"I had to go to Minneapolis," he penned about his trip to Minnesota this past weekend. "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."
He continued: "We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and instead of coming closer together and operating as one humanity, people go within and want to protect the focus on an old mindsets of classism and racism. This doesn’t have to exist anymore. People are searching for a new normal. I don’t want to go back to our old normal — clearly, that was killing us on many levels."
Cannon, who has previously traveled to Ferguson and Charlottesville, explained that "what we need is a new normal, a new paradigm," and his goal is "to focus on our humanity and dismantling racist systems that we don’t need that perpetuate crimes of inequality and oppress communities of color all over our country."
"We have to dismantle all of those systems that this country was built on," he stated.
But Cannon is "finding signs of hope" in the mayors of Minneapolis (Jacob Frey) and St. Paul (Melvin Carter).
"To see them respond immediately with care and compassion was the right thing to do," Cannon said. "I saw a lot of pain and disappointment in their law enforcement. 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."
Read Cannon's entire Variety story here -- and see a roundup of photos and videos from Minneapolis (shared on his Instagram account) below.