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Anti-Gay Presidential Hopeful Rick Santorum Invokes Langston Hughes as Campaign Slogan

Anti-Gay Presidential Hopeful Rick Santorum Invokes Langston Hughes as Campaign Slogan

Former senator Rick Santorum announced Thursday that he will begin raising funds for his presidential bid using the campaign slogan “Fighting to Make America America again” — a line echoing a pro-union, pro-immigrant poem written by gay poet Langston Hughes. Best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes used similar wording in his poem “Let America Be America Again.”

Former senator Rick Santorum announced Thursday that he will begin raising funds for his presidential bid using the campaign slogan “Fighting to Make America America again” — a line echoing a pro-union, pro-immigrant poem written by gay poet Langston Hughes.

Best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes used similar wording in his poem “Let America Be America Again.” Read the poem in full at AmericanPoems.com.

Santorum has spent a fair amount of his political career fighting gay rights advancements, having once compared same-sex couples with people who have sex with dogs.

Hughes, on the other hand, wrote and spoke out on a number of occasions in support of gay causes; his poem “Café: 3 a.m.,” for instance, criticizes a police raid on a gay establishment.

There has been much debate among scholars about Hughes’s sexuality, with many believing the poet was gay and others suggesting he may have been asexual. In the 1989 film Looking for Langston, British filmmaker Issac Julien referred to Hughes as a black gay icon.

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