I am thankful that justice has been served in the murder of George Floyd. This was never an open-shut case, despite what we clearly witnessed in those horrifying videos from last summer. That's the reality of race in America. And that's why the verdict brought out such a strong reaction. You might have heard it: on Tuesday, April 20th, 2021, at 5:06 pm ET, an unrehearsed choir of millions letting out the loudest, most harmonized sigh of relief for a man who could not take a breath.
Even still, this verdict in no way provides closure. It doesn't bring George Floyd's life back. It doesn't bring back the lives of countless other black and brown unarmed men and women. It doesn't erase the fear that people of color like me feel each day as we go about our lives. It doesn't reassure us that our lives will be valued as much as everyone else's. That will require a lot more than a guilty verdict in a single case. We all need to put in the hard work, have the tough conversations and open our minds to the perspectives and experiences of others who don't look like us, talk like us or come from the same neighborhood.
I am hopeful we can get to that place. If there is anything from this act of depravity that could ever be considered a positive, it's that -- hopefully -- the calls for racial justice will be much harder to ignore. And yet, the senseless killings continue. One week it's a 20-year-old during a traffic stop. Another week it's a 13-year-old kid. 13 years old! I share the anger that many of you feel from this reoccurring American tragedy. But let us not allow ourselves to feel helpless. Each of us can make a difference. Listen, learn and push for change in the environments in which you live, work and engage. Push for accountability in your communities, your companies and in every walk of your life to confront the legacy of inequality, inequity and disparity that has persisted in this country for far too long.
Systemic change won't come today or tomorrow. We have a long, hard struggle ahead. Yet because we have already lost so much and because there is too much at stake, the struggle will always be worth it.