The verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial has brought our nation to a crossroads. Convicted on two counts of murder and one of manslaughter, Chauvin will be sentenced in August. Does this mean justice for the family of George Floyd?
Many, including George Floyd’s brother, believe this verdict is about accountability rather than justice. This accountability is long overdue. It stands in the shadow of systemic racism that is a part of our country’s history. People of color, who are our brothers and sisters, have lived with inequality for far too long. This verdict points to the sins of our society.
As a predominantly white Presbytery, we now must choose to work for change. We cannot understand what our sisters and brothers of color have dealt with all of their lives. We must listen to their hard truths – truths that may make us uncomfortable.
More than listening, we can stand with all our brothers and sisters. We can work together, taking tangible steps now to break through the systemic racism that has been a burden for many of us and a privilege for most of us. We can draw upon God’s love that abides in us to continue to work for change.
This is a moment of racial reckoning. During the 21-day trial of Derek Chauvin, police in our nation killed a person each day. Since the verdict was announced, a 16-year-old girl was killed in Columbus in the midst of a chaotic situation; a man in Elizabeth City, North Carolina was killed while police were serving him a warrant.
We pray that this also may be a moment of racial reconciliation. May we find ways to work together to demand changes that reflect the kin-dom God yearns to see. We are all equal in God’s eyes. Let us work together to create a world where all of humanity are treated equally. May we find ways to receive forgiveness from our brothers and sisters of color and be transformed by that forgiveness.
Rev. Dr. Jane Wilson Rev. T. J. DeMarco
Presbytery Moderator Presbytery Stated Clerk