Gil-Scott Heron was the true troubadour of the 60’s-70’s Civil Rights movement. He was a rapper before rap was a thing. He was one of the early spoken word innovators and his political commentary was passed on through mass media earlier than most. He was a prolific poet and won a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.
He was not happy with Nixon being pardoned for his participation in the Watergate conspiracy. The inequity and hypocrisy evident in political maneuverings especially so-called “white collar” crime where malefactors are treated with so much less vitriol. Gil Scott-Heron spoke against it in 1975 but now it seems at least as relevant as former president #45 has participated in a conspiracy exponentially larger and with so much more rancor.
At this point, I remain struck with a line in “Pardon Our Analysis (We Beg Your Pardon)” that was released in 1975 but continues to live in the turbulence that is 2021. He related how a Black man can commit any number of small crimes and go to jail, but in 1974 Nixon did not go to jail. Had the majority of participants in the January 6 riot been Black, the entire group would have been subjugated to a prison camp or worse. Most people in their heart of hearts would agree.
As 45’s ongoing tirade to usurp the 2021 election results continues, and as undeniable evidence is provided by both Republican and Democratic campaign officials Gil’s line resounds ” . . . the man who tried to steal America is still free . . . “. Do I dare mention that if Barack Obama had done anything even remotely similar to the heinous and unlawful actions done by the former president, he would likely be in exile or worse.
Please take a few minutes to listen to this piece of poetry and consider the history and context he reveals about the disparity and inequity consistently dispersed in America.