Before the trial began, Floyd family attorney Ben Crump blasted the idea that the trial would be a tough test for jurors. “We know that if George Floyd was a white American citizen, and he suffered this painful, tortuous death with a police officer’s knee on his neck, nobody, nobody, would be saying this is a hard case.”
The trial of Derek Chauvin, 45, the police officer charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death, started this week. In his testimony, Donald Williams, a former wrestler, said he yelled to Chauvin that he was cutting off Floyd’s blood supply. Williams recalled that Floyd’s voice grew thicker as his breathing became more labored, and he eventually stopped moving. “From there on he was lifeless,” Williams said. “He didn’t move, he didn’t speak, he didn’t have no life in him no more on his body movements.”
The defense attorney, Eric Nelson, disputed that Chauvin was to blame for Floyd’s death. “Floyd, 46, had none of the telltale signs of asphyxiation and he had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system,” Nelson said. He said Floyd’s drug use, combined with his heart disease, high blood pressure and the adrenaline flowing through his body, caused a heart rhythm disturbance that killed him”.
We have already seen that hundred of similar cases finished with no or a light verdict for the policemen charged. No one yet knows the outcome of the monumental Floyd trial but in any case, independently from the result, it will not truly address the issue at hand — hate and white supremacy.
The jurors will not be given any insight into Chauvin’s life, what type of school he went to, who his parents were, what neighborhood in lived in, what motivated him to become a cop, what political party he was part of, what church did he belong to was going to? This is not the Nuremberg trial (as it should be) but rather a black family pitted against a policeman, within a judicial system shown over and over to be there to protect the institution of the police. Justice here is the application of “law and order,” and is not about to address the discrimination of one race against another, the underlining motivation behind Floyd’s killing.
Not during this trial will our society discuss what killed Floyd. The white man will hide behind his institutions, keeping his supremacy in check. The president of the New York City’s largest police union, Patrick J. Lynch, gave the union’s endorsement to President Trump in August 2020, saying “Mr. President, we are fighting for our lives out there.” Nearly 90% of the union’s’ leaders — officers, trustees, financial secretaries — are white, and even more are men, according to the New York Times. If this is the situation in NYC, we can imagine what it’s like in the rest of the country.
There is nothing new here; all of this happened for decades, if not centuries, before. Renée Ater has created a memorial pagein honor of those unarmed black and brown people killed by the police, sheriff deputies, and security guards. You can also visit the #SAY THEIR NAMES page and see their faces. These are heartbreaking lists, much too long for any human heart to read.
The real question is, if Black Lives Matter and the Civil Rights movement have not transformed this hate and discrimination, what will? The real issue is that white culture needs to change, needs to transform itself, needs a cultural revolution. We need to replace hate and discrimination with “treat other as you want to be treated,” replace competition with cooperation, replace law and order with peace and justice, replace individualism with universalism, replace rich and poor with valid actions and happiness. We need to replace second amendment of the U.S. constitution with Article 2 of the Declaration of Human Rghts and we need everyone’s cooperation to do it. Teachers on Long Island, Staten Island, and in every white neighborhood should transform their curriculum, artist should be standing against discrimination without fear of losing their fans, the media should stop mediatizing violence and focus on human development and process in all fields (science, medicine, economic, common goods, democracy, technology, cultures, environment). The churches should stop becoming political machines keeping a minority in power and corporations should understand their responsibility to transform the disparity between rich and poor.
As we don’t know the final judgment in Chauvin’s trial, we also don’t know what will happen to the White-West. Will the White-West be smart enough to adapt and transform itself, or will it fall like the Egyptians or Romans? This trial, unfortunately, will not answer any of these questions and real justice will not be served.