Quote File

1. )  “Franklin Delano Roosevelt covered his disability by ensuring his wheelchair was always hidden behind a desk before his Cabinet entered.” paragraph 1

2.)  “Covering has enjoyed such a robust and stubborn life because it is a form of assimilation.  At least since Hector St. John de Crevecoeur’s 1782 Letters from an American Farmer, this country has touted assimilation as the way Americans of different backgrounds……..” Paragraph 5.

3.) ” Makes a distinction between a True Self and a False self that usefully tracks the distinction between the uncovered and covered selves. The True self is the self that gives an individual the feeling of being real….” paragraph 13

4.) “My gay self, , the True self, was hidden behind an ostensibly straight false self. Yet it would be wrong to cast the closest self purely inimical to the gay one. In my adolescence, this False Self protected the True Self until its survival was assured……” paragraph 16

1.) “(Here I follow Winnicott, who observes the True Self is not susceptible to specific definition, as its nature differs for each of us.) In talking about classic civil rights groups. I have focused on the demand to conform to the mainstream because I think that for most groups (except women) these are the demands….” paragraph 30

2.) ” In practice, I expect the liberty paradigm to protect the authentic self better than the equality paradigm. While it need not to do so, the equality paradigm is prone to essentializing the identities it protects. Under an equality paradigm , if a women who wore a lot of makeup were protected by a court because makeup is an “essential” part of being a women, this could reinforce the stereotype that women wear makeup……” paragraph 31

3.) The statutory language of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disability Act already protects racial minorities, religious minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities as groups against covering demands…” paragraph 32

4.) “Moreover, even if we shift the focus of civil rights law away from equality to liberty, identity politics will still be crucial. If it weren’t for the gay rights movement, or the disability rights movement, cases like Lawrence or Lane would never have made it to the Court…” Paragraph 33

Between the world and me.

1.) “Americans believe in the reality of “race” as a defined, indubitable feature of the natural world. Racism- the need to ascribe bone -deep features to people and then humiliate, reduce, and destroy them- inevitably follows from this inalterable condition…” pg 7

2.) “The new people are not original in this. Perhaps there has been, at some point in history, some great power whose elevation was exempt from the violent exploitation of other human bodies. If there has been, I have yet to discover it…” pg 8

3.) ” I have seen that dream all my life. It is perfect houses with nice lawns. It is Memorial Day cookouts, block associations, and driveways. The Dream is treehouses and the Club Scouts. The Dream smells like peppermint but tastes  like strawberry shortcake. And for so long I have wanted to escape into the Dream to fold my country over my head like a blanket….” pg 11

4.) “In accepting both the chaos of history and the fact of my total end, I was freed to truly consider how I wished to live- specifically how do I live free in this black body? It is profound question because America understands itself as God’s handiwork, but the black body is the clearest evidence that America is the work of men..” pg 12

1.) “To be black in the Baltimore of my youth was to be naked before the elements of the world, before all the guns, fists, knives, crack, rape, and disease. The nakedness is not an error, nor pathology. The nakedness is the correct and intended result of policy, the predictable upshot of people forced for centuries to live under fear. The law did not protect us…” pg 17

2.) “The boy with the small eyes reached into his ski jacket and pulled out a gun. I recall it in the slowest motion, as though in a dream. There the boy stood, with the gun brandished, which he slowly untucked, tucked, then untucked once more, and in his small eyes I saw a surging rage that could, in an instant, erase my body. That was 1986…” pg 19

3.) “Before I could discover, before I could escape, I had to survive, and this could only mean a clash with the streets, by which I mean not just physical blocks, nor simply the people packed into them, but the array of lethal puzzles and strange perils that seem to rise up form the asphalt itself…” pg 21

4.) “I memorized a list of prohibited blocks. I learned the smell and feel of fighting weather. And I learned that “shorty, can I see your bike?” was never a sincere question and “Yo, you was messing with my cousin” was neither an earnest accusation nor a misunderstanding of the facts. These were the summonses that you answered with your left foot forward, your right foot back, your hands guarding your face, one slightly lower than the other, cocked like a hammer…” pg 23

I Just wanna be average

1.) ” For my mother, life in America was not what the promoters had told her father it would be.  She grew up very poor. She slept with her parents and brothers and sisters in one room.  She had to quit school in the seventh grade to care for her sickly younger brothers….” pg. 11

2.) ” Let me tell you about our house. If you entered the front door and turned right you’d see a small living room with a couch along the east wall and one along the west wall- one couch was purple, the other tan, both bought used and both well worn. A television set was placed at the end of the purple couch, right at arm level….” pg13

3.) “Right to the north of us was a record shop, a barber shop presided over by old Mr. Graff, Walt’s Malts, a shoe repair shop with a big Cat’s paw decal in the window, a third barber shop, and a brake shop. It’s as I write this that I realize for the first time that three gray men could have had a go at your hair before you left our street…” pg 14

4.) ” But the anger and frustration of South Vermont could prove too strong for music’s illusion; then it was violence that provided deliverance of a different order. One night I watched as a guy sprinted from Walt’s to toss something on our lawn. The police were right behind, and a cop tackled him, smashing his face into the sidewalk…..” pg 17

1.) ” I became the hero of a thousand adventures, all with intricate plots and the triumph of good over evil, all many dimensions removed….” pg 21

2.) “Reading opened up the world. There I was, a skinny bookworm drawing the attention of street kids who, in any other circumstances, would have had me for breakfast….” pg 21

3.) ” Physical education was also pretty harsh. Our teacher was a stubby ex-lineman, who had played old-time pro ball in the Midwest. He routinely had us grabbing our ankles to receive his stinging paddle across our butts….” pg 25

4.) ” One day Billy lost it. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him strike out with his right arm and catch Dweetz across the neck. Quick as a spasm, Dweetz was out of his seat, scattering desks, cracking Billy on the side of the head, right behind the eye…..” pg26

1.) “Students will float to the mark you set. I and the others in the vocational classes were bobbing in pretty shallow water. Vocational education has aimed at increasing the economic opportunities of students who do not do well in our school….” pg 26

2.) “When the teacher called on the restive Ken Harvey for an opinion. Ken thought about it, but just for a second, and said (with studied minimum effect), “I just wanna be average.” That woke me up. Average?! Who wants to be average? Then the athletes chimed in with the clinches that make you want to laryngectomize them, and the exchange became a platitudinous melee…” pg 28

3.) “At first, we couldn’t believe this guy, thought he slept in his car. But within no time, he had us so startled with work that we didn’t much worry about where he slept or if he slept at all. We wrote three or four essays a month. We read a book every two to three weeks, starting with the Iiad and ending up with Hemingway….” pg32

4.) “In my last semester of  high school, I elected a special English course fashioned by Mr. MacFarland, and it was through this elective that there arose at Mercy a fledgling literati. Art Mitz, the editor of the school newspaper and a very smart guy, was the kingpin. He was joined by me and by Mark Dever, a quiet boy who wrote beautifully and who would die before he was forty…” pg 35

The end of race

  1. “One can easily imagine the contrast: the European sailors- gaunt, dirty, many bearing the unmistakable signs of venereal disease- and the Polynesians, a people who abided by strict codes of personal hygiene, who washed every day and plucked the hair from their faces…..” Pg 50
  2.  ” To the genes of Captain Cook’s sailor’s and the native Polynesians has been added the DNA of European missionaries, Mexican cowboys, African American soldiers, and plantation workers from throughout Asia and Europe.…” Pg. 5
  3.  ” Almost half the people who live in Hawaii today are of “mixed” ancestry. What it means to be mixed is not at all obvious genetically, but for official purposes it means that a person’s ancestors fall into more than one of the four “racial” categories….” Paragraph 7or 8
  4.  ” Many of the harshest conflicts in the world today are between people who are physically indistinguishable. If someone took a roomful of Palestinians and Israelis from the Middle East, or of Serbs and Albanians from the Balkans….” paragraph 13
  5.   “Intermarriage may indicate tolerance,” says Jonathan Okamura, an anthropologist at the University of Hawaii, “but it doesn’t mean we have an egalitarian society on a larger scale.” Paragraph 48
  6. ” Despite the occasional cultural difficulties. Cann has continued her study of human genetics in Hawaii and has played an important role in piecing together the prehistory of the pacific.” paragraph 39
  7.  ” I get people coming up to me all the time and saying , ‘can you prove that I’m a Hawaiian?” She can’t, she said, at least not with a high degree of certainty.” paragraph 40
  8. ” They become a member of that group socially, yet their haplotypes and those of their descendants can differ from the group norm. Rape is another way in which the genetic variants of groups mix….” paragraph 46

The Invention of Race

  1.  ” that we’re a society made up of all the “races” and “ethnicities” on the planet… and that we have a painful history of discrimination and exploitation often tied to race…”
  2.  ” we start our journey into the invention of race by going back– well, not really to the beginning. Science now tells us that in the beginning of the human story … people evolved in Africa, from one common ancestor, a couple hundred thousand years ago….”
  3.  ” Herotodus traveled. We don’t know that he actually traveled to all the places that he talked about, but he did talk about what was then the known world, his world…”
  4.  ” slave trades are so much bigger than our idea of race. The Greeks … The Romans. The Chinese …. the West African kingdoms. They all practiced forms of slavery….”

Trumps Biggest Fans

  1.  ” Left and Right, have become subnations, as George Saunders recently wrote in The New Yorker, living like housemates “no longer on speaking terms” in a house set afire by Trump, gaping at one another “through the smoke”….
  2.  ” Louisiana is the country’s third-poorest state; 1 in 5 residents live in poverty. It ranks third in the proportion of residents who go hungry each year, and dead last in overall health…..”
  3.  ”  Right or left, I think . The deep story of the right goes like this: You are patiently standing in the middle of a long line stretching toward the horizon, where the American Dream awaits. But as you wait, you see people cutting in line ahead of you….” 
  4.  ” She was doing her level best but wondered why the travails of others so often took precedence over families such as her own. Affirmative Action blacks, immigrants, refugees seemed to so routinely receive sympathy and government help…..”

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