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“The best music is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with.”
- Bruce Springsteen -

Sunday, September 6, 2009

#13 American Skin (41 Shots) by Bruce Springsteen

What does it mean to be an American? There are no doubt many freedoms we experience as Americans that we receive at the cost of the spilled blood of soldiers, activists, and other fighters of freedom. ”We're baptized in these waters and in each other's blood “. We are connected to one another through this river of blood that we exchange for the promise of hope and liberty.

We are also connected through the reality of blood spilled due to the system of inequality we still live under in America. Years of racism and slavery still live within our culture through the wars fought on our own streets. Not by soldiers of freedom, but by soldiers of survival. Young men and women are forced to make decisions in order to allow themselves and their family’s to survive in the community they are born into.

For those living in the all too common ghettos of America, many do not have a choice, not a viable one. Drugs, crime, and death are their option, their only reality. Time in prison is an expected outcome for some part of their life. They are willing to do time as part of their duty to the system they live in. Sadly, this hierarchy of riches to poverty is what allows the economic system in America to thrive (or at least survive). The blood of those dying on American streets helps make America the country it is.

On the other side of the coin, police officers are put in a situation where they are forced to make decisions that mean life or death, not just for the citizens they are sworn to protect, but for themselves and their fellow officers as well. They are put at odds with their fellow human. They are put in a position where a split decision to shoot or not to shoot can mean the end of someone’s life. Faced with the communities and realities they live amongst every day, there are bound to be times when they make the wrong decisions. Innocent people will die. Blood will be shed. American blood will be spilled on American streets - The price we pay for living in our “American Skin”.

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