Opinions

I can’t breathe

I can’t breathe.

I can get killed by police at a Walmart.

Or when I’m playing at a park.

I can die in a traffic stop.

I can die even if I’m already arrested.

I can die when I’m praying.

I can die because I failed to signal a turn.

And if my car breaks down, I can die.

If the police approach me, I can die.

When I’m driving with my girlfriend and her daughter, I can die.

When I’m getting away from trouble, I can die.

In front of my wife, I can die.

Even when I don’t die, the most ordinary things, I can’t do in peace.

I can’t go to the gym.

I can’t play golf.

I can’t be in front of a house.

I can’t buy a house.

I can’t go swimming.

I can’t eat lunch.

I can’t go to church with my grandma.

I can’t bird-watch.

I can’t be a child with a backpack.

I can’t even be a 6-year-old.

And I can’t protest any of this.

But I can die from a pandemic.

I can be killed in my grandma’s backyard.

I can die eating ice cream in my living room.

I can die when I’m jogging.

I can die babysitting my nephew at home.

Really, I can die inside my own home.

Please, I can’t breathe.

Note: Violence against African Americans often goes unreported. The list above is a brief compilation of some of the violence and discrimination against black citizens that made headlines from the last words of Eric Garner to those of George Floyd.

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