The curfew has ended, the National Guard has left the streets, and the officers who murdered George Floyd have been charged — but the rebellion continues, and our work remains.
Much of the mainstream rhetoric about the Minneapolis uprising initially focused on looting, destruction of property, and financial costs to the state. In recent days, we have seen a shift as reactionary media sow fear about a future without policing and minimize coverage of ongoing protests. Most of us as white folks have been taught, over and over, that police are here to protect our bodies and our property, and that this is what safety looks like. For many white folks, our first reaction is defensiveness and condemnation of the looting and burning of property.
Here at SURJ-TC, we are working hard to reject this rhetoric we have grown up with. We unequivocally support the uprising, and we believe the best way to end violence against Black people is by abolishing the police. We invite you to work with us on reframing the narrative, for yourself and those in your circles. We offer some reminders and questions for reflection:
1. George Floyd, and too many other Black folks, have been murdered by police. Property can be rebuilt, but lives can never be returned.
2. We live on land invaded and illegally seized by European colonizers, in an economy built off the backs of Black people, whom colonizers from Europe enslaved for centuries. Colonizers developed modern capitalism through genocide, looting, and exploitation of Indigenous, Black, and Brown peoples — and from these violent roots, white wealth continues to grow. From mid-March to mid-May, American billionaires gained $434 billion, even as millions of Americans lost their jobs. White supremacy is inherent to capitalism. It hugely benefits the white elite, and it brings significant advantage to the other 99% of white people.