'I Can't Breathe': Black Lives and White Lies

By Quentin Pain Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/29 12:13:48

People hold signs and protest during a rally after a Minneapolis Police Department officer allegedly killed George Floyd on Tuesday in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A video of a handcuffed black man dying while a Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck for more than five minutes sparked fresh furor in the US over police treatment of African Americans. Photo: AFP

Once again they put a black brother's neck in a chokehold. 

On Monday, African-American George Floyd was pinned down violently by a white Minneapolis police officer. Knees pressed on his neck, George begged for mercy, "Please, please, please, I can't breathe. Please, man," only to be murdered after 7 minutes' suffocation.

"It was déjà vu all over again," said Gwen Carr. In 2014, her son Eric Garner yelled the same dying words, "I can't breathe", when white NYPD officers held him in the same chokehold. Six years later, the nightmare reoccurs.

Such a moment reminds you that in America, not only the apocalypse of coronavirus might someday take your breath, but also the legacy of a political virus called "Make America Great Again".

Remember how Donald Trump responded to Black Lives Matter protesters during his election campaign in 2016? He said, "All lives matter."

Anything changed then? Nothing. 

He's been making America "great" for 4 years. Today in Trump's "great" nation, black lives are still being lost, by both police brutality and the government's indifference on black communities' misery caused by Covid-19.

Nearly 23% of reported Covid-19 deaths in the US are African American as of May 20, while black people make up just 13% of the U.S. population.

Every day we hear heartbreaking stories telling how American black communities suffer from Covid-19. Every day we see tweets from the self-labeled "wartime president" bragging how he's doing well on Covid-19. 

Ironically, in a nation that believes all men are created equal, inequality perpetrates. Under Trumpist reign, the pandemic has taken more than 100,000 lives in the US, disproportionately among them, over 20,000 black men, women and children. 

The bizarre truth about America's response to Covid-19 is that the politicians lay blame on the victims themselves for such a traumatizing situation. 

According to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, it is the "unhealthy comorbidities" of Americans, in particular "in African American, minority communities", that contributed significantly to the death toll.

Facing criticism about his failure on the virus, SARS-Cov-2, president Trump insists it's a "badge of honor", goes golfing and does anything but save lives.

For American politicians, the virus is not SARS-Cov-2, but MAGA-Cov-1. Or as the murderer policeman claims on social network, "Make Whites Great Again". 

While the president shows little empathy for lost lives in America, he and his loyalists are more interested in spreading a political virus. 

Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, obsessed with his groundless accusations of China, attacks China on a daily basis out of thin air. He is bent on churning out lies. Notorious for craving conspiracy, Mr. Pompeo accuses China of manufacturing the virus. But when reminded that his intelligence agencies have concluded no such thing, he was caught out of words for inconsistency and self-contradiction. 

To distract attention from the administration's incapability of handling the pandemic, he has proven himself an amateur. However, when it comes to abusing power, the secretary of state turns to be a professional. As media outlets revealed, Pompeo and his wife Susan, had used federal resources to hold "elaborate, unpublicized" banquets, cultivating a donor and supporter base for their White House dreams.  

As for American lives? They stand by and lie. They don't give a damn. 

So if there really is an American "badge of honor", the cry "I can't breathe" shall be marked on it, to remember the shameless lack of respect for the lives of its citizens.

Martin Luther King once affirmed human dignity. Now it must be defended from lies. It is time to eliminate the political virus. It is time to expose the lies. It is time to focus on saving American people's lives.  

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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