May 25th, the kind of a day I had not expected, given my history, as it was just a normal day.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the schools were closed. So, I had a lot of time to spend with my 5 beautiful kids. But then my mind diverted onto Cigarettes. I was under the impression that they only kill us through cancer – a horrific death indeed, but I had never imagined that these little packages would take my life in this way.
To start with, I did not have a good childhood as my parents were financially broken when I was small.
I grew up living in earthly hell – a neighborhood only known for robbery and violence. The realization dawned that only sports can resurrect my life. It was a good start. I played basketball and then football, eventually going on to championship finals. I was the only one among my siblings to have successfully been admitted to college but unfortunately dropped out to pursue hip-hop.
But then my whole life spiraled out of control. I didn’t achieve anything in music so left it to earn money.
I was charged for theft, drug possession and trespassing. Ironically, I was not even good at thievery, given the upbringing I had. And yet, I kept asking.
I was sentenced five years in prison followed by a drug rehabilitation program. I even helped a few others in improving their lives even though I could see my own life crashing down.
I lost my job. In search of some means, I moved to Minneapolis and became a bouncer and a truck driver.
Things seemed to be getting better. And then came the COVID-19 pandemic. I lost my job again.
I had a history of smoking. One day when I went to buy cigarettes, but I gave them counterfeit bills which is why I think I lost my life but an easy death comes only for those who have done good deeds.
Despite knowing this, I kept asking myself, “Why me?”
There was a hassle in calling the cops who arrested me.
“I Can’t Breathe”
I remember a teenage kid, shooting a video of the scene unfolding on the streets, screaming
‘Leave him!’. For some moments, I kept imploring.
‘I Can’t Breathe’.
Man, such a heavy day!
Now in heaven or hell, I get the answer. It was me because I am black.
It was my colour that got me killed. Because this society has taught the children that we are a threat. Our color is evil. That we are here to die.
We are bought up as slaves and we will die as one.
One question kept plaguing my mind.
Why was there no one standing up for me when I was in need? But there were so many when I was gone?
Nobody came to rescue me even though there were only 5 perpetrators and the road was quite crowded. I had screamed but nobody came.
They just thought, ‘A thug is paying for his crime’. They thought the guy kneeling was saving us from an apocalypse.
I want everyone to stop. I know you mean it but instead of making a change, you are destroying our chances. Save yourselves to make a change.
I have heard the revolutionary of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, said something about this racism that we are a part of.
‘Racism will never end as long as white cars use black tires. It will never end if people use black as a sign of bad luck and white for peace. It will not end till people wear white for joy and black for death.’