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Does Derek Chauvin’s Guilty Verdict Make George Floyd Innocent?

GUILTY! Some call this justice. Some call this accountability. I call this one step in the right direction. Yesterday, Derek Chauvin, the police officer who murdered George Floyd, was found guilty of three charges. When they announced the verdict, I saw a tear trickle down my husband’s face. My heart cried as it was flooded with emotions. I felt anger because the verdict could not bring George Floyd back. I felt saddened because there are still so many other individuals that too deserve justice. I felt joy because the goodness of the justice system prevailed. I felt a little rage because deep down inside, I know some still will not see George Floyd’s innocence. I felt helpless because I did not know how to make my husband’s heart not hurt.

I have a black father, a black husband, a black son, and four black brothers. So, for me – it is personal. George Floyd represented every black man I know. George Floyd and my black men – they are the same. They are men without the same privilege as the majority. Some people think of privilege as tangible assets. But privilege is waking up and not having to consider that who you are is a different person than who you must, many times, present to the world. Privilege is stepping out into this world and presumed by the majority as innocent.

Black Man, you are a symbol of strength.

At times, you present with your head slightly hung so that no one is intimidated.

Black Man, you are a being who radiates a melodic voice hovering between tenor and baritone.

At times, you present with a higher pitched tone so no one is frightened.

Black Man, you are a creative leader woven with imagination.

At times, you present as a humble assistant, so no one thinks you are trying to take their place.

Black Man, you are full of culture and style.