What Have We Done?

from by BIG Attack!

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about

A song about young kids being introduced to race issues in schools.

lyrics

We used to meet on the playground -- different kids from different towns,
and different backgrounds, but we'd settle our differences by bloody-ing noses and then we'd be friends
so,
when they told us about the cotton, molasses, and slave ships
filled with great grand-parents of the 'other' kids
when we asked why they didn't look like us, the teacher said,
"that's the way it is!"
---
I didn't know what to do when mah friend Aaron told mah friend Herbert that he was a slave,
and maybe his ancestors owned his -- what a laugh!
Oh, wouldn't it be such a laugh?
Man, was I ashamed! But I was young and a coward so I sat silently, watched everything change
and when I asked mah older brother, "would it ever be the same?"
He said, "No, that's the way it is!"
---
And when Herbert go home with a blacker eye than he already got
and he pushes away the lovin' hand with the ice-pack and he starts to ball
and she already know, been back from down that road, but she bites her tongue
so she can hear her son
look up and say, "Momma, what have we done?"
---
I couldn't stomach the playground no more so I started lookin' somewhere else for answers
and then mah library told me about what was really goin' on back in 1493:
about the killin' and enslaving and the man with his own day was a thief and a whore
and that it's more likely America was discovered by a black man 4,000 years before!
When I asked mah principal "Hey man, why we don't teach it like this?"
he looked at me and said, "I don't know Russ...because that's the way it is!"
---
And when I go home with a whiter shade than I already got
and I throw down mah books cuz they's written by crooks and I start to ball
and she don't really know, never been down that road, so she holds her tongue
so she can hear her son
look up and say, "Momma, what have we done?"

History's written by the winners!
Most of those winners are sinners!
And they had guns, germs, and steels on their side!
That kinda luck shouldn't give you no pride!
I said that's the way it is, but it ain't the way it gotta be!

credits

from Listen To It Once, released November 27, 2010
Russell Golden: vocals, guitar
Christopher Pothier: lead guitar
Michael Nardone: bass
Matt the Baptist: drums

tags

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BIG Attack! Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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