Sunday, May 31, 2020

Gil Scott-Heron's "Whitey On the Moon" - (1970)

With the extremely expensive (and wildly inappropriate) public-private-money-coalition NASA/Space X Launch proceeding, despite our country literally being up in flames and a virus pandemic,  I was reminded of this 1970 poem, written by Gil Scott-Heron about white privilege despite racism, lack of healthcare for the poor, and poverty. 

Not much has changed, in 50 years, has it?  

In fact, it may be worse ...

A rat done bit my sister Nell...
...with Whitey on the moon.
Her face and arms began to swell ...
... and Whitey's on the moon. 
I can't pay no doctor bill.
... but Whitey's on the moon.
Ten years from now I'll be payin' still.
... while Whitey's on the moon. 

The man jus' upped my rent las' night.
... 'cause Whitey's on the moon.
No hot water, no toilets, no lights.
... but Whitey's on the moon. 

I wonder why he's uppi' me?
...'cause Whitey's on the moon?
I was already payin' ' fifty a week.
... with Whitey on the moon. 

Taxes takin' my whole damn check,
Junkies makin' me a nervous wreck,
The price of food is goin' up,
An' as if all that shit wasn't enough? 

A rat done bit my sister Nell.
...with Whitey on the moon.
Her face an' arm began to swell.
... but Whitey's on the moon.
Was all that money I made las' year
... for Whitey on the moon?
How come there ain't no money here?
Hm! Whitey's on the moon. 

Y'know I jus' 'bout had my fill
... of Whitey on the moon
I think I'll sen' these doctor bills,
Airmail special
... to Whitey on the moon.

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