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 Compassion has been replaced by contempt.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.