All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy against the superior man: its one permanent object is to oppress him and cripple him… The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.
The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.
– H.L. Mencken
At 23-years old, Pete Seeger was an Army Private anxiously awaiting the opportunity to be deployed to fight fascism in the midst of World War II, when he became outraged by injustice in his own backyard. As such, he wrote the following letter to the California chapter of the American Legion:
Dear Sirs –
I felt shocked, outraged, and disgusted to read that the California American Legion voted to 1) deport all Japanese after the war, citizen or not, 2) Bar all Japanese descendants from citizenship!!
We, who may have…