There were things that I would enjoy, that I would take in, things that I rejected....Here he talks about affirmative action:
Simple things, like different classes. Maybe I would have taken classes like Russian history or more science, maybe, more math courses. I would have taken more history courses, more philosophy courses. Maybe I would have gone to more events, some plays. I rejected all that. I would have been more open to some of the offerings that were different from the life I had become accustomed to. If you're intellectually alive—which you are at that time—you want to explore.
Why do you think some people are so eager to cast you as a beneficiary of affirmative action?He says that his college, Holy Cross, "never once required us to be anything other than ourselves and good people," and in answer to the question, "Doesn't every college want that?" he says:
That was the creation of the politicians, the people with a lot of mouth and nothing to say and your industry. They had a story and everything had to fit into their story. It discounts other people's achievements. Ask Ted how many all-nighters he pulled. It discounts those. It's so discouraging to see the fraudulent renditions of very complicated and different lives of people who were struggling in a new world for them. Everything becomes affirmative action. There wasn't some grand plan. I just showed up.
Oh no. I think there are different points of views that are not acceptable. I go around this country and the poor kids who want to dissent from a prevailing point of view have no room. There's no room for them.He has this to say about why he is controversial:
Because of political correctness?
Oh yeah. Come on, that's obvious. You don't even have to ask. That's obvious. Otherwise, there are people who have set notions of what blacks should think. But I rejected that years ago. I rejected that back when I was considered radical.
Is it harder to be an African American heading to college these days?
I don't know. I'm not going to dissect these schools now. I'm just glad I went when I went, before everybody had all the answers and theories about blacks. I'm sure it was hard to make your own way but maybe it worked better that way. Maybe it made us better, stronger people.
People have a model of what they think a black person should think. A white person is free to think whatever they want to think. But a black person has to think a certain way. Holy Cross has never ever done that. We did it to each other but we were just kids.Interesting interview. I like his crisp form of speech.