White American Song Explanation

Topics: United States, The Star-Spangled Banner, U.S. state Pages: 1 (336 words) Published: December 26, 2012
White America is a song in which Eminem creates many contradictions to show inconsistencies in the American social structure. These contradictions are important because they reveal a critical flaw in the American society that disillusions both immigrants and natives into thinking America is a leveled playing field for capitalistic ventures. In his introduction, Eminem makes a contradictory comparison that later becomes apparent in the second part of the verse, describing America as "the stripes and the stars for the rights men have died for to protect/ The women and men who have broke their necks for the freedom of speech the United States government has sworn to uphold". The first line is written closely in anapestic pentameter, meaning two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable in a 5 foot line (Annis, par. 8-11), with stress put on "stripes" and "stars" which creates an image of patriotism. Whizzing sounds can be heard in the background of the song, reminiscent of the "rocket’s red glare" in the national anthem or the sound of the Blue Angels F-16s fighter jets, a military symbol of America. The next three stressed words "rights", "died", and "protect" reminds Americans of the sacrifices the country had to make to receive such rights as "the freedom of speech the United States government has sworn to uphold"; to appreciate these rights since they are here due to the sacrifices of many "women and men". Eminem addresses the dominant narrative in the United States that all Americans possess these natural rights - notice that the government’s job is to "protect" ‘and "uphold" these rights meaning they were pre-existent and not "given", which would mean that they were nonexistent before. So being an American automatically means equitable treatment as other Americans. Eminem uses this fact to begin to show the "hypocrisy of democrac" or what Lisa Lowe calls the "existence of exclusions…by the promise of inclusion" (529). "Or so it’s told…" Eminem...
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