In the square where George Floyd was murdered by former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin, there is now a sign with special rules for whites.
The poster at the entrance to George Floyd Square, Minnesota calls it “a sacred place for community, public grief, and protest” and urges visitors to “honor the space as a place of connection and grief as caring people”.
Most of the instructions, however, are listed under five “especially for whites” commands.
“Get off center and come to listen, learn, grieve and testify,” says the first bullet point, adding, “Remember, you are here to support, not support to become.”
“Pay attention to whether your volume, your pace and your movements support or undermine your efforts to off-center yourself,” says the second order.
White visitors are then instructed to “try to add to the energy of the room instead of draining it”.
“Bring your own process to other whites so you don’t harm BIPOC,” it says using an acronym for black, indigenous and colored people.
A fourth instruction instructs people to use caution when taking photos for social media, especially without the consent of the people in them. It is not clear why this is “especially” true of whites.
“When you see white people doing problematic things, speak with compassion to help ease the burden [sic] Black people and our colored siblings, whenever appropriate, ”says the final instruction.
“Try to get involved rather than escalate so that it is more of a learning moment than a disruption,” ends the welcome sign.
Images of the sign shared on social media quickly sparked outrage.
“Imagine what would happen if a 9/11 memorial gave similar instructions to Muslims,” tweeted one person while many others said it was obviously racist.
“Nothing beats trying to cause more trouble! I can’t imagine what would happen if there was a sign with special instructions for black people in one place, ”said Dorothy Derr.
“I thought it was about police brutality,” asked another person.
However, one woman named Bella insisted that the mark was the result of “community efforts including whites”.
“Nothing is separate. I think if this were the other way around you would understand. But I agree with that, ”she wrote.