watching cities burn

everyone was talking about it
I didn’t know about it
I don’t pay attention to most things
we don’t watch the news
I stay off of facebook and twitter
I shield myself from shit
but this couldn’t continue
not with this
another dirty cop
killed another black man
the whole world saw it
and now
cities all over the country are burning
riots everywhere

I say riots and not protests
because when we were watching the live coverage
they only showed the riots and looting
peaceful protests aren’t news
they would go to a reporter in Denver
but it was boring so they quickly went to
Seattle, because last night, Seattle went crazy
tonight, not so much
they got out of there quick
I had my fourth beer
they went to Detroit
something was happening there
but then it stopped as soon as it started
so they just kept replaying what had happened
the newscasters were just fucking awful
the shit that was coming out of their mouths
then we had three screens going at once
Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and New York
I was hungry
made a couple steak and cheddar hot pockets
I had never had those ones before
I was rather looking forward to it
I opened a beer
protestors broke through the barricade
in front of the White House
fireworks and flash bangs were going off
in Los Angeles rioters were burning police cruisers
many of them
tagging up buses
looting shops
trying to bust open an ATM machine
newscasters said stupid things
the microwave binged
I got my food, another beer and sat down
New York was boring after a fight
they switched to Miami
nothing of interest
they switched to Philly to show us
a building burning bright in the night
the National Guard was in Minneapolis
it seemed dull
in L.A. people were running out of stores
with pills
some of which were priced at over $1000
which I’m sure cost .45 cents to make
in a Chinese sweat shop
a reporter was attacked
he smiled and said, “these people are passionate”
“Jesus Fucking Christ” I said

my hot pockets were gross
and left me with a bit of a tummy ache
I switched to wine
I couldn’t stand watching this shit anymore
I turned it off
put Rage Against the Machine on the stereo
marveled at how 1992 didn’t seem that long ago
smoked a pack of cigarettes and finished the wine
then my wife said to me, “you know, you are the problem.”

I didn’t see how that was true
I am just indifferent
I don’t like cops
they’ve never done me any favors
as a teen
I lived in a very white city
so being the punk kid with the mohawk
I was the minority
got fucked with all the time
sitting on curbs with bracelets
face shoved up against stucco walls
for no reason

but saying all cops are racist
is like saying all blacks are criminals
you can’t generalize like that
I guess I don’t understand racial oppression
we had a black president
all of the black people who were being interviewed
were doctors and professors with educations
they made it
if they can
why can’t others
I’m white and haven’t made it
life is hard
the world is a steaming pile of shit
do black lives matter?
of course they do, don’t be stupid
but all lives matter no matter what your
or upbringing
that’s just common human decency

in 92 the violence seemed more brutal
and I’m sure the Watts riots were even worse
we had curfews in 92
I was in school then (in a black neighborhood)
and blacks that were my
friends the day before
now roamed the halls
when confronted I lied and told them
that my real dad was Mexican
that seem to please them and they left me alone
it was scary
a gas station near me blew up in the night
I was terrified
this all seems very calm compared to that
I know people have died
but people always die
it’s not nice, it’s fucked
but I remember watching Reginald Denny
get pulled out of his truck
on I think Florence and Normandy
and get beat to shit
within an inch of his life
for just turning down a street at the wrong

in prisons
most of the guards don’t fuck with the inmates
because they know that most of them
have nothing left to lose
so they treat them with dignity as much as possible
out of fear, probably, but they get to go home
at night and lay up against their aging wives
they know this

I bring this up because
I feel like the reason most dirty cops
are assholes
is because they know they have a gun on their hip
they know that they can use lethal force if they
feel threatened
so I saw take away the cops guns
let them have their batons
give the civilians a fucking chance
will more cops get injured
at first, I sure they will
but soon, they will learn others ways
to get their job done
without the thought in the back of their minds
that they could just shoot people
let the SWAT teams have guns, fine
but take all firearms from patrolmen
just for a year
see what happens
civilians would probably respect them
a hell of a lot more

at the end of the day
what happened to Floyd was disgusting
a disgrace
protesting is good, but not news worthy
riots and looting are fucking stupid
but news worthy
and beef and cheddar hot pockets
are kinda gross

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