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Wake Up America (from Otherhood)

You’ve got to wake up, America, and face the facts
Your roads are built on broken backs
And there’s no way that you can track
The hypocrisy that against you stacks

There are storm clouds in those spacious skies
Of which you sing, but do you realize
Your purple mountains and amber grain
Will disappear in the acid rain

Of time, there’s no time, and the time is now
To turn our hawk-like swords into plows
And reap the seed that we have sown
The apathy that has destroyed our home.

You’ve got to wake up, America, and see the truth
There is no one standing in your voting booths
The people in this country who run your lives
Are free to find your back with their steely knives

You stammer, stammer and complain that there is nothing you can do
But you and I know that this is not true
We’ve focused our attention on the world outside
And now it’s time to take the board out of our own damn eye.

Oh, sleeping giant it’s time to rise
And wipe the sleep out, from out your eyes
You’ve enslaved your brothers to promote your creed
But you don’t know what it is, ’cause you can’t read

And your huddled masses yearning to be free
Are as tired and poor as they used to be
They’re dying of AIDS, selling or trying to score
Wake up, the future is right next door.

Around the world we act so proud
Americans, yes, and we say it loud
We rub our freedoms in everybody’s faces
But we let the media run presidential races

Freedom of choice is what is all about
So, make a choice, or be left out
If we stood for equality, life and truth
Then the flag we fly would be fire-proof

It’s our claim to fame, and our greatest shame
But we’re running out of fingers pointing out the blame
If you’re so proud, proud as you claim,
Pick up the pieces…and use your brain.

Wake up America, and read your history
So many have died for our democracy
But the facts are clear and can’t be ignored
There are strip mines where once eagles soared

It’s time we started listening to “Yankee go home”
And went through our problems with a fine tooth comb
Remember just like Patrick Henry said
Without liberty, we’d all be dead.

Excerpts from the Rap Opera “Otherhood”, circa 1985

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