How did the killing of George Floyd make you feel? What is your opinion on the looting and riots happening in Minneapolis?
Kasha – Sunrise, FL — When I first heard about the lynching of George Floyd so many emotions raced across my mind; outrage, disgust, confusion, fear, and worry. The part that had my emotions the most heightened is the fact I learned about this when I was with my 5-year-old Black son sitting next to me. He had so many questions and couldn’t even put them into words. So I answered the look on his face, “why?” … I replied “Simple, this is America.” I was disgusted that was the answer I had to offer him. I’m extremely upset that the talk I had to have with my son is the new normal … a rite of passage of sorts for young black males. In the space where I’m to teach my son to be proud, stand tall, demand respect but yet at the time teaching him that around “some” you will have to dim your light to save your life. At this point, my heart cries and bleeds for every black male. My husband, brother, fathers, and mostly for OUR SONS because they yet to understand the obstacles they face.
Rinel Peters – Sunrise, FL — George Floyd’s death caused me to feel a range of emotions. Anger and sadness mostly being the daughter of a black man and a sister to black men. Occurrences like this make me fearful of them walking out the door. It makes me think about what we can do as a community to prevent these occurrences from happening. How can we protect ourselves? In regards to the rioting and the looting, I honestly do not believe that will solve anything. Businesses and people are losing for something that they had nothing to do with. Police reform is what we should be advocating for. Creating more havoc will not get us there.
Markus—I think that the passing of George Floyd is very sad, the same as it would be if this happened to any innocent man getting murdered in the street, especially when it was senseless. It’s always emotionally strenuous and these issues would provoke anybody. It’s not the first time; we all know that and it’s not going to be the last. I feel like the core problem is internal, within us, in our homes, families, and most of all a broken system. The solution to these issues will not come overnight. Police officers need better training. They are first responders and their duty is to subdue and protect the people, but it seems more and more like officers are trained to kill. Officers should be given psychological screenings prior to starting the job. How will people of color especially ever feel truly safe or protected while feeling hunted by the government? As far as the looting and riots happening in Minneapolis, my outlook if that even though it may seem helpful right now in reality, the looting will not make a long term change for the better.
Shomari – Orlando, FL — The lynching pissed me off because the officer clearly knew George Floyd couldn’t breathe, especially with local bystanders who were screaming to the officer that he couldn’t breathe. It was, in my opinion, a cold-hearted murder. Officers knew what was going on and refused to stop. It is very heartbreaking but unfortunately, he wasn’t the first and won’t be the last. The police brutality, unfair treatment, and racism need to end but it is extremely far-fetched. The looting in Minneapolis, I don’t see a point in that. Destroying the buildings, while not knowing if these buildings are black-owned. Destroy the police cars and the station, maybe that I’d understand a little better.
Ervince – Sunrise, FL — It made me feel like this is the norm, I don’t believe anything is going to change until we rebuild. It got me to the point where I know for a fact I’m not dying by police without fighting back and I’m not going to watch my brother die without a fight! It made me realize I have to stay militant in a place I’m supposed to call home and that people rather be comfortable than address these serious issues.
I don’t have much to say about the looting. But I will say this: if you shake a can and open it, the soda will spray out. The soda can was containing years of peaceful protest, speaking out about inequalities, but getting shot down because we’re not protesting correctly, is the same issue we’ve been fighting for years. The can being shaken was the recent death aka the final straw, and the soda spraying out is the product of the build-up over the years. It’s too late for us to do this calmly. Rioting is the voice of the unheard like Martin Luther King said.
Monique – Plantation, FL — The lynching of Mr. Floyd made me feel numb. Just a few weeks ago we heard about a young black man being gunned down while jogging and now this incident. It is very sad that racism still exists during a pandemic. Slavery can end but racism cannot. I did not watch any videos and only skimmed social media posts. I cannot stomach watching a sickening act done to an innocent individual. I think that it is time for us to take violent action. Peaceful protests and social media posts are not doing anything to open the eyes of law enforcement. I think it was outrageous how many police officers guarded the house of the police officer who got fired. There were no police officers to stop the riots in Minneapolis.
Betty – Orlando, FL — “I can’t breathe” – Words that any and every doctor dreads. The airway is the top priority in any given situation. In the hospital, patients are taken to the operating room in the middle of the night to secure the airway if there is any concern of obstructing infection. The airway is literally life; the officer knew what he was doing and chose not to retreat! I expect the coronavirus to take life, not an unprovoked police officer on a black man! An innocent life was taken by the very same system that is supposed to protect people. A preventable death is a public health issue. It’s a humanity issue. Racism is real. Injustice is real. Bigotry is real. White supremacy is real. If you think this doesn’t affect you, think again.
Mathew – West Palm Beach, FL — Should I expect to be murdered by a police officer today? Should I feel anxiety or fear jogging through my neighborhood at the risk of being shot and killed? These are the questions people like me have to ask on top of the new standards like how will I survive the pandemic or am I doing my part to flatten the curve? At its best, America is a symbol of freedom and hope to the world, but as its worse, she is the darkest corner of mankind. I don’t know where we go from here. I’m scared and concerned. I’m at a loss. Police have to do better. They need better judgment and mental evaluations. The looting and rioting in Minneapolis will not be better later on.
Lee – Pembroke Pines, FL — The murder of George Floyd is both sad and infuriating at the same time. I do think it’s one of those situations where people cry and holler and voicing black lives matter, preaching black power, then after a month or when this blows over, people will go right back to regular life and push these issues into the back of their minds. Because most people don’t have the wisdom to process what we have to do to evolve. Police officers and law enforcement are scared of people, which is why they do more damage than help. It’s sad to admit but it is true. Once they pull their gun they already have an underlying hatred for black men and they shoot to kill.