Hope That a More Perfect System Is Possible

Man and woman hug after hearing verdict of Derek Chauvin tria
People in Brooklyn, NY, reacted to the verdict of the Derek Chauvin trial on April 20, 2021. Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The United States has long represented the ideal of equal justice under the law while falling far short of that goal. Every day, our nation has an opportunity and a responsibility to remedy that. The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was a particularly important test. For today at least, accountability has been achieved.

The news may be about Chauvin, but my thoughts go to the other characters in this tragic story. I think of George Floyd and his family. The verdict, however necessary, does nothing to bring him back. I also think of the witnesses and the jurors who acted with courage during the course of the trial. They give us hope that a more perfect system is possible.

Ending the epidemic murder of Black Americans at the hands of the police will take more than one trial. Racism remains deeply entrenched in our justice system, as it is in our health, education, housing, employment and other systems. Though the eyes of the world have been on a courthouse in Minneapolis, current and future generations will judge all of us by the actions we take — day after day after day — to build a more just society.