"The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom, and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism."
-- Dr. Martin Luther King, Beyond Vietnam, 1967
“Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions.”
-- Thomas Paine, Common Sense
“Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.”
– James Bryce
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!
-- Langston Hughes
"You can't have a United States if you are telling some folks that they can't get on the train. There is a cracking point where a society collapses."
-- Bruce Springsteen
“While America bills itself as the land of the free, the receipts show that the U.S. has incarcerated approximately 2.2 million people, the largest prison population in the history of mankind.”
-- Colin Kaepernick
"This flag is drenched with our blood."
--Fannie Lou Hamer
The house I live in, my neighbors white and black,
The people who just came here, or from generations back,
The Town Hall and the soap box, the torch of Liberty,
A place to speak my mind out, that’s America to me.
--Paul Robeson via Earl Robinson
-- Megan Rapinoe
“Labor in the white skin can never free while in the black skin it is branded.”
--Karl Marx, Das Kapital
"I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us."
--Frederick Douglass in 1852