The Saturday after George Floyd was killed, Abu Bakr Bryant, a 29-year-old from Minneapolis, found himself walking dazedly among the charred remains of Chicago Avenue, the street where Floyd took his last breaths. Shops and restaurants smoldered. Windows had been boarded up. A melted stoplight hung midair like a piece of abstract art. He had on his person the entirety of his worldly possessions: a change of clothes, his cellphone, and his wallet. Bryant had been living out of his car until the previous evening, when he went to protest. The protests turned into firestorms, and when he got back to his car, he found that it was on fire, too…
Noble utopian visions, self-governance, and tribalism once again played out in Minnesota. This story didn’t get much play last year, but it is another instance of people taking advantage of something during the riots and Covid-19. What started well eventually turned into “Lord of the Flies.” The owner gave them an inch, and they wanted a mile.
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