As I Watch Minneapolis Burn

from Notes from a Failed State by David Rovics

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I can't breathe.

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As I Watch Minneapolis Burn

Are people still lynched in America – and what happens when they die
When he begged for his mother to save him, was he resisting arrest when he cried
And how does the lynch mob roam free, when we already know who they are
The men who murdered George Floyd, and then drove off in their police cars
To live with such savage injustice, with every new day the Earth turns
I'm left with no reason to wonder, as I watch Minneapolis burn

Are people still lynched in America – how many just in the past weeks
From Georgia to Minnesota, as the pandemic spikes and peaks
Did you see him pinned down for eight minutes, did you see the knee on his neck
Did you see the police station on fire, did you smell the smoldering wreck
As the National Guard marches in, watch the wheels of history churn
In the land of Philando Castille, as we watch Minneapolis burn

Are people still lynched in America – and do the poor still die of disease
Are the prisons still full of debtors, do bodies still hang from the trees
Do the workers still live by the highways, still struggle to come up with rent
Do families still get evicted, when the last of their credit is spent
Do you see all the people who just had to find out what might there be left to learn
From the flames that rise from the Target, as we watch Minneapolis burn

Are people still lynched in America – and what happens when they die
When he begged for his mother to save him, was he resisting arrest when he cried

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from Notes from a Failed State, released June 4, 2020

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David Rovics Portland, Oregon

I'm a frequently touring singer/songwriter based in Portland, Oregon, a regular contributor to Counterpunch, and host of the podcast, This Week with David Rovics, among other things.

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