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the greatest courage…

hey you…

 

hey, I’m talking you,

that’s right,

I’m talking to you with the tattoos,
I’m talking to you with the piercings,
I’m talking to you with the skateboard,
I’m talking to you with the bald head,
and you with the dreadlocks,

I’m talking to the young
and the youthful in America,

I’m talking to you, black,
white, brown, native and asian,

sisters and brothers in
a divided nation,

I’m talking to you,

struggling through college
trying to get an education,

fighting to keep your head
above the water of recession,

going deep into a lifetime of debt
with no guarantee for the future,

I’m talking to you my
little sisters and brothers,

pay attention,

I’m talking to you,
dropped-out,
overwhelmed,
lost and confused,

already surrendered to
the emptiness and futility
of the vanishing American dream,

you want something more,

than a car in the garage,
a nine-to-five,

paying the bills,
and just staying alive,

I’m talking to the young,
and the youthful in America,

listen to me, and,
pay attention,

I’m talking to you
my little sisters and brothers,

laboring hard day in and day out,
no rest or vacation,

trying to raise your kids,
and to prepare for the future,

spinning your wheels on the
economic treadmill of America,

pay attention,

I’m talking to you,
out on the streets,

I’m talking to you,
in jail or prison,

I’m talking to you,
selling yourself for money,

struggling to exist, to be somebody,
in the land of opportunity,

I’m talking to you, on the hard city streets,
in the dense urban jungles, in the broken-heart land,
and the backwoods of poverty in America,

pay attention,

I’m talking to you, lost and forgotten,

I’m talking to you, without voice or power,

I’m talking to you, who can’t make a difference,

I’m talking to you, invisible and insignificant,

I’m talking to you, faceless and nameless,
disillusioned and disheartened,

just another number,

in the endless statistics and the
powerless vacuum of American culture,

and I’m talking to you,
my little sisters and brothers,

still comfortable in the relative
wealth of American success,

but you know,

something’s not working,
something’s not right,
something’s not fair,
something is not just,
in America,

pay attention,

I’m talking to those of you
still full of American dreams,

and I’m talking to you, for whom the
dreams seem to be lost, in the empty
and failing wonderland of America,

listen to me, my sweet
little sisters and brothers,

and pay attention,

the older generation may have the
benefit of a longer life experience,

but the younger generation has the
benefit of a clearer mind,

less limited and confused by
cultural prejudices and bigotries,

and there comes a time,

when the children
must become the adults,

there comes a time when the children
must be the brave and courageous,

there comes a time when the children,

must take their parents by the hand
and lead them the way forward,

this is your life,

my little sisters and brothers,

this is your nation,

this is your world,

this is your time…

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the greatest courage…