By: Roy Douglas Malonson
He woke up that morning with a bounty on his head. Sadly, he did not know it as he laced up his shoes and set out for a standard jog. He never stood a chance. Because two white men were seemingly looking for a kill and another innocent black man was, unfortunately, going to unknowingly cross their paths at “their” right time for murder.
It’s the storyline that happens all the time for those shades “darker than acceptable” in a world full of jealousy – and hate.
Now, yet another “trial of a century” is gearing up for center stage as a white father and son, Gregory and Travis McMichael, were arrested May 7 in the death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, who was jogging through a Georgia neighborhood on February 23 when he was racially profiled and murdered.
The McMichaels claimed Arbery fit the description of a person suspected in a “rash of break-ins” in the neighborhood at that time. The problem is, police records do not show there were any series of crimes, as the men claimed. And Arbery, who was wearing a white T-shirt, khaki shorts, Nike sneakers and a bandana was clearly wearing exercising gear.
The McMichaels chased down the unsuspecting “suspect,” cut him off and confronted him. Travis McMichael, 34, was armed with a shotgun and shot Arbery multiple times as they struggled over it. Gregory McMichael, 64, a recently retired Glynn County police officer, was also armed.
Arbery died in the middle of the street and the McMichaels went back home to live out their peaceful white lives until a 36-second video of the deadly altercation surfaced and public outcry began. The authorities finally arrested the father-son duo, charging them with murder and aggravated assault.
But will there be JUSTICE? There rarely ever is.
Why did it take so long for charges to be filed? Were local Georgia officials on the cusp of a cover-up before the video came out and FORCED federal officials to take action?
I know we live in an integrated society, but Black people need to learn that this country has been divided in half from the Civil War era to the Trump administration. We ALL can find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Is this country really free? Do we have true freedom?
Remember a young man with a name we will never forget — Trayvon Martin – who was tracked down by another blood-thirsty racist who made almost the same claim of protecting his neighborhood? And right here in Texas, how can we ever forget James Byrd, who was murdered by three white supremacists in Jasper County in 1998? They dragged Byrd behind a pickup truck for three miles until his body began to break apart. So, while we have legal right to go anywhere we want, we need to understand that in many places, it’s still open season on us.
Black men, be on the lookout, be on the alert. Even during a global pandemic, when it comes to racism and a bulls eye on the backs of blacks, the hunt is still on.