USA Goddam

eric-garner-police-brutality-ramsey-ortaMaybe this is all too typical of how we (have to) deal with events in our world which drive us crazy. If I write that I want to balance my extraordinary frustration (emblematic of Jon Stewart in my previous post) with another post that will make me feel better, does that belittle the tragedy, even only as far as I feel it? Does it allow me to shrug it off and move on, ignoring the fact that real men (women and children) are suffering such obscene injustice?

Trayvon and DadI’m never going to get all “the good thing to come of this…”, but I will do what many much more qualified social commentators are doing…. continuing to connect the dots, between history and today, and critiquing what has changed, where we’ve progressed, and where we are dreadfully still lacking. Discourse on human relations needs to be put to use for potential solutions that may start to shift the paradigms that form our current cultural consciousness.

HT_michael_brown_sk_140813_16x9_992I recently saw this video of Nina Simone’s civil rights anthem, “Mississippi Goddam”, being resurrected and applied to the events in Ferguson. This was Simone’s “…response to the murder of Medgar Evers..”.

141124-tamir-rice-625a_562596cd83002de8713a37f42e24b0beIt seems, sadly, quite appropriate still. Bigots continue to blame Black Americans for the injustice that is thrust upon them, and deny the institutionalized oppression that permeates in this country like a cancer. Now along with Trayvon Martin, we have Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice… and on and on.

USA Goddam.

“Mississippi Goddam”


Alabama’s gotten me so upset

Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi GoddamAlabama’s gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi GoddamCan’t you see it
Can’t you feel it
It’s all in the air
I can’t stand the pressure much longer
Somebody say a prayerAlabama’s gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi GoddamThis is a show tune
But the show hasn’t been written for it, yetHound dogs on my trail
School children sitting in jail
Black cat cross my path
I think every day’s gonna be my lastLord have mercy on this land of mine
We all gonna get it in due time
I don’t belong here
I don’t belong there
I’ve even stopped believing in prayerDon’t tell me
I tell you
Me and my people just about due
I’ve been there so I know
They keep on saying “Go slow!”

But that’s just the trouble
“do it slow”
Washing the windows
“do it slow”
Picking the cotton
“do it slow”
You’re just plain rotten
“do it slow”
You’re too damn lazy
“do it slow”
The thinking’s crazy
“do it slow”
Where am I going
What am I doing
I don’t know
I don’t know

Just try to do your very best
Stand up be counted with all the rest
For everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

I made you thought I was kiddin’

Picket lines
School boy cots
They try to say it’s a communist plot
All I want is equality
for my sister my brother my people and me

Yes you lied to me all these years
You told me to wash and clean my ears
And talk real fine just like a lady
And you’d stop calling me Sister Sadie

Oh but this whole country is full of lies
You’re all gonna die and die like flies
I don’t trust you any more
You keep on saying “Go slow!”
“Go slow!”

But that’s just the trouble
“do it slow”
“do it slow”
Mass participation
“do it slow”
“do it slow”
Do things gradually
“do it slow”
But bring more tragedy
“do it slow”
Why don’t you see it
Why don’t you feel it
I don’t know
I don’t know

You don’t have to live next to me
Just give me my equality
Everybody knows about Mississippi
Everybody knows about Alabama
Everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

That’s it!


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