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A fine white powder

sugar is a fine white powder
let me say that a little louder
sugar is a fine white powder

and just like crack and smack
it’s all wrapped up in money and power
coke comes from leaves
and opium from flowers
but the granddaddy
of the fine white powders
is made from beets and cane
people hear the word, “drugs,”
they usually think of gangs
they think of cold-blooded killers
with Latin last names
selling PCP, LSD, and Mary Jane
or moving meth, ecstasy, and crack cocaine
people hear the word, “drugs,”
they think suffering and pain
they think shackles, jails, and chains
they think blood money, backstabbing
and innocents slain
yet there is no such stigma
attached to sugar cane
yea – there ain’t no shame, affixed to this fix
so even little kids get lit
taking rips (sniffs) off Pixie Stix
and no one sees a problem with this
because this is a fix that we all crave
and we are not ashamed
although we know it was built
on the backs of black slaves

so come on ya’ll—help me make this louder
sugar is a fine white powder

and it’s story is the same
as what’s shot in the veins
or shot up the nose
to get straight in the brain
i’m talking shackles, jails and chains
i’m talking blood money, backstabbing,
and innocents slain
i’m talking headless and dismembered remains
little kids and women bagging up product,
counting out change
and the killers deranged who run the whole game
and who teach kids to kill for material gain
and the saddest thing about it is
all these facts are already in your brain
they’ve just been sanitized, like bloodstains
washed down shower drains
so only the cold, boring facts remain
you sat in little rows, frustrated but well-trained
and normalized this shit with the phrase
“triangle trade”—“sugar, for rum, for slaves”
Europeans ruled the waves
and got money and power
off little grains of white powder

 

so come on ya’ll
help me make this louder
sugar is a fine white powder

none of this history is shrouded in mystery
when the Fathers sat and authored history
they wrote it as a toast
to those who could rip the most
from Africa’s coast, and put ‘em to the yoke
on plantations of white powder
to fund the guns of white power
the foundation of our nation—
the independence declaration
was signed by kingpins who ran
drug plantations
so fast forward just a few generations
to the days when radio stations
sing the praises of criminal organizations
and the biggest drug dealers
are legally chartered corporations
and on both sides of the law—it’s all about location, location, location
it doesn’t matter if the people
who pack gats are called cops
and the battles are fought in courts
over endcaps, instead of blocks
it’s still cash crops to define the line
between the haves, and the have nots

so come on ya’ll—help me make this louder
sugar is a fine white powder

now spread that shit
because knowledge is power

 

—Jordan Bubin

Jordan Bubin is a slam poet and teacher. You can listen to a Brief History of  Coca Cola and its role in cocaine use at http://youtu.be/NYKAsu_sxG0?a  via @YouTube,  More poems are at naughtyamouse.com

 

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