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Morning Cup of Equity: With Your Breath

Regina Cannon reflects on race, racism, equity, and current events on “Morning Cup of Equity”

June 5, 2020

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Regina Cannon, Host: [00:06] Good morning friends, I’m Regina Cannon. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a few thoughts with you about race, racism, COVID-19, health, and housing. Join me Fridays in June for your morning cup of equity.

[00:22] As so many of you have, I’ve been constantly thinking about George Floyd’s last words: “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe”— the same words uttered by Eric Garner six years ago when his life was choked out by police. Of course, these words are not new to Black people in this country. We have carried the crushing weight of oppression and anti-Black racism on our chest for over 400 years, forever struggling to take full breaths of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

[00:58] Over the last week and a half, thousands upon thousands have taken to the streets to protest the murders of Black people and to demand justice. These murders—public lynchings, really—have been committed by both the police officers that our tax dollars pay to protect and serve us, and by those regular white citizens who hunt us like prey. This comes as Black and Brown people are reeling from the devastating impact of COVID-19 in our communities.

[01:28] The pain feels unbearable, but yet, we are asked to bear it. To bear it quietly without loudly expressing our accumulated and collective rage; to bear it quickly without taking the time to grieve our losses; to bear it during certain hours and not bring it into the workplace; to bear it with grace and a smile as to not make others uncomfortable. But, it is not to be borne quietly or quickly or only during certain hours or in certain ways. And, it cannot be ours to bear alone.

[02:06] So, I ask our White allies and co-conspirators to help bear the load. To breathe with and for us every day, that with your breath you educate yourselves on the history of racism and trauma of Black and Brown folk in this country. That with your breath you examine your White privilege and commit to using it for us, rather than against us. That with your breath you promote anti-racist policies and practices. That with your breath you fight for criminal justice and policing reform. That with your breath you support Black-led social justice organizations. That with your breath you buy from Black-owned businesses. And with every breath, and with every breath, we will all fight for Black lives.

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[2:58] Until next week.

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Access additional Morning Cup of Equity episodes and a podcast series on race equity and homelessness on C4’s “Changing the Conversation.”