Mos Def's Working Class Poor

1107 Words5 Pages
In the United States black Americans are disproportionately affected by the perils of poverty, such as frequent acts of violence, drugs, failing school districts, and numerous other crimes against person and property. Consequently, in order to address poverty, and the dangers associated, one has to understand the root of poverty. Mos Def examines the way American business intentionally denigrates the working class to demonstrate the exploitation and social control that continuously decimates the working poor’s hope. America’s working-class poor, especially those of color often feel neglected, inadequate, and deprived of hope. Mos Def demonstrates the distress of those living in poverty when he expresses, “ Working class poor: better keep your…show more content…
Mos Def enlightens his audience when he says, “Killing fields need blood to graze the cash cow/ It’s a numbers game, but shit don’t add up somehow” (22-23). The “killing fields” refer to the sites in Cambodia in which hundreds of thousands of people were brutally murdered and buried in the late ‘70s. In this case, the “killing fields” allude to the various industries in which exploit countless workers through tremendously poor labor conditions and starvation wages. The term “cash cow” describes the immensely profitable cattle industry. Here, “cash cow” describes the major industries’ exceptional ability to profit off the exploitation of poor wages and unsafe working conditions. “Grazing” is defined as cows feeding on the land. In this case, “graze” illustrates that major American industries are feeding off those they are exploiting. The American economy and the industries it depends on are responsible for profiting off of an overwhelming number of people, and subsequently have created a pyramid system in which the executives at the top make most of the money, while those doing most of the work are
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