Derek Chauvin Isn't Enough
This blog is 99% business and investing, but there’s absolutely a 1% margin for talking about important things going on in the world. The death of George Floyd and the conviction of Derek Chauvin have illustrated the power within the people, not the justice system. And more specifically, this movement for racial justice has nothing to do with Derek Chauvin. Even if they had sentenced him to death, it wouldn’t solve the inequities that exist in our society.
There are two things that George Floyd’s death highlighted that Derek Chauvin’s conviction did not fix: racial wealth inequality and unarmed black men being treated violently by police. The wealth inequality is represented in the fact that George Floyd grew up in an impoverished community, became addicted to drugs, and lived just above the poverty line. The reason the police were called was for a supposed counterfeit bill Floyd tried to use at a convenience store. Had he not grown up in an impoverished community, it’s highly unlikely he would have been in that situation.
Secondly, the policing system allows for police officers to operate with near autonomy and freedom from prosecution for their actions. The problem is NOT that Derek Chauvin was racist, the problem is that the policing system that we use nationwide allows for a racist police officer to act differently based on a person’s skin color. Convicting Derek Chauvin for this crime does not prevent other officers from carrying on his legacy of racism.
A solution to this problem is more strict policing practices and longer training periods for officers. Personality testing to prevent racial bias would also be ideal. The worst thing this country and its people could do right now would be to celebrate and forget the purpose of the movement. We are not trying to catch racist police officers, we are trying to ensure that even if a police officer has racial bias or is overtly racist, they cannot act differently towards the people they protect.