Ballad of CeCe McDonald

from by David Rovics

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about

There is so much more than could be said about CeCe McDonald and the struggle of existing while black and trans. But the fact that, when violently confronted by a white American Nazi, she successfully defended herself by stabbing him with her sewing scissors in what turned out to be the very location of his swastika tattoo, deserved a song all to itself.

lyrics

There are a lot of white men in this world who turn out a lot like Dean
Schmitz – homophobic, racist, bigoted and mean
He grew up to be a hard man, did the things that hard men do
Picked fights, went to prison, got a swastika tattoo

CeCe McDonald is a child of creation
And she's black, and she's trans, an often deadly combination
She went out with friends one night as friends often do
Which is where she met the man with the swastika tattoo

CeCe McDonald wasn't looking for a fight
She was just out for the evening to have a drink, perhaps a bite
For Dean Schmitz the same thing was not true
That's how it is when you're a guy with a swastika tattoo

Dean said things to CeCe which I shall not repeat here
About her race, about her gender, about all things he thought queer
CeCe and her friends tried not to take the cue
Not so the man with the swastika tattoo

The first blow was from a bigot, a beer mug to the face
Which left CeCe bleeding all over the place
CeCe left the building but then the next thing that she knew
She was confronted by the man with the swastika tattoo

CeCe left the building, she didn't want to stay
She went out onto the sidewalk, she tried to get away
But when the Nazi came to get her she did what she had to do
And she stabbed him in his swastika tattoo

CeCe had no weapons but sometimes you can improvise
So she tried her sewing scissors on for size
Turned out they were sharp, turned out her aim was true
And it was the last day for the man with the swastika tattoo

CeCe called the cops and they took her off to jail
She was sentenced to 3 years but she lived to tell the tale
That's one more woman who's still breathing and one less Nazi who
Had upon his chest a swastika tattoo

credits

from The Other Side, released August 31, 2015

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David Rovics Portland, Oregon

"Absolutely brilliant. David Rovics says exactly what needs to be said."
Ian McMillan, BBC

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