By Michael Sampson
The Freedom Road Socialist Organization condemns the brutal murder Ahmaud Arbery, a young African American man in southern Georgia, who was killed by racist vigilantes on February 23.
Similar to the Trayvon Martin murder at the hands of racist vigilante George Zimmerman in 2012, this horrific murder highlights the savage and vicious nature of white supremacy in the Black Belt South, home to the African American nation and the majority of African Americans living in the United States. Brunswick, Georgia near where Ahmaud was murdered, is located on the southeastern edge of the Black Belt; it is a city of around 15,000 and majority African American. However, the Glynn County police department is known for its brutality towards the African American community and corruption, with even the police chief being indicted this year.
Just like the racist vigilante murders of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis and Markeis McGlockton , the racist laws of Stand Your Ground and citizen’s arrest statutes only serve to show that national oppression is alive and well. In the Black nation the police and the state attorneys act as the day-to-day enforcers of this system working hand in hand with white supremacists.
In Ahmaud Arbery’s case, it’s clear the local police and state attorneys actively worked with the racist vigilantes to cover the murder up and worked to hide the video of the lynching from the public. Due to widespread public pressure, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations as of Thursday evening, May 7, brought forth charges of murder against the McDaniels, with them being apprehended and booked in the Glynn County jail. Unfortunately, similar to the case with racist vigilante George Zimmerman being put on trial for murdering Trayvon Martin and being exonerated, an arrest doesn’t necessarily mean a conviction within the racist injustice system.
Racist murders and violence by vigilantes and police serve to reinforce the social, economic and political inequality that Blacks face in the African American nation. This inequality can be seen in the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In counties in the Black Belt South in southeastern Georgia, people are dying at rates like New York City. Poverty, lack of medical care and wretched health conditions are the pre-existing conditions killing people in the Black nation, just as it is in Black communities across the country.
Our experience has shown us that justice won’t come unless we demand it. The fight for justice for Ahmaud and other victims of state sanctioned, white supremacist vigilante terror will only advance when the masses of show their power through fighting back. The way to get justice for Ahmaud Arbery lies through struggle. The people, not the police, are the makers of history and they will make their justice in the streets.
Justice for Ahmaud and all victims of racist terror!
Full equality for African Americans and self-determination and freedom for the African American nation!
Michael Sampson is a member of the Joint Nationalities Commission of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO)