I can’t breathe.
I can get killed by police at a Walmart.
John Crawford III, Beavercreek, Ohio
Or when I’m playing at a park.
I can die in a traffic stop.
Walter Scott, North Charleston, S.C.
I can die even if I’m already arrested.
Freddie Carlos Gray Jr., Baltimore
I can die when I’m praying.
Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney and eight people in his church, Charleston, S.C.
I can die because I failed to signal a turn.
Sandra Bland, Prairie View, Tex.
And if my car breaks down, I can die.
Corey Jones, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
If the police approach me, I can die.
Alton Sterling, Baton Rouge, La.
When I’m driving with my girlfriend and her daughter, I can die.
Philando Castile, Falcon Heights, Minn.
When I’m getting away from trouble, I can die.
Jordan Edwards, 15, Balch Springs, Tex.
In front of my wife, I can die.
Even when I don’t die, the most ordinary things, I can’t do in peace.
Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, Philadelphia
I can’t go to the gym.
Tshyrad Oates and a friend, Secaucus, N.J.
I can’t play golf.
Sandra Thompson and four friends, York County, Pa.
I can’t be in front of a house.
Donisha Prendergast and two friends, Rialto, Calif.
I can’t buy a house.
I can’t go swimming.
DJ RocQuemore Simmons, 15, and a friend, Summerville, S.C.
I can’t eat lunch.
Oumou Kanoute, Northampton, Mass.
I can’t go to church with my grandma.
I can’t bird-watch.
Christian Cooper, New York City
I can’t be a child with a backpack.
Jeremiah Harvey, 9, New York City
I can’t even be a 6-year-old.
And I can’t protest any of this.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco
But I can die from a pandemic.
African Americans account for a disproportionate number of covid-19 deaths
I can be killed in my grandma’s backyard.
Stephon Clark, Sacramento, Calif.
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.
Atatiana Jefferson, Fort Worth
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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