Dr. George James, Chief Innovation Officer, Featured on WHYY: Anger, Anxiety, Stress, Relief: Therapists Say It’s OK for Black People to Feel It All
April 21, 2021 | How should Black people feel now that a jury has found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on three counts of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd?
Is joy even possible when there’s no way of getting Floyd back and when Chauvin’s colleagues are expected to face trial later this summer?
For almost a year, people living in the Philadelphia region have marched demanding justice for Floyd, the 46-year-old Black man Chauvin was convicted of killing, and sat in community healing circles talking about how, from their lived experience, no verdict could change the flaws in policing.
Black Philadelphia area therapists say whatever you’re feeling and have felt this past year, it’s the right response, and yes, it’s probably relief mixed with other complicated emotions.
“Even though this is something that many people have wanted, at the same time, it doesn’t erase how many other verdicts that didn’t go this way,” said marriage and family therapist Dr. George James. “How many people who have been hurt or murdered or shot at and that their names are not mentioned? So, there’s still this level of injustice still there.”
In addition to the next slate of trials for Chuavin’s colleagues, Philadelphians are still processing the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. and the city’s own checkered history of policing Black and other communities of color.