We asked, you responded – Part Six

Abby Fuller

STATESBORO — On May 29, The George-Anne sent out a Google form to the Georgia Southern campus community for your thoughts. We asked, “What are your thoughts on the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd?”

Since then, we have received nearly 120 responses from students, faculty, staff and university leadership.

This is the sixth installment in a series of articles including the comments we have received. All quotes listed below are copied directly from the response forms.

We encourage students, faculty, staff and university leadership to continue to send their thoughts about recent events through the Google form. A Georgia Southern University email address is required to access the form.

Part Six

“Both are egregious acts and blatant disregard for black lives. These protest have been in response to the justice systems that disproportionately affects black and brown communities negatively. We want these men to be not only charged, but convicted. The legal system more often that not acts in the interest of white Americans. We ask our white counterparts to speak out against the injustice. Make the justice system fair for all Americans & hold police accountable for killing unarmed black Americans. They shouldn’t be able to strip us of our human rights without consequence.”

“I’m honestly scared. I was already nervous being around police and large groups of white people but these new deaths unfortunately intensified that. It makes me happy that so many people are now coming together to fight for them and our rights. It makes me even happier for us to join together as all races as well. I just hope that one day we truly gain equality and they get justice and we can move forward as a human race.”

“I really don’t care”

“Just rednecks and cops doing what they do; nothing out of the ordinary”

“It’s murder. Black people cannot enjoy life in America without facing the threat of violence and until they can, the Black Lives Matter movement will be a necessity.”

“I’m nothing short of appalled. There is a serious problem with the current state of the law enforcement system because things like this keep happening in a post-civil rights movement America. It’s unacceptable and there needs to be change.”

“I feel as though it is the latest straw that broke the camel’s back and wound that has been festering continuously. Because of the recent events I believe that there is no other time than now to address these issues and make serious changes to laws that govern law enforcement because this is sadly not a rare occurrence but too normal in today’s world. Riots and protests can be scary and many people don’t see the sense of it all however,

There is a saying that riots and protests are the language of the silenced.”

“I was disgusted about how anyone could do such a thing to another human being. Beyond our skin color, we are all still humans. The color of skin doesn’t change who or wht you are.”

“All lives matter regardless of skin color. It is saddening that another person of dark skin color was killed. We need to also differentiate from calling all police are bad police. There are a lot of good police that are now being bunched in with the bad.”

“It was their own fault. I hate to say it, but we don’t know whole story.”

“I believe this is a tragedy in a whole, but the actions happening seem to have no reason behind them in my opinion. If you want something done, go to the big dogs, not the small dogs. Example meaning go to someone with power! Don’t go to the small business or local markets and destroy them because of something you want. In my opinion, stealing and destroying these businesses are a way of showing no respect period.”

“The deaths of these two men is yet another reminder of racism and discrimination that is still very much present, even though it is 2020. While it is righteous and inspiring that people from different parts of the country are coming together for these tragic incidents, the fight does not stop there. We must continue to stand up for what it right. Let us also remind ourselves that these are only two of the countless deaths as a result of police brutality and racism. We should strive to make these the last. #BlackLivesMatter”

“I am devastated. I hope that, at last, we as a nation will take seriously the work that needs to be done to end fear, hate, oppression and racism.”

“Their deaths were tragedies that should not have occurred. Their deaths were clearly done with racial motivations and the people who killed them should be convicted for murder in court.”

“These are both tragedies, caused by the assumption that a black man must be dangerous.”

“My thing is this, if white guys were the victims in these exact circumstances, nobody would bat an eye. But since these guys were black, all of a sudden it’s an explosive event that has everybody rioting. I’m not saying black lives don’t matter. I’m saying that apparently all lives don’t matter equally.”

“We have been marginalizing segments of our populations and removing social programs for decades, people will continue to be killed.”

“Two tragedies among numerous deaths that should never have occured in the first place. No one deserves to live their life in fear. These inhumane deaths have served as a wake up call to many (including myself) to see just how prevalent racism is within a system that claims to protect all people. These innocent black lives should never have died this way…we must further educate ourselves and check our privileges–and use them to help our black brothers and sisters. Racism and hate should have NEVER EXISTED. From hate, love will rise and prevail. We are in this together.”

“why aren’t we talking about Brionna Taylor as well? the revolution is upon us and I am hopeful of the change that will occur. their deaths will not be for nothing. they’ve sparked a change and we must FIGHT by signing petitions, calling our legislators, donating, sharing and protesting. this is far from over, but it’s a start.”

“In all honesty this whole situation blew up because we just came from quarantine. The first thing people see is someone getting killed, of course people are going to get mad over it. It’s sad that I have come to say it’s another death and not be surprised by it. I didn’t watch it because I didn’t want to be triggered by it. The after math of Floyd’s death has been split. Some say we should burn the city down and others are like we can’t. I’m like 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta, and choose not to go protest because I knew things would get bad. I don’t know if that makes me a bad person or what. I am angry about his death alongside the many other black women and men who has died. I’m just not burn things down mad but I understand why they do it. I just don’t condone it. Then the question is what do we do?”

“I’m angry and heartbroken that we’re still seeing Black men and women murdered with no consequences for the police who killed them. We all need to do our part to end systemic racism, especially White people like me, because Black Lives Matter.”

“It was not right for those two white police officers to kill both of them”

“At this point I could care less. Do you not see what you are doing to our country? You are tearing us apart. I was in tears as I watched people burning the American flag, the flag that stands for our freedom, multiple times. The fact that now as a white person I’m no longer ALLOWED to have a voice or an opinion without being harassed or threatened. Do you not understand that we are afraid too? You think police brutality is only towards black people? THINK AGAIN. We get slammed against the back of cars, the concrete, patted down for “looking suspicious at night”, and harassed. Not all cops are bad but don’t think it’s your race.”

“We need to hold everyone accountable for there actions. May it be private citizens or police. I’m proud of the young people who are peacefully protesting. This is the world that they are going to be in charge of leading. Hopefully no else should die in vain”

“all lives matter my highschool was shot up and nobody was destroying private businesses in “protest” and its quite disheartening that our beautiful country is in such chaos when it never happens when kids are being killed in schools or when the same exact situation happened to a Caucasian male last year named tony timpa and there was not riots or even a single protest this is why i think we need to work on all lives mattering over just one group of people.”

“It’s sad how George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery will never be able to experience life and grow old. My heart goes out to their families.

But as I sit here, I’m not mourning for either of them. I’m mourning the centuries of systematic hate and evil that got us here.

I mourn for Philando Castile, for Trayvon Martin, for Emmett Till, for MLK Jr., for all slaves that died in and out of captivity…

Most of all, I mourn for those of us who have to live in this kind of world. A world where we are forced to learn from an early age what hate is because we are hated for even being born.

It’s not fair, and it’s a hard lesson many of us have to learn, like a rite of passage from father to son, mother to daughter; parent to child. This shouldn’t have to define us, yet it does whether we like it or not.

To everyone who has a heart, who has a sympathetic ear… Help us. Help us turn this status quo upside down. Help us tear down these barriers, and help us forge ahead with a renewed purpose to create a better world.”

Abby Fuller, Daily Managing Editor, [email protected]