The case of Ahmaud Arbery is the strongest evidence of systemic racism
Georgia prepares for one of the biggest trials in state history | GMA

The pandemic was already well under way when i first saw the video of Ahmaud Arbery getting murdered. It was definitely very late at night and as i regularly do, i was clicking around on YouTube when i landed on it.

Very rapidly, the coverage of this case was completely drowned by the case of George Floyd, which happened 3 months after the death of Mr. Arbery but is the case that really ignited public opinion, and quickly thereafter the exponential expansion of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Evidently, comparing these grisly cases in terms of which matters more, makes very limited sense, but i'm going to write this piece within that very narrow band.

For me personally, it is Ahmaud Arbery who should be the household name because this story is pure, unadulterated hate that led to a murder *with a shotgun* of a young black man who during his weekend jog, visited a house under construction - something i've done 100 times in my own life - without anyone getting arrested for the crime UNTIL EARLY MAY when Mr. Arbery was gunned down IN LATE FEBRUARY.

This entire story is completely - f***ing - insane in every possible way.

There is zero difference between the actions of the murderers and the actions of the Ku Klux Klan, except that this story is worse.

Mr. Arbery was hunted down and executed in broad daylight on a Sunday by three armed white men who didn't even so much as get arrested for 2.5 months because the connections between the County prosecution offices and white families run so deep that it took the involvement of the GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation), a State agency, to even arrive at any criminal charge of anyone.

If you had to choose one example of how racist the US socio-economic and judicial system really is, how deeply ingrained the practice of discrimination is in local communities, and how many people really do believe that black lives do not matter, then this is that example.

It gives me just a little tiny, tiny bit of hope in the system that this case has finally, after almost 2 years (!!), come to national attention because when i saw this video, my first reaction was to want to find a weapon, drive to Georgia, and act like a vigilante.

It just made me so deeply angry because i love walking through small construction sites on weekends when no one is there, look at how the house is coming up, and imagine what it will be like when it's finished. You can't walk through large building projects because it's truly unsafe and they're generally physically closed anyway, but when it comes to local individual residences, the risk of injury is very low and it's such a treat to have this experience on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Even as i write this i have tears on my cheeks because in the video of Ahmaud you see him do exactly what i would do, walk around quietly, reverently look at work in progress, and enjoy a special moment of tranquil solitude.

But i'm a white man (or at least in the US i am perceived as such), and so i am ALLOWED to have that moment. He was a black man, and what did he get for doing exactly the same thing i do? He got hunted down by three entitled, racist, protected white men in two pickup trucks with shotguns, and they shot him to death. Then these men went home and had dinner, and still got to live their lives for months without law enforcement doing anything. The only real reason that the GBI got involved is that multiple videos surfaced documenting the majority of the story.

I could never understand why this case wasn't the one that sparked national outrage. This is not a case of three lunatics in some freak accident, no; these three white men did what they did because where they live, their behavior is PERFECTLY NORMALIZED and tacitly protected by the police, the judges, the politicians, and the community leaders.

This is infinitely worse than police violence because it's the entire system that killed Ahmaud Arbery, not just one person or a specific police department culture. It takes hundreds of years of systemic discrimination to arrive at a case like this one.

To me, it's all right here in this story.
Brunswick, Glynn County, Georgia, USA
February 23, 2020
Good Morning America
ABC News, American Broadcasting Company
This item is shared by Philip M Shearer with the Community and the World.
Created on 2021-10-18 at 01:54 and last updated on 2021-10-18 at 02:50.