Rick Perry turned in another underwhelming performance at tonight’s GOP presidential debate in Dartmouth on Tuesday night and signed off by quoting the title of a pro-union, pro-racial justice, and pro-immigrant poem written by Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes, titled “Let America Be America Again.” Watch his final answer:
The phrase was first appropriated by Rick Santorum, who later dropped the slogan after learning of its origin.
While Hughes is best known for his poetic cries for racial and economic justice, he was also a staunch defender of gay rights. His poem “Cafe: 3 a.m.” criticizes a police raid on a gay establishment, attacking the injustice of arresting gay people because “God, Nature, or somebody made them that way.” Perry, by contrast, signed a pledge opposing same-sex marriage and previously compared homosexuality to alcoholism in his 2008 book about the Boy Scouts. He also supports a Texas law that criminalizes sodomy.