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Jonathan Kozol

Ingenuity's Outcasts

The children of these neighborhoods are not suffering by mistake. They are the outcasts of our nation's ingenuity. We lock them up in modern lazarettos. We label them unclean just as in the Middle Ages. We give them the worst schools, the most vile hospitals, the filthiest surroundings in the Western world. Then we study them to find out why they do not have "good values."

It isn't the values of these children or their mothers or their fathers that concern me. It is the values of a society that increasingly and unmistakably has made it clear that it does not love children and that willingly and shamefully allows the innocent to be destroyed. … The children I have met who sing that song ["Amazing Grace"] in church are full of grace. And they see clearly. It is our nation that is blind and needs our prayers.

Jonathan Kozol

Copyright (c) 1995 Christianity Today, Inc./BOOKS AND CULTURE Review


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