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JD Mader San Francisco, California

JD Mader is a musician and author. And 1/2 of 'The Flying Black Hats'. www.jdmader.com

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Track Name: Chicken Little
Chicken Little, loud and livid, has moved inside my ear - he's banging pots and pans together, and I can barely stand the weather. The fear. There are dark clouds forming and the air tastes like blood; there will never be enough soap to make me clean again. I walk the same streets, same shoes, same feet, but no one wants to nod hello. No one's smiling. Nope, EVERYBODY is out profiling. Making uneducated guesses based on skin and dresses. Punk rock tresses. I'm too young for this, but I'm also too damn old.

I can't handle the whiplash. From small, sweet hugs to hate and back. And I wish I had a way to say - I don't care if you're straight or gay. I don't care if you're white or black or brown. I don't care how you want to live your life unless it hurts people. Be you. Identify yourself. YOUR choice. I only make choices for me. And right now I'm trying to keep two small girls from catching a glimpse of a passing TV.

I don't like to see my wife scared. I don't like to see my friends angry. We have every right to be angry, but I don't like to see it. And this is not about the election anymore. Not about Clinton, nor Trump. We have finally been forced to look in the mirror, and we're ugly down to the bone. And I mean everyone, because we knew this was coming and didn't want to believe. Walking around with Chicken Little on our sleeves.

George Wallace never went away, he's just been laying low.

I'm not making apologies for anyone. I'm not going to be quiet because being loud might get me shot - because it might not. And, regardless, right now truth is all I've got. And I've never been a liar. If I had been I might have climbed the ladder higher. Now, I'm kind of glad I didn't. Distance. I don't have much. 'Cause I've been in the trenches.

So, I'll try to sleep. I'll try to pretend that two grown men didn't try to fight each other in front of my children in front of an elementary school. That's what Chicken Little is saying now. Fuck the sky, pretend it's not happening and just get by.

I never did listen to chickens.

My blinders are not on. If I was Phil Ochs, I'd write a song. And if I could buy an island, I'd invite every American who feels scared, everyone taken unaware. I'm not looking for people to target, I'm trying to be a teacher because it's one of the few things I'm good at.

And I'm trying not to call so many people and tell them, lay low. Because my fear is less important than the truths we need to hear. This is not about Islam, not about color, not about politics, not about locker room talk or email schlock. This is about the chickens coming home to roost. We ignored them for too long, and pretended everything was going to be OK. A lark, a song. Because it was easy. Now, nothing will be easy, but that's exactly what we deserve after all the steaming lies we've served.

Pain like this doesn't go away without a fight. I will fight with words because I believe that is the most effective way. But I won't shut up. Chicken Little has sung his battle cry. And we need to know why. And I need every scared American to know: I have no problem with anyone. I am proud to have white friends, black friends, latino friends, gay friends, trans friends - I'm proud of the remaining Americans. The ones that are trying to uphold principles we should hold dear. I'm proud to know strong immigrants, and I could give a shit whether they had time to deal with bureaucratic bullshit. Sometimes you just need to find a safe harbor. I get that. I think we were all supposed to get that. I'll get up and go about my day. Because there's no other way.

American hypocrisy is here to stay?

Hell, it never went away.

www.jdmader.com