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You can get killed just for living in your American skin

8.25.2014

I'm terrible at keeping up with the news but this month many of my friends brought attention and voices of outrage to the murder of Michael Brown by Ferguson police, as well as the brutal mistreatment of peaceful protesters that has followed. I don't feel like I have anything to add to the conversation that hasn't already been better said by others about racism and police militarization in America...But that doesn't mean I will be silent. I want to boost the voices of those affected and shed light on this and other travesties of justice.

This weekend driving in my car Bruce Springsteen's song "41 Shots (American Skin)" came on. Written following the brutal shooting of unarmed street peddler Amadou Diallo by the NYPD, I heard it for the first time in the recording of Live in New York City Madison Square Garden concerts. He has since played it at several concerts in response to the shooting of Trayvon Martin. In 2012 he released a studio version of the song on his album High Hopes.



41 shots
And we'll take that ride
'cross this bloody river
to the other side
41 shots
I got my boots caked in this mud
We're baptized in these waters
and in each other's blood

Is it a gun
Is it a knife
Is it a wallet
This is your life
It ain't no secret
No secret, my friend
You can get killed just for living in
your American skin

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