I am numb. When the verdict came down of guilty, guilty, guilty, I was surprised. Even though we all saw the video, and everything pointed to Derek Chauvin being convicted, I was still surprised. Surprised because most of the time there is no accountability when it comes to the police. I was also relieved because in this one case, the family of George Floyd gets to see the officer who killed their loved one, pay for what he did.
I am numb because this morning, it’s hitting me hard. Last night after the verdict I decided not to spend too much time on social media or watching news reports about the verdict. Instead I went out to a planned dinner with a friend because for a little while, I needed to not think about it. But this morning, it’s hitting me because I know that while this one case, for now, has come to a conclusion, there are so many other families who didn’t get the same accountability. It’s hitting me because as we were waiting for the Chauvin verdict to come down, a police officer in Columbus, Ohio killed 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant who reportedly called the police for help.
I am numb because I still feel like I, and other Black people, are still waking up this morning not feeling safe in this world, and worried about the future for their family and friends. We are still traumatized and are expected to go to school and to work and continue “business as usual.”
I am numb because I’m thinking of Darnella Frazier, the then 17-year-old girl who recorded the murder of George Floyd, and who lives with the trauma of blaming herself for not doing more. Without this video, I believe Derek Chauvin would be a free man.
I am numb because I’m also thinking of the other witnesses for the prosecution who all have the same feelings that Darnella Frazier had, who cried on the stand and wished they could have done more to help George Floyd. The one person who didn’t show any regret or remorse for not doing more to help, Derek Chauvin.
I don’t want to be numb anymore, and I will continue to do my part in fighting social injustice. I will vote for politicians fighting to end systemic racism, to support Black businesses, to speak up and use the platform that I have to amplify the voices of people doing the work, to show up and help make the world a more equitable place for Black people. There is a lot to be done and I pray that change is coming. I want to be hopeful, but I’m not there yet.
I believe that Black Lives Matter, and will keep fighting until they actually do.