Sins Of The Now

from Cosmos by Andrew Huang

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lyrics

i was born with freedoms but we all inherit the baggage
all inherit the madness of culture and soul ravaged
and there’s only so much that heals with time’s passage
and anyway i’d rather take action than an adage
blending in with the sharks that i’m swimming with
learned to play nice with the great whites
raising civil kids who can’t seem to recognize privilege
and my mission is i’m just trying to build a bridge
with my sisters and brothers of other colors
with the promise of being free and unencumbered
they throw us shade in the day
and out the lights when the sun is under
forcing us to come in numbers
so now there’s riots for rights, minors are dying tonight
coolies’ american dreams are featuring china at night
some came to work for a living, some didn’t have any choice
and now they’re dying in a country that denies them a voice
and they all have families, and those families live on
still proud to be from ‘round here though they’ve got to wake up at dawn
to start a ten mile walk or lay in back of a truck
to get to work at a job that doesn’t pay them enough
and then on top being told that they don’t belong any places
‘cause every color that isn’t beige needs qualifications
saying latin-american african-american asian-american
to people who’ve never set foot outside the nation
don’t get me started on native american
look up the actual dictionary definition of native
verses that i’m killing like they did defenseless children
whether smallpox or slaughter, taking these lives by the millions
and now they’re scared of a foreigner who’s not even a foreigner
makes me want to do some shit - somebody call in the coroner
someone sail in a ship, pull it up to the coast
start naming states and provinces, start turning people to ghosts
put a flag in the ground, spread some deadly disease
put the locals to war, get them down on their knees
and when they’re dead from the sickness or finished fighting your battles
then corral them like cattle, also kill all the cattle
burn down the lifestyle and culture
even the forest, ignite it
this is manifest destiny, i can dream, i can write it
let all us modern day north americans see how we like it
sins of the now

i’m still dreaming
i haven’t lost that feeling
but i need something more to believe in
need something more to believe in
i’m still dreaming
about a light down the road i’ve been seeing
but i need something more to believe in
give me something more to believe in

from other tyrants’ smoke, we were taking cover
searching high and low for a paper mother
tryna sow the seeds of a new life in china cove
inscribing poems on the walls of barracks disguised as homes
clipped their wings and they called it angel island
though why would we fly any closer to a coast of violence
with no rights to testify against whites
barred from business licenses and real estate rights
a lot of colonies had salient convictions
the uk label was “aliens restriction"
mother maple had a head tax fail us
an aussie policy literally called "white australia"
six decades of a chinese exclusion act
had a president executive producing that
and 442 came home from war to prove
they were fighting for some brutes still trying to shoot a jap
and today you’re still afraid and worrying
another pioneer is gonna come and take your work again
they’ve got entire police forces murdering
ny or chi-town, la to ferguson
now calling for cameras on coppers
and not the kind in the coffers
demanding justice and progress
when only suffering’s on offer
killer in public he’s pious
tone down from bigot to bias
but in his words and his actions
that’s where his prejudice highest
they make us work for equality
make us slave for equality
yeah it’s kind of ironic
we have to pay for these policies with our lives
and nobody asking are we ok
just years of impotent pronouncements from the doj
so now we’re brown nosers blowing your white tissue
can’t hack a race issue? then take a rights issue
you say it’s challenging, yeah man i’m right with you
‘cause we’re both in this for life, let the rice hit you
this is a matrimony, it’s indivisible
but you try to make individuals invisible
you don’t see black and yellow, so now we’re seeing red
and i hate it, don’t want to see anymore people dead
on either side, i don’t want there to be a side to block
it’s up to all of us together, only we decide to stop
sins of the now

i’m still dreaming
i haven’t lost that feeling
but i need something more to believe in
give me something more to believe in
i’m still dreaming
martin had a dream
about a light down the road i’ve been seeing
but i need something more to believe in
give me something more to believe in

it’s been futile since before the feudal
wealth and potential never distributed to the communal
every system has controls
and every hand has callouses
some from the power they hold
flogging every message that we might send
every speech never speaks to the right gents
no ears for the destitute
why’s every oppressor surprised somebody’s ready to fight them?
this hollow struggle for change
to see a slight bend rather than a break from status
with every night spent laboring
to give women and people of color the right
to vote for a selection of white men
it’s not my dream to be livid, delivering diatribes
can’t repair these relations, we’ll live and die a tribe
but still i’m calling for progress
‘cause even crawling is honestly faster
than waiting for kings to develop a conscience
keep making promises to all of the so-called godless
while building nations on a history of violence and conquest
so we’ll be scaling the fortress, we’ll be fighting the office
and we’ll brandish the truth, though we might not be the strongest
bring your army and i’ll bring my heart
sling your arrows, i’ll be using them to etch my art
you may have trampled us over, you may have knocked us down
but there’s a harmony within us that will always resound
it’s not a fight to be victors, it’s not a grab at the crown
it’s a dream of unity even when we’re kicked to the ground
‘cause even though i have anger my love is limitless loud
and the longer it lasts, it grows ever closer the clouds
stronger than animosity, that’s why i’m finishing proud
‘cause i have learned from every corner of a menacing crowd
we all deserve respect and peace, put your enmity down
the songs that i blast, you can’t diminish the sound
history marches and i don’t fight for the wrongs of the past
but the sins of the now
we’re bringing them down
so sing with me now

i’m still dreaming
martin had a dream
i haven’t lost that feeling
but i need something more to believe in
give me something more to believe in
i’m still dreaming
about a light down the road i’ve been seeing
give me something more to believe in

credits

from Cosmos, released September 15, 2015

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Andrew Huang Toronto, Ontario

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