What does “racial healing” look like? Minneapolis leaders need more clarity

Here’s the pattern: Another tragic injustice happens against a black or brown body. People take to the streets. Law enforcement cracks down. Civic leaders call for “racial healing.”

When I read “racial healing,” I am reminded of the powerful way Christine McCleave defined it in her recent blog Healing in these Traumatic Times. McCleave is an enrolled citizen of Turtle Mountain Ojibwe Nation, CEO for the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, and a member of the city of Minneapolis’ recently formed Truth and Reconciliation Workgroup.

Healing requires “that we acknowledge the harm, the injustices, and what those who have benefited from the injustice have gained,” she writes. But healing also requires “that we transform the systems of inequity and oppression into systems of equity and liberation AND abide by the promise to do no further harm.

The City of Minneapolis has pledged more than $10.5 million to support “racial healing” in the 38th & Chicago area, also known as George Floyd Square.

It doesn’t appear city leaders have a clear understanding of what “racial healing” means.

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Updates on the Chauvin trial, Line 3

Image shown on the livestream while court is in recess.

Jury selection for Derek Chauvin’s murder trial got delayed at least a day, as procedural issues were sent to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Jury selection could start as early as tomorrow.

Here’s the link to watch a livestream of court proceedings.

Today, the court proceedings included several long recess periods. During those down times, the livestream focused on the image of the Minnesota State Seal in the courtroom.

It seemed like a poor choice.

The backdrop of Chauvin’s trial is racial injustice: The murder of George Floyd, another in a string of black man killed by police. The State Seal is a symbol of racial injustice, too. It shows a Native American man on horseback riding west, displaced from his ancestral lands by newly arriving white settlers. To be blunt, it’s an image of Manifest Destiny and white supremacy which state leaders have failed to change.

They should pick a different image to feature during recess.

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Monday in-person gathering at George Floyd Square cancelled, removing racial covenants from Minneapolis property deeds, and more

In this blog:

  • In-person gathering at George Floyd Square Monday cancelled, prayers, videos of support, still sought
  • City of Minneapolis helps homeowners remove racial convenants from their property titles
  • Enbridge clearing trees, burning large brushpiles in northern Minnesota (photos)
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Events: The Derek Chauvin trial begins, stopping Line 3, learn about reparations work, and more

In this blog:

  • March 7: Pray for Minnesota: A Gathering for Unity and Peace as the murder trial of George Floyd begins
  • March 8: Global Day of Prayer, George Floyd Square
  • March 10: Art at the Capitol
  • March 11: Rise by the River to Stop Line 3
  • March 11 and April 8: Antisemitism and White Supremacy
  • March 16: Righting Wrongs, Repairing Our Communities
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Day of Prayer at George Floyd Square

Decades of frustration over lack of police accountability

In this blog:

  • George Floyd Square supporters: City has failed to hold police accountable, respond to demands
  • “No Justice, No Streets” yard signs available
  • Zoom conference Tuesday, March 2: Seeking justice, caring for community
  • Day of Prayer at George Floyd Square March 8, when trial starts
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As Derek Chauvin trial looms, city plans to reopen George Floyd Square, Walz readies National Guard, residents organize events

File: George Floyd memorial at East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue.

The City of Minneapolis plans to reopen George Floyd Square at 38th & Chicago, which community members have shut down since police killed Floyd at the intersection on May 25. The reopening won’t happen until after a verdict is rendered on former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who is going on trial March 8 for second-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death.

Chauvin will be tried separately from three other former Minneapolis police officers charged in aiding and abetting in Floyd’s death. The Minnesota Court of Appeals today rejected an appeal by prosecutors to delay the trial until later this summer and to try all four defendants together, the Star Tribune reported.

Gov. Tim Walz agreed to deploy the Minnesota National Guard to quell any unrest that might follow the trial, MPR reports. The mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul had sought the help.

Meanwhile, various groups are planning educational events and prayer vigils around the trial.

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Will Biden and Trump denounce the Boston Tea Party?

In an earlier post, I offered the question I would most like to ask in the upcoming presidential debates. If I got a second one, it would be this: “You both have denounced the recent street violence that erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisc. Do you therefore also denounce the violence and property destruction of John Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock and the other organizers of the Boston Tea Party? Continue reading

News: David Smith’s death 10 years ago echoes George Floyd’s; key PolyMet decision expected Thursday, and more

In this blog:

  • Washington Post: How Minneapolis police handled the in-custody death of a Black man 10 years before George Floyd
  • WaterLegacy: Key PolyMet decision expected this Thursday, Sept. 3
  • The Intercept: Trump Supporters Rush to Defend One of Their Own Who Killed Protesters in Kenosha
  • The Koncow Maidu’s Trail of Tears in California

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White supremacists stoke fears, escalate conflicts, spark vigilante action

Part I in a series

Source: Google map.

In the small northern Minnesota town of Bemidji, population 15,404, concerns spread among civic leaders in late May that violent activists from outside the area were coming to burn their city.

This was just days after George Floyd’s brutal murder at the hands of Minneapolis Police. Protests and uprisings were happening in large urban areas across the country.

Beltrami County Sheriff Ernie Beitel said that his office had received information that buses “filled with protestors were headed to Bemidji,” according to the Duluth News Tribune, “… extremist organizations planned to infiltrate the peaceful protests … including starting fires.”

Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht imposed evening curfews for the weekend of May 30 and 31.

Bemidji had good reason to worry — not about phantom arsonists but white supremacists escalating fear and tension. Continue reading