I woke up this morning with so many feelings and I needed somewhere to put them.
Last night I saw that Ahmaud Arbery’s killers, Gregory and Travis McMichael had been arrested.
How sad that that it took 74 days. How sad that it had to be sensationalized.
Ahmaud Arbery’s Killing and all of the events in the aftermath wreak of racial bias and unfairness.
What comes to mind…
I think about the lynch mobs that came after innocent black men who’d been accused of crimes.
I think about the fear that loomed over black men, women, and children as they awaited capture, torture, and murder based on the presumption of guilt.
That wasn’t the case for Travis and Gregory, whom I seriously doubt spent the last 74 days under any mental stress or fear of being captured, tortured, or killed, let alone charged for their crimes.
Black Skin, White Skin
I think about humanity and dignity.
I think about how little of it black people are entitled to even when they aren’t “the troublesome ones.”
I think about how Travis and Gregory stripped Ahmaud Arbery of his humanity and dignity when they assumed he was a thief because of his black skin, chased him down because of his black skin, attacked him because of his black skin, and killed him because of his black skin.
And when I heard about and then subsequently saw the video footage of the “struggle that ensued., I wondered about what people claim they would and wouldn’t have done.
Have you thought about it? What you would do if someone followed you? If someone chased you in a car while you were on foot? If someone chased you armed while you were unarmed? If someone used their car to block your path? If someone attacked you?
Personally, I think about my blackness. I think about the fact that I am a woman. I think about how often people think I’m much younger than I am. I think about my hoodies that I often run in. Although it is fiction, I think about what happened to the little black girl followed by a truck in A Time to Kill.
I think about how fearful I would be.
But this isn’t just about my black skin or Ahmaud Arbery’s black skin.
It’s also about white skin.
It’s about the impunity of white skin.
It’s about all the times that white skin has gotten away with the murder of black skin and how that continues to embolden white skin.
It’s about how white skin has been emboldened by the president and America’s history.
And so they’ve been arrested. Another testament to the unequal distribution of justice for this to even be considered an accomplishment.
Before I continue I must say, that I’m not normally an advocate for prison or the death penalty. (Such a pity when the unfairness that is a normal part of your existence begins to pull you away from your values.)
So what to do with Travis and Gregory McMichael in the name of justice and fairness?
How about immediately putting them on death row like Walter McMillian?
How about sending them to the worst prison in Georgia like King Korey and Clyde Kennard?
How about an all black jury rather than a jury of their peers like the countless black people who’ve had to face all white juries during trial?
How about life sentences and death penalties to decrease the disparity among black people and white people on death row?
Run With Ahmaud
Today, would be Ahmaud’s 26th birthday.
In his honor, I will be run 2.23 miles in solidarity with those who will also be participating.
I pray he receives the justice he would have wanted and deserves.