I Can’t Breathe

Just reflecting on all I am seeing this morning (May 31, 2020) and the comments noted. Some folks will never understand because they don’t have a lived experience in this space, but feel entitled to say something out of ignorance. They see things on television and their critique starts there. Then there are those who just choose to remain silent. They are ones who hope this will blow over and in a couple of weeks or months things will be back to normal. I still maintain that until we are purposeful about this issue of addressing the structures, history and economics behind the sins of the past we will continue to return to this place.

Dr. Craig Oliver of EBC Atlanta had a sermon title that said, “From Pandemic to Pandemonium.” How appropriate to capture the “gumbo” of issues that have led us here yet again: Frustration (Calling the police with a lie yet again to get a black man arrested and possibly killed), Grief (COVID-19’s uneven impact on black and brown communities that have historically been underserved), Fear (possibly being attacked or killed while jogging, driving, in your home, at the Walmart, at a park playing), Hopelessness (doors being shut in faces because of color of skin or zip codes), and Rage (the recent killings of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery). With the weight of all that, people of color, in particular black people, simply can’t breathe. The weight of it all is not easily carried. This is not only a physical manifestation, but the mental toll for generations (past, present and future) is also real. I will say it again. We can’t fix what we won’t face.