Monday, June 01, 2020

He Called Mama. He Has Called Up Great Power

By Mary Helen Kennerly

Want to know why Minneapolis is burning?

Mama. He called Mama.

At least that’s why I want to burn, why I feel like I could scream until flames rip out of my throat. He has called up great power. I want all of us to turn, all of us who have heard Mama in a store and thought it meant us. It’s time to turn. White mamas, mamas with privilege, you have been summoned. And any of us who have ever cried out Mama, we hear it too, down in our bones. It’s a cry that can’t go unanswered anymore. So Minneapolis burns. And we need to gut all the spaces in our lives where systemic racism has quarter.

I think of the other mamas who turned a tide: Emmett Till’s, for one. We speak out of the deep mystery from whence all life springs. My white people: Nurture antiracism in your life like you would a child in your arms, even if you’ve only just heard it named. Learn what it means and how to foster it. Care about it, give it space in your life. Come to understand it, even if it’s difficult and challenges everything.

Mama is coming. And the men who make order in the world should be very afraid.

Above: A family photograph of George Floyd and his mother.

NEXT: In Uptown and Beyond, Murals Honor
George Floyd and Call for an End to Systemic Racism

Related Off-site Links:
George Floyd’s Mother Was Not There, But He Used Her As a Sacred Invocation – Lonnae O’Neal (National Geographic, May 30, 2020).
George Floyd Cried ‘Mama’ and Now You Are Finally Starting to Rise Up – Rashelle Chase (Yahoo! News, June 1, 2020).
George Floyd Cried Out for Mama! All White Mothers Must Answer! – Naimah Latif (Blog Talk Radio, May 30, 2020).
George Floyd's Heartbreaking Cry for 'Mama' Hits Home – Christy Oglesby (CNN via Real Clear Politics, May 29, 2020).
A Mother Laments the Murder of George Lloyd and It's Impact on the Life of Her Son – Angele Kingue (Africa Global Village, May 31, 2020).
The Murder of George Floyd: The Longest Running Play in America – Robert Shetterly (Common Dreams, May 30, 2020).

Above: A sign created by Rachel Costa
and Ally Thomlinson. (Photo: Allisa Eason)

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
“I Can't Breathe”: The Murder of George Floyd
Something to Think About – May 28, 2020
Honoring George Floyd
“New and Very Dangerous”: The Extreme Right-Wing Infiltration of the George Floyd Protests
Mayor Melvin Carter: “The Anger Is Real, and I Share It With You”
Trevor Noah on the “Dominoes of Racial Injustice”
Rallying in Solidarity with Eric Garner and Other Victims of Police Brutality
In Minneapolis, Rallying in Solidarity with Black Lives in Baltimore
“Say Her Name” Solidarity Action
“We Are All One” – #Justice4Jamar and the 4th Precinct Occupation
Quote of the Day – March 31, 2016
“This Doesn't Happen to White People”
Remembering Philando Castile and Demanding Abolition of the System That Targets and Kills People of Color
Sweet Darkness
Photo of the Day, 5/3/2015: “Black Is Sacred”
“And Still We Rise!” – Mayday 2015 (Part I)
“And Still We Rise!” – Mayday 2015 (Part II)
Something to Think About – March 25, 2016

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