Can a man die of oxygen deprivation if there’s a strong, heavy knee placed on his neck for 9 (oh, just give and take, the killings haven’t even slowed down yet, homeys) minutes? Or must we dig for alternative causes like all the ills that black folks have been heir to and victim-blamed for throughout these last great American centuries—drugs, poor self-care, poverty, despair, lack of faith in the SYSTEM and the MAN, systemic denigration [note the intended pun! The word means ‘to blacken’!] and devaluation—till we come up with something resembling business as usual.
I wandered, literally, up and down the bruited and brutal ‘Oregon Trail’ which so many nineteenth-century Americans eager (or greedy) for a ‘better life,’ for the ‘American Dream’ set out on, in unbelievably rickety wagons, with children, wives, cattle, guns, food, elders (most in small quantities, except sometimes children) for the Pacific West and Northwest.
I will express strong love for Obstinate Older Oaklike men with thinning hair (as long as it’s not orange); I will let my heart flutter a little now and then; and I will even cry as I smile or laugh like a fool. The latter might happen at 7 pm CST tonight when my president addresses the nation.
I Can’t Breathe
So, where am I safe? And, why am I having to ask this question?