Sunday, 27 March 2022

i too sing america

While members of the GOP in the US Senate viciously berated Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson with contrived slights and pretend outrage (these childish, cruel and acutely embarrassing spectacles and tantrums have been nearly enough to make me give up about the prospect of reform and justice in the US altogether—at least to the point of refraining from comment or noting consequence) Senator Cory Booker (Democrat representing the state of New Jersey) turned to poetry for the solace and perspective that only verse can provide on the second day of Jackson’s confirmation hearings with Langston Hughes’ “Let America Be America Again,” citing the second to last stanza of the 1935 poem (which was incidentally also candidate’s John Kerry’s campaign slogan for his 2004 presidential run):

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

The continual parenthetical aside through the piece rings as a promise, undelivered, unrealised progressively more hollow and irredeemable, and almost as dead at the time of writing as it can seem today—nearly but not entirely.  We don’t have the luxury of giving up.