Songs that made a difference.

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To quote John Miles”Music was my first love and it will be my last”. Music is my passion, its power has no equal. A good song can make you happy, sad or angry, a great song will make you think.

There are songs that made a difference and made people think. Unfortunately nowadays artists only seem to care which toilet should be placed during their gigs, while they don’t mind being paid millions to perform in countries where nearly every human right is ignored and/or broken, but that is a different story. In this blog I want to focus on songs where artists saw real injustice and sang or wrote about it.

Although I don’t always agree with the message they were giving,I do respect them because they are doing it out of a noble principle.

Starting off with probably the most powerful one.

Billie Holiday – “Strange Fruit” (1939)

I always liked this song but it was only a few years ago I realized what this song was about and ever since the bittersweet sounds have been haunting me.

Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” is a protest song with enduring relevance. It’s lyrics symbolize the brutality and racism of the practice of lynching in the American South. It was the first time a black artist had sung such controversial lyrics. The song itself has endured and become a symbol of the racism, cruelty, pain.

“Strange Fruit” was originated as a poem written by American writer, teacher and songwriter Abel Meeropol, under his pseudonym Lewis Allan, as a protest against lynchings.In the poem, Meeropol expressed his horror at lynchings, inspired by Lawrence Beitler’s photograph of the 1930 lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana.

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He published the poem under the title “Bitter Fruit” in 1937 in The New York Teacher, a union magazine. Though Meeropol had asked others (notably Earl Robinson) to set his poems to music, he set “Strange Fruit” to music himself. His protest song gained a certain success in and around New York. Meeropol, his wife, and black vocalist Laura Duncan performed it at Madison Square Garden.Barney Josephson, the founder of Cafe Society in Greenwich Village, New York’s first integrated nightclub, heard the song and introduced it to Billie Holiday. Other reports say that Robert Gordon, who was directing Billie Holiday’s show at Cafe Society, heard the song at Madison Square Garden and introduced it to her.[11] Holiday first performed the song at Cafe Society in 1939.

Amazing Grace -John Newton 1772

A hymn that has been performed by many artist, however I chose the version of the most famous of all singers,Elvis.

Former slave ship captain John Newton wrote Amazing Grace in 1772 .

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He mentored William Wilberforce in his long fight to outlaw slave trading. The song took root in the US during the Second Great (religious protestant) Awakening in early 1800s. It became a standard hymn sung by all races but also a protest song associated with civil rights and with Martin Luther King. It remains a hymn, a freedom song and also has a life as a radio chart hit for performers as diverse as Mahalia Jackson, Judy Collins and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. It is the song most frequently sung on Martin Luther King Jr Day in the US.

Get Up Stand Up – Bob Marley 1973

“You can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. So now we see the light! We gonna stand up for our rights!”

Marley was inspired to write this song after touring Haiti where he was moved by the extreme poverty  Haitian people faced. The song describes taking action to avoid oppression by higher forces.

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Fortunate Son

The song, released during the peak period of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, is not explicit in its criticism of that war in particular, rather, it “speaks more to the unfairness of class than war itself,” according to its author, John Fogerty. “It’s the old saying about rich men making war and poor men having to fight them.

‘Fortunate Son’ wasn’t really inspired by any one event. Julie Nixon was dating David Eisenhower.

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This song is said to be inspired by the joining together of two political families when David Eisenhower, grandson of President Dwight Eisenhower, and Julie Nixon, daughter of President Richard Nixon, married. Writer John Fogerty told Rolling Stones he “had the feeling that none of these people were going to be involved with the war. In 1968, the majority of the country thought morale was great among the troops, and eighty percent of them were in favor of the war. But to some of us who were watching closely, we just knew we were headed for trouble.”

 

 

 

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Taught to Hate-KKK Kids

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The Ku Klux Klan has survived for more than 150 years. Its ideology of hatred and white supremacy continued to keep attracting new members through the Holocaust, the civil rights movement, and on past the election of America’s first black president. It seems unbelievable that hatred could live on for that long, that anyone in the modern world could put on white robes, burn crosses, and still spread manifestos that call for an all-white America.

A KKK child and a black State Trooper meet each other, 1992 2

But hatred often starts at home. Since 1865, countless children across America have been born into the Ku Klux Klan. They’ve been raised by parents who pass down a moral code created in the days of slavery. From birth, these children are fully immersed in the Klan.

The pictures below illustrate child’s lives in the KKK. They also show that contrary to popular believe, the Ku Klux Klan were not only operating in the Southern States.

A mother looks on as her seven-month-old child is baptized into the Klan.

Long Island, New York. July 4, 1927.

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Two children — in the original caption, labelled as “mascots” of the Ku Klux Klan — stand with the Grand Dragon.

Atlanta, Georgia. July 1948.

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A young girl in robes drinks a Coca-Cola while she and her mother watch a Ku Klux Klan rally.

Location unspecified. August 1925

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Shelby Pendergraft, 15, and Charity Pendergraft, 17, attend a cross lighting ceremony at the Christian Revival Center.

Bergman, Arkansas. 2008.

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This unidentified Klan woman gets her son dressed up real “cute” in KKK robes and hat. The boy doesn’t seem to be too happy with the outfit, if you can judge by the expression on his face.

Location unspecified. April 27, 1956.

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A child is initiated into the Ku Klux Klan.

Macon, Georgia. January 1946

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Seven-year-old Perry Blevens sticks his head out the car window, showing off the sign that calls for “no integration.”

Gwinett County, Georgia. April 14, 1956.

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A police officer stops to talk to a young boy about the Klan.

The young boy was curious about the rally marching by. But after talking to the officer, he changed his mind and went home instead of being lured into the Klan.

Danbury, Connecticut. August 7, 1982.

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A mother and her child hold hands as they watch a cross burn.

Georgia. April 27, 1956

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A child is born with no state of mind Blind to the ways of mankind.

 

figure-1Don’t worry I haven’t suddenly become a Hip Hop artist. although the title of this blog does come from a classic Hip Ho[ track. called “the Message” by Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, but it is a powerful line and oh so true.

Children don’t see the color of a skin or a religious background. All they will see is will they play with me or not.

Below are some more examples where the children put us adults to shame. Isn’t it ironic that the children are teaching us?

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A photo of a Jewish and a ‘Palestinian’ boy overlooking Jerusalem and embracing each

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A KKK child and a black State Trooper meet each other, 1992

A KKK child and a black State Trooper meet each other, 1992 2

The Ku Klux Klan was holding a rally in the northeast Georgia community of Gainesville, where the white supremacist group hoped to breathe some life into its flagging revival campaign of the late 1980s and earl 1990s. Assigned as a backup photographer for the local daily, The Gainesville Times, was Todd Robertson. At the Klan rally, there wasn’t a tremendous amount of action for Robertson to record. According to news reports from the day, there were 66 KKK representatives, encircled by three times as many law enforcement personnel. The downtown square was otherwise empty, with about 100 observers at the fringe, mostly there to demonstrate against the Klan.

The white supremacists were out-of-towners with no real local support in Gainesville. Many people who came to these Klan events were not from the city. While reporters and the staff photographer focused on the speakers at the rally and watched for potential signs of conflict, Robertson chose to follow a mother and her two young boys, dressed in white robes and the KKK’s iconic pointy hats.

One of the boys approached a black state trooper, who was holding his riot shield on the ground. Seeing his reflection, the boy reached for the shield, and Robertson snapped the photo. Almost immediately, the mother swooped in and took away the toddler, whom she identified to Robertson as “Josh”. The moment was fleeting, and almost no one noticed it, but Robertson had captured it on film. Since that moment the photograph has become an iconic image of American race relations and to the postulate “No one is born racist”

 

The Court martial of Jackie Robinson.

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Jack Roosevelt Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was an American professional baseball second baseman who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era.Robinson broke the baseball color line when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base on April 15, 1947. The Dodgers, by signing Robinson, heralded the end of racial segregation in professional baseball that had relegated black players to the Negro leagues since the 1880s. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

In 1942, Robinson was drafted and assigned to a segregated Army cavalry unit in Fort Riley, Kansas.

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Having the requisite qualifications, Robinson and several other black soldiers applied for admission to an Officer Candidate School (OCS) then located at Fort Riley. Although the Army’s initial July 1941 guidelines for OCS had been drafted as race neutral, few black applicants were admitted into OCS until after subsequent directives by Army leadership. As a result, the applications of Robinson and his colleagues were delayed for several months. After protests by heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis (then stationed at Fort Riley) and the help of Truman Gibson (then an assistant civilian aide to the Secretary of War), the men were accepted into OCS.The experience led to a personal friendship between Robinson and Louis. Upon finishing OCS, Robinson was commissioned as a second lieutenant in January 1943. 

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Lt. Robinson was an officer with the 761st Tank Battalion.  That unit of African-American soldiers – later dubbed “The Black Panthers” (and “Patton’s Panthers”) – became famous when they fought for 183 straight days in Europe (including at the Battle of the Bulge).  Their motto was “Come Out Fighting.”

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If an eventful bus ride had not sidetracked Jack Robinson, during the summer of 1944, the 2nd Lieutenant could have been with his men when they shipped-out to Europe.  Instead, he faced charges of insubordination, resulting in a court-martial.

An event on July 6, 1944 derailed Robinson’s military career.While awaiting results of hospital tests on the ankle he had injured in junior college, Robinson boarded an Army bus with a fellow officer’s wife; although the Army had commissioned its own unsegregated bus line, the bus driver ordered Robinson to move to the back of the bus.Robinson refused.

The driver backed down, but after reaching the end of the line, summoned the military police, who took Robinson into custody.When Robinson later confronted the investigating duty officer about racist questioning by the officer and his assistant, the officer recommended Robinson be court-martialed. After Robinson’s commander in the 761st, Paul L. Bates, refused to authorize the legal action, Robinson was summarily transferred to the 758th Battalion—where the commander quickly consented to charge Robinson with multiple offenses, including, among other charges, public drunkenness, even though Robinson did not drink.

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By the time of the court-martial in August 1944, the charges against Robinson had been reduced to two counts of insubordination during questioning. Robinson was acquitted by an all-white panel of nine officers.

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The experiences Robinson was subjected to during the court proceedings would be remembered when he later joined MLB and was subjected to racist attacks.Although his former unit, the 761st Tank Battalion, became the first black tank unit to see combat in World War II, Robinson’s court-martial proceedings prohibited him from being deployed overseas; thus, he never saw combat action.

After his acquittal, he was transferred to Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, where he served as a coach for army athletics until receiving an honorable discharge in November 1944.While there, Robinson met a former player for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro American League, who encouraged Robinson to write the Monarchs and ask for a tryout. Robinson took the former player’s advice and wrote to Monarchs’ co-owner Thomas Baird.

 

The Battle of Bamber Bridge

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The Battle of Bamber Bridge was an outbreak of racial violence and mutiny that began in the evening of 24 June 1943 among American servicemen stationed in the British village of Bamber Bridge, Lancashire. Coming just days after the 1943 Detroit race riot.

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The incident was sparked by the attempted arrest by white Military Police (MPs) of several black soldiers from the racially segregated 1511th Quartermaster Truck regiment in the Ye Old Hob Inn public house.

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In the following hours, the situation was further inflamed by the arrival of more military police armed with machine guns, and the response of black soldiers who raided the armoury and armed themselves with rifles. A firefight broke out, and continued until the early hours of 25 June. The fight left one soldier dead and several MPs and soldiers injured. A court martial after the event convicted 32 soldiers of mutiny and related crimes, but put blame on poor leadership and racist attitudes among the MPs.

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On 20 June, 1943, an estimated 100,000 black civilians travelled from Detroit city to the Belle Isle on the Detroit river to relax in the 90 degree heat. Rumours began to spread of a black woman and her baby being murdered, which quickly led to tensions and later fighting on the way back to the city.

The rioting tragically resulted in 25 black people dead, 17 shot by the police, and riots quickly spread to Texas, Massa, Ohio, Harlem and 4,000 miles to North West England. Bamber Bridge had been the headquarters for the 1511th Quartermaster Truck regiment for several months, and many of the American black soldiers would socialise in Preston.

On the evening of Thursday, June 24 1943, several black GIs decided to stay in Bamber Bridge and drink in thatched pub the Olde Hob Inn. At 10 pm, the drinkers in the pub jeered as closing time was announced, the atmosphere already tense between the GIs from the news of the riots in Detroit. Military Police passing by attempted to arrest one GI in the pub, resulting in a backlash from other drinkers.

A British soldier asked: “Why do you want to arrest them? They are doing nothing wrong.” However, they then attempted to arrest several more GIs between the pub and Adams Hall, their base. The result ended up in a GI being shot and injured. Three Military Police vehicles set it off again at midnight after a brief calm period, by returning to the base armed with a machine gun. The word was spread from the gates to the several hundred soldiers inside, who broke into storerooms for weapons and ammunition.

They smashed through the gates and headed into Bamber Bridge, where they launched an attack on all Military Police and vehicles. British civilians watched as their quiet town erupted in violence and gunfire, forcing many to hide indoors away from the chaos. The Military Police set up a road block and again tried to arrest the disorderly GIs. Local policeman alleged that the Military Police ambushed the GIs by trapping them in the road with machine guns. One GI was shot and died several days later. More than 20 men were found guilty and charges included resisting arrest and illegal possession of rifles. Sentences ranged from three months to 15 years, but most soldiers had these reduced and were serving again within a year.
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Dallas Shootings

I am deviating from my usual blogs and I always try to stay out of the Political arena, but I felt compelled to voice my observation and that is all they are , my observations.

It is truly awful what happened in Dallas but also what happened in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.

Why did this happen, why are Police officers shooting innocent black men?

The easy answer would “It’s because they are racists” and no doubt, there are some racists cops but any grouping will have racists elements in its midst, because it usually is a reflection of society as a whole. Of course I am excluding the groups who base their existence on racism, but in general any group or organisation will be a scaled reflection of society.

However these shootings are not fueled by racism but by paranoia. Paranoia which has been created by liberal PC lobby groups.

If a Police officer stops anyone, all they have to do is play the race or ethnic minority card, even when they have committed a crime there is a good chance they will get away with it, but this is not a black or white thing. It is a black.white,lgbt,traveller thing. All because we can no longer call people for what they are.

I do not envy any law enforcement officer in any part of the world because this is a global thing. The only thing we can turn this around is by acknowledging that with human rights also come human responsibilities and accountability.

Going back to the shootings,lets not forget that some leaders of the African- American community encourage and endorse the shooting of law enforcement officers. Below are some examples, and before you say it “these are songs” they are not just songs. Every song is an opinion and a message from the artist. In fact that’s why in many countries you don’t need any license to sell music albums/singles or books because they are not seen as products but opinions. I am not saying this is the only reason cops get killed but it doesn’t help.

Bone Thugs-N-HarmonyFuck the police, fuck the police, fuck ’em!!!
(surprise)
Fuck the police, fuck the police, fuck ’em!!!
(surprise)
Fuck the police, fuck the police, fuck ’em!!!
(surprise)
Fuck the police!!!
(You muthafuckin’ right)

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Eeney meeney miney mo
Catch a piggy by the toe
Click clack pow, officer down

 

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This pig he is the chief,
Got a brother pig, Captain O’Malley.
He’s got a son that’a a pig too,
He’s collectin’ pay-offs from a dark alley.

 

 

Cop Killer (Single Bootleg)

I’m a cop killer, better you than me
Cop killer, fuck police brutality!
Cop killer, I know your family’s grieving
(Fuck ’em!)
Cop killer, but tonight we get even, ha ha

 

 

 

The last example is a song called “99 problems” by Jay z,  the second verse was about a time he was pulled over by a cop while he was in possession of cocaine. The verse is really stating how he got away with it.

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“The year is ’94 and in my trunk is raw
In my rear view mirror is the mother fucking law
I got two choices yall pull over the car or
bounce on the double put the pedal to the floor
Now I ain’t trying to see no highway chase with jake
Plus I got a few dollars I can fight the case
So I…pull over to the side of the road
And I heard “Son do you know why I’m stopping you for?”
Cause I’m young and I’m black and my hat’s real low
Do I look like a mind reader sir, I don’t know
Am I under arrest or should I guess some mo?
“Well you was doing fifty five in a fifty four”
“License and registration and step out of the car”
“Are you carrying a weapon on you I know a lot of you are”
I ain’t stepping out of shit all my papers legit
“Do you mind if I look round the car a little bit?”
Well my glove compartment is locked so is the trunk and the back
And I know my rights so you gon’ need a warrant for that
“Aren’t you sharp as a tack are some type of lawyer or something?”
“Or somebody important or something?”
Nah I ain’t passed the bar but I know a little bit
Enough that you won’t illegally search my shit
“Well see how smart you are when the K-9’s come”
I got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one
Hit me”

It is not only black artists who sing about killing or harming cops there are plenty of white ones to, but even the majority of those white artists are from the Hip Hop scene, which is part of Mobo and is more popular with black kids then white kids.

Combine a liberal(no responsibility required) agenda, with a PC lobby fueled by incitement of hate and ridicule old traditions and values and you have the perfect cocktail for disaster.

Racism is not black or white it is universal.

People have been allowed to disrespect cultural values for decades now, and those who scream “I am a victim ” the hardest are being heard and believed the most often without any real basis or facts to back it up.

Racism is created when people are perceiving something to be unjust and it is not addressed properly by the state by either change that perception or deal with it in a just way, and if that means you will have to offend some people well then so be it. But just ignoring it, which is happening all over the world at the moment.it will create and is currently creating the return of Fascism and Nazism.