“Hey, did you hear that they will be sharing the verdict soon?”
“I know you are so relieved by the verdict of George Floyd.”
Wait, who said that I wanted to discuss this? What if I don’t want to discuss this? Why do I feel forced to talk about this?
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know what I’m referring to. Derrick Chauvin, the man who killed Goerge Floyd in 2020 was charged guilty on three accounts this week.
And to add to this, many assume that I am supposed to be excited about this. I think alot of this has to do with the fact that I am black.
Many people believe that justice has been granted. For me personally, an individual was simply held accountable for actions.
This man had the audacity to put his sweaty knee on the neck of another human being for almost ten minutes. And, we need a jury to prove that he was guilty?
Why was he able to be free for a year up until this trial? If he were black, would he have been granted a trial? No, he would’ve simply sat in jail and had to beg for freedom for years. Or, even worse, he would have probably would have died before making it to the jail.
It is so unfair.
I know of people who did not do something half as bad as him and they are still just waiting for a fair trial.
And, do you know what is even more unfair? People thinking that just because I am black, I want to talk about this verdict. Just because I am black does not mean that I want to be the spokesperson for this.
To be honest, I was not following the trial of Derrick Chauvin closely. I saw images from the trial on the internet. However, I was not glued to the television or websites following the case.
So, to assume, that just because I am black that, I want to share them with you, is absolutely WRONG.
Please don’t assume that your black friends want to process these issues with you. A lot of us are TIRED.
Here is what you can do instead:
- Ask your black friends if they want to discuss the case. It is as simple as that. Please don’t force your black friends to talk about this case if they are uncomfortable. And, don’t even feel obligated to bring it up.
- Tell your black friends that you are here to support them if needed. Just be here for your black friends. Buying lunch or helping with a task might be a lot more special than pressuring your black friends to rehearse their trauma.
- Do not expect your black friends to be your teachers on issues pertaining to black folks. You can do your own research without badgering your black friends. There are so many books, magazines, blogs, podcasts that you can listen to to educate yourself.
- Remember that black folks have dealt with so many similar cases as George Floyd. As I saw on Austin Channing Brown’s post on Twitter this week, “Im trying to make sense of my feelings. Is there such a thing as *ancestral survivors guilt* because I feel so aware of the generations of people who didn’t get this moment. And at the same time, I don’t feel confident that we won’t be doing this same dance in a couple months.”
- The verdict of Derrick Chauvin is simply a “drop in the bucket.” There is still so much work to be done. Instead of a person simply being held accountable for their actions, those who make the laws and enforce the laws must be sure that the law is being carried out correctly.
So, earlier, I said that its not black folks job to educate you on issues that are prevalent to us. There are many podcasts that you can listen to.
Here are some podcasts that you can watch to see the perspective of black people:
There are many books that you can read. Here are some books that you can read:
So, please don’t assume that your black friends want to discuss racial issues with you. But instead, educate yourself and learn ways to become a better ally.
If you check out one of these podcasts or books, please let me know!