I Can't Breathe
Updated: Oct 25, 2020
In the midst of an already vicious and deadly pandemic, another crisis has flared up. Yet again. The scourge that the United States was built and cultivated on. Racism. Racial bias has always led to deadly consequences for African Americans and that shameful tradition hasn't ended. It's fresh and alive in 2020.
How cruel it is to have to fight through Covid-19 and bear witness to the killing of Black Americans not only by self-appointed vigilantes patrolling neighborhoods, but also law enforcement officers, those who are supposed to serve and protect.
It can beat down the spirit of a people to constantly be hunted and one must wonder when and how they will retaliate and fight back. Will it be with protests like the ones we're seeing around the country and across the globe? Petitions and phone calls to local government officials to change laws are underway as well. Monuments and statues that highlight the racist past of a nation are continuing to be ripped down too.
Many a protest have been born from poetry. Poems shoot to the heart of a matter like a sharp arrow flying toward its target.
I want to feature one here now that comes from someone I've been connected to for a number of years via social media. We have shared laughs and opinions on our favorite pop culture figures and TV shows and films and also collective grief over the current unrest our country is facing. When I announced the launch of this site and asked for contributors she expressed the desire to share a one-time offering.
I Can't Breathe (5/30/2020)
-Shawn Sammi Matel
Another life gone too soon
A black man murdered by the ones who swore to protect him
I Can't Breathe A family lost their son
as he cried for his mother
I Can't Breathe All they did was live in
the beautiful brown skin
they were in
before being killed for being at home
going for a jog
wearing a hoodie
driving in a car
I Can't Breathe Followed in the store
Asked why you're in places
You have every right to be
Getting 911 called on me When did black equal unvaluable
deserves to be enslaved
knee in neck
shown no mercy When is enough enough?
When will justice prevail?
When can I Breathe!