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An Ode to Racial Positionality

An Ode To Racial PositionallityEcho Cain
00:00 / 05:56
Covenants Cover.jpg

Covenants

Genre:

Ambient Spoken Word/Eastern European Folk

Instruments Used:

Vocals

Distorted Keyboard

Acoustic Guitar

Lyrics:

Quiet out there!

 

[Distorted keyboard plays in the background]

 

I am colonized by my own blood. 

I am racialized by my people's hand.

 

I am cut from my roots;

a leaf trailing in the wind.

I am complex, a being formed from the explosion of all Europe.

Of all the people of that continent. 

How can I believe a history that categorically diminishes the importance of parts of my blood?

They called us vampires.

They called us greedy.

They called us ugly.

They called us uncivilized.

 

And we wanted desperately to scream back: 

You? Civilized?

A joke! A joke! An absurd joke!

 

You?

The one who kills indiscriminately? 

The one who paints over others with power? 

The one who centuries before groveled before the Romans? 

Civilization is a curse. 

We have inherited it without direction.

 

The history books hide my face under a dark veil. 

A Jew cannot play a part in history. 

Relegated to the status of scapegoat and scientist.

Useful and disposable at the same time.

 

The history books scream my name from the heavens.

I am told that I am GOD within them.

I held property and money was my savior.

This system is all my fault.

Guilt flows like tears.

 

The history books make no reference to me.

I quietly scampered from Spain to Ireland.

They erase our conquering of Spanish land.

A refugee, three times out of place.

 

[The quality of the keyboard becomes more disturbing and discordant]

 

The history books speak of my suffering in low tones.

Famines and gulags are equivocated and left to rot.

I am called muddy and backwards. Only the dirt remembers me.

A reflection of the winners, desecrated by their winning.

 

[The keyboard returns to its previous quality]

 

The history books forget that I saved knowledge itself.

I was up in the rocks, burnt ladders kept me safe.

Stone, ink, paper, and quills.

The renaissance stored in an Irish monk's tower.

 

The history books imagine America; a glorious beacon.

The great beginning of the next phase.

 

They ripped me from my indigeneity.

I fled for fear of starvation.

I fled for fear of discrimination.

I fled for fear of poverty.

I fled for fear of Bolsheviks.

I fled for fear of British.

I am lucky to have fled. 

But I left everything buried in the Ground of Ukraine, the Ground of Wallachia, the Ground of Ireland,

the Ground of Europe… 

 

They call us now to forget.

They call us to erase our past.

 

"Start anew!" "Do you not see the golden road?"

"Be here now" "You are white!"

"You are white!"

"You are White!"

"You are WHITE!"

"You are WHITE!" 

"Must you fear now?"


[Acoustic rhythm guitar in a Phrygian mode joins the mix. The quality of the keyboard becomes more discordant again]

A trick only works against me when I have forgotten it.

I have seen the hand reach out to me once, twice, thrice. It is outstretched when I buy my food: plastic-packaged, killer-cauliflower. 

 

I do fear though.

I don't fear death. I don't fear starvation; I have been starved too long. I don't fear exile; I've been exiled too long. I don't fear pain and suffering; they are constant reminders.

 

I fear the brigands when they ride all in white.

I fear the killers when they shave their heads with my old symbols, stolen from me.

I fear the blind hand of justice, bound to a system that enslaves and kills without consequence.

I fear the moneymen that keep politics on barbiturates. 

I fear the news that everybody watches is killing them into whiteness.

 

I fear the sss—AHHH, God!

I fear the slow erasure of all cultures! 

 

I am an admixture that America doesn't want to recognize.

I have given myself prosperity and genocide.

My land taken by myself.

Reflexive torture carried out through love and hate.

I loathe myself!

I love myself!

Was it me who enslaved?

Was it me who was a slave?

 

I am colonized by my own blood. 

I am racialized by my people's hand.

 

-Echo Cain; American, Jewish, British, Turkish, Irish, German, Wallachian, Russian, Ukrainian, French, Spanish, Scottish, Dutch, Transylvanian, Hungarian, Welsh, Scotch-Irish, Romanian, and who knows what else!

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