If you’ve happened to scroll through your social media feeds these past few weeks, then I’m sure you’re all too familiar with the name Ahmaud Arbery. The facts surrounding his untimely death are enough to break even the toughest heart, but the heart of the community isn’t as easily broken.
In this nation-wide lockdown, many people have resorted to self-care activities aimed at maintaining mental, emotional and physical health like running and biking in order live through the effects the pandemic has caused, but unfortunately, if you’re a black mother, father, sister, or brother, hearing about how a 25-year-old black man was gunned down by racist white civilians during his jog makes you second guess the idea of going for that walk or run around the nicer part of your area that makes you feel safe. I write this to say that you shouldn’t have to, resorting to a supportive circle or your community in heighten times like this can serve as a grounding safe space that will keep you sane, and keep you going.
Deaths like Arbery’s reinforces this fear in black lives that says loud and clear: you are never safe. We’re not safe at night, driving in our cars, heading to work, the store, or even exercising in our own neighborhoods. The weight of this truth looms over our heads like a dark cloud and it’s terrifying and depressive as hell.
But again, you shouldn’t let this limiting fear stop you from living because you don’t have to and are not going through this alone. The idea of community support is becoming more evident with upsetting losses like Arbery’s. Black lives are becoming tired of the senseless murders and violences. And it’s not just black lives, but people from other groups are expressing their solidarity by visibly displaying their concerns and support.
The video that caught Arbery’s last moments was the vital evidence that awoken the community to take action. Social media feeds are full of #IRunWithAhmaud posts of people getting together for something obviously bigger than themselves. We’re taking a stand on a matter that truly means the difference between life or death, foul-play or justice and we’re doing it together. In numbers there is strength, in numbers comes a revolution, in numbers comes change.
Hearing the sad demise of young Ahmaud is heartbreaking, but take into account that the community is only growing more adamant about holding this nation and the judicial system accountable for its mistreatment and blatant lack of regard for black lives. We’ve been long tired of this kind of behavior. We are exhausted and are not having it anymore, and its not just black lives that are no longer standing for the thoughtless acts against humanity, other lives are tired of this shit too and are doing their human duty to speak up and show out.
To be silent is to side with the oppressor. As the community continues to stand for justice and demand equal rightness in our judicial system and law enforcement, we must also be mindful of creating a solid blueprint that outlines a steady progression for this change. Again, this is one that calls for a group effort, strategy, time and energy, but judging from recent events and the actions that followed from the community’s standpoint, we certainly have what it takes.