White people wanting to visit George Floyd Square, the road intersection in Minneapolis where the 46-year-old Floyd died last May, will need to heed special instructions.
The intersection of E. 38th Street and Chicago Avenue where a bystander recorded the now-famous video that showed then Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck – was converted into a memorial and renamed George Floyd Square shortly after his death.
A signpost near the entrance of the Square welcomes visitors to “A Sacred Space for Community, Public Grief, and Protest.”
The sign says that the area is where Floyd “took his last breath under the knee of” Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty on Tuesday this week of multiple charges in Floyd’s death.
The sign urges visitors to “honor the space as a place to connect and grieve as caring humans.”
The sign post, however, includes a special set of instructions for White people.
It says White visitors need to “decenter” and “come to listen, learn, mourn, and witness.”
“Remember you are here to support, not to be supported,” the sign reads.
White people are asked to “contribute to the energy of the space, rather than drain it.” Any “processing” must be brought to “other white folks” so that “BIPOC” (an acronym for “Black and Indigenous people of color”) are not harmed.
The sign post goes on;
“If White visitors see their fellow White folks doing “problematic things” they are encouraged to “speak up with compassion to take the burden (off of) Black folks and our siblings or color whenever appropriate.”
White people are finally encouraged to “engage rather than escalate, so that it can be a learning moment rather than a disruption.”
Since Floyd’s death, the area has been converted into an “autonomous zone” that’s brought record levels of violent crime and gun violence to the neighborhood.
This week a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on murder and manslaughter charges in connection with the death of George Floyd.