For God is my witness that I neither preached, affirmed, nor defended them, though they say that I did.
We’re losing our way as a society. If we don’t stand up, if we don’t say what we think those rights should be, and if we don’t protect them, we will very soon find out that we do not have them.
It’s quite fashionable to say that the educational system is broken. It’s not broken. It’s wonderfully constructed. It’s just that we don’t need it anymore.
Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
You know what the Englishman’s idea of compromise is? He says, Some people say there is a God. Some people say there is no God. The truth probably lies somewhere between these two statements.
Say not always what you know, but always know what you say.
I think that is where poetry reading becomes such an individual thing. I mean I have friend who like poets who just don’t say anything to me at all, I mean they seem to me rather ordinary and pedestrian.
I say let’s go back to a truer use of the word ‘freedom.’ Let’s start with President Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. I would add the freedom to bargain collectively. Those freedoms are under attack today.
When I was saying, ‘White people go to hell,’ I never had trouble finding a publisher. But when I say, ‘Black and white unite and fight, destroy capitalism,’ then you suddenly become unreasonable.
I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.