Quotation by June Jordan

South Africa used to seem so far away. Then it came home to me. It began to signify the meaning of white hatred here. That was what the sheets and the suits and the ties covered up, not very well. That was what the cowardly guys calling me names from their speeding truck wanted to happen to me, to all of me: to my people. That was what would happen to me if I walked around the corner into the wrong neighborhood. That was Birmingham. That was Brooklyn. That was Reagan. That was the end of reason. South Africa was how I came to understand that I am not against war; I am against losing the war.
June Jordan (b. 1939), U.S. poet, civil rights activist. "South Africa: Bringing It All Back Home," Moving Towards Home: Political Essays (written 1981, first published 1985, repr. 1989).
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