A jury of Derek Chauvin’s peers has rendered its unanimous verdicts. Now, the conversation about how we achieve greater social justice in America continues.
The first principle and the best practice of effective dialogue is to listen for understanding. One constructive way to respond to the George Floyd tragedy and its reverberations is to hear the calls to listen. We will make progress if we truly listen so that we more fully understand the experience of being Black in America.
The anger and fear that is the experience of too many Americans today is not what we want for our nation. The hard-won achievements of the Civil Rights movement demonstrate that calls for change that are both passionate and peaceful are the most powerful because they most deeply penetrate the heart and prick the conscience. As Martin Luther King, Jr. taught and practiced, nonviolent resistance is effective because it wins more friends and understanding to the cause of racial justice than the alternative.
The jurors in Minneapolis have done their part. In the weeks and months to come, may we each do our part as citizens in this great experiment in self-government. May we each contribute to the more perfect achievement of our shared principle that we are all created equal.