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May 28th 2004

Langston Hughes, Part II

I was going to originally comment on Travis’ post, but given the length of my comments, felt it more appropriate to post something myself…

Let’s just say I see Langston Hughes in a different light. He was one of the few bright spots in middle school English class for me.

So…while I believe that he was misguided on public policy and politics, it is hard to deny that he was an incredible poet.

That said, DANEgerus strikes me as incredibly ignorant:

1) For having a bogus quote of George Orwell in the quote rotation on the masthead of his/her web site.

and 2) For taking the “Goodbye, Christ” poem out of context.

The poem was a commentary on the corrupt state of much of Christianity (especially true in the early 20th century): promoting racism, using Christ as a means to get money, etc. Try these lines of the poem on for size:

Listen, Christ,
You did alright in your day, I reckon�
But that day’s gone now.
They ghosted you up a swell story, too,
Called it Bible–
But it’s dead now.
The popes and the preachers�ve
Made too much money from it.
They’ve sold you to too many.

While the tone is a bit harsh for my liking, his point is valid. Popes and preachers throughout history have used Christianity (and religion in general) simply as a way to make money and oppress others. Considering my own religious beliefs, and as a student of history, I would have to agree that much of what the Bible teaches was quite literally “dead” in early 20th century America.

Unfortunately, Hughes failed to realize that communism was hardly a solution for inequality and greed.

3 Responses to “Langston Hughes, Part II”

  1. travis

    oh, sorry. i guess i’ll vote for kerry now. thanks for the correction.

  2. The wiki list of misquotations is inconclusive on the origin… considering the number of sources that attribute it to Orwell I let it stand.

    Also I don’t think the quote from the Langston Hughes poem is any more, and certainly less, out of context then the point of the post which is the JFKerry(D) campaign’s use of his Poem title advocating class warfare for a slogan.

    “Let America Be America Again”

    Provided it’s completely different… per the delusions of a Stalinist Communist…

    Also to be honest I snatched the ‘out of context’ stanza from TBOTW per a previous post and didn’t credit it correctly…

  3. Doug

    “The wiki list of misquotations is inconclusive on the origin… considering the number of sources that attribute it to Orwell I let it stand.

    Well there’s some serious scholarship for you. How about actually checking out Orwell’s work…guess what? The quote isn’t there!

    “Also to be honest I snatched the ‘out of context’ stanza from TBOTW per a previous post and didn’t credit it correctly…”

    Yes. It is obvious that you are a true blogger. Heavy on the cut&paste, light on actually researching anything you write.