“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. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

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

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