I will breathe - Part 2 (Let's pause)
Updated: Jun 11
Written on May 31, 2020
I always admired my cuzzos and was always eager to hear their stories about them growing up in the USA. One of the stories Ralph told me was one where his neighbor, a racist white woman, falsely accused him of a crime he had never committed and how she tried to set him up and even threatened him with a gun. My other cousin Harry, took the time to share flashback memories of the racial tensions that were taking place in DC between black people and white cops. And I could not understand that reality, aren’t black people humans too? It was all very foreign to me. I was not used to that reality. My parents had moved out of a rough area in Montreal North when I was 4 years old. So, I had the privilege to grow up in a peaceful suburban area. Nonetheless, when I think about it, there were some pretty messed up racial situations that I have witnessed in Canada, but they always seemed minor compared to what was going on in America.
Every time I would go back to Canada after staying in Maryland, I would share those stories with my friends. They were really shocked to hear them however, there was always a distance factor that made those tales more fascinating than concerning. Almost as if they were perceived as “cool’’, in sad and weird way. I guess that proximity influences perspective. Facts about police murder and law enforcement misconducts have been introduced to me over 20 years ago. I don’t really have any purpose in writing this other than for therapeutic reasons. I don’t have a clear motive in sharing this blog. I will type my thoughts, even though some things will sound random. I will do so because I find that going back to our personal foundation and history, when things get blurry, always helps us to regroup and get a better sense of what is out in the world. I am an impulsive person by nature, so there is a constant reminder that I need to give myself; to think before speaking because we do not need any more shouts but, on the contrary, more voices of reason. So, my foundation for this piece of writing is: summer of 1996. That period of time represents my first cultural shock and I would like to make it the anchor point for how the upcoming parts are going to be formulated. I write this to understand how I feel and challenge my own thoughts. Topics like the role of the media, the political views, inequality, black ownership, spiritual warfare, name it all…I want to rethink, reassess. This is basically me pausing...taking a deep breath, as a way to honor those who got their breath taken away from them.