When navigating the evil of racism in my daily life, I've decided that I must hold onto Hope. The criminal justice system is no place for my Hope. That was made clear in the history of my people and my personal familial grief. The interlocking systems of this country's laws and policies are not worthy of my whole Hope.
No, instead I place my Hope in true Justice. Justice which is eternal. Eternal Justice that casts visions stretched across our imagination of liberation even when we faced lifetimes of enslavement. Eternal Justice that raises our voices and lifts our fists. Eternal Justice that keeps us loving and laughing even when the world rips with violence that says we are unworthy of joy.
Still, in spite of this lifelong commitment to Hoping in Justice, some part of me felt hoping was too dangerous today. My Hope was replaced with bitterness. I relinquished any expectation, hopeless with no palpable tie to the verdict of this trial. My commitment to the belief that George Floyd deserved Justice never wavered, but I was convinced that no conclusion would usher in true Justice. No trail could rekindled the life, freedom, or body that was destroyed.
But as I waited, my mind could no longer trick itself with a false sense of disassociation. The rest of my body was too vocal. As each minutes passed my stomach turned. My head pulsed. My muscles ached. I was in pain with want for Justice.
Justice for George Floyd. Justice for Breonna Taylor. Justice for Daunte Wright.
And then, when what I thought could never inspire relief was spoken aloud, when the jury and the judge said with the nation watching that the Black body of George Floyd and the life it held matters...release.
Hope sprang forth in me in a way that I could not have expected. The vice of fear was unclenched and tears filled my eyes. Today's verdict is the most microscope glimpse of true Justice. It does not bring back to this earth the light that was snuffed by the hands of white supremacy, nor the generations of life lost to the violence of racial terror. But it resurrected a Hope, if only for a moment, for an evening, for today. It has released the grip of terror from the bodies of Black folks across this country. And with this we can rest in Hope eternal, we can continue to reach up, to tear the veil of anti-Black racism in all of its insidious forms.
And I will continue on, a Black woman armed, with eternal Hope and true Justice.