The black-owned businesses near the intersection where George Floyd died last May are pleading for help after suffering from plummeting revenue and skyrocketing crime.
Black-owned establishments near the corner of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, which once thrived, have had to resort to a GoFundMe page after police have abandoned the area, which has since become “a dangerous autonomous zone that has seen crime spike and business evaporate,” according to the New York Post.
“38th and Chicago, recently renamed George Floyd Square, has always been home to some of Minnesota’s most burgeoning Black businesses,” the GoFundMe page reads. “This intersection has been home to a thriving Black, community and cultural corridor. However, since May 25th, its reputation has evolved and will now forever be connected to the memory of George Perry Floyd Jr. and the subsequent destruction of our city that followed.”
“In the fight for justice we must not forget the fight of economic justice of (a) once-thriving community,” the page added. “We business owners know that the fight for justice doesn’t just include justice from the legal system, we must also include justice for business impacted.”
“The city left me in danger,” the owner of the Smoke In The Pit restaurant told the Post on Thursday, who asked to be identified as Alexander W. out of fear of retribution. “They locked us up on here and left us behind.”
“They left me with no food, no water, nothing to eat,” he said. “The police, fire trucks, can’t come in here.”
As the New York Post reported:
On Thursday the intersection was essentially abandoned — save for the occasional gawker who posed for photos in front of a mural outside Cup Foods, the convenience store where Floyd allegedly passed a counterfeit $20 bill.
At least five stores along one block are shuttered. Owners and workers at most of the stores that do remain open were too afraid to comment to The Post.
“Look around, things are empty,” said Richard Roberts, who works at the nearby Worldwide Outreach for Christ church. “What can we do about it?”
“Sometimes it’s good and sometimes bad,” Roberts said. “It’s not stopping violence.”
The area where Floyd died last May while in custody of Minneapolis police, which has become a “cop-free” “autonomous zone,” now also has special rules for white people who turn up to honor Floyd by visiting his makeshift memorial. As The Daily Wire reported:
A sign near the entrance to the “autonomous zone” calls the area a “Sacred Space for Community, Public Grief, and Protest,” according to Fox News reporter Matt Finn, who took a photo of the flier listing guidelines for visitors. The sign “urges visitors to ‘honor the space as a place to connect and grieve as caring humans,’” but notes that white people visiting the memorial should abide by a more restrictive set of rules.
White people are asked to “decenter” and “come to listen, learn, mourn, and witness.”
“Remember you are here to support, not to be supported,” the sign says.
Additionally, white people must “contribute to the energy of the space, rather than drain it” and bring their own “processing” to “other white folk” so as not to further endanger or “harm BIPOC.” They must also “be mindful” of whether their “volume, pace, and movements” are “undermining” their efforts to “decentralize.”