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Cleaning up America. Getting rid of the undesirables; killing one poor Black man at a time.

I Cant Breathe

Eric Garner, who was black and poor, said he couldn’t breathe and nobody listened.

“I can’t breathe” are the same words my asthmatic daughter has awakened me with, a deathly fright in her wavering voice, many early mornings at 3 a.m.

He said “I can’t breathe” and the police slammed his head to the pavement and held it there.

She says, “I can’t breathe,” and I put on a robe and quickly slip my feet into the ever-ready slippers at the side of my bed.

She says, “I can’t breathe” and we’re in the car headed to the ER within five minutes, and she has never had to say the words twice.

He said, “I can’t breathe” and his voice grew weaker with every utterance (was it eleven of them that we heard on the videotape?) yet those who are sworn to protect and serve - the police - kept him on the ground.

With an illegal chokehold, he was wrestled onto the sidewalk where he died on the street in New York City

The crime committed by the New York Police most clearly trumps whatever the charges would have been against Eric Garner, if they hadn’t killed him before they hauled him off to jail.

America, we’ve been programmed to believe “God shed his grace on thee.”

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I’ve watched my kid struggle to breathe and I’ve watched her pulmonary team bring her back from knocking on death’s door.

But she wasn’t on the corner hustling to make a dime. She didn’t have a wife and a houseful of kids to provide for. She’s not a black male. She’s not on the endangered list.

How much of a crime was the “big guy” committing by selling single cigarettes?

The crime committed by the New York Police most clearly trumps whatever the charges would have been against Eric Garner, if they hadn’t killed him before they hauled him off to jail.

And they’d booked him many times in the past.

This time, before the bunch of uniformed terrorists took him down, we can hear him on the tape, pleading with his assassins to be left alone.

I woke up this morning at 3 a.m. and, in my head, I could hear the big guy saying, “I can’t breathe.”

I thought it must have been Brandi, my kid with asthma. I turned over but she wasn’t at my bedside. I put on my robe and those house slippers, anyway, and went to her room.

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She was asleep and breathing well. But I was by her side because I take very seriously that as a mother, I’m here to protect, to serve and to keep her alive.

Shirlee Smith
Talk About Parenting