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I think the arts has great potential to create citizens. Citizenship is about the direction your imagination travels. We can’t plan or calculate or examine citizenship; it’s an imagined thing. Community is an imagined thing. And if your imagination isn’t working – and, of course, in oppressed people that’s the first thing that goes – you can’t imagine anything better. Once you can imagine something different, something better, then you’re on your way.
From a policy point of view, I don’t think it’s the right approach. I don’t like the idea of having millions of people here for their entire life without being able to assimilate into America…From a political point of view, we’ve got 55 Democrats sent and a 72 percent support for a path to citizenship. It’s just not practical to think we’ll be able to pass any bill in the United States Senate without a path to citizenship.
For everybody has a natural right not only to defend his own person and property against aggressors, but also to go to the assistance and defence of everybody else, whose person or property is invaded. The natural right of each individual to defend his own person and property against an aggressor, and to go to the assistance and defence of every one else whose person or property is invaded, is a right without which men could not exist on earth.
We’re being overrun by people who live in poor and corrupt countries who come to the USA to get work. But we got to regain our sovereignty, we’re going to control our border, and there will be border security tied to the pathway to citizenship. There will be an earned pathway to citizenship. It will be available to everybody who works hard, pays a fine, passes a background check.
Certainly I’m participating in an already established and awesome tradition, but it’s a tradition that sort of shoots up and through the mainstream in short bursts and pulses and then gets diluted. Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson shot up and then got sucked back down underground under more entertaining and less radical versions of body and self – poetry and prose that posited bodies in more perfect union with good citizenship.
Zionism is an abominable, racist and colonial movement. Like all colonial and apartheid systems, it’s in the interest of all that it be swept away. My hope is to see it replaced, without any bloodshed, with a democratic, secular and lay state – for example on the borders of historic Palestine – and where Palestinians and Israelis could live under equal rights of citizenship without ethnic and religious discrimination. It’s a wish that I hope will soon become a reality.
It must be a good thing to die conscious of having performed some real good, and to know that by this work one will live, at least in the memory of some, and will have left a good example to those that come after. A work that is good-it may not be eternal, but the thought expressed in it is, and the work itself will certainly remain in existence for a long, long time; and if afterwards others arise, they can do no better than follow in the footsteps of such predecessors and do their work in the same way.
The only way we can keep our freedom is to work at it. Not some of us. All of us. Not some of the time, but all of the time. So if you value your citizenship and you want to keep it for yourself and your children and their children, give it your faith, your belief, and give it your active support in civic affairs.