Did you hear that? He said, “I can’t breathe.” He said the he could not breathe multiple time. Did you hear that? It was the silence of death. It was the silence of decades of silence from those in power, from those safe in their whiteness, the silence of a system geared to grind the black and brown of the world into the pulp that fuels the machine.
The silence is even more deafening when compared to the countless cries for help, cries for change, cries of despair as young men and women are shredded by bullets, real and metaphorical, that decimate an entire race of people. Screams of anger and frustration have been sent out, over and over, and is received in silence.
Do you see that? Those are the flames crying out for justice. How do you secure justice from a system that continually works to reinforce the injustice? You burn it down. Flames, real and metaphorical, need to sweep the nation, and the world, and create real change. These flames need to be fueled, not by the desire to do harm, but the will to cleanse a wound and repair centuries of damage. This fuel needs all color of people behind it; black, brown, white we are all in this mess.
Sitting here in North Macedonia, seething with anger, I look at my two white kids and struggle to figure out how to put the fire in them. How do I position my kids to be allies in the struggle for justice? How do I set an appropriate example while beyond the shores of the “Free and Brave”? I do not have answers to these questions; but I will try. And I will not let them exist in silence, the silence of whiteness that reinforces the machine killing my countrymen.