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What Does Oppression Look Like?

By       Message Lenore Daniels       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     Permalink

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Oh, no cannonballs did fly, no rifles cut us down
No bombs fell from the sky, no blood soaked the ground
No powder flash blinded the eye, no deathly thunder sound
But just as sure as the hand of God, they brought death to my hometown
They brought death to my hometown, boys

No shells ripped the evening sky, no cities burning down
No armies stormed the shores for which we'd die
No dictators were crowned
I awoke from a quiet night, I never heard a sound
Marauders raided in the dark and brought death to my hometown, boys
Death to my hometown

They destroyed our families' factories and they took our homes
They left our bodies on the plains, the vultures picked our bones

Bruce Springsteen, "Death to My Hometown," Wrecking Ball (album)  

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Recently, while waiting for the manager to open the door of a local grocery store, I heard a conversation between two young men who walked up from the parking lot and stood behind me. The conversation was already in progress:

 

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Yeah, my family in the Islands. When I was young, they spoke that Spanish at home.

 

Man, then you can speak Spanish?

 

No, I don't speak that mess, man.

 

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I don't know what they are saying.   That Spanish mess, (expletive) Spanish, man. So you got Spanish blood?

 

Yeah, my great grandfather was white, too. Irish!

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Dr. Lenore J. Daniels, Black Commentator, Editorial Board and Columnist, Doctorate in Modern American Literature/Cultural Theory

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