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“They cut off John’s head.”
Bart is the deliverer of this horrendous news and he can hardly breath, let alone speak. He is horrified, shocked. There’s no gentle way to drop a hand-grenade. He stumbles out onto the street and leaves a stunned Joshua.
It is a senseless killing while in custody. The injustice is stifling, systemic. John’s life was worthless to the tyrant leader who had a brief internal moral battle before ordering the beheading. John’s head was casually presented on a platter. John was blak.
“No!” John’s cousin Joshua moaned as his heart bottomed out, the blood draining from his head. He had to get away and be alone. He needed to mourn and process this death. He felt angry, assaulted, shocked. He felt threatened. He was blak too.
He immediately withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place, his crushed heart was beating wildly, arrhythmical . “No!” He screamed again and again across the still lake as he rowed madly, blind with tears and rage. The anguish echoed, amplified and carried by the water.
What does one do with a burden like this? A reality like this? John was too young. So much potential. So much purpose. Direction. Passion. So much fire in his veins. This was not fair. Not right. His blak life mattered.
A protest over the shooting death of Indigenous teenager Kumanjayi Walker in his family’s Northern Territory home, held in Melbourne in 2019. Photograph: David Crosling/EPA (Image retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jun/01/deaths-in-our-backyard-432-indigenous-australians-have-died-in-custody-since-2008)
My definition – Having full worth yet down-trodden, treated as disposable, under-privileged, struggling, used, unseen, unheard, unconsidered, dismissed, threatening, powerless.
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