We are at this point because of the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, while in the custody of Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers, reignited a long simmering movement for justice, equality and police reform for all people.
But even as our attention is drawn to the trial and how it might help to sustain the ongoing societal changes that will break down the thick walls of institutional racism and bias, our country finds itself grappling with yet another serious act of racism.
On March 16, a gunman in the Atlanta area conducted a series of shootings that resulted in the deaths of eight people, six of whom were Asian American women. One other person was wounded in that attack.
The Stop Hate AAPI reporting center has recorded more than 3,795 acts of discrimination against Asian-American/Pacific Islanders from March 19, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2021. Those acts ranged from verbal harassment to physical abuse to refusal of service at business establishments.
Minneapolis, as the site of the incident that catalyzed a renewed justice and equality movement, joins in condemning acts that target any individual or group of people because of their backgrounds.
Meet Minneapolis swiftly responded to the tragic death of George Floyd in May of 2020. Our city government issued a strong statement declaring racism as a public health emergency, in June 2020. Then, last week, the City of Minneapolis passed a resolution condemning racism of Asian American/Pacific Islanders. The resolution states in part:
“That the Mayor and City Council stand in solidarity with the Asian American/Pacific Islander community, both in the City of Minneapolis and across the United States, and expresses its unwavering commitment to combatting anti-Asian hate and discrimination by protecting AAPI Minneapolitans and holding accountable those who cause them harm.
Be It Further Resolved that the Mayor and City Council hereby express its strongest condemnation for racism and intolerance against Asian American/Pacific Islander communities and peoples.” (Read the entire statement here)
While it is natural to hope for a time when such strong statements and resolutions will not be issued and the actions to rectify injustice and inequality will no longer be needed, recent events remind us all that our society has much work to do before that’s possible.
Our local stakeholders, as well as the individual and group customers we work hard to attract to our community, look to Meet Minneapolis to lead the efforts to embrace real change through authentic words and actions. We must make sure that we emphatically communicate that Minneapolis is welcoming to all people. We demonstrate this through our initiatives such as the Meet Minneapolis Legacy Project (learn more here) and our board’s Diversity and Multicultural Action Committee. Let us unite our voices as we continue this journey.