On Feb. 23, Ahmaud Arbery “was just going on his daily jog,” his mother said. However, because of his black skin, he was killed. The 25-year-old from Georgia was just exercising! He was just living his life! I refuse to watch the traumatic video of his murder, which was just released this week because there’s no reason to. We all know the truth. He was killed because he was black and I don’t need to watch the video to know that.
I don’t need to see the video of a white father and son hunt a black man. I don’t need to see the video of two murderers kill an innocent man because of white supremacy. Arbery is dead, and watching the video isn’t going to change that.
Two months after he was murdered, the two killers have yet to be charged or arrested. Their defense is that they were conducting a citizen’s arrest — legal in Georgia — because of a burglary in the area. There was no such burglary, and Arbery was no criminal. He was an innocent man who was gunned down.
Today I will not draw joy… Today I draw Pain. Today I sketch Injustice.
Today I paint a prayer… "If I shall die before my run, I pray the Lord my case is won."#iRunWithMaud
— NIKKOLAS (@4NIKKOLAS) May 7, 2020
The Associated Press reports that his family may have some kind of justice next month. “An outside prosecutor in charge of the case said he wants a grand jury to decide whether criminal charges are warranted. That won’t happen until at least mid-June, since Georgia courts remain largely closed because of the coronavirus.”
It’s infuriating that courts remain closed in Georgia when Gov. Brian Kemp is entirely okay with opening salons, bowling alleys, and tattoo shops, but not a court for a black man’s life.
Honestly and selfishly, I didn’t want to watch the murder of #AhmaudArbery. I didn’t want to feel that nauseating churn of my stomach I get each time “it” happens. But that feeling doesn’t compare to the loss and sadness of his and too many other families. May justice be served.
— Keisha Lance Bottoms (@KeishaBottoms) May 7, 2020
“These men were vigilantes, they were a posse, and they performed a modern lynching in the middle of the day,” Lee Merritt, an attorney for Arbery’s mother, said according to the AP.
Many are comparing the murder of Arbery to the killing of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who was also stalked and gunned down by a man who used the accuse that the teenager was a criminal in his own neighborhood. These two black men have at least two things in common: they were black and innocent. But they are not the only ones. Just yesterday, Sean Reed, 21, was killed by police in Indianapolis. You can track each killing of unarmed black men in this country by police right here.
But what about the killing and violence against black people by white people? Where’s the tracking system for that? I suppose to do that, we’d have to start in 1619.
— Eric Ochoa (@EricOchoa110) May 7, 2020
If you want to know more about Ahmaud Arbery, you can read about how his supporters are running the 2.23 miles that he jogged on the day of his birthday. You can read about how his neighbors cared for Arbery. You can read about the heartbreaking words from his mother. You can read this wondering and painful op-ed in the New York Times. But you don’t need to watch the video of his death because Ahmaud’s life mattered much more than that.