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‘I can’t breathe’

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A man attending a vigil wears a mask with the words “I can’t breathe” and the name of Manuel Ellis a 33-year-old black man who died in Tacoma Police custody on March 3 and was recently ruled a homicide, according to the Pierce County Medical Examiners Office, in Tacoma, Washington on June 3, 2020. US protesters welcomed new charges brought Wednesday against Minneapolis officers in the killing of African American man George Floyd — but thousands still marched in cities across the country for a ninth straight night, chanting against racism and police brutality. Jason Redmond / AFP

Sir: I can’t breathe…why is society so toxic? Why is being a certain colour a death sentence? Is it a crime to be black? Why should people step out of their homes knowing that their lives are being jeopardized; all because of the colour of their skin? These are all unanswered questions that should have been answered decades ago but because of society’s ignorance, they remain unanswered.

A black man named George Floyd was killed by one policeman, while three other policemen witnessed the painful ordeal. He was not resisting arrest at all! Floyd did what he was asked to do, but all of a sudden one of the policemen put his knee on his throat. Floyd was telling the police, “I can’t breathe!” But they did not care one bit. Floyd left his home, not knowing that would be his last time on earth.

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Aren’t the police supposed to help save lives, rather than take them? People should not be treated differently because of the colour of their skin!!!! As a teenager, I question whether it’s worth it to go out because I am afraid of what could happen as a result of the colour of my skin. I shouldn’t be made to feel that stepping out of my home could be a risk to my life. Kids and people of colour shouldn’t live in fear. We are not a threat to society.

Martin Luther King preached and died for equality and justice, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman, etc., fought for the exact same thing! I am sick and tired of society’s inability to respect others’ differences!!! When will it stop? What will it take for mankind to be unified, because I believe that in unity, there is strength!

We must change. Society must change, and that change starts from within you!!!!

Tami Balogun.

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