Dr. Dawg

Alice Walker on the banning of Palestinian children's art

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This short piece is simply a must-read. Written in her inimitable, powerful style, Alice Walker addresses the banning of Palestinian children’s art by a museum in Oakland, California after pressure from pro-Israel groups in the area.

First, however, you need to catch the unspeakable irony in this pro-banning article:

[M]any of the drawings depict murder and mayhem, subjects wholly inappropriate for young children. And because they use overtly Jewish symbols, such as Stars of David on soldiers and tanks attacking Palestinian villages, young Jewish visitors to the museum could easily have felt belittled, even threatened.

320 civilian minors died in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. I completely agree that this sort of thing is wholly inappropriate. So do some of the surviving children, judging from their banned images of war as they experienced it.

In any case, here is Walker:

Such banning as this usually backfires. I don’t think I was born yet, but I “remember” that, in 1939, Marian Anderson, the great black contralto, was refused venue at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. by the Daughters of the American Revolution because (gasp) the audience would be integrated! Anderson supporters, including president Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt, rallied to the cause and Anderson sang to a crowd in the tens of thousands while standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

We will find a Lincoln Memorial. We will eventually, on this issue of freeing the Palestinians, find a Lincoln.

And her conclusion:

Empathy is a wave that need never be stopped. If our children can catch this wave, from the ocean of tears shed by Palestinian children, they might have a future in a more stable and saner world.

Let’s hope that her novels are not now thrown on a bonfire; for such are the times we live in.

[H/t EqualityBfast]

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on September 15, 2011 4:04 PM.

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