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We…CAN’T…Breathe

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My Facebook News Feed is filled with images of black men and women who have been murdered in the US over the past year. Each day there is at least one new occurrence, “proof” that black lives don’t matter in this country. I have watched to see who posts these images and who responds. And over the weeks have questioned the friendship of those who state that they are allies, but whose voices are silent on this matter. A door in my heart is closing. And I wonder about your silence on something as important as this.

I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. ”

As with all acts of questioning and finger-pointing, there always come a time to look in the mirror, to ask myself about my own public silence. So here I am. ASTONISHED at the recent Grand Jury findings concerning Michael Brown and Eric Gardner. Wondering what they are seeing that I don’t see. Heartbroken. Angry.  Questioning.

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4 Responses to We…CAN’T…Breathe

  1. Amber says:

    Thank you for this. Powerful. Questioning with you.

  2. Thanks Amber. I’m glad to have company.

  3. i want to thank you for being so honest and so Kathleen. for this reason i want to be totally honest with you and say that my feelings on the subject are somewhat tempered by the fact that african-american men, in particular, are most likely to discriminate against me for being gay AND i think that if it were to be left up to black men … i would have been forced to either leave the country or would have been “done-away-with” long before now. i also strongly believe that african-american religious leaders, with the support of white ones like “olsteen”, forster and promote homophobia by misrepresenting the teachings of the Jesus.

    i’m not saying that we black men (and women) should be singled out for harassment or murdered and left lying in the street for hours. in fact i think that we have been purposefully targeted for countless years now.

    i will continue to speak out against our countries policy of legalized murder by police but, just thought that i should expose all of my feelings on the subject.

    ps: thanks for allowing me the opportunity, sincerely ~

  4. Sharada says:

    Thank you Kathleen for sharing, for initiating a “Q” moment for reflection, and a statement of stance on silence. Amber grateful for your timely acknowledgment of the power along a response in joining the “Q” moment for self, and Steven for sharing your own experience with an added dimension to reflect on. I read each aware of my experience and how it stretched me to go deeper before responding.
    I am most grateful for power of having a shared lens as well as a divergent “Q” moment for me-this is the juice that flowed from one who lead the challenge and us responding. So, I want to add my joy for having both lens- in experiencing so many-intergenerational and intersectional across age, race, gender, class and sexual orientation-among us of African descent: out giving voice, pen, arts, and bodies to our collective “We Can’t Breathe”, and “Die Ins”. A welcomed pause to remember that Brown and Garner are real and metaphors for ‘choke holds’ and ‘bullets’ aimed for each of us designated as “darker hue”-across all our intersections.

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