April 20, 2021 was a monumental day with the George Floyd case verdict and I want to tell you why.
“Oh, the verdict is in!”
“That cop, the jury came back already.”
I was out working and got this notice from someone looking on their phone. Honestly, I had forgotten all about it. I had been blissfully unaware of the news of the trial for a few weeks. I don’t watch the news anymore really, can you blame me? But I definitely was intrigued to hear about this, and wanted to watch.
I headed over to my mom’s house, and sat and watched news interviews and analysis of the 11-hour deliberation and what that usually means for the prosecuters’ case. There was back and forth discussion about did they supply enough evidence, was the testimony impactful enough, can they use the video, how did the BLM protests affect this decision? It’s like a game of Russian roulette, you just never know how these cases turn out. Really, any court case. But in these court rooms, where a Black or Brown person is the sacrifice, especially a Black man, we hold our breath and hope.
Yeah okay, that came out of left field, Nicole.
I went bowling yesterday with friends. Haven’t been bowling in a long time. Everytime I go, I’m incredibly shaken and uncoordinated, and have to get my groove back. I’m not a regular striker, but I can get most pins down when my muscle memory kicks in. I had to try different balls, move myself a little more to the left to get a better angle, and I got some better results. But with all that preparation, I still mostly got gutter balls. What was incredibly frustrating was dropping the ball, with all my might, see it hit a straight B-line for the center pin with lightning speed, and then watch it slowly drift to the left, and barely touch anything. IT WAS RIGHT THERE!! It was there!! I yell, I curse, I stomp back to my seat like a 5-year old. Doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
When you watch something come to manifestation, and you’re looking right at it and everything, all the evidence and signs point to the result you want and then some kind of invisible gremlin steps in and just blows it away, what do you feel? It slips through your fingers. It’s the 5 stages of grief in about 10 seconds. Utter shock to anger, frustration, disappointment, and then finally just realizing nothing can be done. But you say, ok, I’m doing something different, it has to come out right this time, there’s no way it can’t, no way! You shift, and you refocus, and you get up your courage to try again, and keep your hopes up again, knowing it HAS to be right this time. And yet again, a strike down the middle, and the floor moves out of your control, and it goes left, never hits a pin. Everything feels out of your control no matter how much you prepare.
For any of you who have experienced this kind of mood, now you know what it feels like to watch people die senselessly, have clear evidence that it happened as it appeared to, and never see justice.
For generations, Black people have had to standby and hold their tongue while so many have their expert opinions about what they know nothing about. They literally play judge, jury, and executioner, and any opposition to that is an immediate threat to your life, and the lives of anyone you care about. My grandfather grew up on a farm in the South. He never told me all the stories of his experience there, mainly about how he had to conduct himself around White people, but anyone who’s grown up in a Black household knows the story. You look down, never in the eye, speak when spoken to, keep your answers short and respectful. Because your life depends on it. A simple store transaction, a walk, a glance, can change everything.
I was honestly surprised that the verdict convicted the officer on all counts (I choose not to say his name, because it is George Floyd who is the one to be remembered). I expected one of the lower charges, and hey, that would have been enough. That’s also known as settling, and we, as Black and Brown people, have become accustomed to it. That itself, is a sad fact. Accepting mediocrity. But we take what we can get. So, when that jury said no, we are not this time, I was in disbelief. I was driving and all I could say is “wow” over and over.
This is not what we have been programmed to expect. This is not the justice we are expected to have served. And what happened that day not only was a George Floyd case verdict, it was for all of those that never even got to see court, or saw all the evidence in the line of sight for that center pin, and then go left and hit nothing.
This, is the emotion you all saw that day. This is the tears, the hugging, the praising, the hand-holding, the gratitude. For those of you who still may not fully understand the impact of the George Floyd case verdict, this is the feeling Black and Brown people around the country felt. We had been down for so long, watching case after case over the past century lead to absolutely nothing. So the sacrifices are silenced, their families are silenced, and the perpetrators go home to their families, and sleep soundly at night.
While I do not partake, 4/20 is now a whole other joyous day to celebrate.
But, the marathon continues.
Feel free to give your thoughts below on the George Floyd case verdict.
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