from GALA Choruses Board President Dwight Joyner:
I turned to my husband this morning and asked, “Does it feel as though our world is falling apart?”
Covid-19 response mismanagement and politicization
The deaths of loved ones and icons
And now the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in my hometown of Minneapolis. What we witnessed was a public lynching.
You can bet this was discussed at our GALA Board meeting yesterday. We have been stunned.
Many of you have reached out in your pain to let us know that this is not acceptable in a GALA host city. It is unacceptable anywhere.
These words from GALA board member, Michael Tate resonate deeply: ” I don’t think there are words, at least that come to mind now, that wouldn’t seem somewhat small considering the gravity of the event piled on top of nearly 400 years of ugliness associated with this nation’s original sin.”
I too cannot find words to express what I feel. My words feel small and my emotions are like a tidal wave. Know GALA leadership is working with the City of Minneapolis. Know that we are grieving. Know that we have made it clear that we are a community of different colors, sexual orientations, genders, ages and so much more—but we are brought together by our love of music and the effect it brings. We expect more from our host city.
We received the following response from Melvin Tenant, the President & CEO of Meet Minneapolis, Minneapolis’ tourism arm:
May 28th, 2020
On Monday, George Floyd, a local resident and member of the Minneapolis hospitality community, died while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. You have likely seen video footage or media coverage of his death and the subsequent protests. Our community is in pain and we share in that suffering.
While more details will emerge during the adjudication process, what we all saw and heard defies explanation. To quote our mayor, Jacob Frey, “He was a human being and his life mattered.” We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Floyd.
This is not what Minneapolis stands for, and it’s not who we are. What you have seen is not indicative of the city we call home.
As the nation continues to grapple with the past and current injustices in the American systems, we remain committed to our city’s pursuit of justice and work for human rights.
Many of you have reached out to members of our team, and me, personally. Minneapolis is a city that welcomes people from around the world. I have personally spoken to the police chief on numerous occasions and know his commitment to positive community engagement and the restoration of trust by the citizens and the department he leads. The immediate termination of the four officers involved in the incident and the mayor’s call for charges are actions that speak to this intent.
I am here for our community, and I am here for our partners. I encourage you to reach out to me at any time.
Melvin Tennant, CAE
President & CEO, Meet Minneapolis