George Floyd Officer Trial New York

A group of protesters walk through the streets after the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin was announced in New York, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, the explosive case that triggered worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.

Justice has been served in the world’s most diverse, tolerant and inclusive society. Instead of rioting, Americans should salute the flag in gratitude.

We should not celebrate the downfall of a cop. We should probably give thanks for our justice system’s ability to demand accountability for the killing of a Black man, in no position of significant authority, under the knee of a white man with authority granted by the government. By world standards, this is unusual.

When the jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on all counts Tuesday, it did what cannot be done in caste societies that uphold rights only for people in power or with government-favored immutable traits. That accounts for an alarming portion of the world.

The outcome in Minneapolis cannot undo the horrific crime committed against Floyd — a person beloved by his family and friends who cried out for his mother as Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly 10 minutes. No judge, jury or prosecutor can restore life to Floyd, making this a wrong that cannot be righted by any system of law.

Yet our system worked as intended. Chauvin might not survive long enough to wander free. He will never again lawfully carry a gun or work as a cop. He will never again vote unless progressive activists succeed in a quest to change that restriction. Life as he knew it is over.

Compare that to crime and justice in China, which so many of today’s self-proclaimed “woke” celebrities and politicians hold in high regard. The world’s most populous country — a communist-led superpower militarily and economically — still keeps slaves.

It identifies individuals on a basis of race, religion and ethnicity — i.e. Uyghur Muslims — hogties them and hauls them into factories to make cheap goods promoted by American celebrities and athletes who simultaneously disparage our country as racist (think multimillionaires Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James).

Far from upholding equal justice, at least six United Nations member states — Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Iran — maintain the death penalty for members of the LGBTQ community.

In a flawless society, Floyd would spend holidays with his family for decades to come. The United States is far from perfect, but we work toward it with a system built on equal justice for all since ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868.

The Chauvin verdict makes it clear. We don’t stand by when injustice smacks us in the face, no matter the rank and identity of the criminal and victim. Yes, our country needs work. And, yes, our country is the greatest in the world for people of any religion or ethnicity yearning to live free. The tragic saga of George Floyd’s murder, and the conviction of his killer, should help us love what we have. It should also remind us to improve.

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