know that the world is here and the world cares and the world sees and a lot of us love them, and we do not agree that they should be brutalized and harmed.
AMYGOODMAN: That was Alice Walker speaking on the Freedom Flotilla. She is now serving on the jury of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, an international people’s tribunal created in 2009 to bring attention to the responsibility other states bear for Israel’s violations of international law. The Russell Tribunal will be holding its fourth international session in New York October 6th. You’re going to be there, Alice Walker.
ALICEWALKER: I will be there. Yes, I will be there with some wonderful people, including Angela Davis, Cynthia McKinney, Mairead Maguire—
AMYGOODMAN: The Nobel Peace Prize winner.
ALICEWALKER: Stéphane Hessel—yes, lots of wonderful—Michael Mansfield, a lot of really good people.
AMYGOODMAN: Noam Chomsky will also be—
ALICEWALKER: Noam Chomsky will be there, Dennis Banks.
AMYGOODMAN: And what will you do?
ALICEWALKER: Well, we will hear testimony about why it is that nothing seems to move. The U.N. makes resolutions, you know, and they’re ignored. And there are so many resolutions. The one that particularly pains my heart is Resolution 194—I think that’s the number—which says to Israel that you cannot keep the Palestinians, who were forced out of their homes—you cannot prevent them from returning to their homes. And I’m such a believer that people need to have a place to live that is theirs, that they should never be run out of their own place. And if they are run out, they should be able to return there. And this, with so many other resolutions, was ignored and has never been addressed. And the United States is complicit, because it backs Israel no matter what. And I think this is corrupting, I think for our young people especially, to see that, you know, justice in this case is just never even thought about.
AMYGOODMAN: You make comparisons to the South. Talk about your growing up and about your family.
ALICEWALKER: Well, my family was a poor farming family, and we lived under absolute segregation. Although, even though, you know, all of the hotels and the motels and the restaurants and the water fountains, all those things were segregated, we didn’t have segregated roads, which you do have in the Occupied Territories, roads that only Jewish settlers can use, and the Palestinians have these little tracks, you know, these little paths, often, you know, obstructed by boulders. And that is how they’re supposed to move around, for the most part. And the unfairness of it is so much like the South. It’s so much like the South of, you know, I don’t know, 50 years ago, really, and actually more brutal, because in Palestine so many more people are wounded, shot, killed, imprisoned. You know, there are thousands of Palestinians in prison virtually for no reason.
AMYGOODMAN: Do you feel like public opinion is changing in the United States?
ALICEWALKER: I feel that public opinion is changing, and I think it’s because people have decided that, you know, we’re all in such danger. We’re all in harm’s way now, and people are awakening to the fact that unless we take care of each other, nobody is safe; there will never be safety.
AMYGOODMAN: Alice Walker, we’re going to break, and then I want to ask you about your thoughts on President Obama, on the election, and I’d like to ask you to read your newest poem. Alice Walker, the award-winning author, poet, activist, is with us for the hour. Stay with us.
“Speak No Evil, See No Evil, Hear No Evil” – Mantra of the Mainstream Media and Politicos (both Democrats & Republicans) re Israel.
Israel was created out of Muslim territory in the first place for the Western (Europe & USA) PURPOSE of Destabilizing the Muslim Middle East OPEC countries and controlling their Oil Reserves.
Yet all we ever hear is Iran’s Ahmadinejad wants to eradicate Israel! Never a word about the fact that Europe, the United States and Israel eradicated Palestine on May 14th in 1948 – one day before the expiration of the Palestine Mandate! Israel was admitted as a member of the United Nations on May 11, 1949.
America never criticizes Israel very much because Israel is our EVIL EMISSARY in the OIL RESERVES! Need I say more about DISASTER CAPITALISTS!
And you wonder why Americans are hated around the world! American TV would have you believe otherwise, and the Propagandists expound on the numbers of people waiting in line or sneaking over our Mexican border to come to America. That’s just because their own countries are so poor and opportunities there so slim – due in no small way to America’s Capitalist Exploitations around the world!
Honest, reputable Jews in Media such as Amy Goodman, Greg Palast, Seymour Hersh, philosopher Noam Chomsky and the late Howard Zinn take Israel to task for its treatment of Palestinian Muslims. But you rarely see these reputable Jews on Mainstream TV. Thank goodness for LinkTV! And thank goodness for Satellite Carriers: Dish and DirecTV!
Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.
Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
WYANDANCH/WHEATLEY HEIGHTS CITIZENS’ COALITION