Friday, April 24, 2009

"Soldier" On Erykah!

I was roaming around YouTube, and I had a hankering for some Erykah Badu. I love the song "Soldier," so I pulled up the video. In a way that I just cannot explain, Erykah reminds me of how cool it is to be an American black (note the noun and the adjective, respectively; don't get it twisted).

Anyway, as I was listening to the song, bopping my head to the beat, a particular lyric set jumped out at me: "they be tryin' to hide the history/but they know who we are/do you want to see everbody rise to the next degree/raise your hands high if you agree...." These lyrics seem to hit right on the issues we are dealing with right now, from torture, to the financial services/banking crisis, to the land wars in Asia (I still love "The Princess Bride"). The message is simple: try as you might, the truth will out.

Now the song as a whole is cool, though I am sure my conservative friends might take issue with some of the lyrics (and I am no fan of "bow ties with the Final Call" myself), but she hits on so many points. The beat is hot, regardless.

Take a listen to the song. Happy Friday!

Erykah Badu -- "Soldier"


Scott said...

Free, I'm not so confident that "the truth will out."

During the "Summit of the Americas" last week Daniel Ortega gave an angry speech detailing parts of the history between North and South America.

Later I heard Pat Buchanan talking about how "disgusting and humiliating" it was that President Obama "sat there grinning" while Daniel Ortega gave an "anti-American rant."

"President Obama didn't even rebut a single word of the lies Ortega was spreading!" Buchanan screeched.

I Googled around a bit until I found a transcript of what Ortega had said. His rhetoric was at times inflammatory ("terrorism from North America") but here's the problem I have for Mr. Buchanan. What I want Pat to do is to go through Ortega's speech and find any factual errors in what he said. Find what exactly he expected President Obama to "rebut."

I've studied a bit of the history of US relations with Latin America and from my reading of it, inflammatory tone or not, what Daniel Ortega said in his speech was entirely, factually--TRUE.

Free, I do believe that the facts will out come on torture. We already have a lot of them. But I'm not so sure that some of our friends on the right will ever see the truth. Chris Hayes of The Nation put it pretty well. He said (I'm paraphrasing)-- "For a lot of Americans on the right, the United States can do no wrong. America is definitionally pure. Is waterboarding torture? No, if the United States did it, it cannot be torture because if WE did it...well, it's not torture. We don't do that."

And as for Mr. Ortega, well when a large country goes into a region of the world and over the course of a century or so violently overthrows governments there, then installs and props up vicious dictators willing to do the bidding of that large country, that is obviously imperialism, right?

Unless of course the United States is the large country that did those things to those small countries. Then it can't possibly be imperialism don't do that.

Margot Lee Shetterly said...

I'm interested in your highlighting the phrase "American black". Are you offering that as a counterpoint to "Black American"?

Is the former meant to emphasize the diasporic connection to "black" as opposed to the national connection to "American"?

Anonymous said...

"Never go up against a Sicilian when death is involved! HAHAHAHA! HAHAHAH...thump!"