Dear Mother – I Can’t Breathe

Dear Mother,

Did you hear him call out for his mother?

He must have seen her face one last time, as his life slowly ebbed away.

The pressure of the cop’s knee on his neck left him helpless and gasping for breath.

One white man’s moment of disdain for a man of color left him hanging between life and death.

Did you hear him say those words?

‘I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe’.

He was calling out for help. He was only calling out for a moment to stay alive.

But one man’s conscience had grown cold, while an unjust system left him calling out for help, until he had no more words to say.

Did you see him choking and calling?

He must have wondered what he ever did to deserve these few minutes of hate and injustice.

He must have wondered in the face of death what the future held for his black children.

He must have wondered if Martin Luther King’s dream ever came true. And that is,

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. “
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

And then he called out for his mother. He called out to her who had always been his anchor, hope, strength and support his entire life.

He called out for ‘Mama’ who was long gone as he struggled to breath one last time.

But then the lights of his existence slowly faded away.

It was the longest nine minutes of his life.

No more calling. No more wondering.

And then his voice went silent and body left lifeless.

Leaving us to wonder at how deep the roots of oppression, injustice, inhumanity and racism had gained fortitude in the hearts of men.

Image Credit: Pexels

Photographer: cottonbro

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