Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hell No We Ain't Alright

“Hell No We Ain’t Alright” by Chuck D

New Orleans in the morning, afternoon, and night
Hell No We Ain’t Alright
Now all these press conferences breaking news alerts
This just in while your government looks for a war to win
Flames from the blame game, names? Where do I begin?
Walls closing in get some help to my kin
Who cares? While the rest of the Bushnation stares
As the drama unfolds as we the people under the stairs
50% of this Son of a Bush nation
Is like hatin’ on Haiti
And setting up assassinations
Ask Pat Robertson- quiz him.... smells like terrorism.
Racism in the news/ still one-sided news
Saying whites find food/
prey for the national guard ready to shoot
‘Cause them blacks loot
New Orleans in the morning, afternoon, and night
Hell No We Ain’t Alright
Fires, earthquakes, tsunamis
I don’t mean to scare/ Wasn’t this written somewhere?
Disgraces all I see is black faces moved out to all these places
Emergency state, corpses, alligators and snakes
Big difference between this haze and them diamonds on the VMA’s
We better look/ what’s really important
Under this sun especially if you over 21
This ain’t no TV show/ this ain’t no video
This is really real/ beyond them same ole “keep it real”
Quotes from them TV stars drivin’ big rim cars
'Streets be floodin,’ B/ no matter where you at, no gas
Driving is a luxury
State of emergency
Shows somebody’s government
Is far from reality....
New Orleans in the morning, afternoon, and night
Hell No We Ain’t Alright
I see here we be the new faces of refugees
Who ain’t even overseas but here on our knees
Forget the plasma TV-ain’t no electricity
New worlds upside down-and out of order
Shelter? Food? Wasssup, wheres the water?
No answers from disaster/ them masses hurtin’
So who the f**k we call?--Halliburton?
Son of a Bush, how you gonna trust that cat?
To fix s**t when help is stuck in Iraq?
Making war plans takin’ more stands
In Afghanistan 2000 soldiers dyin’ in the sand
But that’s over there, right?
Now what's over here is a noise so loud
That some can’t hear but on TV I can see
Bunches of people lookin’ just like me

[Courtesy of Allhiphop.com]

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Survival of the Fittest is Not a Policy

That is the homemade sign presently located on the bumper of my car. Because I truly feel New Orleans' pain. I live in a city of approximately the same size, with approximately the same racial makeup and an African American mayor. I know what it is like to be mocked, scorned, ignored, powerless. We have lived for hundreds of years under the auspices of the federal government with very little stake in our own future because we lacked the power and authority, both budgetary and legal, to do anything for ourselves.

Now, belatedly, we see the federal government attempting to step in in New Orleans because "the locals" (i.e. Crackers, African Americans, Latinos) couldn't do it. How familiar, and how heartwrenching. As though the mayor and the governor didn't plead for money and supplies and assistance BEFORE the disaster even hit. And as though the real reason for the government stepping in at this late hour ISN'T to cover their asses, keep the media out, etc. Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett was quoted as saying something to the effect of "the US government stands ready to protect the citizens of New Orleans." This would be laughable if it weren't so tragic. These people are so hopelessly out of touch they might as well be living on the moon.

The three greatest potential disasters that were feared by the feds were: 1) a flood in New Orleans 2) attacks on the World Trade Center and 3) major earthquakes in California. If I lived in the Golden State, I'd be seriously considering my options right about now.

As for the impotent rage I, like so many others, feel right now, well I am not going to stand quietly by. I am donating what I can locally (DC is set to receive several thousand victims in the next day or two), and will be traveling with a group of Springsteen fans to New Orleans at Thanksgiving in order to help with the relief efforts through Second Harvest Food Bank. This is not bragging--I know that people of conscience are already doing what they can. People are handling this tragedy in their own ways, and not everyone is in a position to drop everything and help. But Americans are fundamentally good, giving people, and I know they will help their desperate brothers and sisters to the extent that they can.

As for the Bush administration, there is not a sorrier group of people on the face of the earth. They are all truly sociopathic, and I have nothing but pity for them. Well, pity and disgust.

At times like this, it's hard to believe we're living in America. What has happened to us? Is this how we care for our weak, our infirm, "the least of our brothers?" And what must the foreign press be saying right now? (Sure would be nice to have the help of Germany, France, Spain, now wouldn't it? Too bad we've already alienated most of our allies with this ridiculous war of aggression...) The whole world is watching and judging, and what they will have to say will most definitely not be pleasant...

"Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers that you do unto me."