Imagine your child saying that. Or your mother. Or the sibling you used to hate every day of your childhood. Imagine… that loved one, the one you care most about, the one who cares about you even more than their declining health, the one that stood beside you during the toughest of times, holding your hand. Imagine watching them struggle to breathe.
It’s torture, even to imagine it.
And yet, again and again, our world watches on, blind to everything but their own matters, as so many loved ones fight to breathe.
Police kills black man, the news reads. Instantly, a nation rises, machetes and sign boards in hand, taking to the streets, furious yet cautious—standing a feet from each other with masks intact, their voices loud nevertheless. America is used to black protestors, and the rest of the world is used to dropping jaws as the massive nation that parades itself as great and democratic, brings to its knees, any violence not instigated from within its safe harbour of authority.
This week, once again, we witness the nation that can’t stop talking about itself, the nation that forever holds the top spot in global news, grapple with the hard reality of its citizens chocking in its own hypocrisy. And once again, we slap our hands on our foreheads, shaking heads, covering our mouths in horror as we watch cars running people over, rubber bullets piercing eyeballs, and Starbucks outlets swallowing flames.
Despite all of this, though, somehow, we know that this isn’t the first or last time we’ll see devastation at such a large scale. Everywhere on this great floating earth is the same challenge as in America. In different levels under different names, yes, but there’s almost no one country that’s treating its diversity with the respect it deserves.
After all, if there’s one thing that all of humankind does best, it’s to pretend that colonisation never happened. I mean, it’s not just the people who can’t breathe—it’s also our earth and the hundreds of species on the brink of extinction.