As if 2020 wasn’t a beast on its own amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, black men continue to be hunted and gunned down.
With the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Sean Reed, communities are referring to these cases as modern day lynchings.
Like lynchings of the past, the deaths of Arbery and Reed along with countless videos that have garnered media attention throughout the years of Black Americans being assaulted and killed in racially charged attacks, all stem from the history of our nation's “past”.
Black death and suffering consumed by the public is deeply rooted in America.
Images of lynchings were commonly shared as a means of control whether that meant to terrorize Black Americans or fuel hatred amongst white-supremacist groups.
In the cases of these two unarmed black men, who were gunned down has sparked enough social outrage to garner the attention of those in judicial power.
Sean Reed filmed himself fleeing from cops while streaming a Facebook Live to nearly 4,000 viewers. While pulling over his car he calls out to his viewers “Please come get me!”, before fleeing from his car where he is chased by officers. Someone could be heard yelling ‘stop’ followed by the sound of taser then over a dozen shots were fired, killing Reed at the scene. Unaware that Reed was still live on Facebook, someone can be heard saying
“I think it’s going to be a closed casket homie” as if to mock his now lifeless body.
While the footage of Ahmaud Arberys murder clearly shows two white men essentially hunting him down as he jogged in his Georgia neighborhood, you can’t help but wonder would his killers be in custody if it wasn’t for the social media uprising that recently gained media attention? Seeing as Arbery’s case took place on the 23rd of February and no arrests were made until May 7th begs the question.
Neither civilians nor police have the authority to execute people they suspect of crimes let alone not be convicted, despite video evidence. While present-day videos may increase awareness and put pressure on law enforcement to bring charges against the perpetrators, the numbers of convictions does not add up.
With laws like stand your ground in place and gun laws that allow many to claim self defense, it becomes the perfect veil to cover one's true racially motivated intent.