I experience for the American officers and soldiers that friendship which arises from having shared with them for a length of time dangers, sufferings, and both good and evil fortune.
Ancestor worship, or filial piety so characteristic of Asian cultures, for example, does not really resonate with Americans who favor children, not grandparents.
The Obama presidency has seen the U.S. military’s elite tactical forces increasingly used in an attempt to achieve strategic goals. But with Special Operations missions kept under tight wraps, Americans have little understanding of where their troops are deployed, what exactly they are doing, or what the consequences might be down the road.
As a black woman, my politics and political affiliation are bound up with and flow from participation in my people’s struggle for liberation, and with the fight of oppressed people all over the world against American imperialism.
If money, education, and honesty will not bring to me as much privilege, as much equality as they bring to any American citizen, then they are to me a curse, and not a blessing.
Few Americans born after the Civil War know much about war. Real war. War that seeks you out. War that arrives on your doorstep – not once in a blue moon, but once a month or a week or a day.
You call my candidate a horse thief, and I call yours a lunatic, and we both of us know it’s just till election day. It’s an American custom, like eating corn on the cob. And, afterwards, we settle down quite peaceably and agree we’ve got a pretty good country – until next election.
I held a conference in Harvard where Americans said they didn’t believe in risk. They thought it was just European hysteria. Then the terrorist attacks happened and there was a complete conversion. Suddenly terrorism was the central risk.
I teach a lecture course on American poetry to as many as 150 students. For a lot of them, it’s their only elective, so this is their one shot. They’ll take the Russian Novel or American Poetry, so I want to give them the high points, the inescapable poets.
Then you get to the last half of the 20th century, Americans are getting very skeptical about their leaders and their institutions, and another place that is affected is parties and conventions.