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Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Rachel Corrie, American Hero

Rachel Corrie was run over by a Caterpillar Bulldozer operated by an Israeli Defense Forces soldier. Rachel was protecting a Palestinian pharmacist's home from demolition. She died on March 16, 2003. The following are excerpts from an incredible series of e-mails that Rachel sent to her family and friends between February 7-28. I plan to share them with my tenth grade students in conjunction with a unit on colonialism and in preparation for final papers that they will write re "the power of one."

"Just want to write to my Mom and tell her that I'm witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I'm really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop.

"Disbelief and horror is what I feel. Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world. This is not the world you and Dad wanted me to come into when you decided to have me. This is not what I meant when I looked at Capital Lake and said: 'This is the wide world and I'm coming to it.' I did not mean that I was coming into a world where I could live a comfortable life and possibly, with no effort at all, exist in complete unawareness of my participation in genocide.

"When I come back from Palestine, I probably will have nightmares and constantly feel guilty for not being here, but I can channel that into more work. Coming here is one of the better things I've ever done. So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible."

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