Denial Kills

Preview or purchase this song HERE. (Released July 2020)

All profit from this single will be donated to a racial justice organization. Check out the following organizations who are doing good work in racial justice:

Lyrics:

You call it fake news whatever you don’t agree with
Hateful eyes glare straight through the dead
A fascist president thrives on your confusion
Blind faith doled out for solely what he’s said

[chorus]:
I guess you won’t believe it unless you see it
You say no way ’cause it never happened to you
Well you can reap the day when you say ok, that now you know it’s true
By then nobody’s left to come help you

There’s whites on the right denying systemic racism
It’s plainly visible to those of us who care
The evidence is bleeding all around us
Puddles forming in the places racists don’t want to share

It takes a video for you to know where all those black lives go
Racist killers walk free
Peaceful protesters face police brutality
No justice served while democracy’s subverted
But it hasn’t touched you, so you can avert your eyes

So-called harmless virus killing off the working poor
Billionaires safe earning money from their yachts
Climate change, they say no such thing,
Keep profits high while people die
And on and on and on…
Deny Deny Deny

Impetus:

We live in an age where lying politicians, corrupt media, and public relations of powerful corporations are very successful in convincing the public that we’d be better off trusting moneyed-interests over science. According to them, the global scientific community, one which put a man on the moon among other incredible achievements, is lying to us, and the real truth-tellers are (surprise!) the greedy capitalists who can earn massive wealth if people would disbelieve urgent catastrophes like climate change or the current pandemic. Jane Mayer points out in her book ‘Dark Money’ that some of the same professional tricksters who defended the tobacco industry so skillfully, in convincing the public that smoking did not cause cancer, were involved in the creation of climate change denial. Our country doesn’t invest in quality public education; corporate mainstream news such as Fox is permitted to deceive far and wide, letting lies go unchecked; social media further spreads misinformation; politicians are not called out on their lies; the public isn’t informed of how to check the facts; too many people would rather escape into pop-culture than learn how to think critically and pick up a book or do some research (we’re all fucked and life is short, so I can hardly blame people for that); our lying president calls the work of any journalist “fake news” when he doesn’t like what they’re saying; and mind-boggling amounts of money goes towards manufacturing a consensus among ignorant voters that whatever is good for big business is good for everyone, let the health of our environment or people be damned. So it’s no wonder we have a lot of people denying climate change and the coronavirus pandemic (hell, we’re still living with holocaust deniers as well).

Even more despicable is the denial of systemic racism and individual racism, both of which our country has never existed without. There’s also widespread denial of police brutality, abuse which has often occurred with zero accountability (research the endless accounts of peaceful protesters of all races having their constitutional amendments revoked in the face of arrests or state violence). I’ve heard some whites declare, “If you don’t do anything wrong, you won’t have any trouble with the law.” These whites (usually Trump-supporters) deny the existence of racist police, or of police brutality, and say, “Well I never had any trouble with them, so I don’t believe anyone does”. That is an infuriating mindset – how the hell are you in a position to deny there’s a problem if you are white and the racists target blacks?! Or if you have never in your life exercised your first amendment right because as of yet you are too comfortable to care about how uncomfortable so many lives are? There is also something those white deniers need to understand about systemic racism: it is often insidiously hidden if you are not the victim of it. You have to get outside of your bubble and interact with the beautiful, diverse world out there, and listen to people if you care enough to witness it! There are endless accounts over this nation’s history of the unaccountable, brutal abuses of power in our corrupt “criminal justice” system that can take away our civic rights, human rights, or our lives in the blink of an eye. This is not something likely to happen (if it’s ever happened) to a rich white person. The vast majority are blacks and other non-whites, though it happens also to whites who aren’t rich and powerful. If you don’t believe this, there is a mountain of evidence from which you can research (just one of many good books on the subject is “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander). Whether justice will be served when such state terror occurs depends in part on your race, your economic class, and whether there was a video taken. All should be equal under the law and it should not require a video to hold a murderer accountable! No one should be above the law, especially those people entrusted with the power to enforce the law!

I empathize with people who’ve been hurt so bad by our system that they don’t believe a “good cop” exists. There are police officers who are not racist, who entered the force to “protect and serve”, who have noble intentions, and who do a good job. Some cities are devoid of any good ones, but some places have some. The good ones cannot deny the broken system and they would have insight into how broken it is. The good ones would be supportive of the Movement for Black Lives. The good ones would hold their co-workers accountable when they abuse their power or exhibit racism. The good ones would agree that instead of outfitting our police to be like military soldiers at war with our own population, we would redirect those equipment funds towards mental health care and other desperately needed social programs that could respond more appropriately to crisis situations that police are not trained (or paid enough as workers) to handle. Conscientious people could give someone an earful about how corrupt and racist our system is and also how insane we are to structure our society in a way that increases crime, then spend more taxpayer money on viciously fighting it than what it would cost to prevent it. That insane motive can be explained by crime profiteers who have no desire to prevent crime because they’re only interested in maximizing their profits, e.g. prison CEOs. How about not criminalizing people for the sake of profit? How about…(in my head, I hear Nina Turner saying “hello, somebody”), how about guaranteeing health care, housing, living wages, education, and a clean environment to every single person?! We DO have that ability! Understand that Jeff Bezos (just one of ~540 billionaires in the US) owns more wealth than many countries because we live in a country that thinks that makes a damn bit of sense! Understand that the better we take care of people, the less crime we would have, and the more money (if the money is what you care about) we wouldn’t waste on mass incarceration and fancy war equipment for police departments.

Tragically, many people (often right-wingers) care more about property than people. Were you more horrified by George Floyd being brutally killed by the unashamed police, or instead by the property destruction that a tiny percent of the rightfully outraged resorted to when calling on the government to give a just response to grave injustices? Many thousands, the vast majority, of nationwide protesters did not resort to property destruction despite the corporate news harping on any stories of looting. There are long lists of accounts of peaceful protesters being violently assaulted by officers, hundreds of assaults just in the weeks since George Floyd was killed by the police. Where is the “law and order” the president yells for? He breaks the law by ordering assaults on peaceful protesters, revoking their first amendment right. He yells “LAW AND ORDER!”, but not when people are MURDERED and the murderers walk free, as happened with Ahmaud Arbery (and so many others). It wasn’t until videos were seen by the world and caused a public outcry and protests that the killers of Arbery were charged, and we still wait to see if justice will be served. No, the current president doesn’t care when a black man is murdered and the murderer is let off because of being a policeman or a white supremacist vigilante. Trump instead yells for ‘law and order’ when an occasional building is burned or property stolen during a massive outcry over the unaccountable killers. So do many whites who tragically have zero interest in learning what people unlike them have gone through and what they continue to suffer through. If you have zero will to put yourself in the shoes of the oppressed, then you are just as culpable as the oppressor.

The chorus of my song is inspired by the “First they came” poem written by a pastor many years ago but every bit as relevant today in the US and anywhere there are still people being rounded up, oppressed, deported, killed, imprisoned, silenced, banned…all while so many millions sit idly by because they either deny it is happening or they don’t care because it hasn’t affected their own lives. Here is that poem, one which inspires solidarity among all races, religions, classes, ethnicities, genders, and all who seek a peaceful, loving, and just world:

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

[end quote]

In our current times, I would add many verses to that poem to include Blacks, Latinx, Asian Americans, Muslims, Black Lives Matter protesters, Native Americans, immigrants, peace and environmental activists…and all others who our current hateful president and his boot-lickers target.

…(return to the ‘Justice Jar’ page)…

— Lillie

© July 2020 Clay Babies