Sign at George Floyd Square memorial in Minneapolis tells white people to ‘decenter yourself’

White people visiting George Floyd Square in Minneapolis are given a separate set of instructions including ‘decenter yourself,’ ‘contribute to the energy of the space rather than drain it,’ and ‘do not take photos of others without consent.’

The instructions were posted on a placard placed near the ‘south barricade’, a makeshift checkpoint that was set up at the intersection of Chicago Avenue and 39th Street and is manned by volunteers to block traffic at the entrance to the square.

A block away, George Floyd Square is a makeshift memorial that was set up by community residents at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue.

Residents shut down traffic leading to and from the square, prompting complaints from local residents and businesses that the area is not accessible to police. There has also been a reported uptick in crime in the area.

City officials and police have vowed to reopen the square, where there has been one fatal shooting and a police chase of a suspect in an unrelated crime. The city’s leadership and police have disputed claims it is a ‘no go’ zone for law enforcement. 

The placard is titled ‘Welcome to George Floyd Square.’ The subheading underneath reads: ‘A Sacred Space for Community, Public Grief, and Protest.’

The placard then goes on to describe the setting.

A placard posted at the entrance to George Floyd Square in southern Minneapolis includes a separate set of instructions for white people. The image above was taken on Wednesday

A placard posted at the entrance to George Floyd Square in southern Minneapolis includes a separate set of instructions for white people. The image above was taken on Wednesday

A placard posted at the entrance to George Floyd Square in southern Minneapolis includes a separate set of instructions for white people. The image above was taken on Wednesday

Whites visiting the area are urged to ¿decenter yourself,¿ ¿contribute to the energy of the space rather than drain it,¿ and ¿do not take photos of others without consent.¿

Whites visiting the area are urged to ¿decenter yourself,¿ ¿contribute to the energy of the space rather than drain it,¿ and ¿do not take photos of others without consent.¿

Whites visiting the area are urged to ‘decenter yourself,’ ‘contribute to the energy of the space rather than drain it,’ and ‘do not take photos of others without consent.’

George Floyd Square is a makeshift memorial that was set up by community residents at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, just feet away from where Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was arrested by police moments before he died last May

George Floyd Square is a makeshift memorial that was set up by community residents at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, just feet away from where Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was arrested by police moments before he died last May

George Floyd Square is a makeshift memorial that was set up by community residents at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, just feet away from where Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was arrested by police moments before he died last May

Bystander video from last May (above) shows Floyd struggling to breathe and pleading for the arresting officer, Derek Chauvin, to let up as onlookers protested.

Bystander video from last May (above) shows Floyd struggling to breathe and pleading for the arresting officer, Derek Chauvin, to let up as onlookers protested.

Chauvin on Tuesday was convicted of second- and third-degree murder as well as third-degree manslaughter. He faces up to 40 years in prison.

Chauvin on Tuesday was convicted of second- and third-degree murder as well as third-degree manslaughter. He faces up to 40 years in prison.

Bystander video from last May (left) shows Floyd struggling to breathe and pleading for the arresting officer, Derek Chauvin, to let up as onlookers protested. Chauvin on Tuesday was convicted of second- and third-degree murder as well as third-degree manslaughter. He faces up to 40 years in prison

‘This is where George Floyd took his last breath under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, under the watch of three other officers.’

In bold font, the placard then urges visitors to ‘enter with reverence, humility, ad openness, as an invited guest’; care for each other by wearing a mask and asking others to wear a mask’; and ‘honor the space as a place to connect and grieve as caring humans.’

The next section of the placard then includes a specific set of instructions for whites.

‘For White People in particular,’ reads the subheading, which is followed by bullet points.

‘Decenter yourself and come to listen, learn, mourn, and witness. Remember you are here to support, not to be supported,’ read the first bullet point.

After Chauvin's conviction on Tuesday, people laid flowers at the makeshift memorial on Wednesday

After Chauvin's conviction on Tuesday, people laid flowers at the makeshift memorial on Wednesday

After Chauvin’s conviction on Tuesday, people laid flowers at the makeshift memorial on Wednesday

‘Be mindful of whether your volume, pace, and movements are supporting or undermining your efforts to decenter yourself,’ the second bullet point read.

The third instruction read: ‘Seek to contribute to the energy of the space, rather than drain it. Bring your own process to other white folks so that you will not harm BIPOC.’

‘BIPOC’ is an acronym that stands for ‘black, indigenous, and people of color.’

The fourth bullet point reads: ‘Consider if you want or need to take photos and post them [on social media]. Do not take photos of other people without their consent.’

On Twitter, reaction to the placard was mixed. Leon Mask wrote: 'Imagine what would happen if a 9/11 memorial gave similar instructions to Muslims.'

On Twitter, reaction to the placard was mixed. Leon Mask wrote: 'Imagine what would happen if a 9/11 memorial gave similar instructions to Muslims.'

On Twitter, reaction to the placard was mixed. Leon Mask wrote: ‘Imagine what would happen if a 9/11 memorial gave similar instructions to Muslims.’

'What about mixed, Asian, Indian, Latinos??? And if there are mixed with white which rules do they follow... #askingforafriend,' wrote another Twitter user

'What about mixed, Asian, Indian, Latinos??? And if there are mixed with white which rules do they follow... #askingforafriend,' wrote another Twitter user

‘What about mixed, Asian, Indian, Latinos??? And if there are mixed with white which rules do they follow… #askingforafriend,’ wrote another Twitter user

Dorothy Derr tweeted: 'Nothing like trying to stir up more trouble! I can't imagine what would happen if any place had a sign posted with special instructions for black people.'

Dorothy Derr tweeted: 'Nothing like trying to stir up more trouble! I can't imagine what would happen if any place had a sign posted with special instructions for black people.'

Dorothy Derr tweeted: ‘Nothing like trying to stir up more trouble! I can’t imagine what would happen if any place had a sign posted with special instructions for black people.’

Rick Bettencourt tweeted: 'Where's the instructions to refrain from committing felonies, resisting arrest, and its the best interest to follow commands from law enforcement officers.'

Rick Bettencourt tweeted: 'Where's the instructions to refrain from committing felonies, resisting arrest, and its the best interest to follow commands from law enforcement officers.'

Rick Bettencourt tweeted: ‘Where’s the instructions to refrain from committing felonies, resisting arrest, and its the best interest to follow commands from law enforcement officers.’

A Twitter user who goes by the name 'Valerie' wrote: 'It's a free country... I'll react, feel, talk to who I want to and do it all in the GF Square because it's public property. But thanks for the special instruction recommendations.'

A Twitter user who goes by the name 'Valerie' wrote: 'It's a free country... I'll react, feel, talk to who I want to and do it all in the GF Square because it's public property. But thanks for the special instruction recommendations.'

A Twitter user who goes by the name ‘Valerie’ wrote: ‘It’s a free country… I’ll react, feel, talk to who I want to and do it all in the GF Square because it’s public property. But thanks for the special instruction recommendations.’

The last bullet point tells white visitors: ‘If you witness white folks doing problematic things, speak up with compassion to take the burden off Black folks and our siblings of color whenever appropriate.’

It added: ‘Seek to engage rather than escalate, so that it can be a learning moment rather than a disruption.’

On Twitter, reaction to the placard was mixed. Those who oppose it claim it discriminates against whites while others said it was appropriate given the sensitive subject matter.

Dorothy Derr tweeted: ‘Nothing like trying to stir up more trouble! I can’t imagine what would happen if any place had a sign posted with special instructions for black people.’

Leon Mask wrote: ‘Imagine what would happen if a 9/11 memorial gave similar instructions to Muslims.’

‘What about mixed, Asian, Indian, Latinos??? And if there are mixed with white which rules do they follow… #askingforafriend,’ wrote another Twitter user.

A Twitter user who goes by the name ‘Valerie’ wrote: ‘It’s a free country… I’ll react, feel, talk to who I want to and do it all in the GF Square because it’s public property.

‘But thanks for the special instruction recommendations.’

Rick Bettencourt tweeted: ‘Where’s the instructions to refrain from committing felonies, resisting arrest, and its the best interest to follow commands from law enforcement officers.

‘Signs like this perpetuate division.’

Others on Twitter took exception to claims that the sign was meant to segregate or discriminate against whites.

A Twitter user who goes by the name ‘Bella’ tweeted: ‘Shame on the reporter. This sign is of community efforts consisting of whites as well. Nothing segregated.

‘I believe if this was vice versa you’d understand. I’m fine with this though.’

Others on Twitter took exception to claims that the sign was meant to segregate or discriminate against whites. A Twitter user who goes by the name 'Bella' tweeted: 'Shame on the reporter. This sign is of community efforts consisting of whites as well. Nothing segregated.'

Others on Twitter took exception to claims that the sign was meant to segregate or discriminate against whites. A Twitter user who goes by the name 'Bella' tweeted: 'Shame on the reporter. This sign is of community efforts consisting of whites as well. Nothing segregated.'

Others on Twitter took exception to claims that the sign was meant to segregate or discriminate against whites. A Twitter user who goes by the name ‘Bella’ tweeted: ‘Shame on the reporter. This sign is of community efforts consisting of whites as well. Nothing segregated.’

John J. Meis tweeted that the sign is appropriate since it's similar to instructions that visitors would find when visiting 'any place of significant historical tragedy'

John J. Meis tweeted that the sign is appropriate since it's similar to instructions that visitors would find when visiting 'any place of significant historical tragedy'

John J. Meis tweeted that the sign is appropriate since it’s similar to instructions that visitors would find when visiting ‘any place of significant historical tragedy’

Another Twitter user, Lulu Jones, said that signs for African Americans are 'implied' when 'followed around a store or being questioned while walking around our own neighborhood or entering an apartment building we live in.'

Another Twitter user, Lulu Jones, said that signs for African Americans are 'implied' when 'followed around a store or being questioned while walking around our own neighborhood or entering an apartment building we live in.'

Another Twitter user, Lulu Jones, said that signs for African Americans are ‘implied’ when ‘followed around a store or being questioned while walking around our own neighborhood or entering an apartment building we live in.’

Another Twitter user agreed, writing: 'Indeed. I don't see anything here telling anyone to keep out. Some people need to be reminded to be respectful in sacred places.'

Another Twitter user agreed, writing: 'Indeed. I don't see anything here telling anyone to keep out. Some people need to be reminded to be respectful in sacred places.'

Another Twitter user agreed, writing: ‘Indeed. I don’t see anything here telling anyone to keep out. Some people need to be reminded to be respectful in sacred places.’

John J. Meis tweeted that the sign is appropriate since it’s similar to instructions that visitors would find when visiting ‘any place of significant historical tragedy.’

He compared George Floyd Square to historical sits like Ground Zero; Dealy Plaza, where JFK was assassinated; the USS Arizona, which was bombed during the attack on Pearl Harbor; the balcony in Memphis, where Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated; and the Dakota apartment building, where John Lennon was killed.

Another Twitter user agreed, writing: ‘Indeed. I don’t see anything here telling anyone to keep out.

‘Some people need to be reminded to be respectful in sacred places.

‘This reminder is no different from similar signs one may see posted in any solemn place.’

Another Twitter user, Lulu Jones, said that signs for African Americans are ‘implied’ when ‘followed around a store or being questioned while walking around our own neighborhood or entering an apartment building we live in.’

‘The “signs” for black people are everywhere,’ she wrote.

George Floyd Square is centered around the exact spot where Floyd was pinned to the ground with a police officer’s knee pressed against his neck for more than nine minutes on May 25.

Bystander video shows Floyd struggling to breathe and pleading for the arresting officer, Derek Chauvin, to let up as onlookers protested.

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who was suspected of passing counterfeit money, was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Chauvin on Tuesday was convicted of second- and third-degree murder as well as third-degree manslaughter. He faces up to 40 years in prison. 

Link hienalouca.com

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