Something sad and scary and significant happened last night.
It was on Larpenteur Avenue, just a couple of miles from my St. Paul home. It happened in a place that was notorious for speed traps, getting pulled over for the littlest thing, for cops on the lookout.
In that spot a black man was pulled over for a broken taillight, and then shot and killed by a police officer as he reached for his license. There was a four year old in the back seat. His name was Philando Castile, he was 32 years old and worked in an elementary school cafeteria.
The victim's girlfriend, sitting next to him as he died, filmed it all.
And posted it on Facebook. A few hours later, protesters showed up at
the governor's mansion to wake him up.
I keep up on the Twin Cities news from time to time, and for a while today I almost wished I hadn't. Maybe I could have not learned about Castile and the officer who killed him. It wouldn't have worked though, because the story and the video (which I have yet to watch) have made international news.
These things are not supposed to happen in Minnesota. It's supposed to be the land of 10,000 lakes, a few million liberals, and a pretty great standard of living. We are supposed to be somehow above the problems that vex the rest of the country. If a German asked me how these kinds of things happen, I don't know what I'd say. I could only say how sad it all is.
I know this is my space to comment. But this time, I have no more commentary.
- Thanks for coming to my blog. It started as a way to keep in touch with family and friends, and now has become an ongoing project. I'm an American living in Germany and trying to travel whenever I can. I write about my experiences as an expatriate (the interesting ones and the embarrassing ones), and about my travels. There are some recurring characters in this blog, particularly my husband Brian and several of our friends. The title comes from the idea that living in a foreign country means making a lot of mistakes. So the things you used to do easily you now have to try over and over again. Hopefully, like me, you can laugh at how idiotic it feels. If you have happened upon my blog, then welcome. Knowing that people are reading what I write makes me keep going. Feel free to write comments or suggestions for future posts.