Cities across the nation have been rocked by both peaceful protests and violent, fiery riots. Buildings across the country have burned. And it all leads back to George Floyd, who was killed in police custody in our hometown.
The officer who drove his knee into Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes – even as he pleaded “I can't breathe” – has been arrested and charged for killing Floyd. Three fellow officers who stood by have not.
And so from Minneapolis to Chicago to Fargo, North Dakota, to Washington, D.C. and over to London and Berlin, hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets, fists in the air in solidarity for Floyd.
In Minneapolis and elsewhere, destruction followed: burning buildings, reports of violence, clashes with police, and more – some wrought by protesters supporting Floyd, and some from others and outsiders just trying to capitalize on chaos.
This is a breaking point in a country that has spent the last decade swinging from grief to anger to calls for action to quickly moving on. We spent the weekend helping clean our city and trying to help organize resources to rebuild while searching for the right words to capture the gravity of this moment that gripped our city before it spread to the country.
We settled on three words.
Black Lives Matter.
For some reason, these three words are controversial. They shouldn't be.
Those three words don't mean only Black Lives Matter. They don't condone violence towards police, business owners, anyone, or anything. They certainly don't condone riots or destruction.
And, of course, all lives matter. But until you recognize the value of marginalized and oppressed communities, “All Lives Matter” is a hollow statement. It's a cop-out.
Maybe you won't like reading this. Maybe you think, as a travel company, we should stay in our lane. That's OK. But some things are more important than travel and cheap flights. No matter what we say (or don't say), someone will be unhappy. So we figured we'd say what we feel.
So that's where we'll leave it: with three simple yet critical words that can help our city, state, and nation heal.
From here, we will listen to the voices of black men and women who feel this deeper than we possibly could. We'll do our best to help our community rebuild and try to help the world heal by bringing people closer together through travel.
We'll look for the beauty in the pain of this moment. And there is plenty of beauty.
Thousands of people brought brooms and bags to clean the streets of Minneapolis over the weekend. Members of our community have banded together to keep each other safe. People worldwide have donated $2.2 million and counting to help rebuild burnt-down and damaged buildings on Lake Street. And donations of food and supplies have overwhelmed community food shelves in neighborhoods that no longer have functioning grocery stores.
If you'd like to help our community, Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine has compiled a list of community organizations, food drives, cleanup efforts, and organizations.
We cannot let this moment pass us. The late Martin Luther King Jr. said: “A riot is the language of the unheard.”
That doesn't mean you have to condone or accept rioting. But it does mean we all have to start listening.
Rest in peace, George Floyd.
Very well written piece today. I thank you and your organization.
To better traveling times and better days.
why don’ stay out of politics.Nothing will change as long as people don’t help themselves.Sorry but we are here for travel related information!
This isn’t politics. It’s human rights.
I too agree – stay out of politics. You are supposed to be a travel advisor. Mr. Floyd’s death has nothing to do with travel. All lives matter, no matter the race.
Respectfully, if the collective “we” doesn’t stand up for human rights then who will? Regardless of your opinions about George Floyd’s death (or the many other people of color before him) or the relevancy to travel, I would ask you to consider the larger issue of justice and inequality in this country. Thrifty Traveler is expressing compassion and support for human beings, at a time that is important and relevant. Peace and love to you.
Thank you for saying this and addressing it so accurately. To everyone complaining that “this has nothing to do with travel”: if you are the receiver of this kind of violence, it has to do with EVERYTHING. We have passed the point where individuals can claim that this is not their responsibility. If you agree that everyone deserves safety and justice, it is your responsibility just as much as the next person to help achieve exactly that within our globalized society.
Awareness is power. Black Lives Matter.
and yet, here you are gustavo engaging in politics and not travel related information
Kudos to the TT team for speaking up and not staying silent. You are standing up for what is right, and I am honored to have been able to contribute to and engage with such an organization.
Thank you Thrifty Traveler for addressing this! CORRECTION – 2 additional officers were on top of Floyd’s body and one officer stood watch. BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Thank you for your words. Your company, your website, your voice. You can share your own opinion and people have the choice on whether they want to do business with you.
Thank you for your very important words Kyle. I am not black, I am not brown and I oppose the racism in this country, I have lived it for my entire life as a 64 year old woman. I have to fight Covid-19 every day when I go to work as a health care professional and now I look outside and feel like I am re-living 1968, all over again only we no longer have JFK, MLK or RFK to help us. God Save Us All. Black Lives Matter. I hope my future grandchildren will never have to witness a senseless murder perpetrated by “The Law”, no matter what the color, sex, religion, ethnicity or gender-orientation of the person is.
What matters is that until the majority of whites in American are able to see the injustice and inequality enough to speak up instead of saying ‘stay out of politics,’ things will not change.
So WELL DONE Thrifty Traveller for saying what we should all be saying and saying it well too.
I noticed that the editorial ended up talking about listening to the words of black men and women. I am guessing that the TT staff is all, or almost all white. If so this is not a slight to them, just an indication of how extreme the segregation is still is in Minnesota. I have been here over 30 years. I have less than a handful of people of color in my life that I call friends. I have met so relatively few in my work experiences and bcEven less Cx since moving out of The city of Minneapolis. In any of the four other places I have lived, I always had many more than that. In my business very few people of color have sought our services because there are so few in the geographic communities we are in and there are many fewer that can afford to pay privately for health related services in MN.
I appreciate TT not just because of the value and quality of their services, but also because they are a GOOD company, being GOOD to employees, GOOD to their customers, GOOD to the environment and speaking up for GOOD in their communities.
I encourage all of us to look for GOOD companies to do business with and GOOD organizations and communities to be in involved in.
Thank you Thrifty Traveller. You have GOOD leadership and it shows. Keep up the GOOD work.
Founder and Program Director Two Wolves
(833) TWO WOLVES
Recovery IS Possible
Thank you, it was the right decision to say this.
Thank you! Beautifully said!!
To the author of this post, Jared & Mrs. TT. Thank you for sharing this with your many loyal readers and subscribers. As the daughter and sister of black men it brings comfort to know that you refuse to be silent about the xenophobia and racism that continues to lead to the murder of black humans in this country.
Well said. It’s heartbreaking and we need to change.
Thank you so much Kyle, and the rest of the Thrifty Traveler team, for voicing your support against injustice. I wish many would understand that this is not purely a black vs. white issue- but a moral issue of right vs. wrong. I applaud you for stepping outside of your usual travel programming to bring attention to something that affects US ALL. #BlackLivesMatter
Thank you for being strong enough to say this. It’s so easy to say this is politics when it isn’t. This is life and dignity for all humans and it affects every interaction with everyone every day. I feel sorry for the people who are saying “stick to travel”–they’re either afraid or on the wrong side of history.
Thanks for not staying in your lane!
Thank you, Thrifty Traveler, for your sentiments. I think it’s important to make such a statement as a Minneapolis-based company (with MSP clients, like me!). It should not be considered political, but rather the right thing to do to speak out for injustice. Travel can make us more open-minded and tolerant citizens, and so I applaud TT’s response to this.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. When good men (and women) stand by and remain silent, we are all in trouble – over and over and over.
Kyle, I respect you for writing about it. I wont disagree with some of your points. However, as a resident of Minneapolis who watched parts of my neighborhood get looted with no police in sight, its beyond comprehensible how our city leaders would allow this to happen for 3 straight nights. You were quick to call them out on Twitter, but no mention in the article about their incompetence. Why? Its disappointing that you would bother to write this article without mention of holding our mayor, our police dept. & Chief and other city leaders accountable. Our leaders failed us on every level. They ultimately failed Mr. Floyd. And I consider them damn lucky that our neighborhoods are filled with great people of all colors, genders, religions and creeds that united & took to the streets to clean up their mess they helped create. The complete absence of leadership isnt being talked about enough…It furthered the pain in the community already fraught with anguish
To Kyle and the TT team.
Thank you for not being afraid to express your opinion. ‘We’ as a society should not be ashamed of expressing our views, or, be fearful of being shamed when we do express our views. Our discourse on the issues that are so important to all of us have become a lightning rod for division. This is sad and wrong. None of these discussions should be based on politics. I do not have the answers. However, I do know that travel brings us closer together, gives us experiences that can broaden our views, allow us to make new friends and possibly teach us something that we can bring back home with us to share with others.
Kyle, Jared, Mrs. TT and all of the TT family. This is definitely important for us to hear. Knowing that you understand there is something broken with the value of marginalized and oppressed communities and refusing to be silent means the world to your followers. Thank you for all you do for us!
Thank you for this well-stated message. Sadly, it is one that needs to be heard frequently and from many sources lest no changes occur and we go back to “normal” until the next tragedy.
Those of us who are privileged enough to take advantage of thrifty travel opportunities certainly have the band-width to be concerned by events taking place in our city and country.
After all, “the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” (Ghandi) Once again, the measure of our society has been exposed as sorely lacking in justice.
Thank you for this post. To the people who would denounce you for it and say they are just here for travel advice – no one held a gun to their head, or should I say a knee to their throat, and made them read it. Move along, haters. This isn’t about politics. It’s about human decency and I, for one, respect this company more for being run by compassionate human beings.
Thank you. The more people that speak up, the more hope I have that things will change.
I grew up in Eastern SD with numerous Native American kids who became teammates and/ or competitors. I strung lights around our backyard so we could play basketball (weather permitting anytime…sometimes until midnight). When I turned to baseball later, there were only 2 black families in town and I never thought twice about playing with or against any person; we drew straws and that was our team for the day (or night). Until I reached high school I never even realized there were certain taboos that weren’t supposed to be accepted or lines crossed. Perhaps a lot of that was being naive or far from the best player that made me realize I needed them on my team if I wanted to win.
Now, 60-65 years later I see the value of accepting everyone as contributing to society and taking no one ‘for granted’; we are all in this together to ‘steal’ a phrase from COVID 19. Most importantly you do not prove yourself by inflicting harm on anyone.
Thank you for saying this!
I had been so pleased that I found your site, but I must now unsubscribe. My particular politics may or may not agree with those expressed in your article. The fact remains that I come to this site for advice on travel. When I travel, I leave politics in abeyance, seeking true recreation.
There are no politics in this article. Only human rights and morality.
All the same, we don’t expect everyone to agree with us. But we simply couldn’t stay quiet on something so important.
I never owned anybody and i dont break the laws , thusly i get no police attention. Kyle is obviously a bleeding heart and as a past AP reporter , probably a lib. Soooo…. he can preach to his new cohort and get as much antifa business as possible. Taking mine elsewhere. I have worked my way up from an rough orphanage life , followed the rules , did not become alcoholics like my parents and asked for nothing from anybody. Joined the service, got my university thru that and made my way on my bootstraps. Read some Ayne Rand and stop the belly-aching . I went thru enough of this in the 60’s. Thank god for CCW.
Thank you for not staying silent!
This is your business, this is your website. You have strong feelings about this that you wanted and probably needed to share. I respect your feelings and right to voice them. One comment by you does not cause me panic, irritation or anything else. This is my hometown too.
Thanks for this article. Much appreciated and very necessary. This is a conversation that‘s long past due in America. Appreciate you guys speaking out on IG also.
There of course will be those that hate to see the light shine on these issues and have the tough conversations with themselves.
A couple of people said it has ‘nothing to do with Travel’. That statement empathizes the very point black people are trying to get across, that blacks aren’t treating equally in the country or across the world for that matter. As a black man that travels internationally, black people have to be fully aware of How bad the racism is in many countries we’d like to visit. You’d be naive to think that we (Black people) can walk into any country and not be affected by racism. I won’t go into details, but if you have the wherewithal, you can look that up on your own.
Thank you for this statement. It is too bad that some folks consider care for all of humanity politically divisive, but as mom used to say, you can’t make everyone happy and you shouldn’t try. Keep doing the right thing.
Thank you for writing this article, it was beautifully articulated. For the haters who commented, you are usually the UGLY American we find on our travels who thinks the world revolves around them. Good riddance if you decide to unsubscribe from the site, the less of you out there not learning from the world and giving America an ugly reputation, the better.
Wow. Thank you!!! What a VERY well articulated and compassion message that ” not in your lane”. Thank you!! Thank you for stepping out of your lane and speaking to the silence of not doing so, AND it’s importance TOO do so. I commend you as a editor and TT as a company for using this platform to stand with US and speaking to why #BlackLivesMatter
God Bless you sir, and Bless TT as a company!
Well done, Thrifty Traveler! I support you on this. Black Lives Matter! And to the other white people complaining – *of course* travel is all about politics. Two quick examples: Why are some countries cheaper to visit? Why are some countries considered safe or not safe for travelers, and are those countries even safe for their own residents? Travel is meant to open our minds, not shut them down. Thank you, Thrifty Traveler, for walking your talk.
Thank you for taking a stand.