“I Can’t Breathe!”


“I can’t breathe!”
And then a final sigh.
He never really could,
and we all know why.

He was born, fettered,
and never was he free.
To be able to breathe,
was not for him or for me.

It did not include us,
that Declaration of Independence.
Our forefathers didn’t breathe,
they received a death sentence.

We are still seen as chattel,
to be owned and brutalized
How can we breathe?
We have been dehumanized.

With each breath we take,
it hurts to inhale.
And so we labor to breathe,
and for that, we catch hell!

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2014 Shelby I. Courtland

3 thoughts on ““I Can’t Breathe!”

  1. I know I’m late commenting on this, but the Eric Garner decision was as blatantly wrong as it gets. Now they are calling for cameras to be put on police uniforms/vests…what will it matter, this whole incident was recorded, audio and video and still there was no indictment. I guess recorded evidence is irrelevant. Terrible. 😦


    • You ain’t late commenting. No one dared touch this one! And you are right, how will cameras matter? When this murder was videotaped and still no one was found guilty besides Eric Garner, of course. He just shouldn’t have been selling ‘loose cigarettes’ so that’s on him. That’s how it’s being played. And they don’t want to DO anything about this. This is to be business as usual. They’re merely paying ‘lip service’ due to all the protests that have taken place and because of the fact that people are outraged that this man was choked to death over selling some loose cigarettes when not one Wall Street executive that engaged in fraud, money laundering and other criminal acts, saw the inside of a jail cell, seeing as how they were deemed too important to jail. We are not, nor are we deemed important at all, obviously.

      Dom, we are even more irrelevant than the evidence that shows we are murdered all the time is.

      I do thank you for taking the time to comment. I really do appreciate it. I am still mad as hell and I don’t know why because I should be used to this shit by now, but the problem is, a living breathing person that didn’t do anything to get himself murdered, was murdered and the beat goes on, just not his heartbeat. Thanks Dom!


      • You should be mad and there is nothing to get “used to”, it is uncalled for and obviously our criminal justice system is severely tilted toward the “white”. There isn’t any way anyone can justify this murder. This one really did hurt because it was so totally senseless. Keep up the great writing Shelby, it really is important. Dom


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s