Eric Gardner: “I Can’t Breathe”

Eric Gardner: “I Can’t Breathe”


Such a shame… So it seems that white policemen are, by definition, innocent when they kill a black man. He said it 11 times… “I can’t breathe”… before dying, choked by an innocent. This is the ugly truth of an outrageous judiciary system. We were told Barack Obama’s election, the first African-American President, was the symbol of change. Indeed, it was but a symbol… as everything related to his presidency : symbols, words, hopes and no real changes. In racism as much as in politics… “Eight years of symbols and words”… nothing more, if not worst.

One year ago, Nelson Mandela passed away. His main message was: whatever our skin color, whatever our origin or our religion, we are all equal. He paid the price as a matter of fact. And now, they want to make him a “symbol”. If we want to make this symbol a model, and his resistance our resistance, we need to stand up. Ready to pay the price as well. Life must go on, they say, yet not as “a show” of symbols, but as a struggle for dignity and change. Indeed, the struggle against racism is far from over.

In the US streets, this is the message we hear, this is the message we champion. Beyond instrumentalized symbols and deceitful hopes.

Professor Tariq Ramadan is a man of no need to introduction. He holds MA in Philosophy and French literature and PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Geneva. In Cairo, Egypt he received one-on-one intensive training in classic Islamic scholarship from Al-Azhar University scholars. Tariq Ramadan is Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University (Oriental Institute, St Antony’s College ). He is also teaching at the Faculty of Theology at Oxford. He is at the same time a Visiting Professor in Qatar (Faculty of Islamic Studies) and in Morocco (Mundiapolis) and a Senior Research Fellow at Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan).[/symple_box]