I can’t breathe

Published 11:45 am Thursday, June 18, 2020

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So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

My heart is on the verge of breaking right now.  Seems like just when I am able to catch my breath, something devastating is taking place in the world.  Police brutality is nothing new in the African-American community, we have been saying it for decades but our cries fell on deaf ears.  Even when it was filmed as in the case of Rodney King, there was no justice.

Before I get started on this article I want to note that I do not believe all police officers are bad.  My son, daughter, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, grandson, were police officers.  I have a love for police officers and know that there are some that are risking their lives in a world that may not always appreciate them and to them I say thank you.  But there are others that take black lives as easy as one would order a cup of coffee.

Mary Simmons
Guest columnist

From babies such as Tamir Rice, females such as Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, Eleanor Bumpers, Alberta Spruill, and far too many black men to name, we have become tired.  How many tears must we cry before the world wakes up and acknowledges our pain and injustice?

When Black Lives Matter first started it was viewed as people who wanted to cause trouble, like it was a bad gang coming to hurt Americans.  To refute black lives matter, white people would say “All Lives Matter.”  It was said with anger because how dare black people think they were the only important people in the world.

According to the Washington Post “Share of U.S Population” updated June 2, 2020, whites are 60% of the population and blacks are 13%.  That means there are almost five times as many whites as there are blacks in America and yet fatal police shootings since Jan 2015 has blacks at 43% while whites are at 17%. That means a black person is two times more likely to die at the hands of a police officer than a white person, even though blacks are outnumbered by whites almost five to one.  If “All Lives Matter” whites should be as outraged as blacks because those numbers don’t add up and I don’t care who is doing the math.

George Floyd was a tragedy that didn’t need to happen, that shouldn’t have happened, no one should have a knee on their neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.  Eight minutes and 46 seconds.

I’m 83 years old and I can actually walk close to a half mile in eight minutes and 46 seconds.  A half a mile!  All I can hear is the young man calling out to his momma and my heart breaks, every mother out there regardless of race heart should break because God help us all if it was our child.

But George Floyd did not die in vain, his death has led to a revolution.  While African Americans have always stood on the front line saying Black Lives Matter, today we are not alone.  Both young and old white people are standing with us side by side and are saying,  “I can’t breathe!”  The movement is not only taking place in America, it is in Germany, France, England, etc.  Black Lives Matter and people are finally acknowledging it.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalms 30:5

Be blessed in Jesus’ name.


  • Mary Simmons is a columnist for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch. She can be reached at aboxoflove37@gmail.com.