POETRY ‘Whitey On The Moon’: Billionaire Space Race, Gil Scott Heron Poem Compared | NewsOne

It can’t be ignored that Branson, a British citizen who is worth nearly $6 billion, had his launch paid for by $220 million in New Mexico taxpayers’ funds, according to the New York Times. In fact, Bezos and Musk — among the top three richest men in the world — had their separate space projects funded in part by “a tax break intended to help poor communities,” Bloomberg reported last year.

Unlike when Armstrong planted his feet and the American flag on the craterous surface of the moon in 1969, this latest wave of billionaire-funded space trips increasingly seem less for scientific and discovery purposes and more for reasons of the ego-stroking and sport varieties.

Using the “whitey” euphemism absent of racist intentions and to underscore the racial lines between privilege and poverty, Scott-Heron brilliantly breaks down the bigger picture that was surrounding space travel in the late 1960s and early 1970s — a bigger picture that remains largely intact to this day.

Or, as Pennsylvania State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta accurately tweeted, “We can send billionaires to space but not kids to fully funded public schools.”

POETRY VIDEO: Whitey On The Moon’: Billionaire Space Race, Gil Scott Heron Poem Compared | NewsOne