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I cant breathe
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Systemic racism from slavery to globalisation

By Dr. Chester Toney (MD), Pan Africanist

Black people the world over are under siege. White supremacists have not taken a day off nor have they taken a recess from plundering our melanated skins since Conquest, Settlement, Slavery, Colonialism, Jim Crowism (in the USA), Neo-colonialism and presently Globalisation. The cries are audible, silent and deafening.

Martin Luther King Jr., black civil rights leader (1929-1968) considered the “father of Protest in America”, demystified protest, riots and demonstrations anatomically, physiologically, sociologically and psychologically in the following quotations:

“Riot dramatises our anger.”

“Riot is the language of the unheard.”

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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“The hottest place in hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict and he or she chooses the side of the oppressor.”

“God is never on the side of the oppressor.”

“Silence is violence.”

“Silence is complicity.”

From all these quotations, it can be concluded that it is the duty of a human being to fight the oppressor anywhere, at any cost, by any means necessary. It is not a choice. It is a necessity for the preservation of Human dignity and righteousness.

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd , an unarmed black man died mercilessly in Minneapolis after he was handcuffed and brutally pinned to the ground by a white law enforcement officer with three other officers as accomplices. He was being restrained “for suspicion of a non-violent crime”. Later he met his untimely demise while onlookers pleaded incessantly for more than eight minutes for his release from the officer pinned knee at his neck.

This horrific act the officer performed was with a callous cavalier attitude, while savagely placing both his hands in his own pockets. Of an important note is that Mr. Floyd kept mourning, “I can’t breathe” and begged for his dead mother. By so doing, all mothers on earth heard his plea and felt the horrendous pain of a son being killed cold bloodedly. Surprisingly, all this took place in the middle of a pandemic (COVID-19) where “social distancing” was the order of the day by World Health Organization (WHO).

This barbaric ordeal was videotaped for all and sundry to witness universally. A postmortem later confirmed that the victim died of complications of a preexisting condition of the heart. Later, it took an independence autopsy to unravel that he died of “asphyxia”. This disgusting travail sent shock waves throughout the United States and the world at large sparking widespread demonstrations which escalated into violent riots all over the United States and continue to spread throughout the world. Black people, yellow people, white people, brown people and the in between joined the struggle for George Floyd, validating the call for an end to racism and police brutality in the United States and beyond.

These despicable actions are really a continuum of what we have endure as a people from slavery to globalisation. They are based on the false doctrine that “white is might” and “that white is naturally superior to other races” and all the atrocities that follow thereafter. “It is enough, no more”. Now, we are proving that the end of Western capitalism based on racism and wanton greed is drawing near. The sun is finally setting on the west. As the late song writer/reggae superstar Bob Marley said, “How many rivers do we have to cross before we can talk to the boss”…”Burning and looting tonight” … “Burning all illusions tonight”.

Throughout the course of history, persons like Rodney King, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Ahmaud  Arbery Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile and Tamir Rice, to name a few, have all faced similar fate at the hands of  white supremacy. We have lost many of our heroes in battle on the frontlines against racism and injustice for our people. Heroes like Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Kwame Nkrumah, Martin Luther King Jr., Joseph Chatoyer, Toussaint Louverture and Kwame Ture. When we look at the world, the teachings of all the above mentioned heroes are relevant now more than ever. As a black man, a Caribbean man and an African born in the “New World”, I feel compelled to condemn injustice, racism, inequality, discrimination and the alienation of one people by another for that matter. I am now calling on the 230 million of us in the African diaspora to do likewise and fight the power by any means necessary for our new liberation. A black man/black woman pain anywhere should be felt by black men/women everywhere.

I also want to reaffirm this new wave of consciousness that is now sweeping the globe “Africans unite at home and abroad”. We must champion the clarion call “Black lives matter”. To those who oppress our people, your days are numbered and it’s coming close to payday. It was our brother Malcolm X who warned us, “Nobody can give you freedom, nobody can give you justice, if you are a man/woman you take it.”  You really can’t be on the side of the oppressor and the oppressed at the same time. Let history and your conscience prove you right, so we can breathe again. After 400 years of being “second class citizens” in the western world, even though we were born from kings and queens, we stand on the side of justice and righteous. Africa is stretching forth her hands for our repatriation while we struggle in the west for reparations and social justice.

The struggle is real, so too is the cruel intention of our enemy to keep us subjugated economically, culturally, and politically so that we will never access state power universally. And even though we do access power, it is always to the glorification and interest of the lighter hue. Now is the time to plot, organise, strategise, mobilise, humanise and revolutionise as one people.

We must advocate for universal access to health care for our people, for an end to mass incarceration, police brutality, unequal job opportunity, racism and racial prejudice in the justice system, limited access to affordable education and housing and an end to stereotyping and stigmatisation of the black skin.

In conclusion we extend condolences to the family of George Floyd. On behalf of all Caribbean people, we also convey our sympathies to all the families who have suffered similar loss and pain in these modern times. I can assure you, don’t be dismayed, as a new day is dawning for all black and down-trodden people around the world starting with the United States. We now reiterate the call by Robert Nester Marley: “Get up, stand up, and stand up for your right/Get up, stand up, and don’t give up the fight.”

The opinions presented in this content belong to the author and may not necessarily reflect the perspectives or editorial stance of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

14 replies on “Justice for George Floyd: We still can’t breathe”

  1. Well said. I have come to realize that Bob Marley was actually speaking for all black people. I realized that it doesn’t require a doctorate to understand human emotions, suffering, and pain.

    Today we see a lot of white-washing of the history of African peoples in the west. Another very striking thing to me is the treatment of Palestinians by the Israeli state and the complicity of the white-world. Of course, not all whites are hypocrites but race relations still have a long way to go, unless the Dollar suddenly dies.

    Mainstream News nowadays is steeped in propaganda. The beautiful pictures we see and the narrative are tailored to manipulate our minds.

    Now, they edited the bible but I believe that book chronicles World events metaphorically. But people are waking up to that too. Haile Selassie I said “that until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is discredited and abandoned there would be no peace — Small wonder that Marley could equate him with the almighty God.

  2. Before jumping onto the bandwagon and glorifying criminal behaviours be it from Government agencies or from nefarious individuals, I am grateful for this bit of information from Nathan’ Jolly’ Green. We would all also agree that although George Floyd was a career criminal, nevertheless good behaviour was indeed demanded from those arresting him.

    However, the liberal left persistent silence against worst behaviours in Venezuela, Nicaragua, SVG, and Iran, Turkey, Zimbabwe and many parts of Africa, smacks of utter hypocrisy.

    Further, we would all also agree that racial prejudice, bigotry and discrimination is rampant even here in SVG. The Liberal left however, only finds a voice for an agenda that leads to more state controls, poverty and Stalinist totalitarianism.

    1. Really James H or whoever you are” ,George Floyd was a career criminal? You’re a really piece of shit. You reveal the poverty of your intellectual capacity every time you post here. There is an old saying that it is better to be thought of as foolish, than to open your mouth and confirm that belief. You should consider that saying.

  3. The murder of George Floyd is the latest in a spate of extrajudicial killing by the authorities. But this time it was televised. It was so graphic you could not call it anything else that what it actually was.

    Reading this it made me think of Walter Lippmann’s book ‘Phantom Public’.

    It is ironic that people don’t seem to be able to divorce themselves from the stereotypes in their minds and reality of the world around them.

  4. Nathan Jolly Green says:

    Hundreds of thousands of people are being assaulted and murdered by police, secret police, Cuban special forces, and the Venezuelan military in Venezuela. Instead of doing something about that Ralph Gonsalves supports all of those agencies by supporting Maduro without any question at all.

    It happens every day, and every hour and minute.

    I consider Gonsalves input into the matter of George Floyd as simply an attempt to agitate against the US government.

    Vincentian police have assaulted and beaten hundreds of black Vincentians during the last 20 years, he has not mentioned a single word of condemnation. That failure on his part tells me he condones such behavior, and black live do not matter one iota.

  5. Nathan Jolly Green says:

    Interference in Guyana on behalf of the left wing PPP

    Caribbean Guyana Institute For Democracy – CGID

    13 hrs · Shared with Public


    Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, at the direction of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), is brazenly attempting to preempt the CARICOM elections recount Observer Mission in Guyana.

    In a radio interview yesterday, he attempted to dictate to Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) how it should execute its functions as prescribed by the Guyana Constitution. GECOM is currently assessing recount results as well as allegations of fraud.

    Dr. Gonsalves, a foreign head of government is attempting to undermine this process on behalf of the PPP. CGID doesn’t know how Dr. Gonsalves’ conducts elections in his country, but Guyanese will not accept an elections results that’s riddled with fraudulent ballots.

    Dr. Gonsalves is advocating that Guyanese must accept a vote tabulation that includes ballots which a Police investigation has established contains fraudulent votes. We therefore wonder if the people of CARICOM should apply Dr. Gonsalves’ reasoning and accept and and believe numerous allegations of sexual assault against a CARICOM Prime Minister without any investigation to determine the veracity of the charges.

    GECOM is currently following a process set out in its May, 4, 2020 order, in accordance with the laws of Guyana. It is disgraceful and repugnant to the CARICOM Treaty for Dr. Ralph Gonsalves to interject himself into this process and

    attempt to interfere in Guyana’s elections. Dr. Gonsalves’s statements also demonstrat contempt for the Courts and State institutions in Guyana.

    He should focus on elevating the standard of living in his small island rather than act as the bagman and water-boy for his friend Bharrat Jagdeo and Guyana’s opposition PPP. Mr. Gonsalves’ party has itself been accused of electoral fraud and rigging the past five elections. It is therefore no wonder that he finds himself in the company of the PPP.

    We urge the Prime Minister to address the myriad of allegations he faces at home, keep out of Guyana’s business and stop making a mockery of CARICOM’s non-intervention policy.

    Richard Millington
    Director of Communications
    Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

  6. We as a society are really in a fix at the moment. MOST PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY MADE UP THIER MINDS and they will probably never see reason!!! There are those that are able to step back and see these things in perspective and there are many that are convinced that the reason they are not where they want to be in life is because of white people and whites should get on thier knees, crawl, and should all be punished for the crime of thier skin color as blacks did over 100 years ago. I wonder what Jesus would say?Much of the media is also pushing this narrative. There is a Global Establishment that wants us all to be fighting against eachother and while we are not looking they are gathering more power. The fact that we are taking the bait is the saddest part.
    I saw a “black supremist” in Kingstown on Friday and mentioned to him that more white people in the USA are killed by police than black and of course he yelled “NO” he interrupted me, shook his head and started insulting me. Because I am former law-enforcement and had worked with the Intelligence Community in the US Army, he had to say “Once a pig, always a pig”. Statistics in some areas are as high as 40 whites killed for each black. But white people killed by police is not newsworthy. NOT THE AGENDA OF THE LIBERAL MEDIA!
    This black supremist in Kingstown owns at least one building and business in Kingstown and rents to others who have businesses in his building(s), but nevertheless believes because of my skin color I should give everything I have worked for all my life to him and to other blacks because I was born with the wrong skin color. My ancestry came from a country that never had colonies or slaves but that does not matter.
    The new normal is:
    “If you are not reverse-racist then you are a racist.”
    This man has already fallen into the trap, long ago. The rest of us should not! If we do, chances are that years from now we will have even less and George Soros, those like him and the rest of the Liberal Left will end up with more. Instead we have to get to work, (not be lazy or doltish) continue to build on the equality that society has achieved over the past hundred years, instead of creating more racism and thereby going backwards.
    George Soros (who worked with the Nazis in Hungary) and two other leftists started Black Lives Matter. That should make us very suspicious indeed.

    1. Duke, I believe you are a good man. When you talk about black supremacist, I imagine you must be really pissed.
      I think that the racism people talk about is the Phenomena of systematic oppression of minorities in the West.
      What I consider racism is back in the day when the British disbanded the British West Indies Regiment after the Taranto revolt in Italy. Then last year the Windrush scandal.
      SVG has other issues; It’s important to listen to the people. This morning I saw on the cable that Ghana is inviting diaspora in the west to return to Ghana. It is a new day.

  7. Being rude and vulgar dear ICONOCLAST does not in any way change the salient facts about the man who was being arrested and thus died, facts are just what they are and by the kindness of Nathan’ Jolly’ Green one merely related the sad truth, irrespective personal emotion and disposition.

    The Death of George Floyd [he was no innocent when it came to crime]

    [He was the first of his siblings to go to college, and he did so on an athletic scholarship. But he returned to Texas after a couple of years, and lost nearly a decade to arrests and incarcerations on mostly drug-related offenses. By the time he left his hometown for good a few years ago, moving 1,200 miles to Minneapolis for work, he was ready for a fresh start.

    For about a decade starting in his early 20s, Mr. Floyd had a string of arrests in Houston, according to court and police records. One of those arrests, for a $10 drug deal in 2004, cost him 10 months in a state jail.

    Four years later, Mr. Floyd pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and spent four years in prison. He was released in 2013 and returned home again —] New York Times

  8. With all due respect, if PM cannot emphatize with the suffering of African VincentIan or other Africans in the diaspora, it is quite understandable .The man is Caucasian and his kit and kin is not us. How can you put the fox to guard the henhouse. The fox is not a natural guardian of the henhouse.

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