MOULTRIE, Ga. -- People are crying out for change across the United States, and Moultrie is no different. But what does good change mean? Who can bring it? Where are the good candidates?
These are the questions that people are asking about the presidential election.
In the past month, Moultrie experienced the presidential primaries, a weeklong protest calling for justice in George Floyd’s death and the largest attended city council meeting yet this year.
Politics aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but people are getting involved.
Cheryl Johnson, a Moultrie resident, was trying to get her groceries and go from Walmart, but when asked who did she want representing her in office, she said it doesn’t really matter, so long as change is brought.
“It’s just so messed up these days, I just don’t know,” she said. “On my behalf we need more jobs, we need more pay.”
Essentially, it’s “messed up around here,” she noted. As far as change in law enforcement goes, she said of course change is needed there.
“It’s a big problem with the law,” she said. “They think they can do what they want to do and treat people how they want to ‘cause they’re the police.”
This was her response after being asked about what she thinks should be done to prevent deaths and the situations that lead to them like George Floyd’s.
In terms of a solution for all of the above, she just doesn’t know.
In speaking to a woman -- a non-violent convicted felon -- who did not want to be named, the same question was asked.
She sends her condolences to the family, but believes the severity of George Floyd’s death was the final straw that woke people up out of their norms. It had to happen.
“It’s just like when Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and everybody else stood up. Before they stood up, everything was normal,” she said. “We were born into it -- waking up, going to work -- not really trying to get more.”
Noting her experiences, she said Black people became parents at an earlier age and had to focus on simply taking care of their family’s livelihoods. There was never any time to form their own opinion.
“It was just the norm to wake up, go to work, get yelled at by your boss or get looked at weirdly by a different race in the store,” she said.
But the people are tired of that, she said.
Jerome McIntyre, a Moultrie resident, is voting Democrat, but he isn’t feeling too sure about his candidate, Joe Biden.
“Let’s put it this way: he’s better than Trump,” McIntyre said. “One thing about it is that they talk a good game but then they’ll get in that chair and then they’ll turn on us.”
With Biden seemingly being more level-headed than Trump and democratic, it’s the only thing pushing McIntyre to vote for him. Whether Biden will do the right thing, he said he doesn’t know.
What he does know is that Trump doesn’t need four more years under his belt. Nothing’s really changed for the better with him as president, especially law enforcement, McIntyre said.
McIntyre noted that the public is finally able to see how some law enforcement officials react violently or negatively to situations via recordings and camera phones, but it’s still the same as it was before.
“The law has gotten away with a heap of stuff,” he said. “It’s just like a prosecutor to see where they have no case, then they’ll make a deal with you and you still get time for them because you’re scared that you don’t know what’s going on.”
It’s the mind set that believes you can’t win the case so you accept less. It’s a mind set McIntyre believes that we as people need to change, especially if we know what happened to us was wrong.
It’s hard to say what type of changes in policies he wants to see across the country because things won’t be able to change overnight.
“It’s going to take time to change stuff,” McIntyre said. “I don’t care who it is or who’s in the chair, they won’t be able to change things overnight.”
He leaves it up to God though.
“I know the Lord got everything, so I don’t worry about it -- I can’t worry about it,” he said. “He’s going to take care of everything. It might not seem like it now, but he is.”
And while his faith lies there, Hannah Raffield experiences dissonance toward the election.
Raffield, an employee of The Square restaurant, said she believes Trump has done some good and bad during his presidency. She still wants to see another candidate take his place.
Her worry is who will take it over though.
“I don’t like any of the options so far, and what I have seen with Joe Biden is that he can’t speak full sentences,” Raffield said.
Raffield said she isn’t the most political person you’ll meet, but with no good candidate to represent her, she asks questions.
“I’d like to see someone else in there, but what if they’re worse?” she asked. “Who can say this one person right here is going to be better for the entire population of America? How do you actually pick someone? Then, regardless of what you know, how do you rely on the information you are being fed?”
Raffield held her hands across from each other at the space of a ruler, showing their outermost side, and said “All I know is, if the truth is somewhere between here and here, it’s still not good.”
She said she agrees with Joe Rogan’s allegory about Thomas Jefferson, which asks the question what would he say if he came to modern times and saw we still abide by his Declaration of Independence.
“He’d be like ‘You guys haven’t changed anything? I wrote this with a feather,’” Raffield said. “And something should go ahead and change, but I don’t think it’s so much as whose party it is. I think it’s more like anti-system. I think we definitely need a [new] justice system.”
So that’s where she’s at and where she’s at is where a lot of people are at with the election: asking questions.