Nearly a year after America rose up in horror and anger at the tragic murder of George Floyd and cried out in opposition to generations of systemic racism, a jury in Minneapolis delivered a long-awaited first step toward accountability. While we know that true justice would mean that George Floyd was with us today, living free of fear of racism and police violence, I’m glad that we can at least say that with this verdict, the arc of the moral universe bent ever so slightly further toward justice.
The American legal system should be a beacon of accountability around the globe, and I’m glad that with the eyes of the world upon us, it lived up to that promise in this case. But at the same time, I’m all too aware that this same accountability and justice has never come for countless Black, brown, and Indigenous women and men in America.
I hope that this moment is a turning point for the real action and reform desperately needed to ensure our country can live up to its most sacred promise: that all men and women are created equal. While we unequivocally declare the truth that Black Lives Matter, it is long past time for the meaningful changes needed to allow Black Americans an opportunity to thrive.
My thoughts tonight are with George Floyd’s family and friends as they continue to grieve his loss and work toward lasting change.