And America is now blood and tears instead of milk and honey

from Kanye West (Ft. Gil Scott-Heron) – Who Will Survive in America Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

This entire speech is riddles with religious imagery. “The land of Milk and Honey” is a biblical image that was often used to refer to the Israelit promise land, a kind of paradise that was to be saved by God for the Israelites to dwell into after they escaped slavery from Egypt.

Naming America “the land of milk and honey” is akin to the concept of Civil Religion, the idea that America has transformed itself, previous leaders (ie. Lincoln, Washington), and the famous speeches/songs/pledges into a kind of religion, where American history is worshipped like a religious authority. A common theme to this album, and one that denotes the obsession with capitalism, money, fame that Kanye references and that displays the perversion of the how Americans view their country and its values.

Also, the comparison between the Israelite promise land and American reveals the true moral depravity of America, and also communicates Kanye’s belief that America views itself as uniqueness priveledged and is somewhat entitled.

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