Watch Out for the Cops

Portland is a town that’s in the news much of the time
There are a lot of vegans and there’s very little crime
It’s a nice safe place to live, folks ride bicycles a lot
The winters aren’t so cold and the summers aren’t so hot
They build houses out of cob, they hang out in the park
Where you needn’t worry about walking after dark
There are lots of homeless people but they don’t hurt no one
Just be careful of the boys in blue playing with their guns

Watch out for the cops (4x)

You can hang out with the punks with the piercings and tattoos
You can eat out at a food truck, any neighborhood you choose
You can dance to Balkan music while you drink a microbrew
Chilling in a gay bar with the mayor and his crew
But be careful what you do, be prepared to get some flack
Especially for those who may be male, young and Black
The fact is you’d do better in sweet home Alabam
You’re safer there on the old streets of Birmingham

Watch out for the cops (4x)

Portland’s full of roses, there are flowers everywhere
But for others they’ve got prisons with some nice electric chairs
You can go downtown, ride the buses there for free
But you never know when you’ll get a DWB
A town full of progressives but such a rotten bunch of cops
Who knows who’ll get shot at the next routine traffic stop?
When you live in a place like Portland where they tend to act this way
You can just join the police force instead of the KKK!

Watch out for the cops (4x)

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Watch Out for the Cops

“Watch Out for the Cops” appears on the CD and Bandcamp album, Meanwhile In Afghanistan (2012).

Portland, Oregon is the city that has the highest rate of police killings of black people in the US, after you adjust for population.  The state of Oregon was once settled by people who were aiming to set up a “white homeland.”  There were sunset laws.  It’s still a dangerous place to be a person of color.

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