The entire city of Minneapolis, Minnesota is in flames over the recent murder of George Floyd.
I know you’ve seen the videos of Floyd’s death saturating social media — an unarmed, cooperative black man, face down on the pavement, pleading for his life, a white man’s knee in the back of his neck, as he screams and cries “I can’t breathe!” like so many innocent black lives that came before him.
I know you’ve seen the social media posts demanding justice as well as the ones that muse “well, what’s the full story here?” as they attempt to dig up an excuse for a white police officer killing yet another black man.
I know you’ve seen the footage of the riots. The looting and the fires. The Targets and convenience stores. The streets filled with screaming bodies and smoke. I know you’ve seen the mourning and the anger and the pain.
And I know you’ve seen our president’s reaction to it all, as he threatens to shoot protesters, offers bland, watery condolences for the loss of innocent life, and hails white protesters who are angry about a haircut as heroes while condemning black protesters who are seething about another murder as “thugs.”
I know you see it.
Friday morning, Hafsa Islam saw it too, first hand, when she woke up in her home of Minneapolis to see that her family’s life’s work, the product of so many years of blood, sweat, tears, memories, and love had been burned to the ground.
The family’s restaurant, Gandhi Mahal, had been set aflame as part of the riots in the city, against Floyd’s murder and she was angry.
Until she spoke to her father.
Ruhel Islam, an immigrant of Bangladesh who grew up in a police state, told his daughter: “Let the buildings burn. Justice needs to be served. Put those officers in jail.”
“Life is more valuable than anything else,” Ruhal said in the aftermath of his building burning to the ground. “We can rebuild a building. But we cannot give this man back to his family.”
“They could have stopped this,” Rahul, who blames the city leaders and local law enforcement for the riots stated. “They need to put the police in jail. It should have been solved two, three days ago.”
He feels that the riots could have been entirely avoided if officials had responded correctly and immediately jailed the murderers.
Hafsa said of her father’s reaction to the loss of the family restaurant, “It helped me realize what we were there for. It has gotten to a point where this is the only way that we can get justice, and we can change the system.”
“My heart is very broken,” Rahul said regarding the loss of his family’s business. “We want justice for our brother, but we don’t want to be destroyed. I see young peoples’ anger. At the end, we believe in peace.”
He tried to go check the damage that was done to the building, but found he was blocked by police officers in the street. So instead, he and his daughter went to their garden.
“I’m going to plant in the garden and pray for everyone,” he stated.
“We’ll figure it out, don’t worry, we’ll work together,” Rahul told his daughter. “We’re growing a lot of food, vegetables, and I’m not worried. I’m going to start planting and growing and growing to survive.”
I know you see it.
You can read the full story here.
Featured image via screen capture
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