White Americans who might have planned to visit George Floyd Square, the intersection where the 46-year-old Black man died, will have to follow a particular set of instructions that only pertain to them.
The intersection of E. 38th Street and Chicago Avenue has now been converted to a memorial and renamed George Floyd Square shortly after his death.
A sign near the entrance of the Square welcomes all would-be visitors to "A Sacred Space for Community, Public Grief, and Protest." Concrete barricades now act as barriers to an “autonomous zone” while armed individuals declare that law enforcement is unwelcome. Local business operations continue to suffer from the rise of gun violence, gang activity, and drug dealing from the lack of law enforcement. The sign notes that this is where Floyd perished “under the knee of” former police officer Chauvin.
The sign urges visitors to "honor the space as a place to connect and grieve as caring humans." However, it includes a particular set of instructions for White people.
White people about to enter George Floyd square are given special instructions pic.twitter.com/3gzpwqUmtS
— Matt Finn (@MattFinnFNC) April 21, 2021
White visitors need to "decenter" and "come to listen, learn, mourn, and witness."
"Remember you are here to support, not to be supported," the sign reads.
White people are asked to "contribute to the energy of the space, rather than drain it." Any "processing" must be brought to "other white folks" so that "BIPOC" (an acronym for "Black and Indigenous people of color") are not harmed.
If White visitors see their fellow White folks doing "problematic things" they are encouraged to "speak up with compassion to take the burden (off of) Black folks and our siblings or color whenever appropriate."
White people are finally encouraged to "engage rather than escalate so that it can be a learning moment rather than a disruption."