Holy Week in Minneapolis

It's almost Easter.

In a courthouse 6.5 miles from my house, a White police officer is on trial for the killing of a Black man just 4.5 miles from my house. The White officer knelt on the Black man's neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, until breath would never again fill his lungs. 

The sun is shining today in Minneapolis, but the weather is deceptive - like assurances of justice or of healing that will come without requisite pain. It's 30 degrees outside but feels like 18, with 17 mph winds blowing to the northwest.

If only that wind would blow it all away, the decades of entrenched racism buried under White Minnesota Nice; the fat virus particles carrying COVID-19 and its variants, stubbornly refusing to leave our youth sports leagues and college campuses and rural bars and restaurants. 

Blow it all away. The memories of the past year: empty shelves of toilet paper, lonely and quiet elementary school playgrounds, masks and gloves piling up next to restaurant dumpsters in the alley behind our house.

We are smack in the middle of what Christians call Holy Week, and I wonder what is Holy in this land anymore.

On Monday morning a 65-year-old Asian American woman was brutally attacked on the streets of New York City, by a man who kicked her in the stomach over and over again. This in a country whose former President blamed the COVID-19 pandemic on China, alternately calling it the "Chinavirus" or "Kung Flu." He would say he was just having fun, or that China's authoritarian government had repressed information about the origins of the virus. But China's Communist leaders were safely ensconced in their mansions overseas. Those who would pay the rhetorical price were defenseless Asian Americans. This in the wake of a deadly mass shooting in Atlanta that targeted Asian women who worked in massage parlors and spas that advertised their Asian identity.

Reports about the attack in New York City revealed that video footage showed at least three people in a nearby luxury apartment complex stood by and watched while the attack took place. I couldn't help but wonder what I would have done. Would I be frozen in place? On the sidelines of history? Afraid? Indifferent? 

What would I have done if I were walking down Chicago Avenue past Phelps Field Park on May 25, 2020, at 8:17 p.m., when Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin pulled George Floyd to the ground. Still handcuffed, Floyd's cheek rested on the pavement, and Chauvin knelt on his neck. George Floyd couldn't breathe.

I don't know what I would have done if I was there, because I was 4.5 miles and several worlds removed from George Floyd that night in Minneapolis. On May 25, the sun didn't set until 8:47 p.m., so at 8 p.m. my family and I might have still been at the neighborhood park, happy to be outside and alive after months of quarantine. Maybe we were walking the block back home to our house, where each of my boys has a bed to sleep in, food to eat, and a clean bathroom to wash off the sand of the park.

I wasn't doing anything important that night, I know that. Maybe I was walking into the basement to finish the day's last load of laundry, or rinsing off dinner plates to put in the dishwasher, or standing in front of my sink and washing my face. Changing out of that day's sweatpants into another pair of elastic waist pants for the evening. Telling the kids to brush their teeth. Watching something on TV. Putting in a mouthguard to keep from grinding my teeth all night long. Going to sleep without the sound of sirens or gunshots.

May 26 was a Tuesday. We printed off assignments for online first grade. I recorded a video about "Hope in Trying Times." And slowly, the video of George Floyd's death made its way around our city and our world.

I did not watch the whole thing. I don't think I've ever been able to. I reasoned that if George Floyd were my son, I wouldn't want the world watching him die. But George Floyd wasn't my son. The video desperately needed to exist, if only to force people like me to stop averting our eyes.

The next Sunday after May 26 was May 31, Pentecost Sunday, the least known Christian high holiday in America, after Christmas and Easter. You know that because Reese's doesn't even sell chocolate Reeses flames for Pentecost, the day on which the Holy Spirit released its power on earth, after Jesus' death and resurrection, and all the believers gathered in one place had tongues of fire on their heads, and they could suddenly understand one another despite speaking and knowing all kinds of different languages.

Pentecost was the day of fire and truth, the coming of a Holy Spirit that brought fire and understanding to a world and a people who would rather ghettoize ourselves and sort ourselves out according to perceived righteousness. Pentecost is a Biblical reversal of the Old Testament story of the Tower of Babel, when people tried to climb up a tower to reach God themselves, so God divided us into different languages, and we could no longer work together to try and become gods ourselves. God would instead come to us, and even then we'd kill him.

Despite Babel and Pentecost, Americans are still trying to make ourselves gods, with money, power, and hatred of others. And we're still determined to speak different languages, refusing to consider another person's viewpoint, refusing to imagine that white Americans' "land of the free and home of the brave" is Black Americans' evil slaveholder, the nation that bound Africans in chains and condemned them to a life of involuntary servitude, then hundreds of years later would still claim to be benevolent and righteous in its discrimination.

On Pentecost 2020, the Holy Spirit came again, even in America. White Christians were forced to look into a mirror and see our own racism. We recognized the dual pandemics of COVID and racism, both targeting our country's most vulnerable people, both illuminating the ways the wealthy and powerful enriched themselves at the literal cost of other Americans' very lives.

On June 2 Minneapolis clergy marched silently toward Cup Foods and back. Occasionally, people who didn't already know each other talked to each other for the very first time. Behind our masks, we glimpsed a common humanity. 

People joined book clubs and made art: music, painting, videos, memes. I rode my bike to protest marches around the city. I felt like I was flying, even as my legs grew wobbly.

Hope and love cannot sustain themselves forever. They never die but in America too quickly they sink beneath the surface, when something else, like hatred or nihilism, becomes more profitable or entertaining. The hot summer went on in Minneapolis. The MN State Fair was canceled. Target Field stood empty during Twins games. We went camping at a dusty site in Southwestern Minnesota, while COVID traveled from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally across state lines during the month of August. I was frustrated when my son's school stayed online, while I had to return to work in-person. Then, people close to me got COVID - more and more each day it seemed for awhile that November. We held Christmas Eve services outside in Below 0 temperatures. People wore orange snowsuits and warmed up frozen Communion grape juice between their legs. We held candles and sang Silent Night, and the light was bright but small and under assault from the frigid wind.

Now, it is Holy Week 2021 in Minneapolis. Vaccines are providing hope for tomorrow. My son is back in school in-person. We will be able to sing Easter hymns on Sunday. And the long shadow of George Floyd's violent death stretches over the city.

You might think that a week is far too long to be Holy. Too much is happening. On Palm Sunday the weather was in the 60s and five kids took their First Communion at church, wearing specially made white masks - that the bread of life might not be the bread of COVID.

Holy Week Monday was the first day of opening statements in the trial against former Officer Chauvin. Witnesses who likely spent much of the past 10 months trying to recover from the trauma of May 25 and what they saw were forced to come face to face with it all again. Many of them were wracked with guilt.

Witness Chris Martin, photo credit: St. Paul Pioneer Press

Nineteen-year-old Cup Foods cashier Chris Martin expressed regret over his call to the police. 

"If I would have just not taken the bill, this could have been avoided, Martin said.

Darnella Frazier, who was just 17 when she made the video documenting Floyd's death, said, "I stay up nights apologizing to George Floyd."

Early Wednesday, eyewitness Charles McMillian testified through tears and said, "I feel helpless. I understand him."

The youngest eyewitness, a 9-year-old girl, said she felt, "sad and kind of mad."

Off-duty firefighter and EMT Genevieve Hansen said she was "desperate to help," and provide Floyd with medical attention, but police officers waved her off. 

At one time in America's history, it's likely that most of these voices never would have been heard from in a court of law usually limited to witnesses who were White men only. The voices of Black Americans, women, and children have typically been dismissed or ignored. But this Holy Week, it was these voices desperately reclaiming a too easily lost American humanity. 

"Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs."

Jesus said this, admonishing his disciples who would turn away the children from approaching him, thinking them useless or disposable.

To think of trial witnesses as children talking to Jesus is not to suggest they are weak or immature, as for too long America has dismissed voices of those who are not white men. Instead this comparison is meant to illustrate that children are born honest, with an inborn sense of truth and justice, and a keen eye for the inherent value of every single human life; and what our American society too often does is teach children that it's facile to lie, that the one with the most toys wins in the end, and that some lives simply matter less than others.

For those who have been taught these lessons, a shout that attempts to reclaim this humanity -- to say in the face of violent and unjustified killing: Black Lives Matter -- this shout becomes a threat to the established order of death. It must be discredited and dismissed. Anything to obscure the truth carried by women and children and people of color. They must be communists and socialists and Antifa, whatever that is. 

Still, these are the voices Jesus longs to hear - the voices that speak truth.

Still, the truth-tellers stuck to their story in the face of a forgetful and impetuous nation, desperate to return to its heedless consumption and white-washed history.

"I don't know if you've ever seen anyone be killed," Hansen said. "But it's upsetting."

Her words ran and bled over Holy Week, running into the story of Good Friday, the day on which American Christians too often avert our eyes from the Cross, where the ruling Romans and religious elite watched Jesus be killed. 

I keep wanting to turn my own page in my calendar. The Monday after Easter, when I'll pick up long-neglected projects, and prepare an agenda for that week's board meeting. We'll be left with the memory of pink-cheeked children delightedly picking up plastic eggs and finding chocolate inside, the magic of a giant bunny. If Holy Week was only Easter, we could continue to pretend that 9-year-olds didn't have to bear witness to our injustice, and America really was free and brave for all. Happy Easter! No guilt. Cheap grace.

But Holy Week is an entire week. It contains multitudes, like a nation of freedom and slavery, of justice and segregation, of universal suffrage and the world's largest prison population. It contains multitudes, like a God of creation and destruction, of life and death, a God who became human out of an unimaginable excess of divine love and grace for people who didn't deserve it.

Somehow, even - especially? - this year in Minneapolis, it all had to be holy - from Sunday to Sunday. The voices of the ones who finally got the chance to be heard. The churches filled with masked and spaced parishioners. The courts and justice system too often prone to corruption, rising above a racist lineage that enabled violent police, reasserting themselves as hospitable to truth.

Once I would have told you a whole week cannot be holy. It's impossible. Holy is entirely other, a God beyond ourselves, another world of light and pure perfection.

Now I know better. The holy is found when the sacred dwells amongst the profane, when violent death elicits screams of justice and truth, and God's resurrection resurrects the promise of a flawed but ever-aspiring nation, lifted up by those whom it would have rather silenced and destroyed.


  1. This an amazing reflection, so much raw truth that needs to be heard. Please keep writing.

       A friend that suffered from Herpes and was cure with the help of this great herbal doctor Chief Lucky so i decided to contact him for help in getting rid of my families genital herpes virus 1/2 which i did and all i was told to provide was just some useful information and some materials used in preparation of the natural cure and that i did and now i am the happiest person on earth because i am writing this testimony of mine with joy and happiness in my heart to the whole world to know that natural remedy is real because i am a living testimony of Chief Lucky traditional herbal cure and i want you all to contact Chief Lucky via his email: chiefdrlucky@gmail.com or WhatsApp him +2348132777335 am sure he will help you too.

    2. Hello viewers around the Globe, I was despondent because i had a very small penis, about 2.5 inches soft and 4 inches hard not nice enough to satisfy a woman, i have been in so many relationship, but cut off because of my situation, i have used so many product which doctors for me, but none could offer me the help i searched for. i saw some few comments on the INTERNET about this specialist called Dr,OLU and decided to contact him on his email: Drolusolutinthome@gmail.com) so I decided to give his herbal product a try. i emailed him and he got back to me, he gave me some comforting words with his herbal pills for Penis Enlargement, Within 3 week of it, i began to feel the enlargement was surprised when she said that she is satisfied with my sex and i have got a large penis. Am so happy, thanks to Dr OLU I also learn that Dr OLU also help with Breast Enlargement Hips and Bums Enlargement etc.. If you are in any situation with a little Penis, weak ejaculation, small breast_hips_bums do get to Dr OLU now for help on his email ( Drolusolutionhome@gmail.com ) or add him on whatsapp line +2348140654426 

  2. This an amazing reflection, so much raw truth that needs to be heard. Please keep writing.

  3. I am here to give my testimony about Dr Ose  who helped me in my life, i want to inform the public how i was cured from (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) by dr Ose spiritual, i visited different hospital but they gave me list of drugs like Famvir, Zovirax, and Valtrex which is very expensive to treat the symptoms and never cured me. I was browsing through the Internet searching for remedy on HERPES and i saw comment of people talking about how dr Ose spiritual cured them. when i contacted him he gave me hope and send a Herbal medicine to me that i took and it seriously worked for me, my HERPES result came out negative. I am so happy as i am sharing this testimony. My advice to you all who thinks that their is no cure for herpes that is Not true just contact him and get cure from dr Ose spirirtual healing spell cure of all kinds of sickness you may have. penis enlargement
    Remember delay in treatment leads to death email him @ {oseremenspelltemple@gmail.com} whatsapp  +234813 648 2342 

  4. Am here to testify what this great spell caster done for me. i never believe in spell casting, until when i was was tempted to try it. i and my wife have been having a lot of problem living together, she will always not make me happy because she have fallen in love with another man outside our relationship, i tried my best to make sure that my wife leave this woman but the more i talk to her the more she makes me fell sad, so my marriage is now leading to divorce because she no longer gives me attention. so with all this pain and agony, i decided to contact this spell caster to see if things can work out between me and my wife again. this spell caster who was a man told me that my wife is really under a great spell that she have been charm by some magic, so he told me that he was going to make all things normal back. he did the spell on my wife and after 5 days my wife changed completely she even apologize with the way she treated me that she was not her self, i really thank this man his name is Dr ose he have bring back my wife back to me i want you all to contact him who are having any problem related to marriage issue and relationship problem he will solve it for you. his email is oseremenspelltemple@gmail.com  he is a man and his  great. wish you good time.
    He cast spells for different purposes like
    (1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dream
    (3) You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4) You want women/men to run after you.
    (5) If you want a child.
    (6) You want to be rich.
    (7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
    (8) If you need financial assistance.
    (10) is the only answer to that your problem of winning the lottery

    Contact him today on oseremenspelltemple@gmail.com or whatsapp him on +2348136482342.  https://www.facebook.com/Dr-odion-spell-temple-110513923938220/  

  5. This is another testimony on how Chief Dr Lucky cured my HIV disease. Do you need a cure for your HIV disease? Do you want to be cured from your cancer disease? Or you want to be free from any type of disease. Kindly visit his website https://chiefdrluckyherbaltherapy.wordpress.com/ . He just cured my HIV disease and I’m very grateful to him, he is the only herbalist that can cure you.  
    WhatsApp number : +2348132777335 
    Via Email : chiefdrlucky@gmail.com
    Thank you all for reading,
    God bless"

  6. PUBLIC AND WORLD NOTICE!!!!!!!!!THE BEST HERBAL DOCTOR AND SPELL CASTER IN AFRICAN IS CALLED DR HARRY contact him immediately for penis enlargement or spell casting through drharrysolution@gmail.com or visit His website https://drharryherbaltempl.wixsite.com/solutiontemple you can call/whatsapp him via +2349036417079

    Hello friends around the globe,i am HENRY MIKIEL from texas USA.i am here to share a testimony of my life with you all. i was suffering from premature ejaculation,small penis for the past 3 years of my marriage.i got married to my wife 3 years ago and We have one beautiful kid and we were living happily until my wife started complaining that i cannot satisfy her very well because of my premature ejaculation and small penis size.My penis size was 4 inches on erection and i do not last more than 2 mins during sex and it was really frustrating me my wife threaten to divorce me if i did not look for a solution to my problem. i have use alot of pills, drugs and surgery also some herbal medicine from AFRICAN but non gave me the result i was looking for but when i explained to my friend JAMES CROMWELL He told me that,there is a HERBAL AND SPELL CASTER called DR HARRY from AFRICA whom helped him to solve His premature ejaculation and small penis size from 3 inches to 10 inches within two weeks of using His HERBAL MEDICINE and it is a liquid and cream.i decided to give Him a try by visiting his website https://drharryherbaltempl.wixsite.com/solutiontemple , He replied and told me that His work is 100% guarantee and it has no side effect also it is a permanent treatment but i did not believe him yet and He told me what i should do which i did as instructed by him and he sent me the HERBAL LIQUID AND CREAM through UPS DELIVERY SERVICE and to my greatest it was just 7 days of using His HERBAL MEDICINE,i was Having 6.5 inches and i was lasting in bed with my wife 1hr and it is 14 days of using the HERBAL MEDICINE from DR HARRY I am now having 10.5 inches penis size and 8.0 girth also i now last 1 hour in bed with my wife also my wife is always complaining that my penis is too large and she is always screaming during sex with her. My wife now love and respect me more than before and all thanks to DR HARRY for saving my marriage and bringing happiness to my home once again. so friends if you are having similar issues or problem do not worry about it because DR harry is there for you.contact him through his email address drharrysolution@gmail.com or visit His website https://drharryherbaltempl.wixsite.com/solutiontemple you can call/whatsapp him via +2349036417079 also He can cure all kinds sickness or illness and cast any spell like HIV/AIDS HERPES ALS CANCER DIABETES GET YOUR EX LOVER BACK SPELL MONEY SPELL LOTTO SPELL BREAKING CURSE SPELL PROTECTION FROM WITCH CRAFT SPIRITUAL ATTACK SPELL WIN COURT CASE SPELL PREGNANCY HERBAL MEDICINE BREAST AND BUM ENLARGEMENT OIL ETC…… Just name it and DR HARRY will do it for you permanently THANKS

  7. Greatest thanks to Dr Oyagu for his herbal drugs that he prepared for me and when I start using it in just 2weeks I was completely cured and that ended my HERPES SIMPLEX 1&2 DISEASE i am so happy and grateful to Dr Oyagu . after reading about him on a testimony of Jason Cash on a blogger. I knew suddenly Dr Oyagu was the right Doctor to cure my HERPES SIMPLEX 1&2 DISEASE. I discuss with Dr Oyagu and he prepared a herbal medicine for me and when it got sent to me in south Korean . I used the herbal medicine and 2weeks and i went to check up again. after 15years of suffering from HERPES SIMPLEX 1&2 at last i am smiling once again. Dr Oyagu also has remedy to others disease like COLD SORES,HIV/AIDS,DIABETES.CANCER,HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND MANY MORE. I oblige everyone to contact this powerful herbalist Dr Oyagu and be free from your suffering. contact his WhatsApp line: +2348101755322 or visit his Website https://oyaguspellcaster.wixsite.com/oyaguherbalhome Email:Oyaguherbalhome@gmail.com

  8. Thanks to Doctor Razor for the Great miraculous work he did in my life with his herbal remedy. I have been living with this virus and I have shared with my partners my situation because they deserve to have a choice of whether they want to change being with me or not. I unfortunately did not have a choice in this matter leaving me vulnerable and now faced with this virus for the rest of my life or until a cure was discovered.I refused to take the Medical drugs my PCD had told me to take, I surrendered to my fate, because I was careless. On Aug 23, 2020, I came across Doctor Razor herbal medicine. I browsed about the authenticity of This Doctor, I got to see several Testimonies regarding his works from people he had helped with his medicine. I reached out to him and told him my problems, after we spoke he promised to help me out. I started using his herbal medicine which he sent to me Via the Courier Delivery, and asked me to take the herbal medicine for 18 days. which i did. I am delighted to let you all know that I Got cured of Herpes Virus, after the Medical Doctor had confirmed this with the test results, when I went for a medical check up after completing the Herbal Dosage Of 18 days. Doctor Razor's Website : https://herbalistrazorherb.wixsite.com/drrazorherbalhome or Reach out to Doctor razor via email : drrazorherbalhome@gmail.com WhatsApp +2349065420442

  9. I was diagnosed as HEPATITIS B carrier in 2013 with fibrosis of the
    liver already present. I started on antiviral medications which
    reduced the viral load initially. After a couple of years the virus
    became resistant. I started on HEPATITIS B Herbal treatment from
    ULTIMATE LIFE CLINIC (www.ultimatelifeclinic.com) in March, 2020. Their
    treatment totally reversed the virus. I did another blood test after
    the 6 months long treatment and tested negative to the virus. Amazing
    treatment! This treatment is a breakthrough for all HBV carriers.

  10. I got Diagnosed with Herpes, I have be dealing with Herpes for the past 4 years. On till I got review online about natural cure people testifies how DR. Ehimare cure them with his herbal treatment. And I order the treatment, after taking it for 21 days I totally got cured with DR. Ehimare treatment. I'm recommending you diagnosis with herpes should get this treatment and be cured of it you can contact his email address via; drehimare3@gmail. com or you can also call or whatsapp +1 (267) 691-1087Dr. Ehimare also cure the following virus and many more... 1} Cancer 2} Diabetes 3} Hepatitis 4} fibroid 5} herpes 6} Lupus  


Post a Comment

Popular Posts