"I can't breathe." Eric Garner, who died on July 17, 2014 after a NYPD officer put him in a chokehold. NY Times, July 18, 2014
"I can't breathe." Barbara Dawson, who died on December 8, 2015 after a Blountstown FL police officer removed her from a hospital where she had gone to complain of abdomenal pain. NY Times, Jan. 7, 2016
We have got to teach these folks
That there ain't no such thing as the right to breathe.
If you haven't learned to do it the American way
And gobbled up all the air you can swallow,
The cops will not care
And hospitals will tell you to hit the road.
This ain't no socialist state, but one
Built by self-reliance and know-how,
Making us a nation of self-made men who
Won't tolerate weakness or pay for the wages of poverty.
So, get with the program and make enough dough
To pay for the air you pretend God gave us to share.
Let go of such un-American drivel and cant,
And maybe you will never again have to say "I can't."
After teaching German at several East Coast colleges George Salamon breathes the air and writes in St. Louis, MO, primarily for the Gateway Journalism Review, Jewish Currents and TheNewVerse.News.