What is ‘the capacity of America to produce justice for Black folk?’

By Alyssa Wilson

Jury selection in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former officer who kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, begins on March 8. 

Journalist, author, professor and BNC host Marc Lamont Hill joined Start Your Day to discuss the upcoming trial. 

Hill says Americans should prepare to see a legal battle play out. 

“You’ll begin to see many of the racial demons of America rise up, and it will begin with this jury selection,” Hill said. 

Citing painful moments of disappointment in past rulings on police brutality, Hill says Black America needs to prepare itself for the outcome. 

“The odds, the evidence, all point to a more just and favorable outcome, but in this country, we have to always be prepared for an outcome that we don’t want,” he said. 

In Minneapolis, community organizers are vowing to peacefully protest during the trial while fences, barbed wire and other barricades have been put up around public buildings. 

Referencing Emmett Till, Rodney King, and Trayvon Martin as examples of how Black America has fought for justice for decades, he said the case is bigger than George Floyd alone. 

“If we reduce this to the case of a rogue officer and three bystanding officers who just did nothing then we miss the point,” Hill said. “The marches we saw in May, June and July raised bigger questions on the capacity of America to produce justice for Black folk and the institutions that make it harder for us to see justice.” 

As communities across America keep their eyes on the trial, Hill said it is important to think not just about the officers, but also the systems in place that trained them. 

Hill will be the host of BNC’s Black News Tonight which will appear on the network daily at 8 p.m. The show will cover politics, entertainment and Black news from across the country


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