Like most people, I was shocked by the images of the policeman kneeling on George Floyd's neck who was standing still on the ground with his increasingly weak voice begging, “I CAN'T BREATHE”
Eight long minutes before he loses consciousness.
Right there, I did not understand what shocked me: the fact that the policeman did not understand or that no one did anything? Then I realized what touched me so much... the loss of humanity that pops into my eyes looking at those images.
The policeman on his knees has an impassive face as if almost disconnected from this world..How is it possible that he does not hear the moans; how is it possible that he does not realize what he is doing? How is it possible that he does not seem to live any kind of emotion?
Then it's disarming: the lack of reaction of the cops around. They are all so close, especially the one who seems to distance the crowd, including the person filming the scene. Also, his face is impassive, no empathy shines through. Is it possible that he doesn't listen to those desperate words, "I can't breathe" as well?
Is it possible that he never turned to his colleague to look him in the eye or suggest to him to be careful because he's over the edge?
And as I question myself and look at the mug shots of the arrested cop a pain invades my chest... What circumstances have led these people to lose their humanity? Was it where and how they grew up, what they experienced and have seen in their careers, the traumas they suffered and never dealt with -to lose that essential heart that distinguishes men from beasts?
I do not want to find any justification: there is no justification for what happened.
But, excluding psychopaths and other peculiarities of a mental deficit, I want to understand where and when that fine line between the human and the beast is crossed for every human being. What is the limit of blocked emotions, too difficult to manage, that first create anger, hatred then indifference until killing without remorse?
Today I read #Blacklivesmatter .
I fully agree and yet I consider that using this hashtag right now is the same as throwing oil on fire, increasing hatred and separation instead of coming together, instead of trying to meet each other, trying to find a connection point to create a new world where we meet, understand, forgive each other as well as provide mutual help and support. Where you are no longer afraid of different culture, skin, gender or religion.
Idealistic ..probably..But not impossible… Just looking at the pictures of Pittsburgh where a group of policemen knelt and the protesting crowd not only greeted but went to thank them and congratulate them in person ..there the heart took his place. It is a new beginning for each of them, a step towards empathy, the ability to accept that the other also has his sufferings and difficulties, his affections and his emotions..and that we need each other.
How good could they have felt in the evening when they returned to their homes? Unlike those who fought against each other, trying to maintain their positions?
Justice, from Latin iustus, is essential for turning the page and rebuilding oneself, but it can only happen after trying to understand one another, transforming pain and forgiving where possible.