Dear Mayor Jacob Frey,
Thank you for speaking with such clarity, understanding, and compassion to the people who are in a rage about the unjust murder of George Floyd. The Fire that is burning was actually ignited a long time ago, as you rightly pointed out. Sparks from 400 years ago are raging now, and it will not be enough for politicians to simply *talk* about being peaceful.
Under these conditions, only people who possess a high level of awareness, and a high level of emotional maturity, would be able to remain calm and express their anger peacefully. Those nonviolent people are rare, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Thich Nhat Hanh. The majority of people do not possess those qualities, and so speaking about being peaceful to them will not work. And, their rioting will not work because violence simply begets more violence.
But there are other possibilities, in a middle ground in between nonviolence and violence. Please consider these innovative ideas ~
~ Each day over the next few weeks, hold many three-hour conflict resolution sessions, in which you have City Council members, Police officers, Religious leaders (and so on) sitting on one side, with skilled Mediators in the center, and then you have the Protestors and Rioters (who feel rage) sitting on the other side. The Mediators facilitate the discussions, and if the Protestors and Rioters complete the sessions nonviolently, then as they leave they are each given a consolation check in the amount of $2,000.
~ Use the National Guard to hand out invitations to the above sessions, and either assign dates and times, or do a lottery system to determine who gets to go to the sessions.
~ Ask corporations, millionaires, and billionaires to fund the checks. Money *talks*, whereas “talking” about peace does not talk. Give to these people very generously, as if they were your own family. People say “Money can’t buy happiness” but that is wrong! Money can buy a lot. It can bring peace to a rage-torn mind. It can help to cool the fires, while mediation can help to heal the wounds.
~ On the streets at night, give out free food, toilet paper, masks, and other essentials. Get corporations to sponsor these free hand-outs. Use the National Guard to make sure people stay six feet apart in the lines, since we are still immersed in a virus pandemic crisis.
~ On the streets in the daytime, give out free coffee and information about the mediation sessions. Spread the word about the free food and essentials that will be happening each night.
Please seize this golden opportunity for Minneapolis to heal some deep wounds in innovative ways.
May Minneapolis become a guiding light, a way-shower community, for other communities around this wounded world.
Thank you for considering these ideas.
May the Force of All Light be with you,
Image by WikiImages on Pixabay.