“Like you, I am hurting. But I plead with us all to maintain the discipline of peaceful protest. To do otherwise is to put one more weapon in the hands of those who would discredit our protests and dismiss our rightful complaints,” said Warnock, whose church is the spiritual home of Martin Luther King Jr.
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Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, another candidate for U.S. Senate, said he understood the furor over the death of George Floyd, whose slaying at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked nationwide protests.
“Every Georgian — and every American — should be outraged after witnessing the horrific brutality used against George Floyd,” said Collins. “But more violence will not heal us.”
Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate and a potential vice presidential nominee, urged those infuriated by the police brutality to channel their anger to the ballot box.
“As long as those who suborn injustice are in charge, nothing changes,” she said. ”So we must vote. Not because voting is the only answer, but it is one that we can’t afford to ignore.”
Some other Democrats had a similar reaction. Sarah Riggs Amico, who is seeking to challenge U.S. Sen. David Perdue, said the protest is giving voice to “those who have been unseen and unheard.”
“We must press for change - deep systemic change - everywhere from our communities to our schools to our government agencies and elected officials, and we must hold accountable those who turn a blind eye to the injustices that haunt us.”
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And former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said it was a “day of reckoning” for white Georgians.
“If you are a white person of good conscience, you must join in this moment,” said Tomlinson, who also seeks to challenge Perdue.
“You must peacefully take to the streets and enthusiastically take to the ballot, and insist on systemic and structural change long overdue.”