Tuesday, June 7, 2011
who's the enemy?
this is for my battle buddy, Cooper, who in basic training
lay on the floor in a pool of his own blood
teeth missing, eyes swollen shut
I could see the boot prints on his face
beat for bein black, beat for his race
this is for G-force
the brick house jumpmaster, paratroopin disaster
Maaan, he could sing!
and make everyone laugh
but they called him names when he turned his back
see, G took care of me and I trusted him for that
he taught me how to fly, how to pull the trigger
and no afghani ever called him nigger
this is for the Vietnam Vet
who told me he didn't fear the death he might meet
because of his skin color,
he already worried about bein strung up
just for walkin down his own street
we were told the military would teach us
how to share our freedom
but what we learned was a new level of hate.
when we weren't training to kill people with turbans
we were conditioned to hate our sisters and brothers
foreign, domestic, and urban
this institution thrives on hate:
there was a swastika brand on the chest
of my first army roommate.
he told me uncle Sam don't care
but I couldn’t help but stare
at the absurdity of a man
wearing an arrowhead patch
representing the spirit of the Native Americans
crowned with a U.S. flag, on a blouse
encasing a chest
branded with a symbol of hate
this uniform supposedly defeated?
I’ve got news for you America
the enemy isn't in the Middle East
or Africa or Asia or Central and South America
It’s within you
and it’s within me
It’s the institution of hate
that keeps people from bein free.