One Battle Won in the War on Racism
Words on the conviction of police officer Darren Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd
April 22, 2021
Dear Evanston/North Shore NAACP Family and Friends,
On so many occasions we have assembled together in these community vigils to lament national tragedies in our nation. We gathered to remembered the nine men and women from Mother Emmanuel in Charleston. We gathered to remember over fifty people who lost their lives in Orlando at Club Pulse. We gathered to remember fifty more who were gunned down at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas. Just last fall we gathered on behalf the Blake family whose roots are dug deeply into this very Evanston soil upon which we stand. The cry of the prophet rings in our ears, “How long, Lord, how long?” In trial after trial we saw justice denied;
Trayvon Martin was killed and justice went missing with a not guilty verdict of George Zimmerman as he walked free.
Tamir Rice was killed and justice went missing and a review by FBI agent Kimberly Crawford found that Timothy Loehmann’s was justified, allowing him to walk free.
Eric Garner was killed and justice went missing when Attorney General William J. Barr ordered the case to be dropped and Officer Daniel Pantaleo walked free.
Sandra Bland was killed and justice went missing when a grand jury declined to indict State Trooper Brian Encinia or County Sheriff R. Glenn Smith allowing them to walk free.
Michael Brown was killed and justice went missing as as Robert McCulloch, the St. Louis County Prosecutor announced a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson as he walked free.
Breonna Taylor was killed and justice went missing and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron convinced a grand jury not to indict any of the three officers as they all walked free.
There is some solace in knowing, Office Darren Chauvin made a short walk, in handcuffs, out of the courtroom to a facility in Stillwater, Minnesota a few miles away. His walking as a free man, has come to an end. Yet, before we can become caught up in a sweet moment where temporary justice can be seen as a flickering glow across the canopy of our nation’s landscape, the sin of racism continues to abound in law enforcement and our judicial system. Daunte Wright died at the hands of police, Adam Toledo died at the hands of police.
Since George Floyd died last May, one hundred and eighty one Black people have been killed by police- according to the research group, Mapping Police Violence. A brilliant, beautiful Black PhD student right here at Northwestern University, wrote these words, The police state that is naming Chauvin guilty is the same police state that killed George Floyd. We have to sit with the fact that the contours of anti-Black power actually require these occasional breaks and moments of “justice” in order to keep the very wheels of anti-Black power turning.
What we must do friends and neighbors in Evanston, is we must be ever diligent in balancing any celebration with the continued and vigorous demand for change, transformation and an end to racism. What we must do, is target racism everywhere, and supplant it with a fierce and loving spirit of anti-racism. What we must do, is be ever realistic that this one verdict in hundreds may not be the first wave in a tsunami of justice rolling across our land. But it may simply be a decision of necessity seeking to lull us back into conformity and unguarded ease. Remember, the very night before the closing arguments in this case occurred- our hero and she-ro, Congresswoman Maxine Waters was vilified for saying, “We must be ever more confrontational if there is no guilty verdict.” Judge Cahill tried to roast her. Kevin McCarthy tried to roast her. That villain Marilyn Green tried to roast her. And it is to suggest that with every victory, comes a more vivid realization of racism. With every step forward comes a more glaring display of white supremacy. As we break through barriers, as we tear down walls as we overcome obstacles- the struggle will not end. But keep in mind, we know what the end will be. Right wins. Love is always greater than hate. Evil cannot withstand good.
I encourage you to go thank God for the family of George Floyd who may be resting easier. But also renew your resolve and determination to wake up tomorrow for the next battle, the next fight, the next confrontation. Until we have won this war against racism, may our unity in this community- grow ever closer and stronger.
Peace and Safety,
Dr. Michael Nabors
President-Evanston/North Shore NAACP