“I can’t breathe”

George Floyd could not breathe.

In a pandemic where an invisible virus is taking people’s ability to breathe, Chauvin placed his knee on George Floyd’s neck and chose to take that man’s life. 

To the person who questions why the whole world is in revolt against the racist actions when this is a problem “for America”. We share a few names that cannot be forgotten. 

Sarah Reed. 

Sheku Bayoh. 

Belly Mujinga. 

Trevor Smith. 

Mark Duggan.  

The list is far longer than the names mentioned here. Behind each name is a grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, sister, brother, child, vividly experiencing the harsh grief we talk about so fervently on our platform. It does not stop in America; it does not stop in the UK. The world grieves their loss. The globe hurts.

To the person who justifies Chauvin’s actions against George Floyd because of a criminal record, you know that in a scenario in which the police may be called to your door, you will not have to fear for your life. At no point will you be restrained to the point of suffocation. You will always maintain your basic human rights. Passers-by will not watch you as your body begins to shut down. You will always be able to breathe. 

As a society, we like to think our morals are based on forgiveness. We proudly state that our justice system sees everyone as ‘innocent until proven guilty’. We proudly share stories of change; of people who defied the odds and changed their ways.

Yet when it fits the narrative; we become unforgiving. Did he deserve to die because years before he committed a crime? Did Chauvin have a right to deem Floyd as guilty? Does any officer? 

Do we all stay the same, stop learning, stop changing?

To the person who counteracts the world’s pain with “well, don’t all lives matter?”, Of course all lives matter. That is the point. Why are certain lives systematically treated with a blatant disregard? The truth of the matter is that “matter” is the bare minimum. We need to learn and unlearn perceptions created over centuries of reality as we know it, facing the cold hard fact that systems are corrupt and unjust and it’s only the collective force of humanity that may change them.

Racism is a pandemic. It is not getting worse. It is being recorded. And we ask for justice. We ask for a reinstatement in basic human principles. We demand action to stop centuries of learned behaviour. We beg for discomfort; change only happens on the edge of our comfort zone.

We say this from love. We say this from pain. We say this to add our voices to the solidarity of the movement. We say this so that everyone will know our position; for better.

We see our privilege. We know we will never understand fully, but please know that we stand fully. 

George Floyd could not breathe. 

~

Below are links to charities to read about and support this cause if you have the means, but above all, change starts on an individual level.

https://www.stephenlawrence.org.uk

https://www.sariweb.org.uk

https://blacklivesmatter.com

Katie and Evee x

26 thoughts on ““I can’t breathe”

  1. carol hopkins – Canada – I am Canadian. I love this beautiful country and hope to discover more of it.. I enjoy writing, photography, and walks on nature trails and beaches. I am passionate about human rights and my favourite stories to read are uplifting and inspirational stories. I believe in the innate nobility of the human spirit and I endeavor to be positive. I have learned many lessons over the years, but most importantly I have witnessed the inherent goodness of peoples near and far. I hope my writing reflects that. All photographs used in my blog are mine, unless otherwise stated. Contact: camhopkins97@gmail.com
    carol hopkins says:

    God bless you for this. So well said. The point of the “matter” is that people of color; especially people of African descent are in danger every day – every time they walk out their door. That has to change.

      1. carol hopkins – Canada – I am Canadian. I love this beautiful country and hope to discover more of it.. I enjoy writing, photography, and walks on nature trails and beaches. I am passionate about human rights and my favourite stories to read are uplifting and inspirational stories. I believe in the innate nobility of the human spirit and I endeavor to be positive. I have learned many lessons over the years, but most importantly I have witnessed the inherent goodness of peoples near and far. I hope my writing reflects that. All photographs used in my blog are mine, unless otherwise stated. Contact: camhopkins97@gmail.com
        carol hopkins says:

        I hope so too, I fervently hope so.

  2. We live in a racist society. Too many innocents are suffering. Change has to come. As you say, it has to get uncomfortable as change won’t come under the current flawed system. It has to be forced and now has to be the time. x

  3. sherrysescape – I am a pediatrician and an introvert. I love nature and thinking about human nature and what makes us tick. I am also a voracious reader and I knit to calm my mind. I am in my late 50s. The picture on my profile is a picture of me in 4th grade.
    sherrysescape says:

    Very well said. Thank-you.

  4. dfolstad58 – I live in the South Okanagan. BC. I enjoy reading, exercise, toastmasters. spending time with my son, my daughter, & her husband , and my patient wife. I try to respond personally to every comment on my blog, and in this way I hope to get to know my readers a little bit and say thank you for their encouragement and suggestions.
    dfolstad58 says:

    I liked the calm voice of your post. In my mind it seemed to be a sad, but necessary statement of where you stood. The announcement was necessary to state your opposition to past injustice and your support of change to protect against further abuse and persecution.

  5. Scherezade Ozwulo – I am Scherezade an aspiring writer who is using this outlet to create a discipline. I am also a Christian with questions and want to create a space where others who have questions can discuss in an open forum.
    Scherezade Ozwulo says:

    Thank you

  6. clairei47 – My name is Claire. I am a mum, a wife and I work for the NHS. For as long as I can remember I have drank alcohol and my relationship with it has become increasingly complex over recent years. I’m 47 and I want to be physically and mentally healthy. I want to be present in my life and enjoy the journey, not drown it out with wine and hangovers. I have had anxiety and depression and I am still working hard to keep them at bay. I am hoping that not having alcohol will help me beat them. I have decided to detail how things progress via this blog. I know nothing about blogging but I think support from others is essential. Maybe one day I can help someone with my story. I started my sober journey on 17th November 2019; long may it continue.
    clairei47 says:

    Can’t add anymore … an honest post speaking the truth in an eloquent style.
    Thanks for sharing. Claire xx

  7. Anne – I am a single mother of 2 really great young adults. I am a professional as well, and hope to tell you some funny, authentic, and encouraging stories on my blog to help encourage and empower other single or just crazily busy parents. But I need to warn you that this blog is where I work out (for myself) some crazy ideas from their bitter, salty, pretzeled-up shapes into hopefully some better-tasting pastries. Any insanely busy person can probably relate to them ... crazy times call for crazy friends sharing crazy stories so we can laugh rather than cry about the way things turn out! (usually for the best, but sometimes that takes a very long time to see)
    Anne says:

    George Floyd’s death is heart-breaking, as are all the others. And yet I feel happy that FINALLY we are seeing some movement, some energy behind some change that has been needed for so long. Or maybe it is hopeful that I feel… A little piece of hope for change.

  8. IV WORDS – Martin C. “Red” Fredricks IV here. I’m husband to an amazing woman who is also my best friend, dad to three outstanding kids, Fargoan (North Dakota, that is), proud introvert, veteran messaging strategist/copywriter, blogger and big-time reader. As they say, if you're gonna write good stuff, you have to read good stuff. A ginger, too - ergo the "Red" - although some of it's going white. Cinnamon-Sugar, I call it. Tattooed to boot; five so far. At age 52, I still crank AC/DC, but now and again I love me some Eric Church and Black Uhuru, too. I love hanging out with my (much) better half, spending time with our kids, writing, hiking and riding my mountain bike.
    IV WORDS says:

    Well said, and this is excellent – “We see our privilege. We know we will never understand fully, but please know that we stand fully.”

  9. I’m glad you’ve written this and I agree with every bit of it. Be didn’t deserve to be treated with such brutality.

      1. You’re welcome! Peace and blessings

  10. Jeff Cann – Jeff Cann lives, works, writes, and runs in Gettysburg Pennsylvania. His essays and stories have appeared in the Good Men Project and Like the Wind magazine, as well as various blog sites dealing with the topics of mental health and running. Jeff is married with two children. When he isn’t working, parenting or writing, he can be found hiking or running the wooded trails surrounding Gettysburg. Jeff’s two books, “Fragments – a memoir” and "BAD ASS--My Quest to Become a Back Woods Trail Runner and other obsessive goals" are both available from Amazon.com. A growing collection of stories can be found on his website at https://jefftcann.com.
    Jeff Cann says:

    I was so pleased when the rebellion broke out in other countries. I’m always surprised by the solidarity offered by other nations.

  11. CarolCooks2 – Udon Thani – Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them. I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling. Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing. This is now taking me into other areas like deforestation, chemicals and preservatives in the food chain. Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
    CarolCooks2 says:

    Calmy and eloquently written… I truly hope change does come now it has been a long time coming..

  12. ginnietom – germany – viele nette Kommentare hier... Die Fotos stammen nun oft von Sonys Alpha7 und Lumix Edelkompakter LX15 mit LEICA 1.4 , manchmal auch v. Oly. OM-D und Canon G7X (vermisse die frühere RX100, heute leider schweineteuer!). Seltener vom Handy HONOR 9 u. Oneplus 7 PRO obwohl es ne tolle Kamera hat, hab mit Handys immer Akzeptanzprobleme, weil sie mehr blenden.. Reinschauen kostet aber nix... schönen Tag noch, allerseits...:-))) von den verträumten Ufern der Eider, am NOK vor Dithmarschen...und dem Fluss gefolgt bis zur Küste, die uns am Rande des Marschlandes ein völlig anderes Stück Heimat finden ließ. Wo die Nordfriesen hausen ist mehr Kultur, wie man denken sollte. __________________________________________ Sorry... partly still under construction... but until now there are lots of nice comments from WP followers inside... My images are taken by SONY Alpha7 or Lumix LX15 1.4, except some others by OM-D (MFT), Canon G7X pocket shooter... feel free, come in and look inside...you are invited! ...from dreamy banks of river Eider - near kiel canal...northern germany...now living near german coastline/north frisia. have a good week, everyone, elsewhere...:-)))
    ginnietom says:

    well done, young ladies…fearless & powerful!

  13. purplepeninportland – I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
    purplepeninportland says:

    This is honest and well written.

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