Saturday, September 20, 2008

Alice Walker is my heroine.

I love Alice Walker's books. My father gave me the first one to read, and I devoured the rest - she writes so beautifully and her stories are so incredibly touching.
She's written an article for the Guardian - go read it.

Dear Ms. Walker, I love your voice and your writing. Your books are lined upon my shelves, each one beloved. I echo your thoughts here. Compassion has been replaced by contempt. I saw it start in the Reagan years, when suddenly the poor were horrid crawling things that wallowed in the mud of their own making, and the mentally ill were simply victims of their own delusions. Suddenly what mattered was making a profit, and the US, on the surface, became a place that mirrored Reagan's Hollywood dream. And Americans in droves fled to that dream, refusing to see the reality - that you have to be united in compassion, and not united in contempt. Right now the US is only united in contempt - contempt for foreigners, contempt for the poor, contempt for the ill, contept for the elderly, and contempt for those who don't share the same moral values or religious views. And with all that loathing, we have no place for compassion in our hearts or minds. And so people with words that echo the hatred in our hearts are heard, and those who speak of kinder things are ignored - or worse - held in contempt.


Charles Gramlich said...

I agee in principle with Alice Walker's comments. I do feel we've had contemptuous leadership and that it's affected us badly.

However, and I don't mean to be confrontational at all. Or to argue. But two things occur to me. One is that people get the leadership they deserve some times. People need to look at themselves first and stop blaming everything on their leaders.

2, I'm not at all sure Castro is the wonderful roll model he's described as here. If he loved his people so much, why did he send so many of his "undesirables" over here in the so called Freedom flotilla. I worked for two years with people from that group. Many of them were simply loaded on the ships and sent off because Castro didn't want them in Cuba. I saw some horrible scars on the folks who came over here. It didn't endear Castro to me.

Anonymous said...

There are multiple sides to every story, but there is often a prevailing side. My grandmother was Cuban, and she never said a bad word about Castro. My best friend in school was Cuban, and she hated him. The difference? I have no idea. But When I talk to Cubans outside their own country, I get the feeling even though they left, they liked Cuba and Castro, but they were fed up with being poverty stricken and longed for the kind of gadgets we take for granted. I guess it's a material world.
And about getting the leaders we deserve *sigh* I want to say the US citizens deserve the mess they're in, but I can't help feeling they were decieved by Bush's lies - first about his 'compassionate politics' his 'reaching out', and then about being 'one of the guys'. Unfortunately politics is like religion. Once you get a 'party', it's nearly impossible to switch. And I hear that there is a lot of pressure from big companies such as Walmart for their employees to vote Republican. They have meetings where they talk to the employers - they don't say 'Don't vote Obama', but they to say 'If you vote Obama, you'll be voting against your best interests'.
It's the union war all over again.

Charles Gramlich said...

With the Cubans I worked with they were definitely still in love with their country. They talked about it with nostalgia. But I can sort of imagine that since it's their home. However, most of the ones I talked to hated Castro with a passion. Some of these I believe were just saying this because they thought it was expected, but a lot of them I could see the truth in them, I think.

John Nez said...

I think it's the 'Reagan Rage' that has finally run it's course... leaving the nation near ruin.

People loved that righteous anger of Regan's.... 'government is the problem'.

Now look at what a mess the lack of a governing government has wrought. How about some bailouts for artists?

If wall street gets $700 Billion... and they did lose that plane in Iraq with 200 tons of $100 bills. Surely some spare change for artists?

I luv waking up early too... before everyone else. But that's easy in my household, cause they all like sleeping in till noon.

Rosie said...

Sam thanks so much for posting this link. That was a wonderful article.