Reflections on the Trial of Derek Chauvin
Today, we expect that jury selection will begin for the criminal trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. We know that for many of us, and especially for Black, Brown, Native, POC, and Indigenous communities who are so often targeted by police violence and abuse, the coming days might feel fraught. Many of us might find ourselves experiencing the pain and grief and rage that comes from a system that refuses to recognize the sacredness of Black lives.
We also know that our communities are where we find strength. MNIPL is proud to be a participant in and co-sponsor of the Day of Prayers for Justice for George Floyd and Black Liberation that is being held today, and we invite you to join in whatever way might be appropriate and accessible for you.
We offer our energy, our commitment, and our action to the people in our communities—including many of you—who are working to keep us safe. We especially recognize that so many of the people on the front lines of our communities are Black and Native people.
Minneapolis exists on land stolen from the Dakota people through violence and massacre, and was founded in an economic system that depended on the enslavement of Black people. These wounds are not in the past. They continue to this day.
As an organization, MNIPL needs to tell the truth about those wounds. We need to commit ourselves to the work of repair as a practice and as a spiritual imperative. And we need to tell the truth about the fortitude, brilliance, and spiritual commitment of Black, Brown, Native, POC, and Indigenous people who continue to thrive and create and heal and lead in the struggle towards freedom.
Climate justice and racial justice are intertwined. We cannot hope to achieve one without the other. We cannot build a sustainable future without building new ways of sustaining one another. We cannot build a world that nurtures our planet under the violence of policing. We cannot dream of freedom for some of us without freedom for all of us.
If we are going to invite people into a movement grounded in care for the planet, we have to also invite people into a movement dedicated to dismantling the destruction of white supremacy.
In the weeks to come, please contact any of the MNIPL staff if you would like to talk. And if you would like an insightful and urgent commentary about the actions of the City of Minneapolis in advance of the Chauvin trial, please read this illuminating statement by Hennepin County Commissioner Irene Fernando.
In the weeks to come, let us hold one another with love and with solidarity. Let us align our actions with our deepest values of interconnection and interdependence. And let us continue to organize together towards a horizon of possibility and change.
Associate Director, Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light