July 24, 2007
Beat poem. Our heroes are not genocidal, racist, sexist, slaveholding imperialists. Filiopiety is one more way the myths about our founders are propagated.
Filiopiety? It ain’t for me;
I hail from the Land of Liberty,
Where it’s my right and my solemn duty
To place our elites under scrutiny.
‘Decontextualize’ might be my sin
When I use modern standards in judging them
But, had I lived during their slavery
I’d have joined to abolish, most certainly.
And genocide, can you really forgive?
It was their intent that only whites should live.
No amount of context can soften the sin
Of our forebears slaughtering the “Indian.”
What the Signers of Independence really feared
Was the turbulence democracy would engineer
‘Mob rule by ignorance!’ was the oft-spoken cry
And the reason republicanism was made to fly.
Poets of yore slammed Tommy’s vessel seizures
When the 1809 Force Act ruined small fleeters
Giving another example where his offenses ranged
I reproduce it here but note the meter is changed:
‘Our ships all in motion,
Once whiten’d the ocean
They sail’d and return’d with a cargo
‘Now doom’d to decay
They are fallen a prey
To Jefferson, worms, and embargo’
When they criticize Bush later on this millennium
For kidnap and torture and depleted uranium,
Should they allow profit’s pursuit in a capital system
To reduce the judgment they cast upon him?
Should they quote his words and ignore his deeds
When justifying war with imaginary WMDs?
“In those days,” our descendents could say,
“They lied to the masses, so it’s okay.”
While one person’s myth may be another’s verity
The truth is still plain thru ruthless honesty.
While Capital Hill may like Jefferson quotes
The opposite is true for downtrodden folks.
From inside the hood, we don’t need to read Forbes
To know that Bill and Hillary are in bed with George
We just look at our paychecks, at the minimum wage
That no one can live on – to know we’re still slaves.
Democracy is a tentative thing
It takes more than words to make freedom ring
So, if you would seek to motivate the plebs
Don’t quote false heroes who never tried to free us.