Political Science

Was excited to catch a shout out to Randy Newman’s “Political Science” on the Colbert Report the other night. (Okay, less a shout out than a straight out performance.)

I enjoy various Newman songs, but I’d have to admit that my favorites are his political ones, specifically this and “Rednecks.” Rednecks is a tougher listen due to repetition of a certain “n” word, but it makes a great point of the hypocrisy with which we yankees sometimes look down our noses at our southern neighbors.

Now your northern n*’s a Negro
You see he’s got his dignity
Down here we’re too ignorant to realize
That the North has set the n* free
Yes he’s free to be put in a cage
In Harlem in New York City
And he’s free to be put in a cage in the South-Side of Chicago
And the West-Side
And he’s free to be put in a cage in Hough in Cleveland
And he’s free to be put in a cage in East St. Louis
And he’s free to be put in a cage in Fillmore in San Francisco
And he’s free to be put in a cage in Roxbury in Boston
They’re gatherin’ ’em up from miles around
Keepin’ the n* down

I don’t quite agree with Newman painting us all on equal footing as Lester Maddox, but I can see where he’s coming from. Would there be such a thing as “white flight” if he didn’t have at least a bit of a point?

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