We asked, you responded – Part One

Abby Fuller

STATESBORO — On Friday, 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 over 60 responses from students, faculty, staff and university leadership.

In response to this, we are starting a series of articles that will include the comments we receive. All quotes listed below are copied directly from the response forms. Each part will include 10 responses.

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 One

“They are both acts of racism and shouldn’t be tolerated. Racism, hate, and injustice should not be tolerated. Black people die every single day because white people, specifically white people that are chosen to protect us, feel that they can play God. It’s no ones job to kill people. People shouldn’t die for breathing. It’s disgusting to say the least.”

“The deaths of these two on armed black man pains me more than I can explain in words. Their deaths emphasize how my skin color is still you as a threat to the white oppressor after 400+ years of discrimination racism and segregation. This country was built when slavery was still going on in our constitution slavery was not addressed these deaths just show that racism is ingrained in the American way. I’m sick and tired of seeing my people DIE because of white supremacist. The entire system needs to change. I should NOT have to fear for my life if I’m jogging or get pulled over. I feel like these deaths also show me that this is not just a black versus white problem this is a systemic issue that is deeply rooted within the American system from the police to the judicial system to even local and state Socio economic racial disparities there is a larger issue at hand.”

“The deaths of unarmed black men are absolutely appalling. It is unacceptable, and those responsible need to be held accountable for their actions. Further, it should be a wake-up call that two CNN reporters in Minneapolis (one black, one white) had completely different experiences when covering the riots. The black reporter and his cameramen were arrested briefly, whereas the white reporter had no such encounter. These discriminations have been covert, yet still prominent, since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Equality is needed.”

“I haven’t done as much research into Arbery as Floyd so I won’t give my opinion as to not give an incorrect statement. I will however give my opinion on the topic of Floyd. The death of Floyd was wrong and the methods used by Chauvin as an officer was not protocol. Being a devils advocate though before even being on the ground Floyd had been yelling “I can’t breathe” (a boy crying wolf situation), the autopsy report says he did not die because of asphyxiation, and yes Chauvin had reports against him but people are not doing their research and learning all the facts. I do agree he should be charged with manslaughter and third degree murder. This looting and rioting needs to stop though before Marshall Law is put into place. Think if that was your family’s business that was set on fire?”

“Honestly it doesn’t surprise me anymore. But at this point I’m upset and I’m hurt. How many more of us have to die before America is able to wake up and realize that we matter? We are human, we are worth it. This terrifies me. It makes me feel like every day that I step outside I’m putting a giant target on my back and I am sick of it.”

“Terrible, but not to blame entire race.”

“Our country is broken. I grow weary of hearing about how troubled our country is, it’s about time for someone to step up and lead us out of despair and into the light. Our current “leadership” is advocating more violence on top of violence(when the looting starts, the shooting starts) and the with this ideology the cycle of violence will never be broken. I do not want this cycle to continue, and yet, there are enough disenfranchised members of society who have grown up in broken homes or homes where racism and violence is accepted, that we are now facing an uprising that will lead to anarchy. Justice will be served in the cases of Arbery and Floyd. It will be contentious, but, it will be served. The issue is that because of the existence of subversive and disenfranchised groups who want to spread chaos, and an administration that is willing to support these groups, our country will never be free from this type of conflict. Never, unless there is a groundswell of enough people who say “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” In the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, “I have a dream…” And, at this point, that is all it is, a dream.”

“Devastation. I’m only aware of what happened to George Floyd. I believe his most basic human rights were violated and the police officers should be trailed with murder.”

“They both deserve justice. Both deaths were fueled by racism and hate. The protest is justified. People are mad and the police are making it worse. The police started it by killing George Floyd and trying to cause violence at a peaceful protest. The police shouldn’t have started throwing tear gas and stuff. The justice system needs to be reformed. We need hate crime laws. We need to stop the racism. Everyone is equal no matter the amount of melatonin they have.”

“It is a display that should never happen, and people are resolving to fix it, but there is no need to riot and go crazy over it.”

Abby Fuller, Daily Managing Editor, gaeditor@georgiasouthern.edu