DOTIFI DOMAINS
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A Minneapolis Neighborhood Vowed to Check Its Privilege. It’s Already Being Tested.

A few weeks ago, dozens of tents appeared in Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis, brought by homeless people who were displaced during the unrest that gripped the city after the death of George Floyd.

The video of Mr....

The video of Mr. Floyd’s death and the outcry over racial injustice that came after[1] has awakened many white Americans[2] to a reality that people of color have known their whole lives: The scores of police killings they have seen in the news in recent years were not one-off incidents, but part of a systemic problem of the dehumanization of black people by the police.

In the city where the movement began, residents are not surprised that it is being taken especially seriously in Powderhorn Park, just blocks from Mr. Floyd’s deadly encounter with the police. For decades, the community has been a refuge for scrappy working-class activists with far-left politics. The biggest day of the year, locals often boast, is the May Day parade celebrating laborers.

Though it is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Minneapolis, with black residents making up about 17 percent of the population, white people make up the largest group. About a third of the population is Latino.

Since the camp appeared, the community has organized shifts for delivering warm meals, medical care and counseling to people living in the park. They persuaded officials to back off an eviction notice served shortly after the campers arrived.

But many in the neighborhood, who were already beleaguered from the financial stresses of the coronavirus[3], now say they are eager for the campers to move on to stable housing away from the park.

“I’m not being judgmental,” said Carrie Nightshade, 44, who explained that she no longer felt comfortable letting her children, 12 and 9, play in the park by themselves. “It’s not personal. It’s just not safe.”

On Friday, she sat in a shared backyard with four other women who live in neighboring houses. The women, four of whom are white, had called a meeting to vent about the camp.

References

  1. ^ outcry over racial injustice that came after (www.nytimes.com)
  2. ^ awakened many white Americans (www.nytimes.com)
  3. ^ the coronavirus (www.nytimes.com)

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2020-07-07

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