University, Student Leaders Reflect on Whether George Floyd Protests Will Spur Sustained Change
The nation watched in anger and shock as a white police officer in Minneapolis nonchalantly knelt on the neck of George Floyd, an African American man, who had been accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill until he uttered the words “I can’t breathe.” Floyd’s brief encounter with the police, which was recorded and subsequently disseminated to the world, was the latest in numerous encounters in which unarmed African American men and women have died at the hands of police or other citizens taking the law into their own hands.
Floyd’s death set off national, even global, outrage and has sent diverse groups of people of all races, cultures, creeds and ages to the streets for more than 10 days to protest racial injustice in law enforcement. Most of the protests were peaceful, but there were some that included looting and fires. Do these multiracial, multigenerational protests indicate that the nation has reached a racial tipping point? Will these protests lead to national policy that will finally usher in the equality and justice for which this country is based?
Kent State Today is asking university and student leaders to share their personal insights into whether these steps will lead to sustained change in America.