Alice Walker: "It takes people on the outside."

6/27/11

My name is Alice walker and I am with the US boat to Gaza. I’m very happy to be a part of our delegation, which is very soulful , making wonderful sounds, and thank you very much. I am going to Gaza because my government has failed. It has failed us. It has failed to understand or to care about the Gazan people, but worse than that, our government is ignorant of our own history in the United States. [“Damn!” heard in background]
For instance, when black people were enslaved for 300 years, it took a lot of people from outside our community to come and help free us. And also the period during the Civil Rights Movement, which was in the 1960s, again it took people from outside our communities to come and help free ourselves. This is a fine tradition of going to people who need us wherever they exist on the planet. This is our responsibility. This is what we are here for as human beings. And so, I just would like to say that we are on our way. That Hilary Clinton can put up all the protests that she likes. They may say we should not travel, that it is dangerous. We know it is dangerous. We know, for instance, that climate change is just as dangerous as getting on a boat to Gaza, and that people should be paying attention to that too. I also feel that when our government, and the person of our president, can make a speech about this area and speak only to the Israelis and not to the Palestinians, this is unacceptable. We cannot accept this. We look at what has happened to the Palestinian people for all these decades and it is insufferable. We will not accept it. We will not. As Americans, with our history of enslavement of people, of segregation, apartheid, of brutalization, of lynching… We will not accept this. We will not. So Gazans, and especially the children, we are on our way. We are coming. We hear you. We are coming. [Applause] And I look at you in this room, and I realize that this is what—you  know, if we have a salvation as a Humankind, it is in this room. It is the people who have gathered here for what is one of the hardest tasks for us. This situation is one of the hardest on the planet, and it is up to us to try to solve it. To bring some comfort, to bring some light, because otherwise what chance do we have with all the other problems? I mean we now have tornados that are a mile wide. There has to be someone to help take care of things like Gaza so we will be strong enough to deal with things like tornados, earthquakes, floods. You know, this is our future. This is our present, this is our future.  So in a sense, if we work on these issues that we are beginning to see—I mean we’re freeing ourselves of the myths that have crippled us, but we’re beginning to see what is the truth. And if we can see what is the truth about this situation, we can free ourselves to work on the real issue for humanity which is protecting Earth. Thank you. -Alice Walker

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