While on a video call with my college friends a week back, I had commented – there is an underlying serenity and spirituality in this Land of 10,000 lakes in the US. I was talking about the ethereal beauty of Minneapolis.
But things changed in a span of four days when George Floyd, an African-American man died after Derek Chauvin a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than 8 minutes and Floyd became unresponsive. Onlookers shot videos of Chauvin and three police officers involved in this and the city turned chaotic.
This incident was heart breaking but the response to the incident was unimaginable. The protest took the form of riots and spread faster across the country than the already raging pandemic. Twenty U.S. cities woke up to pillaging, looting, fire, violence, demonstrations and arrests, the epicenter being in Minneapolis.
There is so much anger in not just African-American community but in every community because ‘Floyd’s incident’ was such an inhuman act. Things are just flaring up and then there are many political forces at play owing to the upcoming US presidential elections in November.
Last night, the Indian community circulated messages warning everyone to stay vigilant due to the developing situation. Night curfew has been imposed in most cities as the tension doesn’t seem to deescalate.
One can perceive tension in the air as protests can take any form. Governor Tim Walz has authorized full mobilization of the National Guard in a historic attempt to tackle what he calls as “a now organized attempt to tear down civil society.” Minnesota officials believe outsiders are hijacking protests and ‘attacking civil society’.
Any riot anywhere is very unfortunate and seeing this unfolding in Minneapolis is distressing. However, some people posted heartwarming images of people coming together to help clean up and rebuild – ‘The Silent Majority’ of Americans who believe in the cause but not in violence.
As I write this, protest is going on in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday evening. It is peaceful now and the curfew would start in about three hours.
As a current resident of Minneapolis, I wish peace and joy to this beautiful city. ‘Minnesota Nice’ is the term used for people here because they are nice, courteous, affable and generous. I hope and pray serenity and niceness takes over while upholding justice.
““The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.” – Martin Luther King Jr. #MinneapolisRiots
May justice and peace prevail!
(Images courtesy Google)