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.
Now, I understand why it is important to trust and respect these institutions and figures. We have to believe in something, since much else in American history is now revealed to be quite embarrassing in the eyes of the whole world. But can the answers to my wonderment about the American President’s Day really be found in the Constitution? Or the politics of the Founding Fathers? The same men who thought and asserted they could uphold E Pluribus Unum while holding and fathering slaves?