hip hop music

September 2, 2005

Why Can't We?

We got to make this land a better land
Than the world in which we live.
And we got to help each man be a better man
With the kindness that we give.

I know we can make it.
I know darn well we can work it out.
Oh yes we can, I know we can can
Yes we can can, why can't we?

I never thought this particular song would move me to tears. Such a simple message, believing that human beings will do what ought to come naturally, and show up for each other when times get hard. Seems like the simplest thing in the world, more common sense than optimism.

But right now I can barely stand to listen to it.. knowing the man behind that message, Allen Toussaint, is one of the 20,000 human beings who spent this week huddled in the Louisiana Super Terrordome. Fearing for their lives, wondering when we were going to show up.

We did not show up.

If you want to deny how race and class are factoring into this, have fun in fantasyland. But surely not even the most wilfully oblivious among us can deny the basic truth here: We did not show up, for the people who needed us the most. We failed. It did not have to be like this.

The poorest among us were forgotten and left for dead.

I don't really have words to go on from here.

(EDIT: According to more recent reports Toussaint was not in the Superdome after all, but holed up in a local hotel..)

  • hurricanehousing.org
  • secondharvest.org
  • indyvoter's new orleans fund
  • red cross
  • mayor nagin going off
  • ned sublette on the lost musical history
  • wonkette's coverage
  • poplicks' coverage
  • crooks and liars

    Posted by jsmooth995 at September 2, 2005 6:57 PM

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