Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Let America Be America Again

 

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

— Langston Hughes, excerpt from “Let America Be America Again,” written in 1925

Nearly a hundred years ago, a black American wrote a poem with this conclusion. Graft? Stealth? Lies? It could be ripped from today’s headlines. Yes, Mr. Hughes, once again, let America be America again.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    Here is the whole poem.

    • #1
    • February 1, 2020, at 1:25 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  2. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hard to peg this Arahant guy. Just when you think you’ve figured out his conservatively-themed rap, he does an unexpected, creative chord change and proves his point. 

    Read everything Arahant writes! But do not, under any circumstances, play Three Card Monte with him!

    Or imagine that you can predict where he’ll discover another interesting fact. 

    • #2
    • February 1, 2020, at 2:07 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    Or imagine that you can predict where he’ll discover another interesting fact. 

    Kind of you, Gary.

    • #3
    • February 1, 2020, at 2:08 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  4. Judge Mental Member

    You can see the same phenomenon in protest music from the 60s. I direct your attention to Monster (album and song) by Steppenwolf. Half the songs on the album work now. Funny that those protesting then are now the man.

    • #4
    • February 1, 2020, at 2:24 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  5. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    You can see the same phenomenon in protest music from the 60s. I direct your attention to Monster (album and song) by Steppenwolf. Half the songs on the album work now. Funny that those protesting then are now the man.

    • #5
    • February 1, 2020, at 2:29 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  6. Henry Castaigne Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    You can see the same phenomenon in protest music from the 60s. I direct your attention to Monster (album and song) by Steppenwolf. Half the songs on the album work now. Funny that those protesting then are now the man.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeWZhuzFMM8

    • #6
    • February 1, 2020, at 3:56 AM PST
    • 1 like
  7. Hartmann von Aue Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    You can see the same phenomenon in protest music from the 60s. I direct your attention to Monster (album and song) by Steppenwolf. Half the songs on the album work now. Funny that those protesting then are now the man.

    Funny. I was thinking an analogous thought while shaving: Namely that the Dead Kennedys song “Nazi Punks, F**** Off!” applies to the ironically-named Antifa. 

    • #7
    • February 1, 2020, at 4:49 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  8. Judge Mental Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    You can see the same phenomenon in protest music from the 60s. I direct your attention to Monster (album and song) by Steppenwolf. Half the songs on the album work now. Funny that those protesting then are now the man.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeWZhuzFMM8

    Shades of The Association.

    • #8
    • February 1, 2020, at 6:38 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  9. Judge Mental Member

    This one fits particularly well:

    Those in the dark, you know they’re no longer blind
    They’re breakin’ from your strangle hold on their minds
    Those who can see don’t need no one to cross the street
    Be careful who you’re pushin’ round
    They just might find you obsolete

    Remember if you plan to stay
    Those who give can take away.
    Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

    • #9
    • February 1, 2020, at 6:50 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. Bryan McAllister Coolidge

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    You can see the same phenomenon in protest music from the 60s. I direct your attention to Monster (album and song) by Steppenwolf. Half the songs on the album work now. Funny that those protesting then are now the man.

    Great commercial! Blast from the past.

    The crazy thing, for me, is how the formula seems to apply to all interested parties of the conflict – but, the variables have different values. I sat at lunch a few weeks ago with a friend of mine who has an extremely liberal set of political values, he was an attorney in the NJ AG’s office – intelligent and well-read guy, and he started riffing on the impeachment proceedings. And, at first he wasn’t ‘defining his variables’ in his rant, but he shared similar concerns that I have about misrepresentation in the media, and frustration that people just didn’t understand, etc.

    He’d probably be rockin’ to the same Steppenwolf tunes, but have a different vision in his mind.

    • #10
    • February 1, 2020, at 8:37 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  11. Judge Mental Member

    Bryan McAllister (View Comment):

    He’d probably be rockin’ to the same Steppenwolf tunes, but have a different vision in his mind.

    That thought occurred to me. The second verse of that song has an unflattering description of a politician, that works for your least favorite, regardless of who that might be.

    • #11
    • February 1, 2020, at 8:43 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  12. Vectorman Thatcher

    Join other Ricochet members by submitting a Quote of the Day post, the easiest way to start a fun conversation. There are many days available on the February Signup Sheet, including Friday this week. We even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    • #12
    • February 1, 2020, at 9:33 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    that is a great poem/quote by langston hughes

     

    • #13
    • February 2, 2020, at 5:59 AM PST
    • 2 likes