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"Manifest Destiny" a slam poem

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Manifest Destiny


Repeat After Me Children,

Manifest Destiny

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Say it again,

Manifest Destiny


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1st to break it down into its component parts:


Manifest means laid out plainly for all to see

Wanna see what's going on, on a ship you look in the big old book where they keep the records it's called the "manifest."

Also, when people believe in magic or religion

And they want something to happen and it does

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That's also called "manifest."

As in, "Praise the Lord, just when I thought I was going to starve, Sheila manifested this here dead opossum, so now we'se eatin' good."





Destiny means what is supposed to happen in your life

The road ahead, your fate.

Again, people who believe in magic

Or religion

(for they are the same thing-

And the concept of destiny is very much a matter of magic or religion)

To those folk destiny is like


Set up a set of hurdles for you to fall into or fly over

A string of dominoes


Laid out to you're infinity

Waiting for you to stumble through the gate

To tumble the pegs in their pre-set directions

All worked out before you even get there

You're really not to blame, you see?

For how you live

Or the good or bad that happens

Such issues are not really in your power at all.

It's all god's will


No, no

Don't question it

God's will, got it? God it?


Manifest + Destiny, Manifest Destiny

Sounds beautiful, doesn't it?

Now here's what it means,

You ready?


Once upon a time

This land where we are now standing

Was a Deer's

An Antelope's

A Mammoth's

You know, they hugged, they played


And not wanting to toss out a discouraging word here

But you know some men eventually came around killed 'em.

Those men

Red men, long ago men

Believed the animals were there for their taking

They believed it was part of the gods wills

It was their destiny to live

It was the animals destiny to die


And the gods manifested this or that

Or he did or did not

And they lived that way for ten thousand years



Some newer men came

Chasing gold and

Were willing to be gory

And they came and brought their own vengeful god with them

They came aiming to manifest some gold and some glory

And claim it all in the name of some god


And then the men who followed them

Were ready to kill anybody for their god

And kill they did

It was their destiny

It was manifest

It was plain to see

The land was there for the taking


And to reassure themselves

The dying and the suffering

Were of no consequence

In 1845, they even coined a phrase for it,

Manifest Destiny

They codified it, they defanged it, it wasn't even killing anymore

Just Manifest Destiny
And then they threw a war

So, what is Manifest Destiny?

Say it with me children

(Here comes the definition)

Manifest Destiny.

Manifest Destiny.


Manifest Destiny


The belief that


For the United States to stretch from sea to shining sea


If there was an Indian in the way

Kill him.

If there was a country in the way

Go to war.


That's what happened with Mexico, you know?

You know that all this-

Used to be Mexico

We took half of the country,


Just took it.

Thousands dead

Left in the cactus

Carnage from coast to coast


The red land

Of the white man

Between the two seas of blue

Manifest Destiny, American as the flag 

Not our fault.

Couldn't be helped,

Had to be done


Manifest Destiny

Wasn't really murder, wasn't really stealing

Just Manifest Destiny

No way around it

God's will, Manifest Destiny.

Tough break Indian

Shouldn't've been in the way, Mexico

Nothing personal

Just takin' care of business

We got god's work to do

From sea to shining sea.


(1/30/09, 3/10/09, 4/29/09)







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Recently a Democratic candidate for Arizona's new Congressional District 4, Mikel Weisser has been challenging the right and raising a ruckus since the 1980s. Born the son of a nightclub singer, Mikel Weisser watched anti-war hippies getting beaten (more...)

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