It never feels as good as I expect. After the Derek Chauvin trial verdict was announced, I was more relieved than joyful.
Chauvin’s conviction on all charges oddly reminded me of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide, and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s fatal prison beating in 1994. A typical reaction when bad things happen to bad people is “good riddance,” “karma” or “couldn’t happen to a nicer guy."
The mere fact that people like Dahmer exist is disturbing, and on some level, any suicide is tragic. The same is true when someone trained to uphold the law like Derek Chauvin fails so badly.
Like most people, I thought justice won in the Chauvin case. It’s one victory, but history shows that we don’t handle success well. In fact, too often we don’t know true success when we see it.
The coronavirus is an example. How many false “victories” have we had in combating the virus before positivity rates rise again? When will we listen when Dr. Fauci warns us not to “spike the football on the five-yard line”?
The same applies to our approach to race relations. It was gratifying to see white and black people genuinely supporting each other in the street after the Chauvin verdict. We might finally have something to build upon if we remember that the game isn’t over.