For no other reason than summer is coming,
I tapped into my reggae receptors today,
Peter Tosh, he seemed perfect,
A little edge, a little more confrontational,
Less happy sounding than Bob or Gregory.

“Get Up Stand Up” jumped through the speakers
And instead of thinking about Williamburg circa ’87
Or Charlottesville circa ’85,
Or any summer since,
All I could think about today was America.

WTF, it’s so hard to be proud
When the law always wins and we always lose,
If you stand up, they knock you back down
With no fear of being stopped by their fellow cops,
Prosecutors, or judges.

WTF, it’s so hard to understand,
How protesting with rules and responsibility
Can escalate to looting, free stuff being palmy and all
Except for the price it puts on areas already struggling and
Where victory is worth more than ill-gotten sneaks.

WTF, who are these agitators, trolling the streets,
The web, the social media platforms
Always looking to instigate, always starting trouble
From the shadows, seeding confusion,
Profiting on devolving discourse.

WTF, this attack on decency,
Who benefits by assailing anger across all classes?
Who stands to gain by all of this violence?
Those in the crevices, the cracks,
The places where the manipulators survive.

It’s reggae time, so WTF America,
Get up and get your act together,
Stop hating on each other, po-po figure out “serve and protect,”
People protest smarter and stop falling for the message
Of those seeking to make it all worse.


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