A Powerful Story of Profiling and Protest

Passing along a couple of articles.

MinnPost wrote a great piece headlined: How an Aztec dance group became a fixture of the Twin Cities protest scene. The story also talks about Sergio Quiroz’s frequent stops by police in the St. Paul area and Sergio’s fear for his teenage son. It also tells the story of how Sergio and his wife Mary Anne started dancing together as a way to connect with their indigenous heritage. Their passion for dancing drew more people and evolved into a dance troop: Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli, “which means Warriors of the First Cactus Flower in the Nahuatl language.”

The troop has been showing up at local protests, according to MinnPost. Most recently they danced in front of Governor Dayton’s mansion as part of the protests of Philando Castile’s murder.

They had danced at protests before, most notably during the occupation at the Fourth Precinct following the Jamar Clark shooting. As an indigenous group, they also supported Native Lives Matter, the group that has focused attention on police treatment of Native Americans, and organized protests in St. Paul in February after police shot and killed Philip Quinn, a 30-year-old man with a history of mental illness. They have also danced for immigration reform.

In a related item, Nonprofit Quarterly just ran a story headlined: Native Lives Matter: Police Killing Native Americans at Astounding Rate. The opening sentence reads:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that Native Americans make up almost two percent of those killed by police though they are only 0.8 percent of the population. While police kill young black men more than any other group, they kill Native Americans at a higher rate.

Click on the link above for the full article.

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