Murder of George Floyd Takes Toll on City
by Margaret McGuirk, OP
The riots and looting destroyed Cub Foods, Target, Kmart, Walgreens, and the small stores where our families shop on Lake Street. The need for food has increased as South Minneapolis has become a food desert. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Incarnation Church has been giving food to more than 1,000 households every two weeks. I have been a part of this project.
With the lockdown of businesses and the request to stay home, many people have been laid off or lost their jobs. Most do not qualify to receive government help because of their immigrant status. Furthermore, the destruction of businesses on Lake Street has made the situation worse. Many families cannot pay the rent. I am part of a project at Incarnation that links donors to families in need. One family whose three sisters graduated from Incarnation Grade School pooled their money together to help Isabel (pictured) through this crisis. The good news is that Isabel is back to work and no longer needs this support. She is so proud of her son, Dominic, who just graduated from Cristo Rey High School.
I was privileged to lead the opening prayer of an event that took place where George Floyd was killed. It was led by our parishes’ community organizing group called “Asamblea de los derechos civiles.” Our Latina community, who continually struggles for justice, wanted to give public witness that the immigrant community stands in solidarity with all those who have suffered the cruelty of an unjust society.
Black people matter,
all people matter.
Some of our families live right on the edge of Lake Street. The fire, smoke, helicopters, police, and National Guard with their armed vehicles made it impossible to sleep day or night. Many worried that their apartment building would be burned down. I gave shelter in my apartment to two families during the weekend of the riots.
The killing of George Floyd took place just 12 blocks from our Incarnation parish. Many of our parishioners live nearby. The people have created a shrine through murals, flowers, candles, handwritten messages, and sculpture. They have renamed Chicago Avenue as George Floyd Avenue.