A storied past. If we live long enough, we all have one, full of ups and downs. As the story of Jamar Clark’s life and death emerges, as the best forces in my city fill the streets to demand justice for a man murdered by police, as sources gather to piece together what happened on one Minneapolis street on one Minneapolis night, I keep thinking about another Minneapolis story.
I keep thinking about David Carr, a man, who unlike Jamar Clark, lived long enough to tell his story.
Carr told of one Minneapolis night when he wanted a drug fix so bad he left his two infant children alone in a car in the winter while he went into an apartment and got himself high. Carr went on – just months later — to become a parent advice columnist(!) and then later celebrated journalist and writer, whose death from sudden illness was mourned by millions.
We all deserve second chances, chances to tell our side of the story; for people to know the complexities of our realities; to heal. David Carr had that chance. I am so glad he did. I was one of the readers of his advice column who took strength from his stories as a new parent. Carr had a louder megaphone than most of us can ever dream of having. Jamar Clark was killed and then his killers were given the megaphone to tell his story!
In the tales of these two men, on two Minneapolis nights, is the story of a city divided by race and class, without equal justice. Only in the streets, united, our numbers multiplying the amplification, do we have the possibility of telling a true tale of a Minneapolis night of tragedy; of changing Minneapolis’ storied past of deep structural injustices; of building the One Minneapolis we seek. As new details of Jamar Clark’s story emerge, it is up to his survivors — ALL OF US — to create a healing end.