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There Goes the Neighborhood

Fred Stanton
Language: English


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[2006]
In early 2006, after the U.S. government threatened to pass harsher immigration laws, hundreds of thousands of workers, mostly immigrants, demonstrated for legalization across the country. Many of those who rallied were workers who are fighting to build a union. One sign at the march in Los Angeles said, "If you think I'm 'illegal' because I'm a Mexican, learn the true history, because I'm in my homeland." [please italicize "I’m"]
This was our land for fifteen thousand years.
No Spanish or English,
We kept our ancient ways.
Then they came with guns and horses,
blankets, beads, and beer,
Singing God Save The King and Amazing Grace.

Gold was jewellery, now it's the soul of greed.
We used to share the land,
Now it's privatized.
The animals were our brothers, now their commodities,
And we cannot bear to look in our neighbor's eyes.

We cannot speak our native tongue,
We cannot hear each other's hearts,
We fear the stranger, he's up to no good,
There goes the neighborhood.

Did we fingerprint the Pilgrims and Billy Penn?
Did we ask Columbus
for papers when he came?
Refugees don't need a jail,
They simply need a friend.
Has money finally driven the world insane?

We cannot speak our native tongue,
We cannot hear each other's hearts,
We fear the stranger, he's up to no good,
There goes the neighborhood.

Their sacred border used to start in Oregon,
Tejas, California,
It was all Mexican land.
They built their malls and freeways
On the altars of Aztlan,
And they guard it now with vigilante bands.

We cannot speak our native tongue,
We cannot hear each other's hearts,
We fear the stranger, he's up to no good,
There goes the neighborhood.

Will these factories roar
When we are in the streets?
Who will work the orchards,
The restaurants, the trucks?
We are just as American
As the ground beneath our feet.
We didn't cross the border, it crossed us.

We cannot speak our native tongue,
We cannot hear each other's hearts,
We fear the stranger, he's up to no good,
There goes the neighborhood.

Contributed by giorgio - 2009/11/29 - 13:24



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