Eight minutes and 46 seconds...
...within that span of time our tolerance ceased. While the breath of one African American man was constricted under the weight of a minority of police who are sworn to ‘protect and serve’, our patience ended.
Others have suffered under that weight: latinos, transgenders, homeless, mentally ill - all whose voices will now be bolstered by yours.
We viewed all authority in a different light. We crossed the street in order to avoid innocent confrontation. Systematic racism can take your life away as a result of the most benign encounter, where a perceived slight or petty crime could carry a death sentence, judged, adjudicated and executed in the street.
Our frustration seethed and we hit the streets with a passion last felt when... when we were last beaten? Last bloodied?
Last gunned down for ‘driving while black’, or allegedly selling counterfeit cigarettes, being uncommunicative because of
mental health issues, or what...walking in the wrong neighborhood?
They are bound by crying out “I can’t breathe”, or calling for their mother or father as their life ebbed away.
Black Lives Matters led us into those streets, and we were met with tear gas, rubber bullets, pushing and prodding us as if were cattle, herded into coves as if we were dolphins destined for sea circuses. Who can forget the image of an elderly man pushed and left incapacitated on the street as police walked by, ignoring the blood seeping from his ear.