“Don’t turn away from rap music simply because it’s loud or violent or sexist or lewd – which so much of it is. Don’t turn away from the damage and destruction of drugs by simply declaring ‘war’ on them and filling our prisons with the people who use them. Look hard at where the need for those drugs is coming from. Look hard at what’s behind the anger and rage of that rap music. Pay attention. These are symptoms. They are responses. It is not the heroin-filled syringe of the addict that is the problem. It is not the hateful verses of the gangsta rapper that we must outlaw. It is the conditions and circumstances out of which the user and the gangster spring that must be looked at, understood and addressed. Change the world in which the addict lives and you’ll change his need for the drug. Change the world about which the rapper chants and you will change his words and his music.” – Congressman John Lewis of Georgia from Walking With the Wind: a memoir of the movement.
“One is astonished in the study of history at the recurrence of the idea that evil must be forgotten, distorted, skimmed over. We must not remember that Daniel Webster got drunk but only that he was a constitutional lawyer. We must forget that George Washington was a slave owner… and simply remember the things we regard as creditable and inspiring. The difficulty, of course, with this philosophy is that history loses its value as an incentive and example; it paints perfect men and noble nations, but it does not tell the truth.”
– W.E.B. Du Bois