I'm Relieved, But I'm Not Celebrating

Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all three counts of murdering George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds, knowing that people were filming him doing so, looking at those cameras with his hands in his pockets and no expression on his face. “Depraved indifference to human life” doesn’t begin to describe it. To Floyd, that wasn’t a human life he was slowly, even casually, snuffing out; it was just a nuisance, a thing.

And, yes, a jury found him guilty. It speaks volumes that even with the evidence being so overwhelming, and the defense so obviously knowing it had no defense, the country was still nervous that the jury just might not convict a police officer on duty.

So the verdict, including its swiftness, is cause for relief, but not celebration. One down, far too many more to go.

This verdict is an opportunity, if we able to seize it, to finally make this country confront its systemic racism and actually comes to terms with how many centuries it has been, how powerful and ingrained it has been, how destructive of lives it has been, how it poisons the soul of the nation.

Of the many evils Trump has inflicted on us, one of the worst is that he normalized racism, made it legitimate, acceptable, gave it a voice and a stage, and then turned it loose all so he could rise to power and keep it. (He also believed it.)

That’s a lot of overcome. But overcome we must. Shall we?

  • April 20, 2021