Saturday May 30, 2020
The Protest Has Been Hijacked
I‘ve had trouble sleeping the last few nights. The protests, or “protests,” in Minneapolis are the reason. A black man, George Floyd, was killed in police custody earlier in the week, and there were protests, and then more protests, and some of them turned violent. Thursday night, protesters, or “protesters,” attacked the 3rd precinct police station, where the officer worked, or had worked, since he was subsequently fired from the force and arrested yesterday on charges of manslaughter. I assumed that would be it. I talked to family and friends in Minneapolis Thursday evening, before things got really bad, and again Friday morning. I know many people, loved ones, who live within a mile or two of where the destruction and burning and looting was taking place. No one I know got hurt or lost their home or business. But sirens were common and smoke and ash was constant, and there was a lot of heartbreak. I told them I assumed that would be it—Thursday night’s protests—because the political will was now the other way: toward stopping the protests. Or “protests.” I was wrong.
But these aren't really protests. The nonviolent protests have been hijacked by white extremists (both leftists and rightists, I imagine) taking advantage of the situation. That's been my assumption for a while, and more and more of that is coming to light.
Mayor Melvin Carter of St. Paul has said that everyone they arrested last night is from out of state.* This morning there was video from Atlanta: a black woman begging white kids to stop their destruction. This was part of the tweet:
After failing to appropriate the Black People's Party, entitled white kids appropriated our fight yesterday, and made it dirty.
Then they left us to deal with the police violence they stoked.
Listen to the Black Woman desperately begging them to stop.
Here's the Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota today:
“Our cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are under assault,” Walz said, suggesting that a growing number of rioters are coming from outside the city, and possibly outside the state, in what he called “an organized attempt to destabilize civil society.”
I'm interested in knowing more about who was arrested, and where they‘re from, and what their politicial motivations are. That’s the story. That's now the story. This needs to be told.
This was me this morning:
Exactly. Vandalizing, looting, burning, and generally causing destruction during a peaceful protest for racial justice is the new form of white privilege.— Erik Lundegaard (@ErikLundegaard) May 30, 2020
This was me Thursday night:
Anyone who's setting fire to Minneapolis can seriously go fuck themselves.— Erik Lundegaard (@ErikLundegaard) May 29, 2020
This is still me. Get the fuck out of my city.
* It's a day later and the old adage is true: Beware of news you want to hear. The Star-Tribune reports that most of those arrested overe the weekend were in fact from Minnesota: “In Hennepin County, 47 Minnesotans were arrested compared to 10 who listed addresses from out of state, according to data for jail bookings likely associated with the protests. Of the Minnesotans arrested, 21 were from Minneapolis and St. Paul while 36 came from outside the two cities.”