Accountability. Guilty on all 3 counts.

I didn’t watch the entire Chauvin trial. I feared that history would repeat itself. That those 10 hours of deliberation would lead to more pain. Tears filled my eyes when the judge went through each verdict form.

“Guilty,” he said not once, not twice, but three times. I was thrilled but then sad. I went through a series of mixed motions:

Was it justice? No. Prison is never the answer. It won’t bring back the lives lost. Or, truly heal families.

Will people use this to say racism is over? Yes, America is obsessed with being post-racial. We need to be anti-racist, not non-racist.

What’s my part as an ally? I am relieved but there is still so much to do. I will continue to educate those in my community and fight for systemic change.

Moments later after a murdering cop was convicted of murder, a cop murdered a black teenage girl. Literally, moments after a historic verdict, another black life was taken by the police. This served as an ugly reminder that justice wasn’t served. Instead, Chauvin’s conviction reflected accountability. His conviction alone will not change the racist system, bring back black lives, stop black lives from being taken, and introduce critical race theory into schools.

The signs I made.

As a public defender, I defend of black lives. My black clients are treated terribly by a colorblind system. They face harsher punishments and severe collateral consequences with any type of conviction. I fight to keep them out of a vicious cycle by keeping them out of prisons. I make sure they’re seen as people, not a number in a system. As a public defender, I believe my clients when they said the police discriminated against them because of the color of their skin. I try to find ways to expose the racist system without it having extreme consequences for my clients. Being a public defender means continuously educating yourself, the prosecutors and the entire judicial system on systemic racism.

As an ally, my job is to educate those around me and peacefully showing my disappointment with the racist system. Recently, I attended a peaceful protest in my area. I made three signs and wore my defend black lives shirt. After meeting up with my fellow protestors, we stood on street corners holding up our signs while some drivers honked in solidarity with us.

More signs!

My favorite interaction was with a young black girl who screamed “thank you” and “I love you.” A few moments later, an old white lady in her white car flicked me off several times. In fact, she would continuously drive by me to flick me off (what a waste of gas). Another white lady screamed at us, “get a life!” We simply replied with a “thank you and have a nice day.”

I did make a great joke as well. I said, “white people think it’s a hate crime when you call them racists. They think it’s a hate crime because they hate it.” (It got a lot laughs from white people. I am going into comedy now.)

I’ve written a lot about ally-ship and educating yourself on the black lives matter movement. So, I going to share some more links for you to check out:

Image from NeatoShop.com

BLM: Take Action.

South Asian for BLM.

Say Her Name.

George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020.

Defend Black Lives.

ACLU: Defunding the Police.

The Bail Project.

If you’re struggling with your privilege and your place in this movement, then please read articles about why you need to take a stand. Being silent means you’re being compliance which will not help you or others. It’s time to end white supremacy and white nationalism.

That’s all I have for now. Stay tuned.

Published by Nikita Srivastava

a passionate feminist and social justice warrior who occasionally calls herself a goddess. She received her JD in 2019 and became licensed to practice law in 2020.

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