Mumia: I Can’t Breathe, Part 2

George Floyd and Eric Garner
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email


(Audio available here.)

The furious struggle for justice for the late Eric Garner took years – long, hard years by his family and friends – before a bare pittance was granted in the belated decision to dismiss the cop who choked him to death. Uncharged, I might add. The name Eric Garner has become a catch word for the state of black America for decades, if not centuries, who can barely breathe free air.

The phone cam recording of the police killing of George Floyd in the street.of Minneapolis, Minnesota, by a beefy cop putting his knee on the neck of Floyd provides an eerie echo of Garner’s words from at least five years before. I can’t breathe. Floyd, his breath cut off, cries for the person who gave him life: his mama. Within minutes, Floyd is gone.

Eric Garner was approached by a police squad after a merchant complained that he was selling loosies, or single cigarettes. Floyd was approached by several cops. After a merchant claimed he passed a forged $20 bill. Think about that. Two men, two fathers, choked to death because of merchant complaints about loose cigarettes and the fake $20 bill, allegedly. This is a statement about how, in a capitalist society, merchandise is more important than black life. George Floyd joined the collective he never wanted to join and perhaps never expected to join. It is the roll call of the dead caused by the state and a system of repression that is all-pervasive.

Does black life matter?

Not yet.

This commentary was originally published at and recorded by Noelle Hanrahan.

Related Articles

Telling Tales of Death 

Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? By Mumia Abu-Jamal, Published by City Lights Open Media, 2017and The Man Who Lived Underground By Richard Wright, [author of Native Son,] written but

The Hell That is Haiti! 

By Marty Goodman Haiti is being hit by an unending series of natural and human-made disasters – seemingly all at once.  The assassination on July

The Hell that is Haiti Webinar

Join us for a special Socialist Action webinar on the latest developments in Haiti. Featuring prominent activists in the Haitian community. Thursday, September 23 at