Week 380 // Admission

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View Lyrics

I’ve got my
Golden ticket
I keep it
Back at the candy store
Expect us
Uninvited
What are these
Deadbolts even for?

Good answer
Great thinking
I’d never ever
Thought of that before

Good answer
Great thinking
I’d never ever
Thought of that before, not once

My thoughts are
White as ever
Hosanna
Praise the coming war
Remember
To hold the island
Whatever
Were the bridges for?

Good answer
Great thinking
I’d never ever
Thought of that before

Good answer
Great thinking
I’d never ever
Thought of that before

Remember
Not ever
Remember
Not ever
Remember
Not ever

Good answer
Great thinking
I’d never ever
Thought of that before

Good answer
Great thinking
I’d never ever
Thought of that before

Notes
I’m having trouble writing about this song without falling on my own sword. I’ll attempt to be honest. I’m trying to deal with my own racist thoughts and deeds. Living in a diverse neighborhood of a diverse city, I frequently encounter my neighbors of color while combatting thoughts, biases, and fears that circle around my head like racist gnats. As a progressive, I tell myself that my awareness of this problem is a good start. I don’t know whether or not it is. I want to be better than I am.

A lot of white people are congratulating themselves for loving the new film, Black Panther. It’s a great movie, an important movie, and it’s awesome that it is so well received. I have taken great interest in watching the surrounding public conversations about race, representation, and colonialism unfold. I have tried to read more than write about it, and listen at least as much as I speak. Still, I’m amused by the soft awakenings to racism that happen in the context of pseudo events like the release of a thought provoking film in an unexpected space such as superhero cinema. People like me start to have conversations that include epiphanies about the struggles of others. We talk about the subject as if it is new and novel. We come to simple conclusions, and feel proud of ourselves for making intellectual leaps that require the slightest amount of empathy.

This song is an admission that I do all of these things. It’s a sardonic indictment of the shallow epiphanies beheld by white progressives, set against the naked racism and entitlement that I inhabit and hope to transcend somehow. I offer a chorus of white voices congratulating each other for what fascinating ideas they have about subjects they’ve done little work to engage. I’m trying to admit how little I know.

~M.E.

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