Almost every morning since the pandemic started and we’ve been in quarantine, I’ve tried to get some outdoor exercise. It began as a mental health necessity turned into a daily exercise. I started off with pretty easy walks and now I’m up to two mile runs. Today I ran my best time ever because I ran for all the Black bodies killed as if they were no more than an annoying fly that got into the house.
I live in South Florida and it was extremely humid today and as I started to feel my breathe get shallow, I pushed myself harder for Ahmaud Arbery who was sprinting for his life in Georgia against two White nationalists who didn’t like a Black man running in their neighborhood.
As I ran my normal route, I thought to myself, I’m having trouble breathing and George Floyd’s words ran in my head, “I can’t breathe” and I thought about my ability to stop and get some deep breathes in my lungs. I thought about when George Floyd started to realize he was dying over being falsely accused of having a counterfeit twenty dollar bill.
As I rounded the corner and saw my husband putting my son in the car to take him to school, I thought about Breonna Taylor and how her life was snuffed out at 26 years old before she ever had a chance to experience her own marriage and kids. How sleeping in her own bed became a death sentence and how, “The Castle Doctrine” never seems to apply to Black and Brown people.
At any given moment of any given day, my life, my husband’s life, my son’s life, my brother’s life, my nieces’ lives, my parents’ lives, my cousins’ lives, my friends’ lives could end at the hands of police or frankly any White person who doesn’t like the look of us in their neighborhoods. “The reason people think it’s important to be white is that they think it’s important not to be Black.” James Baldwin