Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Is this today or yesterday, Without a Liberal education I can't tell...

They came from privileged space,
descending upon the uncivilized 
to teach them the honor to be found
in free labor, to a people 
adverse to work,
to impart on them self-reliance 
and prudence, of which it was thought 
their people had none,
From the spheres of Oberlin
their hair tied back,
their finger nails clean, they found
a presence unwanted,
a feeling they graciously ignored
for the betterment of their pupils,
The land sacked, the houses burnt,
the order of labor and life and thought and society
up in the air air air,
And they carried their education like their enemies 
had once carried the whip and the cane and the gun,
In the fields they couldn't find humility
and the cotton weevil had been out of work
for too long to offer much help,  
So when they returned to the mothership
codenamed Oberlin, 
they spoke the same gospel of the defeated,
the landed and the wretched,
about a people who wouldn't be ruled (for their own good)
who fought honorably against oppression (but were impudent)
struggled to feed their families (but lounged lazily)
and built their own schools (but refused to read and write)

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