For the invocation, at the LIA in Woodbury on Friday, the Rev. Calvin Butts, president of the State University of New York College at Old Westbury, read from a 1938 Langston Hughes poem, “Let America Be America Again,” which evokes “that ancient endless chain of profit, power, gain.”
The guest interviewee for the afternoon was former VP Dick Cheney, whose role in the oil business and the Iraq invasion are well known and where he defended hard interrogation techniques, the use of drones and a stepping up of forceful presence in the Mideast.
From the poem Butts quoted:
O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.