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“i can't breathe” - anaisha dalal

On 25th May, a man begged for his life. He was handcuffed, beaten and suffocated by a knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

George Floyd was killed for buying a packet of cigarettes.

This atrocious, inhumane act stirred responses from people worldwide, as we all saw a man being murdered in front of our eyes.

George Floyd was called a “gentle giant.” He had a family, he cried for his mama.

Tamir Rice was 12 years old. He was playing in a park. He was shot by rookie police officer.

Breonna Taylor was asleep in her own home. She was beaten and shot.

Emerald Black was pregnant with her child. Visibly pregnant and still in her hospital clothes, she was yanked out of her car, taunted, piled on and stomped on her pregnant stomach. There were shoe marks on her.

Her unborn child died a few days later as a result.

There are many more people like them who have died.

There are also many more who we do not even know about– because they haven’t been covered by the media, deemed too insignificant.

Nobody has been held accountable for them, nobody has been dismissed.

Dignity, humiliation, suffocation, miscarriage, white privilege, fear for one’s life, death.

I don’t know about you, but when I think about dying, I think about a peaceful death, with my dignity intact after living my life, hopefully happily.

These men, women, children-- some unborn-- did not get peace or dignity when they were beaten, suffocated and shot.

They were stripped of it all because of the colour of their skin, BLACK. There is no peace. The white supremacists took that away from them.

Yes, all lives matter but right now, black lives matter more because of the unequal treatment of their lives.

They are human beings like you and I are. They hate particular things, they love certain things, they are scared of dying.

Death being a universal fear is something we all want to avoid.

We try to steer away from it, protect ourselves from this unknown void. The knowledge that death ends your life, makes your life worth living, shows the fragility of it.

But, in this past week, I have seen people scream at the police who are supposed to ‘protect and serve’ – that they will fight, even though they are tired of fighting.

They will lay down their lives so that their black children can walk these same streets that they are battling on, free.

They will die so that their children’s lives are valued by the same society they work for, contribute to and make great.

How many more have to die for you say enough is enough?

How many more have to be arrested or wrongfully committed because of their skin colour for you to say enough?

If you ask yourself, “Do I even get a say because I'm not American?” or “Do I even make a difference because of where I stay or who I am?”, I want to tell you that you do make a difference.

That petition you signed, that donation you made, that news article or book you read to educate yourself, that argument you had to tell someone that people are dying because of this gross injustice.

That is the difference you made.

“Why doesn’t America love us?”

“I will die so that my children can walk these streets free.”

“I’m worried about Donovan. I don’t want him to be shot. I don’t want him to go to jail.”

“I’m ready to die for what’s going on.”

Say his name.

Say her name.

Say their name.

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