Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Let's take care of people and have great schools (professional sports optional)

I think that no matter what the color of the people I'd feel better if I thought everyone, especially the people who don't have enough, were taken care of; if I felt that the government, the city government, the federal government were doing all that they could to help them.

When I go to readings around the country, people have been asking me about the baseball team. "Aren't you excited about the Washington Nationals?" they say. Well, no, I'm not. I have a friend who's been teaching elementary school for the last five or so years. I tell them that every year, she has to buy 500 dollars of school supplies for her kids, because she doesn't have enough. She and I spoke last week, and she said actually it's 2,000 dollars' worth. I had been using the 500-dollar figure, because she and I had once gone into an Office Depot and that's how much she spent. My problem is that you can be excited about the Redskins, excited about the Nationals, but the school system is going to pot.
Edward P. Jones, quoted in "Afterward: Washington, D.C., A Conversation with Edward P. Jones," in Matt Weiland & Sean Wilsey eds., State by State: A Panaramic Portrait of America (2008) (responding to the question, "Do you feel proud about living in one of the great majority black cities in the United States?")

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