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Day Four

April 1, 2021

Today was day #4 of the George Floyd murder trial.

I just want to note that because this trial feels like a flash point. It has to be. I’ve watched a lot of it over the past four days and have been deeply moved by the humanity on display — the sweet generosity of the young Cup Foods store clerk; the urgency of the people in the small group of sidewalk witnesses, including children; the 911 dispatcher who said something wasn’t right; the EMT who assessed GF’s vitals; GF’s girlfriend and her accounts of a relationship that included drug addiction. Their accounts all brought tears and then such despair for where this country is. The circumstances that brought us to this trial are so profoundly wretched. I was heartened by the scale of the Summer 2020 response and the promise of movement.. and yet has the needle moved? I hope it has. I feel urgent myself, and sickened all over again watching this trial. I’m so rattled by the footage — shot from so many angles. I’ve lost my faith and reclaimed it numerous times. Only to lose it again.

I cannot imagine the depth of the pain black people suffer in this country. I’m grateful for the stories being told in this trial. But I don’t know why a significant part of the prosecution’s strategy is to first show that George Floyd is actually a human being, flawed like all of us, struggling like all of us. I understand that it must be their strategy because, for too long, black lives have been dehumanized. Why don’t we accept the truth that we are all human, start from there, and evaluate what Chauvin did based simply on the facts of the case and the law. Why don’t black people live under the same laws as white people?

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