JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Acclaimed author Alice Walker was kicked out of a California book festival days before it was announced she was to speak at the Mississippi Book Festival.
The Bay Area Book Festival rescinded its invitation due to what they called “Walker’s endorsement of anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist David Icke.”
Ellen Daniels, the executive director of the Mississippi Book Festival, says they were aware of Walker’s past comments, but invited her anyway “to honor the 40th anniversary of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel ‘The Color Purple’ and the release of “Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Diaries of Alice Walker, 1965-2000′.
“Ms. Walker will talk about the legacy of her groundbreaking work in ‘The Color Purple’ and her time in Mississippi, covered in her diaries, with Mississippi writer Kiese Laymon,” she continued.
Over the course of several years, Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Color Purple,” has come under scrutiny for her admiration for Icke.
The controversy began when, during a Q&A with the the New York Times in late 2018, Walker was asked, What books are on your nightstand?
One of these books was “And the Truth Shall Set You Free”, authored by Icke. She described the book as “a curious person’s dream come true”.
In “And the Truth Shall Set You Free,” Icke states that Jews themselves are behind anti-Semitic attacks and that Holocaust denial should be taught in school.
“Why are we playing a role in suppressing alternative information to the official WWII line? How is it fair that while this fierce repression continues, free copies of Spielberg’s film, Schindler’s List, are given to schools to indoctrinate children with the undisputed version of events? Icke writes.
According to Tabletthe book was deemed so anti-Semitic that Icke had to print the book himself.
In the past, the footballer-turned-conspiracy theorist has also argued that the Illuminati rules the world and that members of the organization are descendants of a child eaters, reptilians. Every American President, he believeswas one of those lizards.
Icke said he is, in fact, do not anti-semitic. Like Voice writes, Icke believes “he does not criticize real Jews, but 12-foot-tall alien lizards, many of whom happen to be posing as Jews.
His other beliefs include that the moon is a surveillance system (built by the Lizard People) and that he himself is “the son of a deity”.
After the ensuing uproar over why Icke’s book was on Walker’s bedside table, Walker held firm, writing on his website that Icke was “brave enough to ask the questions others fear to ask”.
“There is no fair reading of Icke’s work that could be considered non-anti-Semitic,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, executive director of the Anti-Defamation League. The New York Times in the days following Walker’s first Q&A with the official newspaper.
Walker has also been criticized for her “terrible anti-Semitic poem” entitled “It is our (appalling) duty”.
Walker, who is ardently pro-Palestine, compared Israel’s treatment of Palestine to that of Nazi Germany. Because of this position, she did not allow an Israeli publisher to publish a Hebrew translation of “The Color Purple”.
Flash forward to March 25, 2022, when the Bay Area Book Festival rescinded its invitation to Walker, stating that they “were aware that Alice Walker had made controversial statements in the past” but that they “n Were unaware of the magnitude of it.
The festival clarifiedhowever, that their decision to rescind their invitation to Walker was not due to his pro-Palestinian views, but because of his unwavering support for Icke.
Then, days after being disinvited by the Bay Area Book Festival, it was announced that Walker was to be a guest speaker at the Mississippi Book Festival.
This year, the Mississippi Book Festival will take place in the state capital on Saturday, August 20.
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