Trigger warning White supremacy, please hold your breath — unless you’re black you are already holding your breath.
A moment of silence for those who are always silent, I mourn your loss of life.
Cold, unfeeling unable to be moved, listless, dispirited, your eyes don’t see your ears don’t hear, you don’t march you do’t yell you have built yourself a coffin with your indifference.
It’s just another black man murdered in the street, what’s the fuss?
If you do not use your mouth to speak out against injustice why speak at all? If you are angry about the horror of a public lynching caught on camera why are you whispering about it? Why do you agree with us in private messages and silent head nods? As if your validations of black men in private will protect our abuse in public.
If you do not listen why do you need your ears? We talk, and talk and talk.
But still we get asked “why does this have to be about race?”
While you are silent lets reflect on the injustice of The United States Congress issuing a Gag rule against the subject of slavery in 1836 -1844, making it illegal to speak on the subject on the floor of congress as if the right to petition the government on any subject was removed from the 1st Amendment.
Lets think about the silence that followed the betrayal of enslaved Africans who were promised their freedom if Britain won the war or when America made the same lie.
Lets contemplate fugitive slave laws and bounty hunters — they killed black men with impunity too.
Lets remember that Reconstruction ended because white men again betrayed black men. When our goals of freedom were still limited by genitalia.
Let us remember all the times America took its racism global, Cuba, Haiti, Guam, Puerto Rico, Zimbabwe, South Africa.
Lets ignore the dismantling of the safety net because it helped too many black people.
Lets ignore that we don’t see too many union officials or presidential candidates at Black Lives Matter protests.
Lets marvel at the lack of federal oversight for police departments.
Google Gypsy cops or convict leasing. Chain gangs and three strikes laws.
Did you laugh when economic anxiety was the explanation for Donald Trumps victory? As if not having money would be good enough to excuse our actions. Were you surprised when he hired his first White Supremacist? His second? Third?
Still holding your breathe right? When they boiled Darren Rainey alive in the showers of a Miami-Dade Prison no one was ever charged. Your racist governor, oops he’s a senator now keep forgetting, covered it up. Just like the time he helped us forget reports of children (almost all black and brown children) being forced by officers to fight in detention centers for honey buns?
You remember that time we elected the first black president and people hung his effigy on election day? Remember when you lied to your children and told them racism was over and then weeks later were outraged that Obama said a cop who arrested a man for breaking into his own home was being a jackass?
Remember when you told them that you didn’t see color unless its a kid in a cage at the border, your heart eased by their tanned skin?
Remember when you called them anchor babies ? Remember when a border agent shot a kid on the other side of the border and got away with it ? Which time? Shrug.
Or that time in Charlottesville when police officers protected Nazi’s but somehow it was the counter protesters who were injured and killed?
Weird all those Ferguson protesters who somehow shot themselves in the back of the head and set their cars on fire right? Guess it was a suicide
Remember that time white supremacist killed 4 children whose only crime was being black in Sunday school and the FBI Impeded the investigation because they were working with the Klan?
Remember that time a White supremacist decided he wanted to start a race riot so he walked into a Church and shot 10 people because the coverage of the Trayvon Martin case made him angry? The cheeseburger officers bought him surely tasted better than the asphalt George Floyd was fed.
Remember the time white supremacist murdered a man in broad daylight while he was jogging? Was it easier to scroll pass the one about a 17 year old boy shot in the back in Illinois, or 50 year old man shot in the back in Charleston? What was easier to shrug off the murder of a 12 year old boy at A park in Cleveland or a 22 year old man in a Walmart in Beavercreek?
Oh, but what about Chicago ? The obligatory defense of murder by the devaluing of black lives by other black people. Yeah, what about Chicago where the police department regularly tortured suspects, framed innocent men,and refused to investigate crimes in black neighborhoods. If your oppressors wears blue, why wouldn’t you wear red?
Or how about Baltimore where the police were caught robbing people blind, faking crimes and threatening the lives of anyone who tried to report them?Like that time they arrested a looter during a riot and then pocketed the drugs and money stolen from a pharmacy. Or that time they arrested someone for gun and drug possession and then they sold the drugs and guns?
What about Texas ? Was it a man killed in his own apartment or a women killed in her bedroom by a police officer? Was that the state where the tragic murder of 5 officers were avenged by a drone strike? What else do you call sending in a robot armed with a suicide vest and detonating it ? Shouldn’t we weep for every death ? Why are riots terrifying but a sports rally exhilarating? Officers extracting vengeance in the backwoods in FL are cheered on while protesters blocking a highway are gassed, lawmakers legalizing running protesters over.
A few bad apples spoils the crop, and cops certainly are spoiled.
3 days to get the lie straight, limited liability, an instant alibi , a public that that does not ask questions, hidden evidence, a union Republicans like and a system that was not designed to prosecute power.
Racism is that disorder of evil people in a far off land called Alabama, not in St. Petersburg Florida where we still don’t have body cameras for our officers.
But wait didn’t your grandmother tell you not to bring a not to bring that black boy home ? Why do white women cry when the dogs die in the movies but when three black girls drown in your city while police watch your eyes are dry?
Why don’t you have any black friends?
An ode to the White leaders without a racist bone in their body, our allies like Rahm Emmanuel who hid the video that showed the lynching of an unarmed black man, shot in the back. Or *Andrew Cuomo who reversed plans to close Rikers Island — where black men are busy digging mass graves for a $1 an hour. Or his inaction on Khalif Browder, or his casual use of the N word to make a point. Or what about Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobachar are these not the white moderates Dr. King warned us about? An ode to those who fight for progress… for some of you, but always forget about us.
I remember being so hungry when we found out my dad had been arrested for trying to buy groceries with a bounced check. I remember still being hungry afterwards. I would have done the same thing. I would do the same thing.
Why is it okay to steal someones life, pushing their face into stolen land built by stolen people but food is where we draw the line?
If George Floyd was a landlord he could have stolen his tenants home.
If George Floyd was a banker he could have stolen people’s money.
If George Floyd was the president he could have stolen an election, could have stolen access to someones body, could have stolen 100,000 lives and be told he had done a good job.
If George’s last name was LLC he could have stolen the water from natives, he could have stolen the food from the poor and he couldn’t be arrested.
If George was white he could have mailed explosives to random people across the country, could have shot up a high school, could have killed his mother and 22 children and the New York Times would have still wanted to humanize him.
If George was white his breath would be precious, his body sacred, his words heeded, perhaps the officer would have warn a mask.
Instead George Floyd worked security at a restaurant, an essential worker whose life was deemed inessential was suspected of a minor crime that didn’t hurt anyone.
George Floyd’s crime was being poor and black and his sentence was death.
You should be mad that DarQuan Jones was beaten last week or was it the week before? You should be upset about the shooting of Charles Kinsey. You should protest the arrest of Kaia Rolle last year.
We are here for Breona Taylor, oh wait sorry no we are here for Ahmaud Arbrey, that’s not right we’re here for Micheal Brown, Freddie Gray, Laquan Mcdonald, Tamir Rice, Jordan Davis, Walter Scott, John Crawford III, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Marquis Mcglockton, Philandro Castille, Oscar Grant, Alton Sterling and, and, and.
“I can’t breathe” Eric Garner?(Emphasis)
“I can’t breathe, you’re killing me” George Floyd.
A lynching is a lynching is a lynching with a rope, a gun or 200 pounds of white supremacy kneeling on your neck.
We’re here because you hope that a moment of silence is an adequate replacement for action.
Here we have 40 seconds of shock + 10 seconds of apathy + 120 seconds of fear +200 seconds of anger + 50 seconds of defense for the system + 30 seconds of realization that the system is racist and so are most of its enforcers + 5 seconds of backtracking + 2 seconds of being ignored + 23 seconds of hope that this is the last time …it’s never the last time.
*edit, original said Chris Cuomo who is a CNN host, corrected to Andrew Cuomo New Yorks Gov.