Why I Can’t breathe

 

I cant’ breathe.

In this prison you call black.

I can’t breathe.

Because you assume I’m guilty.

I can’t breathe.

When you see me as dangerous.

I can’t breathe.

Every time you clutch your purse.

I can’t breathe.

When you expect the worst from me.

I can’t breathe.

When you force me to assimilate. Hiding my blackness behind a mask.

I can’t breathe.

When I break through the glass ceiling. Only to find a cement ceiling above that.

I can’t breathe.

When a cop ask me to sit on the curb. Instead of putting me in the police car.

I can’t breathe.

When you humiliate my parents, based on the color of their skin. And not on the content of their character.

I can’t breathe.

Every time a cop pulls me over.

I can’t breathe.

When my white middle school principle, almost beats me to death.

I can’t breathe.

When someone yells nigger! In a crowded room, and there is nothing but silence.

I can’t breathe.

When I’m asked to be more black, in an acting audition.

I can’t breathe.
When a cop ask me, if I’m on parole.
I can’t breathe.
When I’m shopping while black.

I can’t breathe.

When Confederate flags and Monuments, are reminders,  of a South that may rise again.

– By Lynel Gardner

 

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