An America unfaithful to its dreams …- The Death of Georges Floyd
juin 2020 | Faits de société | Histoire/société | Sénégal


by Amadou Lamine Sall
We are all angry!

America, that is the USA, is a nation that we respect for we will never forget that they took us for a walk on the moon. So why, then, has such a nation, which has given so much to the world, taken us for a ride for so long amidst tears, grief, blood, violence? This America which for so long has made us dream about children who, each day, touch the stars with their heads through the force of their spirit so creative, inventive and prodigious. How can we thus climb to the heavens, yet descend so quickly into dirt, death, injustice.

George Floyd was a Black son of this America! He only wished to live in that country where freedom is a flag. That flag has fallen. It fell long ago. It has been in rags for a while. In America, public safety kills. Yes, the police kill, they kill in front of the cameras, as if they taunt justice, law. They’ve been doing it for a long time, and they do it without fear, almost with delight, with a fearsome appetite. And silence follows, nothing but silence, long nights, long days, long years of silence and impunity. And fathers, mothers, families scarred less by the assasination of their children than by the disdain of justice that followed and that acquitted the killers. The riots change nothing. The sky always ends by being blue.

America is unfaithful to its dreams. Unfaithful to the ideal of humanity. Unfaithful to the century that welcomes it. This country is not a country. It is death itself. It is a tragedy. Obama changed nothing. He submitted and then left. Obama was a delusion. Obama was an accident. Obama was a shooting star. Obama was a miracle and miracles aer rarely repeated. The circle was closed in a hurry. The cycle awaits another century. The White House remains White!

As far back as we can remember, America has carried its Colt, furiously mounted its horse, exterminated those who, in the beginning, founded it. The automobile replaced the horse, but the pistol remains. America is not pretty. America is a tragedy. America is the misery of the downtrodden. America is the dictatorship of the rich and the Whites. Love seems merely a matter of self interest. The Dream Factories sell a fake life, a devastating utopia. God no longer sets foot there. He would be quickly shot in the head.

Blacks, like the Indians before them, are never really free until they are in the grave. America is an unreasonable impunity. America is a merchant. It cashes in on everything. Even brotherhood. America is not a country. It is a glacial arena. America is the sickness of money, of profit, of vanity, of the blind quest for power. Of course, it has had its Presidents both admirable and legendary, but too often they have disappeared beneath the bullets of assasins. America is free, but that freedom can be deadly. The face of the knee of America on the neck of George Floyd is savage, slimy, dry, cruel, unjust and ugly. That America will not soon retrace its steps. The Devil has moved in!

America is trapped in America. It cannot escape. It does not see itself. It does not see the seeds of death and of hatred that it sows. And the tall grass has come and hidden the horizon. America’s only horizon is America. Silence, we’re killing! That is not the America that we love and which is called the daughter of freedom. This daughter is horrible. This freedom is poisoned and leprous. It serves only evil.

Let no one doubt our respect and our admiration for a country that we would never have imagined tribal and deadly. But there is too much blood in the pit. This is not the America that we love. It should return to what made of it a strong and noble nation: Justice. Freedom has become impunity. Given the choice between Justice and Liberty, we choose Justice. The death of George Floyd is a live assassination. It is insulting and immoral to call it a homicide. Even more insulting and revolting is todescribe it as Third Degree. It is high time to undo America’s mental system of racism. America must stop to capture the world’s attention as a simply funerary America. It is worth more. It can be more. Just Do It!
America has succeeded in being sadly singular, whereas it was born plural, that is to say welcoming and brotherly and diverse.Violence has given it alas too many children. The industrial society has created too many victims of life. Let’s return to the love and respect for human life. Peace comes first of all from inner peace. What can I hope for from America if, after giving me everything, a bullet awaits me at any moment in the street, for the insistence on killing is stronger than the desire for humanity. Add to that a police force that assassinates while blowing its own horn so that no one can ignore the scene of the crime!

The death of George Floyd is simply the lasting and frightening continuity of impunity in an America where the freedom to kill is overt. America needs to come to the rescue of America before it is too late!

How hopeless all of this is, and how sad!


Dakar, on May 31, 2020.

Amadou Lamine Sall is Grand Prix of the French Academy and
2019 European International Poetry Prize
Translated from French by J. W. Haenlin
edited by Thierno I. Dia
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