Strange new fruit
EDITOR: ”Strange Fruit” is a protest song (lyrics by Abel Meeropol) about the post emancipation era lynchings in the USA. It was immortalized on its release in 1939, by Billie Holiday. The soul burning imagery that the metaphor provides is but the tip of the iceberg. The power structures that supported this “cultural past time” to flourish for so long, still exist, but with far more sophistication and with a different focus.
With the escalating competition for the world’s finite natural resources, the focus is now on nations and control of their resources. Among the levers of control, is the notion of “free trade”. This oxymoron is in fact controlled by ever shifting product standards and financial regulations. These two pesticides have, as they often want to do, spawned strange new fruit… “passports for sale.”
The perverse irony of this new fruit is that whereas before, the victims’
families and friends would be witnesses in horror, but with gathering fortitude and resolve, we are now told by agents that we should bear witness to salvation and indeed, redemption.
Vincentians have so far heeded the warnings of the ULP and the biblical lessons of Adam and avoided tasting this strange new fruit. Sing on Billie: Here is a fruit for crows to pluck For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck For the sun to rot, for the tree to drop Here is a strange and bitter crop Five in a row!