There’s no right or wrong way to process the events that happened yesterday.
Derek Chauvin, a murderer and former Minneapolis police officer, was found guilty on all three counts for killing George Floyd last May.
It’s an extremely complex time for the Black community. Many will feel joy and relief. Many others will feel sadness and disgust. Some will even feel apathy. And there is no telling how many Black people are feeling a combination of these.
The sports world was no exception to this unique mix of raw emotion on display across the country. After the verdict was delivered on Tuesday afternoon, thoughts varied from team to team and individual to individual.
“I kind of have mixed emotions to be honest,” said Clippers Big Man Demarcus Cousins. “This is something that we’ve been fighting for for years ...today we actually took a step forward to getting some progress but it sucks because in order for that to happen a life had to be sacrificed.”
It’s hard to mentally and emotionally process both the significance of this moment in our journey moving forward to liberation and the uneasy feeling of knowing that it took nearly a full year of “racial awakening” to get a murderer to serve time for killing someone on video in broad daylight. In addition, knowing that the fight for our true liberation is nowhere near the end is also a realization that sets in after you come to grips with your emotions about the trial itself.
Yesterday In Columbus, Ohio, bodycam footage caught a police officer shooting and killing a 16-year-old Black girl named Ma’Khia Bryant. The shooting happened just 30 minutes before the verdict was delivered in the Chauvin trial. And let’s not forget Daunte Wright was killed by police just 10 minutes away from where the trial was taking place in Minneapolis.
This moment will be one that we look back on as a crucial point in our history. Will Chauvin’s guilty verdict actually change how encounters between Black people and police transpire? Or will this just be an outlier when we look back 20-30 years from now?
The trauma, the fear, and the unanswered questions that remain have left Black people in a state of emotions that are raw and real. There is no correct way to process any of this.
All of the joy, relief, anger, sadness, disgust, and apathy is valid. As Black people, we must process this individually, in the way we each deem fit.