On the Conviction of Derek Chauvin

Tuesday’s verdict in the Derek Chauvin case was a momentous one, even though it was just one court decision in one case. As I said to Conie while we watched the verdict being read, the powerful validation I felt seemed strange, considering that the jury was affirming what seemed obvious to anyone who watched the video of George Floyd’s murder. Yet in the midst of a legal system that treats police with such deference, this decision was cause for relief.

At the same time, dislodging White supremacy and achieving true justice in our culture will take much, much more than one court decision. As people of faith, we go beyond a “do no harm” approach to community life, and actively seek the full flourishing of every person, regardless of race or other identity factors. This is why I still have ringing in my ears what Rev. DeWayne Davis said at Tuesday night’s prayer vigil in George Floyd Square. Enjoy the victory and validation of this moment, but “be dissatisfied” with the ongoing injustices of our times. So long as Black people are over-policed, over-charged, over-incarcerated, and over-represented by police killings, we’ve only got a trickle of justice. Be dissatisfied and remember what the prophets said, “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” So a mere trickle of justice is not enough. God leads us instead toward a future of full joy and abundance for every. single. person. made in God’s holy image.

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