LEARNED FIRST-HAND

LEARNED FIRST HAND

Just like everybody else
I was learning for myself
Just what would make me sick
And how the whole world ticks.
Then I quickly ran into collusion
Left me in a state of confusion.
I learned about rationalization
And self-righteous indignation
From purveyors of hypocrisy
Passed off as great philosophy
That labeled some as dross,
Not fit to be the lowest boss.
I watched people get locked out
And ignored when they shouted
The bosses talking about degrees
Driving workers to their knees
Because they couldn’t afford
College room and board
For the four years of beer bashes
And drunken month-long crashes
In Mexican towns full of them
That could go there on a whim
While the children of the working class
Worked hard so their kids could pass
And have a chance to get ahead
Instead of a shoveling until dead.

I was learning this first-hand
That not all of life was grand
If you could not afford to buy.
And banks just passed you by
When you needed a car
Because work was so far
From where you had to stay
In the neighborhoods far away
From the nice neat places
And squeaky clean faces
Of those who inherited wealth
Or were sent to schools
That sent out the fools
That knew how to look nice.
And nobody thought twice
When they weren’t quite as bright
As the people that had to fight
For an opening, then trained
So the rich kid could maintain
In a job he didn’t qualify for
But he had the SAT score
To prove he was intelligent
And had the proper quotient
Whether he could deliver or not.
The rest was all just rot.
And nobody paid attention
Nor would they mention
The kid was a well-trained fool
And what he learned in class
Was how to look good and pass
For a person smarter than
The average working man.
That’s what I learned first-hand
And what I came to understand.

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