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Wages Of History

Straighten up now, this ain’t no joke
Come on out and smell the smoke
Keep your eyes out wide and clear
Hard times comin’ down around here

Battlefield, this old home town
Neighborhoods are burnin’ down
Comin’ up on a last leg
Welcome to the powder keg

don’t you know, don’t you see
these are the wages of history

White man’s town, plantation laws
Symptomatic long-time cause
Brutality, a social norm
All dressed up in a badge and a uniform

You shoulda seen ’em laugh and strut
Carvin’ notches in their pistol butts
Trusting to impunity
Never thought they’d wind up on TV

It was a bad call by a bad design
A foolish move by a foolish mind
Banking on the master race
It was bound to blow up in somebody’s face

All those troops in armored barrage
Soldiers wearing camouflage
Just got back from the Middle East
Now dodging bullets in the streets of Los Angeles

Way up in the hills of celebrity
Money is another reality
Lookout posted out in the yard
Say “looks like we got trouble comin’ up the boulevard”

Marie Antoinette with a facelift
Hearin’ that the people say they have no justice
Lookin’ out the window to the valley of dread
“What’s the matter with them, is it somethin’ I said?”

Every empire must decay
Even Rome didn’t fall in a day
Plaster cracks in fits and starts
And finally just falls apart

The new day breaks with a great surprise
It shines so bright it will hurt your eyes
Painful like a laboring birth
Well, welcome to the planet earth