The Legacy of the Brutal Murder of George Floyd: The Jury Did the Right Thing. Now, My Fellow Americans, It Is Our Turn.
All of those who believe in equality and justice shared a collective sigh of relief when the judge read aloud the guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin on all counts of murder and manslaughter. Relief because the alternative would have been another crushing blow to the criminal justice system and our hopes of a renewed commitment to racial equality fueled by the tragic murder of George Floyd on video, before our eyes and in broad daylight by a police officer sworn to serve and protect the public. The whole public.
Getting the right verdict this time is an important first step on a path with thousands of steep steps. Turning today’s hope into tomorrow’s actions and tomorrow’s actions into a generation of results is the job ahead for all of us as Americans.
Police reform, the struggle against systemic racism and the fight against voter suppression are in a moment of raised consciousness. We all need to do our part to meet these challenges and turn our anger into action and ideas into laws. Fundamental societal and legal change are the long-term goals, but immediate action is within our present power.
Individually, we need to continue to volunteer in support of social justice organizations and causes. We need to continue to march, demonstrate and petition our leaders for racial justice and racial equality. We need to vote for candidates that share the most basic American values of making our nation a more perfect union.
We must also continue to apply pressure to our state and federal legislators to pass laws that make such common sense to move forward the goals of racial equality, police reform and voting rights for all. The Senate must begin by passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the For the People Act. These three acts becoming law would be a good start to keeping the momentum of the verdict going in the right direction. So many other laws need to follow. So many attitudes need to be changed. So many institutions need to address systemic racism.
Let us honor the memory of George Floyd. May he rest in peace knowing that his young daughter Gianna’s words have come true, her daddy “changed the world”.
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