Reparations and/or the SOS
BRUNSWICK, Ga. (WSAV) – It’s been an emotional week in the Brunswick area as dozens of protesters gathered to demand an arrest in the Feb. 23 shooting death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery.
The unarmed African American man was shot and killed on a Sunday afternoon as his family says he was jogging through a neighborhood.
Tuesday afternoon, Tom Durden, a temporary prosecutor named in Glynn County to study the case announced he is recommending that a grand jury consider criminal charges in the matter.
Then an explosive piece of cell phone video was posted and made the rounds on social media, apparently showing the moment Arbery was shot and killed.
“When I saw what was on the tape I was horrified to say the least, I actually started crying,” said Dr. John Perry of the Glynn County NAACP.
The two men involved in the incident are both white. Gregory McMichael and his son Travis told police they saw Arbery in their neighborhood and thought he matched the description of a burglary suspect and that he was possibly engaging in some suspicious activity.
They armed themselves with a pistol and a rifle and followed him in their pickup truck and reportedly told him to stop. They said he wouldn’t and when the pickup stopped and Travis McMichael got out of the vehicle that Arbery grabbed his rifle and that’s when the shots went off.
Perry doesn’t believe that version and says the video in no way depicts an attempt at a citizen’s arrest.
“It looks like it was a manhunt,” said Perry. “To see this young man fearing for his life, it looks like he is clearly in fear for his life and is fighting for his life.”
The older McMichael has spent time in local law enforcement in Glynn County and also served as an investigator for the Glynn County area District Attorney’s Office. Two local prosecutors recused themselves from the case although both were criticized for not filing charges.
The police chief of Glynn County has also been criticized for how an investigation was conducted and for not seeking assistance from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).
Perry and others are calling for the chief, John Powell, who is on administrative leave right now to be fired immediately.
Tuesday night, Glynn County Sheriff Neal Jump joined the group calling for more action. He says while his agency was not involved in the investigation, he does feel for Arbery’s parents and other relatives.
“When I first saw the video it was very disturbing and if I were the parents of the young man, I would be totally like his parents and I would be wanting answers,” said Jump.
One of those attending the rally was Thea Brooks, who is the aunt of Arbery.
“We’ve been wondering all this time what really happened because we knew Ahmaud’s character, we know what kind of young man he was.” she said. “So when it happened it took us all off guard because that’s not Ahmaud, the person they were trying to make him out to be.”
In response to the fact that Arbery was jogging the day he died a group called “I run with Maud” has been formed and members are asking for an arrest soon.
Meanwhile, political leaders, including Joe Biden, have been weighing in on the incident online:
Perry says the video and the call for a grand jury should be enough to prompt an arrest.
“In this incident, we’ve been failed tremendously and the community is standing up,” he said.
GBI Director Vic Reynolds announced in a video Wednesday that at the request of Durden and with support from Gov. Brian Kemp, his agency will be investigating.
“I’m confident that we’ll do justice in this matter,” he said. “But I’m just as confident we’re going to do it the right way. Usually, the right road isn’t the quickest or the fastest way, but it’s the right way.”
Kemp said Thursday he has full confidence in Reynolds’ agency to investigate.
“Georgians deserve answers,” he added.
Why did it take 10 weeks and the public sharing of the video that was available after the shooting for this case to result in the arrest of the two assailants? The simple answer is "racism".
I try to imagine a similar situation where an unarmed white man is jogging through a predominately Black neighborhood, is accosted, and killed by two armed Black men and they tell authorities that they acted only in self-defense.
It doesn't work! Calls for the death penalty would arise immediately! The men were obviously "hardened criminals"!
It would be one thing if this was an isolated incident. It's obviously not! There have been many recent killings of Black people by white people that have been in the news. Trayvon Martin was one such victim. There also have been significant numbers of killings by police officers.
Always, self-defense is alleged. White people are scared of Black people!
This is the S.O.S. - the same old s--t.
The word "reparations" comes to my mind immediately. What do I mean and suggest.
We have "equality" purportedly in our legal system and our general world. We do not commonly acknowledge systemic inequality. We do not have laws that protect the rights of "special people" because they lack the rights of "normal people".
We do not acknowledge that women are not treated as the equals of men in important ways. It is true that women sexually assault and rape other women. It is also true that women domestically abuse other women.
It is also true that domestic violence, rape and sexual assault are primarily occurring with men victimizing women. We do not educate our children as well as adults about these obvious facts.
It is true that Black men do physically attack white people. It is, however much more commonly a situation of Black people, particularly men, being assaulted and killed by white people, predominantly men.
We live in a world that is purportedly "color blind". The laws are "equal".
In reality, this is a joke! Women are abused by men. When they seek justice, commonly, they are doubly victimized by the system. They must be "pure" to have any chance at being believed. If they are Black, they are much less likely to be believed. If the alleged assailant is white, they are even less likely to be believed.
Black men and some Black women are not "seeing things" when they notice that they are followed, when shopping. Black people are not "seeing things", when they notice that they are stopped for headlights being out on their cars much, mu;ch more frequently than white people are stopped. Black people strangely look "suspicious" and like "the alleged perpetrator" quite, quite frequently.
We need to begin looking at what I would like to call "reparations". We need to seek out "special treatment" for Black people, especially women in some situations, and especially men in others.
Such "special treatment" will not give Black people "special privileges". It will, perhaps, give them a chance at being treated equally.
We white people, particularly white men, need to wake up! We need to acknowledge our complicity in a racist, sexist society, which hurts People of Color and women a lot.
We need to recognize that the s.o.s. continues year in and year out, because we do not do our share in confronting racism and sexism all around us. We need "reparations" - both to wake us up and to help right the wrongs that we have supported for many, many years.
Because the court system is shut down until mid-June due to coronavirus, the grand jury cannot take up the case immediately.
The reason as to why it’s been over two months since the incident and the GBI is just now getting involved, Reynolds said his agency has to be called in to investigate by local authorities.
According to the GBI, there was an investigation conducted by the Glynn County Police Department at the time of the shooting.
Post a Comment