The murder of a black man, George Floyd, by a white policeman, Dereck Chauvin with the aid of three others has led to protests across the US and reminded us of the fact that racism still exists in 2020. This event which would shape the US history has also reminded me of the many things that make me breathless.
I Can’t Breathe – Saner Climes
For me, breathing has become very difficult as my own people believe that there are saner climes. Consequentially, we have taken America and Europe as our moral and political compass. “In saner climes, things don’t happen this way…it is only in Nigeria that…”, we say.
I can’t breathe because if a Hausa Policeman had murdered an Igbo civilian in the way Chauvin did to Floyd, it would have been said that this cannot happen in America. We would be reminded of the American society that has accommodated people of different races ‘peacefully’. Donald Trump would have called Africa a shithole and a white nonentity in the US will be given President Muhammadu Buhari ultimatum.
I can’t breathe because this ugly incident will, hopefully, sensitize our people that no nation has a monopoly of idiocy, barbarism, and inhumane acts. In saner climes, there is Racism, Xenophobia, we have COVIDIOTS, the homeless, the oppressor, and the oppressed. Indeed, there are no saner climes but saner people who are everywhere and anywhere.
I Can’t Breathe – Black Lives Matter
How can I breathe when in 2020, the life of a black man is not safe? On July 17, 2014, another black man, Eric Garner was killed by a white policeman, Daniel Pantaleo of the NYPD.
NYPD officers approached Garner on July 17 on suspicion of selling single cigarettes from packs without tax stamps. After Garner told the police that he was tired of being harassed and that he was not selling cigarettes, the officers attempted to arrest Garner. When Pantaleo placed his hands on Garner, Garner refused to cooperate and pulled his arms away. Pantaleo then placed his arm around Garner’s neck and wrestled him to the ground. With multiple officers restraining him, Garner repeated the words “I can’t breathe” 11 times while lying face down on the sidewalk. After Garner lost consciousness, officers turned him onto his side to ease his breathing. Garner remained lying on the sidewalk for seven minutes while the officers waited for an ambulance to arrive. Garner was pronounced dead at an area hospital approximately one hour later.
After hundreds of years of slavery, oppression, dehumanization, and brutality, the black man, in the 21st Century, is still protesting and raising campaigns in a supposed civilized environment that he is human too.
The Black man cannot breathe as he has been exhausted from awareness campaigns to tell the White community that he is dark-skinned but his blood flows red. A system that preaches equality but is indeed, favours the Whites over the Blacks. A society where the life of a Black man is of a little worth.
We ask, “How many more Blacks need to die and how many protests do we have to stage before a White murderer is charged and convicted for the murder of a Black man?
I Can’t Breathe – I Have a Bad Teacher
How can I breathe when my teacher is not worthy of emulation?
While the world continues to see a campaign for women’s rights and racism from the USA to China to South Africa in the 21st century, the prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had addressed these more than ten centuries ago. He said,
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety (taqwa) and good action.”
Prophet Muhammad on Women’s Rights and Racism
Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman