The Derek Chauvin trial was an emotional experience for Oprah Winfrey as it was for a lot of people. There’s no surprise there. She talked about it to Dr. Oz in an upcoming interview. She said, “I watched the verdict live — like so many other people around the world. I started to tear up and I asked myself, ‘Where is this emotion coming from?’ And I was having … flashbacks of Emmett Till and all the names that we’ve heard protesters speak for.”
Emmitt Till was a 14 year old black boy who was lynched and had his body disfigured from a lie told that he looked at a white woman in 1955. “we were all on a bus together and the bus blew up.”
“And so I wake in that morning like, what does that mean? And does that mean this whole trial is going to blow up…?,” she said. “So I went to bed [after the verdict] thinking about Emmett Till and the fact that he never received justice. And this moment was a sacrifice for all of the people who didn’t receive justice.”
There are people who get upset when cases like Emmitt Till are brought up but this is how people think. Emmitt Till was an innocent child and many look at their children realizing how what happened to them could be their child. As it stands, about 40% of the country doesn’t have body cameras so it really is your word against police. In the instance of Chauvin, thankfully people were standing around recording. That’s a sign of community sticking up for itself.
With a June sentencing around the corner, Chauvin was found guilty of second degree unintentional murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter for killing George Floyd.
For her next project, Winfrey has written a new book titled, What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing. She talked about childhood trauma including the time she got a “really bad whipping” for being accused of putting her fingers in the family bucket of drinking water. “My emotion now is not because I feel, you know, such deep pain about it, I just feel pain for that little girl. I feel like, now I know what it’s like to be you know, you look at a three, four-year-old, five-year-old child and how innocent they are. And at the time, I just accepted it,” she said.
You can watch Oprah Winfrey’s Dr. Oz interview this Thursday.