Column: Creating awareness will cause change

Gillian Eubanks

On April 20, 2021, Derek Chauvin was found guilty for second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

This verdict does give some sense of justice to Floyd, his family and many others in America. This is a step towards the justice we are seeking in this nation.

Rarely is it seen that a cop is charged with something in relations to a wrongful death like in Floyd’s case. Maybe this could be the beginning of more accountability being established and justice being served.

The unfortunate part of this situation is that if our criminal justice system doesn’t see a significant amount of change, we will never reach the justice that is sought after. It’s not just one bad cop, as some may try to say. We are talking a massive upheaval of how we do things, how things are taught, how things are handled, etc.

This kind of change will need many years to come full circle, but we have to start now. It’s really not a secret that our justice system should’ve had these changes years ago. Think about it like this, we are always seeing technological advances, medical advances etc., so we should see advances in our laws and regulations. It only makes sense. As time goes on, things become outdated and better ways come up to handle certain situations.

Another thing is that if we want to actually see this change, we can’t just post on social media about it. Posting on social media is good to spread awareness and start conversations. In reality though, social media isn’t going to generate real change. There must be action taken to help enforce it.

One example of action is protesting. Considering how the government and police have reacted to protesting in the last year, it may seem dangerous to do. However, protesting is in our First Amendment which means we have every right to do it. Protesting helps bring like minds together and is incredibly moving when it’s done.

The best advice I can give, is to never stop talking about the police brutality that’s been happening, the injustices that have happened to the minorities in our country and the cracks in our justice system. Speak about it to anyone who will listen. Create the awareness around the subject. Start having more conversations about it as well. The more awareness and conversations there are, the more people who will become educated on the subject.

 

Gillian Eubanks is a junior health communication major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]