Sunday, March 8, 2009

American Poverty

Posted by Teresa at 10:34 PM
I'm a fan of the singer of India Arie. I love neo-soul music. I got to listen
to a new song from her called Ghetto. But I had some problem the lyrics.
Here is a snippet:

There are places in Havannah,
That remind me of Savannah.

Parts of West Virgina,
That might as well be Kenya.
Parts of New York City,
Parts of Mississippi.
Parts of Tennessee,
Look like another world to me.

[Chorus]
Oh, oh oh, Ghetto-o-o-o,
Might as well be another country.
Barrio-o-o-o,
Might as well be another country.
When you look around,
You live in another country too (too).

To be hungry in L.A.
Is just like starving in Bombay.
Homeless in Moracco,
Is a shelter in Chicago.
Right around the corner,
Just down the road.
Right before your eyes,
Right under your nose.

[Chorus]
Hey, the ghetto-o-o-o
Might as well be another country.
Barrio-o-o-o,
Might as well be another country.
When you look around,
You live in another country too (too).

Now the dictionary says,
That the ghetto is a place
Of minority, and poverty, and over population.
We live on this earth together,
Ain't no separation.
When you're looking down,
From outer space.
We're just a human race and the world is a

[Chorus]
Ghetto-o-o-o,
Listen every place and every country.
Barrio-o-o-o,
It's in every place and every country.
When you look around,
Do you see your brother when you
Look around?
It's a small world after all.
Look around,
You live in another country too.

(Ghetto) Jamaica is a ghetto
(Ghetto) Japan is a ghetto
(Ghetto) America's a ghetto
(Ghetto) Slovakia's a ghetto
(Ghetto) South Africa's a ghetto
(Ghetto) Brazil is a ghetto
(Ghetto) Israel is a gheto

I'm sure she's trying to be socially conscience and put a spotlight no poverty,
which is good. However, American poverty doesn't look like South African
or Indian poverty like the premise of her song suggest. To prove my point
earlier this week First Lady Michelle Obama went to serve meals at a soup
kitchen and one of the men in the soup line had a nice looking cell phone:



I've never been to India or South Africa but I'm willing to guess that their
poor don't have nice camera phones. Just a guess.

I'm not trying to dismiss poverty here in America. It exists and it's heart
breaking. But let's be honest we have it pretty good here in this country.
And it must rub people from other countries with extreme poverty the wrong
way hearing an American say "Hey, Havannah is just like Savannah, Georgia."
Uh, no it's not. It's like the people that are comparing our current economic
woes to the Great Depression, it's ridiculous. We don't know how good
we have it!
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