By hook or by crook

by Elouise

No river runs through it
No sounds of mercy or grace
Pierce neglect and screaming injustice
Writ deep and wide through the heart
Of God bless America

Look the other way my children
Fence it in and hold your tongues
There is no sweet by and by
When the clock strikes twelve
And one more soul is taken

Now open your textbooks and read
With me the unbeatable story of
America’s Great Success
Betrayal heaped on betrayal
By hook or by crook

No, I haven’t given up hope. However, unless I examine the sad and sorry facts of our history with slavery, so-called post-slavery, lynching, and mass incarceration, I won’t get it. Ever.

Even though I’d rather live in my supposedly safe small world, I can’t. It doesn’t help when I avoid hard data. Especially the kind that shows the systemic costs of our nation’s failed approach to slavery and its perpetually reinvented substitutes.

We NEVER got rid of slavery. We just changed the way we thought about it–especially the costs of being black or brown in the USA. Worse, if we have white skin we might even get away with not thinking about it at all. Not my problem?

For the last two weeks I’ve been working in An American Lament about Slavery and so-called ‘Post-Slavery’ in the USA. Not fun. Depressing sometimes. Even tempting me to despair. But facts are facts, especially when they’re in my face.

Check out the 2010 graph at the top. Right now we’re in the midst of a ten-year census count. I wonder how the 2010 chart at the top will change?

Praying for courage to do what I’m able to do, one day at a time. Especially when it comes to changing my well-worn ways of coping in a nation built on too many lies.


© Elouise Renich Fraser, 22 August 2022
Graphic image found at