Yesterday we learned of the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial for the murder of George Floyd. This is a step in the right direction.
This verdict is not an example of the system working, but rather, an example of the people working to hold the system accountable: the individual people witnessing police brutality and speaking up, the people coming together to organize and push for accountability on a local and national level. The trial brought forth the testimonies of this horrific and painful tragedy, one that not only highlighted the death of George Floyd, but also reminded us of countless others who have been lost over the years to police violence.
Vice President Kamala Harris said “Black men are fathers and brothers and sons and uncles and grandfathers and friends and neighbors. Their lives must be valued in our education system, in our health care system, in our housing system, in our economic system, in our criminal justice system, in our nation.” She added: “Here’s the truth about racial injustice. It’s not just a Black America problem or a people of color problem. It is a problem for every American. It is keeping us from fulfilling the promise of liberty and justice for all.”
Here at NEWH, we know that racism and prejudice are a public health issue. The Community Health Center movement has and will continue to serve in its mission to promote and advocate for social and racial justice and we will continue to work diligently to heal the wounds that continue to threaten communities of color. We stand with the Black Community and against racism, prejudice, and police brutality. And although we are proud that there has been accountability witnessed and experienced through this verdict, we also know we have much more work to do to create fairer, equitable and just communities and systems.
As the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) reflects on their statement on this important verdict: “Let us go forward with a new vision and urgency to boldly change what we know to be wrong. Let us speak out, make changes within the walls of our hearts and in the halls of power, and vanquish all forms of discrimination.”