Obama diptych
(Text: 'The White Man's Burden' by Rudyard Kipling and 'The Brown Man's Burden' by Henry Labouchere)

Acrylic on Board.

60in x 20in

2015
 

TEXT:

The Brown Man's Burden

Pile on the brown man's burden
    To gratify your greed;
Go, clear away the "niggers"
    Who progress would impede;
Be very stern, for truly
    'Tis useless to be mild
With new-caught, sullen peoples,
    Half devil and half child.
 
Pile on the brown man's burden;
    And, if ye rouse his hate,
Meet his old-fashioned reasons
    With Maxims up to date.
With shells and dumdum bullets
    A hundred times made plain
The brown man's loss must ever
    Imply the white man's gain.
 
Pile on the brown man's burden,
    compel him to be free;
Let all your manifestoes
    Reek with philanthropy.
And if with heathen folly
    He dares your will dispute,
Then, in the name of freedom,
    Don't hesitate to shoot.
 
Pile on the brown man's burden,
    And if his cry be sore,
That surely need not irk you--
    Ye've driven slaves before.
Seize on his ports and pastures,
    The fields his people tread;
Go make from them your living,
    And mark them with his dead.
 
Pile on the brown man's burden,
    And through the world proclaim
That ye are Freedom's agent--
    There's no more paying game!
And, should your own past history
    Straight in your teeth be thrown,
Retort that independence
    Is good for whites alone.

The White Man's Burden: The United States and The Philippine Islands (1899)

Take up the White Man's burden, Send forth the best ye breed
  Go bind your sons to exile, to serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild—
  Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.

Take up the White Man's burden, In patience to abide,
  To veil the threat of terror And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple, An hundred times made plain
  To seek another's profit, And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden, The savage wars of peace—
  Fill full the mouth of Famine And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest The end for others sought,
  Watch sloth and heathen Folly Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden, No tawdry rule of kings,
  But toil of serf and sweeper, The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter, The roads ye shall not tread,
  Go mark them with your living, And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man's burden And reap his old reward:
  The blame of those ye better, The hate of those ye guard—
The cry of hosts ye humour (Ah, slowly!) toward the light:—
  "Why brought he us from bondage, Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden, Ye dare not stoop to less—
  Nor call too loud on Freedom To cloak your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper, By all ye leave or do,
  The silent, sullen peoples Shall weigh your gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden, Have done with childish days—
  The lightly proffered laurel, The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood, through all the thankless years
  Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom, The judgment of your peers!