George Floyd was killed in an unprovoked attack by a Minnesota police officer in the US on May 25, 2020.
George Floyd was killed in an unprovoked attack by a Minnesota police officer in the US on May 25, 2020.

“I can’t breathe.”

-George Floyd

Our humanity is under attack.

On Monday, 25th May, a shopowner at a Minnesota shop called on cops to help apprehend George Floyd, a black man, based on unconfirmed fears that Floyd was issuing a potentially counterfeit bill. Moments later, as cameras will reveal, George can be seen pleading with the officers, attempting to negotiate the obvious mistaken situation. Soon afterwards, he is rendered almost motionless as one of the officers kneels on his neck. He can be heard and seen struggling for breath, as onlookers plead with the officer to release him.

“I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” Floyd repeats as the officer ignores his cries, and goes on kneeling on a harmless, unharmed, obedient man’s neck, for at least 7 minutes – in a flagrant, obvious, cruel show of racism. An undisguised evil act. When the officer eventually releases the knee-hold, Floyd is unresponsive and limp. He is taken to a hospital where he is pronounced dead.

Evil used to sneak around, too scared to walk in the light. It used to creep up on unsuspecting women having a fresh, nice time in a garden. It used to hide in the shadows, silently whispering its destructive ideas into the unsuspecting ears of the listener. Not anymore. Nowadays, it walks with shoulders held high, clothes ironed crisply, confidence bolstered by how many times in the past it’s had its way; how many times it’s gotten away with the mindlessness of its perpetrators and all who do its bidding.

Our peace is being threatened.

From self-assumed “superiors” who brandish nothing more than a skin treated to a fairer shade because of genetic, migration and anthropological effects spread out over a period of time. We treat each other worse than animals. The uproar that Floyd’s death has generated in the US is incensed by the fact that this isn’t a first, and will certainly not be the last. Just across the continental divide, news of whole towns and villages being sacked, people being massacred in Nigeria has filled the airways, dominated the news all week.

“I can’t breathe. I’m about to die.”

How ironical the similarity this plea bears with our everyday lives.

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