It’s about justice … and this ain’t it. Not yet. It’s only BARELY accountability. So, let’s keep it pushin’.
Derek Chauvin had just been found guilty on all counts, with sentencing to come. I texted the above message to a group chat with some friends.
I had been waiting with held breath alongside (over some airwaves) these friends for an hour that’d felt like eternity in an eye-blink. And I was relieved and slightly more hopeful about many things after hearing the verdict. I felt gratitude. But even then, I recognized that this might just be an outlier. We still have so many beloved dead and living to secure accountability for and FROM.
This verdict isn’t justice, to borrow from Rep. Cori Bush. Justice would be if George Floyd was still alive. This is BARELY accountability. But it’s still a step, if a small one. And that first one is always the hardest. We’ll keep it pushin’, keep that momentum, you can bet. Accountability can lead to justice like a river flows to the sea, as long as we keep pushing and striving. As long as we keep saying these names — keep our dead alive and their murderers SEEN AND KNOWN. And make it clear that as long as we and our dead can’t rest, neither shall anyone else. No more blissful ignorance and naivete. No more sidelines and fence-sitting for anyone. EVER.
You’re either in the struggle against oppression, just trying to survive the oppression … or culpable in the oppression to some degree. Even if that degree is a blind eye and unused voice.
If Black folks have to wear the hair-shirt of injustice and inequity, of EVIL, then we must make sure the WHOLE WORLD feels that itch and and burn. That the whole world bears those welts and scars with us. When the world feels what we feel and decides it SHALL no longer bear it, then … we might be able to turn that moral arc Dr. King spoke of toward justice and equity FOR REAL. To not only “overcome” but continue overcoming any injustices and inequities that devil our society.
“I have gratitude for this verdict for so many reasons. I can breathe a bit better and I have hope that my country hates me slightly less than I’d thought. This hope is painful and fragile and I hate that it is. But maybe that [is] necessary.”
“Someday” grows ever closer. It really does. And what that means is, it’s time to strive ever harder. To up the determination not that there’s another small foothold. We KNOW it ain’t not crystal stair, and that’s WHY we have to keep on keepin’ on. And keep on saying their names. Because they are loved and they MATTER. They NEVER didn’t matter. And the whole world needs to know.
Anthony Thompson Jr… .