On Monday, May 25, a Facebook user posted a video of a black man, George Floyd, being murdered in police custody by the arresting officer in Minnesota. The video quickly gained national attention and reignited tensions surrounding police brutality toward black Americans. Currently, protests and riots have engulfed the streets of Minnesota and other cities across the country.
This month, in Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan, there were reopening protests. Hundreds of white American protesters stood in front of their state capitol buildings with automatic rifles, calling for their states to reopen, pushing and getting in the faces of police officers. However, the police officers did not resort to violence on these Americans. Now, Georgia and North Carolina are reopening their states to appease their constituents.
White America protested over not being able to get a haircut. Black America protests being killed in the streets. White America was able to go home safely and untouched after their protests. Black America was met with tear gas and rubber bullets. White America was praised by our president as “fine people.” Black America is called “thugs,” with the president of the United States promising violence with a tweet featuring a quote taken straight from a 1960s segregationist police chief: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The President’s tweet was later flagged by Twitter for glorifying violence.
This happened in Minnesota, hours away from our home in Raleigh, North Carolina, but this could’ve happened anywhere. North Carolina is not immune to racism; there have been countless examples of police brutality in our state, like the 2016 murder of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte. Our own campus has reflected racist beliefs in both past and present. Our own paper has published racist content in the past — and we, the new editorial board, will not be silent about these problematic beliefs. We are ashamed of this past, but will stand up against injustices in our country and community.
We stand behind our sister publication, Nubian Message, and its response.
We condemn racism in all forms. We condemn the murder of George Floyd. We condemn the violent actions taken by police on protesters. We condemn the United States government for allowing this systemic racism in our country to run rampant for way too long.
We stand wholeheartedly behind the protests and the protesters in Minnesota and around the country.
This week, we are protesting the murder of George Floyd and Tony McDade. Last week, it was the death of Breonna Taylor. Last month, it was the racist murder of Ahmaud Arbery. In 2019, it was the murders of Willie McCoy and Atatiana Jefferson, and the list goes on and on. We support the Black Lives Matter movement in their mission for justice, both for those who received media recognition, and those who didn't.
Black Americans have been protesting police brutality for years, but there has been no perceivable change in our justice system or the systemic racism that corrupts it. Clearly voices are being silenced — and they’re not the white voices.
Peaceful protest has long been the preferred method of community organizers, but it often yields little in the way of results or even goodwill. In Minneapolis, what initially started as a peaceful protest quickly escalated into violence instigated by the police, showing that protesters were not met with open ears but with silencing resistance — resistance against the demand for humane treatment towards black Americans. Protesters are sick and tired of the same narrative; now they are turning to the only way they believe their voices can be heard by the government: riots.
Riots happen when the collective anger of a community builds and boils over. When a city feels helpless against a police force, watching its people come together and send the cops fleeing reminds each individual of the power of a person's activism, and that power truly rests with the people when they wield it in unison.
Arguing against these riots dismisses the fact that they have been an integral part of civil rights movements. Without the Stonewall riots, we would not have LGBTQ+ rights, and in recent years, riots in Baltimore, Maryland and Ferguson, Missouri brought national attention to the respective murders of Freddie Gray and Michael Brown. Many of these riots have been borne from years of injustice and effected legitimate change from lawmakers.
The police officer who murdered George Floyd was arrested four days after committing his crime — a day after riots ripped through Minneapolis. The riots were the sole reason the state finally took action, yet another example of violence leading to appeasement and a semblance of justice. This is what the Black Lives Matter movement has been calling for the entire time while they protested peacefully: a first step towards justice.
It doesn’t stop at his arrest. Derek Chauvin needs to be found guilty of third-degree murder—though he should have been charged with a crime more severe—and serve the entirety of his sentence. His surrounding officers, both on-site and off-site, must also be held accountable for their compliance and apathy.
We, as an editorial board, are pleased the university condemned the death of George Floyd and the many others before him, but we expected more. We want the university to show its support for the Black Lives Matter movement, in order for our black students to feel safe and recognized on campus.
We challenge the university to recognize and address its racist past while also actively working to reduce and respond to racist occurrences that happen on campus. Last year, a racist student GroupMe surfaced and the Culture War protests reminded us of the racial tensions lying underneath the surface at NC State. Yet another racist GroupMe scandal happened less than five years ago, in which the students who said racial slurs were forced to issue an apology and faced no other consequences. The university must do more for its black students.
We also challenge ourselves, Technician, to stop staying silent on acts of racism and other injustices that do not happen in North Carolina or on our campus. Our mission is to serve and support the student body of NC State. Just because a black person is murdered in Minnesota, doesn’t mean a black person in North Carolina is not affected or mourning the loss of a member of their community.
We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor and all of the lives taken too soon by the hand of police brutality and systematic racism in our country.
Ways to help and resources curated by Nubian Message:
Black Visions Collective: https://secure.everyaction.com/4omQDAR0oUiUagTu0EG-Ig2
Reclaim The Block: https://secure.everyaction.com/zae4prEeKESHBy0MKXTIcQ2
North Star Health Collective: https://www.northstarhealthcollective.org/donate
Louisville Community Bail Fund: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/louisville-community-bail-fund?source=twitter&
Minnesota Freedom Fund: https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate
Columbus Freedom Fund: https://www.paypal.me/columbusfreedomfund
GoFundMe for George Floyd: https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
GoFundMe for Regis Korchinski-Paquet: https://www.gofundme.com/f/cggys2-justice-for-regis?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet
GoFundMe for Ahmaud Arbery: https://www.gofundme.com/f/i-run-with-maud
How to find your representative: https://whoismyrepresentative.com/
Text FLOYD to 55156
Text JUSTICE to 668366
Take care of yourself with free virtual therapy: https://borislhensonfoundation.org/
Or sign up for NC State’s Counseling Center: https://counseling.dasa.ncsu.edu/
This unsigned editorial is the opinion of Technician’s editorial board and is the responsibility of the editor-in-chief.