No Saturday Single Today

We’ve stayed up late the last two evenings watching Minneapolis and St. Paul burn.

I lived in south Minneapolis for seven years, and some of last night’s events – the U.S. Post Office and the Wells Fargo bank fires and the very late advance of hundreds of police and troopers trying to restore order – took place not at all far from the apartment I once called home, the apartment on Pleasant Avenue about five blocks south and three blocks west of last night’s main events.

But one need not have lived in a place to be horrified and saddened by seeing it burn. We’ve seen this story play out too many times in our lifetimes: White cops, black victims, inadequate response by white authorities, legitimate protests co-opted by those with other agendae, buildings looted and burned, curfew set and ignored, more buildings looted and burned . . . and finally gunfire from both sides and many dead and wounded.

We have yet to see that last. I am afraid it will come tonight.

The history of white cops and black and brown folks in Minneapolis is studded with maltreatment, often to the level of brutality. Sometimes, the cops at the higher levels of administration approved. In recent years, those higher-ranking cops did not, and the most recent, it seems to me, have tried to change the department and, I had thought, had made some progress. It doesn’t much matter, I guess. Partial progress ain’t enough.

So parts of a city I know well – along with parts of St. Paul, which I know a little – are smoking this morning and may yet break into new flames tonight, tomorrow night, and the next night, too.

I’m sad, I’m angry, and – being only seventy miles distant from those frightening events – more than a little uneasy. I have no solutions for the ills I chronicle here, and I fear that no one, anywhere, does.

And I have no music for that.

2 Responses to “No Saturday Single Today”

  1. Yah Shure says:

    Ground zero for the flashpoints in St. Paul is only 1.2 miles from where I live. The sight of the grocery store just one block away covering its windows with plywood as a precautionary measure Friday morning was unlike anything I’ve witnessed in the 35 years I’ve lived in my neighborhood.

    It isn’t just about Minneapolis, of course. This country has needed to face a day of reckoning for a couple hundred years. It can’t be swept under the rug indefinitely.

  2. Alison McDermott says:

    from Australia, I am thinking of the US. So sad.

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