We – personally and within our community – were broken after watching the appalling video capturing the actions of Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officers against George Floyd that caused his tragic death in May of 2020. Outrage, grief – our words were futile to express how we were feeling and our concern for those in our community share those feelings, but also feared for their own safety.
This heinous act could not stand. And it did not. Chauvin sits now convicted of all charges and awaits sentencing. There is relief and release in our communities. The air feels lighter. At the same time, however, my heart feels heavy for the life that was stolen and the number of lives that have been unalterably changed because of this hateful action. While Chauvin was held accountable—the price of hate, of unregulated power, of racism is too high.
We must continue to work to dismantle the racist and White supremacist systems that made the murder of George Floyd possible and that continue to allow acts of violence against Black, Indigenous and People of Color in this city, state, and country to occur at inexcusable rates. We must hold ourselves, each other, and those in authority accountable when acts of injustice are committed, when we witness racist actions or behaviors, and when civil rights have been violated.
Now we must take what we know – as family scientists and members of this community – and focus our energy toward contributing to transformation within our communities and toward the liberation of all people. We must continue to fight for justice.
While the verdict hopefully opens up space for healing to begin, we will all continue to process the events of the past year, of today, of history, in our own ways and at our own pace. As I said in my message last week—pause, reach out to your networks for support, find ways to take action that make sense to you. Take good care all. Stay safe. Reach out if you need anything.
Stacey S. Horn
Head and Professor | Department of Family Social Science | College of Education and Human Development