It is heartbreaking that I have to tell my brother to be cautious around the police. I remind him often that there are people that would go out of their way to harm or to kill him based on the color of his skin. There are many more who would do nothing to protect or defend him if he were in trouble. The same is true for my wife, sister, brother in-law, and other loved ones. Because I am white I am rarely, if ever, concerned for my safety. I do not worry about being profiled and harmed by police. I do not have to fear for my life. I am not expected to be a criminal, an underachiever, or dangerous. People do not placate me and demean me with insults or false praise because of my race. I am not caricatured, undervalued, or objectified. I am not continually given the message that my experience is untrue or irrelevant.
I wrote this song in the weeks after the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Each reference in the song is tied to a story of police violence that actually happened to loved-ones or has been reported in the media. They are all recent.