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"I can't breathe", but can you hear me?

BY: Qudsia Saeed

Minneapolis, Minnesota—another case of police brutality, another case of injustice in the justice system, another precious life lost after pleading helplessly. George Floyd was brutally murdered by a white police officer, who pinned him aggressively to the ground with his knees on his neck, as he struggled for his last breath. This is yet another case of white supremacy embedded in the racist criminal justice system. The difference in how a white person and a person of color is treated is drastic and disgusting.

George Floyd is not just another number, he was a father, he was a friend, he was a person, and it is inhumane and atrocious to not view him as such. George Floyd’s crime—forging a check in an America where a white serial killer is treated with more respect and dignity. Floyd was unarmed and still deemed a threat in an America where MAGA supporters can enter the state capital with AR-15s to protest while anyone who protests this injustice is tear-gassed.

Disturbing cases like these have become commonplace in America, and each proves to have a recurring trend—it's 2020, and America has still not made any progress, and as Will Smith suggests “Racism is not getting worse, it's getting filmed”. On May 5th, the video of Ahmaud Arbery being chased and murdered for a crime he didn’t commit went viral. On May 13th, the news about Breonna Taylor’s murder surfaced the internet, as police entered her residence in the middle of the night in suspect of a drug dealer that had already been arrested. These deaths are equally senseless and reveal that the system is built to harm, rather than protect the marginalized communities.

America prides itself on the progress it has made since its foundation, yet decades later, lynching is a reality for so many, but why does it require a video to go viral for people to be outraged and recognize that this is a problem? Yes, platforms like Instagram and Twitter are a great place to spread awareness and shed light on societal issues, but these videos are a painful spectation and invoke generations of trauma. For real change to occur, we need to systemically reform the criminal justice system to ensure that everyone, regardless of gender, race, and sexual orientation is treated equally and fairly.

Racial disparities in the criminal justice system aren’t just an American issue, it is a humanitarian issue. For instance, a young African American woman was allegedly pushed off her balcony in Toronto by the police. These are a few examples of developing cases in which justice is yet to be served. We need to do more than simply reposting a video to hold the system accountable for outright murder. The status quo is killing innocent people and allowing these injustices to occur on the regular. Black Lives Matter.


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