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Alice Walker’s Transphobic Defense of JK Rowling And Her Antisemitism Are Connected

Alice Walker attends the Broadway Opening Night Performance of 'The Color Purple'

Despite the intimately shared history of racism and transphobia, Alice Walker—a woman that’s widely regarded as one of the most important Black novelists and feminists of the last century (if not ever)—used her blog not only to defend J.K. Rowling‘s TERF ideas but uplift the ridiculous notion that including all trans women in the word “woman” is taking away from the word rather than adding to it.

And, she did this at the start of Women’s History Month.

Alice Walker’s transphobia, explained

Because Walker’s politics formed out of Black feminist thought, the dog whistles of TERF-dom took many by surprise. In her 2016 poem, New Mantra, Walker links the struggle of trans people with marginalized groups. Four years later, she would praise the show POSE. In that praise, Walker positioned herself as an elder who is just now understanding AIDS’ effect on ballroom culture. However, now Walker has pulled the “elder” card to villainize trans people and spread misinformation.

Later in the post, Walker invokes Abigail Shrier and Matt Walsh in describing the process of transitioning as “cutting off of parts and restructuring of essential physical equipment.” She insists—against pediatric healthcare standards—that all aspects of transition be delayed well into adulthood. Like Rowling, Walker claims women (and safety spaces) are “being erased in language […] being disappeared from dictionaries and society.” Additionally, they repeat the falsities that women are being replaced in society and that it’s an orchestrated breakdown of a natural social order happening. This should be unsurprising, considering how both Walker and Rowling—albeit on very different levels—also express antisemitic attitudes.

If this sounds like too much of a stretch then one only needs to look at Walker’s first blog of 2023, Creepy Matrix — Womb factory video. Here, she shares and discusses a video (from Rumble, a.k.a. Peter Thiel’s version of alt-right YouTube) that claims, “Globalists launch factory to grow babies.” Below the video, she writes this before sharing a poem and an image of her daughter that refuses to speak to her:

We’re watching as these globalists are moving us towards a future where a transhumanist agenda is carried out… where gender is dissolved, where biological women are no longer needed. Today the Cambridge dictionary updated its definition of woman to include men. And now a German molecular biologist unveiled a new concept for the worlds first artificial womb facility called Ectolife which would incubate up to 30,000 babies a year. The video is post apocalyptic. Watch! ~REDACTED

Just to be clear, transhumanism is just as related to transgender people as antifreeze is related to antisocial. (It isn’t.) While I can’t succinctly get into transhumanism—Philosophy Tube excellently did, though—this statement makes it clear who Walker thinks is behind the supposed breakdown of gender. Like “New World Order,” “Illuminati,” and “cabal,” “globalist” is a derogatory dog whistle for Jewish people.

Walker’s antisemitism

Since the ’70s, Zionists have accused Walker and her then-husband (who’s Jewish) of antisemitism for their criticism of Israeli apartheid. Walker isn’t antisemitic because she criticizes Israel; she’s antisemitic because she espouses dangerous conspiracy theories about Jews. Now, we just know that the past decade of this activism (and likely her work) is colored by this. While Walker’s antisemitism goes back to at least 2012, it didn’t gain widespread attention until a 2017 blog warning of “The Talmud” and a 2018 interview with The New York Times. In the interview and subsequent defenses of it, she praised the work of antisemitic conspiracy theorist David Icke.

Between familial strife and society’s broad acceptance of antisemitism-lite, it’s unclear how long Walker has had these views. Regardless, in the last few years, her antisemitism has only escalated. If the rise of QAnon taught us nothing else, it’s that one conspiracy theory quickly dissolves to reveal white supremacist ideology. Internet algorithms designed to keep us online accelerate the process. That’s why it’s unsurprising to see Walker “find” herself in the company of Rowling. And Rowling chumming it up with people who incite violence at a children’s hospital and call for the genocide of trans people. (This is not the first antisemite to make this connection standing up for Rowling.)

The education surrounding the Holocaust and Nazism has been the basis of America’s understanding of antisemitism. However, leaders purposely sanitized the curriculum to erase the many ways the Nazis took inspiration from American history. This hides the prevalent antisemitism at home in an effort to shape American soldiers as liberators. Additionally, this education largely blurs the details of events like the book banning and the exact steps toward genocide. Because then it would look way too familiar.

(featured image: Walter McBride/WireImage)

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(she/her) Award-winning artist and blogger with experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time watching movies, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Balder's Gate 3, Apex Legends, and CS:GO.