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The Assassination Of Joe Hill

“We will sing one song of the meek and humble slave, The horn-handed son of the soil, He’s toiling hard from the cradle to the grave, But his master reaps the profits from his toil.” Joe Hill

Most people don’t know who Joe Hill is. Well I am here to fix that problem. For you see in this world there is the rich and the poor. We are indoctrinated to learn the heroes of the rich but we are not told about the heroes of the poor. 

Laborer photoJoe Hill was a member of the IWW or the Industrial Workers of the World. He was a song writer who wrote many inspiring songs for the working class people. These are the people who fought for things that many have taken for granted. Such as the forty hour work week, social security, the right for unions to even exist, paid vacation, paid sick days, end of child labor, overtime and other things.

You see when history is not portrayed accurately society suffers. I was taught in school about the Rockefeller family, J.P. Morgan, the Vanderbilt family and others. These people were only one part of the equation. On the other hand were the poor, forgotten masses. However those who had the money controlled most things including what went into the newspapers and history books. The rich would like to define our heroes and present themselves as such.

Life testifies that there has always been class conflict. Whether it was Pharaoh versus the slaves or the factory owners versus the workers there is a constant antagonism. What one mus recognize is that the rich are constantly fighting to increase profits. What this directly translates is taking money away from the poor. For every dollar that goes into the rich man’s hand of luxury is a dollar that would provide for some poor person’s necessity.

So Joe Hill would create songs of inspiration that would educate the workers about the reality of the situation. That be design of ‘the system’ there is this consistent conflict. Furthermore ‘the system’ is constantly lying and deceiving to manipulate the masses. Joe Hill created a character who believed everything that he was told. That man’s name was appropriately “Mister Block”.

Joe Hill was a political prisoner in the United States and was assassinated by the state of Utah on trumped up charges of murder. Of course one cannot scrutinize the court case as ‘conveniently’ the records of the trial have disappeared. The whole episode was a very big deal with President Wilson getting involved. Yet I was never taught about Joe Hill in my history classes. Rather I was kept in the dark while the rich names I was forced to memorize.

If one is brave enough to pull back the pretty cover of the red, white and blue flag they will see a maggot infested apple pie. If you doubt this reality there are about two hundred million deceased Native Americans who will give you a convincing argument. Many people don’t want to investigate the truth because in doing so the idols they uphold today will quickly crumble. Still there is a host of characters hidden in American history who stood for another America. I propose that America is the America of it’s ideals. It is the wholesome alternative to the cruel capitalists that promote endless war from the lofty spires of Wall Street.

Beyond the mechanisms of propaganda there are sweet songs of truth. Joe Hill was an individual who could articulate the struggle of the poor and he deserves a prominent place in history. His assassination as a political prisoner needs to be recognized. Living a lie is not healthy for anybody’s mental health it is only profitable to the rich.

Please check out my book “Poet To The Poor, Poems Of Hope For The Bottom One Percent”.

The Assassination Of Joe Hill

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.

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APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2018). The Assassination Of Joe Hill. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 15, 2018, from


Last updated: 19 Feb 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Feb 2018
Published on All rights reserved.