Politics Magazine

The Guilty Verdicts Were Good, But The Fight Is Not Over

Posted on the 26 November 2021 by Jobsanger
The Guilty Verdicts Were Good, But The Fight Is Not Over
The three killers of Ahmaud Arbery have been found guilty of murder, and they will likely serve long prison sentences. That's a good thing, and I understand why decent Americans are celebrating. Far too many racist killings have gone without any kind of punishment in the United States (especially in the South). It's nice to see justice being done in this case.

But don't get carried away. Racism has not been defeated, and the verdict doesn't mean there won't be any more racist killings going unpunished. In fact, if there had not been a video of the crime, the Arbery murder would have gone unpunished.

The police didn't arrest the murderers immediately. And the District Attorney at the time didn't want them arrested either. They all tried to justify the murder as being a "citizen's arrest", and therefore legally justified. It was only after the video got released that the case was finally investigated and charges entered. The video made it obvious that the police and D.A. were trying to cover up a horrendous crime.

This will happen again. There are too many right-wing racists in our society, and they are being encouraged to be violent (sadly by many GOP elected officials). There will be more racist killings. Will they be investigated if there is no video? Will they be covered up by the authorities? There's a real good chance of that happening.

We are still a racist country, and too many whites are willing to either do violence or put up with it being done by others because they fear losing their white privilege.

We saw this in action in Wisconsin, where Rittenhouse was found not guilty after murdering two men and wounding a third with a weapon he was carrying illegally in a state that he did not even live in. The victims were white in this instance, but to right-wing racists, whites who support Black rights are also targets.

The Arbery verdicts were a good thing. But they do not mean this country is no longer racist. They do not mean there will be no more racist murders. And they do not mean that officials won't try to cover up future racist murders. The fight is not over, and there's still a long road ahead of us.

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