Oppression Olympics: Round 1 - Resonance (Athena Chu, Elijah Davis, Armando Hazaveh, and Claudia Inglessis)

ALL: I come from


CI: sodden slums sculpted into the sides of the andes mountains

grasping accents like lost relics of ancestry

hearts turning like compasses inside our chests

pointing to ash and soot of a country that once was


AH: I come from

swaying hips and volcano heat

From People who built empires in the shadow of the sun god

I come from mountain cities and Persian deserts

Curved concaves of Mosques carved by the creator himself



I come from the dust of earth dragons,

with accents as thick as the spit of firecrackers,

our ancestry rotting on red envelope tongues.



I come from bass that sounded like freedom

That’s been passed down for generations

And will be playing until the revelation

Because we are the chosen ones

The lord himself, blessed our tongues


CI: i am america’s alien

moving through earth with words lodged in a foreign throat #

i lit my tongue on fire

combusting the accento that branded my words

so the flames of two languages might cease to lick at each other


AH & AC & ED: You got away with it #

we scorched our tongues

but our skin is too dark to burn

we don’t get to assimilate.

CI:                   assimilation comes at a cost

my voice was only heard when its spanish ignited

ALL: at least you were heard

CI: my body was only white enough when covered in blisters

ALL: at least you were white enough

CI: there is no white enough

I should not have to burn my culture at the stake to survive


AC: Burning is just your metaphor

But it was our reality.

We lived within parentheses

our pain erased from history.


We’ve seen worse

through the slits of our eyes,

the chink in the armor

that guards this soul with a squint,

in fear that a white man’s hands

might gouge out the exotic,

in fear that he will tear off

the parts he does not like enough,

and swallow the rest.


ALL: but your suffering

does not validate your silence.


AC: We abided by white lies to survive.

Our silence saved us.


ALL: Your active silence was passive violence,

ED & AH: Strangling the very people you rely on to breath.

ED & CI: Letting the white man take your tongue and use it as his whip.

ED: Following him up

a ladder made out of the bones

Of black men and women.


AH: You are role models who refused to resist.

Rotten remnants of white servant sentiments


I am the most wanted man in america.

Selling my heritage like hemp or heroin

On street corners

My culture rhymes with culprit

Or criminal, committing crimes against your country

Caution. I slipped through leaky gates in your wall

Spanish siphoned from split viens

Bleeding out street side, I stain your sidewalks

Persian banned in households held together by struggle

Home sounds different in english.

Speaking native tongues that sound like death threats

Bookbags or bombpacks

What burden do you want me to carry?

I’m a threat either way.


ED:  You think you feel pain?

You may be the culprit, but I’m always caught

Black boys are criminals,

is what we’ve always been taught


As white boys

chew and spit out our lines


That burn of our


Screaming how police are still spilling our blood

With no discretion.


CI & AH & AC: your bloodstream turned mainstream#

America was too preoccupied by dead black boys

To see our bodies.



You can’t save yourselves by blaming me.

We’ve been running this race for centuries

keeping score in unmarked cemeteries.


AH: Our ancestors lie side by side.

CI & AC: Sometimes # I mistake your pain for mine.

ALL: We all stand on the same firing line.


ALL: Why are we fighting over who shed more blood

When we should be fighting `he who left us bleeding here in the first place?


Do you see the colored corpses

crushed to concrete

by the carnage of this country? #

We are the same shade of blood. ##

Oppression was never a competition.

ED: I am tired of winning.

AH & CI & AC: I am done trying to beat you. #

ALL: We all have the same wounds.#

Bullet holes for eyes and throats.

We see the real crime now.  #

We won’t let the guilty loose.

Our voices are loaded

And we shoot.