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i was born in 1984.
post vietnam, and then post cold war,
in a world that my parents worked hard for,
i grew up safely and secure,
which all in all, was a cause to celebrate.
we said "mess with us, and you must be crazy,
got my money on the dream team, baby!
we take gold and it comes easy."

and the sentiment was raised in me.
to know proudly, unmistakably
who i am...
and where i stand…

but given time, found myself questioning
a country i saw biding time in a confrontation
guess i never really saw this place as
fighting wars of speculation.
but i didn't see how our nation's history
was not fully revealed to me.
no i didn't see how our "invincibility" was naive,
like our power, “guaranteed.”

and the questions raised up out from me,
in the company of a fading dream,
i asked who am i?
and for what do i stand?

growing up i had a grasp on the concept
of "war" as a thing from the past
that held a place in our history
but never really could apply to me
a decade passed yeah engaged in conflict
a generation came of age under it
raised in fear and uncertainty
but that was never how it felt to me

the first gulf war in my dim recollection
was a time we cheered in celebration
at parades that they held for the troops then
though i never even knew what happened,
bosnia broadcast on tv,
the berlin wall, in my memory,
crumbled beneath our undying belief,
in this, the empire of liberty yeah.

but i was a child brought up in contradiction
i never held these events to be questioned
but the years wore at my confidence
and with time it started making sense:
rejection faced internationally,
it’s all part of the backlash baby
look inside, tell me what you see,
can you tell me now what it means to be


from Backlash, Baby, released November 20, 2015