“Hands up, we just doing what the cops taught us. Hands up, hands up, then the cops shot us” – Kanye West (Feedback)
The jury in Derek Chauvin’s trial revealed a verdict of guilty. In the following press moments, Nancy Pelosi said, “thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice.”
What does that mean? What could that possibly mean?
Black people wrongfully murdered by the police are not sacrifices in the name of what one may consider justice. That eliminates our humanity. The statement alone denounces any human trace of George Floyd by relegating his life to a cause he didn’t sign up for – justice. No one is voluntarily giving up their life. It is being taken. But many alleged liberals, like Pelosi, seem to be confused and apparently convince themselves otherwise.
Finding Derek Chauvin guilty in the murder of George Floyd was no instance of justice. It was a fact. We watched it for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Justice means fair treatment. In the past 10 years, let’s take it back to 100, there has been no consistency of fair treatment for Black people in this country.
Are we the only group that faces inequality? No.
Am I discussing another group in this piece? No.
Now that we aim to stay on topic, let’s unravel what justice could truly look like:
1.) Less policing, then abolishment and replacement of the entire law enforcement system.
You read that correctly. Abolishment, not reform.
Urban neighborhoods tend to have a higher police presence than suburban areas. Yet, there seems to be less resolution of crime. If you may wonder why, see HERE (read the book if you can). The Color of Law explains this deliberate cause very well, along with socio-economic and crime praxis.
The effects of slavery cost more than family lineages. It disrupted psychological, generational, and financial flow to communities. Currently, there are corporations rolling out initiatives to disperse millions of dollars into Black businesses and social organizations. But that will not be enough to uplift an entire race out of economic suppression. The U.S. government must also take unwavering action to repair and stabilize the group and descendants of people who built this country with their bare hands. Then address the law and system which made it legal to do so, in the past and present time. (See the 13th amendment and prison industrial complex).
3.) Accountability across the board, in every situation.
This includes the cases of:
Aiyana Jones (charges dismissed)
Sandra Bland (no indictment, no trial)
Breonna Taylor (no indictment, no trial)
Atatiana Jefferson (trial awaiting)
Jacob Blake (thankfully lived, but no trial/charges)
Trayvon Martin (trial acquitted)
Michael Brown (no indictment, no trial)
Eric Garner (no indictment, no trial)
Philando Castile (trial acquitted)
Alton Sterling (no charges)
Freddie Gray (charges dropped and trial acquitted)
Tamir Rice (no indictment, no charges)
Ma’Khia Bryant (awaiting details and possible case)
and endless more people with names. But these are the few most recently remembered.
If the governmental systems can start with these few steps then maybe justice can be felt. Until then, this case is one in a million. Quite literally.
The New York Times reported it – “Law enforcement officers kill about 1,000 people a year. Since the beginning of 2005, 121 officers have been arrested on charges of murder or manslaughter…of the 95 officers whose cases have concluded, 44 were convicted, but often of a lesser charge.”
What did it take for this case to go to trial and convict the murderer? A visual record, a summer filled of protests and riots, and collective denouncement from the entire world. That’s what it took. Many people lost their lives in the protests, as bystanders and participants. In-turn, families lost their relatives. The victims of multiple police homicides also lost their lives.
This was not a “win” for anyone. An abundance of people died at the hands of police officers and many will continue to die. We did not win anything. We are perpetually losing as a nation and human society. We have yet to progress because we are still barbaric.