We grew up into lives scrawled on back of mediated maps in their lines invisibly entrapped.
And this birthright more like a birth mark whose area and edges grow ragged with age. A malignancy untested, it consumes us anyway.
It consumes us anyway. It consumes us anyway.

I grew up near the white shore, without ever knowing that name — just how lines starkly drawn will check you in one box or another.
And in the space between past and passing, we hold classroom discussions of Amy Tan novels forgetting this is personal. Family is always personal. History is always personal.

I will not condemn what anyone did to survive.
But I will not defend a culture that makes us decide.
To assimilate or die.
Or that defines survival as
running as fast as you can from the places you came from,
forgetting the things that have made you,
until all that is left is the burning in your lungs or
the pounding in your heart that only has space for contempt for the ones who couldn’t quite make it.

That we are all the same: what a happy myth,
where race records become erased records
with time and meter to help us forget
or to take away the sting
as we define survival as
running as fast as you can from the places we came from,
forgetting the things that have made us,
until all that is left is the burning in our lungs or
the pounding in our hearts that only has space for contempt for the ones who couldn’t quite make it.


Lyrics submitted by JonnyTheMohawk, edited by VeganSlaughter

The White Shore song meanings
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    Song Meaningfrom the Defiance, Ohio website:

    "I struggle to sort out how race impacts my life and mediates who I am and how I move through the world. In many ways, this confusion mirrors our culture’s crisis in learning a language and understanding of race that feels true to the complex, often conflicting experiences that so many people have. It seems easier to run from race because it defines us in such crude, stark terms: either white or of color, oppressor or oppressed. In this flight, I fear that, along the way, we lose a sense of who we are and the possibility for a future that is deep and rich."
    elevatorladyon March 25, 2012   Link

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