Statement on Chauvin Verdict
The verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin is in, and in this one, singular case, a measure of justice has been done. That it feels so exceptional tells us how deep the struggle for racial justice in this country remains, and how much farther we have to go.
In his opening statement, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell called the citizens who stood at that Minneapolis corner and watched the murder of George Floyd, begging for it stop, a “veritable bouquet of humanity.” A teenager among them hit record on her phone. These things made all the difference, allowing the public and then the jury to see with their own eyes the brutal killing of George Floyd. And they acted on what they saw, in the streets last year and in ten swift hours of deliberation.
At Bates, we aspire to make change as well. To not just stand by, but to act. I hope the result in this case will reinforce our efforts to dismantle structures of racism on our own campus and move us forward in our goal to provide all students, faculty, and staff with the opportunity to experience the personal transformation and commitment to justice that lie at the heart of our educational mission.