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Tim Kaine introduced Hillary Clinton ahead of her concession speech Wednesday with a quote from William Faulkner.
The vice presidential candidate spoke about their hard-fought campaign, Clinton’s winning the popular vote and then concluded by quoting Faulkner.
“Hillary and I know well the wisdom and the words of William Faulkner. He said, ‘they kilt us, but they ain’t whupped us yit.’ ” He continued, saying that work still remains.
“We know that the dreams of empowering families and children remains. And in that work, that important work that we have to do as a nation, it is so comforting — even at a tough time — to know that Hillary Clinton is somebody who, until her very last breath, is going to be battling for the values that make this nation great and the values that we care so deeply about.”
Kaine’s quote comes from William Faulkner’s 1936 novel Absalom, Absalom!. The novel takes place in the 1800s and early 1900s and is a narrative about the time before, during and after the Civil War. It tells the story of the slave-owning Sutpen family in Mississippi.
The quote Kaine referred to occurs when Wash Jones, a low-class squatter, greets Thomas Sutpen after he returns from fighting on behalf of the Confederacy. Sutpen’s son and wife have died and he returned home to a ruined plantation with nothing but a “citation of gallantry” from General Lee.
“Well, Kernel,” Wash said, “they kilt us but they ain’t whupped us yit, air they?”
Wash squats on Sutpen’s land doing odd jobs, but eventually kills him after Sutpen impregnates his 15-year-old granddaughter. Wash also kills his granddaughter and newborn great-granddaughter, and is in turn murdered when he is found.
Kaine was, presumably, referring to the sentiment behind the quote and not the exact context.
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