Monday, April 30, 2007

Favorite Song of the Day: Divide and Conquer

Tomorrow, thousands of workers, immigrants, and concerned citizens will take to the streets of Chicago and other cities to voice their support for meaningful immigration reform. The marchers will come from all walks of life and together they will take a stand against the politicians who break down barriers to allow the free flow of capital but erect them to constrain the movement of people.

You'll hear lots of self-proclaimed pundits spouting vitriol as they demonize immigrants for all of our society's ills. It's a pathetic attempt to scapegoat those who are least able to defend themselves. Do they really believe that people in this country lack jobs, homes, adequate health care and social services because undocumented workers are stealing their wages and benefits? The destruction of the social safety net perpetrated by the Right over the last 30 years is the more likely culprit. Not to mention George W's morass of a war that's diverted billions of dollars from our nation's economy.

These "Defenders of America" will also fall back on the argument that we should all play by the rules, at the same time they look the other way while businesses illegally exploit the very workers they want to keep out. Their hypocrisy is astounding, and their nationalistic and xenophobic rhetoric shamefully reminiscent of the most repressive eras in this country's history.

Most disappointing of all, there will be recent immigrants who will speak against those who are in the country "illegally," manipulated by the "divide and conquer" propaganda that's been used over the years to play segments of the poor and working class against each other in order to perpetuate their exploitation at the hands of big business. In light of that, I chose today's favorite song ...

Divide and Conquer by Hüsker Dü

They divided up all the land
We've got states and cities
Cities have their neighborhoods
And more subdivisions

There's lots of area codes
And nine digit zip codes
Secret decoder ring codes
Arteries, shopping nodes

There's countries divided by walls
Oceans and latitudes
And longitudes longing to find out
What they're missing

Big Brother on every wall
Muzak plays in all the halls
Embassies rise and fall
They divide, conquer

It's not about my politics
Something happened way too quick
A bunch of men who played it slick
They divide, conquer

Well I expect I won't be heard
Because my silence is assured
Never a discouraging word
They divide and conquer
They divide and conquer
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