A Black restaurant owner in Minneapolis wonders what to do next

A looted souvenir store in Manhattan
A looted souvenir store in Manhattan
Photo: JOHANNES EISELE (Getty Images)

Louis Hunter owns a restaurant in Minneapolis called Trio. He was able to open it after he beat the charges of throwing a Molotov cocktail at the police during a protest in St. Paul after the killing of Philando Castile. Castile was his cousin.

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Now Hunter is trying to deal with the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, who he did not know, but who was also a Black man who worked in the restaurant industry. “As Black people working in the restaurant industry, our food is soul,” Hunter told Bon Appetit. “You have so much love for people. For Floyd to be working in the restaurant industry, he had to be a people-server. He was a good person.”

Hunter closed Trio in solidarity and he planned to distribute hand sanitizer to protesters, but he’s not sure what else he should do. He hoped a meeting with other Black restaurant owners in Minneapolis would help him find direction.

The full piece is worth reading, but this is maybe the heart of it:

“As a Black man,” he said, “this is something I have witnessed all my life. We have been through this so much. Sometimes we don’t even know what to say because the hurt is so bad. How do you come up with solutions so quickly when you are in pain? That is why it is hard for me to even say where I am going to go from here. I don’t know. All we want is to be treated like humans. We want to live. That is all we want.”

Associate editor of The Takeout. Chicagoan. Owned by dog.

DISCUSSION

This is heartbreaking. We all need to support these small businesses that bear the brunt of this chaos.

There should be no room for racism in our nation, our law enforcement agencies and especially in our elected government. Organize, protest peacefully and protect yourselves.