Footage of the Cup Foods corner store in Minneapolis, Mni Sota Makoce, land where the waters reflect the clouds, is broadcast on screens all over the world. The full worm moon wanes over a murderer’s trial, illuminates memories of public executions, and revives experiences of forced removal. This re-emergence of darkness at the earth’s surface confronts us now by the reflection of light from above and within, from what’s right in front of us, to our deepest hidden collective histories. Let this moment teach connection, see the truth in you, and illuminate a brighter day! This unrelenting gruesome cycle of perversion and collective punishment, this history of violence cannot be perpetual!
From earth, electric current and satellite technology enable televised broadcasts that vex the watcher’s eye and capture the world’s attention to reflect back and shed light on this darkness. Like a searchlight, our eyes are drawn to a specific time and place. Structural racism is the residual of colonial genocide, it manifests in cold-blooded cops, who take away George’s life, outside of a corner store, on Memorial Day last year:
“Just leave him. Stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk. He’s staying put where we got him.” On the corner of Chicago and 38th, for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, George is dying: “…I can’t breathe…”…I CAN’T BREATHE… resonates throughout space…
The crow flies southwest, about sixty six miles, travelling back to almost one hundred and sixty years, to Mankato, where Abraham Lincoln ordered thirty eight Dakota men to be executed. At the site renamed Reconciliation Park, they sang:
“Many and great, O God, are your work,
Maker of earth and sky;
Your hands have set the heaven with stars;
Your fingers spread the mountains and plains.
See, at your word the waters were formed;
Deep seas obey your voice.
Your will, mysterious and so strong,
Brings growth to all the earth.
Food for our souls and clothing to wear
Are like your cup that blesses and fills.
Provide for us each day of our lives
Sufficient for our needs.
Grant unto us communion with you,
O star-abiding One;
Come unto us and dwell here with us,
With you are found the gifts of life,
Bless us with life that has no end,
Eternal life with you.
That day you came to dwell on the earth,
Bringing us all great joy!
The nations scattered over the world;
To them you gave the light of all life,
O Lord, O Compassionate One,
We offer praise to you.”
Lyrics to the hymn the Dakota 38 sang on the way to the gallows: http://ann-surprise.blogspot.com/2016/11/lyrics-to-hymn-dakota-38-sang-on-way-to.html
Maps and images: Google Images, Google Maps, https://bdotememorymap.org/memory-map/