Monday, June 1, 2020

A Weekend of Fear and Anxiety

Well, my bad week did not get any better over the weekend. I'd say it got worse. If you watched the news at all over the weekend, I am sure you saw coverage of the destruction that occurred in Minneapolis. The worst night was Friday night when there were so many fires set to property across the twin cities. The hardest hit area is an area that is mostly owned by minority/immigrants and is one of our most diverse areas of the city. It is devastating to see the destruction to that area - entire blocks are basically gone. It's like looking at coverage of a war zone, honestly.

During the day, people would come out to help with the clean-up efforts and it reminded me why I love this city. However, when night fell, conditions would change and the destruction would start. After the destruction on Friday, Minneapolis residents basically felt like we were on our own. The police were so overwhelmed by the rioters that they couldn't respond to 911 calls in residential areas, and the rioting got scarily close to residential areas on Friday night. On Saturday, Phil and I had a serious conversation about whether we were safe in our home. We live a block south of the county attorney in charge of the case against George Floyd's murderer and there has been a lot of rioting in front of his house. There is a creek between our blocks so that made us feel a little bit more safe, but we had heard rumors that there were plans to set his house on fire. Ultimately, we decided to stay because we didn't really feel like we could go stay with Phil's mom now that we know Paul may have been exposed to COVID at daycare. We followed the instructions of bringing trash cans in our garage and removed anything from our yard that could be thrown. We are in the midst of rebuilding our deck, so had a huge pile of wood in our backyard but a neighbor brought a tarp over so we could cover it up.

I had friends in our neighborhood who chose to leave their homes on Saturday night to stay with family/friends outside of the city. I say that to explain that our fear wasn't an over reaction. Things were SO BAD HERE. We had the news on all day on Saturday so we could monitor the situation and were encouraged when we saw that the 8pm curfew was being more seriously enforced on Saturday night. The curfew started on Friday night, but they did allowed peaceful protesters to remain out past curfew but then that resulted in confusion over who was peaceful and who was out to destroy property. Our governor made it very clear during a news conference on Saturday that if you were out past curfew, the police and national guard would have to assume you were part of the problem. As a result, Saturday was a much more peaceful night with no fires/destruction.

So things seem to be calming a bit, but the situation is still precarious and the violence and looting is now happening across the country. I imagine that the economic hardship and social isolation are making things extra bad. My city has a lot of work to do to improve the racial inequality and our police force has a long, sad history of mistreating people of color. I think/hope that we will see real change. There is a lot of work to be done and I'm starting by educating myself on how to combat racism and detect any unconscious biases I might carry.

The weekend wasn't all bad. I had a great socially distanced coffee date with 3 of my college girlfriends on Saturday morning. Paul continues to be a source of laughter and lightness.

How are you doing? How are things in your community? 


Carolina John said...

In Raleigh, we have protests, riots and looting downtown as well. It's crazy. The riots actually got a couple of blocks away from my niece's apartment, but not close to us.

Glad you're ok and staying safe through this mess!

Lindsay C said...

Thanks for sharing, Lisa. I am not in the "downtown" Minneapolis, St. Paul areas but I am in Dakota county and we have seen the repercussions out here in the burbs too. I am not supportive of the rioting / looting AT ALL. I personally have been living in fear because the work I do closely interacts with the impacts of these events to the financial industry so the riots are talked about ALL day long and I never get away from it. I personally feel for the family of George Floyd but I don't understand how the riots/looting are making a positive change? I just think it is in-sighting fear and anger! :(
Stay safe and I hope that things in Minneapolis will calm down soon. We NEED a break from this craziness! <3

Stephany said...

I don't think I've ever experienced protests on this level. There were protests in Tampa (and a building set on fire), even! I am gratified to see it, even if it is destructive at times, because, well, peaceful protests haven't exactly worked, have they? And I've seen terrible things happening to even the peaceful protestors - like the police officers who sprayed mace out their window as they drove by people peacefully protesting on the highway. But I also know it's so very hard to feel unsafe in your own home. I really hope more arrests are made and some big changes happen to police structures in general. Some good MUST come from all of this.

Marlys said...

I totally support peaceful protests, but this violent activity appears to be completely planned and waiting for the right moment to begin engagement. They know that many came from other states prepared to entice rioting & looting. Yes, there are bad cops but most of them are honest hardworking men & women and they are being treated as they are all racist, which is so sad. A young policeman in Grand Forks, ND was shot and killed last week by a black man when he was delivering an eviction notice, leaving a wife and child, but there were only prayerful, peaceful support for his family and the department. The media hasn't even touched this! They just say he was killed in the line of duty, not even mentioning that it was a black person. I hate racism, always have, and hope the bad cops are fired and/or trained to be better people. This cop who committed this crime had many charges against him over the years and was allowed to continue in his profession! That is truly sad!

Jeanie said...

We had violence and looting too. And again, like you, people coming out to help clean up. This strikes me as worse than Vietnam, at least in my area. A bit like the Detroit riots of 67. I truly believe there are bad actors coming in to stir things up and turn the peaceful protests into more violent ones. Add to that the frustration after being locked down for covid.

I will say, I'm very impressed with most all of the protestors I've seen wearing masks. Almost every single one. Didn't see that on protests here. Hiding their faces? Maybe some. but I think most are taking to heart that they are with a lot of folks they don't know and had better mask up.

I'm sorry this has come so close to your home. I hope you will be able to stay home and stay safe too. Maybe the good thing about working remotely is if you must, you can probably find some place to go. Stay strong.

Gracie said...

I feel for you and your community. So much heartbreak, so little trust, such a long history. Our protests here have been incredibly organized and peaceful and in fact, I didn't even leave early when the protest was scheduled for the lawn behind my building (I have the freedom to stay at work even if the university closes the building because I am an essential employee). Praying things settle down and we can work together for meaningful, lasting, systemic change.

Grateful Kae said...

So scary!! It's terrible to not even be able to feel safe in your own home. It's just all so sad. The whole thing, on all levels! I hate the injustices and racism so much but then also have several police officers in my extended family and I KNOW they are not all bad, not even close. I can't imagine what a difficult job it is to be a police officer, either, heading out into this complicated world and not knowing if you'll make it home at night. I feel so sad and disgusted also for victims of racism too. I've been trying to turn the news off more because watching it all is just so upsetting. I feel bad everyone involved. Of course for the black community and all those who have suffered injustices, and I also feel terrible for police officers that are just trying to do their job and are being HATED for it, when they haven't even done anything wrong personally. Our downtown Madison was all destroyed and vandalized, with looting and violence as well. A police car set on fire. It all just makes me sick.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

<3 I have another friend in Minneapolis who was also quite worried about her local businesses. It stayed away from her neighborhood too. Like most issues, my town is having a protest/rally this Sunday. I was planning on attending with my 9 year old, but a friend of ours who is a POC asked us over for a cook out at the same time, so we are going there instead. Of course all the people are coming out of the wood work to complain and be racist about it. And I have gotten quite a few 'all lives matter' personal message videos and what not about police officers and why don't we care about them, FROM MY RELATIVES. My mom is trying to learn. My aunt, is just sending me crap that confirms what she wants to think, it feels pointless to keep responding with truth.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I am so sorry Lisa. We've been watching CNN every night, and seeing the live footage and have been worried about you, Phil and Paul, and others that we know in Minneapolis. It is so scary what is happening!

(And like the commenter above, I have seen way too many uneducated, insensitive, disgusting comments and posts that make me absolutely sick.)