The conviction on second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter announced today in the trial of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd brings mixed emotions. This verdict comes in the midst of a national reckoning on race fueled by this and ongoing incidents, such as the killing of Daunte Wright on April 11 and the recently revealed footage of a traffic stop involving an Army officer in Virginia late last year. These relentless tragedies and subsequent conversations on race have revealed a common truth that anti-black racism is still, even after 400 years of trauma, woven into the fabric of our country. We see racism in the structure of our schools, in health and living disparities, and in an economic structure that benefits certain groups and excludes others. And we see racism in our policing and legal systems.
While many people will believe that justice has been served, the emotional nature of the weeks-long trial and the continuing acts of violence mentioned above have brought about a range of feelings. Although the verdict may bring a sense of closure to this particular case, we are reminded that the underlying issues continue. Le Moyne remains committed to its social justice mission of addressing the root causes of racial injustice through research, curriculum and policy reform, and ethos, all aimed at promoting a culture of inclusion and a more just society.
As we process the many emotions these situations elicit, please know that there is help available. This includes resources and support offered by the Wellness Center for Health and Counseling, the Office for Inclusive Excellence and Global Education, Campus Ministry and the Employee Assistance Program. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of these for assistance or connection.
We continue to pray for healing, understanding and empathy as we sort through these complex and deeply painful issues in our lives and for all of our communities.
Linda LeMura, President
Jim Hannan, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Anne Kearney, Interim Associate Provost for Student Development
Rev. Charles Oduke, Interim Director of the Office of Inclusive Excellence and Global Education
C. Tabor Fisher, Co-Chair of the Racial Justice Committee
Kuukua Yomekpe, Co-Chair of the Racial Justice Committee