I dedicate this cartoon to every white male political cartoonists who draw a “I can breathe” cartoon after the guilty verdicts were given in the Derek Chauvin trial last week.
First, from a creative standpoint, that was some pretty lame unoriginal shit. Sorry, dudes but you phoned it in. Ya’ basic. But mostly, you’re wrong.
One Minnesota jury delivering three guilty verdicts to a white cop for murdering an unarmed black man isn’t the end of systemic racism in this country.
Did you see the way conservative media freaked out over the verdict? They’re still repeating the tired pathetic argument that if you just follow a racist cop’s instructions, then you won’t have to die.
The day the verdict was delivered, and while some white people were drafting the “I can breathe” arguments, another cop shot another black person. The day after, another cop shot another black person. Today or tomorrow, another cop will shoot another black person. Next week, another cop will shoot another black person.
In Columbus, Ohio, a cop shot Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old. Sure, she was swinging a knife, but he shot her four times. I find it hard to believe it took four bullets to take down a teenage girl.
In Elizabeth City, Andrew Brown was shot multiple times by multiple cops. Cop bullets didn’t just land in Mr. Brown. They also landed in neighboring houses. We don’t even know how many cops shot, how many times, or if Mr. Brown was armed. We do know that at least seven cops have been placed on leave. Did seven cops shoot him?
Over the weekend, Republican senator Lindsey Graham said there is no systemic racism in America’s police forces and that this is not a racist country. I don’t want to hear there’s “no systemic racism” from the white guys trying to make it harder for black people to vote. I don’t want to hear that from the white guys trying to make it harder for black people to live.
I don’t want to hear white people say black people can finally breathe, especially those white people who still have their knees on throats.
Congress is currently working on a police reform bill, but Republicans don’t want cops to be held personally responsible for wrongful shootings. I don’t think black Americans can breathe knowing the cop banging on their door, or stopping them for driving while black, or walking while black, won’t be held personally responsible if he shoots them thinking their cell phone is a gun…or confusing her gun for a taser despite having 26 years of experience with guns and tasers.
I don’t think black people can breathe when there are over 300 bills being drafted by Republicans to make it harder for them to vote. I don’t think black people can breathe while Republicans are trying to take away their constitutional rights.
I don’t think black people can breathe while Republicans in multiple states are drafting legislation to punish them for protesting, for speaking out, and making it legal for white people to kill them for protesting. Republicans are creating laws making it legal to kill black protesters with your car if they frighten you. Republicans are making it legal for white people to murder in the same style as ISIS. Other conservatives are looking at these bills and interpreting them as saying it’s legal to kill black people if they block an intersection. Seriously. Can you breathe with that shit?
I don’t think black people can breathe while less than two percent of cops are prosecuted for shooting unarmed black people.
Racism in America, in the police, in state legislatures, governors’ mansions, and Congress isn’t over because of one conviction of a cop, no more than racism in Hollywood is over because they gave one Oscar to a Korean actress. No mountaintops have been reached here.
Stop saying we can finally breathe while black Americans are still having their rights to breathe taken away.
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