It is Friday and Fridays are for fun except for this week. I have been reading the bland kind of messages and statements against racism but in a Minnesota nice kind of way. Human life is more important than money and black lives matter.
It was a heartbreaking and scary week. I want to see justice for George Floyd and I desperately hope that he is the last black man who has to beg for his life and to die while in police custody. The arrests of police officers are a great start but that is only one step in our flawed justice system that does not deliver justice to all. Racism is a human crisis and it must end now.
There are no words to really describe what civil unrest on top of a pandemic feels like. In my community, all of the stores including the grocery store, liquor store, and drug stores were closed for the weekend. Many are still boarded up and some have opened up while boarded up. Restaurants were allowed to open on June 1st for outdoor dining but they remained closed.
Last weekend many of us stayed up for most of the night sitting on our porches messaging our neighbors and keeping watch.
Business owners and neighbors guarded businesses but 170 of them in St. Paul were damaged. In Minneapolis, more than 20o buildings were damaged. There are a lot of narratives about who was burning and looting. There is a lot of information but few verifiable facts. Fear spread as we were told outside agitators were in our neighborhoods with stolen vehicles and gasoline.
Most of the protests were large and peaceful. Protesting is scary during a pandemic but the protests I attended felt safer than going to the drug store. People were kind and they wore masks and took care to keep their distance. Everyone was outside in the sunshine.
Here is a collage I made from pictures I took during the week:
There won’t be a visit to Minnesota from our president or any healing words from the white house. We all need to be the peacemakers and healers.
Maybe if all goes well Fridays and the days in between will be more fun. For now where. your mask, wash your hands, keep your distance from one another and be kind. Black lives matter.