Tuesday, January 02, 2007

gerald ford, we beg your pardon

I've been remiss in mentioning the passing of James Brown and Saddam Hussein and not Gerald Ford. I was alive during Ford's presidency, and it seems very different what I remember from what is currently being eulogized.

I choose to remember him through african-american poet and singer Gil Scott-Heron's masterful work "Pardon Our Analysis (We Beg Your Pardon)" from his 1975 album Midnight Band: The First Minute of a New Day.

We beg your pardon because the pardon you gave this time was not yours to give
they call it due process and some people are... overdue
we beg your pardon america
somebody said brother man gonna break a window
gonna steal a hubcab gonna smoke a joint brother man gonna go to jail
the main who tried to steal america is not in jail
get caught with a nickel bag brother man
get caught with a nickel bag sister lady on your way to get your hair fixed
you'll do big ben and big ben is time but a man who tried a fix America will not do time
say they gonna slap his wrist
gonna retire him with $850,000 and America is shocked
America leads the world in shocks
unfortunately America does not lead the world in deciphering the cause of shocks
what are the results of this pardon...
we now have oatmeal man
anytime you find someone in the middle
anytime you find someone who is tepid
anytime you find someone who is lukewarm
anytime you find someone who has been in congress for 25 years and nobody ever heard of him you have
oatmeal man
oatmeal man straddling uncomfortably 25 feet of barbed wire
We beg your pardon America, because the pardon you gave, this time, was not yours to give.

I've left out many of the best parts. It's brilliant. Check it out and remember the truth.

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