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strange fruit
I wondered in my post yesterday if the events in Fallujah were something only Iraqis were capable of but concluded with an insinuation that I believe that beast lurks in all of humanity. Billmon, Al Muhajabah and Orcinus have all pondered the same issue, and have cited the lynching of African-Americans, Jews and people of other ethnicities at the hands of frenzied mobs in the early decades of the past century. Al Muhajabah also points to the following poem by a Jewish school teacher Abel Meeropol immortalized by jazz legend Billie Holiday,

Strange Fruit

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

This bitterly evocative poem took on a life of its own, influencing a generation of artists, standing out as the stellar achievement of a legend and even having a book written about it.

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