I'm beyond disappointed and disturbed by what I saw on the news the morning of May 6. There are not enough words to express how I feel, but here are a few that come to mind. Heartbroken. Disturbed. Angry. Disjointed. Frustrated. Beyond frustrated. But not surprised.
On February 23, Ahmaud Arbery was murdered by two white men while on a jog near Brunswick, Florida. The two white men, Gregory and Travis McMichael, chased Arbery down in their truck. One with a pistol, another with a shotgun. The father-son duo fatally shot Arbery to the ground.
I am not surprised when something like this happens. Maybe I should be, maybe we all should be, but we still live in a time where racism seeps across society, like a canvas brush, bleaching it white.
At your discretion, you may view the video that was released of the full incident here.
District Attorney Thomas Durden vowed to take the case to the grand jury of Glynn County for consideration of criminal charges. However, an important note is this: "Durden is the third DA to have the case, after potential conflicts of interest prompted two other prosecution offices to recuse themselves."
Everyone has their news channels on and active due to COVID-19. This case flits across the screen of news channels once and every so often, but it's important to ask a few essential question:
Why was footage released weeks after the event?
Why did it take this long to violently spread across media?
What types of "conflicts of interests" caused the district attorneys to recuse themselves?
Georgians deserve answers. My prayers are with this community and the Arbery family for their tragic loss.
While news concerning COVID-19 is important, it is also important to remember that you are human with human emotions, human necessities and human ways of living. Don't allow news stories as important and as tragic as this get swept under the rug. And we need to talk about it. Arbery deserves that much.
Did you have the same reaction as I did? Sadness? Disruption? Frustration? I hope so. It would be all too human.
Arbery is another black man who was mistakenly characterized as a robber, mistakenly characterized as a criminal, as he was out doing a seemingly normal activity. Jogging. How many of us are lucky enough to go out on a jog and feel safe? Feel like we have nothing to worry about, knowing we will never be targeted as criminals, as harmful because of the way we look?
How long does it have to take for a black man to not be persecuted on the streets? A black woman? Any person of color in the United States of America?
I don't know.
What I do know, unfortunately, is that this is just another case. This isn't uncommon. This isn't unusual. What I do know is that people are getting angrier and angrier because of events like Arbery's murder. This happened in late February, and there's still no peace.
Don't let this slip through the news. Support the family. Walk with your fellow Americans. Better yet, take a jog with them. This is a sprint people of color have been fighting for far too long.
Don't let this be just another white supremacist attack.
Don't let this be just another case.
Don't let Arbery just be another dead black man.
I dare you to fight the system.