Main Street Alliance condemns the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis Police Department officers. We stand in solidarity with those demanding justice for Mr. Floyd, his family, and for all who have suffered discrimination, targeting, injury and death because of white supremacy and police brutality.
As our nation mourns the loss of yet another Black life, we call on white people everywhere, particularly our small business owners who hold social and economic capital in their communities, to wake up, speak up, and stand up to the hate and bigotry that has been excused by many, encouraged by some, or even celebrated by the dangerous right wing – all the way up to the President, Donald Trump. As we stand in the midst of a pandemic that is disproportionately claiming Black lives, we must reckon with how deep our structural and institutionalized racism runs. Our public policies must change.
We echo the sentiment of the Main Street Alliance Minnesota small business member, Ruhel Islam, the owner of Gandhi Mahal Restaurant and his family: “Justice needs to be served,” businesses can be rebuilt, and our communities can come together to repair. The gross negligence and laundry list of abuse by the Minneapolis Police Department must be addressed with regard to the countless lives that have been lost to police brutality and white supremacy in our country.
Peaceful protest has been the action and intention of the large majority of folks who have shown up to demonstrations across our country with a unified message: Black Lives Matter.
And we caution all who are observing or covering this moment in our nation’s history to pay close attention to reports of white supremacists who may have infiltrated the movement to try and tear our communities apart from within.
Main Street Alliance and small business owners across the country stand together in unity and solidarity with protesters on the ground in Minneapolis and elsewhere who are calling for change. Police, elected leaders, and institutions must be held accountable to the countless lives that have been lost to racism in our country.