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Hallie Q. Brown Statement on the Death of George Floyd
June 1 - July 1
June 1, 2020
Dear Friends of Hallie Q. Brown
A week ago, our world changed. Our country witnessed the death of George Floyd. He just an average person; he wasn’t an elected official or a sports star, he wasn’t wealthy or famous, he was simply an ordinary man…a Black man. And yet, it is because he was a regular person, not a celebrity, not a multibillion dollar CEO that his death is so significant that it has led to protests and demonstrations across the country. It is because he was this average man, that his death means so much, because it shines a light on the systemic racism that permeates every facet of our society affecting anyone.
What you’re seeing in America right now is not the “rise of racism”, it is the revelation of racism. We are peeling back the bandage to reveal the gaping wound that has been covered over, but never healed nor been tended to these past 400 years. A wound seeping with the gangrene of white supremacy, infecting any healthy part of our community it comes in contact with, eroding the fabric of our society. It has pushed us towards this cataclysmic confrontation that has finally erupted, and which threatens to decimate our country as no war before has—and make no mistake, we are at war. We’re at war with white supremacy and cultivated hate; we’re at war with the soft bigotry of complacency and excuses; we’re at war with racism in its many forms as the world stands witness…and no one can afford to stand on the sidelines.
It is perhaps fitting that today marks the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, when white supremacists used the cover of a false accusation to take license to maraud through the streets of the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma, more commonly known as Black Wall Street. It was the first time bombs were dropped on American soil as the Klu Klux Klan decimated the businesses and houses, leaving 10,000 people homeless and nearly 200 businesses destroyed along with the only hospital in the district. Many of those residents left Tulsa for other parts of the country including here to Saint Paul and into Hallie Q. Brown. Consider that for a moment, families fleeing the destruction of Black Wall Street found safety, security and support in the halls of Hallie Q.
That is our purpose. For 91 years, Hallie Q. Brown has served as the Lighthouse of the Community, guiding those in need to the resources, programs and services we provide to improve the quality of life in our community. As you read this, we are distributing food and emergency supplies out to families, churches and organizations across the Twin Cities metro. We are working with partners and local institutions to serve as a hub for collection and distribution of resources. If you, or someone you know, needs food or emergency supplies, connect with us and we will help you. If you would like to support this effort, connect with us to find out what is most needed, and how to donate or volunteer.
However, our effort does not, cannot, stop there. That edge of anxiety we are all feeling right now, the trepidation around what’s going to happen and will you be safe tonight, that is what much of the African American community feels all the time. That’s the legacy of systemic racism and unchecked white supremacy, and that can no longer be the status quo. It is time for our systems to change, and we are launching out next effort to do this. We will be convening a task force around policy and systems changes that have to happen, and working together with elected officials, community leaders and key stakeholders to address the injustice that is woven into our society and create lasting change.
We welcome you to join us in this effort, to be a part of making a change for all of our community that ensures justice will prevail and that we will not have any more Philando Castiles, Ahmaud Arberys or George Floyds.
It is right, it is just and Lord knows, it is time.