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{Retrieved notes from 2005
First in an occasional series.}

“ […] Negro poverty is not white poverty. Many of its causes and many of its cures are the same. But there are differences – deep, corrosive, obstinate differences, radiating painful roots into the community and into the family and the nature of the individual. These differences are not racial differences. They are solely and simply the consequence of ancient brutality, past injustice and present prejudice. They are anguishing to observe. For the negro they are a constant reminder of oppression.”

This was said not by Kanye West in 2005, but by …
… Lyndon B Johnson circa 1965!!!!
(Can’t recall where I found it.)
Now, OK, it was probably – more or less cynically – scripted for him by some intellectual-for-hire; but still, what’s incredible about this is the language: that this sort of language was acceptable then as the language of civil/public/media discourse. Can you imagine George C.C. Bush using such language? And I don’t just mean politically; I mean words such as “corrosive” and “obstinate” and (most of all) “anguishing” – as opposed to the sort of spectral/weasel syntax he does use (i.e., “faith based initiatives”).

posted by Ian 12/15/2005 02:14:00 PM

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