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Blandin Foundation Statement on the Death of George Floyd

Enough

 

Minnesota communities cannot be strong unless they are working for – and safe for – every person.

Today’s mix of health, economic and racial crises rip off our bandage covering historical inequities, deep-seated injustice and unequal opportunities. We cannot deny that we are in trouble. Our communities, our leaders, need every person and organization standing with them in strengthening Minnesota. Because, right now, we are too vulnerable to assumptions, fear and violence.

The COVID crisis already made it painfully clear that an ounce of prevention would have been worth a pound of cure. We have not done the things as a state, a society, a culture that make us fully resilient. We are reaping the harvest of generations of inequities and racism.

We are at the point where, when incidents occur, people–neighbors–die.

Rest in peace, George Floyd.

We already knew that the experience of too many Black Minnesota students was radically worse. We already knew that people of varying differences were subject to discrimination and hate in our communities. We already knew that fear of becoming bullied and targeted has gotten in the way of taking a stand for justice.

Enough.

Blandin Foundation stands with rural Minnesota leaders as they design and claim healthy, vibrant – equitable – futures. We’ve been at this for 80 years, and we see signs of strength in even our smallest towns and townships. We also know that rural peoples can and must do better. Our communities have their own differences, their own inequities, their own fears. We are not immune. Rural leaders know that they often must be first to raise their hands and voices, to stand against hate and for the inherent worth and dignity of every person. And they can’t do it alone.

It will take courage and love. And it will be right.

May 2020