Saturday, May 9, 2020

The Lynching of Ahmaud Arbery

One attitude rooted in slavery is that any white person at any time can demand that any Black person explain his or her presence. 

Maybe the white person doesn't think the Black person should be in first class seating. Maybe the white person doesn't think that a Black person is an attorney. Maybe the white person is outraged that the Black person is in a given neighborhood. 

Back in February two Georgia white men saw a Black man named Ahmaud Arbery jogging through the neighborhood and decided that he must be a criminal. The men armed themselves, got into their pickup truck, chased Arbery down and tried to prevent him from leaving. When Arbery tried to defend himself, the white men shot him dead.

One of the men involved was a former police officer/investigator for the DA's office which evidently explains in part why the local prosecutors refused to issue arrest warrants or start the process for filing charges. 

In fact their official musings on the matter read more like defense counsel theories than prosecutor statements. The prosecutor even hypothesized that the Black man might have shot himself and said that Arbery was a "suspect". He used the term "probable cause" to defend the white men, though neither man is currently law enforcement.

After a video of the actual killing was released to the public, the resulting furor was apparently too much even for a craphole state like Georgia. 

One prosecutor who hadn't yet recused himself promised to take the case to a grand jury for indictment, some day. And the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested the murderous yokels, a turn of events that judging by their mugshots, came as something of a surprise.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (KRON) — A Georgia father and son have been arrested and charged with the murder of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed while jogging on a residential street, authorities announced Thursday.  On May 7, the GBI arrested Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, for the death of Arbery. They were both charged with murder and aggravated assault.

The McMichaels were taken into custody and will be booked into the Glynn County Jail. Arbery was in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia on Feb. 23 when the father and son confronted Arbery with two firearms. Travis McMichael then shot and killed Arbery.

The shooting death of Arbery, 25, has been passed through three district attorneys in the two and a half months since the man was shot and killed while jogging through a Glynn County neighborhood the afternoon of Feb. 23.

I don't have much to say. It is what it is. There are some Black contrarians or conservatives, even relatives or friends, who rush to chide Black people for being outraged over this. They are missing the proverbial point by a country mile. 

People are not just upset that two goobers murdered a man. People are furious that the local police and prosecutors were willing, even eager to let the killers go free. 

That doesn't normally happen when the killer is Black. It almost never happens when the killer is Black and the victim is white. Even in Georgia the law frowns on the McMichaels' actions. As The Janitor noted elsewhere:
"Just so we're clear, the law does not allow you to suspect someone of burglary, grab your guns, hop in your pickup truck, chase said person down, hop out of your truck with your guns drawn and tell the person to stop, and then shoot the person with your gun in the middle of the street when he resists your illegal provocation of force.
That's not a citizen's arrest. That's not self-defense. That's not standing your ground. That's simply premeditated murder."
I can not imagine waking up, seeing a white person whom I don't know or don't like, shooting him or her dead and returning home to have a good nap, free from police arrest on that day or another ninety days afterwards.

Again, I think that Black people in general need to arm themselves. There are too many crazy racist armed people out there. Irrational people are only responsive to force. As we know, the law is only as good as the people charged to uphold it. And I'm not confident that this will go to trial or that the McMichaels will be convicted at trial. But time will tell.
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