“I Can’t Breathe”
By Steve Komadina

Three words. Unbelievable actions. Who can comprehend such behavior from someone we are supposed to trust? Someone we pay to protect and defend and serve us. How can you understand such cruel and inhumane behavior? There is no explanation. It is that simple. How was it allowed to happen? How could his department and superiors justify his continued employment? Why did those present allow it to occur? Lots of questions.

We must demand and expect action that will never allow this to happen again. A life cannot be saved. It is too late. We must never allow it to happen again in America.

Now the solution:
We must demand those with power and authority over us, to never abuse that power. No exceptions. Be they anyone with authority, they must be held accountable and trained to the point they are safe before given jurisdiction over us. If they then do heinous actions that defy human understanding, they must pay the price.

We have chosen to live in a civilization which requires co-operation and some giving up of personal desires for the good of the whole, but with that giving up we should expect safety and fairness and accountability.

Why do thousands across America now have to pay for this action of one man and those who did not interfere, with the taking of others personal property and livelihood? Why are we spending millions if not billions of dollars protecting the streets of American cities from criminals and thugs who are using this unconscionable act for personal gain and to undermine our civilization?

I spent the night in an OR in 1966 repairing bayonet wounds during the UNM demonstrations against the Viet Nam War. I saw the fear-stricken faces of students and National Guard, which were about the same age, facing each other. I dodged rocks and bottles pelting the Guard as I tried to make it to the wounded on both sides to stop bleeding and give comfort. Welcome to medical school, was all I could think.

Since then, I have never participated in “rallies” and instead used the methods set up by our government to protect the citizens. Nothing is being accomplished by current marches and lootings that is going to help prevent another episode of abuse of power resulting in the death of an individual. It is only further polarizing opinion and fanning the flames of anger and judgement toward neighbors and co-workers.

We went to the polls this week and had a chance to cast our opinion in a nonviolent way for the people we thought would best represent us and our point of view. I pray those finally elected will keep us safe, protect our right to worship, and own property. That they will keep open the paths to the American Dream. That they will not take, harm, or abuse those they serve. I pray they will be public servants not a new aristocracy. I pray New Mexico will be a state served by people who gain their positions because of what they know and not who they know. The abuse of power is easy to do if you hold an elected position. Only those with true integrity will refuse to help relatives, friends, or donors as they serve the public.

We must train our children to respect authority. Teachers, clergy, police, parents, and elected officials must have our support as long as they deserve it and we must teach our children to play by the rules.

I am very concerned about November 4, 2020. Half of America will be disappointed that their candidates did not get elected regardless of who wins each race. Now is the time to teach our families that civil unrest is not the answer. I do not want to see “downtown” Corrales in flames. I do not want to pay for new police cars and fire trucks. I do not want to see the library, Village Pizza, Frontier Mart and the Mercantile destroyed. We can keep people out of our Village by supporting our police and mayor. We can remove fuel from the fire by watching what we say to our friends and children. It is up to us. Are we up to the job of accepting the electoral process and history of peaceful transition of government?

I want to breathe the freedom that brought my grandparents to coal town of Dawson. I want harmony with my neighbors and not war. Please join me in making November 4, 2020 a great day of celebration of the system regardless of who wins.
And then join me in letting those running for election and elected know, now and then, that we expect public servants, not privilege. That is the only way we can prevent rallies and looting. They are not the same obviously, but when one happens it gives crooks and anarchists the opening, they need to wreak havoc in the best civilization in the world.

I do not want to be afraid when I see you on the trail. Please wave and please don’t hurt me.

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