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In Response to Yesterday’s Verdict

This week we join the Black community, along with communities of oppressed people from across the world, as we rejoice in the guilty verdict against the murderer of George Floyd.

Though we find comfort in this judicial outcome, make no mistake, we are not by any means conceding the daily violence and oppression that is inflicted on Black communities across this country. This was a step in the right direction, but the fact that we’re celebrating what should have been a straightforward verdict — that we were even questioning whether his death was murder — remains an indicator that the system is rigged, that systemic racism is real, and that change is mandatory. 

For far too long we have found the angry end of a whip, baton, or unjust law directed at us because of the way we look and the color of our skin. Yes, accountability was finally rendered to the person who committed this crime, but we can neither rest nor find peace in this one exception. We have to work together to address the root of systemic injustice and prevent this from happening from the start. We must demand a just society — one without the cries of grown men for their mothers, one without the fear of being killed for walking, running, sleeping, eating candy, watching TV, or one of the many other ways that Black lives have been recklessly taken with no regard for humanity. 

I challenge you as you read this to become greater today than you were yesterday, and to teach love, compassion, and equity to every person you come across — for when we practice through instruction, we create change through action. We must do our work both individually and systemically, and rally together to change the unjust systems that get in the way of our collective liberation.

In solidarity,
Chris Rhodes

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