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Monday, May 10, 2021


by Donna Katzin

Demonstrators march towards Boston Police Headquarters to protest the police-perpetrated killing of 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant who was shot by Columbus Police on April 21, 2021. This march was initially organized to celebrate the life of George Floyd following the verdict of Derek Chauvin. Credit: ANIK RAHMAN / NURPHOTO via GETTY IMAGES via TRUTHOUT

There’s a reason why so many activists have insisted that the Derek Chauvin verdict — though it offers a measure of solace for George Floyd’s family — isn’t justice. Our current way of thinking about and doing justice does not and cannot meet the moment. If anything, the Chauvin verdict achingly demonstrates that justice as we know it is wanting. It’s time to imagine a new justice that does and can…  It’s about reckoning with and disrupting entire histories, legacies, and systems of racial terror and white supremacy that, like monsters who we think are dead but keep coming back, relentlessly replicate and reproduce themselves. —Fania E. Davis, Truthout, May 9, 2021

After a year of protests,
witnesses, testimonies, videos,
this time we see the scales balance --
a white perpetrator in blue found guilty
of squeezing the life out of a Black man.
For a moment the weight of planets
lifts from our backs, shoulders,
necks, and we can stand
a little straighter,
breathe again.
But still we hear
the ripping of the land
as more Black bodies fall, blood
oozing from crevasses
too wide to heal.
In the streets, the howl
of the original sin refuses to die,
roots like a relentless, toxic weed
in its shallow grave, waiting
to show its face again.

Donna Katzin is the founding executive director of Shared Interest, a fund that mobilizes the human and financial resources of low-income communities of color in South and Southern Africa.  A board member of Community Change in the U.S., and co-coordinator of Tipitapa Partners working in Nicaragua, she has written extensively about South Africa, community development and impact investing.  Published in journals and sites including The New Verse News and The Mom Egg, she is the author of With the Hands, a book of poems and photographs about post-apartheid South Africa’s process of giving birth to itself.