News of Derek Chauvin’s conviction on all 3 counts reverberated throughout social media, the worldwide web, and in the minds and hearts of every informed citizen in the country and in the world. Yet, news of the conviction left some, myself included, with a feeling of…dissatisfaction isn’t quite the word but, it felt like…finally having some semblance of accountability was not enough. Why you ask?…
George Floyd is still dead. A father, brother, son, uncle has been lost, never to be seen, touched, or heard from in the flesh again. Yet another life was unnecessarily lost, at the hands of an entity that was established to serve and protect. The bigger question is- to protect who?
Though the guilty verdict feels like a deep breath has been anxiously released, it does not negate the fact that a man was handcuffed, pinned to the floor, not resisting arrest, and who died because of the indignance of an officer whose foot in George’s neck was emblematic of the foot the U.S., and the world, has had on the necks of Black people for decades and for centuries.
When referencing the Black-lash, this speaks to the stunned impact and borderline indifference as it relates to the oppression on the lives of Black people. Yes, we finally have some semblance of accountability, but at what and at whose expense? Many have told me “Well, it’s a start,” “Well, at least we have some semblance of justice this time around,” “Well at least he is being held accountable.,” “Well, at the least…” Since when have we been the fodder for minimalist existence? This conviction is all well and good but again…did a life have to be lost, did we as a Diaspora have to be traumatized, did we have to endure yet another Black-lash for our humanity to be justified?
The word that better describes my reaction to the verdict is….unsettled. Unsettled because we as a people seemingly accept the minimal, the “well at least,” to validate our humanity, to affirm that we are human, to put a stamp/seal of validation and approval on progress, albeit slow, that is being had, to grapple with the minimal conveyance of our own humanity in society to avoid regurgitating and quite frankly believing the misguided and inaccurate narrative about our own.
The many lives lost unjustifiably at the hands of police brutality are not lost on me. #SandraBland, #BreonnaTaylor, #GeorgeFloyd, #AhmaudArbery, #Ma’KhiaBryant, #TamirRice, #SeanBell are each, one name too many. This feeling of unsettlement is leery of the next # because it adds yet another comma to the outrage when it should, in reality, be a period. Black, lives…matter.