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Downward Hostility
This song describes how people who are being oppressed are sometimes manipulated into directing their rage at others even worse off than themselves, rather than trying to throw off the shackles of their own oppression.
Rock - Folk Rock
Charts #1,075 in subgenre today (peak #8)
Previous peak charts position #116
Lou Thomas
Copyright 1995 Lou Thomas
March 16, 2004
MP3 4.0 MB
128 kbps bitrate
0:00 minutes
Story behind the song
This song was inspired by a remark made by Eric Mann, founder and director of the Labor/Community Strategy Center, to the effect that instead of upward mobility, today we have downward hostility. Which is to say that people whose futures have been damaged or destroyed sometimes direct their rage at others even worse off than themselves, rather than dealing with those who are responsible for their own oppression. Racism provides a powerful tool in promoting this kind of self-destructive behavior, and it is used expertly by politicians who attempt to turn anger that might otherwise be directed at themselves and their wealthy and corporate backers toward poor immigrants, welfare recipients, and others even lower in the pecking order than those to whom the racist appeal is made.
Verse I was just an ordinary working slob 'Til the factory I worked in laid me off my job They hired in some immigrants at half my pay Slavin' there for thirty-seven bucks a day Build Well, I could blame the wealthy guy who runs the place But these foreigners he's ripping off are in my face...So, it's... Chorus DOWNWARD HOSTILITY I can spit on you if you're worse off than me Yeah, it's DOWNWARD HOSTILITY I think you don't even have a right to be Yeah, it's DOWNWARD HOSTILITY The people higher up do the same to me So, it's DOWNWARD HOSTILITY And the ones on top who made the mess get off for free Verse The governor, he cuts the taxes for the rich Robbing from us all to grant their ev'ry wish He leaves the cities dying in a pool of waste While inner-city neighborhoods go up in flames Build You think he'll be thrown out, but no, he's got a plan He blames it on the welfare bums and wins again, and it's... Repeat Chorus Instrumental Break Verse We used to think our kids would have a better life "Work hard enough," we said, "and you can reach the sky" Then corporations moved their plants to Mexico Kicked us off our jobs and told us where to go Build Now, maybe we should organize to stop their game But we'd rather find some victims we can beat and blame, So, it's... Repeat Chorus/Tag © 1995. All Rights Reserved.