I Can’t Breathe: The Death of George Floyd and The Burden of Being A Person of African Descent
I have tried several times to compose myself to write this post, but anger and tears prevented me from doing just that. I always asked myself when will this knee on the neck of the man of African descent be removed.
Peter Tosh, the Reggae icon, rightly said, “No matter your nationality, as long as you are a ‘black man’, you are an African”.
The word ‘black man’ is a deliberately coined word to make those of African descent look dark and evil. I have seen ebony black people in South Sudan, Uganda, and around the line of the equator, and they are elegant and beautiful. The African colour is as a result of melanin, which is a form of protection from the ultraviolet rays of sunshine. It prevents cancer of the skin.
Doctors of African descent, resident in Europe, were quite more susceptible to death from COVID-19 than their colleagues in Africa because of lack of Vitamin D, due to reduced sunshine and, consequently, reduced immunity.
As a Nigerian, my colour is protective. The further you go from the equator, the lighter your complexion because you have less melanin. There is no real white person. If you say I am a person of colour, then are you colourless? Why do Caucasians sun tan? Why do they celebrate a well-tanned skin? Then, why do you look down on me because of my natural gift of a tanned skin?
I once told a young man in Henri Coandă International Airport in Romania that your skin might be of a lighter colouration, but my brain is whiter than yours. I mesmerized him intellectually.
Stupidity is not of African descent. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have seen several people of Caucasian descent behave very stupidly. There are also some racist Caucasians and even Asians whose brains are frozen in a barbaric and shameful past of their evil, wicked, and barbaric ancestors who practiced slavery and colonised us.
The evil perpetrated in the Congo by the King of Belgium, Leopold II is unprecedented.
A lot of the racists in the United States of America and elsewhere are usually the weaklings, intellectually-underdeveloped, and unexposed, who have failed to read or travel beyond their confines of comparative advantage. When I saw Russian football fans making racist chants in their stadiums, they fail to realise that one of their greatest poets and writers, Alexander Pushkin, was of either Ethiopian or Cameroonian descent. An avenue is named after him in Addis Ababa.
When I see the picture and the video of that evil ex-policeman kneeling over George Floyd, it reminds me of all that has happened to Africans since we got in contact with those of Caucasian descent. The picture is so offensive. A man with his hand in his left pocket kneeling on the neck of a man of African descent, looking away from the pleas of his victim, in full glare of the public without any concern about the pleas of those standing by. The evil racist knelt on his neck even when he was motionless for nearly 3 minutes.
And like the typical racist system would behave, the autopsy result said the underlying conditions of the man, hypertension, diabetes, and maybe an intoxicating substance in him contributed to his death, but not asphyxiation. If a person could not breathe and died, What is it called? Asphyxiation. Simple. If George Floyd was standing on his own without the evil cop kneeling on his neck, would he be dead by now? Definitely No. Reverse the case. If George Floyd had knelt on the neck of a white male in a fight with terminal cancer, diabetes, and heart failure, without hesitation, he would would have been charged for first degree murder.
The video of George Floyd saying, “I can’t breathe” is a vivid and painful reality of the relationship between the Caucasian race and those of African descent throughout history.
The gun has been the most evil invention in human history. The colonialists knelt on the neck of any of our traditional rulers who dared to resit their looting and raping of our nations. Examples include rulers like Ovonramwen Nogbaisi of Benin, who was exiled to Calabar. They exiled several African Kings from Africa just like Prempeh I, the king of the Ashanti, who was exiled from Ghana (then Gold Coast) to Seychelles, and several others from East Africa.
The French government knelt on the neck of the first independent nation of African descent, Haiti, for years. Haiti paid reparations for years until very recently. Haiti could not breathe for years. It has remained underdeveloped because it could not breathe economically. Irrespective of bad leadership, that is an underlying disease, where do corrupt rulers of African descent store their loot and who protects them? If Haiti had succeeded, the black race would have been liberated. France forced Haiti to pay reparations, but what has France paid to Africa and Africans for looting our resources?
Former French colonies had to pay a significant percentage of their GDP to a bank in France, and these nations then borrow their own money with interest from France. Borrowing your own money from France? Can you beat that? How can they breathe economically? When Guinea Bissau refused the deal, France left a destructive trail before leaving. According to this article: “Three thousand French left the country, taking all their property and destroying anything that which could not be moved: schools, nurseries, public administration buildings were crumbled; cars, books, medicine, research institute instruments, tractors were crushed and sabotaged; horses, cows in the farms were killed, and food in warehouses were burned or poisoned.“
Any moves by African leaders to free their nations from the knees of the imperialists on their necks is met with assassinations, coups, and counter coups. Patrice Lumumba of Congo was brutally murdered by agents of the imperialists in collaboration with wicked Africans. According to the reports of those who killed him, they dehumanized him and poured chemicals to dissolve his body.
Thomas Sankara, Former President of Burkina Faso, was also seen as a threat, and was killed by the agents of the colonialists. Burkina Faso can’t breathe politically and economically.
From Nigeria, to Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, and several other nations, the colonialists left a system where certain segments of the society, sometimes the majority, can’t breathe.
The Kurds were divided between Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq. If they had their own nation, they would have been a rich and powerful nation. Today, the Kurds can’t breathe; there are several knees on their necks supported by the Caucasian imperialists. The Kurds are not of African descent, but that was the attitude of the colonialists and their divide-and-rule inclination.
Nelson Mandela and his colleagues had to struggle free from the knees the apartheid regime and their exploiters placed on their necks. The knee of the Caucasian imperialists on the necks of the South Africans was there for centuries. It was painful that your resources are looted by a stranger minority in your own land, and you are prevented from breathing.
Any loan or aid given to the African Nations has an economic knee on the necks of their economies. Even the Chinese, who equally have racist tendencies and are exploitative, are gradually placing their knees on our economic necks. The debt burdens on African nations will choke them because they can’t breathe with such a heavy debt burden.
We can not blame the Caucasian imperialists alone. Our African collaborators, in the slave trade, who caught their own people and sold them into slavery in exchange for mirrors, bottles of gin, coral beads, and all kinds of rubbish are guilty of accessory to criminality. If African leaders, particularly in Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and several other African nations have developed Africa in the past 60 years like the leaders of Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, and several Asian nations have done, the image of the black man would have been redeemed. I can bet that if we had peaceful, democratic, and developed nations in Africa, many African Americans would have loved to come back to the homeland. But when they look across the Atlantic and see poverty, police brutality, injustice, and gross underdevelopment in several of our nations, they would prefer to stay in America.
There is someone reading this post who will want to say that African Americans have criminal tendencies. However, information online reports that the wife of the wicked policeman who killed George Floyd was also charged for writing a bad check. Nobody knelt on the neck of the killer’s wife. It is possible that George Floyd knew his killer because there are reports that a former club owner in South Minneapolis says they both worked security for her club up to the end of last year. Research according to Fareed Zechariah, on CNN, as I was writing, shows that a man of African descent is twice more likely to be stopped while driving than a man of Caucasian descent, even though the person of Caucasian descent is most likely to break a traffic rule.
People of African descent have excelled in all spheres of life from politics, where someone of African descent became a president of the United States of America without any scandal. They have excelled in sports, music, the military, medicine, business, law, and academics. If you do a search for inventions of people of African descent in America, you will be shocked.
I hate violence and I detest the looting and burning of properties, but according to Emperor Haile Selassie I, “Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war. And until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the colour of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained… now everywhere is war.” Robert Nesta Marley made it popular with his song, War.
When somebody’s knee is on your neck, and you can’t breathe, please don’t let him find it easy to breathe. Nobody should breathe freely for freely killing someone of African descent. There must be a cost for killing people of African descent.
At the same time, Africans, especially Nigerians, especially our security forces and governments must treat their citizenry with respect and decency. I want to also appeal to our African brethren in the Republic of South Africa to treat their fellow Africans with respect. When Caucasians see you hacking and burning your fellow Africans to death, they see you as animals, and it gives them a confirmation that the African life is disposable.
The SpaceX Craft that launched yesterday just docked in the space station; it is imperative to note that Elon Musk was born and grew up in Africa. Jesus was nurtured in Africa. Africa and people of African descent must deliberately struggle to breathe.