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The New Deal

Gil Scott-Heron


Ad hoc and adlib. Haha
two of my favorite ads
This is going to be a position poem
on a non-era. Um, most questions
concerning change and concerning demonstrations
of, of dissent in this country
have been identified by the 60's
People always say, "Well
what do you think about the 60's? "
I personally think that the 60's are over
that the 60's were an integral part
of what is happening now
and were a link
between what is happening now
and what was happening prior to that
that every era had gradual
and constant change
and that there were always people
who were out there making sure
things were moving and
that the attempt has been
to, to, to make this a non-era
to make people feel
as though there's nothing they can do
nothing they can accomplish
and, and, therefore, quit doing everything
Media people seem to believe
that we are living in a non-era
It seems to be the vibration
uh, historians of the future
will have nothing to look back on
and identify the 70's with
Uh, historians of the 70's
currently are busy reviewing
and re... recounting, uh
what happened in the 60's
to people who were here and already know
People who were previously identified
as shufflers and were, at other times
lost in a given shuffle, will be glad
to find that the political deck
has been restacked
and that there is a New Deal
not a, a New Deal like Fdr's New Deal
but a New Deal concerning people who will
in the future, look back on this
as a non-era and say that nothing happened
in the 70's. We have a position paper
on that-this is the analysis

I have believed in my convictions
and have been convicted for my beliefs
Conned by the Constitution and harassed
by the police
I have been billed
for the Bill of Rights and treated
like I was wrong
I have become a special amendment
for what included me all along like
"All men are created equal"-well
no amendment needed there
I have contributed in every field
including cotton from Sunset Strip
to Washington Square
And back during the non-violent era
well, hell, I was the only non-violent one
As a matter of fact
there was no non-violence
'cause too many rednecks had guns
There seemed to have been this pattern
that a lot of folks failed to pick up on
But all black leaders who dared
to stand up was in jail, in the courtroom
or gone
Picked up indiscriminately
by the shock troops of discrimination
To end up in jails or tied up in trials
while dirty tricks soured the nation
I've been hoodwinked by professional hoods
my ego has happened to me
"It'll be alright
just keep things cool
and take the people off the street
We'll settle all this
at the conference table
you just leave everything to me"
Which gets me back to my convictions
and being convicted for my beliefs
'Cause I believe these smiles
in three-piece suits with gracious
liberal demeanor
Took our movement off of the streets
and took us to the cleaners
In other words, we let up the pressure
and that was all part of their plan
And every day we allow
to slip through our fingers
is playing right into their hands
The New Deal

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