Some big names have come to Minneapolis to support George Floyd. You might have seen Jamie Foxx or Jesse Jackson, or the Rev. Al Sharpton or ex-NBA player Stephen Jackson in the media, speaking at rallies.
Nick Cannon, best known as the host of Fox’s “The Masked Singer,” showed up in Minneapolis. Not to speak at a press conference or well-organized rally.
The entertainer showed up on Friday to honor Floyd, educate himself about the situation and see the people of Minneapolis, that’s what he explained in a first-person account published Sunday at Variety.com, the Bible of the entertainment industry.
“I had to go to Minneapolis,” Cannon, 39, wrote in his 650-word piece. “I needed to be right there on 38th Street and Chicago where George Floyd’s life was tragically stolen from him. I needed to see the people in that community — how much love they had for their community and their people and how much pain this has caused. We feel the pain go across the world — the anger and the hurt. Those visuals will never be removed from our minds.”
Cannon felt compelled to go to Minneapolis, he wrote, just as he had felt compelled in recent years to go to Charlottsville, Va., site of a white supremacy rally that caused riots, and Ferguson, Mo., site of the killing of a black man by a police officer that caused riots. Cannon said that it is the same motivation that led him to study criminology at Howard University.
In his piece, Cannon talked about racism and classism. “What we need is a new normal, a new paradigm,” he insisted.
Cannon suggested that a new system starts by removing the word “police.”
“Why be a police officer when you can be a peace officer? When you see a police officer, you’re supposed to feel safe. They’re supposed to protect you. My kids are scared of police officers. In their minds, they’re the bad guys.”
Cannon said he went to Minneapolis not to be a celebrity posting on social media but to be educated, informed and authentic, as he put it.
“I’m finding signs of hope in both mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul. To see them respond immediately with care and compassion was the right thing to do. I saw a lot of pain and disappointment in their law enforcement,” Cannon noted. “Being at 38th and Chicago and seeing people crying at the memorial — it was disappointment more than anything. They didn’t think something like this would happen in Minneapolis. But it did.
“This is what America is. If it can happen in Minneapolis, it could happen in Georgia and it can happen in Los Angeles and it can happen in New York.”