Civil Rights

A writer-editor-teacher’s quote of the week #45

“That is to say, the only people who can testify or verify the meaning of the United States as a democratic state, as a pluralistic culture, these are the very peoples whose contribution to a national vision and discovery meets with steadfast ridicule and disregard.

A democratic state does not, after all, exist for the few, but for the many. A democratic state is not proven by the welfare of the strong but by the welfare of the weak. And unless that many, that manifold constitution of diverse peoples can be seen as integral to the national art/the national consciousness, you might as well mean only Czechoslovakia when you talk about the USA, or only Ireland, or merely France, or exclusively white men.”

from “For the Sake of People’s Poetry: Walt Whitman and the Rest of Us” by June Jordan, which is available on the website of the Poetry Foundation.

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