Friday, June 15, 2012

Everybody But Me

Everybody But Me

“You say that you believe in Democracy for everybody,

Yes, I know, for dogs and cats and others and everybody,
Everybody, but me.

In high sounding words and musty oratory, on Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthday.

You government officials, major and minor, effuse bright praise to our country and all of her glory.

How it was founded and will always be a haven of the free and I sitting up there listening to you applauded and cheered with all the rest.

But I was one mighty surprised soul to see when it came to the test that you did men everybody, Everybody, but me.

Sure, I read all about it in the history books about how the founding fathers got together and wrote the Declaration of Independence cause they didn’t want King George stepping on them and even though I play a part in bringing it about – they left me out.

They declared that Independence for everybody, Everybody, but me.

They also got together and wrote a Constitution and a Bill of Rights saying that everybody had certain rights and privileges being citizens and that everybody ought to have a job and a place to live and equal opportunity.

But when I tried to get my rights and privileges and a job and a house, I was mighty sorry to find that they really did mean everybody, Everybody, but me.

I went to church every Sunday being a pious person and I heard the preacher talking about heaven and eating milk and honey and wearing long white robes and I felt the spirit and shouted out, shouted out that I wanted to be in the number too.

Suddenly I looked up at he wall, saw that all the folks gathered around Jesus had straw blond hair and sky blue eyes and there wasn’t a brother among them, I know again that did mean everybody, Everybody but me.

Of course as far back as I hear tell about there have been times when they needed help out, this is when they had a war and then they sent out a call for everybody, they knew what to use me for and I found that they really did mean everybody, including me.

My father told me that in World War I they sent out a call for everyone including me and we had to go over to fight Kaiser to keep the world free and safe for Democracy for everybody.

When I got home I was hurt to find that they really did mean everybody, Everybody, but me.

Well putting two and two together you and I can plainly see that those folks down in Washington have never been thinking of you and me, from here on I’m going to be thinking about me. I am going to get together with you and my sisters and brothers black and white all over the country and over the world and we’re going to put up a terrific fight until we win and we will and when we say peace and freedom for everybody it will mean Everybody, everywhere.

It will mean me.”
By Margaret Burroughs - 1917 - 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment