Updated: Jun 3, 2020
I Can't Breathe
I can’t breathe is not philosophical or theoretical it’s a statement of fact it’s as American as small pox blankets it’s the underground railroad catching its breath it’s the unit of measurement from Dred Scott to Obama I can’t breathe is not a literary device though it is a metaphor for all things black for all things American it's Sally Hemings being judiciously raped by Thomas Jefferson I can’t breathe is the first line of the constitution it’s in the psychology of every flag stitched since Betsy Ross in the fiber in every rope braided by Klan hands braided by the United States Supreme Court I can’t breathe is the confederate flag hung over a state house in Alabama or Mississippi or on a Governor’s lapel I can’t breathe is the Dukes of Hazzard, the white “citizen’s council” is separate but equal it’s every mask every hood every white sheet every burning cross every bombed church every bullet riddled “Black Messiah” from here to Malcolm from here to Garvey from here to Nat Turner from here to Crispus Attucks
it’s 40 acres of beautifully manicured poplar trees bearing breath-less black corpses I can’t breathe because 3/5 of the day I am holding my breath I suffer from a complex called America… it’s colorblind, therefore I am the ghost in the machine I am invisible because it does not see race yet it’s racist as @#%K it blames its victims accused a 14 year old boy of stealing a state so they could murder him I can't breathe is every moving image from the birth of a nation to the Zimmerman trial it’s the war on DRUGS and I am the Drug it’s the NRA and it’s standing its ground
it will stop you and it will frisk you Dear black mothers it is best if you started giving birth to oxygen tanks I can't breathe is not a mantra, not a prayer it’s an escape route, a cry for you to stop I can’t breathe ain’t nothing new we been screaming it since before the Mayflower before the Amistad before the Zong it’s etched in every plank that built liberty hall every block that built the white house the sound that split the liberty bell I can’t breathe is a Black President and a tea party it’s a Black President and a FOX who thinks he is too smart too uppity for his own good I can’t breathe is an American way of life it’s a wallet a pack of cigarettes a toy gun a Walmart a BART train a cell phone a stairwell a fire lane a car accident a bachelor party it's 6 it's 17 it's 41 it's 50 it's 138 bullets
with no memory
of what took place I can’t breathe because America has me in a choke hold.