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Leibee: What happened to George Floyd is unforgivable

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

“Hands up, don’t shoot!” demonstrators yelled outside the Minneapolis Third Precinct on Thursday, May 28. The building would be burned to the ground later that night during a protest over the death of George Floyd.

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The killing of George Floyd and the reaction of the president and his administration is unforgivable. The killing of innocent Black people is unforgivable, and there is no other way to see this issue.”

We’ve seen it on Twitter as retweets and threads of how people can stand up for this injustice. We’ve seen it on Instagram as people re-post illustrations and photos of George Floyd on their stories and feeds. We’ve seen it on TikTok with Childish Gambino’s “This is America” playing over videos of protesters. The truth is that this is America.

The killing of George Floyd and the reaction of the president and his administration is unforgivable. The killing of innocent Black people is unforgivable, and there is no other way to see this issue. 

There is no Republican and Democrat divide in an issue like this ⁠— there is just what is right and what is wrong. 

I used to believe there were always two sides to a story. I thought that all issues were complex and had different parts to them. I wanted to analyze every detail of the social and political problems our country faces and understand where people were coming from because, to me, that was the only way to have productive political discourse, and that is what it meant to be a journalist.  

I used to want to listen to supporters of the president and his administration, and until today, I gave most of those people my respect. I wanted to understand their beliefs, why they believed their side was right and where their values came from.

Today is the day where I have no interest in listening to those that support the president. His supporters, and anyone that has remained silent on this issue, have used up all of my understanding, compassion and forgiveness. I have run out of kindness, respect and patience for them. 

It should be clear and remembered as a fact that the president of the United States publicly advocated to shoot people begging for an ounce of mercy from this country.

There is no other side to this issue ⁠— there is one side, and it is George Floyd’s. It is the side of the Black community. It is the side that is protesting and risking their lives so another innocent Black person will not die at the hands of a historically racist system that everyone contributes to in some way every day.

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“It really frustrates me when people try to simplify this issue down to saying the only issue is a few racist police officers killing Black people,” says Bryson Owens, a Colorado State University mathematics graduate of spring 2020. “Saying that completely ignores a history of racial intolerance that has led us to a completely broken system.”

This history is repetitive. In 1992, people looted and rioted in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area, demanding justice for the beating of Rodney King by police officers. Twenty-eight years later, it feels as though almost no time has passed at all. The same violence continues, if not grows worse every day. The same outrage and demands for change continue as people quietly descend back into comfortable ignorance, waiting for the next police officer to “accidentally” murder another innocent Black person.

“I am sick and tired of fighting for the justice system to do its job equally for people of all races,” says Leora Greene, a third year psychology major at CSU.

There is nothing anyone can say to change this or undo what has been done. There is no going back, but there is a path forward. We can all sign petitions, spread awareness and talk about this, but one of the best things we can all do for this situation is vote in November. I will be the first to say that, regardless of party, a vote to re-elect the current president is a vote for hatred. 

I can forgive many actions of this country because it is the natural, human thing to forgive. Though I will never forgive this, and you shouldn’t either. 

Katrina Leibee can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @KatrinaLeibee.

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About the Contributor
Katrina Leibee, Editor-in-Chief
Katrina Leibee is serving as The Rocky Mountain Collegian's editor in chief for the 2021-22 academic year. Leibee started at The Collegian during the fall of her freshman year writing for the opinion desk. She then moved up to assistant opinion editor and served as the opinion director for the 2020-21 academic year. Leibee is a journalism and political science double major, but her heart lies in journalism. She enjoys writing, editing and working with a team of people to create the paper more than anything. Ask anyone, Leibee loves her job at The Collegian and believes in the great privilege and opportunity that comes with holding a job like this. The biggest privilege is getting to work with a team of such smart, talented editors, writers, photographers and designers. The most important goal Leibee has for her time as editor in chief is to create change, and she hopes her and her staff will break the status quo for how The Collegian has previously done things and for what a college newspaper can be. From creating a desk dedicated entirely to cannabis coverage to transitioning the paper into an alt-weekly, Leibee hopes she can push the boundaries of The Collegian and make it a better paper for its readers and its staff. Leibee is not one to accept a broken system, sit comfortably inside the limits or repeat the words, "That's the way we've always done things." She is a forward thinker with a knack for leadership, and she has put together the best staff imaginable to bring The Collegian to new heights.

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