I recall hearing a trial commentator talk about the fact that there really is no victory in this, because this was one incident. And yes, while we are glad that justice was served in this case, it is one case. Sadly, there have been many more since George Floyd, up to today.
He went on to list 10 or 12 other names to where, pardon the expression, the jury's still out as to whether or not these people and their families will ever get justice. What do we do about that?
And so on the one hand, I'm grateful for the outcome. On the other hand, what does it really mean? And these are the same types of thoughts that I had when I got my diploma and walked across the stage. On the one hand I was grateful for that outcome. But on the other hand, what did it really mean? It meant that I was better equipped, from all the reading. The discussions. The experiences to move forward and make a difference. The Knowing and Growing that I had accomplished.
Similarly, the outcome of this trial is the same. It's one moment in time. But how have we now been prepared to move forward in life through the readings and discussions and experiences that were initiated on May 26 2020 when the collective consciousness of an entire globe had to stand still and be emotionally, mentally, psychologically and spiritually arrested by what we saw? What has each of us done to move beyond blame and shame to (new) knowing and growing in our own unique ways?
And now, a year later, how do we move forward? Justice has been served in one case, but what's really changed. I thought about that when I was on the verge of crying tears of relief. I couldn't really shed a tear. Because it's a celebration of one moment in time. And there are so many other moments in time yet to come. When only time will prove whether or not we've learned a lesson. And just how far we've actually moved the needle – both for ourselves and for others.
But then going back to the team that made it all happen: when I look at that team, when I think about that team, when I consider what that team of prosecutors represented.
They represented a sense of hope that if enough groups form teams like that – looking like bouquets of humanity-- we really can get somewhere. But how willing are we to do it? And even if we're willing, how likely is it to happen? And even if it happens in some places and spaces, what will it take to duplicate those efforts around the world, to finally say: “It's not about race relations, it's about human relationships.”
To finally say, it's no longer about shame and blame, but it's really about knowing and growing to finally come to the realization that check the box initiatives aren't going to change anything. But change… changing the culture, changing society, changing the world, is about behaviors, and that those behaviors, cannot be based in external incentives they must be based in internal motivations, so that we can move from “doing” inclusive and belonging to “being” inclusive and welcoming in every way, every day.