I Was on The 35W Bridge Yesterday

Roseline was marching in a group of over 1,000 people protesting the murder of George Floyd on the 35W Bridge on Sunday, May 31 when a gas tanker drove into the crowd. Here is her story.

My name is Roseline and I am a black woman who lives in Minneapolis. I was there, at the scene, when the murderous gas tank drove through us on 35W.

I am okay.
But also not okay. 
I am not afraid.
I am fighting.
Fighting for my children.
Fighting for my Black nephew.
Fighting for our future.
Standing for my life.

I know MANY White people are afraid right now. This is a good thing. May this fear end their silence and lead them to change. Let them know what it feels like to be afraid every day in America! Afraid to speak up at a work meeting. Afraid to tell your white friends and family that you sometimes vehemently dislike their inability to see their privilege. Afraid to be yourself and in your own skin. Afraid to take a deep breath and just be.

I can’t breathe but damn it, I’ll keep fighting until WE ALL CAN BREATHE. I don’t know what “fighting for change” looks like on a day to day basis, but I know that it doesn’t look like staying silent and seeking comfort. 

I was crying in the photo below. I’m standing in front of the national guard/army. I broke down. I stood there, crying, with my first raised high. I did this in hopes that when they get home to their families and communities, they also can fight for justice, as they have seen the grief of an oppressed Black person. This was about an hour before we faced death on 35W.

When I heard the speed of the gas tank/truck, I thought “this is it.” The KKK is coming for us. They are armed and in vehicles, ready to eradicate us. I remember screaming, running toward the bushes, jumping a 5-foot fence, and then running through dirt and trees, away from the highway. My husband was with me, except for the few minutes he stopped to get people to jump the fence without trampling each other. There was blood on the fence from minor injuries and unsuccessful attempts to unchain it. 

As I walked away from the scene, then bushes, into a residential neighborhood, we heard the police coming, full force. We all looked at each other and said some to this regard: “Run to safety, but calmly. The police are here, and they may shoot and kill us.” It was scary and sad to see us all run from people whose motto of “To protect with courage. To serve with compassion” is the absolute opposite of what we felt the moment we heard their sirens. 

The “we” in most of my statements above are referring to me and my very privileged white husband and partner for life. We are both very educated people. We own a big home. Our combined incomes are above the median salary for our age group and community. We know the privilege we have, and the responsibility it carries.

Last week, we decided that I leave my full-time career and take a pay cut to serve our community. I will be joining AmeriCorps and will be positioned at a school or youth organization that predominantly serves Black children. The time is NOW. Black youth need black people in service to help them know that they are loved, valued, intelligent, and we are rooting for them. They will not become our next set of hashtags. 

Thank you for listening. We are all in this together. No Justice. No peace.

P.S. I am seeing an amazing black therapist every week to help deal with this traumatic experience. 

P.P.S. Roseline’s Crafted Candles is making 400+ candles to drop off at vigils and other peaceful gatherings. The candle label will be a photo of George Floyd with his last words. We must never forget him. People have given their time, talents, and money toward this cause. Please let me know if you would like any candles or want to help in any way. Drops will take place early next week.

Roseline’s Crafted Candles
Homemade Soy Candles Hand Poured in Recycled Jars♻️
612-840-8958 (text/call)
@roselinescraftedcandles (Instagram)

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