Home > Uncategorized > A Statement from Historians Against Slavery

Historians Against Slavery welcomes the guilty verdicts on all three counts in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. For the family, this is a moment of accountability and vindication, and for the country it has far-reaching symbolic value. Had the verdict gone otherwise, America would look very different this evening. With Chauvin’s guilty verdict, we have kept our fragile peace and achieved a moment of personal accountability, but not at all the full measure of justice, which would be a wholesale rethinking of how policing and incarceration operate in modern-day America. To rethink police accountability as a matter of justice would be to go beyond the trial of a single person to think of how the entire system was built and has operated in a way that has upheld systematic racism and its violent enforcement. We recognize the murders of Daunte Wright, aged 19, and Adam Toledo, aged 13, even as the trial unfolded. We mourn the irredeemable loss of George Floyd, and we pledge to continue the ongoing struggle to dismantle the White supremacist culture that killed him.

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