How Bout That Verdict



Be honest, you were at least a little surprised Derek Chauvin was convicted yesterday. In fact, you were already pretty sure beforehand that even if he was was convicted, it would not be on all charges. 

Viewed in a vacuum, I was satisfied with the verdict. 

But this case did not occur in a vacuum. There was nothing singular about this case. It was not some anomaly. It was reflective of our culture, our country. We fetishize that thin blue line and the murder of unarmed black men and boys is a predictable end result. It’s on all of us as much as it is on the PD.

We kill unarmed black men. 

It’s as American as apple pie. 

Convicting one murderer cop does not absolve us. 

Go ask the black people in your life if they now feel safer because one cop was held accountable for murder. They don’t. 

My brown ass has spent the last twelve hours half-wondering if there is going to be some sort of retribution from police. Are there going to be some pissed off cops who are going to go out and take that anger out on some other unfortunate man whose gravest sin is the wrong melanin count?

I hope that I am wrong. I want to believe that I am. But I have lived too fucking long to be so naive as to believe it is not a real possibility. 

Beyond that, I keep thinking about two people not directly involved in the case. 

The first dude is a latino (and his friends) like me. Raging against the verdict, expecting antifa to cause riots and engaging in victim blaming. Apparently, resisting arrest and passing a fake twenty is enough to justify murder if you do drugs or aren’t the best father. 

I know, I know, not all latinos. But I come from that culture where racism is very real. And it infuriates me. Not just the racism – which is never a surprise – but that even after engaging there was a disconnect. A human was murdered and their reaction was to justify that murder and miss completely the point that this could be their brown ass. Their kid’s brown ass. What’s more, if it should ever be them there will be some internet asshole justifying it. And I promise, you can always find dirt to justify your hate. And if you are pure as the driven snow, they’ll make up shit.

I know I am painting with a broad brush and that most Latinos are as happy about the verdict as I am, but I’m angry and I expect better from my people. All of them.

The other dude I keep thinking about is some little white guy I saw on the news in Minneapolis. He knew he had to help, but had no idea how so he Googled. 

He literally googled: how can I help Black Lives Matter? 

And then he fucking showed up. 

That is half the battle right there. 

Keep showing up, people. 

I hope Chauvin gets turnt out in prison.

Copyright 2022 Rudy Martinez
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