I read a transcript of George Floyd’s last words.
Nothing that I can write will ever speak louder than his words.
I will NEVER try to speak over him.
But because no one has their knee on my neck,
I will try to amplify his voice.
Because there is still an oblivious chorus singing “All Lives Matter”
I will try to amplify his voice.
Because I have a voice.
I will try to amplify the voice that was stolen from him.
Because I am Brown, Not Black
I will never understand, but with everything in me, I will stand.
In 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
George Floyd said “Please” 14 times.
He said “I can’t breathe” 12 times.
He said he was in pain 6 times.
He called out to his Mama twice.
The last words that left his lips before he was murdered were
“Please Sir. Please. Please. Please. I can’t breathe.”
In 8 minutes and 46 seconds he addressed the man who was actively killing him with two words,
“officer” and “sir”.
The last thing he called the man who murdered him was “sir”.
The very word boils like molten lava on my tongue.
Those 8 minutes and 46 seconds summon a fury inside of me that calls up every profane syllable I have ever known.
Primal instinct calls up every foul, cruel, depraved word I could ever think to scream,
evokes every hateful word in the English language,
and these words storm through my body like an uncontrollable mob of ancient pain and rage.
These 8 minutes and 46 seconds of inhumanity, inequality, cruelty, and torture create a moment.
A visible moment, that floats on top of an ocean of invisible moments, just like it, that span our entire history.
The blatant calm on a murders face because he knows the system he belongs too.
A system built for him to abuse others without repercussion.
A system built for the exact amount of melanin in his skin.
A system that has dehumanized black people so much that cameras in his face didn’t seem to make him reconsider his actions, any more than the gentle pleading coming from the man beneath his knee.
8 minutes and 46 seconds, three other officers aided, abetted, and stood passively by.
They too understood this system and their place within it.
How is it that I cannot control my rage and George Floyd said “Please, sir, I can’t breathe.”?
I won’t guess the answer because, I will not speak over him.
What I will do is listen more.
What I will do is channel my anger into action.
What I will do is channel my fear into love.
What I will do is answer the call of “Mama.”
I am not a mother.
But you see, when George Floyd called out “Mama” he conjured the ancient spirit of the feminine.
He called on the feminine energy in every human being in this world to come to his aid.
He called to everyone who has ever mothered a child in pain.
He called to everyone who has EVER called out to their own Mama in pain.
He awoke the divine mother of every spiritual path, of every religion, of every lost mythology.
The Mother and Child relationship doesn’t have a race.
It only knows love.
And we are coming.
We are linking our brown and black and white arms together,
We are acknowledging our privilege,
We are listening to each other,
We are calling each other to action
We are holding ourselves and each other accountable
because the oppressive system that sets this scene relies on our separation.
Our togetherness is the new normal
and the system should tremble with fear.
Trish Fuentes-Jimmie is a storyteller who lives in Oregon, hails from West Virginia, and finds places to call home across the world. She weaves her stories using every tool she can, though her favorite mediums involve a pencil or a camera. She believes in love, connection, creation, and magic. She fights for equality, humanity, and social justice.
Copyright © 2020 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.