I’ve been singing little protest songs to my self for the past few years. I idolize Dylan, Guthrie, Seeger, so this is only natural. But when I read the headline this week — The White House Goes Dark — I did a double-take.

Could a headline be more poetically descriptive of this presidency? I felt I had been handed a perfect chorus for a protest song. And since it was news, I made the verses a report of this incredible week’s unfolding, the context of the White House going dark.

What a week. The national and international outrage at George Floyd’s murder and everything that has followed is like a colossal dam breaking. I hope my song report does it justice.

Coward In Chief

George Floyd was murdered by Minnesota cops
And the people are marching, enough is enough
Four hundred years and finally phones
Have shown the white folks what black folks have known

This country was built and is ever so
For white folks to go where we want to go
But if you are black there is no safe space
A cop might just kill you for the look on your face

And the laws are set up and a jury will find
He was doing his job, he will be reassigned
Just blame a black man for being a thug
Say he resisted, he must be on drugs

But how many times can we stomach this shit?
We’re crying Bullshit on these old hypocrites!

And the White House goes dark
The president is hiding
The old patriarch
Is busy gaslighting

And the White House goes dark
The president is hiding
Hating and berating
Stoking petty infighting

But peaceful protesters are flooding downtowns
Marching together black, white and brown
Trying to salvage what can be saved
Of our poor nation’s soul, so long enslaved

Still others are looting and cops are still shooting
And why does it seem like they’re all colluding
To take down the ones whose civility
Make peace and justice a possibility

And the White House goes dark
The president is hiding
Retreating and tweeting
Violence inciting

And the White House goes dark
The president is hiding
Tweeting, retweeting
Inciting rioting

And his staff say Do Something but he has no idea
How to do anything but spread lies and fear
He cannot help, has nothing to bring
So it’s back to his bunker like a cowardly king

And his party is silent as he drags us all down
Dividing and cheating and pushing the bounds
Everything part of his constant campaign
To break down the country for his personal gain

And the White House goes dark
The president is hiding
Retreating and tweeting
Violence inciting

And the White House goes dark
The president is hiding
Democracy is dying
Putin is smiling

And the White House goes dark
The president is hiding
But the people are marching
United and crying

And the White House goes dark
The president is hiding
He’s afraid of the people
Cause he sees them uniting
Afraid of the people
Cause he sees them abiding
Afraid of the people
Cause he sees The Uprising