A speech by Kate Raphael at San Francisco Pride.
These are some of the things I wish everyone knew:
I wish everyone knew what an olive tree looks like when its branches are lopped off, heavy full ones they call ‘hamel’, which means pregnant.
I wish everyone knew how Caterpillar bulldozers uproot the trees to make room for a Wall that is twice as high and three times as long as the Berlin Wall.
I wish everyone knew that the Wall will not stop terrorism and that’s not what it’s for, but it does separate tens of thousands of people from their land and put 3 million people in prison which will increase the hate.
I wish everyone knew that the number of checkpoints in the Palestinian lands doubled during a time when there were no attacks against Israelis, and
I wish everyone knew that the number of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, which is another name for land theft, doubled during the last peace process.
I wish everyone knew that 4100 Palestinians and 1100 Israelis have been killed in the last four years, and
I wish everyone knew that 8000 Palestinians are in Israeli jails, and
I wish everyone knew that 2 million Americans are in American jails, and
I wish everyone knew that since 9/11 the US has disappeared people and secret prisons and 2000 immigrant detainees are held indefinitely without charges and is that how you spell PATRIOT?
I wish everyone knew that in 1970, the Iraqi constitution, under Saddam Hussein, declared all women and men equal before the law, and
I wish everyone knew that until 1991 women in Iraq were 38% of teachers and 31% of doctors.
I wish everyone knew that the Bush administration wants a quota of 25% women in the Iraqi legislature and women make up 15% of the US Congress and we have no quota.
I wish everyone knew that women in Palestine hold 18% of seats in local government and women in Israel hold 12%.
I wish everyone knew that the US state department says it has built 11 women’s centers in Baghdad and when was the last time they built a women’s center in Bayview? And
I wish everyone knew that Muslim women don’t need us to free them, but they do need us to stop oppressing them, and
I wish everyone knew that half of older lesbians depend on Social Security for most of their income, and
I wish everyone knew that under Bush’s social security plan the average retired worker would get less than half what they get now, and
I wish everyone knew that 12 million people are now held as slaves around the world, including some right here in San Francisco, and 80% of them are female and 50% of them are children, and
I wish everyone knew that Black women in the US are 20 times as likely to get AIDS as white women and AIDS is the third leading cause of death for Black women and
I wish everyone knew that marriage won’t help us get health care when 39% of people in this country don’t have health coverage from their job.
Most Americans think foreign aid is 24% of our budget but it’s actually less than 1%, and
I wish everyone knew that 22% of US children live under the poverty level.
I wish everyone knew that we’ve killed 25,000 Iraqi civilians since March 2003 and the US has 37,000 troops in South Korea and 16,000 in Afghanistan, and
I wish everyone knew that US women earn 76 cents to a man’s dollar but if they are Black they earn 66 cents and if they are Latina they earn 55 cents, and
I wish everyone knew that 25% of US women who become pregnant have abortions and 87% of US counties have no abortion provider, and
I wish everyone knew how it feels to watch gay people cross the picket line at Badlands to go drink half-price beer at a racist bar, and
I wish everyone knew that queers are a community and not a market sector, and
I wish everyone knew that the parade didn’t used to have barricades and used to be for everyone
I wish everyone knew about Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism and LAGAI Queer Insurrection, and
I wish everyone knew that Stop AIDS Now Or Else was the first group ever to block the Golden Gate Bridge, and
I wish everyone knew that the Bolivian people are rising up to throw out the gas companies and winning, and
I wish everyone knew about the Gay Liberation Front, and
I wish everyone knew that Stonewall was a riot, and
I wish everyone knew that revolution is possible.