White people wanting to visit George Floyd Square, the intersection where the 46-year-old Black man 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 sign near the entrance of the Square welcomes visitors to “A Sacred Space for Community, Public Grief, and Protest.”
White people about to enter George Floyd square are given special instructions pic.twitter.com/3gzpwqUmtS
— Matt Finn (@MattFinnFNC) April 21, 2021
The sign urges visitors to “honor the space as a place to connect and grieve as caring humans.” However, it includes a special set of instructions for White people.
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.
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.”
The sign, according to Fox News’ Matt Finn, who posted the photo on Twitter, is not the only one of its kind singling out White people who want to honor the space.
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.
Concrete barricades set up by Minneapolis last year to protect demonstrations from traffic now act as the barriers to an “autonomous zone” co-opted by armed individuals declaring law enforcement unwelcome, as gang activity, drug dealing and gun violence have disrupted local business operations.
Floyd’s death sparked nationwide anti-police protests last summer and reignited a debate on racial inequality in the U.S. justice system. Chauvin’s guilty verdict set off a wave of relief, but many argued that the country still has a long way to go in achieving racial equality.