I guess I was the most unbohemian of all bohemians. My bohemianism consisted of not wanting to get involved with the stupid stuff that I thought people wanted you to get involved with – … namely America… Dwight Eisenhower, McCarthyism and all those great things.
You go through the Civil Rights struggle, everybody knew the songs – ‘We shall overcome.’ Everybody would sing it. Music helped us. James Brown, ‘Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud.’ They helped black people figure out how to navigate what was a very treacherous place in America for them.
When we see that our problem is so complicated and so all-encompassing in its intent and content, then we realize that it is no longer a Negro problem, confined only to the American Negro; that it is no longer an American problem, confined only to America, but it is a problem for humanity.
Europe, in legend, has always been the home of subtle philosophical discussion; America was the land of grubby pragmatism.
As individuals and as a nation, we now suffer from social narcissism. The beloved Echo of our ancestors, the virgin America, has been abandoned. We have fallen in love with our own image, with images of our making, which turn out to be images of ourselves.
We Muslims believe that the white race, which is guilty of having oppressed and exploited and enslaved our people here in America, should and will be the victims of God’s divine wrath.
Out of the agony and travail of economic America the Committee for Industrial Organization was born.
America is a poem in our eyes; its ample geography dazzles the imagination, and it will not wait long for metres.
I think I shall return to America even a better patriot than when I left it. A citizen of the United States, travelling on the continent of Europe, finds the contrast between a government of power and a government of opinion forced upon him at every step.
There should not be one new dime in tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires as long as millions of children in America are poor, hungry, uneducated and without health coverage.