October 24, 1996 by Fred Shrum, III

There was a riot in the streets and it makes me sick

While we’re proselytizing about unity

We’re burning down our own community

Car lurches forward and shots ring out

Self defense the cops had no doubt

But the citizens did not agree

So they lit the fuse of anarchy

I know that a riot is the language of the unheard

And we have a lot to say tonight

But this type of justice I cannot afford

Helicopters miss no beat

National Guard rolling down my street

Our block turned into an inferno

My brothers fall asleep in their cells

The cops return to their homes

The reporters return to their homes

The politicians return to their homes

Tomorrow morning and policy stands

Neighbors sifting ashes through their hands

This used to be my store

But insurance deductible means I’m here no more

Fred Shrum, III was born near Washington, D.C. and grew up in Florida. He attended the University of South Florida and earned a B.A. in Communication with a minor in Business Administration

fred

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