MINNEAPOLIS (WCO) — A vigil Thursday night at the Commons Park in downtown Minneapolis almost became like an open mic session, where people could share their experiences of racism and speak their truth.
Some of the organizers said the fact that the pain of George Floyd’s death has continued this long, especially among white communities, gives them hope for real change.
After beginning in song, there was silence. Eight minutes and 46 seconds.
“We are George Floyd. We’re taking on that moment with him,” Wayzata resident Lekie Dwanyen said.
Stories of lived racism, shared.
“Having someone cross the street or clutch their purse when you walk by,” vigil organizer Ryan Hamilton said.
The details can vary, but not how it makes the victims feel.
“It’s enraging, and takes a whole lot of labor and emotional labor to walk through these streets,” Dwanyen said.
Some people attending the vigil say they live every day confronting the world’s preconceived notions.
“No matter how articulate I’ve become, or any type of degrees I hold, people are still looking at me as a skin color,” Hamilton said.
Gatherings like this, promoting dialogue and unity, can offer hope. It means something to the organizers to have people of all races in the crowd. They say finally listening.
“There’s a window and we need to take advantage of that to make sure that the killings that happen, just like Mr. Floyd, those come to an end and they become an anomaly. They never happen again,” vigil organizer Kojo Addo said
During that silence, one of the organizers asked everyone to bow their heads when the clock reached the point where Floyd became unresponsive.
According to the criminal complaint, there was nearly three minutes remaining.
“We are all George,” Hamilton said.
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Source: CBS Minnesota