There are vivid memories from my childhood – what we had to go through because of low wages and the conditions, basically because there was no union. I suppose, if I wanted to be fair, I could say that I’m trying to settle a personal score. I could dramatize it by saying that I want to bring social justice to farm workers.
Mama and Daddy King represent the best in manhood and womanhood, the best in a marriage, the kind of people we are trying to become.
The other aspect of American identity worth focusing on is the concept of America as a nation of immigrants. That certainly is a partial truth. But it is often assumed to be the total truth.
Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.
That’s the way it is with poetry: When it is incomprehensible it seems profound, and when you understand it, it is only ridiculous.
Right action tends to be defined in terms of general individual rights and standards that have been critically examined and agreed upon by the whole society.
There is no substitute for hard work, 23 or 24 hours a day. And there is no substitute for patience and acceptance.
There is the view that poetry should improve your life. I think people confuse it with the Salvation Army.
Most students have thoughts about emigrating to Israel. A significant number go on aliyah. We are proud of our Israel programs, which come at a considerable cost to the university.
Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.