Silver Spoons

 

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“When we work at the sugar-canes, and the mill snatches hold of a finger, they cut off the hand; and when we attempt to run away, they cut off the leg; both cases have happened to me. This is the price at which you eat sugar in Europe. Yet when my mother sold me for ten patagons on the coast of Guinea, she said to me: ‘My dear child, bless our fetiches, adore them for ever; they will make thee live happily; thou hast the honour of being the slave of our lords, the whites, which is making the fortune of thy father and mother.’ Alas! I know not whether I have made their fortunes; this I know, that they have not made mine. Dogs, monkeys, and parrots are a thousand times less wretched than I. The Dutch fetiches, who have converted me, declare every Sunday that we are all of us children of Adam—blacks as well as whites. I am not a genealogist, but if these preachers tell truth, we are all second cousins. Now, you must agree, that it is impossible to treat one’s relations in a more barbarous manner.”

-Voltaire, Candide, 1759

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Silver Spoons

That’s the price of eating sugar in Europe

Pack of Marlboro cigarettes

Cobblestones pave the way to knowledge

Nameless brick walls, memorialized by

Human sweat

That’s the price of eating sugar in Europe

Of better schools, “cleaner” neighborhoods

Gerrymandered ballots

Sanitized subcultures subsumed into norms

Neighborhood crime watch

As long as I’m safe

There’s a pipeline to the prison

Locking away our collective soul

That’s the price of eating sugar in Europe

Every day I

Eat sugar in Europe

Swallow from a silver spoon.

 

 

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