Today is not about celebrating — it’s about hope. It’s about a step toward justice, equality, reform and change. Tomorrow, millions of Black and brown people will wake up and their world will be unchanged. They will go to sleep in their own homes, take a morning jog, walk to the grocery store, play in the park, drive to work and hope and pray they survive.
The conviction of Derek Chauvin is not justice; it’s accountability. The whole world watched a police officer abuse his authority while he was knowingly being videotaped, surrounded by fellow officers and numerous bystanders. He murdered a man for 10 whole minutes. His conviction is accountability. Without the convergence of all the above events and the current climate in our country, Chauvin very well could have walked away.
Justice would have been George Floyd going home to his family. Last year, 241 Black people were murdered by police officers — until Black and brown people can live their everyday lives without fear, until the George Floyd police reform bill is passed and until we address the epidemic of racism in this country, today’s verdict changes nothing.
However, as President Biden noted earlier, today is a giant step toward change — this is a huge step towards justice, equality and change. For that, I am hopeful.