Many of us here in MPLS are a little shaken, but not at all surprised, after the verdict – not guilty on all counts – for Jeronimo Yanez, the St. Anthony, MN cop who murdered Philando Castile. How to move forward, how to act, how to relate and continue to coexist with one another here in a state that speaks so highly of itself, yet knows full well that it must come to terms with both its past and present and future wrong-doings. The first step, as always, is to begin to unpack the nature of it all: how we see it, how we feel it, how our attitudes become formed into our institutions.
Earlier today, frequent squatter at the shop (and dear friend and conversation partner), Marlon James wrote a piece about his experiences being the “big, black guy” here in Minneapolis. Please take a moment to read it in full, and consider how, while this post-verdict moment may feel singular, that moment accumulated becomes the totality of public life for black American men and women.
You can change a system, an institution, a standard of measure, but until you work to change yourself, this shit’s gonna keep going down, and the experiences and daily dread Marlon describes will never go away. Our institutions our us, they do not change on their own.