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A Letter to George Floyd

A Letter to George Floyd
30th May 2020 Notrino Collective
Burhan Ozgun Sen
In Notrino Blog
george floyd-police violence-racism-african-racism2020-police murder-usa-united states police violence

Dear George, 

This morning I woke up early, you didn’t.

I went to the bathroom, washed my face, brushed my teeth, you couldn’t.

Then I had my coffee, strong, with no sugar, you didn’t.  

The morning routine is something that I love very much. Coffee, cigarette and some light music so I can wake up in peace. But, this morning I could not play music. It felt wrong. I fell asleep last night thinking about breathing. I never think about that. Probably because it is something that is natural. But since I heard your words:” Please, please… I can’t breathe…” I can’t stop thinking about that. About you. About your family, friends.

I have read today that those police officers who took your last breath, were charged for murder. And I have to tell you, I have read these stories so many times in my life. And I always felt that justice is served. But not this time. Something is different. And I am sitting now in my room, writing a letter to you, trying to get an answer: what is so different. Why do I feel like someone who is guilty? 

George, it’s 2020. 21st century. One would think that we came finally to a place when we are united in a fight against everything that is wrong. But, instead of that, we will remember this 2020, as the last year of your life in this world. So, George how this is possible?

While I was looking for an answer, suddenly I started to think about Jessie Owens and Hattie McDaniel. 

Querido George,

Esta mañana me levanté temprano, no lo hiciste.
Fui al baño, me lavé la cara, me lavé los dientes, no pudiste.
Luego tomé mi café, fuerte, sin azúcar, no lo hiciste.

La rutina de la mañana es algo que amo mucho. Café, cigarrillos y algo de música ligera para poder despertarme en paz. Pero esta mañana no pude tocar música. Se sintió mal. Me quedé dormido anoche pensando en respirar. Nunca pienso en eso. Probablemente porque es algo que es natural. Pero desde que escuché tus palabras: “Por favor, por favor … no puedo respirar …” No puedo dejar de pensar en eso. Acerca de ti. Sobre tu familia, amigos.
Leí hoy que esos policías que tomaron su último aliento fueron acusados ​​de asesinato. Y tengo que decirte que he leído estas historias muchas veces en mi vida. Y siempre sentí que se hace justicia. Pero no esta vez. Algo es diferente Y ahora estoy sentado en mi habitación, escribiéndole una carta, tratando de obtener una respuesta: qué es tan diferente. ¿Por qué me siento como alguien que es culpable?
George, es 2020. Siglo XXI. Uno podría pensar que finalmente llegamos a un lugar cuando estamos unidos en una lucha contra todo lo que está mal. Pero, en lugar de eso, recordaremos este 2020, como el último año de su vida en este mundo. Entonces, George, ¿cómo es esto posible?
Mientras buscaba una respuesta, de repente comencé a pensar en Jessie Owens y Hattie McDaniel.

jessi-owens-hitler-olimpics-runner-african runner-ohio-Hattie McDaniel-oscar-winner-african power

Jessie was an American track and field athlete who won four gold medals and broke two world records at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Berlin!!! 1936!!!! Nazi Germany. He broke Hitler that year, but when he came back to the US, President Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t shake his arm. That great Olympian after his return had to go on the back door of the bus, he could not sit in front. He couldn’t live where he wanted, and he never was invited to the White house. Hattie McDaniel was an Oscar-winning actress for playing Mammy in “Gone with the wind”. But, at that moment Hattie could not sit with her fellow actors from the movie. No, she was separated. She and her escort were required to sit at a segregated table for two at the far wall of the room. The discrimination continued after the award ceremony as well as her white costars went to a “no-blacks” club, where McDaniel was also denied entry.

The three of you George, have so many things in common. Grace, honesty, power, kindness. Everything that we don’t have. And there is an answer on my question. 

We haven’t done anything to protect you. 

We have ignored the fact that racism is still the No 1 problem in the world. 

We gave power to wrong people. 

We are guilty. 

And I am asking for forgiveness dear George, The Mighty Soul. We are awake now. We are protesting, screaming your name so hard so maybe you can hear us, wherever you are. And we will not stop until we have our freedom back! 

All over the world, people are celebrating your name. #GeorgeFloyd 

Jessie era una atleta estadounidense de atletismo que ganó cuatro medallas de oro y rompió dos récords mundiales en los Juegos Olímpicos de 1936 en Berlín. ¡¡¡Berlina!!! 1936 !!!! Alemania nazi. Rompió a Hitler ese año, pero cuando regresó a los Estados Unidos, el presidente Franklin D. Roosevelt no sacudió el brazo. Ese gran olímpico después de su regreso tuvo que ir a la puerta trasera del autobús, no podía sentarse delante. No podía vivir donde quería, y nunca fue invitado a la Casa Blanca. Hattie McDaniel fue una actriz ganadora del Oscar por interpretar a Mammy en “Lo que el viento se llevó”. Pero, en ese momento, Hattie no podía sentarse con sus compañeros actores de la película. No, ella estaba separada. Ella y su acompañante debían sentarse en una mesa separada para dos en la pared más alejada de la habitación. La discriminación continuó después de la ceremonia de premiación y sus coprotagonistas blancos fueron a un club “no negro”, donde a McDaniel también se le negó la entrada.
Los tres, George, tienen muchas cosas en común. Gracia, honestidad, poder, amabilidad. Todo lo que no tenemos. Y hay una respuesta en mi pregunta.
No hemos hecho nada para protegerlo.
Hemos ignorado el hecho de que el racismo sigue siendo el problema número uno en el mundo.
Dimos poder a las personas equivocadas.
Somos culpables
Y le pido perdón, querido George, The Mighty Soul. Estamos despiertos ahora. Estamos protestando, gritando tu nombre con tanta fuerza que quizás puedas escucharnos, estés donde estés. ¡Y no nos detendremos hasta que recuperemos nuestra libertad!
En todo el mundo, la gente celebra tu nombre. #GeorgeFloyd

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