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June 10, 2024

The Corona Blue Devil Blues

By Frederick Foote

Night Train:

Hey! Get your groove on -- put on your dancin' shoes. Shout out the good news. Get ready for the blues. For the Sake of Soul is back. And you know it's good as gold to be old and Black. Amen! Say it again. Amen! Yeah, your internet radio show is Black, Jack. Wow! What a year. The coronavirus is the news givin' everyone the blues. It even shut us down for a few weeks. Shows how weak we are in the face of a simple little old germ we can't even see.

White Rock Road, our resident poet, told it like it is:


Complexity breeds arrogance and self-centered reflection
that re-enforce the bias that complex creatures are the apex predators.

Viruses invisible to the naked eye slay that conceit with a wicked blade
that cuts to the bone and unseats complexity from her throne
crumbles economic kingdoms, disrupts domestic tranquility,
soils every sanctuary, darkens every future courtesy of
"a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat."

A simple creature indeed

White Rock got it right. We ain't nearly as powerful as we think we are.

But hard times ain't nothin' new. You seen em and our parents and grandparents seen worst.

Brownie McGee and Sonny Terry tell about some dark times in, "Backwater Blues."

Backwater Blues

Night Train:

That's about the great Mississippi flood of 1929. You need to check out how they abused and exploited us in that tragedy. Nineteen-twenty-nine was a practice run for Katrina. Check it out. It will bring tears to your eyes. But it ain't all doom and gloom.

We got a revitalized and reinvigorated social justice movement. But at what a cost, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake, and the list grows every week. The revved-up movement is the bright spot on the horizon, but the Slave Patrols dressed up as and pretending to be law enforcement officers are still blowing us away night and day.

We catchin' hell from the coronavirus, which is twice as likely to infect us and three times as likely to kill us and the legal lynching by cops all over this USA.

I don't have the answers to these threats, but I'm ready to hear your take on how we deal with this shit storm.

Amanda from Spring Hill, Tennessee, is on Line One. Help us out, sister.


Night Train, man, we missed you, brother. Thank God you're alive and well.

Night Train:

Right back at you, sister. Now, tell me somethin' good.


They told us, I mean, my minister told us that black people was immune to corona. Train, that was all over the internet. I didn't fall for that jive. The coronavirus was so new. How could anyone know who was immune? That made no sense at all.

Night Train:

Good thinkin.' Even our station was spreading that manure.


Oh, it was all over everywhere. My minister dubbed me a know it all when I called him out on his fabrications. And even worse, he kept holding services right up until the government shut him down.

Night Train:

My, my -- some people don't believe fat meat is greasy.


Thirty-five of us caught the virus. Seven of us died. I'm sorry our minister wasn't one of them.

Night Train:

Those are some hard words, sister.


Hard words for hard times. I got to go, Night Train. I got to go.

Night Train:

Oh, man. We got to send our support to sister Amanda and her church -- especially her minister.

Here is Kenny Neal from his Walking on Fire disc, I Put My Trust in You. I feel you, Amanda, I do.

I Put My Trust in You

Night Train:

Let me put my trust in Wyman from Burlington, Vermont. What's up, brother?


The terrorist up in the saddle and they are ridin' us to death. And I ain't talking about the murdering motherfuckers in blue. And I ain't talking about the coronavirus or the flu that's right around the corner.

Night Train, I'm sick, man. I just saw a report on CNN that black babies die three times as often when treated by white doctors as compared to black doctors.

I read that, and I threw up. Babies, man, babies -- what kind of shit is that? How could they do that?

Night Train:

Wyman, Wyman -- we lost Wyman, but we will try to get him back, and we will find out more about the study he mentioned.

Okay, alright, we got Sharon from St Louis, Missouri, On Line Two.


Get out and vote! We have to vote and save this nation from the worst president and political party in the history of the United States of America. The Republicans are making it as difficult to vote as they can, but we can run those bastards out of the Senate and the White House if we vote.

We can do it. We must do it.

Thanks, Night Train, stay safe, stay well, all.

Night Train:

Wow! Roll on sister. You got the power. Can we get an Amen for sister, Sharon? Amen! Yes, indeed, that's what I need.

Ann Peebles got some advice for us, Fear No Evil.

Fear No Evil

Night Train:

Thank you, Ann. We got Ella from Biloxi, Mississippi, on Line Two. What's up with you, sister?


Like all of us, I'm dealing with the devil as best I can. But I got bad news, disappointment, and sorrow for you tonight. Voting no matter who wins will not save us, it will just continue to enslave us. We are trapped in a mindset that leads us like the proverbial lemmings over the cliff. We are self-destructing.

Night Train:

Ella, are you saying don't vote?


Night Train, I'm not a scholar or philosopher or pundit. I learned in the schools of hard knocks and bad breaks. I know that we can flip back and forth between the Obama and Trump channels, and it won't save us from drowning in our tears and being devoured by our fears.

We are a collection of odds and ends in this country bound together by the profit motive, the myth of progress, the mirage of individualism, and the love of violence.

Night Train:

Hold on now. I'm not following you, Ella. The devil's in the details. Give us the fine print.


Our business model is profit driven. We even want our government agencies to show a profit. We study the profit margin and glance at the impact on the public and the land.

That's why we have an environmental and public health crisis -- our priorities are profits for the few and crumbs for the rest.

And the richer the few get; the more power they have to control the system and ensure they keep enjoying the Lion's Share of any new wealth.

The Democrats and Republicans support this system no matter who is in office.

Night Train:

Yeah, but Trump is a true threat to the United States -- hell to the world. We need to move his racist ass from the White House to the jailhouse where he belongs.


Train, that does not change the systems of profit corruption, exploitation, and racism one bit. And without fundamental change, we will be repeating the Obama/Trump cycle as we swiftly circle the drain.

Voting will not bring the structural change necessary for the survival of this nation and this world.

Train, we are running out of time and the resources necessary for our survival.

Night Train:

So, what do we do? How do we survive?


We go on strike. We take a page from the coronavirus. We shut down every non-essential service in this country. We create designs for a more equitable system, and we force our Congress and courts to make the required changes.

Only a relentless social movement for justice will give us the changes that are required.

Ordinary politics will not get us where we need to be.

Night Train:

Wow! Okay, you said we love violence. What did you mean, sister?


We embraced violence and have that Second Amendment nonsense because we are frightened people. The founding fathers were terrified of slave revolts and wanted to arm every white male to prevent or put down slave insurrections.

The same white males feared the Native Americans whose land they had ripped off.

And today's whites are still frightened of those same populations. White men desperately need to believe that violence will solve the problems of slavery and theft.

Voting will not change this.

Night Train:

Ella, I got to move on, but you make a lot of sense to me. Don't leave us. I'm going to try to get back to you.

Let's take a moment with Luther Allison, and The Sky is Crying>/i> to think about what Ella just said.

The Sky Is Crying

Night Train:

Chad from Waterloo, Iowa, is on Line Three. You are on the air, brother.


Listen, my kids, June, sixteen, and Jamal, fifteen are runners, right. They are both milers. June is the number nine high school miler in the nation. Her brother is fifth in the state. Now check this out. They are running home from school in their school running gear. The cops drive their squad car up on the sidewalk, nearly hitting my kids. The cops jump out with guns drawn and have my kids spread out on the sidewalk.

They accuse them of robbing a liquor store. June asks them which liquor store.

The cops say A&J Liquor on Fifth Street.

My kids start laughing.

My parents own that liquor store. My wife, my kids, we all work there.

They try to explain that to the cops, but the cops is pissed off because my kids laughed.

One cop with his foot on my son's back asks Jamal why they were running.

Jamal tells the cop they run track, and they were running from school.

The cop asks what do they run.

Jamal replies, "We are milers."

The cops arrest them on the spot because, according to one cop, Niggers are sprinters. Everybody knows that. You people couldn't run no Goddam mile to save your soul.

Train, man, I picked my kids up from the police station. My kids told me what happened. And then a friend of theirs from school who had filmed the stop on his phone sent Jamal the video.

My wife and I and the kids watched the video. We cried. All four of us bawling and holding each other.

I don't know what to do. Train, I want to kill somebody. I never been so angry and so helpless before. My blood pressure is off the chart. I can't sleep. I can't eat.

My wife is nearly as bad off as I am.

Our kids are trying to take care of us. Ain't that a bitch?

Night Train, what are we supposed to do? I can't keep my kids safe from the people that are supposed to protect them.

Night Train:

Hang on, man. You got to hang in there. You got a family. You got to stay strong for each other. We are all with you, man.

We will make this a better place -- a safe place for our kids. If your city has a Black Lives Matter group you need to check them out. We got to protest every way we know how. But killing them ain?t going to solve the problem. That will just expand the problem.

We love you all and we are with you.

Next up, we got Miles from Newcastle, California. Give us some good news, man.


Night Train, I love the blues and your show. I'm a white police officer with fifteen years of service. I believe for law enforcement to survive; we have to end systemic and individual racism. I'm organizing with like-minded police officers to help make this happen.

My wife, my sixteen and seventeen-year-old daughters, and I apologize to Chad for what the Iowa cops did.

I have to end here. A wildfire is chasing us from our home. However, I will be back. I promise you that. Love and peace, to all.

Night Train:

Okay, we are out of time, and I thank you all. I wish you all well and hope you come back soon. Again, from our Poet, White Rock Road:

A Day in the USA

You murdering motherfuckers just won't stop
slaughtering us in the streets, at our jobs, in our homes,
wherever you find us with your tasers,
firearms, batons, boots, knees, and chokeholds

Your racist elected enablers don't
hide their sly grins and right-wing winks

Your appointed judiciary shield you
with qualified immunity
and virtual impunity

The FBI and Homeland (In)Security
refuse to classify you as terrorist
organizations successors to the Klan
and keepers of the flame of white superiority

In the "land of the free," you are impervious
to justice, humanity, and reason

And that is reason enough to be free of you
and to free you from your uniform, badge, and gun
and dismantle your machinery of oppression

We will erase the Thin Blue Line in our lifetime

Night Train:

Sister Irma Thomas, has the last word, I Need Your Love So Bad:

I Need Your Love So Bad


Article © Frederick Foote. All rights reserved.
Published on 2020-11-30
Image(s) are public domain.
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