XOTV WEEKLY: Say His Name: Daunte Wright

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Everything XOTV

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 10 miles from where George Floyd was murdered by Derek Chauvin, Daunte Wright was shot by Kim Potter, a police officer and veteran. I remember protesting for George Floyd and now, a year later, we are back to mourning a Black man whose life was taken due to police brutality, lack of training, and symbolic use of institutionalized racism. 

The demonstration of being profiled unjustly when pulled over by police and the reason for Daunte Wright being stopped in the first place are examples of institutionalized racism. The misuse of a weapon that should be in the hands of someone trained to be an officer is yet another factor many of us are tired of having to accept. 

The connection between both of these now-missed Black men is not just based on the location of where the murders took place, but the fact that George Floyd’s girlfriend, Courteney Ross, was Daunte Wright’s dean in high school. 

The repetition of injustice proves that we have not taken enough action on institutionalized racism. A year ago a man had a knee on George Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and almost a year later, a 20-year-old father was murdered in almost the exact same location. 

Proof of this can be seen in the trials of Derek Chauvin where Eric Levenson and Aaron Cooper reported that a former police officer testified, “Chauvin’s use of force by placing his knee on George Floyd's neck is justified.” 

This is someone called to be an expert witness and fellow police officer, Barry Brodd. 

In regard to this demonstration and the lack of training evident in our law enforcement, we can see the aftermath of the pain it causes by the effects on our society and media. Coverage of the final verdict of Kim Potter’s trial on May 7th, 2021 is just one example. The date of the final day of Potter’s trial was reported by CNN as protests and further outcries of justice continue through social media and on the streets of Minneapolis. 

As we did for George Floyd and keeping the same energy, there are new resources and displays of activism being displayed so far; not only provided and encouraged by his family, but also by George Floyd’s family. These resources will offer us ways to support Brooklyn Center at this time and the city of Minneapolis. Daunte’s family is also being included in many of these resources to offer them support. 

Now more than ever, our media platforms should be an essential tool to continuing the fight for racial justice in this country, since equality is something that continues to look far-fetched. The reason for this is we continue to put our trust in the hands of individuals who can’t tell between a taser and a handgun; between a weapon in someone's hands or simply a phone; between arresting someone or proving some kind of point by placing their knee on their neck for 9 minutes. 

Our influence and ability to call out injustice need to rise even higher because 2020 showed us how difficult racism and lack of humanity are to fight. 

Daunte Wright should be alive; George Floyd should be alive; they all should still be alive. Yes, say their names, but how many more names will we have to keep remembering and chanting before Black people have the freedom to have their names honored while they’re also living? 

Erik Tormoen used his platform on Minnesota Monthly to organize and share a list of resources in the aftermath of Wright's death. Creators and activists such as Tormoen have put together this list to spread awareness at this time and his resources along with more tools to do just that will be provided below. Other links provided are for informative use, update on current news regarding Wright’s case, and ways to get involved that should be promoted and shared.

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About the Author:
Susej Mendoza

Susej Mendoza is a 21-year-old, Afro-Latinx person from Bronx, NY  and they use they/them pronouns. Their passion is to educate the world on real issues related to race, economy, politics, and religion. Their writing is a component of that passion and their goal is to share that with the world while making people dig deep into who they are.

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