Mr. Roosevelt Regrets (Detroit Riot, 1943)

M
Upon reading PM newspaper’s account of Mr. Roosevelt’s statement on the recent race clashes:“I share your feeling that the recent outbreaks of violence in widely spread parts of the country endanger our national unity and comfort our enemies. I am sure that every true American regrets this.”

What’d you get, black boy,
When they knocked you down in the
gutter,
And they kicked your teeth out,
And they broke your skull with clubs
And they bashed your stomach in?
What’d you get when the police shot
you in the back,
And they chained you to the beds
While they wiped the blood off?
What’d you get when you cried out to
the Top Man?
When you called on the man next to
God, so you thought,
And asked him to speak out to save
you?
What’d the Top Man say, black boy?
“Mr. Roosevelt regrets. . . . . . .”

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