8 minutes and 46 seconds: That’s how long Derek Chauvin held his knee on George Floyd’s neck, as alleged by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office criminal complaint against the former Minneapolis police officer.

What can you do in eight minutes?

No version of the American national anthem takes 8 minutes to sing.

You could sing it twice in eight minutes.

It takes less than 1 minute to recite America’s pledge of allegiance.

Eight times and more in eight minutes.

Lincoln’s Gettysburg address is less than 275 words.

It can be read at even pace, breath in, breath out, in under 3 minutes.

Twice and a bit in eight minutes. 3 times if you rush.

It takes 8 minutes and 20 seconds for the sun’s light to reach the surface of the earth.

Eight minutes from darkness to light.

Eight minutes.

Eight minutes.

Eight minutes.

When the only non-violent acceptance is non-existence,

Then to exist is to resist.

No justice, no peace.

We are trapped in an endless time loop.

Every eight minutes…

is yet another eight minutes.

The slave patrols still run, night and day.

The colonial police still brutalise, body and soul.

Our homeland is still stolen land, here and now…

Everywhere we go colonialism still follows us.

Everywhere we stand is colonial ground.

land2

These are some of George Floyd’s words during those 8 minutes 46 seconds:

“It’s my face man
I didn’t do nothing serious man
please
please
please I can’t breathe
please man
please somebody
please man
I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe
Please
(Inaudible)
man can’t breathe, my face
just get up
I can’t breathe
please (inaudible)
I can’t breathe sh*t
I will
I can’t move
mama
mama
I can’t
my knee
my nuts
I’m through
I’m through
I’m claustrophobic
my stomach hurt
my neck hurts
everything hurts
some water or something
please
please
I can’t breathe officer
don’t kill me
they gon’ kill me man
come on man
I cannot breathe
I cannot breathe
they gon’ kill me
they gon’ kill me
I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe
please sir
please
please
please I can’t breathe”

 

The colonial police still brutalise, body and soul.

Our homeland is still stolen land, here and now…

Everywhere we go colonialism still follows us.

Everywhere we stand is colonial ground.

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African woman, lawyer, teacher, poet and researcher. Singer of songs, writer of words, very occasional dancer of dances. I seek new ways of interpreting the African experience within our consciousness to challenge static ideology.

1 COMMENT

  1. Short and direct especially for such a time as this…
    Recurring Eight (8) minutes of awaking (if you do) to scary uncertainties of who or what makes might be next… *Deep sigh*

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