We asked, you responded graphic

Some of the responses The George-Anne received. 

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 nearly 100 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 20 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 Two

“I am disgusted at what is happened. We should not stand for a country where people of color have to fear the people that are supposed to be protecting ALL of us. The entire police system needs to be completely uprooted and repaired because these things are happening far too much and are completely unacceptable. The president's response is completely appalling. It took way too long to arrest that officer and way too long to arrest the people that committed that hate crime.”

“It’s absolutely heartbreaking and their deaths need to mean more than just numbers of the others who have been murdered.”

“I am angry, disgusted, disappointed and heartbroken! How many more of us have to die before a change is made? This has been going on for years! White privilege exists and police brutality is worse!”

“America has a serious criminal justice problem. Our police officers are sworn to serve and protect, but the system surrounding them does not foster peace nor fairness. Criminalizing minor infractions, non-violent drug offenses, and crimes of poverty (not paying fines, being homeless and out on the street) and failing to treat addiction and mental health among offenders leads to the extreme police surveillance of black communities and disproportionately black prison populations, which are privatized and incentivized to want to keep people in jail. Going through the system worsens black people’s ability to get work or rehabilitate, increasing recidivism. Police officers themselves have high rates of domestic violence, are often “punished” for wrongdoing with a slap on the wrist and a transfer, and even the “good ones” feel the pressure to stand up for their coworkers or stay silent no matter the wrongdoing. I am not here to say that the University Police Department has contributed to the problem - our officers are great and truly care about students’ wellbeing - but they can be part of the solution. Police reform starts with arrests and fair, independent, and transparent trials for accused officers that bring about real consequences. It continues with community review boards and increasing bias and sensitivity training across the country, along with clearer standards for use of force and more non-lethal options. It also means demilitarizing the police and diverting additional funding to community programs that are proven to work. If this doesn’t happen, black men will continue to be killed or enslaved by an unfair criminal justice system. That system stands on the shoulders of people like you: you who don’t speak up, who don’t try to learn more about the issue, who don’t care, or who continue to believe that black people are inherently violent and terrifying - even when unarmed and without having committed any crime. George and Ahmad were convicted with no jury or trial, of the crime of being black and living their everyday lives, and sentenced to death for it. If you want change, you can donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, join a peaceful protest, or learn more and share with others to combat hate and misinformation.”

“Horror; bewilderment; terrible grief. The Floyd video is one of the most surreally horrible things I have ever seen. A young African-American woman is holding up a placard at the end of Georgia Drive. I spoke to her briefly; she was friendly and gracious, but I felt so grieved for her, and ashamed.”

“That the government Doesn’t care about incidents like this. The only true reason that The police officer in Minneapolis was even charged with any type of punishment was due to the fact that the citizens are outraged and rioting. In both cases the media tries to show video/statements/Pictures that try to make it justifiable that their lives were taken unjustly. That has been like that since forever trying to discredit a black mans character in the media when something horrible has happened to a black person.”

“Unforgivable and uncalled for”

“I have no context of the situations of either killings but the evidence is in front of everyone’s eyes that police abuse their power and kill black people. It happens everyday and it’s been happening for over half a century. All black America wants is equal treatment."

"Theres so much going on that I have a lot of thoughts. So many that I cant keep up. It took 3 days to arrest a cop who killed George Floyd on video and is being charged with 3rd degree murder and not 2nd. All the protests that I have seen have been peaceful to start but there have been undercover cops starting fires and vandalizing to make black people and protesters seem like thugs. These protests are NOT riots, they are rebellions. Black people are tired of living in fear because of their skin color and protesting loudly is the only way to get people to listen. These cops have also arrested and shot at reporters. Like what? aren't yall supposed to protect our free speech? Also Trump? Saying that protesters are thugs and to shoot at them? Nah. Why is he promoting violence at HIS people. Black lives matter. ACAB.”

“utterly heartbreaking 💔”

“Anger and disappointed that racism persists in this country, and that being a person of color is a crime, as if we had a choice about our skin color at birth!!!”

“It’s horrible that he died that way. I hope his family gets justice for what happened”

“It is a reflection of our current political and justice system. The system was built by white men who only want to gain the justice they think is right. You can see through the past going farther than just Ahmad and George that this has always been a problem but today’s technology has made it come to light. Racism has never stopped, it’s just been brought more to light because a lot more people have access to the internet.”

“That the government Doesn’t care about incidents like this. The only true reason that The police officer in Minneapolis was even charged with any type of punishment was due to the fact that the citizens are outraged and rioting. In both cases the media tries to show video/statements/Pictures that try to make it justifiable that their lives were taken unjustly. That has been like that since forever trying to discredit a black mans character in the media when something horrible has happened to a black person.”

“Unlawful”

“I’m just so appalled...I’m so mad and sad and I feel so powerless to help. What happened to these men, black peoples in America in general, is wrong! I feel that with my soul and I don’t know how people, white people, can look at this and see the videos coming out of Minneapolis and NYC and LA and not see something INHERENTLY WRONG. We’ve failed our black brothers and sisters. We’ve failed all of our POC brothers and sisters. They're tragedies fueled by racist beliefs that never should've had to occur. Unfortunately these are the latest victims on a long list of similar acts. Unless something changes in how officers are monitored or persecuted in the context of such racially charged hatred, there will unfortunately continue to be similar tragedies. We need to unite regardless of race or any other characteristic and demand that these murderers be charged for their actions. It may be difficult in this time of pandemic to gather, but being vocal on social media, donating to great causes like the Minnesota Freedom Fund, and signing petitions in support of holding these criminals accountable in a system that often doesn't.”

“They are disgusting and there should be swift action taken to the offenders and others in the police department that brushed over similar incidents. People in authority need to have higher standards for entering and training which should take at the very least a year. Black Lives Matter.”

“Horrible!!!”

“Travesty. Horrible. No words awful enough.”

“I'm sad and I hurt for the Black community that has experienced this pain over and over again while fighting for systemic changes that are never made. As a White professor, this is another moment to reexamine how I can use my position and privilege to help in the fight for change. I hope these murders serve as a catalyst that spurs more White students and faculty to stand with the People of Color in our communities by taking antiracist actions.”

Andy Cole, Managing Editor for News Coverage, bc14713@georgiasouthern.edu

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