It is inconceivable that a sovereign people should continue, as we do so abjectly, to say, ‘I can’t do anything about it. It’s the government.’ The government is the creation of the people. It is responsible to the people. And the people are responsible for it… one of the paradoxes of education was that precisely at the point when you begin to develop a conscience, you must find yourself at war with your society. It is your responsibility to change society if you think of yourself as an educated person. And on the basis of the evidence – the moral and political evidence – one is compelled to say that this is a backward society.
James Baldwin, “A Talk to Teachers”, 1963