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Bruce Springsteen says coronavirus has laid bare the ‘inequalities in wealth’ of the US

‘This pandemic has shown the great divide between our American dream and American reality’

Annie Lord
Wednesday 29 April 2020 10:12 BST
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(Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Bob Woodruff Foundation)

Bruce Springsteen has said that the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the inequalities in wealth and health of America.

Speaking during his DJ set on Sirus XM’s E Street Radio, Springsteen reflected on the human cost of the pandemic.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt said liberty requires opportunity to make a living, a decent living according to the standard of the time. A living which gives a man or a woman not only enough to live by, but something to live for.”

The 70-year-old continued: “Now the current pandemic has laid bare the inequalities in wealth and in health that plague our nation.

“In Michigan, hard-hit by the coronavirus, African-Americans make up 14 per cent of the population but 40 per cent of the deaths from this disease. So many disenfranchised Americans lack the essential liberty to protect their own lives, and the lives of their families.

“This pandemic has shown the great divide between our American dream and American reality, between current America versus the ideals enshrined in our founding documents.”

He added: “All I know is, here in the beginning of the 21st century, in Paterson and other New Jersey cities, in Michigan, in rural America, and all across the United States, this reality is so frustrating that, as the great Marvin Gaye said, we should want to holler.”

After finishing the speech which draws heavily from a New York Times article, Springsteen went on to play Gaye’s ‘Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler).’

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Earlier in the show, Springsteen stressed the need for kindness as a way of overcoming the pandemic.

“I’ve lived in the United States for 70 years now, and I have to admit I’ve often been disappointed in our failure to live up to our ideals.

“But I also have to say, I’ve never really been able to deny that there’s a promise that constantly resides in the American people, that could make us the great democratic nation that we carry in our hearts and in our dreams. ”

He added: “And if we put our hearts and our lives together and fought for the very ideals, those of equality, of liberty, of social justice, of compassion for our neighbours, we would find that this is where our strength resides. And we have it within in our power to create the kind of humane society we’ve always dreamt of.

“Now, all of this sounds corny when you say it. But it ain’t corny when you do it.”

Other tunes played by Springsteen in the show included his own “New York City Serenade”, Tupac Shakur’s “Dear Mama” and a cover of “The Promised Land” by Nashville’s Blacklist Royals.

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