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A Letter to Alice Walker By: Phyllis Chesler
Pajamas Media | Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Dear Alice:

Hello old friend.

As you know, I have loved your writings, (I still do), both your novels and your poems and above all, your golden success. You also once blessed me personally back when you alone chose to believe my allegations of rape at the hands of a black “brother” and you reached out to me privately when our white feminist sisters did not do so. You were there for me. You told me to tell the truth, that nothing else mattered as much.

Therefore, I will honor and “hear” you even if—especially if—we disagree on particular subjects. You believe that Barack Obama can somehow save our country. You are moved by his oratory and character. I am bowed beneath the weight of tribal sorrows and fear for our country and our world no matter who becomes the next American President.

But Alice, in your piece, why do you single out Israel as a wrong-doer and not Saudi Arabia? Israel? But not the ethnic Arab Muslims of Sudan who are perpetrating genocide against black African Muslims and black Christians and who are mass raping black African girls and women?

Israel and not Rwanda? Israel and not Iran, Libya, Algeria, Afghanistan, China, or North Korea, for their grievous crimes against humanity?

Why, Alice?

Surely you know that anti-Semitism is also racism. Indeed, today, anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism and this pains me as much as the white racism and sexism of our feminist sisters once pained us both.

Reverend Martin Luther King’s oratory and nobility also thrilled me. I was part of the Northern Student Movement. I volunteered in Harlem. I quickly ran into a rank, thuggish, increasingly criminal style of sexism against women, both white and black, and it drove me out of the civil rights movement at that time. It was becoming a movement that increasingly despised white volunteers, Jewish volunteers, and one in which black men viewed white women mainly as sexual prey.

Alice: We each have scars that ache when it rains.

I pray that you consider re-considering the ease with which you reflexively scapegoat Israel for the crimes of so many rogue nations.
And if you do, perhaps you might set an example for Obama who perhaps became accustomed to a Jew-blaming culture in his Chicago Church.

Yours in struggle,
Phyllis

P.S. Do you really think our imperfect America is as bad as most other imperfect countries? And Cuba? It is a totalitarian prison camp which has persecuted its own, including artists, politicals, homosexuals. Are you so charmed by Castro’s dancing that you have forgotten all this?


Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) The New Anti-Semitism (2003) and The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (2005). She has just published a new edition of Woman's Inhumanity to Woman (2009). She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women's studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women's Health Network (1976). Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.


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